This week we’re joined by Ray who purchased a two bedroom property in Villaricos. Now semi-retired, he looks forward to spending his winters in Spain with his girlfriend. Tune in to hear how he discovered the area, why he decided to increase his budget, and why it’s his dream to buy a boat and sail around the area.
- [1:37] How Ray found the right agent and area
- [5:50] Why he increased his budget
- [6:55] How long the process went until completion
- [9:31] How the Spanish lifestyle differs from Sweden
- [10:40] The activities he looks forward to doing in Villaricos
- [12:58] Ray’s advice for first-time buyers
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 Ray from Lowestoft who purchased his dream home in Villaricos, Almeria.
Ray was looking for somewhere warm and light to spend the summers. And, as what he went for wasn’t quite finished he got to make decisions regarding the internal look of the property as well.
He worked with estate agents Spanish Property Expert to find his dream home in Spain.
Check out the show notes at kyero.com/podcast to find links and resources mentioned in this episode
Ray: I'm Ray, I'm kind of semi-retired. I still do a little bit of work, now and again, in the engineering construction area. I've just returned from Sweden having served a contract over there. I went over to Spain, within the last twelve months, to basically have a look for a property to see what was there, really, in effect wanting to look at spending winter over there and summer over here.
Beth: Lovely, and did you find the right kind of place. How did it go when you were there?
Ray: It went quite well. I met up with this guy called Daniel, who was kind of an estate agent, if you like (what we call in this country). Things operate slightly differently over there than they do over here.
Basically what I'd seen, I'd seen some properties over there on the internet, because that's where my searches generally start anyway. It depends which area of Spain... I wanted a coastal area and it depends on what area you're looking at as to what kind of money that you're going to pay. I wasn't going to pay that much, I don't think. Although I ended up paying a lot more than what I originally intended to do.
I saw an advert on the internet and I simply sent off for some further information on it and I followed that up by a visit over there. That's how I met Daniel who then, he wanted to know roughly what my budget was, and he selected from a number of properties that he had on his books at the time and he did actually show me around every single one.
Beth: So, it all started this year for you. How long has it been, in your head, that you might buy in Spain?
Ray: Last year it all started really. I did the completion this year.
Beth: Oh right, yes.
Ray: You probably realise that a lot of people have an intention of buying in Spain but end up never doing so because they never get around to doing things like that. So, I was married. I've been divorced now for over ten years and I had a joint property with my in-laws in Spain. But that was on the Atlantic coast, very close to Portugal.
This time I wanted something, if I could afford it, over on the Mediterranean side. As time drips on I realised that, if I could, I would. Therefore I saw these properties on the coast which turned out to be the one and only disappointment in the whole trip really. The prices were higher than what I would want to pay for that kind of property anyway. So, we left that one and had a good look at the other ones.
Beth: Were they further inland? How did you find the property that you eventually settled on?
Ray: The ones I initially had a look at were around about, about twenty minutes walk from the sea. So, they weren't really that far.
But towards... kind of two thirds of the way in he showed me some places in Villaricos which I immediately liked a lot. The second place was probably better than the first and that's the one I eventually purchased.
I bought an extra bedroom that I didn't intend to. I wanted a two bed place. I ended up paying quite a bit more and getting the three bed place. In fact, over all I kind of hit double in that Daniel was very, very good. I couldn't really fault him at all. The agent that was acting for the builder or a developer, she was good as gold as well. She was excellent. So, all in all I had a really good pick.
Beth: So, the change of budget is quite drastic. Why the decision to add an additional bedroom? Why the decision to go bigger?
Ray: Well, I've got a girlfriend who, hopefully, we can kind of stay over there and bring other people over if you like. It's more home than holiday, if you like. It feels more like a home than a holiday place. It would be nice to have an additional bedroom so that couples could come over.
Beth: Yeah, totally.
Ray: So, like my sister and her kids could come over at the same time as me being there. So, overall it's better for a bit of a group.
Beth: If you do end up spending larger chunks, like winter, so months at a time there, then I think that will be invaluable. That extra bedroom, it will be lovely.
Ray: I think so too, I think so too.
Beth: So, how easy was the process? Once you found the property that you really liked how easy was the process from there? How did it go from there to completion?
Ray: Like a piece of cake, really. Because I was working in Sweden, I didn't really give a damn if they overran at all because I was working over there. I couldn't take advantage anyway. So, it was supposedly ready for completion in about November time, but in fact, it ended up being in February of this year, really.
Beth: OK, so that's about three months longer than they estimated. What did that make the whole process in total?
Ray: That made the whole process probably about five months total.
Beth: So, when it came to the building work, how much had to be done? Are you talking a wall, a whole storey? What was it when you saw it that was left to be finished?
Ray: The apartment was basically complete with tiled floor, painted walls, but nothing in the kitchen, bathroom or en suite. So, basically all the sanitary wear had to be chosen by whoever purchased, and the finishing details for the kitchen had to be sorted and the actual kitchen detail sorted as well.
Beth: Oh wow, so you had a choice of internal decorative stuff? You got to choose which fittings you wanted?
Ray: I did all the choice, yes. I did all the choice of tiles that were going into each different area. The choice of colour and tile in the kitchen. So, I don't know, my next trip will be, hopefully, with my girlfriend and you know what ladies are like. They always reckon that blokes make poor choices. But hopefully, the girl who was the agents agent, Natalia, also happened to be actually good as gold and she would anything that you wanted and she helped me with all of the tile choices and things like that. So, I have absolutely nothing but recommendations.
Beth: I think your girlfriend will be impressed. She'll get there and she'll love it.
Ray: I hope so, I hope so.
Beth: What does an ideal day in Spain look like for you? When you're there what is it about the lifestyle that you enjoy?
Ray: To be honest it's the relaxation. When I flew from Sweden, which is the same latitude as the north of Scotland. So, it's not particularly cold in winter that I don't particularly like, it's the lack of light.
When I landed in Alicante Airport, the light just hit you. Even though it was only eighteen degrees, which isn't particularly hot. It's only just kind of spring like warm. The light was absolutely brilliant. It was really clear, bright, very, very sunny and that's what made the difference really.
Beth: Yeah, I'm sure, I can imagine. What does a normal day look like for you? What do you tend to do?
Ray: Varied really, because I don't intend to sit around all day. So there's lots of things. I'm kind of looking forward to exploring all the area, in fact, exploring Spain itself. There's lots of hills to go walking in which is what I do a little bit at the moment. I'm going to the Lisett area as well. So cycling, maybe. I do love the idea... I used to do, in my youth, I haven't done it for an awful long time, diving and I don't intend to go back to diving, but I always loved boats and I live here, obviously, by the sea.
I originally moved from Yorkshire, which is where I used to go diving from. I've always had a liking for the sea and I kind of love it now and I don't really want to move away. Coming right outside of the place in Spain is a harbour, a little harbour, it's not a big one. It's a little village. I'd love to learn how to sail and buy a boat.
Ray: And perhaps do some sailing.
Beth: Brilliant, that sounds like a great plan. That would be such an exciting thing to do.
Ray: Well it's also chilled out as well so there's no pressure on you to do something unless you want to do it. If it's the girlfriends choice you can be picnicking by the sea, on the beach kind of thing.
Beth: That sounds lovely.
Ray: But I know she won't join me in sailing. She's not one for boats at all, so it would be a nice, lonely trip, and I am a bit of a loner anyway. But it would also be nice to actually invite some of the relatives across who enjoy sailing as well to come on sailing. We'll go away for a few days, plenty to drink and plenty to sail.
Beth: Sounds perfect. Now, my final question is if someone is like you were, let's say eighteen months ago, thinking about taking the plunge what would your advice be to them?
Ray: My advice is to not really hesitate but just to go for it. But, be wary at all stages. The problem is, I think, that sometimes we are a little be hung up with our experiences in this country of the people that are more than willing to do you down. I find people over there to be a lot more friendly and honest, really, in their dealings with you. So, just keep your eyes open and be wary, obviously, but go for it. Don't hesitate.
Beth: Fantastic, perfect advice. Well thank you so much for talking to me Ray. It's been a pleasure.
Ray: Alright, I hope it's just as sunny in Norwich as it is here.
Beth: It is, it's actually doing very well today. It's beautiful. Cheers Ray, have a great day.
Ray: Have a good day.
Thank you for listening and thanks to Ray for sharing his experiences.
And to Spanish Property Expert for making this episode possible. I love that Ray really wants to impress his girlfriend with his new home - and I’m sure she’ll love it. But, probably won’t be joining him on a mission to sail.
If you like what you’ve heard, you can search these agent’s properties and more on Kyero.com.
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Tune in next time when I speak with Sieglinde from Germany.
She worked with Starck Estates to find her dream home in Spain. Along with her husband, Sieglinde’s story began when she sold her house and their business, loaded the dog into the car and went to see what properties they might find in Spain. Tune in to find out what adventures lay in store for them.
I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Kyero.com Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you next time!