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Meet the Team : Louise

Louise Hazleden, Marbella Property Consultant

Louise knew from an early age that her destiny was in Marbella and in 2004 she took the bold step to relocate. Since then Louise has been enjoying the Marbella lifestyle while helping others find their dream home. Working in Marbella Real Estate, with two decades experience in the field, she´s seen a lot of changes.

Louise met her partner in Spain. They are proud parents of two children born and raised in Marbella. Here Louise recalls her journey and shares her passion for living in southern Spain.

When did you first come to Marbella and what are your earliest memories from that time spent here? I first came to Marbella in the early 80´s. My dad is a golf fanatic he fell in love with the area and following that all our family holidays were here. Some of my earliest memories are seeing Sean Connery at Los Naranjos Golf Club, chilling out by the pool at the Siesta Club and a little bit later in the 90´s, hanging out at Babaloo beach. (now respectively Ocean Club and Mistral Beach).

Why did you relocate to Marbella? In my early 20´s I had a dream that I would live in Marbella one day. At that time I was living in London running a corporate event management company organizing golf trips to southern Spain. I worked with Abercombie and Kent and Blue Chip organizations such as Chubb Insurance and British American Tabacco. I was collaborating with golf clubs on the coast; Valderrama, San Roque Club, Almenara to name a few and travelling to and from Málaga quite regularly. Leaving Spain always pulled at my heart strings and I asked myself ´´what I am waiting for if I want to live in southern Spain I should do something about it´´. So I reached out to my contacts on the coast and made enquiries.

Tell us about your journey in real estate? In 2004, I had an interview with the Chairman of Ocean Estates International, a leading real estate agency with several offices on the coast at that time. I accepted an International Sales position in their elite division and relocated shortly after. It was a period when inspection trips were hot and clients were flying in to purchase their dream home in 2 to 3 days. This first experience in real estate was a huge learning curve. After some time I was ready to move on and I was contacted for a position at the Danish owned real estate agency Livingstone Estates. The founder had, with the renown architect Melvin Villarroel, built several prestigious developments at Guadalmansa Playa; Torre Bermeja, Cabo Bermeja and Menara Beach.

Torre Bermeja, Guadalmansa Playa

The company had a personal approach, it was a great environment to work in and I formed friendships that made a lasting impact in my life. During my years at these large agencies I gained an in depth knowledge of the real estate market. In 2009, as a new mum, I set up my own Real Estate venture specializing in servicing properties in the exclusive area of Los Monteros Beach. In 2013 I joined forces with the long-established brand Marbella Properties®.

How has the real estate industry changed since 2004? The business is transient and I have seen a lot of people come and go. When I arrived on the scene there where mainly big players such as Ocean, Viva, Interealty, Andalucian Dream Homes. These top agencies had numerous offices along the coast and a legion of staff. Following the financial crisis of 2008 those agencies had to sharply down size to avoid total closure which few managed to do. Following the crisis we have seen the emergence of smaller real estate companies with a more personal approach. While the market was dominated by the Spanish, English, Irish, German and French, we now see buyers coming from across Europe and beyond.

Puerto Banus and La Concha mountain

How do you think the pandemic affected the Marbella real estate market? Marbella will always be a desirable place to live. Its enviable climate, location and ever improving infrastructure are the solid foundations for this real estate market. During the pandemic this became more apparent and encouraged those who had the desire to make a change in their lifestyle relocate, it also pushed those that had been dreaming of owning a place in the sun to purchase a property. Remote working became possible to a wider range of professionals allowing an entirely new generation of home owners to enjoy living in southern Spain. The Marbella real estate market bounced back immediately after the lock down ended and demand remains strong since.

Tell us about Marbella Properties? Marbella Properties® is a long established real estate brand. We are a dynamic team of professional experts that are passionate about Marbella and passionate about property. Buying or selling a property is the largest investment most individuals will make in their life, thanks to our experience we are helping clients make the right choice. Marbella Properties has a loyal client base and are highly regarded among industry professionals.

Where do you live and what do you like about it? I live in a quiet and leafy neighbourhood in Nueva Andalucia. The district of Nueva Andalucia it is a great place to live, it offers loads of amenities that serve us as a family. The village of La Campana is on our doorstep and San Pedro town is easily accessible, both authentic areas that have Andalucían charm and keep things real.

Family time exploring the Benahavis countryside

What do you enjoy most about living in southern Spain and how do you spend your free time? I love the outdoor lifestyle and the weather. I love to see a blue sky and the Mediterranean Sea, it makes such a positive impact on the day. Living by the sea provides a fantastic environment to raise a family, we often cycle to the beach at the weekends. I love the sharing concept of Mediterranean dishes and the delicious seafood. The countryside is great for hikes, river walks, day trips by the lakes, plenty of options for adventure. Road trips are fun, Tarifa and the Atlantic coast is just an hour away and we can easily drive to Granada for skiing in Sierra Nevada. When taking time out it´s yoga, there are fantastic yoga teachers in Marbella and when the opportunity arises I enjoy playing golf. Southern Spain is a magical place and every day I am grateful to be living here.

Property purchase costs – transfer tax reduction

When considering to purchase a property in Spain, it is important to account not only for the purchase price of your dream home also the associated acquisition costs. When buying an existing property (not a new build), the largest cost is the Property Transfer Tax. Since April 2021 (Decree-Law 7/2021) the Andalucian government reduced this tax to a fixed rate of 7%, (previously this Tax ranged from 8% to 10% depending on the property purchase cost). This new fixed rate incentive was due to end 2021.

The good news is that that towards the government declared that this reduced rate would remain in place for the future. Therefore a flat rate of 7% is fixed and applies on second hand housing transactions. Additional to this the government reduced the Stamp Duty from 1.5% to 1.2% on newly build property purchases.

Other costs to keep in mind when buying a home in Southern Spain include legal fees, usually 1% of the property purchase cost, Notary Fees and Land Registry fees. In total budget approximately 10% acquisition costs and then you will not be left caught out when a dream house is in your reach.  

Caminito del Rey

El Caminito del Rey is located in the Desfiladero de Los Gaitanes Natural Park, crossing the municipalities of Álora, Ardales and Antequera. Once regarded as a highly dangerous walkway, it is now one of Spain´s most popular tourist attractions. An Ariel trail 3 km in width and approximately 1 metre wide. One of the most photographed and nerve wracking parts of the trail being the hanging walkway which suspends 100 metres above the river.

Secure hanging walkway at El Caminito del Rey

The original structure dates back to 1901. Built for the workers on the hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls, to pass materials to and fro. In 1921 King Alfonso XIII traveled to the sight and walked a small bridge for the inauguration of the Conde del Guadalhorce dam. Since this historic day the path was named Caminito del Rey, The King´s Little Path. Over the years the path deteriorated and eventually closed as deemed unsafe. The site continued to be used by ambitious rock climbers. at their own peril. 

Hanging walkway above the Guadalhorce river

With the agreement on shared funding by the regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Málaga, Camino del Rey was completely renovated and reopened in 2015. Today it offers visitors a delightful walk with breathtaking views, tracing the Falls along the river Guadalhorce. Surrounded by the natural beauty of Sierra de Ronda and Antequera, the spectacular 7.7 km linear nature walk takes approximately 2.5 hours, with areas to stop and take in the scenes.

We highly recommend this activity to discover the beauty of Andalucia. Tickets are on sale on the Caminito Del Rey´s official website: https://www.caminitodelrey.info/en. Entrance fees start at 10€. The activity is not suitable for children under 8 years of age.  The new tourist centre is to open imminently which will offer parking, bus transfers and restaurant facilities.

7 Top tips for selling your property on the Costa del Sol

The Real Estate market is a competitive business. If you have a property to sell you need to stand out from the crowd. First impressions count, and creating a wow factor in those early moments is paramount. Whether your buyer is pulling up by the front gate, entering through a front garden or drive way, or walking directly through the front door, those early moments need to spark joy.  Buyers get a feeling as soon as they enter a property, you need your property to omit the good vibe feelings. Here we discuss 7 proven steps to help you achieve it.


One of the first visual impacts will be the brightness and the space available. By removing unnecessary pieces of furniture and small decoration you maximize the potential of these aspects: light and space.  Minimalism is popular in interior design and this style can go a long way, it will help your potential buyer envisage living in the property. Cluttered shelves and busy walls can detract the buyers from appreciating the size of the rooms and views. Give each room a clear purpose, if there is a room where you tend to store everything turn it into an office or study. 

Decorating & Fix Up

Walls that are marked and wobbly door handles, leaking taps or dripping toilets. We can get complacent with small imperfections. Those little jobs that you may have been putting off need to get fixed. A fresh lick of paint can help brighten up a room. Make sure all the lights are working – replace light bulbs where necessary. All these details avoids that your buyer is counting what needs to be done around the property. If you have a terrace: keep on top of the weeding. If your property has a garden: be sure that it too is neat and tidy. Fixing small DIY problems can avoid that the buyers conclude that it is a tired or an old property. A property needing  too much work can put  buyers off.

Home Staging

Want a show home effect; well this is what you can achieve with some professional home staging.  Whether it is moving around existing furniture and changing small details to give the property a fresher look. Or setting a workable budget and purchasing  furniture and decoration to update the properties overall feel . A home stager will guide you on up to date trends attractive to buyers.

Spick and Span

When a prospective  buyer walks into your property you want to be sure that there is a freshness in the air, that makes them want to stay. Have regular deep cleans and ventilate the property as best as possible, especially during the winter months. Marble floors can look tried and dull, turn them around with professionally floor  polish company that can bring back the shine. Think about having the upholstery cleaned to give it a new lease of life.

Professional Realtor

Entrusting a professional Real Estate agent is paramount to the success of selling your home. With their knowledge and experience of the local property market your Real Estate agent can guide you on the correct price to market  your property. Real estate agents can provide professional photography and strategically market your property to a local and international market. Furthermore when your Real Estate agent has a viewing at your property they will arrive in advance, open up the property, ensure the best presentation, be informative and ready to answer any questions.

Electrical Appliances

If the boiler is not working well or the electricity trips when you overload the system, it is worth having these issues resolved. These costs might add up, if you can demonstrate to the buyer you just invested in a new appliance it can only add value in the mind of the buyer. You don’t want to sell something that is broken in parts. Having a property that is fully functioning  is as important as how the property looks. Don’t hide any flaws. When you have an interested buyer they would likely come back, or ask their agent,  to revise  that everything is in good working order.

Get the Price Right

If your property is priced too high with comparable properties, you will miss out on property viewings. Property buyers are well researched on the market having access to hundreds of pages of property listings on the web. The price factor can make or break your selling opportunity especially in a seasonal market where buyers are not consistent. Your experienced Property Consultant can guide you best on the current real estate market.

Everyone loves a Chiringuito.

It’s lunch time on a sunny day in Marbella, what better way to enjoy the afternoon than to  head down to your favorite Chiringuito. For those that haven’t heard the word Chiringuito or are not sure what exactly it means; Chiringuito means a place to rest in the shade. Chiringuitos are establishments located on the beach and can typically be of a modest structure where you can drink and eat.

Along the 30km stretch of Marbella´s beaches there are over 70 chiringuitos. The ambiance of a Chiringuito can vary from one to another; some in keeping with a traditional rustic style or even as basic as plastic chairs and tables : where the focus is on quality food at realistic prices in a simple setting on the beach. At the other end of the spectrum there are fine establishments that have created a hip and happening atmosphere with trendy  interior design, live music or DJ sessions, where the music tempo increases as the day hots up then cools back down for sunset.

Fish cooked over coal at Guayaba beach, Linda Vista Playa, San Pedro

Being a prime beach location the principal cuisine revolves around tasty fish dishes, however a good selection of meat is often available too. The most authentic and most popular dishes at a Chiringuito are fried fish dishes, typical to southern Spain and originating in Cadiz. Such as Calamari Fritos and Boquerón’s al Limon. Another fish dish to look out for is  the Malagueña, which is a plate of mixed fish fried – definitely a dish to share. A good old classic is Gambas al Pil Pil (sizzling garlic prawns). Many types of shell fish such as Almejas o Coquinas (small clams in an oil and garlic sauce). There is the catch of the day from wild Sea bream or Sea Bass to seasonal fish caught locally such as Rosada which is similar to cod. You will often see the fish being cooked ´La Moraga´ which is cooked over coal in a small boat, check out the Sardines al Espeto. The best time to eat Sardines is from May to August. You will find traditional Andalusian dishes such as Paella, a rice dish cooked with shell fish and white fish or meat. The Spanish way is sharing several plates; such as Ensalada de Tomato or Roasted Pepper Salad. Tomatoes are a prominent food in Andalucia and a traditional summer soup is Gazpacho – served cold with garnish. If you have any room left ask about the delicious range of deserts preferably those that are Casero (homemade) such as Arroz con Leche – a cold rice pudding, chocolate mousse or almond cake. Of course if you prefer a plate of seasonal fruit or ice-cream these are regularly on the menu.

Classic dishes for sharing at Restaurante Las Flores, Playa Alicate

Everyone has their favourite Chiringuito and one of ours is on the east side of Marbella in Las Chapas; Restaurante Las Flores. A family friendly Chiringuito situated right on the golden sandy beach and next to protected  dunes. We are never disappointed with the food and value for money. Las Sardinales, Los Monteros Playa, is another firm favorite. The Belgium owned Restaurante Casanis Plage a little further along (Playa de Las Chapas is a popular Chiringuito with chic décor creating a fine ambiance with a live DJ sets. The food is splendid and the menu has some popular Belgium dishes too. More expensive than your average Chiringuito this is a prefect option for a splurge and special occasions. 

Catch of the day: Lubina, served at Restaurante Casanis Plage

West Marbella a family favourite is Guayaba beach in San Pedro Alcantara, this venue is always buzzing, the tables are on the sand so leave your cares behind and get sand in your toes for chilled atmosphere and good food. Chiringuito Sol Beach in Guadalmina is a hidden gem, traditional and ideal if you fancy a quiet dinner with focus on the food. Central Marbella La Red is a popular place with the perfect  location if you are town, always a good atmosphere and quality food. We also enjoy El Chiringuito which is by the sports harbor, good for large groups with children, it ticks all the boxes value for money, good food and a relaxed atmosphere.

Chiringuitos are open for lunch and most for dinner, during the high season it is highly recommended to reserve your table in advance. Not all Chiringuitos are open throughout the year and they usually close for up to a month during the winter.