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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, we are John & Angela from West Yorkshire, coming up to retirement soon seriously considering moving to Spain and buying a house in the Almeria region, perhaps Allbox or Mojacar and would welcome any advice from expats who have already taken this big step.
 

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Hi, we are John & Angela from West Yorkshire, coming up to retirement soon seriously considering moving to Spain and buying a house in the Almeria region, perhaps Allbox or Mojacar and would welcome any advice from expats who have already taken this big step.

Hi and welcome to the forum. I've moved your post into the "Spanish section" so that you'll get more responses. First of all, have a good look around the forum and get a feel for whats being said and discussed.

As for your first question, there are lots of issues for you to think about, my advice, altho not everyones, is to rent for a while first - that way you get to know and understand the area, you'll also meet people.

Enjoy the learning process

Jo xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jo that is something we have thought about but would like to make sure that we do not rent in the wrong neighbourhood and get a bad impression, so looking for recommendations based on experience.
John
 

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Thanks Jo that is something we have thought about but would like to make sure that we do not rent in the wrong neighbourhood and get a bad impression, so looking for recommendations based on experience.
John
... and thats exactly why renting is better - at least if its the wrong neighbourhood you can move easily. You also will get to meet people who can tell you first hand on the best places for you???

You also need to be aware of illegal builds, rules and regs on modernising etc.... and of course, when you are ready to buy, you're there and ready to view

Jo xxx
 

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Will do. But not sure we're that far on. But are well on in the process of our UK home. Have recentl just been over. We stayed iin Playa Flamenca. A very British area, very nice but we wish for somewhere slightly quieter. We felt that there was a very good feel feeling from everyone we spoke to. And came back to UK feeling positive about our future move. But we will be renting first. The advise on this forum has been a great help and ensured us that some rental first is the way to go. I will keep you informed of progress and yourself likewise.
 

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Anybody thinking of moving to Spain on a permanent or semi-permanent basis could do worse than reading back through previous posts on this forum. Balanced opinions are best and will reach parts where other beers would not.

IF RETIRING

First rule in moving to Spain:- If you have a property in the UK, do not sell it. In the case of retreat it can be your saving. Don't "not think" of a retreat.

Second rule in moving to Spain:- Visit off season and rent for at least a month in whatever location you want. Then rent elsewhere for another month. You might have to rent somewhere else but keep at this until you find your favoured location. Remember you could find your ideal location but your next door neighbour is a difficult git. So keep an open mind.

Third rule in moving to Spain:- Don't believe a word you hear from anybody and you won't be far wrong.

Spain is a renters paradise and you can rent a 2 bedroom property in a decent location for €550.00 per month off season. So perhaps buying property is not as immediate as you first thought? If you are hell bent on buying then now is the time as prices are beginning to go up in good locations.

Kind of Fourth Rule:- If you are going to Costa Almeria and intend renting out the property you buy, then Mojacar Playa might be worth considering.

For the record:- I live in Mojacar Playa on-and-off during the year.
 

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Third rule in moving to Spain:- Don't believe a word you hear from anybody and you won't be far wrong.



Kind of Fourth Rule:- If you are going to Costa Almeria and intend renting out the property you buy, then Mojacar Playa might be worth considering.

For the record:- I live in Mojacar Playa on-and-off during the year.
Haven't you previously said on many occasions that buying a property with the intention of renting it out is a bad investment, based on your own experience (in Mojacar Playa)?

Perhaps the OP should bear in mind your third rule, above all.
 

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Cheers Leper. Yes we get what your saying but we were selling our house anyway as its too much for us to look after and its fetched a great price. So furniture going in store while we rent in Spain if not right we can return and purchase a smaller home in UK. But hoping it will be Spain. We will probably buy a small park lodge as well in UK which we can let out in school holidays to cover our yearly fees. Thus it will be out little retreat in UK as well. But until we have rented for little while in Spain we are going to keep our options open. Just hope it works out as second time trying.
 

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By the way, my own experience broke just about every one of Leper's rules. We were both still working full time when we bought our house here, so didn't have the ability to rent here and there for at least a month at a time. Before looking for a property to buy we did, however, narrow down the area we wanted to live in to one area of one town, having holidayed not too far away many times, including in the winter, thus knowing that the area would suit our personal needs and tastes well, and being aware of what the climate is really like in winter.

We used the house for holidays for the first 3.5 years, then moved over permanently as soon as we were sure that our financial resources would be enough for us to live on until our pensions became payable. This did involve selling our UK house, and we've had no cause to regret doing that.

One set of somebody else's rules does not fit all.
 

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For me, if I had kept my house in the UK, I think I might've bolted back after the first few months here when I found it hard going with the language and culture differences, and I would've regretted it for the rest of my life too. I prefer the way of life here but it is easier to live in the UK because I know the language and the system better. But now I'm over that initial shock and frustration, wild horses couldn't get me back. I don't even want to go back just for a few days.
 

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As old hands on here will know. We sold our flat in UK and moved here lock-stock-and-barrel straight into the house we had just bought. Burnt our bridges, so to speak, and haven't regretted it one bit and we are in our seventh year here.

The reason we had no qualms about jumping in at the deep end was we had fully researched what we wanted so knew that this was what we were looking for. The reason many people go wrong is they don't know what they want from their new home so aren't actually 'moving to' somewhere, but 'moving away from' somewhere or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good feedback

Anybody thinking of moving to Spain on a permanent or semi-permanent basis could do worse than reading back through previous posts on this forum. Balanced opinions are best and will reach parts where other beers would not.

IF RETIRING

First rule in moving to Spain:- If you have a property in the UK, do not sell it. In the case of retreat it can be your saving. Don't "not think" of a retreat.

Second rule in moving to Spain:- Visit off season and rent for at least a month in whatever location you want. Then rent elsewhere for another month. You might have to rent somewhere else but keep at this until you find your favoured location. Remember you could find your ideal location but your next door neighbour is a difficult git. So keep an open mind.

Third rule in moving to Spain:- Don't believe a word you hear from anybody and you won't be far wrong.

Spain is a renters paradise and you can rent a 2 bedroom property in a decent location for €550.00 per month off season. So perhaps buying property is not as immediate as you first thought? If you are hell bent on buying then now is the time as prices are beginning to go up in good locations.

Kind of Fourth Rule:- If you are going to Costa Almeria and intend renting out the property you buy, then Mojacar Playa might be worth considering.

For the record:- I live in Mojacar Playa on-and-off during the year.
Thanks Leper, this all sounds like sensible advice, our problem is that we are not quite at the retirement stage yet and not able to spend a month away at a time, and we don't want to let the property prices take off before we buy.

Thanks for recommending a specific area this is the kind of feedback that we are looking for, when we make the move it will be our permanent home not a part time abode, so we are not looking to rent it out.
 

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Thank Lynne nice to hear how different people moved over. We don't have the finance to move and rent unless we sell first. Need to have at least a good nest egg behind us for security if living in a foreign place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
By the way, my own experience broke just about every one of Leper's rules. We were both still working full time when we bought our house here, so didn't have the ability to rent here and there for at least a month at a time. Before looking for a property to buy we did, however, narrow down the area we wanted to live in to one area of one town, having holidayed not too far away many times, including in the winter, thus knowing that the area would suit our personal needs and tastes well, and being aware of what the climate is really like in winter.

We used the house for holidays for the first 3.5 years, then moved over permanently as soon as we were sure that our financial resources would be enough for us to live on until our pensions became payable. This did involve selling our UK house, and we've had no cause to regret doing that.

One set of somebody else's rules does not fit all.
Thanks Lynn R, Your situation sounds similar ours, we are both working full time and are looking to buy while the prices are right, Ideally we would rent for a while to get our bearings but circumstances could push us down the road of buying in advance of moving out there.
We intend keep and to rent out our property in England to cover our expenses in Spain, I am finding all this feedback useful in helping me to build a picture of what to expect.
Have you any idea what percentage of the purchase price to allow for additional expenses'? (i.e. taxes & fees)
 

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Thanks Lynn R, Your situation sounds similar ours, we are both working full time and are looking to buy while the prices are right, Ideally we would rent for a while to get our bearings but circumstances could push us down the road of buying in advance of moving out there.
We intend keep and to rent out our property in England to cover our expenses in Spain, I am finding all this feedback useful in helping me to build a picture of what to expect.
Have you any idea what percentage of the purchase price to allow for additional expenses'? (i.e. taxes & fees)
It depends where you will be buying - the transfer tax is higher in some regions than it is in others. In Andalucia it is 8% so 10% should cover that plus legal and notary fees, maybe allow 11 just to be on the safe side. If buying a real "bargain", remember to check the official valor tasación (the catastral value x the municipal multiplier) as if the sale price is lower than that, Hacienda are highly likely to send you a demand for the additional transfer tax which would be due on the higher value.

In some regions you might have to set aside 13/14% of the purchase price.

I wouldn't feel pressured into buying because of rising prices, if I were you, despite what estate agents may tell you. Such prices as there have been have been tiny so far (about 1% in the first quarter of this year nationally, I believe). In some property hotspots they may have risen more but they are few and far between.

Although we didn't rent before buying we did, as I said earlier, know the general area quite well. I think you'd be well advised to at least spend a 2 week holiday (renting a house or apartment rather than staying in a hotel) in the area you're looking at, and spending your time scouting out things like how much everyday things cost in the shops, transport links, ease of parking if you have a car, health centre and hospital facilities nearby, etc., rather than at the beach or eating out all the time. You can have some time off in the evenings to enjoy yourselves, though!:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It depends where you will be buying - the transfer tax is higher in some regions than it is in others. In Andalucia it is 8% so 10% should cover that plus legal and notary fees, maybe allow 11 just to be on the safe side. If buying a real "bargain", remember to check the official valor tasación (the catastral value x the municipal multiplier) as if the sale price is lower than that, Hacienda are highly likely to send you a demand for the additional transfer tax which would be due on the higher value.

In some regions you might have to set aside 13/14% of the purchase price.

I wouldn't feel pressured into buying because of rising prices, if I were you, despite what estate agents may tell you. Such prices as there have been have been tiny so far (about 1% in the first quarter of this year nationally, I believe). In some property hotspots they may have risen more but they are few and far between.

Although we didn't rent before buying we did, as I said earlier, know the general area quite well. I think you'd be well advised to at least spend a 2 week holiday (renting a house or apartment rather than staying in a hotel) in the area you're looking at, and spending your time scouting out things like how much everyday things cost in the shops, transport links, ease of parking if you have a car, health centre and hospital facilities nearby, etc., rather than at the beach or eating out all the time. You can have some time off in the evenings to enjoy yourselves, though!:D
That's really helpful Lynn, thank you, I had estimated around 15% (always err on the side of caution).
It's encouraging to hear that the prices are not increasing at a rate of knots, as has been suggested by some.
We do intend to spend 2 weeks in September in a rented house (if we can find one) and do exactly as you suggest. We also need to get an idea of rates/poll tax or whatever the annual local levy is called in Spain.
Cheers
 
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