Thursday, June 5, 2014 in the sun be aware Isolated Villages

Location Location Recession Spain Expats be aware Choose you location in Spain with careful thought
One of the noticeable trends I am increasingly aware of on the Costa Del Sol and a direct result of recession, are the number of expats moving back into the more populated coastal areas after years of living in more isolated fincas or cortijos in the mountain valleys or white villages of Cadiz or Malaga Provinces. It seems to me the expat dream of a character home in the Andalusian countryside wares thin when money gets tight. The affect of reduced currency exchange rates and reduced incomes resulted in isolated villages seeing a steady stream of expats leave many returning to their homelands. Those left behind start to feel the social affect of becoming the remaining few. For the remaining expat families local bars and restaurants that once meant a guarantee of good food and company have in recent years been empty. As an agent in Sotogrande i have received a regular stream of email inquiries from wives wanting to get their family back to a busier social scene. When funds are tight having to fill the 4x4 for the 45 minute each way daily school run suddenly becomes an issue and as children get older they want to be closer to their friends. For the older retired expat with exchange rates diminishing their pensions there maybe a skill that can be revamped in order to bring in well needed additional revenue. I myself use a retired British electrician and a German plumber for small jobs. Both these men had retired to the sun with their wives and were living in the mountain village of Guacin. In order to supplement their income both chose to move to a larger expat community and both rented modest homes in Spanish villages adjoining Sotogrande. Sotogrande is the largest private residential estate in Europe a location of natural beauty sandwiched between Mountain and Sea with several scattered lakes and bisected by the river Guadiaro. In Sotogrande the well heeled Spanish enjoy a privelidged lifestyle mixing with wealthy expats from all over Europe and its main selling point is the safe environment for children, many who attend the Sotogrande International School for children of ages 3 year to 18 years.
The lesson here is to be aware that some locations are not what they were. At one time entire valleys of beautiful farm type houses were filled with expats who were sold the property in pursuit of their dream of living in the Andalusian beautiful countryside. The life was one of horse riding in the mornings lunches in the best Ventas {country eateries}and a constant circle of BBQs with the fun loving neighbours. Whilst I am certain that time will bring a new wave of country dweller to these areas my advice is to try country living and rent the farm house leaving you to try before you buy and retaining the option as so many before you to move without too much pain to an established community usually found along the coast. A number of my friends have done just that and now wives enjoy group coffee morning husband the regular invitations to play golf or maybe to join in the nightly padel tennis sessions at some of the local tennis clubs. The expat community in Sotogrande is a very close one and to outsiders there may not see a lot going on, but be assured that once you have settled it will not take very long to integrate through the school the sports and other hobbies. Sotogrande has had its fair share of expats returning to their homelands but a steady stream are arriving and amongst them many who enjoyed the country living at its best but who could no longer cope with the unforeseen changes to the lifestyle that they once knew.
Villa Ideal family home rent or buy in Sotogrande Spain. Written by Francis Payne of Tailor Made estates offices Puerto Sotogrande Tailor Made Estate Agents also have offices in Poole Dorset

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