Sharron and Chris’s big find!

Our first day of ownership!

We love Spain and took the decision to relocate there back in 2014 and began our search in Estepona on the Costa del Sol. Much like many couples, we began our search with a goal to be as close to the sea as possible and even viewed a property that was actually on the beach! We viewed many houses, villas, apartments along and around the new ‘golden mile’ in Estepona. Some properties we liked but none really grabbed us enough to fall in love with. After many visits to the area, we realised that the further from the sea one looked the more bang you got for your buck! A detached house in the country with land would be the same cost as a ‘frontline’ apartment.

Finally, after a long search, we discovered the Unspoilt Andalucia website … not quite sure how but glad we did. We booked a short stay in La Escuela and with Toni’s help discovered the mountains of Axarquia and the real Andalucia. We quickly fell in love with the area and discovered our budget could buy us a beautiful house with fabulous mountain views within a short drive to the coast – our minds were made up … now to find the perfect property!

The search began with the help of Toni and Mikel and their unbiased, honest advice, patience and guidance – they really did want to find us the right property, not just any property. After a few visits finally we saw a ‘bargain’ on Unspoilt Andalucia in January of 2019 … it seemed too good to be true. My husband Chris was busy with work so I was sent off to Spain alone to see the house … scary!! Mikel and Toni looked after me, picking me up at the airport and staying at their B&B. Well, the ‘bargain’ was actually too good to be true and not right for us … I mentioned to Mikel another house we had seen and he arranged at short notice for us to see this one – it was Mikels first proper day at work and he was amazing! He took me to see Casa Gallega – and BOOM – this is the house for us!!!

I returned back to the UK and convinced Chris we should make an offer – a big leap of faith for him because he’d never seen the house! We made an offer, negotiated then agreed a price all with Toni’s assistance. Toni set the wheels in motion, handling the checks for us, advising what we needed to do … then just a few months later we were sat in the Notary handing over the cash – and it was ours! Luckily Chris loved it too … phew!!

Since then (March 2019) we’ve had Brexit to consider, sell our UK properties and as I write the Covid-19 pandemic … and now we are finally ready for our big move to our dream home. Since 2019 we have visited many times, some occasions staying at our new house and sometimes staying in Torre del Mar – where we have also fallen in love with. All that time Toni and Mikel have given us amazing assistance and advice which has been invaluable. We’ve had work done on the house, arranged by Toni – which has been excellent … do NOT believe what people say about Spanish builders. Our overriding experience so far has been the welcome and friendliness from the Spanish people, it has been overwhelming – our house is in a village of predominantly Spanish families and they have welcomed us with kindness, openness and friendship – even with our limited Spanish. We are learning to speak Spanish and in our view, this is essential if your intention is to live in rural Spain.

Over the last 12 months we have got NIE numbers, bought a house and applied for and been granted residency. In general, people’s perception of Spanish bureaucracy isn’t good but in our experience, it has been easy – with the help of Toni, a good Gestor and an ex-pat we were recommended (for the residency application). To have done this ourselves would have been daunting so we would recommend paying the relatively small cost of employing someone to assist and consider this money well spent.

Our dream has come true.