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Come and tell me about your second home abroad if you are lucky enough to have one

(21 Posts)
anotherdayyetanothernickname Wed 06-Aug-08 14:39:12

Do you regret buying it?
Do you feel compelled to stay there rather than going to other destinations?
Do you rent it out or keep it for yourselves.

Still a medium term plan but we're considering an apartment in Spain once prices really drop and want to work out if the idea is better than the reality.

Quattrocento Wed 06-Aug-08 23:21:10

You need to be careful about the exchange rates - sterling very bad against the Euro right now - choose your time carefully

Carmenere Wed 06-Aug-08 23:27:57

Only buy if you love the place and can afford not to rent it out.

babs10000 Wed 06-Aug-08 23:29:18

I have one in wales and can no longer afford teh petrol to drive there!

Ewe Wed 06-Aug-08 23:54:10

My IL's have one and they love it, don't regret buying it for a second. They don't ever go anywhere else though and as they are semi retired can spend a reasonable amount of time there.

They would NEVER rent it out, it's a second home so has very nice furnishings etc.

babs10000 Wed 06-Aug-08 23:59:05

we were so lucky to get it so cheaply - 80K and yes you feel compelled to go there..I'll tell you teh rain soaked Wales weather is getting to me and I wish I was going to Ibiza..we'd had it for 5 years and it's a project rather that a holiday but I have loved it..more than anything the kids play out til dusk..that's why I did it but so sad we can't afford it!

drivinmecrazy Wed 06-Aug-08 23:59:11

Have a lovely, gorgeous finca on a spanish hill side just out side mazzarron (spain) In a scrumpcious all spanish village ten minutes from completely natural beaches. just spent two months there alone with 2 DDs. Wouldn't swap it for the world. Only rent it out to friends or neighbours who need guest accomodation when the have relatives or friends visit. I do think, as purely an investment, there are better areas than Spain. However, DD1 (7) & DD2 (2) asked me when are we ever going on a proper holiday because they spend so much time there. DH wants to go on some great adventure in the states next easter but I find it really hard to justify going any where else while kids are so young. It's great to be able to leave some toys and clothes there. Just make sure it is some where you and your family will make great friends (spanish and english) so you look forward to going. Ours is a great home from home. We go out about 12 weeks a year so it really is a second home.

babs10000 Thu 07-Aug-08 00:02:32

We've just come back from States and Canada..holiday of alifetime for us all..

I know what you mean though..familiarity is a great way to start a holiday..

But I'd swap yours with mine any day..LOVE Spain out of all of Europe,,

drivinmecrazy Thu 07-Aug-08 00:22:14

Kids go to Spain and live the kind of childhood they should have here. Out all day. In the pool, at the beach, with friends having sun downers. We are now struggling with the question 'should we move ther full time???' DH works way all week so has said he would be happy to commute every few weeks 'cos he sees how much happier the kids are there, but it seems a bit of a one sided deal. Me and the girls get the best bit while he has to stay here and earn a living. No way could he earn enough to give us a great standard of living if he were to work there, but earning a UK wage gives us a fantastic life in Spain. Quality of life is so liberating. We don't need to worry about having no babysitters because the DC just come along with us. Wish I didn't miss it so much, only got to wait until october to get out there again, but that seems like a life time when it is wet and cold here in UK sad

babs10000 Thu 07-Aug-08 00:25:53

how's the education out there? For me Canada is a no brainer..no crime, poverty, wide open spaces, liberal politics,fab education system..coudl sell up here and buy and house outright! And it has seasons rather than this depressing greyness here which has really started to get to me!

drivinmecrazy Thu 07-Aug-08 00:34:20

Education is the biggy. DD (7yo) speaks spanish but says she will not go to local school. Only English schools are in in Cartegna quite a drive away. I have some one looking into sveral of the local spanish schools for me. Bit of bribery seems to be going a long way, "If you want to go to beach every week-end, you need to go to school her" "maybe I will think about it". She is doing soooo well at school here whcih is why she was given June and July off to spend in Spain, so a bit of a dillemma. We don't have a mortgage on our house here, so there is nothing to stop us renting out for a year, but to be honest I keep on looking for excuses not to do it. Too comfortable here, which equates to 'too boring'. I need a kick up the back side to make me take the chance. DH would love to go to Canada but that's much too scary for me. He was there in the army for a while and is in one of these categories for priority visas. But I like the sun in Spain.

babs10000 Thu 07-Aug-08 00:36:47

but the people are very different to us brits...very..that's why I think Canada a better bet..they love our humour etc..

Don't you find the spainish very direct - ie rude??!

babs10000 Thu 07-Aug-08 00:36:48

but the people are very different to us brits...very..that's why I think Canada a better bet..they love our humour etc..

Don't you find the spainish very direct - ie rude??!

drivinmecrazy Thu 07-Aug-08 00:40:05

DD finds them really abrupt and rude, but it was explained to me by a spanish friend that there is nothing meant by it (so she says). They are very harsh. I speak a tiny bit of spanish but my DD is almost fluent, but is terrified of getting into a conversation with some locals because she said they just start getting over animated and very loud. Have you spent any extended periods in Canada??

babs10000 Thu 07-Aug-08 00:41:56

No only 3 days but loved it.they have the english sensibility..ie someone wouldn't say your house was messy or that your children run wild.. I thin that is very hard to get used to..they are rude!

drivinmecrazy Thu 07-Aug-08 00:53:27

Think Canada and spain are almost polar opposites. I have the impression Canadians are very mild and laid back, whereas spanish are very passionate and inflamitory. Having spent months at atime there I have adjusted to accomodate their fireness one moment and manana the next. I love it because it is the only place we have ever been where my DD1 will sleep until 12pm because she didn't go to bed until 3 am after a local village fiesta (god, that must make me a sluttish parent, one baby asleep in buggy and another playing with god knows who far away from me) It just suits me and the girls, and DH pays for it. Perfect marriagegrin Canada just doesn't have the same appeal. Seriously, we have decided we have to change our lives for our children but don't know which way to go. Canada, far away but familiar, or Spain which will be a struggle language wise but close to home. What would you honestly do??

Chandra Thu 07-Aug-08 00:57:21

IF you really want to enjoy the real Spain, forgetr about getting properties especially built for the English market, otherwise you will feel as if you were in England: all the houses being the same but sunnier.

I had an apaprtment for a couple of weeks in the historical part of a nice city, I loved it to bits. Being at a pedestrianised area having a car was a proper nightmare which including parking it a good 20 minutes walk from the house, but once we gave up on the car it suited us perfectly. The area was full of interesting stores, lovely cafes, restaurants, and many many galleries, with the added bonus of all our friends living at walking distance. It was tiny (and very expensive) but worth it.

Regarding the Spanish being rude... well I considered them a bit abrupt until I realised that that abruptenes was not offensive in the way British abruptness is. I would say they are more open and yes a bit loud, and they definitively don't have te same idea of privacy some British have which could be a good thing or a bad one...

It's a different culture but then... what is the point of moving out if you are not prepared to celebrate the differences?

Chandra Thu 07-Aug-08 00:58:23

that was not suposed to read "weeks" but "years"

drivinmecrazy Thu 07-Aug-08 01:07:12

Couldn't agree more Chandra, that's why we live on a hill side in a traditional finca amogst the spanish. Totally different to a place on a development. We have to travel 2 miles to the bins, and fill our well twice a week with town water. But the frequent power cuts and goats herded accross the patio can wear a bit thin when the fanily dog is covered in ticks, and you have to pull one fron your 7 year olds scalp (legs still wriggling) But definately wouldn't change our experiences for an urbanisation any day. The trade off for having the goat herder move his stock through your garden is the freshest tomatoes and melons delevered staight from the field to your door step. Especially when you realize this is the same stuff we pay a fortune for in our supermarkets every day. (our local herder sells his tomatoes to a co-operative that supplies sainsburys finest range and waitrose!!)

anotherdayyetanothernickname Thu 07-Aug-08 10:40:07

Driving - that is part of the appeal....making friends there and going back and seeing them all in the summer hols, ds learning spanish would be a nice side effect but being out all day in the pool etc. would be fab. My friend had a similar thing as her mum had a villa in the Balearics and she made so many friends as she was growing up and still loves going there now.

Re investment versus not renting it out, it certainly wouldn't be seen as an investment as there are far better things to invest money in at the moment imho but I want to know it's not going to be a money pit.
My view is that we would let friends and family use it for a reduced rate compared to the market rate but that this would help cover costs.

I guess we need to consider service charges for apartment buildings carefully - are they as extortionate over there as here or does it vary a lot.

MrsWednesday Thu 07-Aug-08 10:50:10

We have a house in the South of France, and I don't regret buying it at all.

My dad lives in the same village (which is one of the main reasons we bought it) so we already had good reason to keep going back to the same place. At the moment, with two young boys, I'm quite happy to go back there every year as all our stuff is in the house and we know the area. I'm sure we'll feel differently in a few years and will probably not go for our main holiday there.

We rent it out via the Owners Direct website and also to friends but the fact that my dad is there makes this easier as he can help out with the turnaround in between rentals etc.

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