Tuesday, January 16, 2024

NB-ESTATES in HLN: Jean-Pierre and Linda save by wintering on Tenerife: "4 euros for internet and much cheaper shopping"


After retiring, Jean-Pierre and Linda changed course. They sold their house with large garden in Hofstade and bought a flat in Veurne and Tenerife, where they spend the winter every year. And that turns out to be a good choice not only for the pleasant climate: "We are always in a good mood, from the nice weather as well as a glance at our bank account."

Jean-Pierre Op De Beeck (63) and his wife Linda Christiaens (64) have always been active holidaymakers. For instance, they rented a sailboat in Greece for years and even once made a trip from Athens to Corfu and back. "We were therefore planning to buy a second residence in that country, but our enthusiasm plummeted during a sightseeing trip to Zakynthos. It turned out to be freezing cold there, so wintering there was not a good idea. Then, in our search for the locations in Europe with the best climate, we automatically ended up in Tenerife," Jean-Pierre says as the mercury reads 28 degrees when we speak to him in mid-December.

Second childhood

"Tenerife belongs to Spain but leans towards Africa. Because the island is so close to the equator, temperatures are almost constant all year round. It never actually gets colder than 20 degrees and they don't know the leaden heat of mainland Spain here either. That makes it the ideal place for sporty people like us. The heat also has a healing effect. After major back surgery six years ago, my muscles were stiff and rigid. Here they relax completely, which allowed me to pick up my surfing and kiteboarding hobby again."

"Linda and I often hike in nature and I am also an avid cyclist. Just yesterday I rode up the Teide, the volcanic mountain that Wout Van Aert and Remco Evenepoel like to climb. It was a 140-kilometre ride, so today I readied a rest day. We may be experiencing our second youth, but we are no longer 3 times 7."

Bought blind

Last year, the couple spent their first winter on the Canary Island, in their flat in Palm-Mar. That village is in the south, where Michel Preud'homme also has a retreat. The popular Los Christianos is five kilometres away and the airport 15 kilometres. Flying to Brussels takes about 4.5 hours.

"We had to wait about two years for our building to be there. We had only seen the location and the shell, so it was quite exciting to take the plunge. After all, everyone knows the stories of rogue characters running off with your pennies or selling the property way too expensive. But we had an excellent feeling about 'Nieuwbouw Tenerife', whose estate agent we had already met in Belgium. He didn't intrude at all and explained everything clearly."

The fact that the developer was a Fleming also inspired confidence. "The finish and quality are just that little bit better and the style is more modern. We bought a 75 sq m one-bedroom flat. When our daughter comes to visit, she can always rent a flat elsewhere in the building. Soon she will visit and especially at this time of the year she is very much looking forward to it."

Source: Bjorn Cocquyt - HLN