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12 unofficial Stoic rules for buying a property in Spain

Jordan Peterson, is suddenly a famous name in the world of philosophy but more than that- every talk show, you turn on or magazine you pick up is speaking about his 12 rules for life. The former professor at Harvard and professor of psychology at the Toronto University is a sudden celebrity. I recently read his book and I wonder what can we learn from him while looking to buy a home on the Orihuela Costa? If he had titled his book- 12 rules for buying a property on the Costa Blanca, how would it look and sound?

Take responsibility for your own life, is his main philosophy- Imagine if more people just did that.

No, it´s not your bosses fault that you can’t come to Spain, or that you are stressed or undervalued. It´s not the estate agents fault that your Spanish property deal went pear shaped (you picked the wrong agent!). Take responsibility for your life, as Peterson said, it’s the "antidote to (buying a home in Spain) Chaos”!


harbour in Cabo Roig

Here are the rules according to Peterson.

1. Live as if you died already

and you were somehow given a second chance to live, but live better. You couldn´t buy a home on the Costa Blanca ten years ago… But you can make the decision to do it today!

2. Remember that every person you meet is an opportunity for kindness –

are you trying to sell your property in Spain. Why not, rather than squeeze the goodness out of the sale do you not try to leave a little something extra for the buyer- you´ll feel great for it.

3. Try to get better, not better than your boss,

not better than the neighbour, better than you were yesterday. Stop comparing yourself to the billionaire who can buy any house on the Mediterranean he wishes… You want a change. You want a new home in Spain… be better than you were when you didn’t have one and go ahead and make the decision to do it.

4. Forgive others but don’t ask for forgiveness.

We all make mistakes- don’t let others eat you up- get your toes onto the soft white sand in Cabo Roig and let it all go.

5. Hold less opinions- I love this one.

When was the last time you changed your mind, because of an argument another person gave you?

6. Pick a Cato and use him/her.

I often arrogantly say to my kids if they are ever wondering what to do next ask themselves… "What would Daddy do in this situation”.

While I don’t necessarily recommend all the world to use me as their Cato, why not pick a successful person and try this. Ask yourself what would Richard Branson do? Would he find the right agent in Spain first, then get his finance in order, then buy his dream home in La Zenia, (or would he procrastinate, complain about the exchange rate, Brexit and the Beast from the East?)

7. Practice better spending habits.

We recently returned from a weekend in an affluent suburb of London- you can picture the scene; the land rover in the driveway, the boat parked to the side of the house, the sheer size of the house which is home to 2.2 humans, a pure breed dog and a nanny.

For me, I was thinking how can people afford this? Well, 65 hour working weeks is how. Would these people be better to downsize, get a second home in Spain they can afford and spend the summers on the Costa Blanca in their mortgage free Spanish Villa?

8. Consider the worst-case scenario.

We might not know what you are doing, the price might drop, what if my new Spanish property is not even legal, in five years I´ll be 50? Think about it, always have a safety net and do it anyway! A typical safety net is a Spanish lawyer- don’t try to save the few euro on legal fees by thinking you can trust the bank or agent not to mess up- trust the dealer but cut the cards anyway.

9. Thank people and keep a list of what you have learned from them,

especially the bad. I recently had a disagreement with an ex-employee. I had set her up in the business she now owns for no financial gain to me personally, yet she has told my friends that she never wants to speak to me again over a petty matter. Now, I learned something from this incident- did she? I 100% believe she would have been better off thanking me for what I did not what she thinks I should have done better, rightly or wrongly. I now thank her for what she did for me!!

10. Ok, this is a matter of practice what you preach, (or not!).

Get up as early as you can and go for a walk on La Zenia beach! We all have excuses, for me it’s the kids, schools, work etc., but on the day´s I walk Messi (the dog) on the beach to see the sun rise, my day is better. Simple. (Yes, I should do it more often)

11. I started this one years ago, take cold showers.

You can jump in the cold sea instead, it feels good and like banging your head off a wall or working your life away in a job you hate, it´ll feel good when you stop!

12. And finally,

my favourite and again one everyone can benefit from. If it is not right don’t do it and if it is not true then don’t say it. We all take a short cut or two, we all say something we shouldn’t have, often to make ourselves feel better and put the other guy down. It´ll come back to haunt you, don’t say it, and if you’ve already done it, try to rectify the damage. Have you been fooling yourself all these years?


So that’s my very unofficial "Antidote to the chaos of living in Spain and buying a property on the Costa Blanca”. Apologies to Jordan Peterson in advance- he says it way more elegantly than I do!

All you need to do is book your inspection trip with Claire and I´ll be delighted to discuss the rest of the story with you over a coffee. (perhaps a coffee with a view over the Mediterranean!!)