In the Spring of 2014 Melissa Spero and her husband walked out of the notary with the keys to their dream home in their hands. At last, after 12 months of searching, visiting, deliberating, etc. they were ready to finally realise their dream of a second home in Ibiza. After the purchase they embarked on the journey of transforming the property into a place that corresponded even more with their vision and after 12 months of a full renovation they were finally able to spend their first summer in their new home Los Olivos. Read here the unique journey of Melissa and her husband…
Prestige Properties: Tell us a little bit about your first experiences in Ibiza…
Melissa Spero: I first came to Ibiza in my 20s and was immediately struck by its energy, light and stunning natural beauty. From that moment on, I knew I wanted to live here at some point in my life. It took another twenty years of solid graft to get here but I made it in the end!
What made you want to buy a property in Ibiza?
I wanted a sanctuary from the hard life of working in London, but I also wanted to have a place where I was surrounded by open minded people from all walks of life. Ibiza is unique in that sense – to be able to live in such beautiful natural surroundings with such a diverse and ever-changing community of people is what makes it so special. Also, the dramatic difference to life on the island in different seasons means that it is like living in four different places every year so that ensures things stay interesting. It is also super easy to hop on a flight back to the UK whenever you need to.
What kind of property were you looking for and why?
We started off by wanting a property in the campo where we had a view of the sea and sunsets. Mid-way through the search we got seduced by some lovely houses which had neither of those things and thank god the house we eventually bought had both.
What points were you willing to compromise on and where did you draw the line?
I thought I had been willing to compromise on a sea view, but eventually I realised I wasn’t: what’s the point of living on an island if you can’t see the sea? I’m also so glad that the house is located centrally – great for beaches but also really convenient for Ibiza town (which I love), schools and the airport.
Tell us a bit about your general experience of searching for a home in Ibiza?
Hard work – along with Prestige I spent hours scouring the internet for suitable places. I got totally carried away at one point and got way out of my budget. Luckily the place that Prestige found for us ticked every box.
What were the biggest challenges you faced during the searching process, and was Prestige able to help you overcome some of these?
We wanted to cast our net really wide and Prestige told me that in addition to their own properties they work with other agents on the island so if I saw something, Prestige would organise it all for me and make it as pain-free as possible with the other agency. When you don’t have the luxury of time, this approach is fantastic.
Once you found your ideal property, how smooth (or turbulent) was the process until finally signing at notary and making it your own.
Prestige made the process super easy and efficient – they talked us through the necessary steps we had to take and it was went extremely smoothly.
If you have experience buying property in other countries, is there something that makes the process in Ibiza stand out in a particular way?
You have to forget your experience of buying a house in your home country – lots of old properties here don’t have the correct papers but that is the norm here so keep your nerve. As long as you have a good lawyer and are working with a good agency you will be fine!
What would your main advice to other home buyers, about to embark on a similar journey, be?
I’d say, explore every inch of the island. Because it’s in mode at the moment, people automatically look for properties in the north of the island, but the areas like Buscastell and Benimussa, near San Rafael where our house is located have everything – breathtakingly beautiful countryside, the best sunsets and beaches, as well as being close to amazing Ibiza town and Dalt Vila – where life remains during the winter months.
Overall, what difference do you think working with Prestige made in your journey of finding and buying your dream property in Ibiza?
Without Victor at Prestige, we wouldn’t have brought our dream house and I would probably still be taking the tube to work every day in London – so I’d say the difference was life changing!