Luc & friendsOur Spanish story…. We had dreamed about it for a number of years, a house in Spain, as a holiday home and eventually when we would retire, to stay more often, or possibly permanently Only, it was not yet clear where exactly and whether it would be affordable. The crisis ultimately played to our advantage here…
For several years we regularly went on holiday to Spain. Our preferences for nature went to the green north. Basque Country, Asturias and Cantabria with the Picos de Europa, Galicia …Only drawback: the weather there is a big question mark, a lot of rain in the summer, snow in the winter, in terms of climate not much better than with us.
We started to focus more and more on Andalucia… In the spring of 2009 we had mapped out a tour of lesser known white villages such as Gaucin and Ubrique and some smaller towns such as Priego de Cordoba, Antequera, Ubeda and Baeza and here and there our eye dropped on some urbanisations, but there was always something that made us doubt. For example, there was the urbanization in the unknown Velez de Benaudalla, ideally located just off the motorway between Motril and Granada, with an original Moorish tower with restored hammam, gym and baths, beautifully landscaped Moorish-inspired courtyard garden with water channels and fountains, beautiful view the snowy peaks of the Sierra Nevada, but… the apartments themselves were disappointing: tiny kitchen, dark, small spaces with a roof terrace that you could only reach via a spiral staircase. So typically Spanish in concept, but not what we had in mind as a dream home…
Same story after a trip to Cadiz, Puerto de Santa Maria and Jerez de la Frontera that fall. Often super small apartments with roof terrace and little attention to light, views,…. Beautiful dune areas and cozy towns, but otherwise not very interesting in terms of landscape. Apparently, the real estate companies we ended up with had not yet sold much to foreigners. They heard thunder in Cologne when we talked about a NIE number (or didn’t want to deal with it) and sent us for a walk at the local Guardia Civil.
When surfing the Internet in the winter of 2009 – 2010, in search of the ideal match for us, we accidentally came across the website of Geert and Patricia “Hogar Creativo”, a couple of Flemish people, which inevitably already generated more confidence. They turned out to have their office in Frigiliana, near Nerja, in the Axarquia.
From all that touring in Andalucia in the spring of 2009, the Axarquia had stayed with us as an area with many advantages: mountains, sea, pleasant climate, white mountain villages not too far from the coast, beautiful, still quite untainted coastline between Nerja and Almuñecar , few high-rise buildings, Malaga and Granada in the vicinity …
Hogar Creativo seemed to us the ideal formula: based on a number of criteria that we had determined ourselves (Nerja or Frigiliana, apartment or house with large terrace that adjoins the living room, preferably new construction, parking space for the car or garage, 2 to 3 bedrooms, sunny, sea and / or mountain view, within walking distance of a village center, bakery, restaurants …) they sent us an initial selection of a number of houses by mail.
A few months later, in April 2010, we agreed with Geert to view and compare some of the selected houses. It was immediately hit, the first day already when we came on the terrace of the house in Frigiliana: in front of us the gorge of the Rio Higueron, on the left the mountains of the Parque Natural Sierra de Tejeda y Almijara. Actually, the decision was as good as made, but Geert had taken 3 days and made agreements and we also wanted to be sure that we made the right choice… but nothing of a comparable price range appealed to us.
After the 3 days we made an offer for the house in Frigiliana, the offer was accepted, Geert went with us to the Guardia Civil in Torre del Mar to apply for a NIE number, to Nerja for a lawyer and to Idecocina for a kitchen. In June we came back to finalize the sale in Malaga. As soon as the purchase was finalised, we started looking for furniture stores, a joiner for the finishing of the cupboards, an installer of sun blinds …
In the meantime, we are a good year later and we have furnished our apartment cosily and transformed it into a second home.
When we have learned one thing from our Spain adventure, it is: aquí no hay estrés, no hay problemas, sólo soluciones y por fin todo se resuelve…
Luc & friends
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