Fast forward nine years to September 2014. By this time both my parents had passed away and as an only child, I had inherited a modest terraced house in my home town, Barrow-in-Furness. In addition, Jill and I had both retired so we had time to play with. We were living in Kendal, Cumbria and I’d had enough of the long, wet days of Winter. There is a saying that there are only two kinds of weather in Cumbria. It is either raining or it is going to rain. Perhaps this is why I had a hankering after a bolt-hole in sunnier climes?
Jill didn’t fancy France. We both liked Northern Spain but where not convinced winters there would be sufficiently warm and free of downpours. Southern Italy perhaps? Certainly interesting as an alternative but for the Winter weather we fancied southern Spain. Where in southern Spain was the question. We both been on holiday there a couple of times but neither of us where particularly familiar so, as we had time, we decided to go location hunting. Not particularly house hunting because we felt we needed to find an area that suited us first and foremost, then we could move on to stage two, house hunting.
In September 2014 we were owed a favour by a Spanish family who had stayed in our Kendal house while we were on our travels. The had a holiday home, in a small urbanisation, near to Denia, south of Valencia and we were invited to stay for a couple of weeks. Coincidentally this was about as far north along the Mediterranean as we intended to location hunt so we spent some of this trip calling in on estate agents and looking at what type of property was within budget in different locations. We soon discovered that coastal properties where at a premium but inland there where some good value to be had. We liked Vilallonga and a cosy town house at under 100k euros. However, whilst nothing was set in stone, proximity to the sea was one our list of essential criteria at this stage!
The view from our bedroom near Denia.
Our friends Bill and Jerry where based in El Campello, north of Alicante and had invited us over. So, we meandered down the coast from Denia, popping in to the odd small town and village along the way. We soon realised that places like El Campello, despite the beaches, were too urban for us.
This trip had helped us to refine our thinking. We were not looking to live full-time in the sun but did want a place we could head out to in in Autumn, Winter and Spring. Our thinking was we might spend three months of the year in Spain. We were open minded about the type and style of property but our check list included:
Two bedrooms so friends could stay;
A proper, well-equipped kitchen (we both like to cook);
Some outside space (but not a large plot that would take too much management);
Close to the sea;
Interesting walking options nearby;
Within a predominantly Spanish community.