West Costa del Sol: Best areas to buy property

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #53950
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Forget, for a moment, the Spanish property market crunch, and all the other problems.

    Let’s talk about the best areas to buy on the west Costa del Sol, from Malaga to Sotogrande.

    In your opinion, which are the nicest areas, urbanisations, or even streets to live on, and why?

    Once we’ve done the west Costa del Sol we can move on to other areas.

    Mark

  • #82556
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think it is very difficult to narrow this to specific areas/urbanisations because we are all looking for something different.

    I think in general terms, the best area is the Benalmadena / Mijas / Fuengirola triangle. It still retains a Spanish influence and feel (on the whole) but has the infrastructure that we need to live our lives (roads / transport / communications etc) and work. It offers something for everyone and somewhere in that triangle will be a property that would suit each of us.

    For those of us with kids, the area offer good standards of private and public education, good and modern health facilities and because of the tourist sector also offers some of the UK style facilities that the kids want (clubs, cinema, bowling etc).

    It also contains a couple of good shopping centres.

    Also some of the nicest beaches on the CDS are found in the area.

    I know there are a few on this forum who will take a swipe and quote the paseo areas in Fuengirola and the British Bars etc but on the seaward side of the paseo are the chiringuitos, the Spanish bars and restaurants are in the main and back streets away from the tourists. The cost of living / eating out are probably 40-50% cheaper than areas like Marbella and more Spanish.

    Most of all, the property costs are reasonable and the build quality generally high with the likes of Miramar having built a lot in the area over their 50 year history. There are few planning problems encountered.

  • #82562
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I agree with Rob, this cannot be answered without drawing some parameters, its horses for courses.

  • #82568
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Possibly it will degenerate into my place is better than yours. You are right one persons dream is another persons nightmare. Personally I could not think of any place in Fuengirola I would like to live or recommend except it is convenient for the airport. Mijas is quite nice (some of it). Almost every place has its good and bad parts, it is difficult.

  • #82569
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy:Possibly it will degenerate into my place is better than yours.

    Now Katy, why do you think this will happen. We are all grown ups.

  • #82572
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    katy
    Spectator

    Of course we are all grown ups, that is why I am being realistic. Also bear in mind there are a lot of agents on here 8)

  • #82577
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Possibly it will degenerate into my place is better than yours………. I could not think of any place in Fuengirola I would like to live or recommend……….. Almost every place has its good and bad parts, it is difficult.

    Katy – there is no reason for this thread to degenerate – provided postings reflect facts and are reasoned. Both you and shakeel have said that each persons needs are different so this thread should say not only why any one area is “the best” in the eyes of the poster but also why. I intentionally did not point at the town of Fuengirola, but at the general area around it. At the moment, to live “in town” would not suit me. Previously it did. However, tehre a lot of things about Fuengirola as a town that I like and could not match elsewhere on the CDS.

    As a “single guy” I used to live in Fuengirola, close to the Ferria Ground in an attico at Mirimar Central. A high quality penthouse, in a main road position close to all amenities. For a single person, it offered me everything I could want and more.

    When my now [second] wife came on the scene, with three children, a penthouse ceased to be a suitable home. Fuengirola has a lack of houses/villas because it has no available building land. The only way to obtain a new build licence in Fuengirola is to buy a property to demolish and rebuild. As a result, a villa of even 200 metres will only have a plot of 3-400 metres. Any larger and it is bought for redevelopment. As a result, a move to Benalmadena (only half a mile from the border with Fuengirola) became an attractive proposition, where I had a house in a small community of five. When I wanted something larger, I decided I wanted to remain close to Fuengirola and now live about half a mile outside it the other way in Mijas Costa, between the Castle and La Cala.

    For someone without a car or someone who is single, I feel Fuengirola ticks a lot of boxes. It has good bus connections and a good local bus service. It is (at the moment) the “end of the line” train wise on the coast. To live in Fuengirola is not bad, but stay “inland” of the rail line, in the Spanish type areas and away from the tourists.

    I like Fuengirola as a town and it has a lot to offer away from those tourist areas. Fuengirola does not have to be portrayed as a town full of British Bars nor as the area around the London Pub etc. That is why my last two properties have been “out of town” but close by.

    I could not live in the Pueblos at Benalmadena or Mijas – the steps and close proximity of other properties is just not for me, but others would find the “quaint” white pueblos attractive to live in. However, the three town triangle I quote is 3 towns / villages within a 5 mile radius with so many good things and so much typically Spanish that whatever kind of property is sought, it can be found somewhere in that area and with good interconnecting communications be it by private car or by public transport.

    My first ever trip to Spain was 35 years ago, when as a 15 year old I had my first foreign holiday. I had a three day drive in my fathers Austin Cambridge from Essex via Dover and Calais to Rosas – 10 km south of the border with France on the Costa Brava. I remember that village as a small village with a beach seperate from the village in almost a wilderness. I went back there on business 15 years ago and it is nothing more than a concrete jungle – far worse than anything in the “triangle”. And now if I drive to/from the UK, I expect to leave an overnight ferry at Le Harve or Caen at 7am and be home here on the CDS by midnight – how things have changed, but as things move forwards they have to. There still has to be a balance somewhere.

    The problem is that the coasts have become concrete as part of the expansion and the creation of infrastructure which most of us enjoy. Where I live now, I still have a rugged coastline and typical unspoilt clean beach which I can see from my terrace. That can never be changed as the N340 coast road is placed in such a way that building beach side is impossible. The area from Fuengirola to La Cala and part way to Calahonda is like that and cannot / will not change. That makes this part of the CDS very attractive but once at Riviera/Calahonda, then the concrete jungle of Calahonda, Marbella, Banus and Estepona kicks in. However, I can sit in the Church Square (Plaza de la Constitution) in Fuengirola in just 10 minutes of leaving home and soak up a very Spanish way of Town life over a beer and Tapas.

    PS – I am NOT an agent – my interests in Spanish Property are soley as a “lifestyle” owner/resident.

  • #82583
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I realise it is highly subjective, so there is no ‘correct’ answer, and many people will disagree with you. But that’s the point: I’m interested in personal opinions, where YOU would buy, and why. The more different opinions the better, as it just reflects the fact that different people have different requirements. It helps those with similar requirements to you decide where to look.

    There are lots of reasons why you might choose one street / urbanisation / area over another: class of neighbours, state of infrastructure, crime rates, prices, housing stock, architecture, proximity to amenities, views, life style, etc., etc.

    Thank you Rob. That’s exactly what I was looking for. Anyone else want to take up the challenge?

    Mark

  • #82590
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Well its friday and Im looking at a pile of paperwork to get through – so I will post here instead! 😆

    Rob -like you I lived actually not far from you in Fuengirola – in the square above Baly supermarket, for over 6 years. Before then I had lived in other areas of Fuengy. I moved there because my parents had a small villa in Campo Mijas so when we forst came to spain in 95 thats where we started. I loved the fact everything is within walking distance and some of the bars to this day are extremely cheap – coffee for 75 cents and I bet there are ones cheaper!. Los Boliches still has a village feel about it and Carvajal is also lovely. My kids loved it because they could walk out, catch a bus or a train and go everywhere. The Spanish are very down to earth and do not have the attitude of worrying what style your clothes are or how battered your car is (and boy is mine battered!)

    We moved to Nueva Andalucia 1.5 years ago as I finally was in the position to buy a house after many years of renting and missing the rising market. By this time the kids were grown – my son is 6ft 3! and they needed a bit of their own space. So I bought a town house in an urbanization approx 5 years old which is about 10 mins walk to Mistral beach (not that we go there as its exhorbitant) and 10 mins to the centre of La Campana. Thats a lovely village heart with everything needed such as a couple of banks post office shops chemist etc. It reminds me of the village we lived in many years ago near chesterfield and also kent. People get to know you by name and even the local police are friendly.

    The funiest moment was when they had their easter parade – the 3 floats came down the road past the witing crowd which was about 30m long. The kids had sweets thrown at them and then everyone crossed over the road for the floats to pass them again on the way up! It was like rentacrowd!

    Anyway, now living beachside San Pedro and I love it here. The town has every bank needed, it has the close feel of a small town and again people get to know and greet you on your way. Its very spanish still in all ways and of course very accesible to everywhere.

    Prices are pretty reasonable still

  • #82601
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sssh, keep it to yourself Mark but Mijas Golf is the hidden secret of the coast!

    It’s the Hollywood Hills equivalent of the Beverly Hills of Marbella or Puerto Banus. Bruce Willis and Yves Saint Laurent have villas here and Jean Claude Van Damme has a property in Alhaurin

    David and Victoria Beckham have rented holiday homes here.

    There is a blend of coast and campos with easy access to both and a consequent choice of different cuisines, cultures and prices.

    With the airport only 30 minutes away, it allows easy access to all international destinations via Barajas, ideal for access to international markets for business people.

    Property prices here are at a substantial discount to the golden mile and other hotspots on the coast and the landscape is not blighted by the two bed apartment excess.

    By the way I am not an agent but an owner who loves living in the area as a base for working overseas in the Middle East.

    So in short a beautiful environment, a great lifestyle and a chance to bump into the rich and famous in the venta!

  • #82608
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Having just spent a week on holiday staying in Fuengirola, there were some delightful streets and bars in Los Boliches, with a real Spanish feel and a world away from the generally unattractive and tacky seafront.

    On the whole I found Fuengirola a bit of a concrete jungle with little character or greenery although it was kept extremely clean and transport links are excellent.

    We took a trip by bus to Marbella. The old town, the casco antigua is a delight to wander around and for a big city Malaga is attractive with beautiful gardens and vistas. Finally Benalmedena Harbour and La Carihuela with its numerous fish restaurants were pleasant enough.

    I am not sure if I would live in any of these places but these are just my thoughts. Taking a look at a few estate agents in Fuengirola I was surprised how much was being asked for flats in high rise blocks. Some had clearly been reduced but I am not sure there is much reality on the part of sellers.

  • #82612
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Have to say firstly I am not an aficionada of apartments and Townhouses in Spain (far too noisy) but I will recount my experiences over the last 4 moves and why we sold.

    We had a Townhouse in the area Inez posted about (la Campana, Nueva Andalucia). Smart and spacious, front line golf, fields across the road (then!). For holidays it was perfect. When we lived here permanently it was either too quiet or too noisy. Perfect situation, minutes to Beach, San Pedro or Puerto Banus. The madrid owners next door rented to some South Americans and they were truly neighbours from hell. This and the level of building work and increasing traffic snarl-ups in that area led us…

    Inland, to a beautiful area near Casares. Spent a year renovating the place although I decided after about a month the isolation wasn’t for me. No dinner parties, friends only wanted to visit during daylight because of the distance/road etc. Far too young to bury ourselves in the country. Too far from the airport too.

    Third time lucky..not really 🙄 Villa in Sotogrande, great at first except the distance from the Airport (both my Children do not live in the UK so Gibraltar was no use). That and the increasing amount of building and the road getting busier led us East of Marbella.

    To me this place is as good as it gets. We have decided this is our last move in Spain. If we move we are out of here! Open countryside, views, no apartment builds in sight, walk to beach and some restaurants. No paseo with traffic, just sand dunes. About 8 mins from Marbella, 12 from Fuengirola (good el cheapo meals in Fish Alley and good shopping) 35 mins from the Airport. No holiday-makers in the street all residential and quiet 🙂

    So, you can say I recommend Elviria and Las Chapas. Nice little spanish pueblo centre. Classes at the Town Hall, Pensioners club (not for me yet!) with Yoga and lectures etc. even learn Flamenco if you wish. One grouse, food and drink is overpriced, much cheaper in marbella.

    Some good places. Ones I know or have seen through friends living there.

    Parque Marbella (centre, but next to a fantastic mature park and beach).

    Elviria Hills (good views with restaurant and Golf).

    Hacienda Playa.

    La Cala de Mijas (not the horrendous new builds on the “wrong side of the road”)

    Some Urbanisations on the road to Mijas pueblo.

    Some parts of La Carihuela (Torremolinos). Whilst many coastal towns have been spoilt the area is much improved.

    My view is mainly based on all year living, social life, shops, traffic and convenience to Airport. Adding a good mix of different cultures and a rural feel with good views.

    Sorry for rambling 😳

  • #82829
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi all, what are people’s opinion of Estepona and how that area will develop in the future?

    thanks

  • #84511
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    “….how that area will develop in the future”?

    Callal – going by recent events, I would say….. s l o w l y.
    Goodness knows how many illegal builds there are in Estepona, now at risk of having the licences pulled by the Junta – all a result of the corruption just recently exposed.
    Buyers in Estepona beware.
    http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3359&start=0

    @rob-fuengirola wrote:

    A few weeks back, Mark started a thread which was to be repeated for other areas as to “where is the best place to live in the CDS”. There were two positive contributors – Inez and myself. Not one other member of this forum had anything positive to give to help potential buyers on this coast. The thread seems to now be removed because of the negative brain power of so many members of this forum!

    The only negative brain power seems to be you this time Rob for not being able to find the thread. 🙄
    It seems you and Inez were not the only positive contributors after all.

  • #84658
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    “….how that area will develop in the future”?

    Callal – going by recent events, I would say….. s l o w l y.
    Goodness knows how many illegal builds there are in Estepona, now at risk of having the licences pulled by the Junta – all a result of the corruption just recently exposed.
    Buyers in Estepona beware.
    http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3359&start=0

    @rob-fuengirola wrote:

    A few weeks back, Mark started a thread which was to be repeated for other areas as to “where is the best place to live in the CDS”. There were two positive contributors – Inez and myself. Not one other member of this forum had anything positive to give to help potential buyers on this coast. The thread seems to now be removed because of the negative brain power of so many members of this forum!

    The only negative brain power seems to be you this time Rob for not being able to find the thread. 🙄
    It seems you and Inez were not the only positive contributors after all.

  • #84764
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rob,

    I made a positive contribution as well (see above). Whilst there are problems in Spain just now (as in the UK and a number of other world markets) there are still good buys to be had.

    My own view is that the market will evolve in future and move away from the dominant two bedroomed apartment into a more stratified set of housing products of the type you get in the UK. I suspect most of the developers are already seeking to change their product mix.

    This still leaves the problem of how people are going to be able to trade up if they can’t sell their property or have to do so at a lower price. Sadly I don’t have a solution to this.

  • #84639
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rob,

    I made a positive contribution as well (see above). Whilst there are problems in Spain just now (as in the UK and a number of other world markets) there are still good buys to be had.

    My own view is that the market will evolve in future and move away from the dominant two bedroomed apartment into a more stratified set of housing products of the type you get in the UK. I suspect most of the developers are already seeking to change their product mix.

    This still leaves the problem of how people are going to be able to trade up if they can’t sell their property or have to do so at a lower price. Sadly I don’t have a solution to this.

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