Buying a B&B – Steve & Judith Buy a Bed and Breakfast in Spain…

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men. (Part 3)

In my last post I listed what we needed to do prior to our move to Spain planned for mid August and amazingly we managed everything including a lovely party for friends and family to say goodbye.  We were due to exchange contracts the following day and move four days after that.

However, to cut a long story short, the individual at the bottom of our chain pulled out one hour before contracts were due to be exchanged leaving the rest of the chain devastated, frustrated and significantly out of pocket.

In this emotionally fraught situation some of the companies we dealt with were understanding and helpful and some, bluntly, were not.  Our removal company who stated in their literature that cancelling the move would cost 60% of the original price were very sympathetic, offering us a range of options, none of which would have cost us the 60%.

We chose to send half of our possessions to Spain to be stored and to demonstrate to ourselves and our vendors in Spain that we were committed to the move.

I have been a customer of BT for all of my adult life but their reaction and the way I was dealt with on one of the most stressful mornings of my life means I shall never be a customer again even if we ever do return to England.

Unbelievably, at the end of a conversation during which I pleaded for help and was told that nothing could be done to reconnect either phone or broadband without my taking out a further year’s contract and even then it would take up to 5 working days I was told to have a lovely day.  I sincerely hope that the entire call is used for training purposes.

All parties in the chain put their houses back on the market hoping that the chain could stay in place if a good offer was made but resigning themselves to at least a couple of months hiatus before being able to move their lives forward.

Living in limbo is extremely uncomfortable and whilst we seem to be on track again as our buyers have sold their house to a couple who have already completed and our vendors in Spain have generously agreed to honour all agreements made, if we continue with the purchase, we are finding that the days are dragging without a real purpose and with a significantly reduced income. Thank God for the local library.

The latest news is that we are on track for completion in early October and good news though that is, we are finding it hard not to feel cheated out of six weeks of Spanish summer and the opportunity to get the house ready for potential B&B customers as we had a booking for mid October and have had to cancel that as with the best will in the world we don’t feel that we would be up to providing the sort of experience we plan to provide, a mere ten days after moving in.

In an effort to achieve something positive in this difficult situation, we have used the time to sort out some of the “get around to it” jobs that needed doing around the house and garden together with a few administrative niggles.

Steve has played quite a bit of tennis for his club and I have started a running programme to keep both weight and fitness under control as the temptation to sit around reading and both eating and drinking as if we are on holiday is strong, not helped by having a large supply of wine and beer left over from our party and the knowledge that we can’t take it with us.

I am returning to work at the boarding school for a month or so, giving me a reason to get up before 9am and to bring in some extra income as well as keep my brain in gear.

Things could be better but they really could be worse and with luck and a positive frame of mind my next instalment will be written from our Spanish terrace.

You May Have Missed These Previous Instalments…

Read Part 1…

Read Part 2…

Read Part 4…

Read Part 5…

Read Part 6…

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


  1. We’re considering buying a property in Spain and running a BnB. How expensive is domestic help near Barcelona for e.g?

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