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-   -   Am I in the right place for advice (https://britishexpats.com/forum/spain-75/am-i-right-place-advice-909594/)

wizarduk Feb 22nd 2018 1:50 pm

Am I in the right place for advice
 
Hello. I recently joined and did what anyone should do first and look through some threads to see if my questions could be answered.

The thing that stood out the most is that that I wondered if a group for expats is the right one for me. I want to buy somewhere in Spain with the goal of potentially retiring there, but initially doing it 'softly softly'. What I mean by that is that I'm not looking for a holiday home, but not for permanent residency, just in-between. I want somewhere that I can come alone, with friends, but mostly with my family as a second home. In time I can then make a decision whether moving permanently is what we want to do.

With that in mind, I won't be looking at threads with information about residency, or retirement funds, or which schools would be best for my children, but more along the lines of which areas are not too far from airports and which have easy access from my local one(s), what to do with the place when it's empty, and the aspects pertaining to buying.

So is this forum for me? I'm sure there is advice I can pick up, but am I going to be seen as an outsider because I'm technically not an expat and possibly may never be?

Thank you.

Moses2013 Feb 22nd 2018 2:04 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by wizarduk (Post 12448387)
Hello. I recently joined and did what anyone should do first and look through some threads to see if my questions could be answered.

The thing that stood out the most is that that I wondered if a group for expats is the right one for me. I want to buy somewhere in Spain with the goal of potentially retiring there, but initially doing it 'softly softly'. What I mean by that is that I'm not looking for a holiday home, but not for permanent residency, just in-between. I want somewhere that I can come alone, with friends, but mostly with my family as a second home. In time I can then make a decision whether moving permanently is what we want to do.

With that in mind, I won't be looking at threads with information about residency, or retirement funds, or which schools would be best for my children, but more along the lines of which areas are not too far from airports and which have easy access from my local one(s), what to do with the place when it's empty, and the aspects pertaining to buying.

So is this forum for me? I'm sure there is advice I can pick up, but am I going to be seen as an outsider because I'm technically not an expat and possibly may never be?

Thank you.

You're in the right place. However, it's very hard to say and there are a lot more things to consider. Budget plays of course the biggest part and then other things, like do you want other people to use it (rent it out). Should it be a house, an apartment? Some properties have community fees and how easy will it be to sell, should you no longer want to live there. As you say, potential retirement, but views and preferences can change. Wouldn't worry about being an Expat or not. This forum is all about giving advice and you certainly might be an Expat one day, even if it's just temporarily:-). Also not an Expat in Spain and only bought as potential future/2nd home.

wizarduk Feb 22nd 2018 2:12 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 
Thank you. My initial plan was to buy a place for when I semi retire in 5 to 7 years, so that I could spend more time in my second home. Right now with kids at school I wouldn't be able to go out as often as I liked. However another plan has come to mind in which I could buy it now and rent out some parts of the year and a allow my elderly parents to use it whilst they are alive and in good health. In other words, get it as a holiday home for the next five to seven years and then use it as a second home in which I would spend a few months of the year at later on. Financing it now with a small mortgage, hopefully a uk-based one, so a small income would be nice, and then when I move out there semi-permanently, paying off the mortgage.

Moses2013 Feb 22nd 2018 2:24 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by wizarduk (Post 12448401)
Thank you. My initial plan was to buy a place for when I semi retire in 5 to 7 years, so that I could spend more time in my second home. Right now with kids at school I wouldn't be able to go out as often as I liked. However another plan has come to mind in which I could buy it now and rent out some parts of the year and a allow my elderly parents to use it whilst they are alive and in good health. In other words, get it as a holiday home for the next five to seven years and then use it as a second home in which I would spend a few months of the year at later on. Financing it now with a small mortgage, hopefully a uk-based one, so a small income would be nice, and then when I move out there semi-permanently, paying off the mortgage.

Nothing wrong with your plan. Of course buying any property, you need to make sure all paper work is together (legal side, language), you are aware of all costs etc. Is there any specific location you are looking? There are many people here, who do the same or are permanent residents, so might be able to help.

wizarduk Feb 22nd 2018 2:40 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 
Yeah, I'll be trawling the threads for that sort of advice. As for location, like most I have an ideal one, but it's flexible depending on what I learn. For now, I want something up to £150k with 2/3 bedrooms, a shared pool and walking distance from places to eat/drink, but it doesn't have to be in a busy area. The other important aspects is that it's no more than 1 hour from an airport that connects directly to one close to Southampton/Bournemouth. Not asking for much eh? ;)

By the way, thanks for your help so far.

BritInParis Feb 22nd 2018 2:58 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 
Flybe flies year round to Alicante and seasonally to Málaga and Palma de Mallorca from Southampton.

Ryanair flies year round to Alicante, Málaga, Gran Canaria and Tenerife and seasonally to Girona, Murcia and Palma de Mallorca from Bournemouth. TUI also flies year round to the Canaries airports and seasonally to Ibiza, Menorca and Palma de Mallorca from Bournemouth.

If you want a property on the Spanish mainland then somewhere within an hour of Alicante or Málaga airports looks to be a safe bet. One of the islands is doable but would need some more thought.

wizarduk Feb 22nd 2018 3:08 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by BritInParis (Post 12448435)
Flybe flies year round to Alicante and seasonally to Málaga and Palma de Mallorca from Southampton.

Ryanair flies year round to Alicante, Málaga, Gran Canaria and Tenerife and seasonally to Girona, Murcia and Palma de Mallorca from Bournemouth. TUI also flies year round to the Canaries airports and seasonally to Ibiza, Menorca and Palma de Mallorca from Bournemouth.

If you want a property on the Spanish mainland then somewhere within an hour of Alicante or Málaga airports looks to be a safe bet. One of the islands is doable but would need some more thought.

Thank you, yes, you're probably right and has helped me a lot. Alicante or Malaga regions it is. As I work in a field where I'm busiest in the summer (and Xmas), the months I'll be visiting the most will be October/November and Jan - May, so off peak. In other words, the location where flights travel all year round is important.

I will use this info as my guide. Appreciate it. This site has been worth joining already. :thumbsup:

Rosemary Feb 22nd 2018 4:38 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by wizarduk (Post 12448387)
Hello. I recently joined and did what anyone should do first and look through some threads to see if my questions could be answered.

So is this forum for me? I'm sure there is advice I can pick up, but am I going to be seen as an outsider because I'm technically not an expat and possibly may never be?

Thank you.

Hi and a warm welcome to the Spanish forum on BE. Myself and Fred James are the moderators for the Spanish forums whilst myself and BEVS moderate Europe. Please read the Site Rules Site Rules | British Expatriate Community adhere to them so that the site runs smoothly. Moderators are there to ensure that the rules of BE are maintained. This is so that members gain the information that they are looking for and find their experiences on the forums to be friendly and worthwhile.

Problems and complaints should always be addressed to a moderator who will look into the matter and deal with it efficiently and fairly. Our members who post in the Spain Forums are usually friendly and helpful with a wealth of knowledge about the issues of living in Spain. I hope that you enjoy your time participating in the forums.

Please let me know if you need any further help.

Rosemary

dougal03 Feb 23rd 2018 2:23 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 
Wizard, just a thought,I come from your area but getting flights into Southampton can be expensive & spasmodic.Better to use Gatwick(I do for Hants.& Sussex)as you have good train or coach links to take you along the south coast.

wizarduk Feb 23rd 2018 2:39 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by dougal03 (Post 12449166)
Wizard, just a thought,I come from your area but getting flights into Southampton can be expensive & spasmodic.Better to use Gatwick(I do for Hants.& Sussex)as you have good train or coach links to take you along the south coast.

Thanks, but most of my flights will be from Bournemouth I hope as I'm closer to there. Southampton will be my secondary one. Gatwick is a nightmare to get to for me and as with the other side I want to travel no more than an hour to and from an airport. Gatwick would be 2 hours plus.

Loafing Along Feb 23rd 2018 3:37 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by wizarduk (Post 12449178)
Thanks, but most of my flights will be from Bournemouth I hope as I'm closer to there. Southampton will be my secondary one. Gatwick is a nightmare to get to for me and as with the other side I want to travel no more than an hour to and from an airport. Gatwick would be 2 hours plus.

As you have the time (years I mean ) why not try out the prefered routes and take a short term rental in either the Alicante area or Malaga / Costa de Sol. You will get a much better idea of what is available in terms of properties and what you may like or dislike about the regions.
Whatever you do make sure you spend at least one of the summer months in the area you plan to retire to, the difference from "Out of Season" can be quite overwhelming.
Both areas have a fantastic range of choices, all within your one hour commute objective - inland, coast whichever there is plenty to choose from.

wizarduk Feb 23rd 2018 3:49 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by Loafing Along (Post 12449225)
As you have the time (years I mean ) why not try out the prefered routes and take a short term rental in either the Alicante area or Malaga / Costa de Sol. You will get a much better idea of what is available in terms of properties and what you may like or dislike about the regions.
Whatever you do make sure you spend at least one of the summer months in the area you plan to retire to, the difference from "Out of Season" can be quite overwhelming.
Both areas have a fantastic range of choices, all within your one hour commute objective - inland, coast whichever there is plenty to choose from.

Good advice. I think trying the routes and looking around the areas is definitely something I need/want to do. I'm not in a position to spend more than a few days at a time there at the moment because or work commitments and children. My/our plans was always to spend probably 2 or 3 months of the year when semi retired out there but spread out over the whole year. At the moment, if I bought now, it would be purely for rental purposes and for maybe a week or two of holiday. The permanent retirement to the area is not something we're considering, but not something we're discounting either. It's more of a home from home where we can go to chill out and enjoy the sun, particularly in the Autumn/Winter months.

Loafing Along Feb 23rd 2018 4:11 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by wizarduk (Post 12449243)
Good advice. I think trying the routes and looking around the areas is definitely something I need/want to do. I'm not in a position to spend more than a few days at a time there at the moment because or work commitments and children. My/our plans was always to spend probably 2 or 3 months of the year when semi retired out there but spread out over the whole year. At the moment, if I bought now, it would be purely for rental purposes and for maybe a week or two of holiday. The permanent retirement to the area is not something we're considering, but not something we're discounting either. It's more of a home from home where we can go to chill out and enjoy the sun, particularly in the Autumn/Winter months.

I lived and worked in Spain for 17 years but in the north so we spent about 10 days a year for eight years exploring coastal options and finally settled on the Costa del Sol. Once we had decided it was the region for us I think one week we visited approximately 30 different properties. All looked good, within our budget and generally meeting the rest of our "Tick List". In the end we bought none of them but quite a different one, which we found by chance not careful planning. My point is that opinions change and your assessment of a particular place will change once you spend time there. Little things matter - distance to a beach, distance from shop/supermarket ( where do you go if you need a bottle of milk ? Do you have to take the car ? ) hairdresser, dry cleaner. Good places to walk . Local restaurants or lack of .Level of traffic in the summer, community neighbours ( lack of for 9 months a year / noisy and over-crowded for three ), community charges etc etc .

wizarduk Feb 23rd 2018 5:09 pm

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by Loafing Along (Post 12449263)
I lived and worked in Spain for 17 years but in the north so we spent about 10 days a year for eight years exploring coastal options and finally settled on the Costa del Sol. Once we had decided it was the region for us I think one week we visited approximately 30 different properties. All looked good, within our budget and generally meeting the rest of our "Tick List". In the end we bought none of them but quite a different one, which we found by chance not careful planning. My point is that opinions change and your assessment of a particular place will change once you spend time there. Little things matter - distance to a beach, distance from shop/supermarket ( where do you go if you need a bottle of milk ? Do you have to take the car ? ) hairdresser, dry cleaner. Good places to walk . Local restaurants or lack of .Level of traffic in the summer, community neighbours ( lack of for 9 months a year / noisy and over-crowded for three ), community charges etc etc .

All very valid points and a little daunting. I'm definitely glad I joined this group now. :-)

I think it might be a case of waiting the 7 years or so until I have the time to do that, because at the moment I don't. I work weekends and school holidays mostly which means of course, that when the children are off school and able to go on holiday, I can't as I'm working. My thoughts were that when I'm ready to buy to visit locations in the first instance (off peak as that's when I'd use it the most) and do as you suggest, see what the amenities are like then, go back during the peak time too. If I find an area I like I would seek out expats in the area and speak to them as much as possible. Then, if I found an area, go back with my family for a trip before starting the hunt for a property. I know it's not as intensive as you did, but I'm not in a position to be able to spend that much time on it unfortunately.

MikeJ Feb 26th 2018 8:40 am

Re: Am I in the right place for advice
 

Originally Posted by wizarduk (Post 12449243)
Good advice. I think trying the routes and looking around the areas is definitely something I need/want to do. I'm not in a position to spend more than a few days at a time there at the moment because or work commitments and children. My/our plans was always to spend probably 2 or 3 months of the year when semi retired out there but spread out over the whole year. At the moment, if I bought now, it would be purely for rental purposes and for maybe a week or two of holiday. The permanent retirement to the area is not something we're considering, but not something we're discounting either. It's more of a home from home where we can go to chill out and enjoy the sun, particularly in the Autumn/Winter months.

This is very similar to my own thoughts ten years ago. We decided to go for the 'holiday' home with rental potential with a view to selling and exchanging for a 'forever' home after we had both retired. That was in 2007 - you've got it - just before the property crash! We have been unable to sell at any reasonable price to move on to part 2 of the plan :(
My advice would be - if you do buy (after much research) - is to buy a property in which you would be happy to settle and in a location where you could spend retirement time later. Although some sectors of the property market are showing signs of life, in the main it is currently pretty moribund. It's certainly not a market that for short-term investment at the moment. You may have trouble selling a temporary holiday home.


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