Episode 21: Simon who purchased in Pruna, Seville

28th May 2018
Podcast host

Guest

Simon

Host

Beth Davison

Podcast location

Relocated from

Farnborough

To

Pruna, Seville

Episode 21: Simon who purchased in Pruna, Seville

In this week’s episode, Beth is joined by Simon who purchased a four bedroom house in Pruna, Seville. Originally inspired by a motorbike trip in Spain, Simon now wishes to relocate permanently. Listen to how, after much deliberation, Simon came to finally choose the right place to buy in Seville.

 

Show Notes

  • [1:45] Where Simon began with the buying process
  • [3:11] How well Simon knew Spain before buying
  • [3:21] The inspiring motorbike trip Simon did previously in Spain
  • [4:11] How many viewings Simon went on
  • [5:57] The buying process with Olvera Properties
  • [7:57] The moment Simon found his dream house
  • [10:52] Simon’s advice to first-time buyers
  • [13:09] How Olvera helped solve the challenges Simon faced
  • [16:38] Simon’s budget
  • [17:24] Simon’s renovation plans for the property
  • [18:01] The Spanish lifestyle

Links:

Kyero.com

Olvera Properties

Read Full Transcript

Intro

Welcome to the Kyero.com Spanish Property podcast where we interview 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 Simon, from Farnborough, who purchased a house in Pruna, Seville

Originally on a motorbike holiday through Spain, Simon was inspired to buy, and one day hopes to relocate permanently. He loves the socialness of his town where there's always a fiesta planned.

He worked with estate agent Olvera Properties 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

Simon:  My name is Simon and for a job I'm a civil servant, and I purchased a house in a town in Andalucia called Pruna.

Beth:  Very nice, and how long ago did that first thought happen of, "Perhaps I want to buy somewhere in Spain?"

Simon:  Oh, we’re talking about twenty years ago.

Beth:  What was the reason?

Simon:  I don't know - the UK weather - I much prefer the Spanish weather and the Spanish way of life. So yeah, it was an ambition for a long time.

Beth:  At the moment you use it as a holiday home?  

Simon:  Yeah, yeah, it's a holiday home. I'm trying to get out there as much as I can.

Beth:  Is the overall goal that you might live there?

Simon:  Oh absolutely, absolutely, sooner rather than later, hopefully.

Beth:  Oh, cool. Alright, fantastic, so after this initial seed is planted and you know that you want to buy over there, for you, how does the whole process start? What did you start by doing?

Simon:  I drew up a short list of what I wanted in the property and its location.

Beth:  And what kind of things were on that short list?

Simon:  It was quite a short, short list. I wanted it to be in a proper Spanish town, so I didn't want any tourists. I wanted it to be near the sea. I knew that I couldn't afford anywhere at the sea, at the coast - so, right within a half hour reach of the coast.

I wanted the house to be in the town itself, so that I could walk to bars and restaurants, rather than living out in the sticks in the middle of nowhere where you have a really lovely house but you have to drive everywhere. I also wanted the town to have squares with bars and restaurants off of it.

Beth:  Lovely, OK cool, so a pretty comprehensive list with specific things on there. What happens after that point?

Simon:  So I had this shortlist and then it was a case of trying to match my short

list with locations in Spain, which took me quite awhile and quite a few trips over to Spain, literally starting off over on the east side of Spain and working my way across to the west side of Spain, finding where I liked.

Beth:  And how well did you know it anyway?

Simon:  I knew all the more touristy destinations, but that wasn't what I wanted. So, it was a case of doing a little bit of online research and then planning trips over there to check it out and see whether I liked it. It went like that for quite a long time. Then I had a recollection of a motorbike trip that I'd actually done many years ago down to the racetrack at Harrouff. I knew that I liked that area of Spain.

I stayed in a town called Ronda. Of course it was right in about all that area. I was getting a bit annoyed when I was looking along. At the time I was out looking near Valencia, in a town called Oliva and I remembered, no, I preferred the other side of Spain. Then I started concentrating my search on that part of Spain because I knew that was where I wanted to be.

Beth:  OK, fantastic. Then once you find the region, presumably, everything gets a little bit easier.

Simon:  Yeah, absolutely.

Beth:  How many viewings, would you say, that you went on?

Simon:  Well, what I ended up doing was I then narrowed it down even more to the towns that I wanted to look at. Then what I did was I started using the internet again and narrowed it down to a short list of properties that fit my criteria. Then I took a week and I viewed a load of properties in about a half dozen towns that I really liked the look of and I narrowed it down even further that way.

Beth:  Yeah, fantastic. Did you have the help of an agent at this point?

Simon:  Yeah, there were a few agents. To be honest, what happened was that I started down on some towns outside of Malaga. Some of the agents that I dealt with down there weren't, I wouldn't say… they were particularly helpful.

Beth:  And presumably weren't going to leave you immediately after it was all down, because it's actually quite important to still have some contact after.

Simon:  Absolutely. Ironically, I still have some contact with them now about things that still… I'll get a random thing happen and I'll be phoning them up and saying do you know anything about this?

Beth:  Yeah, and that's great that they're still there for you.

Simon:  Yeah, to be honest, that's what kind of set apart that agent from any of the other agents. It was almost like (it's kind of hard to explain) It's almost like they weren't really estate agents. It was like they encompassed a lot more.

Beth:  Yeah, and they were people who cared about you getting what you needed.

Simon:  Yeah, absolutely.

Beth:  Which sounds like the perfect scenario.

Simon:  Yeah, it was the whole buying process. Even though I knew all the details that I needed to know and all the steps that I needed to go through, because they helped you through every step of the way, I think that if I didn't have an agent like that I'd probably still be trying to do it now.

Beth:  Yeah, totally. So, this is Olvera Properties that we're talking about, so it sounds like they're very involved in the process, which is lovely. How many houses did they show you, and were they always within the specific list that you started with of knowing what you wanted?

Simon:  Yeah, yeah, it was. I got in contact with them for one property in particular that I really liked the look of, which ironically, is the one I ended up buying, but when I was speaking with them, before I'd flown out there. They were speaking to me about what I wanted and what my budget was and stuff like that.

When I went over there I met up with them, it was on a Sunday actually. They showed me three properties in the town of Pruna, that I bought in. They also showed me another three properties in the next town along in Olvera. So they gave me a lot of options that I probably hadn't thought of or looked at that hard because I was thinking, "Oh, that's the one that I really like from them." So, if I were to see one from them then I'd move on to the next estate agent. So, they gave me more options than I initially thought I was going to get from that particular agent.

Beth:  Yeah, which is perfect, that's exactly what you want, really. Options are clearly going to be very useful for you. So, the one that you ended up buying, let's chat about your specific home, what was it about that... Did you immediately know? Was it a love at first sight situation when you walked through the door?

Simon:  Yeah it was. The thing was, I'd seen it online on Kyero and I saved it and I kept going back to it, and I kept going back to it. The thing was, when you looked at the pictures, it was, in a little weird way it was kind of hard to get your head around the actual layout of the house, because there are lots of different parts to the house. It sounds ridiculous if you don't know the house, but it had lots of extensions done in the past and little bit of work done in the past. So it was almost like it was the old house and the new house all merged into one.

There was just something about it. It was quirky. I liked the quirky nature of it, which kept bringing me back to it.

So then, when I actually walked into the house, it was almost like it brought it to life, all the pictures that I'd seen all instantly came to life. I fell in love with the place and I could instantly see that I could put my stamp on it.

What made it difficult was that there was a house that is about a hundred meters away from the one that I bought which Olvera Property showed me as well. I sat on the fence between the two of them. I knew it was going to be one of those two.

Beth:  Oh no.

Simon:  Yeah, and I was saying, “I wish they hadn't shown me this other one.” The house I bought, I could see the potential in it and I could really put my own personal stamp on it.

With that other house I was really sitting on fence and I was getting splinters I was sitting on the fence that much. There was nothing that needed doing to it. It was perfect. It was like, "Do I want to have something that I can put my stamp on, or do I want to have something that is absolutely perfect?" I ended up going for the one that I can put my stamp on purely because the view was better.

Beth:  Very good. You know what, you need one deciding factor and that counts.

Simon:  Yeah, that was the one deciding factor because they have got a roof terrace where you can look at the whole town and the surrounding countryside, and the house that was perfect didn't have that.

Beth:  Lovely, since completion have you felt completely confident in that decision?

Simon:  Absolutely, absolutely.

Beth:  Good.

Simon:  It's probably the best thing that I ever did.

Beth:  So, for people starting this process, or maybe they're midway through this process, if you could do it all again, would you do anything differently, or has it all been how you expected to be and how you wanted it be?

Simon:  Um, It's actually been better than I was expecting because if you do... The thing is, when you do your research you end up looking at… a lot of research is done on the internet and you end up looking at different websites, where people give their opinions on how something happened. The problem is the only opinions you ever get are the bad ones because they're the only people that bother writing anything. It's just known that they make their opinions known. The people, that have actually had a good experience, rarely ever make their opinions known.

When I went into it, I was expecting it to have horrors and pitfalls and stuff like that because that’s all you ever hear. “Oh dodgy Spanish builders, or dodgy corrupt this, or dodgy that.” So I was expecting to be having an uphill struggle.

Beth:  Which is maybe a good thing because it means you’ve got your wits about you, I suppose. That’s the benefit of that, if people go in and are a little suspicious. So you found none of that to be true?

Simon:  No, none of it. It couldn’t have been smoother. It was easier than buying a car in the UK.

Beth:  Wow.

Simon:  It was just so smooth. From when I actually made the decision from starting the paperwork to actually picking up the keys was such a smooth process and it could have been done even quicker. It was just that I delayed it for two weeks because I wanted to be there to do it rather than.

Beth:  That’s a drop in the ocean. In this country you delay for weeks, months. It gets drawn out, but it seems like it’s quite efficient in Spain.

Simon:  Oh, absolutely. I think, from me putting in the offer and it being accepted, to me picking up the keys was about a month. It could have been done in two week, it was just the fact that I had to come back to the UK.

Beth:  Well great, I’m glad it was such a straightforward process for you. What about any difficulties around the fact that you’re working, obviously with a foreign language, you’re dealing with the legalities of that, also budget and value for money when it comes to pound versus Euro, where there any kinds of difficulties for you in that regard?

Simon:  When it comes to… it was good and bad. There’s a few things there, one, if we talk about value for money, the problem that was good was, because it was not long after the Brexit vote the property prices had dropped which was good. But also the exchange rate dropped at the same time, which was bad. I suppose if you look at it it’s all relative, really.

When you go to the legalities, that’s where, to be honest, where the agent really come into their own. Let’s take the first, the NIE number, I wouldn’t have even known where to have gone to actually put the application in. My Spanish is basic to intermediate level. This is where the agent was really, really good.

They came with me, or one of the people from the agency came with me over to the office where it all gets done. They filled out the paperwork with me and then we went to the bank to make relevant payments and stuff like that and the paperwork was filed. They then went back to the office when it was ready (I was back in the UK while this was going on) to collect the paperwork and to make sure that all the paperwork (the legality side of it) was absolutely fine. So, if I hadn’t have had that assistance I honestly don’t know what I would have done. I probably would have ended up paying somebody to actually do it.

Beth:  Yeah, because you just need that helping hand is some way. You need to be pointed in the right direction.

Simon:  Yeah, yeah, that’s the, I won’t say the danger, but it’s just one of those things. If you’re not fully conversing with the local customs, the local language, the local laws, you just end up running around in circles and not getting anywhere. That’s where, I don’t know, it’s like the agent it’s almost like they specialise in it rather than just being a traditional estate agent of right here’s your money and there’s the keys. That would have been the legal problems would have been trying to negotiate it myself.

Beth:  Yeah, fantastic, it sounds like you navigated those waters perfectly with their help, which is great.

Simon:  Like I say, even now I get legal paperwork coming through. Actually I even, after the sale, the escritura (the finished and collected and all that sort of thing) I wouldn’t have had a clue of how to deal with it. The agent dealt with it and then let me know, “Alright, everything is done, everything is ready, all the bills have been moved over to your name, all that side of things they did and it was all done and I was, “Oh, that’s easy!”

Beth:  Wow, yeah, that’s really nice, and if that’s after… They wouldn’t need to, they’d get their commission either way, they wouldn’t need to involve themselves, but they do.

Simon:  Yeah, exactly.

Beth:  That’s kind of a central difference, awesome.

How many bedroom did you say your place was?

Simon:  It is four.

Beth:  Four bed. Do you mind me asking what your budget was for it, or what your initial starting budget did you have to stick with it, did you have to go over?

Simon:  My initial budget was fifty thousand Euros but I was way under, way under. I actually purchase it for twenty five in the end.

Beth:  Wow, OK, yeah. So, that’s an incredibly good value.

Simon:  Oh, tell me about it. There were some things when I first bought the place. As soon as I walked in I was, “Yeah, I want to change this. Knock that wall down, and I want to put a window in there, and I want to do this, and I want to do that.” So, the money that I saved, I just got the building work done straight away.

Beth:  Yeah, which is fantastic. That’s what you mean, presumably, when you say, “Putting your own stamp on it,” you don’t just mean interior design wise. You’ve actually changed the structure of the property.

Simon:  Yeah, yeah and I’ve still got more plans that I want to do to make it perfect. But the things that I initially wanted done straight away and it was putting my stamp on it. Being able to see what other people couldn’t see in there. I’m not an interior designer by any stretch of the imagination.

Beth:  Yeah, but you’ve got all of these options which is great. When it comes to… you’ve mentioned, just to talk about lifestyle a little bit. You’ve mentioned, obviously, not wanting to stay in Britain forever. That’s not your goal. So what is it about Spanish life that really appeals to you?

Simon:  It’s weird. It’s almost like, in a lot of respects, the Spanish lifestyle reminds me of the way Britain was when I was growing up.

Beth:  That’s interesting. So kind of a nostalgia?

Simon:  Yeah, it’s very… There’s a tinge of nostalgia, and there’s also a tinge of in Britain I’m noticing it. I don’t know about other people in Britain, but obviously I live in the south of Britain. Everybody is running around at two hundred miles an hour and nobody’s got any time for anybody and it’s all about work, work, work, and sleep and then work, work, work a little bit more. It’s the kind of lifestyle that leads to an early grave. I prefer the Spanish lifestyle. It’s not all about work. It’s about family. It’s about friends. It’s about being social. Obviously, the weather helps.

Beth:  Totally, weather and food tend to be the most common answers there.

Simon:  Oh, absolutely, yeah, yeah, I like the food as well.

Beth:  Lovely, so have you made any kind of contacts out there? Have you made friends with anyone? Is there a community spirit?

Simon:  Yeah, I’ve made quite a few friends out there, actually. There is quite a bit of a community spirit because it’s quite a small town. I wouldn’t say that everybody knows everybody, but you know lots of people. Yeah, obviously there are some British people there. I don’t just want to be hanging around with British people. I want to engage in the Spanishness and astound them with my bad Spanish - improving Spanish, yes, improving Spanish. You ask something in Spanish and they answer you in English. And I ask if my Spanish is that bad and they say not but you say it with an English accent and it’s quite funny.

Beth:  Yeah, exactly. It’ll take practice.

Simon:  So, there is a big community there and quite a small town. They have quite a lot of social things going on. They have fiestas and the carnivals and stuff like that and there are all those things going on. There are things that, being a foreigner in the town, you’re never excluded from it. You’re welcomed into it - they want you to come into it. So, that’s something about the town that I really, really like as well.

Beth:  Perfect, I think you’ve given loads of advice. I’m thinking, lastly, as a thought to leave people on, what would you say, as a big piece of advice for people wanting to do what you’re doing.

Simon:  Don’t waste time, just do it. Don’t think that you’ll put it off until you retire, just do it now as soon as you can.

Beth:  Fantastic, and do all of your research which you were clearly very diligent with.

Simon:  Yeah, yeah, I went a bit round.

Beth:  No, I think very sensible. I think it’s a nice hybrid of don’t rush it, but also don’t put it off. Start the process now if it’s what you’re thinking about.

Simon:  Yeah, absolutely.

Beth:  I think that’s perfect. Well, thank you Simon so much for chatting to me. I feel that we got loads of information there.

Simon:  Any time, any time.

Beth:  I’m glad it’s gone so well and good luck with the rest of the renovations and things that you’re going to do. I hope you eventually move out there. It sounds like a great plan.

Simon:  Thanks love, bye.

Outtro


Thank you for listening and thanks to Simon for sharing his experiences along with Olvera Properties for their help to make this episode possible.

I completely empathised with Simon’s indecision and love the expression of being so “on the fence you get splinters.” It’s good to hear that he’s thrilled with his decision.

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This podcast is produced by Kyero.com and our mission is to connect you with estate agents and properties throughout Spain

Whether your dream home is a rustic farmhouse surrounded by olive groves or a lock-up-and-leave apartment on the seafront, you’ll find everything you need at Kyero.com

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And, whenever you’re ready, here are four ways we can help you:

  • Ask a question by emailing Beth@kyero.com.  We’ll try and answer them all in an upcoming Q&A episode

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Next week I speak with David, from Durham, who purchased a house in owns not one, but four houses in Oliva, Valencia.

As not just an owner, but also a landlord of Spanish property, David tells me how his first purchase of a holiday home eventually grew into a new venture and a bit of a pension plan for he and his wife.

I’m Beth Davison and you’ve been listening to the Kyero.com Spanish property podcast. I’ll see you next week!

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