So the house is sold and we’ve been staying with Mother in Law for the last couple of weeks while I work my notice – thankfully my employer has let me off some of my full 3 months notice, and so with some holidays I’m owed I actually finish next Wednesday. From here we’ll be off to stay with my parents for a couple of weeks before we sail on the 6th January.
We looked at different options for getting our stuff to Spain – we’ve managed to cut all of our belongings down to about half a garage, and that’s in storage now ready to come over once we’ve bought a house. That in itself was a bit of a minefield, and we ended up with a shipping container in a secure unit – this was by far the cheapest way to store our stuff. Removals firms were quoting us over £3k to store and move our stuff, but we have found a chap in Spain through our estate agent who goes back and forth with a large van and a trailer, and charges £100 per cubic square meter! Bargain! Halved the cost in one fail swoop!
We bought an old Saab Estate and that’s packed with our camping gear and some clothes – trying to whittle down what we might need over the next few months was a bit tough.
Saying goodbye has been hard – I went over to see the grandchildren – I will always hear the eldest, who’s 6, saying ‘I love you so very much Granny’ for the rest of my life. The other two are a bit younger and I don’t think they really understood that we are leaving. Then came the goodbye to my son, and I sobbed, I don’t mind admitting it. Then goodbye to friends – more tears. Finally, the next morning it was time to leave the house that’s been our family home for the last 15 years – where we bought our kids up since their teenage years. Yep, more tears. So we went for breakfast at the local cafe as I’d packed everything – even had a cry there too. I think that part of it was the relief too – after we exchanged contracts on the house, going through systematically cancelling all of the direct debits, and feeling completely free (although homeless!) was amazing! We’ve gone from over £1800 per month in direct debits down to £20 just for our phones.
So next week we’re off to London, and one step closer to getting to Spain. We managed to exchange our money into Euros (another minefield) and that’s sitting securely with the exchange company (TorFX, would highly recommend them from our experience so far) ready for when we have opened an account in Spain. I do wish our timing had been a bit better – trying to second guess what the exchange rate was going to do last week with all the Brexit stuff was a nightmare, but we jumped at a decent rate, and whatever happens now, we know exactly what we have to spend in Spain on a property.
And our first viewing is booked in – a house that we saw almost a year ago that we fell in love with got sold, but has come back on the market due to a problem with the title deeds – this is being fixed with the local Town Hall, and we’re just praying that the people that tried to buy it have found somewhere else and won’t be considering it again! It’s been empty now for 4 years so needs some TLC, and there’s one rather worrying crack, so I think we’ll need a survey. It’s got just under 4 acres, loads of fruit trees, 200 olive trees and a two bedroom house with solar panels and its own well, so all set up already for living off grid.
We’ve got loads of other houses to visit too, having done loads of research on Idealista, Kyero, ThinkSpain, Rusticom, Inland Andalucia and Andalucia Property Sales to name just a few – these are the ones we’ve found the best so far though. We’ll make inquiries on these other properties when we get there.
We’ve decided to camp down at Torrox Costa rather than inland – it’s a few degrees warmer on the coast, and we’ve found a site that charges E200 per month if you’re staying for 2 months, a third of what other campsites are charging!
I can’t stress enough how important research is – we’ve saved a small fortune just by spending a bit of time on the internet.