Bahia de Casares has had many American residents living over the years. Here is a story of one such couple and how they came to buy on Bahia de Casares.
I first saw Europe in August. 1943; sailed right through Gibraltar on my way to Oran. Never in my wildest dreams thought I’d reside on that sunlit coast for over a quarter century. Did N. Africa, Italy France, Germany and Austria returned stateside in 1945.
We returned to Germany in 1962 where I served as an EE at USDOD for 23 years and retired in 1985
Our love affair with Spain started in 1979; we came to see retired friends in Estepona and wound up buying their extra bungalow; dinner at Pepe’s Playa Bella did the trick. We came down so often that we decided to retire in Spain. We wanted a bigger place to settle in full time. One day we took friends to the Yellow Book and actually met and talked to Sean Connery; just the beginning of a big day; afterwards drove up the Casares road; stopped at a Ceramica owned by an American woman; got into a long gabfest about Spain in general and Bahia de Casares in particular. She Knew of a well known Canadian Golfer, Peggy Sherlock, whose husband had passed away and who was very anxious to sell and return to Canada. I recall this was a Tuesday, we hurried to the house but no one was home. This was 1984, I had not retired yet and had to be in Germany the following Monday. Went back Wednesday and Thursday; no one! Friday was our last chance; sure enough Peggy showed up. She was gracious and helpful; frankly the house knocked me for a loop! The FP the baths, view, everything; we have added much over the years but even then it was a knockout! My wife whispered “What do you think…..?” I replied “for sure, it’s l little palace…..!”. Happily before my enthusiasm got the better of me she added ” I’ll reduce it 10%…..!”.She arranged a contract signing that very evening in Marbella and in less than 24 hours later we were driving back to Germany with a done deal.
Andrew, there were many, many Americans in Bahia de Casares. My own personal experience is different from most as I had been in Germany for so many years. We considered staying there but cost of living and property values were prohibitive. And it is here that our experience converged with other Americans; they also had a yen for property in Europe; many had ethnic and language ties and wanted to be able to spend at least part of the year there. It is here that Spain stepped in and made this possible for us by offering beautiful little houses and reasonable cost of living with the best climate in Europe. As you are no doubt aware, some of the older real estate companies like Panorama in Marbella ran wonderful programs for bringing affluent Federal Employees from Washington DC with the the proviso that the flight was free if you bought property. Bahia de Casares had retired professional people, engineers, high ranking military; I had a Nuclear Engineer and the first woman to become General in the US Army within a stone’s throw from my house.
In 1985 the entire four houses of my street were owned by Americans. The cliff houses were owned almost exclusively by Americans. We all knew that the roads were so poor that we had to leave at 4AM for Germany; we wanted to make La Junquera before midnight; the gas was miserable;we couldn’t make Mijas with a 3 year old M/B! Remember Red X from Gib God bless it! Who cared!! The Wine was good, the Seafood tops Spain was like a dream!
Where did the Americans go? Death and infirmity surely. But they dwindled down to just two left in Bahia de Casares. Things are not good in the US today.. I think the skyrocketing cost of airtravel doesn’t help. Think of the prices and the distance involved. I think the worst mistake and the biggest blow to Americans was the cessation of direct flights to Malaga from all the US east coast airports. I think the American Club tried to address that for years to no avail. It was really not a good idea!
I think the return of Americans to Spain in former numbers is possible Houses are surely more attractive at present prices. Perhaps Iberia/BA could offer better promotions and restore direct flights to Malaga from all airports. For instance, I have to get off my Duff and get going; I’m staring 90 in the face and a direct flight Orlando-Malaga would be so much easier!
If you would like to share your story about your urbanisation and how you came to own a Spanish property, please feel free to write to [email protected]