Episode 29: Lynda who purchased in Olvera, Cádiz

17th September 2018
Podcast host

Guest

Lynda

Host

Beth Davison

Podcast location

Relocated from

Loughborough

To

Olvera, Cádiz

Episode 29: Lynda who purchased in Olvera, Cádiz

This week we meet Lynda who bought a two bedroom property with a rooftop pool in Olvera, Cádiz. As a former textile designer, Lynda enjoys retired life in this charming, sociable town. She’s bought a couple of times in Spain, so we learn more about the smooth buying process and how the estate agents still keep in touch today.

Show Notes

  • [3:06] How Lynda first discovered the area
  • [4:13] The first step Lynda took to buy her first place
  • [5:18] Why the process of buying property in Spain multiple times has always been smooth for Lynda
  • [7:19] The support Lynda gets to this day from her estate agents
  • [7:54] How Lynda found the property in Olvera
  • [9:36] The lifestyle and things to do in Olvera
  • [12:50] How Olvera Properties help solve the obstacles with buying in Spain
  • [14:01] How Lynda rents out her properties through Airbnb
  • [16:28] What it’s like purchasing property on your own

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 this week I’m talking to Lynda, from Loughborough. She purchased her new home in Olvera, Cádiz.

As a keen walker, Lynda loves the scenery in Cádiz. And just wait until you hear about the price she paid for her spacious, high-ceiling dream property - talk about a bargain!

She worked with estate agent Olvera Properties 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 Transcript

Lynda:  My name is Lynda. I’m currently retired. I used to work as a textile designer. I was working when I bought my first house in Olvera, which was around eleven years ago. Since then I have bought some other property and as I’m now retired, I spend a lot more time there.

Beth:  Lovely. What’s the ratio, really? Since you’re retired are you out there more than you are in the UK?

Lynda:  Yeah, not more, no, because I do travel elsewhere. I just literally spent seven weeks out there and I had about two weeks out there in April and I’m going out for another seven weeks in October. So, I’ve spent chunks of time there and then come home.

Beth:  Sounds amazing. That sounds like the perfect center. Was it always how you envisaged your retirement? Was this always the plan?

Lynda:  No, I never really had a plan. In fact, probably about thirty years ago, I tried to persuade my parents to buy a property in Spain, but they didn’t bite the bullet. Once I’d paid the mortgage off on my own home, here in the UK, the money was burning a hole in my pocket and I decided to go out and have a look.

Beth:  What a nice position to be in.

Lynda:  That’s how it started. That’s how it started, really.

Beth:  Lovely. So, why Spain? Why was it Spain that appealed?

Lynda:  I went out to Spain about 1976. We used to go out to the Costa del Sol/Marbella area, when it was a lot smaller than it obviously is now. We went for about five or six years. I didn’t go to Spain, then, for quite awhile. I was in Ibiza with a friend for a birthday, and we sat there (and this was about another fifteen years later), and we sat there and I said, “Do you know, I just realized why I love Spain so much.”

It was just the feeling of the place and the accessibility and everything.

Beth:  Wow, Ibiza is known for being quite of a party vibe. So actually, I suppose when you started going out there and really exploring you realized that there is so much more to that island and Spain as a whole.

Lynda:  Yeah, I haven’t done much in Ibiza. We only went for two short trips and we stayed in Santa Eulària, which is actually reasonably Spanish, in parts still. It’s not too touristy. But I didn’t start looking for a house in Ibiza. It was only ever in this one place, which sounds very strange.

Beth:  No, so it’s Olvera that you were eventually interested in.

Lynda:  Yes.

Beth:  What was it that appealed, specifically, about that location?

Lynda:  It was really the weirdest thing. My friend, knowing my love of Spain and travel, she bought me a subscription to Spain Magazine; it was then, for a year, for a Christmas present. Every month I used to get the magazine and look through it and there was this one particular advert which was Olvera Properties. Number one, the picture at the top of the town just looked amazing. Then the properties looked amazing. Plus the descriptions sounded quirky. They didn’t sound like estate agent speak, if you know what I mean.

beth:  Yeah, totally...

Lynda:  They sounded like real people and the prices were so good. As I said to you earlier, I’d paid the mortgage off on my home, in the UK, and I thought, “I’m going to go. I’m going to have a look.”

Beth:  Yeah, ace. You’re not the first person, you know, who said that it was a picture in a magazine that really started things.

Lynda:  Yeah, yeah.

Beth:  When you decided to take the next step, then, was the next step looking online? Or are we talking that it was so long ago that that wasn’t really a possibility and you had to go out there physically? When did this all happen?

Lynda:  I’m not sure. I can’t honestly remember whether I did look online. I suppose I must have done that, yes. But, I was looking at their adverts and I just rang them and said, “Look, I’m interested in coming in for a weekend.”  Yes, I did, thinking about it now, did look online, because I picked four properties in the nearby village of Pruna and four properties in Olvera, itself. I said, “I’m coming out on the Friday evening. I’ll stay ‘till Sunday, and spend Saturday looking around.” That was all arranged. I said, “But, don’t show me this particular one until last because I know I like that one already.”

Beth:  Oh, wow, OK, so save the best ‘till last.

Lynda:  Yeah, that was the one I bought.

Beth:  It sounds like you knew, then, from the beginning, from the off, from looking online, which is clearly a great way to start. What year was this, then, are we talking?

Lynda: It was about eleven years ago. In fact it was eleven years ago next month when I went out for the first time.

Beth:  How have you seen it differ, in those eleven years? Did you say you’ve already bought your second one, or you’re kind of thinking about doing that?

Lynda:  Yes.

Beth:  You’ve already done that. So what about the difference in the two processes, then?

Lynda:  Very little. Both times it was so easy. The company, Olvera Properties, that I was dealing with, they just held my hand through the whole thing. We organized, for the first one in particular, I organized power of attorney so that the notary and the solicitor, over there, in Spain, could sign for me because at that time I was still working and it wasn’t so easy for me to just pop over. But, for the second property, I actually went over and signed for everything myself without any problems.

They were incredible because the first house I bought was a townhouse that had been modernized, but it was basic inside. There was just the area for the kitchen but no units, and various other things. So, we looked at it and I sat down with them... I got there on the Friday, Saturday was viewing, Sunday I sat with them and they roughly priced everything up for me, so I knew what it was going to cost me overall, as well as the actual cost of the property. Then I went back in October and bought it.

Beth:  Incredible. Was that assessment accurate? I know budgets can be very flexible.

Lynda:  Yeah, very accurate. Because I wanted that particular house, as well as me using it, I was planning on renting it out as a holiday let. So, I wanted nice things in it, but not expensive things. So, a lot of it was IKEA stuff, which was pretty easy to price. But, things like the fitted kitchen, the Olvera Properties ladies had knowledge of local suppliers and how much things would cost, more or less.

Beth:  Which is fantastic, actually.

Lynda:  Yeah, it was very good.

Beth:  Because agents, possibly in this country, the assumption is that agents, after the point of sale, you’re kind of left on your own, but that didn’t happen so much in Spain?

Lynda:  Not at all, even to this day they are, now, good friends of mine, but even to this day, anybody that buys a property with them, they are great in helping checking if people are having reformations done in house, and things like that, they’ll check on that and organize builders, all sorts of things. They are incredible.

Beth:  Fantastic. If we think about the more recent purchase, just because that’s more in line with how the price is right now. Did you know what your budget was and what you were hoping to get for a specific amount of money?

Lynda:  In all honesty, I wasn’t really looking for another house. It was just that my father died and, again, I was left with a bit of money that I wouldn’t normally have had. Being me, I sort of just had a look on the Olvera Properties website, spotted this property, which apparently had been for sale for a couple of years, and it was being rented out at that time on a long term rental. It ticked every box of what my wish list would have been - as in it had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a little pool on the roof. It had just ticked everything that I really would have loved and the price was so good and I thought, “I can actually afford this.”  

Beth:  Yeah, incredible. Do you mind me asking how much it was? How much did you spend, in the end?

Lynda:  It was, at that time, I got very good exchange rates and it was just under ninety thousand pounds

Beth:  Wow, which, in comparison. It is so different.

Lynda:  I know, completely. My house here, in the UK, I’ve got just an ordinary three bedroom semi in Loughborough, and it’s not worth an awful lot of money, as such. But, you know, it’s worth double that house and it would fit in just some of the space of it – half of it, or three quarters of it because the rooms are so spacious. It was a modern house, the one that I bought. It’s got really big, high ceilings and everything. It’s very airy and what have you. So yeah, it’s completely different.

Beth:  Yeah, but I can see why you spend so much time over there. It sounds lovely. What is your favourite thing about the Spanish lifestyle? Paint me a picture of what you do when you’ve got seven weeks over there?

Lynda:  Everything, I like to get up early in the morning and go walking because in Olvera, particularly, there are so many lovely walks that you can do from the village. We’ve got the Via Verde on our doorstep, so you can go down there, or there are various walks up to the sanctuary, etc. I go back home, have a bit of breakfast, maybe go out and meet somebody for coffee. I’ll have a laze by the pool, or go out for the day. It depends what time of the year it is, obviously. But, also there are so many amazing places to visit within less than two hours, some a bit more, but mostly less than two hours from Olvera. So, we sometimes have a couple of days out, stay the night somewhere, go out with friends, sit outside of bars and I guarantee there will be friends that walk past and join you.

Beth:  I was going to say, how social is it? You were saying meet people for coffee, so what’s that been like?

Lynda:  Oh it’s amazing. I have so many friends out there now. It’s unbelievable. Just to give you a small example, when I went over in June this year, one of my friends who lives there, she’s a Canadian lady, and she came down to Malaga to meet me at the airport and we drove back via IKEA and the Garden Centre and we had lunch and then we got to Olvera and our favourite bar was open. So, we sat outside with a gin and tonic. I just happened to put on Facebook, “I’m home,” and then one guy turned up, then another couple turned up, and in the end there was about a dozen of us all sitting outside the bar.

Beth:  That’s so nice. Are people, generally, in the same position as you, retired, or soon to be retired and spending lengthy periods of time out there?

Lynda:  There’s a whole mix. Some people still work full-time. One of my friends who is there at the moment, we’ve had a week or so together. She’s from Australia. She’s got two houses and she still works, but she gets chunks of time off, so she was able to come out for a month. Yes, there are retirees. Some of the people are like me and come and go. Some are there permanently. They’re from all over the world. It’s amazing.

Beth:  That’s amazing, because you wouldn’t necessarily expect that. You kind of assume that it’s very touristy and maybe all Brits, or you’d assume it was very Spanish, but actually there’s a whole mixture of community there.

Lynda:  Yeah, it’s a very Spanish working town. It’s very agricultural because you can sit outside the bar and you’ve got the horses going by and the tractors all going back down to the campo. All of that is really quite amusing, really, but it’s all a part of the charm of the town. It isn’t overly touristy in the respect say, compared to the Costas, or something like that. As I say, we have people who own properties in the town from, literally all over: Scandinavia, France, Germany, America, Canada, Australia, the lot.

Beth:  Wow, incredible. It sounds like it has been an amazing experience for you and super positive.

Lynda:  It has, absolutely.

Beth:  Is there anything that you would do differently if you were going to do it again?

Lynda:  I don’t think so, no, I really don’t because I can’t think of any negative things at all about the whole process or about the fact I bought there. It’s just all amazing.

Beth:  That is so good! Was there anything that cropped up that you hadn’t thought of? For me, I always think about the intimidation - buying property anywhere can be quite scary - but the intimidation, the language barrier, different legalities, those kinds of things?

Lynda:  No, again, Olvera Properties ladies, they both speak fluent Spanish. I speak some Spanish, but nowhere near enough to get me through something like the legalities. But, they sat with you, made sure everything was OK, and explained everything. Yeah, it was all fantastic, just so easy. In fact, after my father died, I sold his bungalow, and the trauma of selling that was so much different compared to buying these properties in Spain.

Beth:  Would you say the central difference is that of support, really, of communication and of having an agent that you trust?

Lynda:  Absolutely, absolutely yes. I trust them one hundred and ten percent. They’ve done everything for me that I’ve wanted, kept me up to date with when things would be ready for signing or whatever. Yeah, it is definitely a case of trust, certainly.

Beth:  Did you ever go into the letting business? Did you let a property for holiday letting?

Lynda:  Yeah, the townhouse that I’ve got, the first one that I bought, that one I let out with the likes of Airbnb, etc. But, that one is actually on the market at the moment because I don’t need two houses. It’s just that that was my first property and I’m just selling that one now.

Beth:  Totally. How did you find the Airbnb process?

Lynda:  Fine, I’ve not had any problems with it. I don’t do long lets. I only ever do short ones partly because of the fact that I am selling it. I don’t want people in there for a long period of time. It’s nice to have them in and out, cleaned up again, so if anybody wants to view it, it’s free.

Beth:  Yeah, is it a local company that you then use, that you trust to come in and clean the place in between lets.

Lynda:  It’s a local lady that I know, yes, and there are two or three people who do meet and greet and cleaning, etc. So, it’s all organized through friends there. It’s all nice and easy.

Beth:  That sounds great. That’s the kind of network that you’ve built up, over time, through making contacts and meeting people.

Lynda:  Yeah, yeah. There is a great network of people. Whether it be Spanish or expat people there. If you’ve got a problem with the pool, one person will do it. If you’ve got a problem with the plumbing there’s somebody else, if it’s electric there’s somebody else, building problems. Antonio Paco, or whoever it might be.

Beth:  Brilliant. You just save contacts on your phone, I love it.

Lynda:  Yes, it’s just really good. Also, I had one problem. There was a lady who came and rented the house once, and a there’s a little terrace on the first floor, and she went outside, and the door slammed and it actually stuck. She couldn’t get back in.

Beth:  Oh no.

Lynda:  I know, it was a bit of a trauma. She had to break the glass and this happened in the morning, and I happened to contact somebody there, and within the afternoon it had been sorted – a new lock and new glass in the door. So, all good.

Beth:  But also just neighbours that look out for you a little bit. If that happens in a position where you’re not comfortable with your neighbours or you’ve not made good friends it can be really hard.

Lynda:  Yes, it can be very difficult. It’s really good.

Beth:  Yeah, have you done the list by yourself, or with your partner, or what was your position.

Lynda:  No, on my own.

Beth:  How is that, because that is rare. Because of the people who I talked to there has been only one other lady who purchased by herself. Did you find that fine, or just for people who might be intimidated by that?

Lynda:  No, no, I’m not that sort of person I don’t think. Also, the Australian lady, my friend who I’ve mentioned, she has two houses there and she’s bought on her own as well. In fact, that’s another good thing about it. There’s a lot of single ladies in Olvera.

Beth:  And they’re the most fun! I’m sure.

Lynda:  It’s fun to go out. We do have lots of fun, trust me.

Beth:  Oh, fantastic. So, if someone was looking to do this same thing, that you thought about eleven years ago, or what you thought about getting the second house, what would be your main piece of advice to them?

Lynda:  First of all, go with your heart as well as your head, and also make sure that you find a company that you trust who look further than the actual sale, who will hold your hand through other processes as well, and who can help you along the way and make it as painless as I had, hopefully.

Beth:  But also it sounds like you’re the type of person who is not afraid to ask questions, who is going to make sure everything is clear, so have the confidence as well.

Lynda:  Absolutely, yes, because they’re not going to bite you. If I remember rightly, I think the first time that I had a little tick list of questions to ask was about what to do, what goes where, how long does it take, etc. etc. So, if you’ve got some idea in your head of the questions that you’re likely to want to know, just put it on a piece of paper and take it with you. Then ask the estate agents. But, above all, go with your gut feeling, are they going to be trustworthy, are they going to be helpful, are they pulling the wool over my eyes? Also, as I say, go with your heart because I just walked into Olvera and I knew I loved it.

Beth:  That’s so good. That’s the best feeling, I think, when you find somewhere that you really love. I’m glad it has all gone so well and thank you so much for chatting to me. Enjoy your next trip. When is it?

Lynda:  Thank you. October.

Beth:  Ah, you’re lucky. It’s going to be getting cold here by then. That sounds perfect.

Lynda:  Better walking weather as well, over there. It’s wonderful then.

Beth:  Excellent, well listen, enjoy it. Thank you so much, Lynda.

Lynda:  Thanks a lot, thank you so much.

Beth:  Bye.

Lynda:  Bye, bye.

Outtro

Thank you for listening and thanks to Lynda for sharing her experiences, and to Olvera Properties for their help in making this episode possible.

I particularly liked the sound of all the socializing Lynda gets up to when she’s over there. And how even if your Spanish home isn’t your permanent residence, you really can end up making so many international friends that you create a real community away from home.

If you like what you’ve heard, you can search this agents properties and more on Kyero.com

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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

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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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Tune in next time, when I speak with Ryszard, from Leicester. He tells me how his original purchase felt like such a good investment that soon he would own none other than 4 properties in Spain, the most recent in Almuñecar, Granada.

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

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