When Magnus came to Orihuela Costa on his mission to find a property in Spain he thought he had plenty of choices lined up. ‘We had been searching on the internet,’ says Magnus, ‘and we’d found a real estate agent too. But when we came to look at the properties we weren’t very keen on any of them. It looked like we were going home empty-handed.’
Right at the last minute, the estate agent mentioned another Spanish property that wasn’t advertised yet but that he thought the Johansson family might like. ‘It was perfect,’ says Magnus. ‘It only took us ten minutes to decide that this was the one for us.’
Different to buying in Sweden
From that moment on the wheels were set in motion. ‘It’s quite a different process to buying in Sweden,’ says Magnus. ‘In Sweden you have one firm that your buy your property with and they do everything. You don’t have to find a separate solicitor.’
Magnus found the language the biggest issue when it came to buying in Spain. He felt that the language barrier prevented him from really understanding the process and was one of the reasons he opted for ensuring that an independent solicitor was chosen too. ‘I decided to go with Abaco and put my trust in them. It’s worked well.’
Enjoying the pool
Now Magnus is out in Spain on holiday with his two children of seven and ten years old. ‘They didn’t like those first properties we saw either,’ says Magnus. ‘But when they saw this one they fell for it straight away. It’s the pool that’s really fabulous and it’s so easy to get to from where our property is. We’re on the second floor but our balcony overlooks it, it’s perfect for us. In fact, the children prefer the pool to the beach.’
The pool has been such a great hit with the family that this is where they have spent most of their time this holiday, along with shopping for food. ‘We haven’t been out to any restaurants yet. We enjoy preparing our meals at home. I’ve got some feta cheese for a Greek salad tonight.’
In previous years Magnus has spent his holidays in Greece. However, when it came to buying, the economic situation over there put him off. ‘Spain is much easier to get to for us too. We can fly there more cheaply,’ and that means more holidays.
The property is a little smaller than they had originally intended and they had to make a few changes to the layout to accommodate the children who now sleep in a bunk bed. ‘We would ideally have liked two bedrooms but I take the view that it’s the location and the community that’s most important,’ says Magnus. ‘When we looked around the community here we were so impressed with the cleanliness of it all and the way it’s looked after. It’s immaculate and that was important for us.’
This opinion is one of the pieces of advice that Magnus gives others thinking about buying in Spain. ‘Don’t worry too much about what’s inside the property. You can change that. What’s important is that you like the location, that it meets your needs and that it’s in a good community. You can’t change those kinds of things so easily.’
Making the most of his holiday home
Now Magnus is planning to come out with his family around three times a year to make the most of his new Spanish holiday home. He’s also got a trip of his own up his sleeve. ‘I like playing golf, so I’d like to come out once a year with some friends and make use of one of the golf courses here.’
Magnus has plenty to choose from with four professional golf courses on his doorstep. At the moment he hasn’t decided which one he will use but he really is spoilt for choice.
Magnus was lucky to find his ideal home on his first trip. Not everyone will be so lucky and Magnus feels that, with hindsight it’s important to allow yourself more than one trip to find what you want to buy. ‘It’s such a big decision,’ he says. ‘You don’t want to feel pushed into buying something. We were lucky but we could just as easily have gone back without finding anything at all. I would say to allow yourself three trips if possible.’
Magnus and his family are still getting to know their local area, they have many years in front of them to enjoy their home in the sun and for the children to enjoy the beach more too.