Living In Mallorca

Relocating to Mallorca

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Second Viewing

We went for a second viewing of a house today. It looked bigger today as Carles opened the windows and the sunshine illuminated the rooms.

We looked at it properly this time, trying light switches, cupboard doors, taps and showers and yes there were quite a few bits that needed some care. I suppose after long term renting all it needs is a bit of TLC. Now that is a new word we taught Carles 😉

After visualising where our own items could go and how we would get round certain things we decided to put in an offer. Carles didn’t think that the owner would accept our first offer but he told me to slow down. I said we wanted to be in somewhere by March and he said we still had plenty of time.

He explained just how quick sales go through in Spain and told me to wait a bit longer. He said that we had at least another couple of weeks in which he was going to contact the owners of the first house that we loved to see if their circumstances had changed and he would also phone round a few people to see if anything else was coming on.

He also added that they had no one else ready to view the house that we had seen today so there was no rush to put in an offer. In fact he wasn’t going to put in an offer on our behalf just yet.

It seems so strange to have an estate agent refusing to put in an offer and telling you to wait. You think they would snatch your arm off but no – he wants to make sure we get the right house for us!

That is just so sweet.


Commitment Nerves?

Woke up this morning feeling a little strange…

We spent the weekend talking about the house we saw on Friday. We took a drive around the area again. I got out and had a walk and everything felt good. We are booked to view it a second time tomorrow and we intend, if we feel the same, to put in an offer.

So why do I feel scared! Well nervous really – scared is too strong a word.

I remember 4 months ago when we first sold our house in the UK getting those ‘what if’ moments. You know that time when the little voice in your head says what if this happens or that happens or what if this doesn’t happen or that doesn’t happen! Those niggly little doubts that creep in when the future is unknown.

I guess it is because by purchasing a house and spending all that we have we are making the ultimate commitment. We want to get it right.

But what is right?

I guess when you are younger making life changing decisions is less scary. After all you have all those years ahead of you and you tend to have the confidence of youth. The future is not so scary as there is so much more of it ahead of you, you have the years ahead to rectify any mistakes you may make.

But when you have reached retirement age or, like me, you only have a few more working years ahead, the future – and any mistakes you make – get that much more serious.

But I feel the doubts and the early morning fears receding as I write my blog. By writing my thoughts I allow myself to know what is going on in the depths of my mind. Perhaps not always a good thing!

I hope that my ramblings allow others that are going through, or thinking of going through, the same circumstances to realise that they are not alone. That doubts and fears are a normal reaction to life changing decisions and that in some ways it is a more sensible way of being than by rushing headlong in without questioning the outcome of your actions.

Already I can read back over my blog and realise just how far we have travelled in these four months. In another four months who knows what we will have achieved.

I guess looking toward the future is quite a scary business. The unknown is just that – the unknown – and maybe that is what makes life so scary, exciting, interesting and unpredictable. Life would be pretty boring if we knew exactly what would happen wouldn’t it?

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House hunting is giving me a headache

House hunting is giving me a headache! Just what is compromise and how far do you go?

Nearly 8 weeks of scouring properties online and going with estate agents looking at some of the strangest, the grottiest and some of the most fabulous of places has left me feeling totally confused.

If I had another 20,000 or so then there would be no problem but we don’t. We are living on one pension and my wage so we can not afford to get a mortgage. So where does that leave us?

Unfortunately one of the first properties that we saw we fell in love with. It was in the right location, laid out exactly how we liked it and had the wow factor. The problem is that the owners would not budge from their asking price. “They have to sell” said the agent. Next he said “they have someone interested but they may not get a mortgage”.

We cannot afford to wait another 2 or 3 months. For a start that will bring us into the holiday season when rental prices are sky high and also our furniture is in storage and that will cost us another £600 or so!

We always say we will know it when we see it. Well the properties we saw yesterday have thrown us – well one anyway. The first would have cost us too much to put a kitchen in and get an electrician but the second one….

The problem with the second one is the location. It is not an area we would have normally picked and the road is tucked in between a couple of what I initially thought were hotels but am told are residential apartment blocks. It is not anywhere near our friends (unless by car) but it is within walking distance of the supermarket, the beach (a long walk), the port (another long walk) and is only a few minutes walk from the view of the mountains.

The property itself has been long term rented but is now up for sale and is the type of ‘look’ that we go for. The interior is bigger than the house we left in the UK but it is mid terrace and therefore the car would have to be out on the road. Mind you that is something the Spanish are used to doing.

Walking into the house felt ‘comfortable’ and I liked the layout (even the quirky shower room under the stairs). Note I said liked and not loved!

I think we could make it into a lovely house with a bit of tlc but my headache is caused by a fear of making the wrong decision.

We lived in our house in the UK for 29 years. I do not want to move again. So will this compromise make us happy?

We can’t afford to wait, there are no houses coming on the market and I don’t want to make the wrong decision.

I think we need to walk passed it again, to take another look inside and be realistic. We do not have a bottomless pit of money and we need to make a decision relatively quickly. I need to go on gut feeling and not think about it so much…


Kitchens, DIY and Shopping

We have always done it ourselves. Normally the cost made it prohibitive to get someone in to do it for us, plus it has always been more satisfying to know that we did it. Our kitchen that we put in our old house was just how we wanted it and I often joked that I had got our kitchen in a Corsa! Flat packs can be marvellous.

But again the learning process here in Mallorca makes me wonder where on earth do we begin!

As anyone who knows anything about buying in Spain or France quite often houses are sold without a kitchen fitted especially in new build houses.

On Friday we are going to view what on paper looks to be a lovely house. It has been reduced considerably and now falls within our price range but it is a new build. So what do we do if it needs a kitchen fitted?

There is no popping down the road to B & Q and picking up some flat packs! There is an Ikea on the island but how do we order items! My last visit to Ikea in the UK was to buy wardrobes and if I remember correctly it entailed finding an assistant, picking the items, going down to the storeroom type floor and putting them on a trolley, queuing up to pay and wheeling them to our car.

How on earth do you do that in Spanish!!

Once again all the years of learning the language did not equip me with dealing with shop assistants and DIY. After all I know el horno is oven but how do you ask for a fan assisted one!

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Ups and downs and the not so good

Today I have woken up in a not so good mood.

I have arthritis in my neck which flares up at times and during the past week I have either woken in the early hours with the start of a headache or ocular migraine or have woken in the morning with a headache. Today it is around the back of my neck and the the crown of my head. It is tiring and wearing and I hate having to take painkillers!

When you don’t feel 100% you do feel less optimistic and the fears pop into your mind. I have no problems with obtaining medication as the farmacia stocks everything and more that I could need but I get frustrated as to what started it off again. Was it the cold damp night and lack of central heating (temperatures drop considerably during the night compared with daytime and there was a mist this morning) plus I cant have a window open during the night and therefore there is condensation on the windows in the morning, haven’t had that for years!

Or perhaps is it the lack of exercise. I have tried to do some yoga to keep supple but there is not the space to be able to lie flat on the floor nor do I have all my exercise disks as they are in storage.

Mick also is having problems as his back went out yesterday while he was washing his hair and he can’t pop along to see his chiropractor!

Add to that the stress of not yet having our NIE which means we can do nothing without it, no replies from the gestor, estate agent or sellers and I feel a bit below par.

Today we have been here 6 weeks and I am concerned that our UK car insurance will soon not cover us, I am aware that everything we own is in storage and costing us money and I need to get things sorted. Note I said ‘I’ for I seem to be the one doing it all – and working full time as well!

Geez no wonder I have a headache!

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Exceedingly Slow, mañana

Talking to a Currency Exchange company, who phoned me from main land Spain today, when discussing our proposed house purchase she said “when do you think you will hear if your offer has been accepted?”

“You tell me” I answered.  After all she lived in Spain, I was still trying to get a foothold!

After a moments thought she replied “how long is a bit of string?”.

As a ‘Brit’ I have to admit that it takes some getting used to and although frustrating at times I have to smile.

“We need to get your NIE number sorted first” said the gestor.  “Fine” said I, “when do you want us to come and see you?”

You’ve guessed it – silence….

We put in an offer on a house and (so far) 2 days later no reply.  Oh well it’s early days yet and no news is good news so they say.

I have to admit that Mick has quite easily slotted in to this slow way of life whereas I am getting there slowly.  After all I’ve still got a foot in each lifestyle.  Live in Mallorca, work for a London company.  Relax in the sun while working for a deadline!

Confusing hey!

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Welcome to 2013

Happy New Year to all my followers and I hope that 2013 is all you dream of.

Seeing the new year in here was rather a quiet affair but then that is not much different to what we used to have in the UK. it seems that in the past few years people no longer stay at home to celebrate and pop outside to wish neighbours good wishes at the stroke of midnight. I can remember last New Year being the only people standing outside while all around houses were in darkness.

This year of course we were strangers in this area. Our friends were all visiting family and our only neighbours were inside with friends having their own ‘party’. Nevertheless we watched the New Year in twice. The first to reach the stroke of midnight was of course here and we had our 12 grapes that we ate with each chime of the clock in Madrid. It was a shame that revellers in Madrid had to stand with brollies up as Spain had a downfall of rain.

Our next celebration was watching the UK and the fireworks which were spectacular.

So we have been wished Feliz Año by our local shop assistants and yesterday was spent relaxing after the excess of food and celebratory drinks and now today we start our journey into 2013 and whatever this year will bring.

I wish health and happiness to all!