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Episode 31: Mike who purchased in Godelleta, Valencia

Episode 31: Mike who purchased in Godelleta, Valencia
Podcast host




Beth Davison

Podcast location

Relocated from



Godelleta, Valencia

Podcast agent

Real estate company

This week, Mike joins the show to share how he found a four bedroom villa in Godelleta, Valencia overlooking a valley and the Mediterranean sea. Newly retired, we learn how Mike and his wife decided it was the right time to buy as their family grows with grandchildren. He shares his experience of land investment, the importance of a quality agent, and how they found their dream villa.

Show Notes

  • [2:17] Their first experience of land investment
  • [5:41] When they knew they found the right home to buy
  • [6:54] How their agent helped them find their ideal place
  • [12:34] Mike’s budget
  • [15:47] Mike’s advice on buying for the first time in Spain
  • [16:12] The effect of having a great agent



Azahar Properties

Read Full Transcript


Welcome to the Spanish Property podcast where we interview people who recently purchased a home in Spain.

They tell us what worked, what didn’t and what they’d do differently next time.

I’m Beth Davison and this week I’m talking with Mike who, along with his wife Louise, purchased a 4 bedroom detached villa in Godelleta, Valencia.

For them it was all about finding somewhere where their grandchildren can visit and as when I spoke with Mike they were having their swimming pool refurbished, I’d say they succeeded.

Mike and Louise worked with estate agent Azahar Properties to find their dream home in Spain.

Check out the show notes at to find links and resources mentioned in this episode

Body of Transcript

Mike:  My name is Mike. I’m actually retired now. I’m sixty-five. We decided to purchase a villa in the countryside, but close enough to the coast so that we can have days out there if we want to.

Beth:  At what point did this whole process start for you? Who was the first person to say, “Hey, should we buy a place in Spain?”

Mike:  Oh, goodness me. My two boys are grown up now with children of their own, but probably the first time we discussed it, my wife Louise and I, was about thirty years ago when we used to holiday in this area quite regularly. When I say this area I mean the northern Costa Blanca, around Valencia, but always inland a little bit from the coast. So, yeah, probably about thirty years ago, and we both agreed that eventually we’d love a place here.

Beth:  So, because of the holidays it clearly ticked a lot of boxes.

Mike:  Absolutely, absolutely. We’ve traveled up and down the Costa Blanca, all the way down south towards Murcia right up to Tarragona and Barcelona, really. We find the Valencia area a bit more verdant and a bit more green all the year round. The south is just a little bit too hot for us, so we wanted that combination of year round sunshine but not the fierce heat that one experiences down in the south.

Beth:  Yeah, totally.

Mike:  It ticks all the boxes from that point of view.

Beth:  So, after the initial conversation, so if we go back thirty years, what were the first steps that you took?

Mike:  We very rashly bought a piece of land, about thirty years ago, with the idea of building our dream house on it. That was done almost on the spur of the moment. Not the way to do it I hasten to add, but we did it. Having said that, we did manage to get out of it OK, we, in fact, doubled our money on the plot, but we never did build the villa on it.

Beth:  Wow, so it wasn’t a land investment. That wasn’t what you had originally thought. You thought you were going to build on the land.

Mike:  No, no, we were on holiday in a little tiny village called Montserrat, which was the most friendly tiny Spanish village with one bar or bar restaurant and we fell in love with the place and saw this plot, made some inquiries and that was it, we were smitten, we bought it. But then things changed a little bit, the economics weren’t right and we couldn’t afford it to be perfectly honest, what we wanted to do. So, we just sat on it for years and years and we kind of forgot all about it, really. I know that probably sounds stupid, but we did. Then one day, out of the blue, we got a telephone call from a Spanish builder who said, “Would we be interested in selling?” So, the rest is history they say. We sold it.

Beth:  That’s amazing. So, he offered a much higher amount than you paid for it, so you made a profit.

Mike:  Yes we did, yes.

Beth:  Did you then put that profit into the villa that you then bought?

Mike:  Oh no, no, because this is a very recent thing, this one. This is a result of a family inheritance, to be honest with you Beth. We recently lost my father in law in very unfortunate circumstances, but he left my wife, Louise, fairly well off so we were able to realize our dreams. I know he would have loved to have seen it because, in fact, he had accompanied us on one inspection tour when we were looking around all those years ago.

Beth:  Oh wow, it’s good that he did get see it though, so you have some inkling of what he would have felt because it’s really difficult when things happen in unfortunate circumstances in how to spend that money and how to feel about spending that money. It’s really nice that he was sort of involved.

So, what happened with the land? So, after you sold the land you kind of kept that money, invested it more in the UK?

Mike:  Yes, that’s right, yeah. Then it sort of went off the agenda, you know, bringing up family. We’d still holiday here but didn’t think about owning a place. Then time goes by very rapidly and all of a sudden the boys are off hand, they’re married and we’ve got grandchildren now. Then, as I say, this happened and we said, well perhaps this is the ideal time to do it because we wanted a place that we would enjoy. We’ve got a couple of Labradors as well. We love walking. So, we want to be in the country and we also want a place where the family can visit and feel able to come whenever they want. So, we wanted somewhere a little bit bigger than an apartment and, as I say, out in the country for the dogs. This place fits the bill perfectly.

Beth:  What was it about the house, when you first saw it? Was it love at first sight? Did you know immediately? Was there anything about it that really struck you as being “the one?”

Mike:  It was exactly that, Beth. It was kind of love at first sight. I have to confess, I was by myself on the initial inspection. Louise was at home, but she said, “Oh I trust you, whatever you think is right.” Well, we were with a company called Azahar Properties. Simon, the guy who runs that place, obviously listens very carefully to your brief. We gave him a brief of what we wanted. We looked at a few properties with Simon, or I did that day. Then this one, which was, I think, the last one on the list. As soon as we pulled up at the gate I knew that was it.

Beth:  Which has got to be such a good feeling, because it’s actually a tense time looking for a property - you want to find something perfect.

Mike:  Absolutely, to be honest with you, I had been here for a week and I’d been around with some other agents and I was getting quite despondent because I hadn’t seen anything that really fitted the bill that we were looking for and I’d given all the other agents just the same brief as I gave Simon from Azahar, but whether they misunderstood, or whatever, I don’t know, but Simon seemed to have taken onboard everything that we were looking for and it made it so much easier. When this one, we drove up the hill to it and it’s sort of perched on top of hill and it’s a lovely, lovely spot, and I felt, “Oh there it is.” So, it was, as you said, it was love at first sight. I was totally smitten by the place.

Beth:  There must have been a good relationship between you and Simon by this point. Was there a lot of trust there? Because everyone else I have spoken to, that’s a real key thing is trusting your agent.

Mike:  Oh definitely, definitely. I’m not going to criticize any of the other agents. I think they’re doing a good job in very difficult circumstances sometimes, but Simon I warmed to immediately. He was my type of guy and I trusted him completely, one hundred percent from the off, so, that made things an awful lot easier as well.

Beth:  Then, how long from that point, the first time you saw the house with Simon? You were feeding back and you were there by yourself; so, you had to make sure you got approval from Louise, how long before things were really moving along?

Mike:  I flew home that weekend and I think we started the process, more or less immediately. Then Louise and I flew out together and it all happened very, very quickly. We were so lucky. We got good legal advice, which is, I would say, of paramount importance, getting a good English speaking lawyer, which we did and we’re very, very pleased with him. Simon kept in touch right throughout the whole process. He was always there if we needed any help, if we had any questions. So, it made it so much easier. From that first viewing, I suppose, within a couple of weeks we were well into the process of buying the property.

Beth:  Wow, how much did that differ from thirty years previously when you’d bought the land?

Mike:  Well that, that was kind of almost on a whim, and we saw the piece of land and we bought that the same day, I think.

Beth:  Wow, ok, so this is a very different process?

Mike:  Absolutely, absolutely. It needed to be because we wanted to be sure this time. It’s not only just for Louise and I, and as I say, the boys and the grandchildren, but ultimately it will be theirs to do whatever they want with, so we want them to have something that is going to be a place, hopefully, they would like to come when perhaps we’re not able to be around to share it with them.

Beth:  Yeah, no totally, it’s lovely to leave a legacy like that and have the kids grow up coming there. It’s a real treat.

Mike:  They love Spain as well and they loved this area, both my boys, and they still do. They like to speak a bit of Spanish when they come out – only restaurant Spanish, the same as me, really.

Beth:  It gets the job done, that’s fine.

Mike:  They love it, they love it, and I’m sure they’ll get lots and lots of use from it.

Beth:  It sounds like you had a pretty easy time of it, then. It sounds like it was a great process for you. If there was one thing that you’d do differently, is there anything that stands out as being the most difficult part?

Mike:  Um, I think we were perhaps very lucky, but this is going to sound like I’m sucking up to you, Beth, but I used Kyero such a lot. It sounds like it happened over night, almost, but I was on Kyero probably for, I don’t know, a couple of years on and off. Not every day, but almost when I think of it. We found Kyero, to be perfectly honest with you, an amazing sight. It’s so user friendly. You can type in the parameters and you get hundreds of options to look at. So, we kind of did all the weeding out, as it were, before we got here, which made it quite easy to make the fast decision once we were in Spain.

Beth:  That’s great. That’s so good to hear. I’m glad it was useful and it ticked boxes for you.

Mike:  Yeah, literally, I was on it every day. Louise used to get really fed up with me saying, “Where are you, I needn’t ask.”

Beth:  But it paid off, it totally paid off.

Mike:  Yeah, absolutely, it made it, as I say, it made the initial research, Beth, where you perhaps would have to troll around and perhaps come back three or four times looking, but we didn’t do that. We narrowed it down quite a bit and then I think we were just lucky finding Simon at Azahar Properties, because in Simon we got someone that seemed to understand exactly what we wanted – the parameters of our brief, as it were. He only showed us properties that fit that brief, whereas some of the others clearly hadn’t taken onboard what we said, or just wanted to show us properties that weren’t suitable at all.

Beth:  It seems to be quite common, that everyone that I’ve spoken to, the agents that they use through Kyero really they say exactly this, that people listen, that they got what they wanted, and I’m so glad that Simon was the same for you because it makes all the difference, I think, if you’re not having to put in more work than you really should as a buyer.

Mike:  Oh yeah, and of course the finances still make a difference, although we’ve got this inheritance, but we’re still quite conscious of what we’re spending and the other thing we saw, and of course he is one of the, I don’t know how many do it, but he certainly doesn’t charge the buyers a commission on the transaction and lots of the estate agents, and I didn’t realize this until we started looking properly, charge both the seller or the vendor and the purchaser, but he didn’t do that. He only charges the seller. So we were lucky. We kind of researched it and knew that was the case anyway, and that saved us a good few thousand pounds.

Beth:  Sure, and can we talk about budget a little bit, did you know exactly how much, you obviously had the inheritance, did you know how much you wanted to spend and what you were looking for within that budget?

Mike:  It wasn’t open ended and far from it, Beth. We were looking between one and fifty and two hundred thousand Euros. For that, as I say, we wanted a house perhaps in the countryside. I haven’t even told you what we’ve got, but it’s a lovely detached villa on a small urbanization. It looks down a valley over Valencia and then onward to the Med in the distance. As I said in the distance - it’s about twenty-five kilometers. It takes about half an hour to get to the beach at El Sale, so it’s perfect.

Beth:  Lovely, and how many bedrooms?

Mike:  We’ve got four bedrooms, one of which is a little self contained apartment with its own bathroom and we’re just in the process of now doing a bit of remodeling to the original house. We’ll end up with four bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Beth:  Lovely, so perfect for grand-kids and the boys when they come.

Mike:  Oh absolutely, they can come when we’re here or they can kick us out and we can go somewhere else and then both families can come, so it couldn’t have been better. It met all the criteria.

Beth:  How much time do you spend over there? If you’re retired now do you get to spend large chunks of time or do you go?

Mike:  I’m here alone at the moment again because poor Louise is stuck at home, but she’s coming out in September. I’m here because we’ve just had the swimming pool totally refurbished, so I wanted to be here while the guys were doing that. Then the building work starts, on the house itself, the first week in September, so I’m going to be here probably until something like October this time, but then I’ll probably pop back quite quickly. I just love being here.

Beth:  Yeah, I bet, would you ever think about being there permanently?

Mike:  Oh yeah, that’s probably the intention, eventually. We thought perhaps after Christmas. Louise is only a few months younger than me. Her pension will kick in just after that, so, we think we can probably live quite happily here in terms of both climate and the cost of living

Beth:  Lovely, and it’s such a nice long term plan. It’s not too far away, what’s transport like to get to your place?

Mike:  Oh it’s lovely. All the low cost airlines fly into Valencia, of course. At the moment anyway – EasyJet and Ryanair – it’s very simple. From Manises, from the airport, it’s fifteen, twenty minutes maximum.

Beth:  Oh, lovely.

Mike:  It’s absolutely perfect.

Beth:  It makes a short trip all the more possible. It’s great that you can do long stints out there, but actually a long weekend.

Mike:  Yeah, you can do a long weekend, Beth. You can quite easily do a long weekend, come in on a Thursday night and go back on a Sunday. It would lend itself to that very, very easily.

Beth:  Amazing, if you had to give one piece of advice, if there was anyone sitting there thinking that perhaps they were going to do the same thing or they’re just starting that initial Googling process and they’re having a little look around, what would your piece of advice be?

Mike:  It would be to certainly look at as many properties online as you can and make sure that they meet your requirements, but then secondly, I suppose, try and pick a good agent and lots of that you’re doing over the phone, so it’s almost about what kind of a judge of character you are, but you get a vibe from some of them immediately. I think that the most important thing is to have the right agent on the ground - the one who knows what he’s doing.

Beth:  Fantastic, which Simon obviously did, so that’s good news.

Mike:  Oh, for us, he couldn’t have been better. He’s so much so that we’ve involved Simon in our plans for renovating the place. He’s been absolutely invaluable.

Beth:  Great, that’s fantastic. My last question, you’ve listed lots of things, but if you had one favorite part of Spanish life or Spanish culture what would it be?

Mike:  Oh I can’t narrow it down to one, Beth, I love it all. I love the lifestyle. I love the people, the food, the climate (obviously), but everything. The people are so warm and friendly and if you speak a little bit of Spanish, I would recommend that strongly. Not that you, perhaps, have to but there are so many people that don’t get the full experience because they don’t even try to speak the language, I think. I try to learn the language but, no, I can’t narrow it down to one. I just love the whole experience.

Beth:  Amazing, that is so good to hear. Well, thank you so much for talking to me today.

Mike:  It’s been a pleasure, Beth.

Beth:  Enjoy the rest of your stay and when Louise makes it out next month it will be fantastic.

Mike:  Thank you very much indeed.

Beth:  Have a lovely day.

Mike:  Thank you, you too.

Beth:  Bye.

Mike:  Bye bye, now.


Thank you for listening and thanks to Mike for sharing his experiences, and to Azahar Properties for their help to make this episode possible.

I particularly liked that Mike and Louise were thinking about their Labradors when they purchased, and how their journey actually began 30 years ago with buying that original piece of land. It just goes to show that you never know what could happen.

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Tune in next time, when I speak with Lindsay, originally from Bath. Along with her husband, she purchased a 6-bed villa in Cabo de Palos, Murcia. I think she might be the most enthusiastic person I’ve spoken to yet! Just wait until you hear about how the whole process started with an optimistic request from a certain 10 year old.

I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you next time!

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