Clare Johnston embraces life in Denia

Clare Johnston enjoying the Spanish lifestyle Credit: Clare Johnston

From a young age, Clare’s passion for the Spanish language and culture was evident, setting the stage for a life in Spain and a fulfilling career with Home España Real Estate Agency.

Clare’s path to Spain was not the typical one for Brits. Unlike many who start from scratch upon moving to Spain, Clare was already well-versed in Spanish. She began her language studies at the age of eleven and continued them at university.

This early exposure and her passion for the language fuelled her desire to visit and practice it in Spain, a journey that was uniquely her own.

It would seem that her parents were also enamoured with Spain. As Clare said, “They beat me to it, and as soon as I left university, they retired and moved to Costa Blanca North.”

Not to be ‘outdone’, Clare spent a year in Valencia thinking that maybe she would meet her future Spanish husband, a Pedro, Juan or Alejandro perhaps. However, her heart was stolen by a man from Birmingham, full of English wit and the rest – as they say- is history!

That ‘Brummie’ became her husband, and they have been happily married for eight years. They live in Denia with their five-year-old son, who is already bilingual. As a family, they consider themselves ‘Spanglish’ as opposed to English. Clare explained, “We speak the language, completely integrate into the Spanish way of life, and could honestly never go back to the UK.”

Is Denia full of Brits?

Denia is the perfect location for Clare. Not only does it mean that she can be close to her parents, but it is also the ideal base from which to travel, which Clare does frequently. Clare shared, “Denia is a mini city with a large Spanish population that we like to integrate with regularly.”

Having dedicated over fourteen years to Home España Real Estate Agency, Clare still finds immense joy in her job, working with her team to sell New Builds from Gandia all the way to La Manga in Murcia.

When asked what she loves most, Clare reflected before responding, “There is something truly special about helping clients find their dream home and being a part of their journey, just as I did all those years ago.”

Clare is not the only long-term employee at Home España Real Estate Agency. The business was built on the need to establish a strong, multicultural, and multilingual team with proven experience in the industry.

Are people still buying houses in Spain?

This professional working environment has driven a sense of loyalty, with much of the team having worked for the company for more than fifteen years.  It was this ethos that enabled them to survive the economic crash of 2008 and then the impact of Covid, and now they are reaping the rewards of a boom in New Builds.

So much so that they have a new website dedicated to supporting clients in the New Build market. The site includes new build opportunities in bespoke luxury villas, holiday apartments and investments all over the Costa Blanca and the Costa Calida.

Clare explained, “While we have a huge portfolio of Resale properties, increasingly buyers are seeking the benefits of a New Build including energy efficient technology and brand new kitchens and bathrooms.”

Outdoor living in Spain

When not working, Clare loves the outdoor living afforded by life in Spain, especially hosting barbecues during spring and summer.  She said, “We live in a holiday destination, so we never feel the need to go abroad in the summer months; we have everything we desire around us.”

Her advice to anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps is to make an effort to mingle and make friends to not feel isolated. She shared, “Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, so newcomers should not be afraid to practice speaking Spanish, no matter how basic the level.”

Also, as was her own challenge when she initially came to Spain, she suggests adjusting to the Spanish timetables as quickly as possible, particularly the afternoon closing of amenities, including banks.

As to whether she has any regrets, with a smile Clare replied, “I honestly don’t. Moving to Spain has been the best decision ever, and I never look back.”

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Written by

Donna Williams

Marketer, copywriter, storyteller and President of Samaritans in Spain. They say variety is the spice of life and I am definitely loving life!

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