House hunting. 3rd August 2016

We had an appointment at 10am with a guy called Shaun from Spanish property [Choice] Rentals who i’d been corresponding with for several months regarding rental in Spain.

So we drove along the Beach Road to the large roundabout by the Commercial Centre and parked up.

When we went in Shaun was at the first desk inside the door and after the pleasantries were done we got down to business.

It immediately became clear that he didn’t deal with rental only sales and [apparently] the property we had come to see had received an offer within the last few days. This was very disappointing news for us especially as we didn’t know we were there to look at a specific property, but hey.

We explained again that we were looking primarily for a rental and he suggested we go for a coffee and come back a bit later when we could talk to his colleague who specialised in rental homes.

Whilst we were sitting at a table outside a cafe drinking Cafe Con Leche [ which also came with orange juice, a glass of water and 4 mini doughnuts] I noticed we were also sat outside another Estate Agents, so we popped in and asked if they could offer any options.

The lady was very friendly, said they may have one or two that might meet our needs, took my email address and agreed to send through some details.

And to date we’ve heard nothing.

This isn’t unusual.

In the past few months I’ve contacted plenty of property letting agents in Spain and the UK and I’ve been amazed at how little response I’ve received.

Some sites acknowledge receipt of your email and then you never hear from them again.

Others seem to send the email directly to the owners [some of whom promise to respond ‘Within 24 hours’ ] but invariably they don’t and many of my queries have gone unanswered.

The logic of which defies me.

If you go to the time and trouble of advertising your property for rent and a potential customer comes along, why do you not respond to their application?

Another annoying thing is when they put a Calendar on the property web page. In theory you can then see if the property is available on the dates you want before bothering to make an application.

This only works though if the Calendar is kept up to date. In many cases it isn’t and I’ve wasted my time.

Here are some of the agencies I’ve dealt with in the last few months.

kyero.com
I think they allow you to contact the owners or letting agents direct but in my experience i have had very few responses.

flipkey.com
This looks like an American site that also does Europe. I don’t think they do long term winter rentals (might be wrong) so the prices are expensive. Interestingly i checked them out with a random request for a place here in Mojacar for next week and i got this, which is interesting.

Response rate [presumably to rental enquiries] by the manager 85%.
Response time. A few hours.
Calendar Update. 9 days ago

If this were my property and the letting agent only responded to 85% of queries id be pissed off. And why is Calendar 9 days out of date?

spanishpropertychoices.com
We have agreed to visit their office whilst we are here and see what they have to offer.

Ownersdirect.co.uk

This one was very fickle. Some owners came back to me immediately and answered all my questions, sent extra pictures when requested and i felt guilty not booking their property. Other didn’t bother responding at all.

So you pays yer money and you take yer chance but

vosshomesspain.com
They had a limited number of suitable properties but did respond accurately and swiftly.

mojacaestates.com
Responded but had limited properties.

However. back to Spanish Property Choices . When we went back they only had two properties which met our criteria (3 bedrooms and not too far from civilisation) & they gave us copies of the details and drew a fairly accurate map on the back of each one.

So we set of to see them though there would be no viewings as they are occupied.

The first was just behind the office in a small complex called Pueblo Darado and although it looked a nice place from outside it was a long way from the beach and difficult to find. So on balance this won’t be our first choice.

The second property was almost in Vera Town a long way from the coast and behind the big Mercadona. Its on a fairly soulless but not unattractive estate of similar houses and it may well be OK but without seeing the inside its hard to get inspired.

There was also a lot of dog mess on the pavements around the estate (everyone seems to have a small white fluffy dog that yaps and shits in equal measure but no one ever carries a doggy bag) which didn’t really sell it.

So today we drove up to Desert Springs Golf Resort, which is a little way in land and looks like a set from Disneyland.

Last time we were here we came for Sunday Lunch and you were allowed to stay and use their pool and spa facilities.

At that time they had just built the first few houses and apartments and they were being endorsed by Daley Thompson who apparently owns a property here and loves it. Now i suspect there aren’t many people who have even heard of Daley Thompson.

Today its Sir Ian Botham who promotes the place and he too “wouldn’t live anywhere else”. Apparently.

Sadly Sir Beefy wasn’t at home when we called.

 

ian-botham

By this time we were getting hungry and decided to explore Vera Playa which as it turns out has some lovely accommodation available for rent.

Unfortunately it became increasingly obvious we were heading for Cock up number 5 when we rocked up at the beach car park and realised everyone was naked. Ive seen nudist in the Uk , they usually take themselves of to the most remote part of the beach and sit shivering under a blanket. Not here.
Here everything was on show and it wasn’t always in good repair. Gravity it seems works harder on the naked body than it does when clothed. It was fascinating to see people doing ordinary things,loading the car, having a beer but with their old John Thomas hanging down in full view.

Jaki was all for joining in but i said NO.

We found another beach and a beach bar called Rape De Oro and decided to give it a try.

It wasn’t perhaps our best choice as there was little on the menu that inspired enthusiasm but we settled for White Bait for Jaki and Spicy Chicken Wings for me.

Let me put my cards firmly on the table.

There is more spice in Gerry Halliwell’s handbag than there was on these chicken bits.

Jaki’s white bait though was some thing else. It had a whole new edge.

When she ordered she asked the witness what they came with and she said. “Everything”

“Salad and Potatoes” we asked?

“Si”. came the emphatic reply.

They delivered a plate full of one eyed elvers in batter. (Chanquetes).

These weren’t baby fishes, these were at best the fry of some creature from the deep.

These were plankton, single eyed worm shaped things that had no place on Gods Earth that alone on a plate in front of us.

And there was no salad and not a chip in sight.

So, we came home.

For my part i discovered the flaw in listening to an Audio Book on i Tunes, which is that when you fall asleep it keeps on going so you don’t know where you got to.

Then when i did wake up I had Sun-bed Back which is a recognised syndrome for those lazy enough to spend all afternoon led on a plastic bed with no padding.

Our friends the Spanish family from down below have been checking out the acoustics around the pool and they seem pleased with the level of volume they can achieve.

Is it my imagination or is every other word in Spanish “Hola”?

NB; We’ve just seen a man kissing his dog whilst carrying it up the steps to his apartment. Don’t they do walking in Spain?

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2 thoughts on “House hunting. 3rd August 2016

  1. Bill, I am a little concerned that you are not having much luck, has it occurred to you that perhaps you may want to consider coming home before it gets any worse?

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