Real Estate Abroad – Get Your Spanish Dream Home!

Many “Northerners”, mostly from UK but also from other countries such as Germany, Sweden or Norway have long learned about the advantages of owning real estate in a sunny, southern European country. Amongst the top favorites for owning real estate abroad is Spain. There are many things which make it very attractive to own a home in sunny Spain.

The Spanish real estate market is not untouched be the overall poor European economy. While this is a negative if you plan to re-sell right away, it can be a big opportunity if you are looking for a cheap home or villa. All throughout Spain, from the rural areas to the busy tourist locations on the Costa Blanca, you can find real estate agents that offer incredible homes, villas and apartments at very low prices. Many of the properties come fully furnished and have all the amenities one could wish for, such as a swimming pool, air condition or a sun-roof. The properties in Spain are offered at a fraction of the cost what an equal home would cost back in the UK.

Many people from the UK purchase affordable apartments that will become their holiday home whenever they want to go on vacation. They spend most of the year back in the UK and then visit Spain for a week or two over the holidays.

The advantages are obvious: Instead of paying for costly stays and hotels, a nice apartment will wait for you in sunny Spain! Not only will you have nice real estate for holidays in a beautiful southern country: Who knows, at some time you might want to retire and Spain might be just the right place for it!

Another option is if you buy a home or apartment in Spain cheap and then rent it out to other holidaymakers. This can be quite lucrative if you get a good deal on a place such as on the beautiful Costas in Spain. While you will own a nice place in a great country, you will in addition have a good income each month from your rental fees. The agencies will normally take care of everything, like finding tenants and collecting the rent. The real estate agencies usually offer maintenance services as well, this means they will look after your property when you’re back home and you don’t have to worry about anything.

Many real estate agents that offer holiday homes and other property in Spain are originally from the UK, so language will rarely be an issue. Chances are you will find a real estate agent that can advise you with all questions you might have. If you indeed plan to relocate and retire in Spain (a good idea, by the way!) the agents often can give you helpful advice in regards to all the formalities and paperwork required. Owning a property in Spain will be a fantastic option if you are tired of the stress and the poor, rainy weather back home!

Danielle is a real estate expert and has extensive knowledge in how people can find homes using estate agents Glasgow. She enjoys helping people find their dream home!

Top Things to Arrange Before Emigrating

So you’ve decided to take the big step of moving abroad, you’ve managed to find a new job in your chosen country if necessary and you’ve informed your nearest and dearest of your plans. But what do you need to do next?

Preparing to emigrate can seem like a daunting prospect, but you needn’t let practical considerations spoil the excitement associated with a great new adventure like moving overseas. Just put together a checklist of the tasks you need to complete before you go and make sure you tick them all off before getting on the plane.

Here are some of the most important things to get sorted:

Your property

It might be stating the obvious, but deciding what to do with your current property and finding somewhere to live in your new country needs some careful consideration. You might want to sell your house if the move is going to be permanent, but if you plan to return in a few years then renting it out could be the better option.

Of course, you’ll also need to find somewhere to live in the new country, so make sure you devote plenty of time to this too. Speak to local real estate agents to find out what’s available, and thoroughly research your chosen area on the internet so you know what to expect.

When it comes to buying a place overseas, seeking the advice of a currency exchange specialist for sending payments to another country is often a wise move.

Your money

Think about how you’re going to manage your finances when you’re living in a new country. Opening an international bank account is advisable, as you’ll probably need to conduct transactions in different currencies.

You also need to consider your existing savings and investments. Would you benefit most from changing a sizeable chunk of your money into the new currency, or keeping it in sterling?

Having to sort out unpaid bills and cancel direct debits once you’ve moved will be a major headache, so make sure you bring your council tax, utility charges and any other payments up to date before you go. Also, don’t forget to cancel any redundant direct debits and standing orders with your bank.

Your documents

It’s a good idea to get all your important personal documents together well in advance of your moving date, as you never know when certain information will be needed. Compile paperwork such as employment references, driving licences and other key documents, and ask your doctor and dentist for copies of your files.

Schools

If you’re taking your children with you, then you need to make sure their education does not suffer as a result of the move. Do your research on local schools and make sure you register your children in plenty of time.

Remember that education systems vary significantly from country to country and there may be some aspects you’re not familiar with, so it’s worth taking the time to find out as much as you can.

Pets

Your pets may need health documentation if they’re making the move with you, so do your research and find out what the entry requirements are. Some countries may insist that your animals are quarantined for a period and others will require them to have inoculations.

Five Things to Consider When Retiring to Spain

1. Don’t Forget the Traveling Family (and Friends)

You may be leaving your country behind, but no matter what distance you go you will not be able to leave behind the memories of your friends and families. The older one gets, the more they appreciate the loved ones in their lives. When choosing a Spanish house to retire in, consider what its location and amenities offer to visiting relatives. Living near an airport will make it easier on your future guests to book trips to come visit you. Does your new town offer eventful things for the younger people in your life to enjoy like museums and swimming pools, or are there nearby natural landscapes to enjoy like the beaches?

2. Know the Annual Climate Changes

Spain has the complete gambit of seasons. While the country is particularly renowned for its warm and temperate summers along its Mediterranean coastline, some regions of Spain can reach uncomfortably hot and humid summer temperatures. Consider different regions of Spain before retiring; the southeast contains more semi-arid areas while the interior can get very cold in the winter. No matter where you end up in Spain, you will likely want to be sure your home has both an air conditioner and heater installed in the main living room and the main bedroom. You won’t be using either all year, but you will find them a boon to have in the peak summer and winter months which exhibit extreme temperatures in both directions.

3. Know the Medical System Inside and Out

While Spain’s public health care system is quite good, as a UK retiree, obtaining health insurance can be a wise option, particularly if you are at all unsure of your ability to become a beneficiary of Spain’s health care. Health insurance will grant you access to the private health sector where the quality and time access to direct health care is better. For those who do not speak Spanish fluently, one is more apt to be able to find English-dominate facilities in the private sector. Your health, if it has not already, will become your number one concern in your retiree years, and as such it is important for you to feel confident in your health care access.

4. Finding Community

For the expat retiring in Spain, this may be the last home you will ever want to buy. Be sure to locate to a place that has more to offer than charms; find yourself a community. In retirement, you will find you suddenly have a ton of time to yourself. Locating a home within an area with a high concentration of English-speaking expats is a great way to easily find yourself in a supportive and interesting group of neighbours. Ask your realtor about local clubs or meet-up groups in prospective neighbourhoods who offer organized outings like day trips or bridge nights.

5. Learn the Language

Before retiring to Spain, or any country for that matter, it is very important to consider first learning the language. From visiting the local food market to talking to your neighbour about the weather, being able to communicate with the people around you will become increasingly important. You will not want to simply stay locked behind your front door for fear of non-comprehension. Your retiring years are not your dead years. Get out and learn the language and enjoy the local culture.

About author

Will Vicary writes about expat life, life after retirement and topics such as de-risking and auto enrolment pensions.

How the Recession has Changed Spain’s Property Market

The economic crisis had a huge effect on property markets all over the world, and Spain is no different, with the Mediterranean country suffering significantly as a result of the recession. To find out just how it impacted on Spain and everyone hoping to get on the property ladder in the country, read on.

1. Bursting of the property bubble

A few years ago, the story in Spain was very different. Indeed, immediately after Spain joined the euro, the country experienced a huge surge in housing values. Between 2004 and 2008, prices of property rose by 44 per cent.

However, growth on this scale was not sustainable, and this was particularly noticeable once the economic difficulties hit. When people became unable to afford the steep prices of property, demand for houses dropped and, subsequently, so did real estate values.

Many people who had taken out mortgages on their homes also found that their assets had declined in value despite them still owing a huge amount on their properties. Those who could afford their repayments were therefore left paying for more than their house or flat was now worth, effectively bursting Spain’s property bubble.

2. Values have dropped

As I briefly mentioned, all this activity resulted in a sharp decline in property values, and the reduction in the number of people who could borrow money and get on the market meant that there was little movement.

While the housing situation has slowly been recovering in recent years, Lloyds TSB figures show that typical values in Madrid dropped from £219,465 (€248,900) to £193,451 from 2010 to 2011. This is a decline of 11.85 per cent. Other Spanish cities have also felt a drop in property prices, with Valencia’s values declining by 10.15 per cent and Barcelona’s falling by 9.22 per cent in the same period.

Despite this decline, figures from the bank also reveal that Spain is the ninth most expensive place to buy a property out of 13 nations across the world, with the average price coming in at £170,737. It is therefore pricier to get on the housing ladder here than in Germany, the USA and the United Arab Emirates.

3. Rental market faring better

Spain isn’t just expensive in terms of sale prices, as Lloyds ranks it the tenth most expensive country to rent accommodation in, too. Its typical monthly rental price is £672, with Madrid being the most costly of the Spanish cities in which to be a tenant.

The rental market hasn’t been as badly affected by the recession as sales were, as more people were driven to renting property because they couldn’t afford to buy a home or pay their mortgage fees. As a result of this, there was no change in rental costs in Madrid between 2010 and 2011 (with average costs being £804 per month). There was only a small drop in prices in Valencia and Barcelona, declining by 1.62 per cent and 2.74 per cent over the 12 months respectively.

4. Construction has ceased

Another way the recession affected the property market is that many developers were no longer able to continue with their projects, as they couldn’t afford to finish the work and there were fewer people with the means to pay for the final product.

Construction work stopped, which had a huge impact on the property market, as no new assets were coming into the sector, causing it to stagnate.

5. Wider financial crisis

Of course, the property market collapse had other far-reaching effects; for instance, there were no jobs for construction workers, and those who had mortgages could no longer afford them, meaning a number of people lost their properties.

With unemployment levels at such a high (with half of all people between 18 and 25 years of age out of work), many people cannot afford to get on the housing ladder or pay for the home they have. What’s more, the fall in the number of people who can afford to buy a property will mean that there’ll be a lack of movement in the sector and they’ll be priced out of the market for a considerable amount of time.

For the property industry in Spain to improve, the entire country needs to lift itself out of its economic crisis, and it desperately needs expats to provide a financial boost to the market by buying houses there themselves. The good thing about purchasing a residence there now is that prices for properties are far lower than they were a few years ago.

Things You Need To Know When Emigrating

Perhaps it is a new job opportunity or you simply need a change, immigrating to a new country is literally a life changing time for you and your family. During the process of moving your mind is on a million things and there are more lists that you have minutes in the day. So how do you make the move while staying sane and ensuring you cover all your basis?

Number One – Check Your Passports

The first thing you need to organise is your passports, if you have children you need to decide on whose passport they will travel under. Remember you need to plan ahead, the home affairs department gives you a guideline on the time frame it will take to get your passports, but there is no certainty in it.

Therefore, apply for your vista a minimum of six months ahead of time, that way you ensure that you passports will arrive on time and there will be no additional stress and drama placed on your family.

Number Two – A Place To Stay

Once you have made the decision to move and have got your passport application process under way, it is time to focus on living accommodation, you do not want to find yourself in the process of having to find accommodation when you arrive in the new country.

Another thing you need to take into consideration is the season in which you move. For instance, it is an easier process to move during the summer months as you do not need to contend with the rain, wind and snow when unpacking – there is nothing worse than having to sleep on damp mattresses or couches.

Number Three – Your Children

Moving effects your children more than you think, you need to reassure them during the moving process and ensure that they have a school to attend early on so that they do not miss out on important school work. Remember your child will be leaving their friends and everything that keeps them feeling secure. Setup a Skype or email account that your child can contact their friends from, this will help ease their stress levels and ensure they do not feel completely isolated.

Number Four – The Lingo and The Rules

A big hurdle in moving is the language barrier. Ensure that you read up on the lingo of the new country. Another thing you need to take into consideration is the rules and regulations of the country that you are emigrating to. For instance, is there a dress code men and women need to adhere to.

To conclude, use these four steps to ensure that you make the transition into your new life an easy one. Moving is an exciting time and should be treated as such, ensure that you plan ahead and minimize the stress of the move.


 

I am Greg Jones, a water delivery agent for a bottled water delivery company. In my line of work I often see people moving into new homes and over the years I have heard about the stresses of moving. This article is my way of helping those moving during this time with a four step plan to make the move a little easier.