Urbanization or not?

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #54296
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    HI All, Despite the ‘free fall’ of the Spanish economy – I’m still determined to retire to Spain next year. One or two friends of ours sing the virtues of living on an Urbanisation -but I’d rather be able to buy a larger plot than is usual on these schemes. What arer people’s views of the benefits or otherwise of life on an Urbanisation? All views welcomed.
    cheers
    David W

  • #86028
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi David,

    Do you mean a small community with maybe a shared pool and gardens etc, or do you mean a bigger estate where nothing is shared?

    Best wishes

    Bernie

  • #86031
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    dw

    i’m just another victim of the awful agent/lawyer/developer/off-plan scenario, so not yet lived in Spain. From the people i’ve spoken to who have though, and what i’ve read of many problems on here and other forums with living on an urbanisation, …….maintanence, community tax, pets, security, build quality problems, planning issues to name a few, make it something of a lottery.

    If i were in your position, i would either rent in an area i liked, and see how the land lies for a few months, or if that’s not possible, at least go to the area and bang on quite a few doors. Neibours, councils, lawyers etc, and build a picture slowly, without bias as much as possible.

  • #86032
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi David

    Despite all the negativity Spain is still a great place to live/retire and hopefully you will be able to take full advantage of the falling market and snap up a bargain.

    The size of developments vary with some estates being made up of 2-3 bed town houses with community pool etc to the larger communities made up of villas of all shapes and sizes with private pool etc. On some you can even buy plots of land and have your own house built. Even houses off the beaten track still have community of owners’ etc. I don’t think you are talking about moving into the campo (country) so I won’t comment there.

    The pros & cons really depend on the type of property – i.e. fully detached, semi-detached or terraced. Some houses on urbanisations do not have private garden whereas others have private front and back garden and community gardens etc. Problems can arise with parking if not designated, as always you can be unlucky and have the neighbour from hell. Urbanisations are great when you have children as there are always lots of other children for them to play with on urbanisations etc. Also some can be mainly Spanish and other mainly English/Irish/Dutch/German etc. I know one community (El Porton de Mijas) which has a rule that you cannot have cats of dogs unless you are the President of the community. So take time to read the rules and regulations and minutes of previous AGMs as some do have strange rules!!

    I think if you look around you can find the best of both worlds. You haven’t said what part of Spain you have in mind but if in the Mijas area I could recommend an area known as Buena Vista – I have seen houses almost ½ in price there – lots of wealthy retired people living on Buena Vista – nice and friendly place. Another exclusive area around here is Rancho de la Luz.

    I suppose the best advice of all is research the area well and then look for the type of property you want and I’m sure you will find it. I would advise you to stay well away from any off-plan developments or properties without first occupation licence etc. I personally believe there is better value to be had in the resale market – also no need to use estate agents or anyone at all who is trying to earn a commission by introducing a buyer etc that way you will have maximum negotiating power and will not have estate agents wasting your time. Also don’t rush into buying as there is no shortage of rentals to give you time to find your feet and meet and talk to lots of people.

    But most importantly don’t forget the golden rule and that is to find yourself a good solicitor and do not hand over any money or sign any document without their consent etc. Also forget the 1% + VAT scale fees unless the solicitor can explain the additional work he/she will do on the more expensive property. I wouldn’t part with anymore than EUR3,000 including VAT for legal fees and for that you can have dual qualified dual practising solicitors – by that I mean solicitors holding practising certificates for both Spain and UK. The very lowest you can get is about EUR1,700.

  • #86035
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for the information thus far! I haven’t pinned down an exact area as yet, probably a belt from the coast to about 50kms inland , from Cadiz right across to the Costa Tropical. This way i should keep my options open.
    I guess I’m looking at either the ‘security’ of being in a small ‘community’, or on the other hand buying a villa on the edge of a village or town which would give me the slightly larger plot size i want, but might miss out on the ‘community’ element.
    many thanks, all advice /viewpoints appreciated.
    David

  • #86042
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    That’s quite a length of coast – avoid any free or subsidised inspection trips – you’ll be putty in their hands!

    I’m not sure how much land you want but it’s easy to find developments where you can get sizeable plots with private villas and swimming pools etc and that way you have the community. But on the otherhand if you’re talking about lots of land them you might have to step back a bit from the coast but at retirement age I would not go for complete isolation.

    I really think you’re best to find an area you like first and then focus in on what’s available within your budget. At the moment you can knock 20% to 40% off asking prices as the majority selling still seem to be asking what properties were worth 12 to 18 mths ago.

    I’ve holiday’d down around Costa de la Luz and it’s very nice and far less developed than Costa del Sol. Also Almeria is a nice area and again far less developed. So you need to decide if you want to be close to say Marbella and the concrete jungles that surround it or try find some real Spain. Like any area Costa del Sol has its advantages and disadvantages.

  • #86045
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi DW,

    Small communites are a great idea for security in general. The more residential neighbours there are, the more eyes to keep watch for any problems.

    I have sold a lot of community property and its always the same problems that arise.

    Residents and holidaymakers are not a good mix. Look for a site with a lot of residents, especially in winter. Residents want peace and quiet all year but the holiday makers want late nights around the pool, kids playing out late etc. There is nothing wrong with either, but the two dont mix.

    Community charges for the common areas can also be a problem. The most common arguement that arises is that the holiday style property owner might think they should only pay the charges when their property is occupied and sometimes will try and argue that residents get a full 52 weeks of the year use of the pool etc. But everyone has to pay the same.

    Dont go too near the beach if you want a residential location as most of your local facilties will be geared towards tourists. Basic services like hairdressers, hardware shops, doctors etc etc can be few and far between.

    Noise is also a problem if some residents are also working and have to be in bed at a sensible time, where as the holiday maker will come home at any time and is generally not so quiet.

    Be prepared to be elected president of the community, even if you dont want to be! Every community has a president and a committee and if nobody puts their name forward, names are drawn from a hat. I was president for 4 years, mainly because I couldnt get any one else to do it. Luckily the “hat” system came in.

    When I think of some more i will post them for you.

    Best wishes

    Bernie

  • #86047
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    There are pros and cons for either. Eg. if you don’t live on an urbanisation someone may come along one day and decide to urbanise it and you will be facing costs (Estepona Golf residents for one). If you do live on an urbanisation you may be paying community fees and get very little in return.

    I live on an urbanisation which is only detached villas, plots vary from 1000m2 to 3000m2. There are no community facilities as everyone has their own pool etc. However we do have to pay for street lighting, maintenance, gardens on roundabouts etc. There is also nightime security patrol. This costs cerca 650 euros pa. for the services which should be provided by Marbella Town Hall We also have to pay IBI (rates) of over 1000 euros).

    I would not consider permanent living out in Spain unless it was detached or you are deaf/blind. As rents have fallen many Spanish are moving in with the inevitable dogs crapping on the grass, motos running around and the usual noise.

    The area (s) you are looking at would take a long time to cover. Costa de la Luz is great (Chiclana seems to have more than it’s share of illegal builds). There are still some areas of the Costa del Sol that are ok. Mijas Costa and Benalmádena costa are the most overdeveloped and souless places. Almería is covered with ugly plastic (blame the EU subsidies!) if there are any nice places I haven’t seen any there. Some areas of the Costa Tropical are fairly unspoilt although the plastic is growing there too.

    Take your time 🙂

  • #86050
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    dw,
    Regardless of your friends “singing” praises about urbanisations it is all a matter of personal taste and you should live as you want to.
    I personally would never entertain the idea , even in UK, and having 5 friends in Spain who do so I am glad I it has never appealed to me.
    As in UK my criteria was to live off a tarmac road, with street lighting, with neighbours in waving distance and within 5 mins walk to a village/town. Took some time finding but suceeded.

    One friend has a holiday home with communial pool but has permanent residents!!
    Definately for weekend holidays only .. as absolutely no room, inside or out, to swing a cat.

    3 of my friends live permanently in detached properties on purpose built urbanisations.
    These plots are barely 600 m sq and crammed in everywhere, mostly up dirt tracks, so although people may feel more secure there is absolutely no privacy. If neighbours 5 doors away, are playing music or talking above a whisper..everyone has to listen to it.
    Living on such small and caustrophobic plots must be incredibly boring unless you are a 24/7 golfer or socialiser and trying to park in near the houses is a nightmare scenario.

    My final friends live on a plot of 5,000 sq.m. It is a small urbanisation of only 8 houses.
    However with this size of plot they can talk and enjoy themselves without unwanted intrusion from their neighbours.
    Drawback of a larger plot though is that a larger proportion of ones leisure is spent tending the garden.

    However on all of these urbanisations neighbours are constantly falling out over the trifliest of things 🙄 .

    So it down to how YOU want to live in retirement. Which, believe me, can be incredibly boring without an enthusiastic hobby.
    Suggest you rent, for 3 months, in likely properties and areas before you commit yourself.
    Good Luck

  • #86051
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Almería is covered with ugly plastic (blame the EU subsidies!) if there are any nice places I haven’t seen any there”

    You really need to get out more b4 you write such utter tripe. I know enough of Almeria to be clear of what I am talking about – the great bulk is incredibly scenic, unspoilt and breathtakingly beautiful! I dare say much the same is true of the other places you denigrate!

  • #86053
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hudson

    I agree with you and that was why I said I liked Almeria. Lots of natural parks and unspoit beaches. I thoroughly enjoyed my holiday up there. Although I live in Mijas I do find the coast over built and the beaches somewhat artificial.

    Now David’s question will go out the window while a debate on Almeria kicks off!!

  • #86054
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    JJB – mijas – sorry I was responding to the ignoramus called Katy!!

  • #86055
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Not ignorant, I have seen it in several places. Also other places I had not seen too as they have been covered over the past few days on Spanish TV after the weekend riots in Roquetas. I did say there may be some places I have missed. Riddled with flies too and I am not the only one to say this. Shall we get back on topic now you have had your rant 🙄

  • #86056
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes – Roquetas is a resort in Almeria – overall less unattractive than Marbella but only a tiny proportion of the Almeria province. I will continue to rant while you and other ignorant snobs denigrate the parts of Spain you have clearly never been to. I have seen much of the over-developed Costa del sol – including its flies – and Almeria beats it hands down for its unspoilt beauty. If I were you I should get off the compjuter and have a look at southern spain b4 you appoint urself as some sort of self-styled ‘expert’!

  • #86057
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I know most of Spain very well lived here for more than a decade and Almeria was not very nice before the plastic. I also think you should grow up and maybe stay off the forum if you can’t stand criticism. If you are happy with your place what does it matter if someone thinks it is a terrible place?

  • #86058
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well Katy dear – I am very happy in my place – going back to your description of yours it makes me happier still – especially after your complaint about spanish people moving in and spoiling your little bit of paradise! [sic] Please do not tell me to get off the forum – you don’t own it any more than you know Spain – I will always challenge comments based upon complete ignorance.

  • #86059
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I did not say that the Spanish were spoiling my area. I said the 2/2 large complexes that are going at low rental. Most of my area is already occupied by Spanish professionals. Getting back to Almeria just do a search on plastic in Almeria, could post the photos but can’t be bothered 😉

  • #86060
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    lol – you do love your internet – its not the same as visiting the real places. I repeat cos you really do seem too thick to understand – the greenhouses are a small part of a large province – the vast majori9ty of which is incredibly unspoilt and beautiful – I can send you pictures of wehere I live near Mojacar if you dare to test the water – I doubt if anywhere else in southern Spain could beat it!

  • #86062
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi,

    Isnt it about time that at least one thread on this forum was kept on topic? If you want to talk about something else start your own thread. Every topic here is always hjacked.

    Why not try and answer the person that asks the question instead of bickering.

    KEEP IT ON TOPIC!!!!

    Rant over

    Bernie

  • #86063
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “such utter tripe”
    “the ignoramus called Katy!!”
    “you and other ignorant snobs”
    “too thick to understand”

    Is this really necessary Hudson? Like you, everyone is entitled to their opinion – it’s called a forum.
    Can’t you debate your viewpoint without resorting to childish name-calling?

  • #86064
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    dw – I totally agree with those who recommend renting first. Relocating to another country is a huge step especially when it is intended to be for your retirement i.e. the rest of your life.
    This is what we have done and can highly recommend it, it’s an excellent way of getting the feel of a place re. everyday life as against just being on holiday. The bonus is the bank interest from the house-purchase money more than covers the rent (in our case at least) so with prices likely to fall even further you can really take your time without feeling pressure and gives you the flexibility to try out numerous areas/types of lifestyles.

    Urbanisation or not? It takes just one inconsiderate neighbour to make life hell so your thoughts re. a larger plot are very sensible.
    For me being close to amenities (and healthcare facilities) is important. Remember as you get older, oneday driving may not be an option, a feeling of being involved in some kind of ‘community’ becomes important, as does the element of feeling safe and secure. A one-level property without stairs could be a great advantage in the future. Don’t forget the further inland you go the hotter it gets in the Summer, and power cuts are no fun in the heat so consider some form of back-up (a generator…..or solar photovoltaic if you’re eco-friendly).

    These are all things we’ve considered having talked to retirees who admit they would have made different choices with hindsight, and trying to imagine ourselves in 10-20 years time. Ten years ago I was only 50, but in ten years time I’ll be 70 – a scary thought with the years flashing by so fast. 🙁

    I see from your profile you enjoy fishing – a location near one of Spain’s lakes could be a consideration?
    Wherever you decide I wish you good luck in your search David, and many happy years in retirement.

  • #86065
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Charly:

    When people ignorantly denigrate areas of spain with statements that are untrue they need to be put in their place. If you can’t stand the heat get out of the forum??

  • #86067
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    One doesn’t have to live on an urbanisation to meet other Brit’s for we are scattered everywhere in Spain and, without trying, you will meet them.
    Best to join a forum in the area you choose.
    Beware actually living near inland lakes in Spain though for midges reign supreme…so I understand.

    Hudson…It is obviously true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder 😉 .
    I am well aquainted with more than a 50 mile radius of Mojacar , a place I know very well, and even from the top of the pueblo I personally couldn’t say the is scenery stunningly beautiful except for isolated miniscule spots. The dual-carriageway form Velez Rubio to Chirivel is pretty.
    However admit the miles of necessary greenhouses ,near Almeria airport, I find more attractive than some of the new holiday home developements .

  • #86068
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m with Hudson on this one and still say Almeria is a great place but that’s not the issue now.

    Katy has a terrible habit of diving in on the back of someone elses reply and challenging or disagreeing with what they say etc and also being rude to contributors.

    Fine if you have something positive to say then say it or some advice of your own. But running down other people or areas where they live is not the way to go.

    The forum has been quite of late and that may have something to do with people being nervous to make a posting as the same few are always waiting on the sidelines to launch an attack and hijack any thread.

    All David asked was for some opinions on urbanisations.

  • #86069
    Profile photo of mike
    mike
    Participant

    @JJB-Mijas wrote:

    The forum has been quite of late and that may have something to do with people being nervous to make a posting as the same few are always waiting on the sidelines to launch an attack and hijack any thread.

    I just think there’s not much to say. I like doom and gloom, the lower the market goes the more I will be able to buy, but even I am struggling to keep up with the press in their stories of woe.

  • #86070
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hudson ‘dear’ – It’s not a case of not able to stand the heat – more of having the maturity to be able to put across your viewpoint without being blatantly rude.

    And that includes intentionally mis-spelling members’ names when you address them – pathetic.

  • #86071
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @JJB-Mijas wrote:

    Katy has a terrible habit of diving in on the back of someone elses reply and challenging or disagreeing with what they say etc and also being rude to contributors.

    With respect JJB, but isn’t that exactly what Hudson did? 🙄

    …..or don’t you feel calling someone thick and an arrogant snob is being rude in your book?

    Challenging or disagreeing with someone’s reply is perfectly in order on a forum surely, rude name-calling is not.
    But you stay ‘with Hudson on this one’ if it suits, am sure Katy is not bothered – as far as I can see she was just voicing (politely) her opinion, that’s all.

  • #86072
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Yes it was an opinion and one which I standby. Seems I am not alone in my view too. I was offering what I thought was good advice to the op who is looking over a wide area. A google would bring up thousands of pages on ugly plastic greenhouses in almeria (I assure you I didn’t write them all). I did NOT challenge anyone until a poster became abusive.

    If I insulted posters everytime they posted something derogatary about marbella (some true, some blatent lies) I would probably have been de-activated by now.

    Getting back to the topic…Urbanisations. Before buying into one it is a good idea to read the previous few years minutes of the AGM’s. Minor complaints like barking dogs will appear and also more serious ones. A friend became aware that the apartment she wanted to buy because of the beautiful gardens did not legally belong to the community and was about to be built on! Maybe also have a read on the most recent Polaris World thread regarding what can happen when many units are rented.

  • #86074
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks to all of you!! You’ve raised some excellent points and given me a lot of food for thought. Renting does seem to be a sensible approach and i guess we’ll do that nearer the time. It’s also been useful to listen to what other people view as the potential problems of being too close together on an urbanisation.
    I didn’t even mind the slightly off topic replies, it certainly livens things up, although from my experience of other forums / or is it fora, it’s vitally important to keep things hepful and positive rather than personal and negative.
    I wish you all the very best, and look forward to contributing more posts and seeking more advice next year as my ‘golden hour’ approaches.
    many thanks David w

  • #86075
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thank you for all the comments – abusive or otherwise. I should make it clear that nowhere in southern Spain is perfect and Almeria is a big place not covered in plastic sheets. If Katy and her clan read their own comments in full they would acknowledge their views are highly partial and subjective and based on incomplete knowledge of the areas they choose to sweepingly criticise. Adios

  • #86076
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Don’t go Hudson, just a little read for you

    http://www.theolivepress.es/2007/10/29/drownin … f-plastic/

  • #86077
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    I wouldn’t disagree that there are are areas with plastic greenhouses and for what its worth I don’t particular like them either. Fortunately they only cover a small area of Almeria, which I personally find is a beautiful area of Southern Spain

    It would’t suit everyone but there again beauty is in the eye of the beholder and people look for different things when they go over to Spain to live or to buy a holiday property.

    There are some beautiful parts of the Costa del Sol, but there are other parts which quite frankly I wouldn’t wish to visit again let alone live but which I am sure would attract many others.

    My personal view is just that – a personal view- same as any other views expressed by other board members

    Richard

  • #86079
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy: You continue to rely on the internet & ignore what people who know the area actually tell you. I am still waiting to send you the pictures of where I live but you apparently are too scared to see them!

    No doubt its much less pretty than where you live but there ain’t no plastic and the great bulk of Almeria continues to be unspoilt countryside – I wonder if the CDS can claim the same….

  • #86080
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy: Furthermore this is from your link to so-called “plastic Almeria”:

    “In all, nine municipalities – Motril, Carchuna, Gualchos, Rubite, Lujar, Polopos, Sorvilan, Albondon and Albuñol[/size] – are highlighted as being at heightened risk of flooding as their thousands of hectares of impermeable plastic greenhouses interrupt the natural flow of the coastal hydrological cycle”

    Every single one lies well to the west of Roquetas in the costa tropical region. As I thought your actual knowledge of the province is extremely limited. Even the article refers to Granada & Almeria – rather than Almeria alone. Try using google – every time you key in those municipalities it gives the name followed by GRANADA. No mention of Almeria. I rest my case:))

  • #86081
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Finished now????

  • #86084
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    Although I share your love of Almeria, I think you just have to accept that people have different tastes and experiences and Kates view’s are just as valid as our own

    Richard

  • #86085
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Oh absolutely – but the area she thinks is Almeria is actually Granada – based upon her own link. I’m just too stuborn a mule to let it go. Almeria does have plastic – everywhere has its bad bits – but people should not be allowed without challenge to make sweepingly inaccurate statements.

  • #86086
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    So start your own thread on plastic things in Almeria!!!.

    Im sick of getting emails telling me someone has commented on a thread, only to find out its bickering and nothing to do with the original question!!!

    Bernie

  • #86088
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    LOL – essex man en espana. Cool it m8!

  • #86101
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rant over!!

    Chilled now

    😀

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