Ever since getting engaged on a holiday to Ibiza, Andy and Sally Wright had dreamed about eventually buying a place of their own on the island. But did an unplanned property viewing lead to their dream becoming a reality sooner than expected?
This is our story…
We both love Ibiza, it has gorgeous beaches, the best parties, the best sunsets and 300 days of sunshine in a year! What more could you need? And it also happens to be where we got engaged! Therefore, it’s probably not surprising to discover we had dreamed about buying a house there at some point.
During a holiday in May 2015 we ended up viewing an apartment in Siesta on a bit of a whim - we thought it was way out of our budget at the time but wanted to go along anyway as it looked amazing. We weren’t wrong - the view, the space and the local area, everything was just incredible.
By chance the next door neighbours had not long completed a refurbishment of their apartment and we met them as we left the viewing. They were kind enough to show us their apartment and told us about their experience of buying and living in the area (it was all positive!).
Once we got home to the UK, we started the process of selling our house and moved in to a second property we already owned to free up the funds for our own piece of Ibiza. We then went back twice more in 2015 to spend time viewing properties in other parts of the island.
It was important to us that one of our visits was in winter so we could see the different locations at that time of the year, but even then nowhere else quite measured up to what Siesta had to offer in terms of location and stunning views.
It was on our second visit to the island that we found the property we went on to buy! Interestingly, it turned out to only be a stone’s throw away from that first apartment we had viewed.
Despite not being in a position to proceed as our house had not sold yet, everyone we dealt with was still very attentive which was refreshing. Over the coming months we experienced more ups and downs as our house sold and fell through twice!
To begin with we didn’t know anything about the buying process but we found our agent to be incredibly helpful. While our mortgage company talked us through how things could work for us, explaining the details with due care and attention and set our expectations early about purchase costs and potential implications along with the constraints of Spanish mortgages, such as the typical loan to value ratios.
We had five viewings booked but one property really stood out for us. The apartment ticked all the boxes - all on one level, sea views from each room and a big terrace and two amazing bathrooms. Only a five minute walk to the nearest beach and only a 20 minute stroll down the promenade into the centre of Santa Eulalia. But most importantly it was within our budget of €250,000 – €400,000.
Back in the UK, our house had sold for the second time and we had taken further steps with the mortgage application process. We thought this would be the most painful part but if it had not been for the difficulties selling our house (and me deciding to change jobs midway through the process!), it would have probably been easier than getting a mortgage here in the UK.
The next challenge was finding a solicitor to help transact the purchase. We visited A Place in the Sun Live exhibition in Birmingham and where we met the company who would represent us throughout the process. All we had to do was check and sign lots of paperwork, as they managed everything for us through the power of attorney which really simplified matters.
We were delighted when we finally reached agreement but a week or so later, just before Christmas, it turned sour as the buyer of our house withdrew. Luckily within days of re-marketing our house, it sold again (and then again!) so we were able to proceed with the original plan of completing in March.
The weeks after Christmas flew by. I’d started a new job and we were knee deep in paperwork so when March arrived, we were both tied up at work when we got the notification all had gone through as expected - we were amazed to finally be at the end of the journey and the start of the fun times. We collected the keys on Sunday 27 th March and were greeted with a bottle of champagne to toast the success.
As we only got the keys at Easter, our first trip as property owners was spent cleaning, adding a few personal touches to the property and finding our way around the area. Which of course meant sampling some of the local restaurants – we already have a couple of favourites following on from previous visits!
There are a few more trips planned for later this year, when we hope to explore more of the beautiful beaches and coves and sample a few more of the restaurants.
Looking further ahead there are plans to learn Spanish so we can immerse ourselves fully in to the Ibizan culture but we will have to see how successful that is. We look forward to just spending time on the island discovering new things and enjoying everything it has to offer together!
What’s your top tip for other buyers?
If I have one tip for people needing a mortgage, be aware early of the down valuation risk, the lender may not value the property at the agreed purchase price and there could be a gap. Get a valuation conducted as soon as you can so you are aware of the potential impact.