A Place in the Sun House Hunters - “We thought we wanted rural living in Spain then realised it wasn’t practical for us”

A Place in the Sun House Hunters - “We thought we wanted rural living in Spain then realised it wasn’t practical for us”

“We thought we wanted rural living in Spain then realised it wasn’t practical for us”

It is so often the case that at the outset of our property search we think we want something yet end up with a different thing altogether. Sometimes it’s the size of property that changes, but more frequently it’s the location.

When Manuel Dossantos and his son Marvyn from Cardfiff headed to Spain in 2022 looking for a home for all the family to enjoy, they were looking for a three-bedroom villa with character, with a pool on the Costa Blanca. With a budget of £130,000-£150,000 they did not have the £300,000 needed to buy this on the coast, but focused on areas around half an hour inland.

Their property hunt featured on A Place in the Sun TV show which saw Leah Charles-King taking the father and son to areas such as La Romana and Monovar around 30 minutes inland from the Alicante coastline. “Not afraid of doing some work, we had thought we wanted more of a rural finca with lots of space,” says Manuel, now 66. Read more about their episode here. 

Marvyn was keen on a four-bedroom mountain property, surrounded by olive trees, whilst Manuel liked a property in La Romana on at £165,500 - which they offered £143,000 for due the works needed. Viewers will have seen that at the last minute another buyer put in a better offer and they lost the property.

But it seems that might have been for the best. Spurred by how close they had come to owning a place in Spain, Manuel and Marvyn – who run a property refurbishment company together – headed out to Spain with their wives about three weeks later.

“We bought a two-bedroom property in Algorfa because, in hindsight, we realised that it would better suit Marvyn’s girls who are 18 and 21. Having somewhere they could visit – and reach bars and restaurants - without driving would be much more practical,” says Manuel, who adds that Marvyn has also since got married - to Amelia.

Algorfa is a popular large village surrounded by citrus groves and pine forests and 10-20 minutes’ drive from the nearest beaches, 35 minutes from Alicante airport, and has all sorts of amenities within a five-minute walk. Torrevieja is close by for lively nightlife.

Their property cost €119,995 and is located in a small, gated community with modest monthly charges – the property costs less than €100 a month to run.  It has rather a lovely roof terrace after some work. “There was a 1.2m high wall around it which cut off the view and the sun,” says Manuel. “So we applied to the local town hall and we got permission to reduce it to 600cm, with a steel balustrade instead.”  As the pictures, show this is a great improvement.

A BBQ on the terrace makes it a great area for al fresco meals. Manuel and his wife Angie – who works at the family company too - have been out nearly every month, and spent New Year’s Eve out there with ‘gorgeous weather’. 

“It was a great buy,” Manuel concludes. “It’s much more affordable than the UK and costs less to run than the static caravan we used to own in Wales.”

Read more:

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Liz Rowlinson