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Ian's Story

Moving: Lock, Stock and Barrel

 

Ian and Jane Johnstone

Living to work; working to live… Come on, we’ve all said this at some time or another! Now meet a man who actually did something about it! Ian Johnstone, a 45-year-old Dumfriesshire man, walked into a Let’s Live Abroad! show one Sunday in July 2005 in Dumfries. He booked an Inspection Tour with Let’s Live Abroad! to go out with our European partners Medsea plc and look at some property in the Costa Blanca with his wife Jane (32). Before you could say ‘José Feliciano’, Ian was living in his new home in Spain with his wife and two children, Katie (14) and Sophie (11). Ian had kissed goodbye to his 18-hour-a-day job as a financial advisor and became a property consultant in a place where there is a lot less rain and barbeques don’t have to be hurriedly switched to an Electrolux hob in the kitchen!

La Laguna

Jane worked as a classroom assistant but now works in property management looking after holiday homes. Daughters Katie and Sophie have settled into a Spanish school having already improved their chances in a competitive job market by becoming bi-lingual. Ian explained: “It’s the best decision we’ve ever made as a family. I won’t pretend it wasn’t a scary thought and a huge step to take but it has worked out so well for us. Two months after booking our trip, we had put down a deposit on our new home. We bought our property off-plan, so it was a bit of a leap of faith. There really wasn’t very much to see when we went to view the plot but we had a good look at the detailed plans and could see that the house was going to be perfect. What amazed us more than anything was the price”. (€180,000 or approximately £128,000). The family bought a three-bedroom, two bathroom detached villa at Laguna Green, outside Torrevieja. The property has a large open-plan living room, a landscaped garden, roof terrace and a communal swimming pool). As Ian explains: “By January of the next year, our house was sold and we were all living in sunny Spain”.

La Laguna three-bedroom villa

“We were kept up-to-date about how things were progressing from the team at Let’s Live Abroad! which really put our minds at rest. It all ran like clockwork and the build was completed on time”.

“In Scotland I felt like I had to work such long hours that I never got a chance to see my family. My daughters were growing up fast and I was missing it. I always felt there must be more to life. Thankfully, Jane supported me and we started to see if it would be possible to sell our house and move lock, stock and barrel to Spain. Obviously, the most important part was to find somewhere to live and the process was far easier than I ever thought it would be”.

Rear view of La Laguna villa

Ian and Jane had saved some money, leaving them some time to find their feet and look for work. It wasn’t long before Ian grabbed an opportunity to work for a company he had already grown to trust: Medsea Estates plc. Ian says: “It’s funny how things have worked out. Just incredible really! Buying a house abroad has led to me getting a new job and a new life for us all. Do I wish I’d done this years ago? Well, frankly, no. I wouldn’t have been ready. We did this at just the right moment: When the girls were ready to start high school. The timing was perfect for us. Our house in Scotland sold quickly and our new place was ready on time. Yes, we’ve been really lucky”.

Ian’s story was originally told to Laura Davidson at The Sunday Mail.