When we bought our house we did lots of calculations to ensure we could afford the house. We built in a contingency for both our own income declining (although we didn’t expect it to) and for the exchange rate dropping by 10%. “Why?” asked people we knew, “it’s not as if the exchange rate is likely to drop to 1.30€/£1, it’s never been that low.”
In the latter part of 2008 and whole of 2009 the pound struggled to stay above 1.10/£1, spending more time below it than above it. Dave’s work hours were cut to 4 days a week, the development company Bev did work for cancelled all outstanding projects, meaning commissions expected totalling thousands of pounds in the next few weeks were not going to arrive, many months of work for which she would now never be paid, and the part-time business needed more hours but still produced less income than before.
Our good news was grandchild number 1 had arrived safe and sound in December 2007 and grandchild number 2 was now on the way. On a sad family note, Dave’s Dad lost his long fight with illness in the summer of 2008 and his Mum was needing more care as dementia took an ever greater hold.
We kept our heads above water, but it was not the financial place we had expected to find ourselves in at all. The cost of running our Spanish house was now much higher due to the rock bottom exchange rate and rising running costs, it needed around 35-40% extra in sterling just to stay on an even keel. But despite all the doom and gloom it seemed people were determined to still have their holidays in the sun and bookings for 2008 and 2009 were good and both seasons full.
Dave and Bev Townsend have two homes, their main one in Norwich and a second home in Playa Flamenca in south Costa Blanca, Spain which they also let as a holiday rental www.house-by-the-pool.com. They run a property finding business offering a free service for those seeking to buy a property in the Costa Blanca (Alicante) or the Mar Menor area of the Costa Calida (Murcia) www.SpanishDreamProperty.com. Bev has family in Spain and they intend to move there full-time in a couple of years.