When Paul and Donna Mclaren bought their first property in Spain they didn't realise just how much they would fall in love with Gran Alacant. Now, thirteen years later they're on the move...down the road.
Paul and Donna bought their first Spanish property in 2003. 'We'd looked around,' explains Paul, 'but we just loved it in Gran Alacant.' There was very little in the area at the time and the couple were taken by the promoters to a plot of land and told that was where their property would be.
'Looking back we were a little naïve, perhaps,' says Paul. 'We fell in love with the place and bought without really checking everything out. Now we can see how lucky we were that it turned out OK. We've been much more cautious this time round.'
Time for a change
In spite of being very happy with their property in Spain, now over a decade later, their needs have changed. 'Our first grandchild was born last year and we started to feel we needed somewhere bigger so that the whole family can take their holidays out here together.'
With this in mind, Paul and Donna started to do their research and decided to put their house on the market. 'We were told it would probably take about eighteen months to sell our property but we sold it in three weeks!' Delighted they might be by the quick sale but it meant they found themselves a little 'on the hop'. Finding their next dream home in Spain could be a challenge.
This time they were much more aware of what the risks can be when you buy in Spain. 'I know that some people say that you don't need a solicitor,' says Paul, 'but we know about the things that can go wrong here. I want to make sure that we buy safely and don't have problems at a later date.'
Paul and Donna were delighted to find another property close by that they fell in love with. 'I like to walk when I'm out in Spain,' says Paul. 'I'd walked down this road many times and seen this villa. I'd never thought that it might be ours one day.'
It's a three-bedroomed detached property and, particularly important, it has its own pool. 'We are only ten minutes from the airport,' explains Paul. 'In fact we can see it from our new property. We did look at several others but it was this one that we kept coming back to. It just felt right.'
Nothing to chance
This time they were leaving nothing to chance. They looked around the villa four times before putting in an offer. The sellers accepted the second offer that they made and now the couple have their fingers crossed that everything will go through smoothly.
'We engaged Ábaco straight away. They had dealt with our first house in Spain and we had confidence in them.' Paul is keen to emphasise the need to have any prospective property checked thoroughly before you sign or give a deposit. 'We were lucky first time round. It could have been very different and we're not taking any risks this time.'
As their circumstances have changed so did the type of Spanish property that was best for them.They are also hoping to make better use of their second holiday home. 'We were always constrained by the costs of flights during the school holidays,' says Paul. 'Now our youngest child has left school and we are much more flexible.'
Looking to the future
Paul and Donna have plans now to spend more time in Spain and possibly up to a month at a time. 'We love it out there. The lifestyle, the food, and, of course, the weather. There's something special about having the sun on your back. However, I must admit I like a little bit of cold too and wouldn't want to miss Christmas in Scotland.'
This will be the last property that they buy in Spain. 'We don't have any ambitions to move again,' says Paul. 'We're just looking forward to the holidays that we can have and the times we can share with our family in our new holiday home.'