Having decided to move to Spain we then had to decide:

  • where to buy
  • what to buy
  • who to buy with

First of all it had to be Southern Spain because the north gets too much rain and is too close to the English climate that wanted to leave behind.The Costa Del Sol was where we had spent our holidays so that would have been a natural choice. However, property on the Costa Del Sol is very expensive now especially in the popular areas. The Costa Blanca is where most of the new development is taking place so that seemed like a good starting point. We didn't know the area so we had an open mind about where on the Costa Blanca we would like to live. There were though certain conditions. We didn't want to live in one of the large English urbanisations - "living in England with the sun". Wherever we bought had to be near to a Spanish town. Although we wanted to be near to the coast we didn't mind being up to 30kms inland especially if that meant that we would have some scenery. In fact we have subsequently found that a lot of people who originally bought on the coast are now moving inland to live in less crowded and more Spanish locations. Our advice

We wanted a detached villa on its own plot with a swimming pool and garden. The house we were leaving behind was detached so we didn't particularly want anything less. We had always enjoyed gardening so we wanted somewhere to grow flowers and shrubs. Most definitely we wanted a pool because we knew that in the summer it would be essential to have somewhere to cool off. A lot of developments have communal pools because the plot sizes are too small for private pools. We thought that a shared pool would feel more like being on holiday and would lack the privacy which is all important to us. We thought a plot of 500m would be about right. Five hundred metres was much bigger than the plot we were leaving but in Spain we knew that we would be living outside a lot and so would need more outdoor space.

Some people come out to Spain and search themselves for a property maybe using a local estate agent. That way they are not subject to the commission that an English agent will take. We preferred to use an English agent for several reasons

  • They would do all the hard work of finding suitable properties
  • The properties they sell are legal
  • They would introduce us to an independent solicitor
  • The negotiations would be in a language we understood

Our first approach was to Atlas International. They held regular exhibitions at hotels where we lived so we went along to see what was on offer. We liked the style of some of the houses but they couldn't tell us where the houses would be built so we left our decision to buy for the moment. We also knew that we had to work for at least a couple more years to ensure that we had enough of a pension to live on. A year later we found that the prices had increased considerably and at that point considered buying an apartment just to get our “toes in the water”.

We then discovered there was to be a “Viva España” exhibition at the NEC Birmingham where different companies would be represented. This seemed like an ideal opportunity to look at the wider range of options available. The large companies were represented e.g. Atlas and Viva Estates right down to small companies selling on just one development. We spent the whole day at the exhibition researching what each company had to offer. There was a good mixture of new and resale properties for sale in every region of Spain. Those that were available on the Costa del Sol were particularly expensive. The ones based on the Costa Almeria, the Costa Calida and Costa Blanca were more reasonably priced. We were particularly impressed by Anglo Continental Properties and so booked an inspection trip for the following October. As a bonus we would receive a case of rioja on our return to England. Now we had our toes in the water!

Next page

Torrevieja prom
Torrevieja seafront
Building in Torre


Home page
Getting ready
Getting ready
The move
The move
Living in Spain
Living in Spain


Brittania Cestrian
Currencies Direct
Comunitat Valencia
La CAixa
Costa Blanca News
Ministry of Interior
Spanish Photo Album
Wilf's World of Weber
Web Log