Finding your new home in Almeria with Calida Homes part 2.

Hi It´s Wendy back with part 2 of my blog. In 2000, Calida Homes estate agency opened it´s doors. In the main motivated by bad experiences when purchasing our home.  

When you relocate or purchase abroad you need support and someone always on hand to help solve any problems or questions you have.  The biggest part of the job starts for our buyers when the keys are handed over.  We pride ourselves on our after care service, helping to settle you in, and solving any hiccups, nothing is too much trouble as we remember what it was like for us all those years ago. So until you find your confidence we will hold your hand and are always here with an open door now and in the years to come.

FIND YOUR DREAM HOME WITH CALIDA HOMES, WE ARE IN IT FOR THE LONG HAUL to protect our clients from the shoddy treatment we received all those years ago. 

NOT ME…..

Skip forward to 1 week after completion and I’m heard crying‘I am not saying  we  lost all our marbles buying this house, but there was definitely a very large hole in the bag somewhere’.   The Estate agents we used told us many lies and assured us that all the changes we would want to make to the house would be possible, when infact it was all just sales patter. 

More of that later, for now, I want to talk about the emotional roller coaster of living in the Cortijo we named the ‘Amityville house of horrors’.  A 300 year old, ram shackle hell hole, which looked perfectly pretty but was hiding some deep and expensive secrets. 

There were many challenging moments in those first couple of weeks but the ones that stick out for me now are the following

First day, First shower. 

Me.  ‘I can’t get any hot water, and the pressure is very low, can you check the boiler please’

Rich ( my husband)  ‘Hang on a sec, there is no flame, wait a minute’

Me.  What is going on, I am covered in suds and getting cold.

Rich.  Err, I think we have a problem, the boiler is not connected to anything, and the shower head has been taped to the outside hosepipe which is where your water is coming from’.

Me.  You have got to be sh*tting me, that is not even funny.  I need a missing poster to try and track down my sense of humour, at the moment I have one nerve left and you are standing on it.  Really Rich no wise cracks please. 

Rich.  ‘OK, plumbing may need addressing, best get onto that ASAP.  Add that to the already growing list of jobs’

Some Yoga and One HUGE glass of wine later and I felt almost serene again. 

This is Me

CONTEMPLATING A MOVE TO SPAIN?

WOW  a huge step and for many a mammoth leap into the unknown. At Calida Homes , from  our base in Arboleas- Almeria we have been relocating people from all walks of life and from all over the UK and Belgium for nigh on 20 years.

Coming over to Spain to view some property is ,for most, just putting a toe into the water. It´s not a until you´ve fallen in love with a location/property that the cat´s really set among the pigeons and as a move over becomes a real possibility even the most steely nerved  can begin to get waves of doubt. Am I doing the right thing? I´ve got so many friends/family that I’ll miss terribly? I can´t speak the language? Are just a few of the 100´s of the questions that will start swirling around your mind and no doubt causing some sleepless nights or emotional out bursts.

DON´T FRET. Thousands of people have left their place of birth and headed to Spain and whilst there will always be a few it hasn´t worked out for the vast majority have found it a fulfilling, rewarding and hugely beneficial  experience.  Get a chance to speak to any of these and you´ll find they have one big regret. THEY DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVE SOONER-

Recently we started a Blog on our website trying to put into words what prompted our move over 20 years ago, what tempted us to leave a life in the London suburbs with the kids and numerous pets for a small town 30 mins inland from the Almeria coast. Seriously when we made the move there was no broadband at home, no land line phones, only the main roads had tarmac, Skype hadn´t arrived and as for Face time…. Writing this and just thinking what have you got to be worried about…….

When the blog went live we asked clients who were just making the move or had recently moved over to share their thoughts and experiences, Well here we go and all of these are genuine people like yourselves and all can be found on Facebook.  Being the friendly bunch that they are if you send a friend request sure they´ll accept and be happy to answer any concerns you might have. May even meet up when you arrive.

Thanks
Amanda and Andy
Thanks Joan and Ken
Thanks Sheila and Jim
Thanks Lyn and Steve
Lyn and Steve´s very content furry family now based just outside of Albox

Ceri and Chris – Arboleas

Heather and Terry
KATHY AND GRAHAM



All we ask is that when you come over to view property you remember it was Calida Homes who have provided this unique insight into living here in Almeria and give us the opportunity of finding your dream home here.
For even more stories
take a look at some of our Testimonials

Finding your dream home in Almeria with Calida Homes.

THE BEGINNINGS

Hello everyone, my name is Wendy and I have lived in Arboleas and worked for Calida Homes Almeria for almost 20 years.  
I still remember the day we decided to up sticks and start a new adventure, packing up lock stock and barrel and taking a leap of faith into the unknown.  Some said we were brave, others said we were stupid, but all agreed it is better to follow your dreams than end up on your death bed with huge regrets about what could of been.  

I  remember so vividly the day we accepted full asking price on our home in the UK, it sold really quickly and reality and panic soon set in. This was real and we were relocating to a New Life in Arboleas Almeria. We didn’t speak the language, didn’t really know the area very well and I was sick with nerves wondering if we were doing the right thing.

I could hear my Nan who raised me saying, ‘Those who don’t jump, will never fly’.  She had passed away the year before and her words were ringing in my ears so loudly, that I knew I had to follow my heart and embrace this new chapter in life. I didn’t want to live with the regret of the things I could of done but never tried, the ‘What if’s’ and the ‘If only’s’.  

So I jumped, and took one stressed out grumpy husband ( Richard), two wonderfully challenging children ( Oliver and Penny) aged 7 and 10 and this is where our story starts.  I would absolutely love it if you would all come with me for a 20 year trip down memory lane. There have been some amazing highs, some real lows, some freak out times but mainly moments of pure joy and pleasure.  

This a warts and all guide to buying your Dream Home in Almeria and I can not wait to share it with you all.

Life is an adventure, start yours here, with Calida Homes

Thinking of putting your property up for sale then why choose Calida Homes?

With 20 years of experience selling homes in Arboleas, Zurgena ,  La Alfoquia, Albox, Cantoria and Partaloa we have built up an excellent reputation as the Go To Estate Agent for any buyers considering our location as a place for their next home in the sun. Our Arboleas office, on the main street, is well known and attracts lots of walk-in custom.

Give us your property to sell and you’ll not only benefit from the most powerful marketing platform available locally there are no upfront fees and our selling commission is the lowest offered.

How do we market your property and what’s included to you as the owner?

  • We utilise all the major property portals in the UK, Spain and Belgium Rightmove, Place in the Sun, Kyero, Spain Property Portal, Zoopla, Prime and more. Giving free premium/feature property listings on these to the owners who have given us exclusive marketing rights.
  • Our social media platforms are again hugely powerful and reflect how times have changed. 5 years ago social media was not something that factored into the property sales sector now it plays a hugely significant role. Facebook, Twitter etc if utilised properly allow a very effective way of highlighting your property to a very wide audience in moments. Take a look at what we do.
  • Videos , particularly those hosted on YouTube, in our current lack of time lifestyles are hugely popular with prospective buyers. We set up our You Tube Channel over 10 years ago and were, for many years, the only estate agents offering this very useful tool to our prospective buyers. What can be better when looking at property options in advance of a viewing visit than to be able to take a walk around the property and its gardens  before deciding to view or not. With your permission when we list your property we always film a video free of charge. Take a look at one of our videos.
  • Local press advertising. We utilise this regularly with full page colour adverts showcasing a selection of local listings weekly.
  • The Database. Over the many years in business here we have built up a huge database of prospective buyers all waiting for the right property to land in their laps. Currently this stands at just over 4,000 people. Every time we upload a new property onto our website it will be sent with pictures and video to any clients who it matches to. If we list a nice 3 bed Arboleas villa with pool within 10 mins of going live over 2,000 people will have received the details.
  • Last but by no means least Word of Mouth. A very high percentage of our annual sales come via personal referrals from clients who have purchased through us in the past. You can’t buy this sort of publicity and boy is it effective.
FOR ALL YOUR REMOVAL NEEDS

Has your property been on sale for to long?

Have you stopped to consider that the way you’re going about selling your home is what can keep it sitting on the market for a long time?

Your Estate Agent does have an integral role in successfully selling your home – but that mostly involves marketing, arranging viewings and carrying the sale over the finish line. A great deal of the effort and elbow-grease that goes into adequately preparing your home for sale falls to you as the home owner.

So here’s 4 things you might be doing as a seller that hurt your SALE:

  • Overpricing

You may very well be entitled to think your house is the best in the area and should have a high price attached. But in order to do that, you need to know how it stacks up against other local comparable properties, or else your overpriced home can be huge turnoff for potential buyers.
You may want to price a tad bit above comparable properties, but don´t be tempted to do by to much. We are extremely knowledgeable about our location, what´s been sold and at what price. Use OUR experience to YOUR advantage.

Food for thought.
  • Not Making Updates

You don’t have to ‘bust the bank’ trying to make your home shine. There are many low-cost updates such as repainting tarnished walls, replacing fixtures and cleaning and boosting kerb appeal with some landscaping.

Not sure where to start?
Having enough time and money to get the renovation job done right so you can list for maximum value can be a hassle. Take a look at  this article.

  • FSBO

We get it, you want the best return on your investment…who doesn’t? But selling your home solo, without an agent to save the commission, can actually work against you. When you list your own home for sale it’s called a ‘For Sale By Owner’ (FSBO) listing. Without the professional help of an established agent or agency that can put your property out there via powerful websites, social media and all the established property search engines ( Place in the Sun, Rightmove, Kyero etc.) you’ll have to market it yourself. That is a recipe for disaster if you’re inexperienced, not to mention all the legal paperwork issues that go on behind every sale.

  • Over Saturation

It’s a common misconception to think the more estate agents you have marketing your property the quicker it will sell. Why wouldn’t it? There are only so many ways an estate agent can market your property the most effective of which are what as known as property portals. You’ll more than likely know Rightmove and Place in the Sun but there are a lot more. If you are on with 5-7 agents, as many are, your property often at different prices and with more or less same pictures ends up on these. Potential buyers trawling through viewing options in advance of a visit get very confused by this and will often feel a desperation sale is afoot. If putting your property up for sale the far more effective way is to give to one – maximum 2 estate agents. Those who provide the most extensive marketing tools and have been established/ built up a good reputation in the areas they cover. If opting for the latter pick 2 agents who promote to different markets e.g. one may have a very strong UK based client base the other a Belgian one. To see what we provide for our owners click here.

But I Wanted a Carport or a Garage How Much Will That Cost?

Add a new kitchen

Many times it’s tempting to look or request viewings on properties which are priced well below your budget but which don’t have a lot of the things you’ll require and will need to add to make the property perfect.

Often this can be a good approach e.g. a blank canvas which will allow you to create your perfect property here in Spain but equally it can be a false economy. When the cost of adding all you need well exceeds the price you could have purchased a property for that has all in situ what´s the sensible way forward.

As an illustration between June and August 2018 the average selling price of an immaculate 3 bed villa in close proximity – walking distance to amenities – with 8×4 swimming pool, garage or car port, separate storage room, terracing around pool, irrigation system, full air conditioning, fly screens throughout fitted wardrobes all bedrooms, marble fire surround, granite work tops in kitchen, UK TV system was 180,000€.

A 3 bed villa with none of the above extras included ranged between 139- 145,000€.

How much would it cost to add the extras?

Pool installations can be expensive

Swimming Pool: 8 x 4m tiled with necessary licences and project – 13,000€
The cost for a 10 x 5m pool ranges between 16.500 – 20,000€.

Please note there are strict limitations in certain locations and pool permits will not always be granted. If the villa you are interested in doesn’t have a pool then check with the agent it’s in a location where one can be added. In Arboleas there is usually no problems in obtaining licence/project.

Garage: single block built with tiled roof with permits with projects -6.000 8,000€
Double garage: 11,500 – 13,000€

Please note that the same rules apply as for pools regarding permits.

Car port: between 1,200 – 1,600€ depending on quality.

Block built storage room: with window and tiled roof – flooring 3 x 3m – 3,500€

Terracing: including concrete base, steel, tiles, labour approx 60€ per m2 so 100m2 of terracing approx 6,000€

Irrigation timer system: between 500 – 700€

Fly screens: based on pull down / slide across version on all windows and one double door (non electric versions) – 2,800€

Air conditioning: based on lowest cost units installed all bedrooms and lounge 2,100€

Fitted wardrobes: doubles 1,200€ per bedroom, so 3 bedrooms – 3,600€

Top marble or natural stone fire surrounds: these range from 2,500 – 3,300€ depending on size or quality

Granite or Silestone work tops: range from between 140-180 Euros per m2 so with plinths and kick boards on an average 12m2kitchen allow for approx 2,000€ fitted

UK TV system: 2 main options currently in use:

  • full satellite dish cost 1,200€
  • Android streaming box cost 75€ but must be linked to your internet system.
Car Port - handy in the Summer

In addition to the above there are a large number of changes / modification you may wish to make to a particular property which aren’t perhaps essential but instead being considered to freshen up or alter slightly so it matched your own personal taste / style.

Some of the main ones are:

Re Decoration: We work with a number of great local based painters who will be able to to transform the interior or exterior of any property beautifully and inexpensively. See our buyers guide for details but as an example to repaint the entire interior walls and ceilings of a 3 bedroom villa ranges between 700 – 1,000€ and for the exterior, providing in good condition, allow the same.

New kitchen: On an average 11m2 kitchen,including all appliance, purchase and install ranges from 3,800 – 6,000€ depending on quality of units and material used for work tops / kick boards.

Stone cladding around exterior walls: In recent years this has become very popular and to clad a 3 bed villa with natural stone to a height of 1.2m comes in at around 3,500€.

Fly screen enclosures: These vary hugely in cost depending on size and adding things like doors. A small one enclosing say one part of a porch would come in at around 3,000 – 4,000€ but most area are a lot larger and would cost at least 12,000€.

FOR ALL YOUR REMOVAL NEEDS

Kerb Appeal Will Sell Your Property Quicker and For a Higher Price

Properties with great Kerb Appeal and that are well maintained command higher prices and always sell much faster.

The Million Euro Question:

How do I maximize selling price but minimize cost of achieving?

1. Give Your House a wash
Before you run off buying expensive new paint, try giving the exterior of your house and gardens a power wash to take off any dirt, sand and mildew buildup. Real Estate experts agree that just by washing your house will increase the sale value and make it more appealing to potential buyers. Yes, one day’s work can increase your chance of selling dramatically.

If you don’t have you can rent a power washer very cheaply.

2. Freshen the Paint Job.
Some of the most common advice you’ll hear when preparing a property for sale is to repaint the interior/ exterior…

Luckily in Spain it’s relatively in expensive. Ranging from just 800-1,200 Euros for an entire interior or exterior re paint including repairs and sealing of small settlement cracks (which always concern potential buyers) .

The main reason for sellers not doing this isn’t the money. Instead it’s the disruption and time to get the property ready for painting (moving/storing furniture) which causes this one being missed off of the list.

This shouldn’t be the case. A week or 2’s disruption and a small financial outlay will add 1.000’s to the value and allow yur home to stand out from so many others on the market.

Also a great opportunity to Clear the Clutter – If you don’t use it – you don’t need it.

3. Maintain Maintain Maintain!

Nothing looks worse than a poorly maintained exterior. If your exterior and garden isn’t looking pristine then your deal is halfway dead because if your buyer sees that, they don’t have to think twice about what to expect on the inside! 35% of buyers say they are sold on the exterior even before the walk inside. Here are some notes you can make to help you update the exterior a little more:

  • If you have ensure pool is sparkling.
  • Ensure entrance drive is pristine and free of weeds, dog mess and debris.
  • Touch up wall cracks
  • Replace cracked .terrace tiles – missing pool tiles.

There are countless more tactics that you can use to increase the value of your property at little cost. Contact us for details

Tel: (+34) 950 43 07 63
Email: calidahomes@hotmail.com

FOR ALL YOUR REMOVAL NEEDS

The Importance of Staging

The Importance of Staging

The Top 3 Tips to Stage Your Property For a Quick Sale

Are you about to put your property up for sale and hoping for a quick sale? Or are you one of those owners who have a property on the market, and haven’t had any solid interest from purchasers for ages…?

Could be your space is giving the WRONG message! or you are with the wrong agent,

Here are our top 3 tips in getting your property ready for sale which also apply if already on sale but not getting the desired interest.

Clients must be able to envision themselves living in a space! Reality is, most people DON’T have vision.

Remember – what they see is what they get.

1. Depersonalize

It is believed by some that personal items make a space ‘homey’ but the truth is buyers see your home not theirs! Your home needs to look like a blank canvas to your buyers so that when they walk in they can imagine themselves living in the space however they want. And if anyone knows anything about selling anything…it’s that the buyer isn’t going to buy something if they don’t want it. So put away that blanket on the couch, or that jar you keep for loose change, loose the cuddly toys on the beds or those family pictures on the fridge Trust me, you’ll thank us later!

Declutter
Declutter

2. Declutter

There is nothing more distracting that clutter! If your coffee mug from this morning – or your kids toys that you didn’t get a chance to pack away are staring at your buyer, guess what the buyer is staring at?
That’s right…the Clutter.
The idea is to remove any unnecessary items from view so the space looks and feels bigger. Everyone loves the “Open Concept”, and they only reason they’re coming to see what you have for sale is because they’re tired of what they had before.

We don’t believe in moving to a new place and replicating the one you left behind.
Where’s the fun in that?

Andrew Fisher

3. Minimalize the Furniture

If you’ve ever furnished a room from scratch, you’d know that furniture gives the room dimension, and rooms that are unfurnished, tend to look small. Try removing the furniture from a room at home and see for yourself.

Now let’s talk Euros and cents.
Sellers are often hesitant to invest in staging their home, as they prefer not to throw out the extra cash and ‘save’.

But what they don’t realize is that it’s a heck of a lot better than having to drop your sales price after months on the market with zero interest because no one took an interest in your property.

If that doesn’t scare you… this might:

The drop in price could cost you more than double the cost of staging.

Do you have that tingling inspiration to take the next step in your quick sale and stage your home?
Then take the next step.