On the Costa del Sol there are many lovely houses and apartments for sale and in almost every corner you can find a real estate office. However, when it comes to buying an apartment in Fuengirola or buying a home on the Costa del Sol it is essential to chose an agent who is not only professional but knows the neighbourhood and speaks your language.
La Villa Realty
We have met Jealina Wendel and Iñaki Presa Jaén who just opened their office, La Villa Realty, in Fuengirola. Both have many years experience in the business world and have founded their own companies in other fields of business before coming together to start this new office.
The day of our meeting is wonderfully sunny and a nice breeze is blowing through the palm trees where the parrots are chirping away.
We are sitting at a nice out door café having a cappuchino and some churros, the traditional spanish pastry. On the playground nearby some children are running and climbing and laughing with each other. On the other side there is an older couple on a bench enjoying the sunshine and the happy energy from the children.
We ask Iñaki and Jealina what made them start their company. Why real estate, why Fuengirola and how did the two of them meet?
Jealina answers right away: “Passion. We have a passion for the business of real estate, to find the perfect property for the client. It is a very diverse job, no one day is the same. We simply love real estate and we love our clients!”
The story of how they came to work together is a quite simple one, Jealina´s partner bought his house in Marbella from Iñaki, and was later in the process of selling again, and so they became business associates, friends and colleagues.
Fuengirola was the natural choice for them, being situated almost in the middle of the lovely coastline named Coast of the Sun. This name is very apropriate seeing that they enjoy 320 days of sunshine per year.
When trying to explain their view on real estate in general and their company in particular, Iñaki uses the nearby playground pirateship as a metaphor. “The clients come to us with a vision, they want to get from one shore to the other, maybe from the big modern port to the old exotic island in the distance. Sometimes they don´t know how to get there, sometimes they can realize during the journey that they´d rather have a smaller boat instead of the big yacht, or they see another stretch of land they want to explore. It is our job in all of this to take the best care of our clients, as captain of the ship. See to it that they have all their needs met and to get them to shore surely and safely.”
Jealina continues “Some clients bring a long list of demands and requirements they want in their new home, almost like your list to Santa for Christmas and that´s great too, it helps us help them even more”. As with most things in life, it can be difficult to get all your requests in the same place. Sometimes you may have to make a compromise. “Our aim is to make that compromise non-existant or as small as possible”, assures Jealina.
They both emphasize the importance of respect and integrity towards the clients. They listen intently to their wishes so as not to send them on wild goose chases looking at properties they are not interested in. The waiter comes to our table and asks us, in Spanish, if there is something more we would like to order. In many tourist cities they might ask in English first, but Fuengirola has kept a lot of the Andalucian charm even though it is one of the most popular destinations for people from all over Europe.
“Fuengirola is close to the airport, has a train connection to Málaga and the airport, property prices are very reasonable and the beaches are fantastic”, says Iñaki, and continues: “We also have our own ancient castle, El Castillo Sohail”.
We talk a little about the real estate market in Spain and the Málaga area and they tell us about how the economy has developed in recent years and that more and more foreigners are looking to buy a place in the sun. Almost 20% of the sales goes to foreigners, mostly Brits but also Germans, Dutch and Scandinavians buy a lot.
“There are a lot of exciting things happening on the Costa del Sol in the coming years”, says Iñaki, and mentions a new and improved port in Marbella and a big leisure center in Torremolinos among other things. The area is really bustling with energy and optimism. Now is really the perfect time to buy a property, as prices are still low but going up.
“In Fuengirola alone there are over 1000 apartments for sale at the moment, so there is a big chance your dream home is waiting for you”, says Jealina.
Buying a property on the Costa del Sol
Looking to buy an apartment in Fuengirola or a house in Marbella? Maybe you want a holiday home along The Costa del Sol? Or are you looking to make an investment in Spain? One of the many questions that arise when you are planning to move to Spain or if you are just buying a holiday home is: Where should it be located?
This is a seemingly simple question for some, but for most people there are several factors that come into play. Some are wondering which area in Spain has the best climate, others would like to live somewhere close to other Expats, some want to live in a big city, for some it is important that there is a good international school for expats nearby, while others want to have access to hiking trails in the rural areas and still others are looking for the best golf courses.
If you ask in one of the many Facebook groups for expats in spain about “where is it best to live?”, you are likely to get many different answers. Marbella, Fuengirola, Torremolinos, Nerja, Benidorm, Gran Canaria and so on. Everyone seems to think that where THEY are living in the best place in Spain, which is a positive thing, because it means that they have found what feels right for them.
Costa del Sol
Costa del Sol, a coastal strip of about 200 km between Nerja and Manilva, has a subtropical climate, plenty of history, good food, and excellent opportunities for an active life. The name is well deserved since the Costa del Sol boasts 320 days of sunshine a year. The capital of Costa del Sol is Malaga with about 530,000 inhabitants. One of the first things to decide is what area you want to live in; Nerja, Málaga, Mijas or Marbella? What are your interests; golf, sailing, hiking, culture or food?
When you have figured out what your favourite area is, it still remains to find the ideal home within that area. Should I live centrally? Should I live within walking distance to all amenities? Would I rather live in the countryside and be dependent of a car? What about the neighbourhood? Do I wish to have Spanish neighbours or should I live close to other Expats?
Then there are many more things to consider; How many rooms do you need? Do you want a big roof terrace or rather a small balcony facing the active street below? Should there be a swimming pool or a playgroud nearby? Would you like to have seaviews? Is proximity to the beach important? Heating and cooling of the house and the hot water is another thing to look out for; is the water heated by solar panels, electricity or gas, is there air condition? And what about the kitchen, what appliances are there? What is necessary for your needs?
The focus for La Villa Realty will be buying and selling property of all prices along the coast, from Nerja to Gibraltar. They are working with a “turn-key-concept” which means they guide the client through the whole buying process as well as recommending lawyers, builders and contractors.
La Villa Realty
Address: Avenida Santa Amalia 28, Fuengirola
Phone number: +34 693 740 847
Web page: lavillarealty.com
Jealina Wendel was born in the south of Sweden and has lived and worked in several countries in different sectors, such as sales, communication and tourism. She is the co-founder of a company in Fuengirola. Apart from her native Swedish she speaks Danish, Norwegian, English and Spanish. She is the mother of two and lives in Marbella.
Iñaki Presa Jaén was born in the north of Spain but has been a “Malagueño” since the age of three. He has founded a popular life-style magazine as well as a company in the marketing sector. He also has over 20 years of experience in the real estate business with a deep understandning and knowledge for the market and especially Costa del Sol. He speaks Spanish and also has an advanced level of English.