Episode 41: Sian who purchased in Almuñecar

15th April 2019
Podcast host

Guest

Sian

Host

Beth Davison

Podcast location

Relocated from

Derbyshire

To

Almuñecar

Episode 41: Sian who purchased in Almuñecar

This week we’re joined by special guest Sian who permanently relocated to Spain in her 20s, and later joined the Kyero.com team Head of Sales and Marketing. Tune in to hear how she purchased two properties, and her advice if you’re looking to permanently relocate to Almuñecar.

Show Notes:

  • [1:31] Sian’s background interest in property
  • [2:35] Why she made the choice to move to Spain in her 20s
  • [3:35] Advice on permanently relocating
  • [8:01] The power of taking your time buying
  • [9:06] The common pitfalls Sian sees people stumble across when buying
  • [11:18] What makes Kyero a unique property portal
  • [16:47] What Sian loves most about living in Spain

Links:

Kyero.com

Tropicana Estate

Palm Springs Real Estate

Read Full Transcript

Intro

Welcome to the Kyero.com 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 Sian from Derbyshre.

He purchased her dream home in Almuñécar and as well as being a buyer is one of our own here at Kyero and can offer some insider tips as the head of sales and marketing.

Sian worked with the estate agent Tropicana Estates and Palm Springs Real Estate to find her dream home in Spain.  

Check out the show notes at kyero.com/podcast to find links and resources mentioned in this episode

Sian:  My name is Sian Burton and I am head of sales and marketing at Kyero.com. My story is that I used Kyero to purchase two properties.

Beth:  Which came first, the job at Kyero or the property buying?

Sian:  The job at Kyero came first and then the property buying came after. However, I was using Kyero to search for rental properties whilst we were searching for properties to buy.

Beth:  Amazing, and then it was so good that you decided you wanted to work there? Is that how it happened?

Sian:  Well, no, I didn't know there were any vacancies at that time and I saw the job advertised in some local press. I applied and went through some interview processes and was very lucky to be given the job.

Beth:  You obviously already had a background interest in property and buying and all of that kind of stuff. How did that begin for you?

Sian:  Yup, when we moved to Spain I actually had nothing to do with property. I was an events manager and before that I was a travel agent.

I like people. I liked geography, I loved Spain and when I do things I do them to the fullest. When I was searching property I was loving Kyero, I was liking a few other sites, but Kyero definitely was the best for what I was looking for. Then, when I saw the job advertised I thought, wow, yeah, I'd really like that.

I was doing some teaching in-between as well, teaching children English as a foreign language so I'd done a couple of courses in Granada. That was OK, but it didn't really feel like a career and I wasn't feeling that fulfilled at the end of it.

Beth:  Why the decision to move your life to Spain? Were you born in Spain?

Sian:  No, I was born in Derbyshire. We got married. I married my husband in 2005. We tried to have a family and it didn't work, and my parents have this love affair with Spain also. They said one day, "Let's just up sticks and go." My husband wasn't too happy in his job. I loved my job, but I thought, "I'm young enough." I was in my twenties and the family thing wasn't happening and I thought, "What have we got to lose." So we did it.

Beth:  Incredible.

Sian:  Yeah, it was really, really cool. I look back and I can't believe I made that decision. We should have made it sooner.

Beth:  Yeah, that's always the way, isn't it?

Sian:  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. My parents still say, to this day, we should have done it sooner.

Beth:  But I think it's an amazing thing to do in your twenties, and obviously you've never looked back and it has really worked for you. Some people I have talked to are going just a few weeks a year. But some people are really thinking about the permanent move to Spain and would it be beneficial for them? What advice would you have for people just thinking about permanently relocating?

Sian:  Permanently relocating? I personally believe that you have to do it with all of your might. So, people who I have see who have moved... We've lived here eleven years now , and people that I have seen that have come half heartedly trying to give it a go, or buy somewhere as a holiday home first, and then try their luck living here. It never seems to work for those people.

Obviously, it must work for some, but I feel the people who come and throw their all into it, get their NIE number, get their Residencia,  get their name on their Town Hall's list of Padron and start looking for jobs, I feel that the people who are dedicated it definitely works much better for them in the long run.

Beth:  Yeah, good advice. Was there much of a culture shock?

Sian:  We've got family... Well, they're not exactly family but we've got friends in the north of Spain, so we've been coming to Spain for many years. So, we felt that we knew Spain and its people quite well. Andalucía is quite different to the North of Spain. I can't say there was a huge culture shock, really. Maybe the only thing I felt was that you don't get things done as quickly in Spain as you do in the UK.

Beth:  Yeah, different level of efficiency I suppose.

Sian:  Yeah, absolutely. I got some advice in the early days that was, "Only expect to do one thing a day." So, if you had a big list of places that you needed to visit, Town Hall or whatever, just expect to get one thing done a day. That was quite good advice. So, now when I get a few things done I'm feeling really, really cool about myself.

Beth:  It's a good day. Fantastic, would you say that, generally, the process was easier or more difficult when you were buying in Spain than in the UK?

Sian:  I would say the same. Yeah, I would say the same. Probably a little bit more exciting here because property just seems quite different, unusual, a bit more dreamy. I've bought a couple of places in the UK and it was exciting then, but it was all much of a muchness. Where here, just seemed a little more exciting.

In fact, we came out on a viewing trip because my parents had been coming to the town that we moved to, called Almuñécar, for some years. When they said they'd like us to come, "We need you to come with us, we couldn't do it on our own because we'd miss us too much." We said, "OK, Let's go and see this town that you have fallen in love with."

We came out, I think it was in April, and we went out with an agent who took us on a few visits to different properties. I have to say what they had in mind was very, very different to what we eventually bought. So, in the UK, I was thinking that we'd have a countryside villa or finca, a country house, amazing views, quite isolated.

We got shown a few of these houses and I actually cried a couple of times because they were exactly what I had imagined life to be. It was amazing and I just really wanted that life. So, we went back and wholeheartedly we handed in our notices and prepared life to come over to Spain. But then, while coming out, we got some more advice to be sure to rent first so that you know exactly what kind of thing you fancy.

So we did, we rented a townhouse, we rented a villa. I think we rented for three years whilst looking on Kyero all the time for new property to come up. I'm really glad we did rent. It confirmed that we weren't 'country bumpkins' after all. That's not the same for everyone. Other people might rent in town and realise they want the countryside. It made us realize what our boxes really were and what was important to us.

Beth:  It sounds like you took your time, which some people don't do and the dive in and they're sure about what they want, which can work for some.

Sian:  Yeah, some that works for. I've got different stories from different people, and obviously living here for eleven years you do see some people come and go. I've seen people come out and on a whim buy a country house. They slowly do it up and then they move out here and they say, "No, this kind of living isn't for me," and they buy a flat in town.

Then also the other way around, I've seen people buy a flat in town and say, "Oh my God, the noise of mopeds in the town are crazy," and then they move to the countryside. So, it's not the same rule for everyone.

So, this is why I think it's quite important to come out, do your homework, maybe even rent. You don't even have to rent for three years but just come out here and live for a little bit to see what's happening, get a feel for what you really want. It is very different to the UK.

Beth:  What do you find are the most common, not necessarily mistakes, but maybe pitfalls that people hit when people are first buying their first time abroad?

Sian:  I think people, like myself (I was exactly the same), I thought I knew what I wanted and it was only when I was in that position that I realised, no, this isn't what I wanted. When we realised that we were definitely looking for a house in town, I thought I wanted new and modern and clean. So, we rented something like that for a short time. Actually, I realised that was not what I wanted. That was a good experience because we trialled it and then we started viewing more and more properties it gave us a better picture of what we really were looking for.

Beth:  Presumably then, having an open mindedness, being able to be flexible, all of these qualities are quite important if you're on a property hunt?

Sian:  Yes, I think so. Then, everyone is so different. I speak to visitors and agents all the time at work, of course, and some people are so keen, they already know what they want. That might be fine, I guess we're all very different.

Beth:  Yeah, absolutely, presumably part of your job is adjusting to all of these different types of buyers.

Sian:  Yes, definitely.

Beth:  Do you find that easy? Do you find that difficult?

Sian:  No, I think we all find that really easy because we've all been there and done that. Everyone, actually, that deals with visitors and agents, we all have moved to Spain. So, we all have our experiences, and our experience on this is constantly growing because we're speaking to people who want to do it and who have done it.

Beth:  But also, for me personally, I trust estate agents so much more if they have actually bought a property through their agency. I trust solicitors so much more if they've already done it themselves. You guys having first hand experience of buying and really understanding what buyers need, presumably, just makes people trust you that much more.

Sian:  Yeah, I think so, definitely.

Beth: When you first started working at Kyero you said that you knew other property companies and you knew the market pretty well. What makes Kyero different, I suppose? How does it differ from its competition?

Sian:  Kyero is definitely the biggest property portal of properties in Spain that are for international buyers. We also have lots of Spanish, now, using our website looking to relocate in their own town or in the country. We spend ever such a lot of time making sure that the website is up to date and current and we're always working on how we can have more properties on there. We understand that it's about the properties, about the visitor, seeing as many properties as they possibly can. Really, it's about finding a property and if it's a great estate agent that's a bonus.

Beth:  Well, a real theme of this podcast been people just saying glowing things about their agent, people have relied on them and they've really come through, and that’s across the board.

Sian: Add Sian’s ‘yeh, yeh. definitely’  So many people are desperate to start a new life is Spain because it offers so much to so many different levels of people, families. We did, eventually, have two children here. We got pregnant naturally. I totally blame the Spanish way of life. It's much calmer and the food is so much fresher. Life is just so much better here, so I do believe that changed my body to be able to carry children.

Beth:  I completely believe in that. I think way of life and mental health is as crucial to physical health and all of that. That's amazing.

Sian:  For six years we tried in the UK and it never happened. Then, within a year of moving here we fell pregnant and then a year later I was pregnant again. So, it's kind of the opposite now, we have to do everything we can not to get pregnant which is just bizarre. I honestly have to say to everyone that I know, I can't imagine, and we do travel quite a lot, I can't imagine anywhere I would have liked to have brought up my children, because they're now seven and nine.

Beth:  So are they in an English school or are they bilingual? How does that work?

Sian:  No, they're bilingual. They're in a Spanish school with Spanish friends. Yeah, it's absolutely wonderful. We get lots of Spanish families. We're quite integrated which is another great thing. I would promote that to anybody.

Beth:  Over the years, there's obviously been political issues, both in Spain and, currently, in the UK. Have you seen that alter people's choices at all? Has it lessened or has it increased the amount of people wanting to buy in Spain? Or has it not really affected it?

Sian:  I've noticed a couple of things, when we had the whole worldwide crisis back in 2007, 2008 we were quite new here and I came across quite a few foreign people here that were working illegally, so not paying their taxes, etc. etc. When the crisis came I think I really noticed that it hit them the most because they weren't supported in any kind of system and then eventually had to give up their rentals and move back to the UK.

I think the only other thing I would probably comment on like that, but I haven't really got a final opinion, you know Brexit. I hear people saying what's going to happen to this and that. The feedback that I'm getting from visitors and agents is that some people are wanting to hold off and wait until they see what happens. But, actually, the majority of people are saying, "This is what I want to do. Whatever happens shouldn't really affect my feeling. I'll still want to do this if we do Brexit or not." Some people are pushing forward even harder to get there before any changes are made.

Beth:  I think that's the thing. It can either make people rush, or it can make people hold off entirely. I suppose, again, the theme here is don't believe everything that you're hearing in the news. Base it on your own kind of opinions and experiences.

Sian:  Yes, exactly that. You know your finances. You know your budget. You know how you feel. You should listen to your heart as well as to your head, really.

Beth:  I was going to say, do you have any advice for people thinking about taking the plunge, you did yourself. But, I suppose that might be it, follow your head.

Sian:  Well, your heart. I think do it ASAP, don't wait around. As soon as we knew that this is what we were going to do, we did take a little bit of time off of work and had a good travel around the world, just because there was that point in life where we weren't in work and it seemed the right thing to do. Yeah, get on and do it. I think from us making the decision to moving out here was six or seven months.

Beth:  I think you're going to have a long list to choose from, but my final question is what is your favourite part of Spanish life?

Sian:  Oh, definitely the sunshine. The weather is fantastic. Family days in the garden, playing in the pool, obviously not year round, but I'm looking out of my door now, the doors wide open. We're at the start of February the sun is coming in, there are so many flowers everywhere and it's so green. I'm a very visual person and it fills me with happiness how beautiful the landscape is. So, definitely the weather.

Beth:  I'm looking out of my window and the sky is a very special shade of gray right now. (laughter)

Sian:  We've got many different shades of gray.

Beth:  That's the silver lining.

Sian:  We get many different shades of blue. This time of year it's a particularly piercing blue. It's really beautiful. The other thing is I love the sea, I love the beach. We have the beach and the sea at the bottom of the road. I try to get in the sea as often as possible. I think it's really medicinal.

There's something to be said for being at the beach by the sea. It's a wonderful place to relax and unwind. In the summer, because it doesn't get dark until 11:00PM, people finish work and they go down to the beach. They might take a little picnic and a bottle of wine or a couple of beers and kids are so happy playing in the sea. It's all kind of free and nice. Free in both ways, free with no restrictions, and free no money.

Beth:  Yes, absolutely. Well, on that visual I will leave you to go and enjoy the rest of your day in your paradise.

Sian:  (laughter) I'm sorry.

Beth:  Thank you so much for chatting with me.

Sian:  You're very welcome. Thank you very much.

Beth:  Bye.

Sian:  It's been a pleasure. Bye.

 

Outtro

Thank you for listening and thanks to Sian for sharing her experiences.

And to Tropicana Estates and Palm Springs Real Estate for making this episode possible. I love that Sian is a real advocate for buying abroad both from first person experience and from knowing the ins and outs of Kyero’s best practices.

If you like what you’ve heard, you can search these agent’s properties and more on Kyero.com

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode

This podcast is produced by Kyero.com - our mission is to connect you with estate agents and properties throughout Spain

Whether your dream home is a rustic farmhouse surrounded by olive groves or a lock-up-and-leave apartment on the seafront, you’ll find everything you need at Kyero.com

We love hearing how these podcast episodes have helped you find your dream home in Spain - please do continue to share your feedback with us and if you’ve enjoyed this episode, we’d really appreciate you taking the time to review and rate our podcast on iTunes or your preferred podcast listening app.  Your feedback, reviews and ratings help us reach and connect more people with their dream home in Spain.

And, when you’re ready, here are four ways we can help you:

    • Ask a question by emailing [email protected]. We’ll try and answer them all in an upcoming Q&A episode

    • Get a location guide by emailing [email protected].  We’ll reply with the latest data and information on the areas you are interested in.

    • Calculate your budget. Simply visit kyero.com/budget, enter two numbers and you’re done!

 

    • Be our guest. If you’ve already purchased your home in Spain, we would love for you to share your story on the podcast.  Just email  [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.

 

Post-Outtro

Tune in next time when I speak with Lyndsey from York. She used Leigh's Estates to find her dream home in Spain.

Along with her partner David, she offers a perspective on buying and selling in the Spanish property market and is proof that having the courage to under offer - maybe multiple times - can really pay off.

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

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