Tune in to hear about how Henry and his wife purchased a quad in Playa Flamenca, Alicante. You’ll hear about how their property agent welcomed Henry and family into their community and went above and beyond in helping them find a good school for their 5-year-old granddaughter.
- Why Henry and his wife were drawn to Playa Flamenca [3:41]
- How the property agents assisted Henry in finding a good school for his granddaughter [4:47]
- The factors that influenced Henry’s budget [7:02]
- About the property search process [8:24]
- How their property agent welcomed Henry and his family into their community [10:17]
- What Henry would do differently next time [11:37]
- Henry’s favorite things about Spanish culture [13:46]
- How Henry plans to share his new home with his friends and family [14:28]
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 Henry, originally from Scotland, who purchased a quad in Playa Flamenca, Alicante.
Just wait until you hear about how, for Henry and his wife, the most important part of their purchase became finding a good school for their five year old granddaughter.
Henry worked with estate agent Easyads 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.
Body of Transcript
Beth: If you wouldn’t mind just starting by introducing yourself and saying what you do and whether you bought a property or rent a property and where abouts it is.
Henry: OK, my name is Henry and I am a retired journalist and my wife and I bought a property in September. We began looking last year after a holiday in Torrevieja and my wife had a very good idea of the property that we wanted and where we wanted to stay. Having friends over here that lived in Playa Flamenca, that was our number one choice. We had seen the area and we liked what we saw. We started to look on the Kyero website to find properties that matched our requirements.
My wife and I are bringing up a granddaughter who is nearly five. So, the great thing was that there were plenty of properties. We looked and we narrowed it down to the type of property that we wanted.
We wanted a three bedroom. We wanted an urbanisation. We wanted it near shops and schools, especially schools, especially schools, and a property that was secure. Having looked on the Kyero website, we then got a call from Easy Ads. We had no idea, at that point to be honest, who Easy Ads were, but they got in touch and they arranged to come and meet us after we arrived in Spain.
One of the Easy Ads representatives came and picked us up. He had identified five properties that tallied with my wife’s idea of what we wanted to buy here. Believe it or not, the third property that we looked, in Playa Flamenca, was the property that we ended up buying.
It’s obviously a daunting prospect buying a new house. Anytime you’re buying a new house in a different country is something that is almost off the scale.
However, we found that Easy Ads did make it quite simple for us. They provided us with lots of information. They provided us with plenty of backup. They provided us with legal advice with their in-house lawyer. The whole process, although it was nerve-wracking (of course it is), we completed the deal and everything in seven weeks of having seen the property.
We moved into the property on September the 15th of this year. We’ve been living here ever since. It was a great choice and everything has been remarkably smooth. We’re still going through the process of getting residency here and staying, but the way that we have been treated and the way that we have been looked after has been absolutely terrific.
Beth: That’s amazing. So, the whole thing spawned from a holiday and falling in love with the area.
Henry: It did, yes.
Beth: So, was it the location? Is it the weather? What is it that drew you to that part of Spain?
Henry: My wife and I have always wanted to spend more time in Spain, but when we took on our granddaughter, that changed the circumstances. It also changed what we needed to have. The priority became education.
Again, with Easy Ads, two of the people who worked at Easy Ads had sent, or are sending their children to the school that we eventually chose to send our granddaughter to. So, why did we come to live here? We wanted a different way of life and I retired, finally, in April of this year. We wanted to enjoy the benefits of better weather and a more family friendly society and we wanted to give our granddaughter the opportunity to be brought up in a bilingual environment.
Beth: And what an incredible opportunity that is, as well. So, your agent actually gave you firsthand experience and help because people working there had kids of their own.
Henry: Absolutely, the advice that we were getting wasn’t something that was coming from tourist data, it was actually practical, on the ground experience of people who had trusted a specific school to give their children the sort of education that they wanted given that their children’s original language wasn’t Spanish. With one it was German and with the other it was English.
So, it gave us the idea to look at that school. We, in turn, went to see the school and we were actually thrilled by it. Our granddaughter has been going there and she absolutely loves it.
She settled in fantastically well. Her friends are all Spanish and she’s speaking a little bit of Spanish now. It’s just beyond our wildest dreams. At the same time we have settled into the house so, so well. My wife has done a great job in terms of putting her own personal touches to it.
It’s gone from the idea, originally, that we had of spending part of the year in Spain, when it was just my wife, Leslie and I, and it’s now gone to spending a life here and we have absolutely no regrets about having moved here.
The lifestyle is actually better than we thought it would be; it’s not only the benefits of the weather, but different things in terms of culture and it’s just terrific. We have landed on our feet and we are absolutely delighted.
Beth: That’s so great, and if she’s only five, she’s starting right at the beginning of it. She must be going into year one, or something, and it’s just the perfect time.
Henry: She is, yeah, the ages for schooling, for education in Spain, are slightly different from that in the UK so she’s still at what would be the equivalent of like half into Nursery and half into Primary One. So next year she will start, in essence, Primary One here, in Spain. As I say, she actually has settled down so, so well and now has Spanish friends and speaks a little bit of Spanish and they speak a little bit of Scottish, so it’s quite good, really.
Beth: Fantastic, so when you first went in and chatted to your agent did you have a budget in mind? Did you know the amount you wanted to spend?
Henry: We did, we had very fixed ideas of the budget and we had been made aware, before we came to Spain, of the costs over and above that of actually buying the house. Again, with the representatives,at Easy Ads. They helped us to work out a very specific budget early on about how much the house would cost and how much we’d have to pay in terms of fees and taxes and so on. Having chosen a house which was within budget and having allowed for a certain amount over and above the cost of the house, we actually came in slightly under budget, which, of course, was a big bonus.
Beth: Do you mind me asking what the budget was?
Henry: Our budget for the house was going to be around €145,000. Then we had a budget of around €20,000 for the additional fees and the cost involved in moving into the house. In total it came in around €165,000 and in return we got a three bedroom house which is very secure and it’s in a very established and attractive urbanisation.
Beth: Fantastic, and how many did you see? You did mention, how many viewings did you actually go on before you found this one?
Henry: It was viewing number three. It was a third house. It was the third house because of what David, at Easy Ads, had done here. He had listened very closely to what my wife’s specifications were and had done, I suspect, a fair amount of research.
When he met us that day we had really just been in Spain, at that point, for two days – just to Playa Flamenca. The first two properties my wife rejected out of hand, just by seeing them, but when we came to property number three, it was different. She went and just immediately said that was the house that she and us wanted to stay in. It’s been a terrific choice.
Beth: Brilliant. You mentioned how daunting it is, not just to move, but to move countries, and to move with a child, and everything like that. So, what about the process of understanding the language and the language barriers, but also understanding the legalities and the different taxes, how did you do that? Did you research it, did you get help?
Henry: Both, both, we did our own research and we used the services that were provided by the staff at Easy Ads. They were able to help us with various things such as setting up a bank account, which you need in Spain if you’re going to buy a house or if you’re going to buy a car. They helped us with the paperwork to get an NIE number, which, again, you need in Spain if you’re going to buy a house or a car. They’re helping us with the process of completing all the various forms and technicalities and requirements so that we can apply for residency here, in Spain, which will give us access to health care and state education.
Beth: That’s interesting. So your contact with them hasn’t stopped at completion. They’re actually still around months later helping you do things?
Henry: Yes, it’s still ongoing. Because of where their office is, and because we’re on a first name basis with all of the staff, if we’re ever passing by their office (which is about five minutes drive away from here) we will quite often just go in and just say hello, and say how we’re getting on, and say that there’s still to do this and there’s still to do that. And, perhaps ask, “Do you know a place where they sell really nice lampshades?” Somebody always says, “Oh yeah, there is a place, there is a place!”
We still feel very welcomed when we go in. As I say, we’re going through the process of applying for residency. It is daunting with a different language and there are various papers which we need to be translated and all that stuff. I speak a little Spanish, but not enough to do that with any confidence.
So, the ongoing process isn’t there just because we have been clients and we bought a house through Easy Ads. It’s almost like we’ve become a member of their family. We’ve met a number of people, since then, and we have recommended that, definitely, if they want the kind of service we got, then Easy Ads would be a good place to look because it was beyond our wildest dreams - the way they were able to make it so, so smooth.
Beth: Fantastic, now you might not have an answer to this one, but I was going to ask you what would you do differently next time?
Henry: Well, the answer to that is that there won’t be one. But I wouldn’t do anything differently.
There is a bit of jumping into the unknown. Of course there is. We were making a big decision; we were doing it with a child, so there was a lot of jumping into the unknown. But, we had faith that it would be OK and it’s done even better than that.
Would I do anything differently? No, I don’t see what I could do differently. We didn’t want to buy a place while we were still living in the UK. We wanted to be here, on the ground, and get a feel for what we were going to buy, in terms of what the area was like, in terms of what the people were like who lived there. I’m very, very glad that we did it.
When we came to Spain at first we stayed in a hotel for five weeks just to get an idea of what life was actually like in Spain. I don’t think it’s possible to do that, simply by looking at pictures or videos, you actually need to be here. I can’t think of anything else, as I think back. As I say, we won’t’ be doing it again, so it’s not the answer, you perhaps want, but that’s the only answer I can truthfully give.
Beth: It’s perfect. Honestly, it sounds like you’ve had such a positive experience. You’re very brave, I think. Would that be your piece of advice to give to people is bravery and just dive in?
Henry: It was OK for us but I think you have to be practical as well. We had the kind of benefit of knowing that it was going to be OK and if things hadn’t worked out that we would have been able to do something about it. I think everybody has their own requirements, everybody has their own background, everybody’ got their own circumstances. I think it’s that if you feel that something is right, it probably is. If you feel that something isn’t right, then it probably isn’t. We always felt, as I say, we very much landed on our feet here and we’ve been very fortunate.
Beth: Fantastic, my last question is about lifestyle in Spain. You mentioned the culture that you’re a part of now, so what is your favourite part about the Spanish culture?
Henry: It’s laid back. It’s not so hectic. It’s more family aware with a very strong sense of family when you go out for meals. It’s quite often you’ll be sitting next to a table where there are three generations: it’s children, it’s the parents, and it’s the grandparents. That’s a fantastic thing. I think the children here grow up with a greater sense of family and I think that’s a good thing and it will be a good thing for our granddaughter to grow up with as well.
Beth: Fantastic, and have you got any more plans to have people come and visit? Do you have a busy calendar?
Henry: Yes, we have. We’ve got a list of people who’ve either asked us, or would like to come out. We’ve had a few friends out already and my own daughter’s coming out again next summer. To be honest, with people asking to come out, it’s quite the shock to family life. We’re more than delighted to see people and, as long as they stay nearby it’s OK, but it’s not so good when you’ve got a child who has be out of the house to go to school by half past eight in the morning and she can be a bit hostile about getting out of her bed, “I don’t want to get up! I want to stay in bed?” And we’re, “Come on.” (laughter)
Beth: Fantastic, thank you so much for chatting to us. We’ve got everything that we needed.
Henry: And thank you, too.
Beth: Brilliant, you have been wonderful, thank you Henry, have a lovely day.
Henry: Thanks very much, OK. Enjoy your day, bye bye just now.
Beth: Cheers, bye.
Thank you for listening and thanks to Henry for sharing her experiences, and Easy Ads for their help to make this episode possible.
I particularly liked how much Henry got to know the people at the agency to the extent where he got recommendations for his granddaughter’s school, and how for him and his family it was both bravery and practicality that made the purchase possible.
You can search this agent’s properties and more on Kyero.com .
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That was the last in this series of Kyero’s Spanish Property Podcast.
A big thank you to all of the participants and agents that made this series a success.
We’ll be back very soon to share more insights from buyers who found their dream home in Spain.
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I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Kyero.com Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you in series 2!