Be my guest in Spain

Friday, August 06, 2010

Be my guest in Spain

The Townsends from Norwich celebrated 25 years of marriage by treating themselves to a holiday home in Spain, which they also rent out for extra income.

We are:
Dave and Bev Townsend. We run a property-finding business for the Costa Blanca and Costa Cálida areas in Spain.

We own:
A three-bedroom, two-bathroom quad house in Playa Flamenca, in Orihuela Costa in the southern Costa Blanca. It's just 40 minutes from Alicante airport and 20 minutes from Murcia airport.

The house is in a small, mainly residential community and overlooks one of two communal pools. Although the community is quiet the house is less than a mile from blue flag beaches and has shops, bars and restaurants within walking distance. The local Saturday street market is just a minute away.

The property has a large master bedroom with a balcony and two twin bedrooms. Two folding beds can be used in the rooms of your choice, so the house sleeps up to eight. There is a shower room and a bathroom. With a terrace on two sides of the house, a balcony and a large solarium (with sea views), there is plenty of outside space for dining, relaxing or sunbathing and the option of sun or shade any time of the day. The large lounge/diner satellite TV, DVD and video players and a stereo system. The kitchen is fully equipped and includes a washing machine, iron and ironing board. The rental rates include a bag of essentials – so you can have a cuppa when you arrive, the electricity, water, bed linen and house towels, but we don't provide beach towels.

House by the Pool, SpainWe chose:
The Costa Blanca because we've been visiting family there for nearly 20 years. The house was actually our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other in 2006! We have three children and two grandchildren and wanted a place we could all use. As a family we decided that the house had to be within walking distance to everything, next to a pool and within easy reach of the airport. We chose this particular house because it is bigger than most quad houses so felt very spacious and the location was perfect. There are loads of tourist attractions to suit all tastes in the area and yet it still feels like a home. It's also great for golfers, with three courses within six kilometres and several more within a short drive.

We rent out:
The house all year round but our busy times are from Easter to October, with 20 weeks of rentals already booked for this year. We have to remember to reserve four weeks for ourselves! Some of our guests have returned for a second visit, which is the best compliment you can have as an owner. When we have clients hunting for homes in the area we let them use the house for free - if it is available. Weekly rental rates range from £275 to £450, depending on the season. We charge a £100 booking fee and ask for balance of payment and breakages deposit eight weeks before the holiday. There is also a €70 (£61) cleaning fee payable direct to our key-holders.

House by the pool, SpainWe pay:
Our key-holders €300 (£261) a year and for that they meet and greet all our guests and when it is empty check it on a weekly basis. We allow £600 a year for advertising and the community fees are €270 (£235) per annum.


A Place In The Sun