They say an Englishman’s home is his castle, but when that castle is continually doused in rain, perhaps one might begin to think that it could actually be his ‘castillo’. The appeal of a home on the Costa del Sol is nothing new, escaping the never-starting summers, fish that actually tastes of something that once swam in the sea, evening strolls along the promenade, slipping off the espadrilles on allowing the soothing waters of the Med to tickle your toes, who hasn’t had that dream as they rush back to the car for an umbrella. In these uncertain times of lockdown, maybe envisaging a different plan for emergencies could become an option.
‘Ready to enjoy your own castle property in Costa del sol’
Yet castles are expensive, and notoriously tricky to heat. This is why your average Brit seeks out something a little more modest when leaving the island. For a start, once your sterling is converted into euros, the purchase power you might have in Surrey suddenly opens up a whole array of possibilities on the Costa.
Space, after years in semi-detached housing and on crowded trains, the idea of space appeals. While the Malaga region cannot boast the low population density of the heart of Extremadura, with a little imagination and searching, the possibilities begin to offer themselves. The winding roads that lead up from the beach towards the seemingly exclusive properties create an inviting backdrop from which to enjoy an early retirement. Space for you to enjoy a relaxing aperitif on the veranda in the evening, space for a swimming pool, a garden and play area for the grandchildren. As you sip the cool crisp wine with the sun still warming your face well after your friends back home have had their supper, you only wondered why you took so long.
For many years, the simple of the British tourist was to transpose their former, perhaps stale life, to a sunnier clime, with part of the region becoming half-hearted imitations of the homeland they seemingly wished to flee. Unappealing bars serving imported food that you would probably not have looked twice at in its original state now fail to inspire, the buyer is now more worldly and when they aim to start a new life, the onus is on the newness.
Long gone are the desires to own an apartment in a block close to the best fish and chips in Torremolinos. The longing is now to immerse oneself in the Mediterranean lifestyle, and properties, whether classic or modern, are required to adapt to this extension of the self. In this idyllic time, new buyers seek out a pace of life that far removes them from the hustle of their former lives, delving into picturesque towns along the Costa that offer them the chance to become part of the local community, to embark on a newer, perhaps simpler life, with the home as the fulcrum.
What we did in this hitherto unseen time of Coronavirus will undoubtedly mark our future selves. Confinement is only as unpleasant as your surroundings make it. If you had the chance to escape to a retreat where social distancing had already been in place long before, where the finest seafood and vegetables can be dropped at your gate, with the vintner queuing patiently behind at 2 metres’ distance. What better backdrop to unleash those creative urges you have had to quash for so many years, is it now not time to dig out the paintbrush or start that novel? Peace and space, the ideal setting for inspiration.
Finally enjoying that spacious kitchen with the pots hanging from the shelves, inviting the owners to take to the local market and purchase whatever takes their fancy. Trying out local recipes, enjoying the fact that even those simple tomatoes were purchased thanks to the simple phrases that they had learnt, simple phases, that in this new home would soon become complex and meandering sentences shared with new friends from near and afar.
And even if the view over the mountains to the left, the sea to the right and the white village in the middle somehow makes you yearn for what you left behind, the possibilities of short-term rentals, or leaving your place in the hands of an estate agent so that you can enjoy some much needed winter sun while the place pays for itself, mean that the budget can be stretched to something that otherwise might have been viewed as prohibitive to say the least.