It’s a lengthy tale, so pour yourself a glass of something lovely, sit back and read our story
“We had a dream”
….haven’t we heard that somewhere before!!! Seriously though, we did have a dream. We both wanted something more than corporate life. We both worked for BT, which was a fantastic company, but at the end of the day we worked for a FTSE 100 company and our efforts contributed mainly to someone else’s success.
After organising our perfect wedding in South Africa in 2007 it opened our eyes to new possibilities. We agreed that we would pursue a change of lifestyle and look for a property in Spain. Why Spain? …. because we already had an apartment with beautiful sea views in Ibiza and loved the lifestyle, the culture, the Spanish people and the language, so we embarked upon a 10 day road trip on the mainland to find our perfect property.
The Grand Tour
We travelled from Bocairent, in the Valencia region, to Malaga on the Costa Del Sol, that’s 500km one way. We had a pretty specific list of requirements. Somewhere old, somewhere typically Spanish, somewhere that needed work, somewhere with land, not too far from the coast but inland enough to be away from the tourist throng and close enough to somewhere we could ski in winter.
On day 6 of our epic journey we found Casas Almorós and simply fell in love with the property and the area. It was as we imagined real Spain would be. We had to speak Spanish (badly), we were surrounded by beautiful rolling vineyards, olive and almond groves but close enough to the coast to make the most of the beautiful seaside resorts.
We continued on our journey to look at other properties but couldn’t stop thinking about the property we had already seen – we cancelled the remaining viewings in Southern Spain and drove 400km back to La Romana for a second viewing. If you like a property in the rain then you know it’s “the one” and it was raining cats and dogs. Naturally the property was more expensive than we could afford and there was slightly more renovation work than we had wanted, but we got our “magic calculator” out and thought that with careful planning we could make our dream a reality.
Spanish Bureaucracy is a reality
It took 2 years and a mountain of paperwork to buy the property. We had no less than 14 sets of title deeds to work through! Everything in Spain happens in series and everything stops in Spain for the whole of August and bank holidays. That’s not so bad I hear you say, however the Spanish have midweek bank holidays so they can’t see the point in working the day before because it’s practically the holiday anyway and figure that there’s no point going back to work afterwards as its almost the weekend so before you know it everything stops for a whole week!!! Anyway we eventually purchased the property on 21st July 2009 and our builders started the next day.
A welcome spanner in the works
Our own little bundle of joy, Isabel, was born in July 2008. The timing was not exactly ideal considering our plans but we wouldn’t have changed things for the world. Travelling to and from Spain during the purchase and renovation process introduced us to a whole new set of challenges. We no longer threw a few pairs of jeans, t-shirts and shoes in a case and jetted off with hand luggage alone. Now we had to pack baby food, sterilisers, toys, nappies, baby monitors and all sorts of baby stuff. Our carry-on luggage turned into excess baggage charges. We had to select the places we stayed more carefully to make sure we could prepare Isabel’s food, we had to find somewhere with a cot (most of the time at extra cost), we had to find accommodation where we could eat whilst still being within baby monitor distance to Isabel, mostly B&Bs with restaurants downstairs. Our own experiences have helped shape our property today and we hope that we can make your travel and holiday experience a little less frantic and stressful than ours.
We were blessed with another little one, Max in 2012, who has been born and raised in Spain.
Casas Almorós officially opened in 2017…what a journey! We can’t wait to invite people into our labour of love and hope you choose our home, in which to spend your precious holiday time.
We look forward to meeting you and your family very soon.
Andy, Nikki, Isabel and Max
P.S If you want to see more of our journey, we had our 15minutes of fame on “A New Life In The Sun”. You can watch us on Channel 4 catchup, Series 3, Episodes 26 & 27 and also “A New Life in The Sun: Where are they now?” Series 2, Episode 6