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Trying to determine where to move to in Costa del Sol!! Advice requested please!!

Posted: Tue Feb 4, 2020 9:01pm
28 replies1285 views9 members subscribed
lildaisymae

Posts: 14

1 helpful points

Location: Torrox

Joined: 4 Feb 2020

Hello everyone!

My name is Daisy and I live in Vermont, USA. My husband and I are looking to retire to the Costa del Sol within the next 4-5 years. Actually, he will be retiring but I will probably be working part-time for a few years after that. I am native of Spain (Madrid) and I have double nationality (US/Spain) so clearly this will not be a problem for me. My husband, on the other hand, is American and does not speak much Spanish at all. Therefore, I would like to make sure we move to an area where he will be able to befriend English speakers (specifically looking for British and American expat communities). 

I grew up in Madrid but I have spent my entire adult life in the USA. Of course in my youth I did visit parts of Andalucía when I vacationed with my family but at this point in time I do not know WHERE exactly to be looking to move to in the Costa del Sol! In recent years every time I have returned to my homeland I have only stayed in the Madrid area, or traveled to stay with family in Galicia, but due to time/work constraints I have not gone back south to explore the costa!

This summer we will be spending a week traveling around la costa to begin to get a feel for where we will ultimately move to. Clearly this is a massive undertaking and we will need to be selective about where to look and where not to bother looking! Eventually the plan is to rent for a few months until we find just the right house in the right location at the right price.

We would really appreciate any comments/advice regarding your experiences moving to different towns in the Costa del Sol. Our criteria is the following but always willing to consider other options:

We are looking for a vibrant and lively medium-sized town with an ample selection of cultural events, restaurants, shopping, etc.

We are looking for an area with newer developments and new construction phases happening in the next 4-5 years (or relatively new) 

We would prefer an independent detached villa (but would consider semi-detached if new construction)

Our preferred upper price range is 400,000 euros (not sure if this is feasible)

Sotogrande? Estepona? Manilva? Torrox? Nerja? What should we discard and what should we seriously consider?

THANK YOU SO MUCH in advance for your advice!

AndyP

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 8:21am

AndyP

Helpful member

Posts: 174

102 helpful points

Location: Estepona

Joined: 7 Oct 2016

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 8:21am

You are almost certainly going to end up with a list of places that posters live as one would assume thats where they think is the best location. So I'll kick off. For me it would be Estepona hands down. However, being realistic, I think you will struggle to find a detached place for 400K, so you'll be looking at a semi or maybe a townhouse or an apartment. As is always the case, the further you are from the coast the more you will get for your money but the further from the coast the less that English is widely spoken so your husband might struggle. All that said, keeping an open mind, Estepona or Manilva could well be the perfect spot for you. Don't rule out east of Malaga either as it has a very different feel and vibe to the west of Malaga and generally speaking tends to be slightly less expensive. Its all lovely, it will undoubtedly come down to what works for you. But if you are here for a week, with a car it would be quite easy to at least travel the coast to get a feel for where you feel most comfortable and then drill down to the specifics after that. Good luck!

Andrew14

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 8:39am

Posts: 54

20 helpful points

Location: Vélez-Málaga

Joined: 26 Mar 2019

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 8:39am

We chose the east side of Malaga (Torrox/Nerja on your list)  You'll find properties of the type you seek, at lower cost that the west side. It's less built up than the west, and for us, appears less "touristy", although plenty of english voices in pockets. 

Really depends what you're looking for, the west has its attractions as so many people head for there!

You really should spend time in as many parts of the area as you can. I don't beleive the week's stay you plan will be enough to get a real idea. Renting for several month's as you plan to, is a great idea, ultimately you may settle on an area away from your rental choice.

JJM08

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 10:01am

Posts: 17

4 helpful points

Location: Fuengirola

Joined: 23 Jan 2020

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 10:01am

Maybe la Cala /Calahonda/fuengirola/Marbella all great areas near everything you want

AndyP

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 10:11am

AndyP

Helpful member

Posts: 174

102 helpful points

Location: Estepona

Joined: 7 Oct 2016

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 10:11am

I would have thought that Marbella would be way out of reach with a budget of 400K for a detached property?

pricklyone

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 10:34am

pricklyone

Helpful member

Posts: 125

78 helpful points

Location: Torrox

Joined: 10 Nov 2018

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 10:34am

Well, I'd say you are doing what is the most helpful - coming here, having a look, and renting first. It's really not possible to say where is best, it's such a personal decision. There are lovely places that might not be suitable for your needs, or places that might not be what you dream of but have great facilities, or are too Spanish or too touristy or don't have enough ex-pats or too many ex-pats or a whole host of other things that someone else might not even think of. I'd hate to live in Estepona, for example, but that doesn't mean it's a terrible place or has lots wrong with it - it's beautiful, actually - but, it's not right for me. I would say you need to spend a winter in a place before deciding whether or not to buy and live there. Rain, cold, access, heating costs, activities, all have a bearing on life in the winter, and lots of people underestimate this until too late.

lildaisymae

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 4:12pm

lildaisymae

Original Poster

Posts: 14

1 helpful points

Location: Torrox

Joined: 4 Feb 2020

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 4:12pm

First of all, THANK YOU to those of you who took the time to respond (AndyP, Andrew14, JJM08 and pricklyone)

I already knew what your answers would be, but I had to ask anyway. I knew the answer would be that it all depends upon each individual and their personal preferences. What could be right for one person may not feel "right" for another. However, I was hoping to get a very broad sense of what distinguishes each town or area, for example, what is the "feel" or the vibe of a certain town as opposed to another, Nerja as opposed to Estepona? Each town tends to have a distinctive "signature": Is it vibrant or sleepy, is it upscale (posh) or modest, is it very developed and bustling or is it still rural with areas of wilderness, are most of the houses old or is there new construction happening, is the community artsy-hippy or is it a jet-setter's enclave? Is it steeped in history or is it a "modern" town? What is it known for nowadays? I think you all know what I mean!

Obviously everyone knows Marbella is all glamorous with nightclubs, luxury yachts, high-end boutiques, luxury villas and basically unaffordable for the commoner. It's been that way since I was a child. As I mentioned in my post, I myself grew up in Madrid and I remember visiting Puerto Banus and also Nerja decades ago, and I fell in love with the south of Spain. But I never really got to know the south. As you know, Spaniards tend to be very divided about WHERE in Spain they vacation... If you are originally from the North, then you NEVER go to beaches in the south! My father is from Galicia so we would always spend our summers in the colder (but beautiful) Galician coast. That is not where I would want to live, though.

Again, not having been to the southern Spanish coastal towns in decades, I have simply no idea what they look like today or how they have evolved in time. I know one week this summer is not nearly enough time to explore the entire coast, but we still have 4-5 years before my husband retires, so we will likely be back in 2021 and the years thereafter.

A few of you mentioned the different vibe between the area east of Málaga and the area west of Málaga. Would you mind elaborating, please? Could you describe in further detail how they are different, please?

THANK YOU once more to all!

Best regards,

Daisy

lildaisymae

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 4:13pm

lildaisymae

Original Poster

Posts: 14

1 helpful points

Location: Torrox

Joined: 4 Feb 2020

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 4:13pm

Thank you AndyP! Any and all information is welcome! Please see my response to all up above!

AndyP

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 4:31pm

AndyP

Helpful member

Posts: 174

102 helpful points

Location: Estepona

Joined: 7 Oct 2016

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 4:31pm

I'm a bit tied up right now but I'll try to get back later with a bit more info...in the meantime, have a look at this (assuming you have Facebook):

https://www.facebook.com/josemaria.garciaurbano/videos/2050204625256827/?t=0

or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PhOQtps0oc

It will give you a feel for Estepona. I'm sure everyone else will have things to show you about their areas too :)

 
lildaisymae

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 5:30pm

lildaisymae

Original Poster

Posts: 14

1 helpful points

Location: Torrox

Joined: 4 Feb 2020

Posted: Wed Feb 5, 2020 5:30pm

Yay! Thanks so much Andy! Looking forward to more info whenever you find the time! MIL GRACIAS:)

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