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Episode 40: Dominic and Tracy who purchased in Mar de Cristal

Episode 40: Dominic and Tracy who purchased in Mar de Cristal
Podcast host


Dominic and Tracy


Beth Davison

Podcast location

Relocated from



Mar de Cristal

Podcast agent

Real estate company

This week Dominic and Tracy join the show to share their experience of buying in Mar de Cristal. With top sea views, they look forward to spending six months of the year in Spain, and six months in Ireland, in their new 3 bedroom apartment. Tune in to hear more about the value of viewing properties, having a European home base for their family, and escaping the Irish winter.

Show Notes:

  • [2:15] Choosing to buy in Spain over Turkey
  • [3:35] Their budget – and going over it
  • [6:02] What their viewing process was like
  • [6:33] The value for money in the current property market
  • [7:50] Dealing with language barriers
  • [8:27] The aftercare experience with their agent
  • [9:00] Knowing when you have the right agent
  • [11:46] The importance of renting first and seeing the area throughout the seasons


Just Murcia Property

Read Full Transcript


Welcome to the Spanish property podcast where we interview people who recently purchased their dream home in Spain.

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

I’m Beth Davison and today I’m speaking with Dominic and Tracy - originally from Ireland.

They purchased their property in Mar de Cristal

And with children now living far from home they were looking for a geographical midpoint that they could all enjoy.

They worked with estate agent Just Murcia Properties to find their dream home in Spain.  

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


Dominic:  Hi, I’m Dominic.

Tracy :  Hi, I’m Tracy.

Dominic:  We’re kind of semi-retired. I just leased my business out and we purchased a property with a view to spending more time there.

Beth:  Fantastic.

Tracy:  We are both looking forward to spending some more time in the sun.

Beth:  Is that what you’ve managed to find?

Tracy:  It’s about twenty degrees here today, so it’s all good in February.

Beth:  Sounds amazing. When did all this process start for you? When was the first time you thought, “You know what, I need a bit more sun.”

Dominic:  This process has been going on for a good few years. We’ve been living in southern Ireland for the last thirty years. We get so much rain and so many gray days that we’ve always been looking for the ideal place in the sun.

We used to have a place in Turkey. Turkey was great for the kids, but now our kids are grown up and they’re all around different parts of Europe. We thought a base in Europe would be a lot better than a base in Turkey. We love this area in Spain. It’s just absolutely beautiful.

Really, we chose Spain for accessibility so that all the kids could meet up here. It’s not a long haul flight, although Turkey is not a long haul flight, but it’s still a four and a half hour flight as opposed to a couple of hours. So that’s basically what brought us to this area.

Beth:  It’s interesting how many people have said that, for them, it was a tossup between Turkey or Spain and the weather is very similar. Did you already know Spain? How well did you know it?

Dominic:  We knew Spain quite a lot. We had been through the process of purchasing a place in Turkey. We purchased a couple of properties before. In Turkey things were difficult, not as easy as it is to purchase in Spain.

The reason why we also did Turkey was the price. You can actually get a really good property for your money. At the time, going back in 2004, the properties in Spain were out of our price league and rank. Now the price of property... I know it’s rising, but it’s still a good buy at the moment. That was one of the factors of why we decided on Spain.

Beth:  So, what was it that you were looking for? Did you already know exactly how many bedrooms you needed?

Tracy:  We were looking for a minimum of two bedrooms and we actually managed to get three bedrooms, so we’re absolutely delighted.

Beth:  Amazing, and that is a really good value. I’m guessing you had a budget set for that?

Tracy:  We did, we did.

Dominic:  We ended up going over the budget as most people probably do, but it was worth it. Once you find the right place for you, you do tend to find that little bit of extra cash to buy it.

Beth:  Well, yeah, precisely. What was the viewing process like? Did you start online, or did you immediately head out to Spain and start looking at properties? How did it begin?

Dominic:  We started searching on Kyero and we rented a place first, in Los Alcapones and then we rented in...

Tracy:  Los Urrutias  so we’ve been coming back and forth quite awhile. We knew we wanted to be in the area so we did our research before we actually started viewing property.

Beth:  Once you specified what you were looking for, what was your agent like in finding the right things for you? How many places do you think they took you to?

Dominic:  Well, basically, I think Just Murcia Properties, we actually hit the jackpot finding these guys because Emma and Trevor they listened to our criteria. They didn’t waste our time showing us things that wouldn’t be suitable.

For us, we needed a sea view. It’s was really important for us to have some bit of view because were from southern Ireland and we’ve got beautiful views of the mountains. We thought, if we’re going to be in Spain, if we’re going to use it as a retirement home, we need to have that bit of view. So they listened to what we wanted. They didn’t waste our time.

Trevor took us through the whole of the local area here, Cartagena, Mar de Cristal, Los Palomas, Cabo de palos, and showed us the whole area and we fell in love with Mar de Cristal. The beach is just fabulous. You can walk into the town of Los Palomas,. Mar de Cristal is a bit quiet in the winter, but I’ve no doubt in the summer it will be very busy.

Beth:  Incredible, it’s so good that you feel that your first hit was a winner.

Tracy:  They’ve just been absolutely incredible. They’ve helped us along the way. They have shown us things that maybe we wouldn’t have looked at but it really helped to get a good idea of what we did actually want. We knew we wanted a view. We looked around for apartments, top floor apartments and villas. Then we decided that we would need a certain amount of security, so we started looking then at first and second floor apartments. It’s only when you go to do properties that you actually realise what it is that you actually want.

Beth:  Absolutely, and did you have the moment when you walked through the door and knew that your one was the one?

Tracy:  Yes.

Dominic:  Tracy knew right away, which was a bit of a worry because it was stretching our pockets.

Beth:  Yes, yeah, do you mind me asking how much you ended up spending and what your budget was?

Dominic:  We had a budget of about one hundred thousand and that seemed to increase every day when we were shown different properties, which stretched the budget to one fifty.

Tracy:  But it has got an extra bedroom an extra bathroom. It was something that we weren’t looking for but it’s just actually ideal for the size of our family and what we need.

Beth:  I don’t know about property prices in Ireland, but certainly in England, the value for money is just astronomical in comparison.

Dominic:  Oh, it’s a great value, absolutely brilliant value. We’re fortunate enough to be able to still keep our home in Ireland. So, our intention is to do six months of the year here and six months back in Ireland.

Beth:  How amazing, just think, you’ll always skip winter.

Dominic:  Definitely.

Tracy:  Definitely.

Beth:  I thought you were going to say that. You mentioned that you previously bought abroad, in Turkey and that it was more difficult. So what was it about the Spanish process that was easier?

Dominic:  The whole process with Spain, as regards to Turkey... Turkey takes days, days upon days, whereas in Spain, Emma introduced us to a lawyer that took about a half an hour to process. She organized the NIE numbers, introduced us to the local bank branch, we met the bank manager. The process was just so simple. It’s just been a breeze hasn’t it Tracy?

Tracy:  Everybody has been so helpful. Everybody in the bank spoke fantastic English. They explained every step of the system and everybody has just been incredible. They’ve made everything so simple. We’ve had no stress at all.

Beth:  That’s amazing. That never happens with property buying, usually. So, it’s just great. Did you have any language barriers at all or was it all completely fine?

Dominic: Emma and Trevor have been so good to us. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty. They’ve really helped us in every aspect because our Spanish is not great at all. It is something that we want to and need to improve, but they just made the process so hassle free.

Beth:  That’s so good to hear. Now it’s all done, when did you complete? How long ago?

Dominic:  We completed a couple of days ago, actually.

Beth:  Wow, I knew it was recent. That’s amazing. So, what’s the aftercare been like since completion?  Have you been in contact with them? Have they been in contact with you?

Dominic:  The aftercare has been excellent. Emma is always there at the end of the phone if we have any questions at all. They’re absolutely brilliant. They’re fantastic. We were very lucky to meet these guys.

Tracy:  Yeah, I would say, if you are going to buy a property in Spain, definitely find a good agent because it just makes all the difference

Beth:  Yeah, and a lot of people have said exactly the same thing. It sounds like you were really lucky, but, presumably, you did your research. So, it wasn’t complete luck that you found these people. How did you know that your agent was the right one?

Dominic:  We had checked a few reviews online.

Tracy:  They were based in the area that we wanted to buy so, obviously, they had really good local knowledge.

Beth:  Was Kyero helpful in setting you up with them? Were the reviews on that website useful, and things like that?

Dominic:  Definitely, yeah. For us to choose this area, first of all, it was through Kyero that we actually rented and eventually purchased, all through you guys. The agents, Just Murcia Properties advertised with you guys. So, if they hadn’t been advertising through you guys we might not be here now.

Beth:  Oh, well I’m really pleased that you’re there now, and it sounds like you are absolutely loving it. What kinds of plans do you have? I know it’s very new. So, how long is this trip going to last?

Dominic:  We actually go back in March. I’ve a bit of small work to do, that’s why I’m kind of semi-retired. We intend to come back out again in May and then we’ll come back out again around September time to, hopefully, December.

Tracy:  Yeah, escape the Irish winter.

Beth:  Oh wow, that sounds like the perfect amount of time, sort of back and forth. Have the kids been yet? Have they seen it, or just seen pictures

Dominic:  Our younger one, our daughter, she’s been with her partner. She fell in love with the place, actually, they loved it. My two boys haven’t been because my older son is in the process of getting married to an American lady, so he’s saving his money. The second boy is in college and he’s doing a hotel management course in London, so he hasn’t had a chance to come over.

Beth:  They’ll love it when they do, though. It’s just a nice little break. It sounds perfect.

Dominic:  Yeah, it’s beautiful.

Tracy:  It’s definitely being well used.

Beth:  What are the transport links like, since you’re planning to have so many visitors and kind of back and forth, back and forth? Was transport something that you needed to think about?

Tracy:  From southern Ireland we have very regular flights to Alicante. So, that’s only an hour’s drive. But, they’ve actually just opened up the new Murcia Airport, which is only twenty-five minutes away. So, that’s going to make things even easier.

Beth:  Incredible, and the house itself, you haven’t told me too much about it. Do you want to describe it for me?

Tracy:  It’s three bedroom, two bathroom, top floor apartment with a large roof terrace. It’s just absolutely stunning. It has beautiful views of the sea and the mountains. We just love it.

Beth:  And, I’m going to ask a difficult question which you may not be able to answer, what is your favourite thing about life in Spain? Have you got one yet?

Tracy:  I think just the friendliness of the people. Everybody that we’ve come across in shops and restaurants and the laid back lifestyle is fantastic.

Dominic:  And the sunshine, and the vino, and the tapas...

Beth:  And sundowners on the roof terrace.

Dominic:  Basically, it’s everything, yeah.

Beth:  You mentioned that finding a good agent is a really crucial piece of advice. If someone was in your position, where you were a few years ago, just thinking about taking the plunge, what advice would you give to them?

Dominic:  Rent first, always rent first in the area where you want to buy.

Beth:  Yeah, that’s really good advice. How long did you rent for?

Dominic:  We rented in Easter time of last year, and then we rented again in October for a month.

We’ve been here since January, and that’s when we decided, then, that we would...

Tracy:  We went at different times of the year just to get a feel for how the place is at different times of the year.

Beth:  That’s very sensible, actually, and not something that everyone does, definitely. A month is a really good amount of time to get a feel for a place.

Tracy:  Ah, it really is. It’s so different at different times of the year, obviously: the weather and how many people are around. So, obviously don’t come in the summer and buy and then come to the place in the winter and there’s nobody around.

Beth:  Yeah, no, absolutely. In Spain places change so much, season to season. Is your place quite seasonal? Does it become a lot more lively in summer, or is it the same throughout the year?

Tracy:  It does, I think, because it’s centred around the beach, so it’s a lot busier in the summer.

Dominic:  It’s very seasonal. It’s very quiet right now. This is what appealed to me and Tracy is the quietness.

Beth:  Have you managed to meet anyone else out there, any other Brits doing the same thing that you’re doing?

Dominic:  Yeah, we have, we’ve met plenty of people through Emma and Trevor.

Tracy:  And on the site there are Dutch people that we have met and two other English couples. So, there’s always somebody around. You’ll always meet somebody and everybody is in the same boat.

Beth:  That’s great because you’re going to be spending long chunks of time out there, building your social circle is presumably quite important to you?

Dominic:  It is, definitely. We like our own space, but we do like a bit of a social scene, yeah. I think that’s important, you have to mix with people, whether that be the expats or whether that be the locals, it’s very important.

Beth:  Yeah, absolutely. Would you do anything differently? This is my final question. If you were going to do it all again, or do you feel like you’ve done a perfect job?

Dominic:  I think we’ve done a perfect job.

Tracy:  It’s just been amazing. Everybody has been so helpful and we’re just delighted with the outcome.

Dominic:  Yeah.

Beth:  Oh, I’m so pleased. That’s great. Well, I will let you go, and enjoy the rest of your first trip there, as owners. Congratulations, I’m glad it all went really well.

Dominic:  Thank you very much, thank you.

Beth:  Thanks for chatting to me, today, guys. Have a great day.

Dominic:  Take care, bye bye.

Tracy:  Bye.


Thank you for listening and thanks to Dominic and Tracy for sharing their experiences.

And to Just Murcia Properties for making this episode possible. I love that what Dominic and Tracy were looking for was a beautiful sea view - just like they had in Ireland. Their idea of making a home away from home in order to see more of their children is really working for them.

If you like what you’ve heard, you can search this agent’s properties and more on

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Tune in next time when I speak with Sian from Derbyshire both as a homeowner in Spain and as Head of Sales and Marketing at Kyero, Sian provides us with a unique perspective on both sides of the buying process.

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


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