Newbie- Buying and moving to Spain-

Hi Everyone- I am in the early stages of this journey- Researching at the moment-
Looking at areas to buy in southern Spain - somewhere near an airport that flies to Dublin-
Probably need an agent that speaks English and will advise me regarding all documentation etc...
Is there anyone out there who has done this and can you please, please give me any advice and let me know the pitfalls - I really need help???

Hi Moira,
Have you considered renting for a year before you buy? That way you can get the feel of an area and if it doesn't suit, move on. Hitting the bullseye with the first throw, while possible, is difficult because Spain is such a diverse country.
Also bare in mind Spain is at the top of the European list for corruption. Whatever you do, do not buy a new-build! Do get professional legal help from a trusted source. That source may advertise in a local paper here or you may find them on-line before getting here.
Where I live in Andalucia we benefit from a great climate, helpful people and inexpensive food and drink prices. Life is fairly easy and travel in and out of Almeria by plane is much improved. For how long I don't know and flights are neither as cheap nor as frequent as those from Malaga.
Happy hunting!

Many thanks for that advice- Funny I was talking to a friend yesterday who suggested the same about renting-
I will go with a reputable company when I do buy as I have been warned about the 'fly by night guys' out there-
I am going to take a trip out in May and hire a car and scout around - Really hope it all works out well- Thanks again

Hi Moira

I live about 12km inland from Malaga in a quiet but accessible area (regular bus service,  metro nearby, airport 15 minutes, schools, supermarkets etc) I have a large house which I would like to sell. It is fully legal and I have all the paperwork. I am only selling because my parents, who are elderly and both disabled, camed to live with me two years ago and this area is too quiet. They have to rely on me for everything whereas if we lived in a village or small town they could have more independance. We will be moving nearby so no way can I sell and there be a problem, apart from which my business advises people on how NOT to buy an illegal house and after 30 years here my reputation is very important.

Hello Moira,

How are you? Are you enjoying your adventure around Spain?
As previously suggested finding a good English agent to help in the process is the best idea. In order to buy or own anything in Spain you only need a NIE which is a national identity number and is very easy to obtain. We personally moved to Alicante 3 years ago and bought a country house on a nice hill in Busot. We now want to go for a adventure too and are selling the property. Overall South Spain is very nice, the Costa del sol and Costa Blanca. If you need any help or info please let me know how I can help.
Kind regards

Hi Moira,
I have been reading the responses and from the "dreaded agent" perspective on renting first, it is a great idea but may I suggest you look for a 6 month rental rather than a 1 year rental.  I have met quite a few people who have after 2 or 3 months found a house that they would like to buy but are then perhaps held back because they are committed to the year!  Contracts are contracts.  You can always extend if you feel you need to!
It would definitely be worth a view in the Almeria region, less developed than a lot of Andalucia and very friendly too,  You will probably find prices a lot cheaper on properties  also.
If you would like more help from me then let me know :-) I would be pleased to show you around.
Kind regards,

Hi Moira,
I think you have had some good advice. I read you are going to hire a car and tour around, a very good idea.One thing to remember - never as in ever leave anything that someone might think is valuable in plain site in the car. That includes glasses. Put all valuables in the boot in one place and then park in another.
A friend had her car broken into because she left some papers on the back seat. These were notes on a lesson she was preparing to give. Of absolutely no value whatsoever but the thief obviously thought there might have been information to use, such as bank details. Another had her laptop stolen from the boot. Someone saw her put it in the boot when she parked. She locked the car and went into a tapas bar. Someone sprung her boot and stole her computer. Do be careful.
Apart from that, I hope you have a good time and enjoy this beautiful country. Happy hunting!

I can relate to the article about travel and safety.
Not wanting to be a party pooper, you may appreciate what happened to our friends whilst travelling so as to be spared the same frustration and heartache.
We had two good friends of ours, one drove from the UK to Spain in their own car, but were followed from the ferry and unknown to them, for approximately for another 100 km.  They stopped off for a coffee and got back in their car.  They did not realize that their car had been broken in to until they arrived at their destination in Malaga and they checked for their documents, and they had been stolen! The thieves were so specific at what they were after and did not mess up anything. They had 'tided up there mess and had even closed and locked the doors again behind them! 

Our other friends hired a car at Malaga Airport and even paid for extra insurance to compensate against possible break ins to the car. After returning to the car for just 30 minutes (this was in Torrox Costa) they noticed that the car's  door window , don't quote me, but i think this may be called a quarter light window that they used to have on older cars, was missing (it was only about 6 inches wide) .
He later checked for his laptop case , which he hid under his seat because he said I do not trust the hotel staff! It did not have his laptop inside it but he left a few hundred euros in it. When he checked under his seat for his laptop bag,  remarkably, it was still there, but, yes.... all of his money was missing.  Again, the thieves even zipped up his bag and placed it back under the seat!  We felt that they are targeting visitors to the area, particularly in hire cars (which was confirmed to us later)  We now think we were being watched when our friends parked up and got out f the car.  Ironically, the car hirers told us that although my friend did pay extra for car theft / break in insurance, this did not cover him for leaving money in the vehicle unattended! He felt so foolish for leaving the money in the car, but a warning to us that always check the car hire insurance firat before being persuaded to pay extra for something that s unneccessary and clearly of no use in instances such as these!

Such bad experiences have now caused us to travel via Bus which is the most economic option or if we are in  a hurry and what to get to our destination directly, we go by airport transfer from Malaga that was recommended to us.
I know these experiences may be few and far between as we've heard Malaga province allegedly has less crime than some of the other provinces in Spain,  however, the Guardia Civil in Nerja have told us that car crime or car break ins are on the increase on the costa del sol. Especially being targeted are hire cars with the logo or sticker still on the back window or bumper of the vehicle.(apparently hire cars are also known by thieves to not have hub caps on the wheels - odd i thought, but we were told that by the guardia just yesterday!)
I hope you find it helpful that we have passed on our experiences and benefit from them. To be forewarned can mean to be forearmed, shrewd enough to be cautious with our belongings and not get caught out by being broken in too! Don't let anyone spoil your travels!

All the best with your plans to move / travel plans!

So sad. Unfortunately Spain is the number one country for theft in all of Europe.
It is clearly genetic and should be an intolerable blight on such a beautiful and peaceful country. However, part of the problem is that so many members of both the police and the Guardia are involved and as there is little will by the politicians to put a serious stop to it, as many of them are corrupt to the core, not a lot is going to change.
Nowhere is perfect but this is one thing that could be dramatically changed by a change of attitude in those employed to stop it.
Theft is a huge negative but the positives in this beautiful country are are also huge.
So the key words are: beware, trust no strangers, leave no valuables unattended or in plain sight and accept that you will always be a target for some thief who spots easy pickings.
Spain will not change but you can make it difficult for the dregs of Europe to make you a victim.

hello writerman
where would you say, the best places to live in Almeria are? somewhere that's 10 mins away from shops, banks etc? but has some bars, restaurants & shop walking distance?...but most important, where theres some ex-pats that meet up quite regularly, so I can have a social life...due to me moving out on my own, im a 52 year old woman, your help would be most appreciated. thanks. Tracy

Tracy, how long is a piece of string? There is a wealth of lovely places but it depends on whether you like the mountains or the sea.
I live in Roquetas de Mar which has all of the things you require plus a big medical centre. The ex-pats tend to congregate in the Urb (Urbanisation. Suburbs to you and me) There is a big shopping complex, cinemas, and lots of good shops of all types, bars and restaurants. The ex-pats run some clubs. The nearest airport is Almeria but the flight situation is not very good. Check out Trip Advisor for more information.
Nerja, further south, is lovely and the nearest airport is Malaga, much better served than Almeria. There is a large Brit community, an English language cinema club and various other common language clubs.
Inland there is a large Brit community in Huercal Overa served by Murcia airport.
Everywhere around here the scenery is stunning, the climate is excellent and prices are low. However, where I am, and for a good many miles around, there are literally thousands of hectares of plastic. This is where they grow tomatoes, peppers, etc. Not pretty but it gives the area its wealth.
I would suggest you plan to take a month just driving around and get the feel of the different areas. If you come to Roquetas I will be happy to have a coffee and discuss the area.

I have just read the comments by the various contributors
Very impressed

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