House Hunting Costa Blanca

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  • #52979
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    Anonymous
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    We’re back after our visit to Alicante and Murcia (arrived at 0430 this morning – but that’s another story…:evil: ) and I promised to let you know how we got on.

    We had intended to look at property mainly in the Murcia area, but after some time looking at current and new developments we realised it wasn’t for us. We found some of the areas we looked at rather depressing, or too far inland for us and it just didn’t have the “feel” that we were after. I suppose it’s a personal thing, one man’s meat and all that. Yes property is slightly cheaper in the area but the buying choice isn’t simply a matter of hard cash!

    We stayed in Gran Alacant – not everyone’s cup of sangria, but it had the advantage that it was near an old friend of my wife’s, and she put us in touch with other friends who knew people letting out property where we could stay for our 10 day visit. Another advantage of this was that we were put in touch with an independant lawyer who had worked for English purchasers in the past. The initial meeting went very well, everything was made very clear and we continue to be in touch by e-mail. I suppose this was the catalyst for our subsequent property search. Knowing people in the area who turned out to be extremely helpful, and getting to know the area thoroughly we decided that this was the place where we might find something suitable

    With regard to property, it was clear that there were plenty available. It became a matter of examining the windows of each estate agent that we found (and there were several) and being taken on inspection trips. It was soon apparent that the quality of property varied widely – we heard the stories of older Masa built houses having “more sand than cement”. Gradually we were able to narrow down our choices with regard to both area and style of property. The only problem was that we saw so many houses and apartments that we began to forget which ones we’d seen and which ones we hadn’t.

    We found one aparment on a gated block which we liked at 193,000 and following the advice on this forum we put in an initial offer of 173,000. We’re still waiting to hear from the lawyer, but the Estate Agent concerned told us that another buyer had looked at it and was prepared to meet the asking price. I don’t know if that was EA bovine whatsit to make us up our offer, but we aren’t particularly concerned – we know that if our offer is turned down (we might consider upping the offer but there’s no way we’ll pay the asking price) there is plenty of other stuff available.

    Yesterday morning before the return flight home we had a look at a few more properties, then received a call out of the blue from our new friends in the area that they had heard of someone who had a terraced house for sale at 170,000 for a quick sale (the owner was moving to Singapore and needed to sell quickly) – this was for a property of which similar examples were on sale at 210,000. We had a look at it, and although it probably needs in the region of 7000-10000 work to bring it up to scratch (mostly cosmetic things such as paintwork and general renewal) it looks to be quite a good investment. The owner seems so desperate to sell that he gave us a call on our mobile as we were checking in at Alicante asking if we could discuss the matter further on our arrival back home. We were non-committal during the call, but I think when he gets in touch again we might point out to him that the property does need a little work and see if he’ll come down in price a bit more.

    Not everyone will be able to use this advice, but we found that the advantage of having friends and acquaintances in any area you are looking at cannot be overemphasised. It was a much less stressful experience than our CDS search late last year, and although we haven’t committed to anything yet, we feel fairly confident that within the next few weeks or so we will be the owners of our first property in Spain – if not, we will be going again in September for another look.

    Regards
    Mark

  • #73169
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    Anonymous
    Participant
    coatimundi wrote:
    We found one aparment on a gated block which we liked at 193,000 and following the advice on this forum we put in an initial offer of 173,000. We’re still waiting to hear from the lawyer, but the Estate Agent concerned told us that another buyer had looked at it and was prepared to meet the asking price.

    That is a big, BIG lie. There is of course no other buyer.

    Make another offer at 153K now, tell them you thought it over during your flight and realised that the crash in Spain is much bigger than you realised before.

    Remember: if you make an offer that you are not ashamed of, it means the offer is still too big.

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