WHERE do we begin? It has been the worst of times it has been the best of times to paraphrase Charles Dickens.
We had a dream, to live in Spain, to enjoy the environment, the people, and the lifestyle. Then COVID-19 appeared to smash through that like a wrecking ball.
Not one, but two attempts to come to Spain were thwarted, however attempt number three proved lucky. Whilst we were stuck in the UK, we made good with our research. Where to live, what to live in, and how we wanted to enjoy our lives here. Armed with this, we boarded our flight, excitement and anticipation heavy in the air.
We landed and breezed through customs and it was not as onerous as had been made out in the good old British media. No change there then. From Almeria we travelled to Mojacar to our hotel, and finally rested with resolution to find our dream the next day.
Realistically, even with all our research, we really were clueless how to make this happen. Our knowledge of the Spanish language and the legal machinations of the Spanish systems were closed books to us.
After a couple of days recuperation, we managed to drag ourselves away from relaxing in the sun and the lure of the beach and the sea. Little did we know that our first venture into a real estate office would be the most wonderful and serendipitous step in what proves to be an experience far better than we could ever have imagined.
We walked into First Choice Almeria, and were warmly greeted by Peter Darville and Monica Andres. They sat and listened to what we wanted and what we were hoping for. They advised us that there was much for us to do and promised to help navigate us through the process.
There was a sentence that still lingers with us now, “what you think you want now, you may not want after you’ve explored a little.” Never a truer word has been spoken.
Their many years of experience and wonderful, personable manner and approach, helped us to understand and evaluate what was important to us.
Rapidly with their help, bearing in mind that estate agents want to sell properties, they allowed us to formulate our own understanding of what we wanted, through their understanding of people, their relaxed and patient approach, and their obvious experience and skill.
Not only did they assist with the finding of our dream property, they also introduced us to a wonderful lawyer, Sofia Santos Zuquete. This lady knows how to make the most efficient and effective use of the legal system. The biggest win was her ability to obtain our NIE numbers in short shrift allowing us to reserve, and purchase, our property in record time.
It must also be said that Monica and Peter did not have this property on their portfolio. What you say, they helped sell you a house they didn’t have on their books.?
Yes, they did, they are such skilful and influential people they work closely with partners to maximise their client’s chances. They also knew enough to be able to guide us on the purchase price we offered and had accepted.
Hold on a minute, we bank in the UK and have no way of transferring money across borders. No problem, Peter and Monica knew this and had already started the ball rolling with a Spanish bank, with which we opened our account, and introduced us to GC partners who smoothly and efficiently transfer money between the UK and our Spanish bank.
All of the above may seem to the reader like due process and would be expected. This is not always the case as we have heard some awful stories of how things can go wrong and pitfalls that have occurred.
I still have more to tell on the way Peter and Monica have supported us during our time here. They have been translators, taxi services, dinner companions, short time rental arrangers when our flight home was delayed, and so much more. In fact, we have made two firm friends that will always remain so.
I bring this to a close as we are in the realms of having to return to the UK and ‘close down our involvement there.’ We have just enough time to self-isolate, complete the closing of our UK interests before coming back to enjoy our life in Spain with our guides, coaches, but most importantly our friends, Peter and Monica.
All this is being done in less than six weeks from first viewing to moving in.
There is no way we could have done this alone.
Euro Weekly News reader Simon Wright has asked us to share this recent experience.