Most of the property sales that Ábaco assists with are for homes. They are on behalf of those residents and non-residents in Spain who recognise the importance of enlisting a solicitor who will look after their interests. However, there are occasions when Ábaco is asked to help with the purchase of something a little different.
I have been writing for Ábaco for almost seven years but I am also a teacher of English in Spain. My English classes began as after-school activities at the school my son attends, Las Culturas. I found I had missed the opportunity to work with children and practise the profession I had been trained in and carried out for 23 years in UK schools.
Over the years my classes grew in number and I rented classrooms in another school. Two other teachers joined me and we recognised that it was perhaps time to move on. Now the thorny issue. Where should we move to? Renting had been a good option but as the number of classes increased so did the rental fee. A building of my own seemed the logical, if risky, conclusion.
It was only to be expected that having found a property that I liked I would ask Ábaco to help me buy it. Having written about the conveyancing process in Spain for so many years there was no way I would buy without legal representation. Knowing my colleagues in the office and their integrity, there was no way I would ask anyone else.
Spotting the problem
The building I’d found was carefully checked out for any potential problems. Immediately Ábaco recognised that there were debts held against it. To be fair, this had also been pointed out by the estate agent who was handling the sale. The amount was substantial and could not be paid by the seven existing owners until the property had been sold. Was there a way to do this without me being held liable?
My faith in Ábaco proved to be well-founded. The contracts could be drawn up in such a way that the debt would be settled at the point of sale without risk to myself. With this hurdle out of the way, the buying process quickly gathered speed.
Speed was important for me. We needed to be up and running by the beginning of September to make the most of the time when children and their parents are looking for English classes, The building needed to be completely refurbished. It had been stripped of everything and only the shell remained. We had to start from scratch; with electricity, with water and with walls!
There was no time to lose and I am so grateful to everyone in the conveyancing team who managed to make sure that the process went, not only smoothly, but swiftly too. By March 2017 I found myself at the notary’s office ready to buy.
I was so glad that I had my Ábaco representative with me. She made sure that I understood exactly what I was signing and what the implications might be. Everything was explained to me in English and as I sat in the room with the seven couples who were selling, it was such a relief to have a friendly face there with me too.
Up and running
And yes, we managed to open in September. Now we are well underway with English classes for children from as young as 18 months to 18 years. We all know that the earlier we start learning a language the better. Our philosophy is that by providing immersion opportunities for the very youngest children they will grow into fluent, if not bilingual speakers.
It’s not just English that we’re teaching. Since October we have opened up our school to teach Spanish lessons as well. I’ve been delighted by the response and our beginners’ class is full. We also now have a beginners plus and intermediate class and I am hoping that these turn out to be just as popular. At the moment the intermediate Spanish class has two students. I am one of them!
We plan to offer two more languages in our school. One will be Russian and these classes start in November. The final language is one common to the whole world. The binary system. We will begin computing classes for children from January 2018. This is the language for everyone for the future.
I am still writing for Ábaco and am delighted to be able to do so. I now know first hand how important their support is when it comes to buying a property, whether it is commercial or residential. There were so many things that could have gone wrong and if any of them had then my plans would probably have never got off the ground. Thank you Ábaco.
If you are interested in learning Spanish and joining our beginners plus or intermediate classes please call Suzanne on 63589 55 63.
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