Buying a home in another country and trying to establish a new life for your family in that country is a bit of a dream for many people. We have been fortunate to have lived that dream several times in both South Africa and then Holland before finally deciding to settle in the warmth of Spain.
We bought our Spanish Villa in July 2001, having moved our family to the Alicante Province on Spain’s Costa Blanca during the latter part of August 2000. We chose to rent first before we bought, primarily to make sure we were choosing to live in the right area. We rented a villa in Benissa Costa for round 8 months before finally choosing to buy a home in La Sabatera, Moraira from a Belgian gentleman whose wife had sadly died and who was now no longer able to visit his villa in the sun.
We chose Moraira because it was a beautiful town with a community feel and very European. Somewhere our then teenage children could be safe when they were out at night, and not too big so that you cannot be recognised in your neighbourhood. Moraira was also quite near the children’s schools in Lliber and Javea so they could either get to school by bus or Mum’s taxi whichever worked best. La Sabatera was an established area in Moraira with many lovely homes and fantastic views over the Mediterranean Sea.
It had always been our intention to fully integrate our family into Spain and for that reason it was important that our children were schooled locally. The children received their formal education in English according to a UK school curriculum but additionally they had plenty of opportunity to learn and speak Spanish. They are now grown up now and in some cases have children of their own however they can still speak and understand Spanish a lot better than they give themselves credit for.
Whilst we had fully intended to settle in Spain permanently, in reality there was a lack of work opportunities for both myself and the children. This caused us to rethink these plans and we reluctantly decided to move back to the UK in August 2003.
Trying to find a way to make a living in Spain so that we could stay indefinitely proved difficult. Although I was willing to explore setting up a small business, I was not sufficiently prepared for establishing a profitable business in such a relatively short time frame which could support what were expensive family outgoings at the time.
Furthermore Moraira’s job market was mainly centred around construction and hospitality and my willingness to try new things was no substitute for real experience in what were relatively unknown areas of work. Work for me locally in an employed capacity, offered very few opportunities with my background in management of food and drink manufacturing and only a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish.
From the moment we moved back to England and ever since, we planned to move back to Spain to live permanently. Because of this, we chose not to end our Spanish dream and in contrast to our stays in other countries we looked to continue our plans, keep our beautiful home and continue to develop it with a view to returning back to live whenever the opportunity presented itself, ideally before Cathy and I planned to retire in 2025
Over the years the likelihood of this return materialising for us as a family with children has become less as our children developed their own lives in UK. Cathy’s and my careers developed as well so that until such time as we no longer need to work, it still remains impractical for us to return to live permanently in Spain.
The financial crisis of 2008 and more recently Brexit have also proved very significant factors on our plans and finally in 2018, we took a decision to look at deriving some letting income from the house. One of the reasons we have chosen to write this blog is to increase the awareness surrounding the villa and use the opportunity to show people through both words and photos what a wonderful place Moraira is for a holiday in Spain.
Choosing to make our home available as a holiday let required us to obtain a Licensia Turistica from the regional government of Valencia and after a long haul, we were delighted to receive notification that the license had been granted in August 2019.
The blog pages that follow record the historic and ongoing developments of the villa as our home and as a family summer holiday venue and to let our guests know about the surrounding area and the many things that can be enjoyed here.
David and Cathy Evans