In amongst all the doom and gloom concerning the economic situation and the housing and property market in particular in Spain, there are still instances of things turning out happily for all concerned.
Back in the summer, we were pleased to have Carmel and her family stay with us whilst they were on a house-hunting expedition here. They had done plenty of research in their quest to find a bargain property on the Costa Blanca, and had narrowed their search to one property that they felt really met their requirements. It might seem strange to come half-way round the world (they spend most of their time in Malaysia) on a property hunt here in Spain and then only look at one house, but they felt that this was the one – and so it has proved to be!
Not for them the standard type of “villa with a pool” that is so often the target of the foreign property purchaser in Spain – they were looking for something different. There are plenty of homes of the more conventional type on the market – and they have seen lots of them in Malaysia too, of course – but they already had their eye on a large townhouse that simply had character oozing out of every nook and cranny. Located in an inland village, they had found a house that was actually originally two houses that had been put together many years ago, and in fact dated back several hundred years. Beautifully restored and updated, it was now the house that they were looking for! With a tranquil courtyard which is the location for a stunning pool and relaxation area, the house has a bathroom for every bedroom, lots of reception areas and a well fitted, modern kitchen.
Property at great prices abounds at the moment in Spain, and the Costa Blanca is no exception, but Carmel was particularly taken with the extra qualities that this house possessed. Peace and calm are somehow built in to the brickwork here, and it is rare to find a house of this age and type in such a good condition and state of general repair. Bargain properties often end up not being such a bargain once all the updating and renovations have been carried out by the purchaser, but here was a house that had already been refurbished and then lovingly maintained by the previous owner.
It was therefore a very happy Carmel who arrived at our door last weekend, all ready to secure the purchase of her new home. All the details had been sorted out by her Spanish lawyer in advance, so when Monday morning dawned bright and sunny, it was a good omen that all would go smoothly with the paperwork, and that no complications would unexpectedly arise. And so it was – in no time at all Carmel and her eldest son, who was accompanying her on the trip, were in a position to take up residence in the beautiful village home that has become their tranquil haven. A greater contrast to their life in bustling Malaysia would be hard to imagine, but when we visited them there this week it definitely looked like a story with a happy ending.
The family is now looking forward to a happy, family Christmas together in their new home in the sun, which they will be using for an ever larger part of the year. They will still be splitting their time between Spain and Malaysia due to work considerations, but – having seen how happy and settled they already look – there seems little doubt that those members of the family who are in a position to do so, will spend as much time as possible in their new Spanish home. After so much time moving around the world, they are all looking forward to the peace and stability that a small Spanish village has to offer. We look forward to seeing them many more times in their new home, and of course it is always good to see former guests become neighbours and friends.