Geoffrey and Michelle from the West Midlands decided to purchase their dream property in Sucina, Murcia in 2016 after following A Place in the Sun for many years. Scroll below to read all about their story.
"We attended A place in the Sun Live at the NEC Birmingham in 2015 where we found plenty of useful information to help us with our property search. We also used aplaceinthesun.com to search for a property for sale in Murcia and get the latest information and advice regarding how to buy abroad, choosing the right solicitors and eventually paying for our property. Most importantly, we used their website to keep up to date with the latest news on Brexit which was essential for us to be kept informed about.
Our aim was to buy a Spanish home as we were visiting the country several times each year, and realised that it would be more cost effective to purchase a property and use it as a base as a holiday home. We would then rent it out whilst it was vacant and then settle down in it during our retirement years as we got closer to the community.
During our three week stay in April 2017 whilst moving in, we met so many wonderful people! Not only our new neighbours but also shopkeepers, restaurant staff, taxi drivers and the tourist information staff who were all brilliant. We all now know one another on a first name basis!
Sucina is approximately 20 minutes from San Javier airport and beaches, and there are local buses accessing principle towns and cities. We have ample local shops, restaurants, bars, supermarkets, as well as a chemist and dentist. We're only 2km away for the local golf course too if you're into that kind of thing. There are many expats in this region too and as we are getting closer to retirement age we feel comfortable, safe and at ease here.
The property we purchased was a brand new two-bedroom apartment with a living room, kitchen, utility, bathroom, alarm, parking space, lift, roof-top communal swimming pool and solarium. Murcia Property Services is located five minutes walk away for the property, who look after our property when we're not there and they provided us with contact details for local electricians and plumbers.
We think that our purchase was unique because we only spent £31,600 on the property and after solicitors fees and furnishings, we spent under £50,000 altogether!
Our advice to other buyers...
We would advise potential buyers to research areas and book holidays in chosen locations to get a realistic feel for places and to gain knowledge and experience. Large maps are useful to research immediate areas. Geoff and I found that Cartagena, Mazarron, La Manga, Elche, Alicante airport, Torrevieja, Benidorm, Barcelona, Madrid and more are all accessible from our location.
Fortunately, everything went to plan as it was two years in the making. The bulk of our goods, including kitchenware, bed linen, books and some furniture were shipped out beforehand, meaning that when we moved in we just had to unpack and buy some electricals.
We learned that you should never give up on your dreams, patience is needed and that you can purchase a property abroad on a lower budget without breaking the bank. Also, a good English speaking solicitor is a must; ours was exceptionally helpful and friendly both during and after our purchase, who arranged our NIE certificates and also arranged a meeting with a local Notary to make our wills.
Solvia estate agents were also great. They picked us up from our hotel and drove us to view each property and really catered to our needs.
Opening an overseas bank account early is recommended especially for your deposit together with setting up an account with a reputable currency exchange company. We used Caixa bank for direct debits and home insurance and used a specialist currency firm to transfer money to Spain to transfer money to Spain.
Our project was a dream that came true!
What three words would you use, to sum up your experience?
Life-changing, exciting and magical!"