Good-bye wonderful Valencia.
The house hunt for this American family living abroad continues
While in Valencia, I was in communication with a nice British couple, living in La Herradura, as they had a short-term rental in Almuñécar. That rental rented faster than we could get the money to them, so we didn’t get that one. The couple said they had other connections and would help us look for long-term as well. So back on-line I go to find other short-term accommodations. Finally secured a beachfront apartment for the week.
Saturday morning, Good-bye wonderful Valencia, we may be back. We embarked on the 6-7 hour journey to the southern part of Spain, with about a 1 hour stop at Apple in Murcia. The drive was uneventful as we drove over the and through the mountains. The terrain was so familiar to us, as around every turn one or the other would say “This looks just like Nevada or California.” It is a bit arid with cactus and a few trees in the hills/mountains and valleys.
The Southern Coast
As we approached the coast line, the Med just glistened with every shade of blue. This felt like home! City life is nice, but this is what we had envisioned. We passed through a few small towns and around the hillside and approached Almunecar around 7pm. We checked into our apartment and they upgraded us to a 2 bedroom! Yeah, the space we need. There was no AC and it was very hot that evening. The next morning, we decided to ask if we could check out early. They accepted and charged us for the one night, plus cleaning. We had 2 hours to check out and in that time we needed to eat breakfast, pack our belongings and find a new place to stay. No problem!
Well we did it! We found a hotel for 2 nights just up the road. This will give me more time to find a short-term apartment, so we can then look for a long-term apartment. An apartment gives us more space, a kitchen with the ever so loved FRIDGE! Also a clothes washer, which we are in desperate need of. We also won’t need to eat out as often. We checked into the hotel (with free wifi, pronounced wee fee) and played at the pool a bit. We then hopped into the car and checked out all of the neighborhoods in this town as well as the neighboring town of La Herradura.
The first night in our hotel, we received an email from the nice British couple in La Herradura. They look after a beautiful 3 bed 2 bath house that will be available mid Sept and they offered it to us for long-term within our budget. (yippee!) Someone was currently staying in it, but we could view it on Wednesday. Appointment #1 complete.
The Wagoner’s have arrived
I then spent about 1 hour searching and inquiring about short-term apartments for 1 week. I then moved on to a lengthy search for long-term rentals, just to be sure we have all options covered. I must have sent 40 emails inquiring about rentals. I even scoured the holiday rental sites and asked the owners if they would be willing to rent something long-term. At this point, it was close to 10pm and we had a long day. We had been in Almunecar for just over 24 hours and the world now knew we were here.
Our long-term wish list
I know it is a big wish list, but doesn’t hurt to have it listed.
- we plan to have kids go to public Spanish school.
- we like Almunecar and have not seen La Herradura yet (we are open to other areas as well)
- we are looking for 3 beds (hopefully main room has 2 twin or a king) – 2 baths
- Air con
- Quiet with Sea view
- outdoor space or terrace
- good for walking to rest/cafe school etc.
- we haven’t decided if we will buy a car yet, but may need parking
- would like to be close to the beaches
- furnished with good kitchen with appliances (dishwasher a bonus)
- washer for clothes (a dryer would be big bonus)
Monday morning (oh, Happy Labor Day to USA), time to get up and get some breakfast. After our meal, I logged into email and had loads of replies. I then had to figure out which were for short-term, long-term and line up all of the availability dates. PHEW! We set a few appointments for viewing the long-term rentals for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I reserved a short-term rental on the spot, beginning Tuesday! Things are looking good baby! Just here for 36 hours and we are getting it all sussed.
We met with one agent in the afternoon and viewed 3 properties. Two way up high nestled into the hillside above the town. The first was locked and the agent didn’t have the keys. We would need to return the following day to see inside, but it was nice outside. The second was just around the corner from number 1, but it was a little dark and stuffy. It was a terraced house, so 2 levels with 3 terraces and was pretty spacious, with incredible views. We all liked it, but for me it didn’t have the “walking” factor. We would need a car for everything.
The third place was a flat, in the city center, at a main round about. There wasn’t good air flow in this one and it wasn’t furnished. There was only a small balcony overlooking all of the action below. They weren’t perfect, but the one on the hill was pretty good. We made an appointment to view the one we missed for Tuesday morning.
We had to other appointments looming for that evening and at 6:45pm, we received confirmation we could view one right away. We met up around 7:15pm and viewed another terraced house nestled into the hillside. This was one of the holiday properties, that I inquired if they would be willing to do long-term. This one was not way at the top, but about 1 block or so up the hill. It was to die for. It met 95% of our mandatory check list! Will they accept a long-term let?
Some useful links when searching for a rental in Spain. They still aren’t completely online, so if you have the time walk the streets and look for signs too. Here are many of the sites we scoured looking for the perfect rental in Spain.
These are the great tools we use to find self catering rentals, hotels, or house sits.
- Home Away Apartments & Villas – Click here for deals
- Flip Key Apartments, Villas, & more – Click here for availability and pricing
- Booking.com Apartments, Hotels & more – Click here for availability and pricing
- Airbnb – If you are new to Airbnb and are looking to either rent a room or the entire place, use this code to receive a $29 USD discount on your first booking.
- Agoda – check out the deals
- House sitting – Stay in luxury homes worldwide free of charge
To be continued…… Where are we going to live Part 3