Location, Location, Location
Holiday home, or retirement home, the same applies, its just the reason that is different. It's all about the location, be it beach; golf; or just somewhere to relax in the sun.... its the Location that is the be all and end all.
Location is the key to everything. But do you remember when you bought that last house in the UK? You started out looking here and ended up buying there. The same might be true on the Costa Blanca.
The biggest difference though is the availability of property stock. If you wanted a 3 bed house in Felpham, West Sussex between £250k and £350k there is a choice of 24 on Rightmove; if you look at Rightmove overseas for a 3 bed villa up to £250,000 there is a choice of 205 properties, just around the Villamartin area.
Location is key
“Your Holiday home might be surrounded by Bars and a very hectic location. Your retirement home, might be a similar location, but a short stroll to the bars - It's hectic if you want it to be; quiet when you don't.”
Rightmove overseas is not necessarily a list of everything that is available for sale.
In the UK for an agent to sell your house, it has to go on Rightmove (or Zoopla). In Spain its different, a lot of agents don't use Rightmove, those that do, will probably keep the properties on there for months. They need the exposure to get the clients from the UK.
I can go into the local agents office for you and find out what is live today and more importantly, what they are going to get instructed on tomorrow.**
Decide what is important to you:
You will need to draw up a list of your "Essentials / Nice to have / not important" and of course it will change as you do the search.
The easy bit is how many bedrooms. but what about:
It's own Pool: Essential / Nice to have / not important
Off street parking: " " "
Separate Kitchen: " " " (Normally you get an open-plan kitchen. Separate is unusual)
Walking distance to the beach
Walking distance to the local bars
Easy reach of golf course.
Extra room for hobbies.
And so the list goes on, but whatever is going to be important to you, write it down and we can do a property search on that basis.
The litmus test:
Our litmus test is always:
The pint of milk test - can we walk to the shops for a pint of milk.
Proximity to bars and restaurants. If you are only going to use the property for a holiday home, its ok to be amongst the bars (noisy). But if you are living there full-time, that might be too much.
Villamartin has it all. But so do the Golf resorts by Sucina
If you love Golf, there are a number of Golf Resorts down by Sucina.
These resorts have everything on the gated development; 18 hole course; surrounded by luxury apartments with pools; club house; bar(s); probably a restaurant and possibly a supermarket.
Other courses around the Villamartin area: Villamartin; Campoamor; La Finca; Las Ramblas and many more as you go further out. These will not all be resorts, but give you the flexibility of choosing where to play those 18 holes.
The local areas:
These are the place names around Villamartin we might be talking about:
Villamartin plaza: Built as a time share complex in the 1970's - the most established bar and restaurant complex around. - Very busy area
La Zenia: Beach front urbanisation. Older style properties set in their own grounds, right up to modern apartments closer to the shopping centre.
Los Dolses: Between La Zenia and the Plaza. Typically houses, good size, nice residential area.
Verdemars: Next to Los Dolses - lovely area with well maintained gardens.
Las Filipanas, Other side of the golf course to the Plaza. mix of Lola style 2 bed bunglalows, through to large town houses. Walking distance to the bars, quiet area.
El Galan. Its actually part of San Miguel municipality, but still easy walking distance to the Plaza. Residential, with local bars and restaurants - lovely Chinese here.
Eagles Nest - edge of San Miguel municipality, but walking distance to Villamartin Plaza.
La Fuente: Rival to Villamartin Plaza. When we first bought in Spain, this was an empty strip of land. There are loads of good bars and restaurants here. Nice residential area around it.
Las Ramblas - as well as being a Golf course, there are some lovely detached houses (usually with their own pool) in this area.
Campoamour - Golf club, with some nice apartments on the edge.
Playa Flamenca - home to the Saturday market, this is a large area with a mix of different types of properties.
Cabo Roig - nice harbour..... The Cabo Roig strip, is VERY busy; loud; raucous and everything in between!
Los Altos: Nice residential area. Generally an older style propety.
Los Balcones: Nice residential area, next to Los Altos. Generally an older style propety.
Or immerse yourself in Spain
There are some lovely Spanish villages around the Costa Blanca, maybe a little bit further inland, but still within easy reach of the beach.
Unless its a purpose built urbanisation (estate), houses in a village will be very different. The chances are, it will be a bigger property at a fraction of the cost of one by the sea. You will need to start those Spanish lessons though, you might be surrounded by non-English speaking neighbours, trying to speak a little Spanish pays dividends.
Spanish lessons are easily come by here in Spain, either on a one-to-one basis, or in a class room environment with like minded ex-Pats.
Why not try:
San Miguel de Salinas - lovely Spanish town with an ex-pat community. Great fiesta in September every year.
Orihuela town - lovely town, just a bit further inland at the foot of the mountains.
Murcia - we are getting very Spanish now. There will be some ex-Pats but nowhere as many as closer to the coast.
Getting around in Spain:
As a registered resident you will get discounts on internal rail and air travel.
There is a network of high speed rail lines being built radiating from Madrid; you can now get from Alicante to Madrid in around 4 hours. Book 1st class in advance with reserved seats its only a few euro extra and definitely worth it.
Details checked at May 2020
**All agents know what is about to come to market.
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