Can you remember what you were doing when you first thought of owning your own piece of Spain? Were you inspired by someone who had already done so? Perhaps on a rainy windswept day you opted for one of those properties abroad exhibitions which captivated and reassured you? For others it will have happened as they sat at home, leafed through brochures, sipped their wine and talked it through together.

It was a priceless moment when it suddenly occurred to you that you could cross the fantasy bridge and turn your dreams into reality?

It is a wonderful experience through which every emotion; fear to hopeful anticipation suffuses the senses like the after-glow from a heady wine. Some describe their purchase as the ultimate white knuckle ride. This is where apprehension descends into fear and morphs into exhilaration.

I remember asking a delightful couple how they felt when, after making the decision to buy, watched the paper-chase commence? Sarah laughed. “We were looking cool but underneath the desk we were holding each others hands till it hurt.”


After introducing myself as the Organiser of the Escape Committee I remind clients there are three big things that happen in our lives. Our career, our partner, and the home we will buy.

It is a big decision. 70% of fed up Britons have a home in Spain at the top of their wish list yet only 7% will actually achieve their dream. Reassuringly 91.3% of buyers will be happy they did so.

It does take courage and many of those who don’t buy simply lack confidence. Often one is keen but the other won’t budge; objections are raised. How often have I heard it said, ’We could have bought this fantastic property but I couldn’t convince her/him. You know what they are going for now?”


Eight years ago we were selling delightful semi-detached two-bed bungalows for just £56,000, yet many potential buyers held back. You want to know what they are going for now? Don’t ask.

There are two kinds of people. Those who say look before you leap. Others who say he who hesitates is lost. Caution is a good emotion. It stops us doing foolish things, hurting ourselves. Sadly it is a two-edged sword and as often deprives us of opportunity.

Everyone is different. I recall strolling with a developer’s agent when our conversation was interrupted by his mobile phone ringing. He took the call after which he pointed to a building phase. “See the top row?” I nodded. “The client on the phone; he has just bought the lot.”


At the other end of the scale many spend years browsing web sites, reading brochures or visiting exhibitions. They tie themselves in knots and indecision translates into failure. People will buy a lottery ticket and dream of how they will spend their millions though the chance of their winning is 1/100,000,000. Yet they will manana-manana over a Mediterranean home and lifestyle when the chance of success is 91%/100%.

Browsing on-line or through brochures is a ritual but very few buy a property they identified as ‘perfect‘ in the brochure. A friend at the heart of the industry for many years says, “Of hundreds of properties sold I recall only seven who bought a property picked from a brochure.”

Is it a joint decision? Only if buying meat. Otherwise it is the lady who gives the nod at which point he who wears the trousers turns to the company rep and declares boldly: ‘It’s a done deal.’

Dermot McLaughlin is managing director of



  1. jim says:

    just read this blog, cant tell you how good it is to read a ´good news´ article. the doom and gloom merchants seem to have a strangle hold on the media, both in Spain and the UK, like yourself I have sold property on the costas for years , OK there have been better times, but if you are serious about coming to Spain to holiday or live it doesn’t get much better than now. SORRY, went into sales mode there,
    Heres a message to the ex-pats. Watch the News on the TV that you don’t have to fork out for a license to look at, see whats happening in good old Blighty, young people are losing their lives to a pathetic legal system, everything is becoming too expensive, think about that when you next go out for a meal with friends . petrol is dictating where people go to shop and spend their limited leisure time. Do I need to mention the weather, its difficult to tell the folks back home how bad life is here while you´re sitting on the terrace in the sun with a glass of affordable wine, or laying in the warm water of the pool,¨THEY WONT BELIEVE YOU¨. is there anyone here that really cant afford to shop in the markets ??? don’t think so, OK.OK. its not as good as it was, but its still pretty good, we all know of someone thats gone back, but lets be honest most of them have gone to get on the benefits that the Brit government give to anyone. My quality of life is far better now than it was when I was working 14 hour days, and commuting on the M25 M6 corridor, Do you know what??? there are far more happy brits here than there are in the UK. So stop wingeing, the glass here is always half full, and getting fuller!!! come on , lets take the media on and let them know that Spain is full of happy ex-pats, the horror stories ARE true but they are a tiny tiny minority of the stories, lets heaqr some great tales of life in Spain let the silent majority be heard.

  2. Nice of you to say so, Jim. Not a lot to say otherwise. Why? Because your sentiments are spot on. Who could possibly argue with them? Only snarlin’ jealous Brits who haven’t got the bottle or the brains to see the advantages outlined by you. It just annoys me the way they try to put others off. Well, as my father used to to say to me, I say to them: ‘You made your bed, son; you sleep in it.”

%d bloggers like this: