Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Do you have a query about moving to Andalucia and buying property in Andalucia. Find out by posting questions and reading about other peoples experiences.
ebyard
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Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby ebyard » Wed May 09, 2018 4:14 pm

Hi Everyone

I'm new to the forums, though I have been lurking for some time - the help and advice on here is brilliant - but I have LOTS of questions!

I am considering buying a place in the Costa Tropical; myself and my wife are in our mid 30s, and we would love somewhere we can go
for long weekends, and a few weeks a year as we can work anywhere with an internet connection! Also, we would let friends and family use it.
I'm not too fussed about renting it to tourists, but that would certainly be a bonus.

Our parents are in their 60s/70s now, and the recent awful UK weather has really made me think they deserve somewhere they can go
over winter to escape the cold and rain of the UK. I am sure this is familiar to many on here. The cold never used to bother me as a younger man
but I can now see why older people move to the sunshine!

I've been looking at areas around and including Motril; being near the coast (not necessarily on it) is quite important. Our parents won't drive, so
a good bus service is important. Otherwise, areas that have good hiking/cycling is important for us (so maybe near the Sierra Nevada area?).

Places that are full of lager-swilling overweight and underdressed Brits is not really our thing. We both value traditional ways of life and
will learn Spanish (I already speak a little, enough to get by). Also, somewhere safe is important - though I know Spain is quite a safe place
if you use the same caution as you would anywhere.

So where would people recommend, and what tips would you give someone in my position?
What mistakes did you make when buying your place?
How did you ingratiate yourself to the locals?
Is this a completely crazy idea? :crazy:

I am keen to learn from people's experiences and am very grateful of any advice you can give.

I am aware of the gestor requirements, but obviously have to find a trustworthy one. We won't be resident - are there any other requirements
for non-residents to be aware of (tax/bureaucracy)? I am assuming I can set up direct debits to pay for utilities etc. I was looking at Sabadell to bank with, though with the TSB computer debacle I am not so sure (TSB are owned by Sabadell).

I've worked all around Spain before, visited numerous times for work, and now visit Gibraltar around 4 times a year, also for work.

Obviously, Brexit is going to have an impact - possibly no more "free" medical care for UK citizens means I can see a lot of older people
selling their place in Spain and returning to the UK, and maybe some additional bureaucracy and costs to deal with for those who stay.

That was a bit of a ramble, but I hope you got the gist of what I'm hoping to find - somewhere warm, relaxed and where the pace of life is much
slower than in the UK.

Look forward to hearing your comments!

Many Thanks
Ed

BENIDORM
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby BENIDORM » Wed May 09, 2018 5:03 pm

Hello Ebyard,
Welcome to the Forum.. :wave:

You're asking a lot of questions in one request....understandable, and I think other members will come back with plenty of tips.

It is very difficult to advise/ recommend 'The best places to live etc.), everyone has different views , ideas and requirements .

OK..So based on what you have indicated I would suggest that you look at the small towns/villages that are dotted around about 10-15 minutes from the coast, for instance Velez Benaudalla, which is about 15 minutes from Motril and Salobrena and there are several other places nearby.
The cost of houses in this area are quite reasonable, depending on your budget..ranging from 50,000 euros upwards and they have plenty of local amenities and easy distance to the beaches, supermarkets, hospitals, banks etc.
As for the 'Brexit' effect, if it ever happens..well I'd be very surprised if there are any real changes regarding health care etc,and there will be always ways to overcome problems if they do occur.
I would recommend finding a house in a large village/town,(not in the 'campo') ,many do have a bus service although not too frequent and usually finish early evening, however there are taxis and if you integrate with the locals, ( Spanish and Expats) you will be never short of a lift for your parents for shopping etc.
For your parents I would recommend that they join the local 'Pensionistas' organisation ( I won't say 'Club'-it has an entirely different meaning in Spain ), just ask at the local Town Hall, don't worry if they speak no Spanish, older people can communicate in many ways! :D .
So I hope that I've given you a few tips, but please feel free to make contact if I can help further....

Regards,
Gordon

Pamela1
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Pamela1 » Wed May 09, 2018 7:27 pm

( NOT IN THE CAMPO) I wouldn't knock your advice Gordon however my mother who is almost 86yrs old prefers the campo ...when we fly back to the uk we tend to have an over night stop off to break the journey for her and she is miserable for a day.... Each to their own...

Sandramay
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Sandramay » Wed May 09, 2018 8:15 pm

Have you considered Almunecar or La Herradura? I've no regrets about buying a holiday home in the nearby campo, even after 16 years.
Sandramay

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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby BENIDORM » Wed May 09, 2018 9:12 pm

My comment about Not buying a house in the CAMPO was because the OP stated that their parents do not drive and would possibly be wintering in Spain.

I looked at campo houses first, to buy , in the 1980's , but decided it wasn't a good choice for me and family as a permanent home, as a holiday home I might have considered it.
We also looked at cave houses, and have stayed a couple of times in cave houses, but my wife didn't like them.

Personally I would like to live in a Castle, with a moat.....but can't afford to do that.... :(

Regards,
Gordon...Townie , :D

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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Manchesteral » Wed May 09, 2018 10:03 pm

Ebyard, The only advice I can give you is the following, don't rush into buying anything until you're sure.
Diligent Spanish lawyers are rare than hens teeth, so be sure you find a good one.
One warning about wherever you decide to live, if indeed you're lucky to find your own bit of paradise, don't expect the locals to fall over for you, many small Towns and communities in Spain are very community/family oriented so be patient, if you play your part they will eventually accept you.
Finally if you are planning to live in a small community away from the tourist traps it's essential that you get a grip of the language especially in order to get any assistance you may need for your parents, good luck !

ebyard
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby ebyard » Thu May 10, 2018 8:57 am

Thank you for all the comments so far - really helpful :)

I must admit to being a bit alarmed by the estate agent situation; reading elsewhere about properties advertised that are already sold. I am looking on Rightmove Overseas as well as a few more local agents websites.

Also I had no idea the Spanish were so bureaucratic - blimey. I used to own a property in Austria, and that was typical Germanic efficiency - no hassle at all. But all good info, and I suppose it only has to be done once! I'll be using the laywer for all this, I hope!

I've been looking at La Herradura, Motril, Almuencar and Nerja mainly. All look OK, obviously I'll have to visit a few times and spend time there, but really want to get people's thoughts ahead of time. Though my parents won't drive, necessarily, I think being near a larger town with easy access to shops/supermarket etc will be important. So long as there is a bus to the beach my mother will be happy!

Finding a good lawyer sounds like a hard task - where do you start with that?

I think I need to start a list of things to do and check, and a list of things to ask when eventually signing for the house. I hear you are legally responsible for utility debts etc when buying a place there. Half a world away from the UK and most of Europe - you'd think the EU would have sorted this out by now!

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Wicksey
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Wicksey » Thu May 10, 2018 10:25 am

I'm not trying to be negative as having a holiday home here is a good idea and would be handy for all the family to use but be aware that the winters here can be cold and wet too and you'll need some form of heating as most Spanish properties do not have insulation. This spring has been particularly cold and stormy and we've only just taken our electric blankets off the bed and put the fire tongs away (and we live close to the coast, not miles inland)!

Also consider how far you'll be from the nearest airport. We are about 45 mins from Malaga but going back to Essex takes us a good 6 hours door to door if you plan on having short breaks here.

Our biggest problem when buying a house was due to it being in the campo. Hopefully you'd have less problems buying in a pueblo or urbanisation. If you need to have public transport close by then you are right not to want campo anyway. Be aware of urbanisation fees that can be high in some cases. Our first house was originally just for holidays and we opened a bank account and set up the standing orders for all the running costs without any problems.

If you did want to rent it out then it would have to be registered with the local authorities and meet certain requirements such as having aircon I believe.

Spain is very bureaucratic but you don't need to use a lawyer to buy a property who tend to be very expensive and not always that good. A gestoria is not something that exists in the UK but they can handle the purchase of a property and in our experience do a far better job (buyers of our properties in the past have used a lawyer and our gestoria has had to do half their job too to make sure it all went through smoothly at the notary).

As already mentioned, I don't think that Brexit will effect the existing health arrangements or even the EHIC which I understand to be a separate agreement between the UK and Spain outside of the EU. Whatever happens, I am certainly not going back!

There's another general website of property for sale if you haven't already looked at it: kyero.com

Pamela1
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Pamela1 » Thu May 10, 2018 1:20 pm

I wish i could beleive that Brexit would not change the ethic/ existing health arrangements etc but until it is all signed and sealed then as far as im concerned anything can happen...Its easy to just sit back and be confident that nothing much will change for anyone while in reality things will change..
Im sure your parents would love Nerja!...it has everything they would need and not too big to get round. .

Nicknjh23
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Nicknjh23 » Thu May 10, 2018 9:12 pm

Moved to Frigiliana three weeks ago. Perfect. Local lawyer excellent. Absolutely no problems.

Manchesteral
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Manchesteral » Thu May 10, 2018 11:57 pm

Cna you give us the name of the lawyer, could be a big plus for us all !!

Nicknjh23
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Nicknjh23 » Fri May 11, 2018 6:28 am

Pablo Rojo Platero, based in Frigiliana old town.

ebyard
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby ebyard » Mon May 21, 2018 1:00 pm

Thanks all for your advice; this is very helpful indeed!

I'm keen to hear of any issues you encountered when buying - what went wrong (and what would you do differently, if there were a next time).

I take on board the comments about travel from the UK; you can write off a day no matter where in Europe you fly or drive to. Even using the Chunnel over to France will eat up an entire day unless you happen to live next to it! I think we'd be using it for long weekend (i.e. Thurs eve to Monday or Tuesday) and then

I am looking at more "lock up and leave" places; not ideal for the local community I am sure, though that's what the urbanisations seem to be appealing towards.

On more mundane items; how easy is to organise electric, gas and water? I am assuming it's a more painful process than in the UK?

I am sure I'll have 101 more questions, but thanks again for all your help & advice!

El Cid
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby El Cid » Mon May 21, 2018 1:25 pm

If you are looking in the Almunecar/La Herradura area, I would recommend Maria Karcher http://www.inmokarcher.com/en

If you have any specific questions about that area feel free to PM me.

If the property is not new, it will normally have all the utilities which can usually be transfered into your name.

Sid

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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Free at Last » Mon May 21, 2018 1:34 pm

ebyard wrote:
I'm keen to hear of any issues you encountered when buying - what went wrong (and what would you do differently, if there were a next time).



On more mundane items; how easy is to organise electric, gas and water? I am assuming it's a more painful process than in the UK?



I bought a house in Spain in 2003, sold it last year and bought an apartment instead, no issues encountered with any of the transactions.

The lawyer or gestor you use to deal with the purchase should transfer the contracts for electricity and water into your name and arrange for direct debits to be set up to pay the bills as part of their service. Natural gas piped to properties, especially in this part of Spain, is still not very common and it is more usual for bottled butane gas to be used if the property has gas for heating water and/or cooking.

Electricity supplies are rather different to the UK. The standing charge is based on how many KW of "potencia" you contract for - ie the maximum number of Kw your system can draw at any one time. This limits the number of appliances you can use simultaneously, as if you have too many in use for your potencia limit, it will trip the breaker switch. If the property you buy is all electric you would probably need a potencia of at least 4.4kw (we have 5.75kw) so check what the contracted potencia is for properties you are interested in. If the potencia has to be increased, the supply company will want a new "boletin" (a certificate to confirm that the electrical installation conforms to current regulations for the revised potencia) which has to be supplied by a certified electrician. There is a cost attached to that, more so if any upgrading has to be done to the current installation.

ebyard
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby ebyard » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:54 am

Thanks for the info - so I won't be able to run a kettle and the oven at the same time then! Oh well. That seems odd coming from the UK but if that's how it is, then that's that! I guess I can't bring my electric car which charges at 7kw! :D

I am planning a trip to the Costa Tropical, which is where I think I am most keen on - La Herradura is my frontrunner at the moment, but that might change when I get there.

I have found that I can set up a Spanish bank account prior to arriving (Sabadell) so I will do that in order to hit the ground running.

Any other tips etc very welcome!

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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby ashtondav » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:46 pm

Hmmm. Herradura has a marvellous bay, (and stoney beach with wonderful snorkelling, scuba diving). BUT, it always strikes me as a town of two halves; October to May basically a ghost town. July to September well overcrowded with tourists and nowhere to park. Now that may be the same as a place like Nerja but Nerja seems to have a "vibe" all year round, and as I say Herradura seems a little vacant outside tourist season. Almunecar, I love as its got more variety than Herradura - old town, new town etc. Why not rent a few places and then decide.

Oh, and as for Frigiliana, yes Platero is a fine lawyer - not always efficient, though. His problem is he multitasks as lawyer, writer, photographer, musician and local historian - a busy man! And as for his brother...

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Enrique
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby Enrique » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:02 pm

Hi ebyard,

"I have found that I can set up a Spanish bank account prior to arriving (Sabadell) so I will do that in order to hit the ground running."..........check out your nearest branch......otherwise you may have a long run.............. :o
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

El Cid
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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby El Cid » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:12 pm

I totally disagree about La Herradura. It is a perfectly normal Spanish town in winter and to say it is a ghost town is absolute rubbish. 90% of the restaurants are open, and those that are closed are usually taking a well earned holiday and they reopen within a few weeks..

Parking in summer can be difficult but they have just opened an additional 880 parking spaces in and around the town. In the centre it is a parking meter zone which usually means you can find a spot with a bit of patience. Almuñécar is exactly the same with regard to parking and in the winter it is no more vibrant that La Herradura. Both are lovely locations but the bay in La Herradura is far more attractive than Almuñécar. Incidentally the busy summer season lasts only 6 weeks from about now until the end of August. By the 1st of September, in both towns, the tourists (predominantly Spanish) just disappear.

Almuñécar is far better for shopping but there are adequate supplies in La Herradura. La Herradura has its own municipal market with at least 10 stalls open 6 days a week. That’s more than Nerja which doesn’t have a market at all.

Having lived there for 18 years I think my opinion is well founded in facts.

Sid

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Re: Thinking of buying in Andalucia...

Postby BENIDORM » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:40 am

Personally I think that it's very difficult to judge and comment on anywhere, not just Spain, without actually living there or at least spending a lot of time in a place, and being able to witness the constantly changing scenario.
For instance, my 'village' during the afternoon really looks like a 'ghost town'..even tumble weed and and creaking bar signs, but in the morning or evening it's a vibrant and buzzing place..full of life.
Recently a friend commented to me that Benidorm was a 'naff' place, he spent 1 night there, so how could he really pass a realistic comment about it.?
Maybe you could say that first thoughts are valid, maybe judging personalities, but not places, and taking Benidorm as an example , I lived and worked there for many years and got to know a lot about it...and my view is that it has something to offer for everyone, same as so many places on the Costa del Sol.
And La Herradura, well..I first visited it in the 1960's, actually 'landed' there and have visited numerous times over the years and although I couldn't give an indepth report about it I would say it's as good as many other places and as a place to live could be great if it suits your own personal requirements.
Probably best to visit at different times of the day and year and listen to 'locals' such as 'Our Sid'... :)
It really is important ,I.M.H.O, to find a place that fits your needs, and everyone will tell you that the 'best' place to live is their town, and it probably is...for them ....

Regards,
Gordon


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