Case Study - Holiday & Investment Property - Steve A

Steve. A, North Yorks. UK - Holiday Investment client. Q and A's

Steve, can you tell us a little about you, your family, interests and why you decided to purchase this type of holiday home in Spain?

I own a consultancy business in the UK. I work hard, and also enjoy being active playing tennis, football, golf and cycling on a regular basis. Myself and my wife Claudia work together so time away is always valued. We had been thinking about purchasing for a while - mostly each year when on holiday in the Spanish sunshine. We have three almost grown up children and the fact that there were 5 of us meant we needed a three bedroom property. I did not want to tie up too much of my own cash funds to buy. Initially we found it difficult to find something suitable and within budget. We saw that prices were rising and that quality villas in prime locations were becoming less accessible and we realised we had to act quickly. We had our hearts set on this part of the Southern Costa Blanca and didn´t let the opportunity slip away.

What did you choose to buy on the Costa Blanca?

We had experienced villa holidays on the Costa del Sol as well as the Costa Blanca, and really enjoyed them. However from year to year we had realised that on the Costa Del Sol, we would have to settle for an apartment or less than special villa. The Costa Blanca offered us much more choice for quality villas at still reasonable prices.

As a keen golfer, cyclist and tennis player I wanted a location that offered these facilities without expensive lifestyle costs and again the Costa Blanca fitted the bill. We then started to look more seriously, attending exhibitions and researching on line.

What finally made you choose the Agents you did?

Well.. my own business background is built on relationships, and after a period of time and having contacted a number of Agents, there was one chap that seemed willing to go the extra distance for us when making suggestions and answering our questions. A series of e-mail exchanges, and further phone calls followed - they were, to be frank, "sales calls" but in no way pushy. They developed our interest to the point that we knew we should go and take a proper look for ourselves and when we were offered a well priced weekend 'inspection trip' we decided to give it a go. It was on a no obligation basis and Nick was quite open a far as this was concerned. The message was simple.. ''If you like the area, like the property and we can work something out that fits financially - then we will help you move forward - and if we can't find the right option, then we can't and at least at that point you can move on''. I liked that approach as it seemed we all understood that we did not want to waste each other´s time.

Soon after that we were being collected at Alicante airport and over a four day trip learned a lot - Danielle and Nick were very detailed in the information they shared with us and had bags of local knowledge, this gave us the confidence to do what we did - purchase there and then.

Why did you choose the villa that you ultimately purchased?

Once we had seen a few options it was a no-brainer, Nick and Danielle negotiated us a great deal, got a reduction in price and some extras included at no cost. We also liked the fact that they (our Agents) had strong connections in Golf (One of their associate pro Golfers, Jordan is a great lad who has played on most of the pro tours but has still found time often to join us as a family on the course). Their insight into the holiday sector and tourist needs and wants also helped us select a property that could achieve strong returns while also being our own special place in the sun.

The fact that they have their own separate rental division that gave us the chance of getting the villa we had wanted all along and, with a small top up mortgage, this became affordable and a reality.

The rental income produced every year covers our running costs, pays for some of our own holidays, and all in all has worked out very well.

Would you recommend Spain and the Costa Blanca as an area to invest into?

Definitely. In three years we have covered our running costs, enjoyed some great holidays and would estimate that the value of our villa has risen by close to 100,000 Euros so far. We did buy a front-line golf villa, so hoped and expected some growth, although I must admit we have been pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm in the market for this type of property.

My next venture will most likely be something in a beach area. Luckily.. Nick, the owner of Casas De Luxe has worked in the whole area for over twenty five years and, aside from golf projects, also knows the coastal resorts very well so is helping us look at further options right now! I'll have to keep you posted.

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