If you enjoy getting up with the lark and hiking through the wonderful countryside, do be careful, especially on a Sunday!
There are many areas surrounding Antequera where locals head off early Sunday morning to hunt rabbits, partridge, hare....small animals and in the more hilly areas, 'jabalis' - wild boar. You will see them striding through fields and across hills, gun slung over their shoulders and 'podenco' hunting dogs at their side.
Please ensure when you are driving in Spain that you carry both your driving license and the insurance papers for the car. - it is ILLEGAL not to do so as is carrying a reflector jacket to be worn if you break down and a spare pair of glasses if you cannot drive without them!
You can be fined on the spot. Police in this area are pretty hot about enforcement.
I am not a solicitor (or an Estate Agent!!!) but having bought several properties here and heard horror stories off Brits being ripped-off when buying property , I wanted to post the details of a professional practice of Solicitors based in Antequera where the lawyers speak excellent English and have seamlessly carried out transactions for a number of people I know. (details below)
Buying through Estate Agents can be equally hazardous because they lie or are just plain incompetent! Whilst the buying an old country property can be an exciting challenge, a number of issues exist that YOU personally (or someone you know or trust) need to check and not just take someone elses word for it.
A few things to be aware of;
It is safer and less complicated to buy a house with deeds. If a house has never been registered, it won't have any. They can be applied for but can take several years to be issued. Buying without deeds via a 'personal contract' with vendors gives family members certain rights to pop out of the woodwork and lay claim to the property up to a number of years after.
If it's a house in the country and you can't see wooden telephone poles in the vicinity, it maybe highly unlikely that you'll be able to have a phone line. Alternative options (satelite etc) can be explored but can be expensive and less effective for internet use.
If there is no water to the house, it's not always a cheap, easy and straightforward process to get it there! The local water authorities will survey the area and give you a quote - it is not cheap (similar process to electricity).
Copies of deeds will show whether there are any debts registered against the property, unpaid taxes, mortgage etc.....solicitors check this. Do not rely on an estate agents and the services of their Gestor.
AND FINALLY, if you have some Spanish, scan for properties yourself. Look for SE VENDE signs. Talk to owner directly. Included in price when buying through Agents will be their high, unjustified fees - up to 10% (and much more by the unscrupulous).
As almonds are prolific in this area, they are often used to thicken sauces or soups and will often have nothing in the menu to indicate this. If you do have an allergy, ask 'lleva nueces?' (prononunced 'yeba noo-eth-ess'). Better to be safe than sorry.