When Jörgen and Sari Johansson got married in Torrevieja they never guessed that they would end up buying an apartment here too. They share their story of becoming non-resident property owners in Aguas Nuevas.
Jörgen and Sari are from Sweden, but that’s not where they wanted to get married. ‘We wanted to go somewhere different for our wedding,’ explains Sari, ‘We thought about Ireland first and then saw that Torrevieja was an option.’
They had never been to Torrevieja before their wedding but were delighted with their choice and liked the town so much that now, ten years on, they have bought an apartment here.
‘I was looking on a buy and sell website and there was an apartment advertised at 35,000€,’ says Jörgen. ‘I couldn’t believe how cheap it was. When we married here we rented somewhere that was worth 190,000€, I couldn’t imagine being able to buy something for as little as this.’
Out to Spain
They didn’t hang around but came out to Spain with the intention of buying. ‘Unfortunately that property had gone,’ explains Sari, ‘but we went to Fastighetsbyrån , the estate agents, and they had a look for us to see if there was anything else on their books.’
They were lucky. Another, similar property had just gone on the market and although it was a little more money, when they came to view it they were sure it was the one for them. ‘We went back to Fastighetsbyrån that very day, we fell in love with it at first sight,’ says Sari. ‘It was so light and airy, in Sweden it can be so dark, this was a real contrast.’
They may have fallen in love with it quickly but they weren’t about to recklessly sign contracts without the service of a solicitor. ‘We were asked if we wanted a lawyer,’ says Jörgen. ‘We said ‘yes’. We knew how important it is to do it correctly.’
It was a good thing that they did. After Jörgen and Sari contracted Ábaco to represent them it was discovered that there were one or two complications with the property. The owner had debts of 7,000€ outstanding and some home improvements had not been given planning permission. This meant that there was another 3,000€ needed for an architect’s drawing.
‘We were fortunate that Ábaco spotted all this prior to us taking responsibility for the apartment. It meant the debts were cleared and improvements legalised by the current owner,’ explains Jörgen.
Once these outstanding issues were settled the sale went smoothly and after first seeing the property in February it was theirs in April. ‘It was a pity that we couldn’t come out in April to see it,’ says Jörgen. ‘Our work commitments wouldn’t allow us and it was June by the time we were eventually able to pick up the keys.’
Pleased with their purchase
When they did, they weren’t disappointed. ‘The gardens are lovely,’ says Sari, ‘We have a terrace and a communal pool and the neighbours are great.’ The apartment is part of a community of owners and Jörgen and Sari have already found the help of their German and English neighbours to be invaluable.
‘I believe our German neighbour is the president of the community,’ says Sari, ‘She’s in the apartment below us and has helped us with so many things. There’s so much that we want to do.’ Having neighbours who live in Torrevieja all year round is reassuring for Jörgen and Sari who at the moment are limited to coming out three to four times a year.
This won’t always be the case though; ‘We are intending to learn Spanish,’ explains Jörgen, ‘and who knows what might happen in the future. Perhaps we might even live here.’
Although they didn’t need to do any major refurbishments, they did want to replace the pink and blue décor with a lick of white paint. ‘It’s just minor things like moving the washing machine,’ says Sari, ‘But we’re also making it into a home, buying bits and pieces every time we are out here. We’ve not really had time for relaxing yet!’
However, when they do they are very much looking forward to being able to take full advantage of the outdoors and are hoping to buy a couple of bicycles to make the most of the good weather.
They are delighted with their property and with the professional way in which both Fastighetsbyrån and Ábaco have helped them. ‘We really felt safe in our purchase,’ says Jörgen. ‘Everything was done so professionally and Helene Moberg, who helped us at Ábaco, was so helpful.’
When they do get time to relax, Jörgen and Sari will be able to do so knowing that their purchase is secure. ‘It’s our dream come true,’ they agree.