May 272013

Colin and Bev made a reservation with us for a week’s stay, and arrived last Sunday. Colin has stayed with us before, when he came to visit his elderly mother who is resident in the area, and this time he wanted to spend a week’s spring sunshine holiday, whilst at the same time exploring the possibility of taking his mum back to England with them.

Due to their flight time, they arrived fairly late at night – nearly midnight – so after a very quick welcome drink in the bar they went straight to their room for the night. The next morning, they said their plan for the trip was to spend time with Colin’s mother, who was being cared for by a Spanish family in the area, and also they expressed interest in mountain bike hire from Mountain Biking Valencia because they wanted to take advantage of the lovely spring weather that was forecast for the week.
They went to visit Molly – Colin’s mother – that morning, and returned with the thought that they would definitely like to take her back home with them at the end of their stay if at all possible. Over the course of the next couple of days they made many phone calls to the consulate in Alicante, where everybody was very helpful in giving their assistance and in arranging for them to be able to collect a temporary passport for Molly a couple of days later from the honorary consul in Denia. Given Colin and Bev’s determination to bring their visit to a happy conclusion for Molly, everything fell into place remarkably quickly and some phone calls to Colin’s local social services in England also secured her a place in a care home that she needed.
Later during their stay, Colin and Bev found time to go on mountain bike trips on two days, accompanied by Mark. One was through our valley to the Sant Jeroni monastery at the far side, whilst the second outing was from Villalonga along the line of the old Alcoi-Gandia railway as far as Lorcha, following the Serpis river for much of the route.

They had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, giving themselves a break from the overriding concerns for Molly’s safe return to England.

On Friday, Colin and Bev brought Molly to see us, and she decided that she would rather stay here with them than return to where she was being cared for, so for the last two nights of Colin & Bev’s visit Molly stayed here too, making great friends with all the dogs – Lola in particular. Molly took great pleasure in playing with Aurora too, enjoying the fact that Aurora would tirelessly retrieve a toy that Molly threw for her. On Sunday, it was time for them to all return to the UK, and Molly was very pleased to be able to do so, although she said she had really enjoyed her time with us here also, benefiting greatly from time spent sitting in the gardens by the pool in the lovely weather. We said a fond farewell to the three of them, and Colin and Bev said they would almost certainly be returning to us again later in the summer – possibly in September – maybe bringing Molly with them, and certainly to do some more mountain biking! We really look forward to seeing them again, and wish Molly every happiness in her new surroundings back in England.

May 052013

Spanish Property hunter
Spanish Property Hunting
We recently received a reservation for a 6 night regional inspection tour, from Andy, who intended to fly here from England, where he had been visiting his daughter. Andy, however, now lives in Canada (although comes from the UK originally) and is interested in the possibility of purchasing a property here on the Costa Blanca. He is one of a growing band of people who are recognising that Spanish property now represents far better value for money than a few years ago, when prices had risen to unrealistic levels.

Andy had done a fair amount of groundwork before arriving here and had contacted various agents to arrange viewings and be shown around the area to make sure that this part of the country would suit him. He arrived with us in the late afternoon on Saturday and took advantage of our evening meal service that night, rather than having to find a restaurant in unfamiliar surroundings. The next day was spent looking at various different types of property, as he did not have fixed ideas of exactly the type of home he was seeking – but knew he would know it when he found it! One thing that was confirmed in Andy’s mind, however, was that he very much liked this area and felt it would suit him well, especially with the number of coastal towns along the Costa Blanca with marinas, since he has a great interest in owning a boat over here also.

On Monday he had appointments with property dealers on the southern fringes of Valencia city and took the opportunity to acquaint himself with the very northern section of the Costa Blanca and the area immediately inland from the city, but found that it was not so much to his liking. Although there were many appealing properties there which offered great value for money, the area itself did not feel so “right” as further south.
Bargain Spanish Property
On Tuesday he ventured slightly further afield and went south from us towards Denia and Javea to check out the beaches and marinas there and to view several properties he had shortlisted with agents in the area. This time he felt very much more as if this was the right part of the Costa Blanca for him, and the mixture of coastal towns with harbours and marinas, and properties of suitable size and condition seemed very promising. He looked over several homes in the morning and spent the rest of the day exploring several towns along the coast, having dinner down there too.

The rest of his time with us was spent confirming in his mind his initial impressions of the Costa Blanca and the good value properties that are now to be found in the area. He felt that from Gandia southwards towards Denia and Javea showed the most promise for not only the type of Spanish property that would suit him, but also for the sort of towns and villages that appealed the most.

Andy has family in Canada who would also be relocating to Spain, so obviously this was only the first exploratory trip that he was making. He is expecting to return to us later in the year with his wife and two children to see what they think of the Costa Blanca and the properties he has shortlisted for them. We are looking forward to meeting the rest of his family and hope they will like our part of Spain as much as he does.

May 022013
Bargain Spanish Property

Bargain Spanish Property

Mark and Rosalyn arrived with us on Wednesday lunchtime from England, and are members of an increasing group of people – house hunters in Spain! Now that Spanish property prices here have fallen to levels not seen for several years, the possibility of buying a home – whether for a permanent move or for holiday use – is seen as much more realistic again.

They soon settled in to their room and had some lunch here, before setting off on there property viewing trip, to see some properties that they had already shortlisted with an agent on-line. This gave them the opportunity of familiarising themselves with the area a little and getting a general idea of what was on offer. They were also being very philosophical about the appalling weather that we were having during their visit, saying that if the area and properties appealed to them now in the pouring rain, then they would absolutely love the place when the sun was shining!

After dinner with us and a good night’s sleep, they set of the next morning with another Spanish property agent to see more houses for sale in several different towns and villages in the area. They had seen quite a few different homes during the early part of the day, and were on their way to another one when they were involved in a serious road traffic accident, with an oncoming car that aquaplaned across the road and hit their vehicle head-on. Fortunately they were not badly injured, although their car was totally written-off, ending up in a ditch on its side. We received a phone call from them in the early evening asking if we could collect them from Gandia hospital, where they had been receiving treatment. This was, of course, the first we had heard of the incident so we hurried down to the town to bring them home. They were suffering bruises and whiplash and counting themselves lucky that their injuries were not very much more serious – and agreed through it all that the treatment they had received at the hands of the Spanish healthcare system had been excellent and very thorough.

get-well-soonThe following day – Friday – friends of theirs who live in Madrid were due to arrive to spend some time with them here at Villa Florencia so Mark and Rosalyn were happy to spend a quiet day awaiting their arrival and making phone calls to arrange a replacement hire car, etc. Nigel and Elizabeth arrived around 8.30pm and they all went to a nearby restaurant for evening meal and then a nightcap here afterwards. On Saturday after breakfast we took Mark to the local car rental office in Gandia to pick up a replacement car and then they went off with their friends for the day for a second look at a couple of Spanish properties that had particularly caught their eye as well as for a trip to Gandia beach area. They returned later in the afternoon, by which time the weather had improved slightly, with plans to go to a good restaurant in Gandia for dinner that night.

Sunday morning came, and it was time for Mark and Rosalyn to leave for Valencia airport to catch their flight home. They are, however, seriously interested in a Spanish property in the area, so there is a strong possibility that we shall see them here with us again. Hopefully their next visit will be a little less eventful, with no need to sample the local medical services, and will also be marked by considerably better weather. As they themselves said, if they like the place under these circumstances then they will surely love it when things are more normal!

Their friends Nigel and Elizabeth had a more leisurely breakfast, since they had no morning flight to catch, and set off in their car to go home to Madrid a little later. They also agreed that they had had a great time with their friends and that it had been a perfect opportunity to catch up and spend some time together. Maybe we shall see them all back together again, possibly in time for a housewarming party!