This week Linda joins us to share how her and her husband bought a 2 bedroom apartment in La Torre Golf Resort, Murcia. We learn how this holiday home has opened opportunities to grow her interior design business. She also shares how the importance of researching and knowing your budget speeds up the buying process, and how easy it is to slip into the Spanish lifestyle.
- Linda’s experience of buying property abroad for the first time [1:33]
- How the agents helped her find the right area in Murcia [2:23]
- The moment Linda found the dream house [7:14]
- Experience compared to selling properties in the UK [8:36]
- On sticking to a budget [10:45]
- Linda’s best advice for buying Spanish property [11:28]
- What’s best about the Spanish lifestyle [12:22]
- The perspective they get when returning home to the UK after a vacation in Spain [13:46]
- How Linda is sharing the property with her family [14:03]
- How the environment in Murcia has helped people start new careers and projects [14:45]
Welcome to the Kyero.com Spanish Property podcast where we interview real people who recently purchased a 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 Linda, originally from Hull, who purchased an apartment in La Torre Golf Resort, Murcia.
Just wait until you hear about how quickly it all happened and how the buying process led to contacts for Linda which would later help her set up her own business in Spain.
Linda worked with estate agent Murcia Services 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.
Body of the Transcript
Beth: So, if we start, would you mind just letting me know what you do, and how you came to be looking for a property abroad.
Linda: OK, I’m partly retired, but I’m also an interior designer. We decided that, having to release some capital from sales of properties here in the UK, we would look in Spain. We did a lot of research and ended up with our eye on Murcia, in particular.
That’s why we started to look because we felt that we would enjoy the sunshine, we’d enjoy the different lifestyle, and it would be good for the children and the grandchildren. That’s why we decided to purchase in Spain.
Beth: Lovely, did you know the area already? Did you know Spain pretty well?
Linda: I’d been to that part of Spain ten or twelve years ago on business, looking at properties abroad I was helping a company develop. I actually went to the site where we’ve actually bought and it was really, really, sold as being a luxury resort, etc. But I’ve actually never been on holiday in Spain.
I’d only been across for business. So this is quite a big thing for me because I had never purchased property abroad and I had never been to that part of Spain or anywhere on holiday. So, it was a really big deal for me and it was… We’re comfortably off, but we’re not well off, so the money was important that we found the right property in the right place.
Beth: Yeah, of course. So, where was it that you ended up? Tell me, geographically, where it is.
Linda: We started to look around the Mar Menor area. We’d looked around Alicante / Torrevieja as well. We found some new properties that were for sale, near the Mar Menor, and decided that we’d go have a look.
We contacted Murcia Services, at that stage, and from that moment on, yeah, we were quite, gosh, excited but also quite sort of, not concerned, but you know, wary because of all the stories that you hear and everything else. We made an agreement that we would pay our flight, but they would pick us up from the airport. They would put us up in one of their apartments. They would look after us.
So, within a very short time, within a few days, we’d flown across and we’d got a taxi and then they covered all that cost and everything else and deposited us in this very nice apartment on La Torre Golf Resort.
We looked at a couple of areas. What was nice about Murcia Services was that, although we were looking at properties that they had advertised, we had said that we had been looking around at Torrevieja and Guardamar and she said, “If you don’t find anything that we’ve got suitable, we will arrange for colleagues of ours (further up the coast) to meet you and show you some properties there.”
So, it wasn’t just that they were looking after us to sell us one of their properties; they really did look after us. They listened to what we wanted. But, we had done our research so I think because we did our research we knew what we were looking for, but they really listened.
We were staying on the Torre so I said, could we have a look at some on the Torre and that was… We arrived the Monday afternoon. We looked at things on the Monday afternoon and viewed other places that we’d asked to look at around Sierra Golf. Tuesday morning they took us to see properties around La Torre. They took us into the local villages: Roldan, Balsicas, etc and down to Mar Menor to show us the area so that we could see where we were looking.
We found an apartment on LaTorre on Tuesday lunchtime, and they didn’t stop there, they organised for a local solicitor. They came with us on the Wednesday to meet the solicitor. They came with us to the notary and they sorted out the offer and we flew back on the Thursday knowing exactly what we’d bought, knowing it was all set up, and they helped us all the way through. They kept in touch, and it was completed within six weeks.
Beth: That is incredible. So, the whole thing was four days, basically, Monday to Thursday?
Linda: Yes, and they organised everything. We didn’t have to do a thing. They even took us down to the Mar Menor so that we could stay for lunch down there and have a walk and look and then came back and collected us. So, we knew exactly what was around.
They took us into Roldan and Balsicas and by the time we got home, and on the Friday, it was all emails and that concern. It was absolutely fantastic and it doesn’t really stop there because Nick and Kay take a very active part in the local area as well.
So, if you needed to know anything or got stuck with anything they were there to ask. They’ve been fantastic, absolutely brilliant, and now I’m hoping to work with them on my interior design business that I’m launching over there.
Beth: Oh wow. So you kind of made proper friends, proper contacts in a kind of really business trusting way?
Linda: Absolutely yes, Kay and Nick, they’re partners, but the staff are lovely and I think the thing is that they listen and they respond. You send an email or a message on Facebook, or whatever, and they instantly get back to you. You don’t feel that you’re in the dark.
When you’re first time buying abroad and you’re investing a chunk of money and a chunk of your life, you want to feel that you’ve got somebody who is solid, that knows the area, knows people to contact and not just sell you a property, and that’s what Murcia Services do.
Beth: Incredible. So, how did you know that the house that you saw was your dream house when they took you to it?
Linda: We just walked in and I looked at Graham, my husband, and he looked at me, and I said, “This is just us.” He had not wanted an apartment. I had said, “I don’t want an apartment.” But, I said, “I’m willing to look at apartments.” I think that what was really good is that they showed us a wide range of them so we got a really good idea of what was available and at what price, so that when we walked into the one that we liked it was, “Great, this is it.”
I don’t know, we just walked in and you know you get that sense of feeling that this is it. We just did. But I think the nice thing about it is that they weren’t obtrusive, they answered questions, they talked through things.
I know for a fact, (from other people who had bought) that when they bought something like this and something comes up where that that’s not quite right. They (Murcia Services) will help them to see how it should look and they have got the team behind them to help them to do that as well.
So, it’s not just the sales service, they do have people behind. When we bought we needed to get our boiler serviced, we just rang Nick up, “Oh, I’ll tell so and so to contact you.” And they contacted us and the boiler got serviced.
Beth: So they just seem to care a lot more. There seems to be a level of care, it’s not just about money.
Linda: No, it isn’t not just about money. You know, we had just sold two properties in the UK and we had gone through hell with it. We were really, really stressed out and the thought of, “Oh God, buying another property… but come on, let’s do it, let’s see what we can do.”
And they made it such an easy journey and such fun! We had a good time; we had a good laugh when we went there. They made sure they took us to lunch and met up with us regularly and the whole team is like that, it’s not just Nick and Kay, the team is like that as well.
Beth: Amazing. Tell me a little bit about the property itself.
Linda: OK, the property is a two bedroomed apartment. It’s got a lovely sized and shaped sitting/dining area which is lovely, with patio doors out onto a really lovely south facing terrace.
It’s got a fully fitted kitchen. It’s got a utility area. It’s got a lovely fitted bathroom with shower and everything, and the two bedrooms have got fitted wardrobes and there’s loads of storage space.
The second bedroom has got the patio doors going out onto the terrace. It was in good condition and they were very honest about things. We looked at a couple that were a little bit you know… They were honest, they said. “Yes, it’s not as nice as the other one, but it’s got this and it’s got that going for it.”
They were very fair I think that… They let you make your own minds up and you didn’t feel like you couldn’t say, “Oh God, I don’t like this.” You could say that, you know, this is not for us. There was one particular apartment where we just went, “Ugh, as an interior designer I know I could do with it, but it was ugh, no,” and they were fine with it.
Beth: Fair enough though. I think it’s important that you can say that.
Linda: We didn’t’ feel restricted or that we had to pretend it’s alright. We didn’t.
Beth: Do mind me asking what your budget was? You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.
Linda: We had a budget of £80,000. That was our budget and we came in exactly about £300 under budget.
Beth: Oh wow, well done. See that’s impressive isn’t it?
Linda: That was all our expenses and everything. They were clear about it. They told us what we needed to keep back to pay for taxes, fees, etc. So we knew, we had a good idea of what our top budget was when buying the actual property. Yes, we had a budget, but that budget had to include everything else.
Linda: So, that was absolutely brilliant.
Beth: So, if you were giving advice to friends or family who were going to start the process from scratch, just like you did once upon a time, what advice would you give them?
Linda: Do your research. Really look at the areas. Get on the internet; compare prices, knowing what you want. Do you want one, two, three bedrooms? Be realistic, get onto the internet and see what things cost.
It’s no good going out there saying I want a three bedroom detached villa and I’ve got £60,000 because it’s not going to happen, and I want a sea view, and I want this, that, and the other, You need to be realistic, although there are some good bargains. Prices are still keen, at the moment; there appear to be a lot of people buying. So, you need to know what you want and where you want to be. Be clear with whoever you’re trying to buy through that this is what you want.
Beth: Fantastic. Lastly, just talking about the lifestyle in Spain, what do you enjoy most about owning a property in Spain, and the Spanish culture, and all that stuff?
Linda: The weather, even if it’s cool it’s usually bright and sunny, so one’s mood lifts, you instantly lift. It’s also, everything is much slower. People are very friendly. But, it’s just a much more relaxed lifestyle and you don’t feel that you’ve got to rush around here there and everywhere.
People are generally very friendly and we’ve made friends already there. We’ve got two or three sets of friends that we’re going to get together on the New Year because we’ve made such good friends. People look out for one another. We get there and we just go, Ugh, this is nice. We get back and my husband says, within three days, “I need a holiday.”
Beth: Yeah, you get too used to it. It’s lovely to have that option of just popping over for some nice weather.
Linda. Oh, we are lucky. Again, I always said that I would never live abroad if we didn’t have the family and friends that we have here in the UK I’d happily live there.
Beth: Well, maybe one day. I suppose you never know. You’ve got the option.
Linda: When they all grow up. Well, they’re all in their thirties now. The grandchildren are there. What it does, when you come back home it makes you concentrate, the time that you’re here, and makes you realise that you want to see people, you want to be in touch, you want to be part of it. Then, when you go there, you can just relax and say, “Goy, it’s just us.”
Beth: Totally, presumably do you bring them over for holidays and stuff?
Linda: They haven’t been yet, but there will be. We’ve had one daughter go across with her family, and they loved it, absolutely loved it.
Where we are, the facilities, we’ve got a gated community. We’ve got beautiful communal pools. Our communal pool is literally a two minute walk from our terrace.
We’re surrounded by superb restaurants. There’s a great social life, but you don’t have to be inundated and do everything if you don’t want it. So, we just love that lifestyle.
Beth: Lovely and when are you next heading out?
Linda: Four nights on Tuesday.
Beth: Very nice, avoiding the cold weather.
Linda: Yes well, the thing is as well is that it’s not just about lifestyle. The word, from a lot of people that have gone out there, is that they’ve started new careers, they’ve started doing new things because suddenly you’re in sunshine and people are nice and friendly and there’s lots of opportunities. I decided, then, that I might actually look at doing some small interior design projects. It’s actually opened other avenues as well.
Beth: Yeah, incredible. Well, I hope it all goes really, really, well. Thank you so much for chatting to me today. Enjoy your trip in a couple of weeks when you head back out there.
Linda: Thanks Beth. I hope it’s been OK for you.
Beth: It’s been perfect. Thanks Linda.
Linda: Thanks Beth.
Thank you for listening and thanks to Linda for sharing her experiences, and Murcia Services for their help to make this episode possible.
I particularly liked the sound of her communal pool and how much her grandsons have been able to enjoy the property as well not to mention how exciting the interior design business sounds.
You can search this agent’s properties and more on Kyero.com .
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Tune in next week when I speak with Henry, originally from Scotland.
He purchased a quad in Playa Flamenca, Alicante and I can’t wait to tell you all about how much Henry’s granddaughter influenced his purchase and, as they have now relocated permanently, for him it was all about finding a good school for her to go to.
I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Kyero.com Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you next week!