Month: July 2018

5 Great Advantages To Living In Spain

Spanish Flag

Spain is the number one pick for Brits purchasing abroad. Have you ever wondered why? The following are five key reasons why heading to the Spanish Costas is a great idea if you would like to own a holiday home or start a new life in sunny Spain.

 

1. Less Expensive Way to Live

Property in Spain is not only cheaper, but the cost of living there is as well. According to Numbeo.com, a consumer price website, Spain is 19.9 per cent less expensive than the UK compared to consumer prices; groceries and eating out are 16.5 per cent and 29.5 per cent less expensive respectively. Paying €12 for a three-course meal (menú del día), which includes sea views and wine, is not uncommon.

There is not a big difference in cost of utilities, but in Spain’s warmer areas, you won’t spent as much on hating. Council tax is a real bonus, it is called SUMA or IBI and is a lot lower than in the UK. For instance, an average two-bedroom apartment located in Costa del Sol will cost approximately €500 per year.

 

2. Healthy Lifestyle

In addition to being more enjoyable, moving to Spain might also extend your life. The OECD reports that the life expectancy in Spain is 83.2 year, which is the highest in Europe and also two years older than the UK. The combination of a balmy climate, relaxed al-fresco way of life, and Mediterranean diet results in Spain being rated on a regular basis by the World Health Organisation and others as one of the world’s healthiest countries.

In particular, the Costa Blanca is well known for its idyllic climate, and its low humidity level are well-known to help relieve some health conditions, including respiratory diseases and arthritis. For guaranteed sunshine, one of the best winter sun destinations in Europe is the Canary Islands. One thing that provides retirees with a lot of assurance is that the healthcare system in Spain was rated as being eighth best out of a total of 192 countries by the Healthcare Access and Quality Index in 2017. That places it ahead of Portugal (31st), the UK (30th), France (15th), and Italy (12th).

 

3. Affordable Housing

From chic city pads to rust fincas to bargain beach apartments to multi-million-euro villas, the property market in Spain caters to all budgets and tastes. Average home prices in Spain are a lot lower, so selling in the UK might mean you can buy a Coastas home and still have some money left over from your process – which for expat retirees is a common scenario.

Low-interest rates in the Eurozone and Spain means that right now euro mortgages are a particularly good value. Resorts on the Costa del Sol, which is home to the glamorous Golden Mile and Marbella, and Costa Blanca, which is home to the fashionable Javea resort and Torrevieja, offer the entire price range spectrum. Costa Calida, Murcia, and Almeria are some of the other affordable options, where a €80,000-€100,000 budget will comfortably get you a two-bedroom apartment close to the beach.

A majority of people purchase on an urbanisation or complex with one or several communal gardens and pool. Some prefer being in a golf community or close to a fairway. If you would like a Spanish lifestyle that is more authentic and where your money will go further, then you should look inland for a townhouse in one of the whitewashed villages or a rustic finca that has olive trees.

 

4. Diverse expat population

In a majority of Coastas resorts, it won’t take long for you to run into other Brits. Despite Brexit, Brits are still the biggest group of foreign purchasers in Spain. In 2016, they accounted for approximately 20 per cent of all property purchases from non-Spaniards. There are some communities in Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca where all other nationalities are outnumbered by the UK population.

However, you are very likely to run into other foreign expats, particularly Belgian, Swedish, German, and French homeowners. For many people, it is both fun and reassuring to be among other foreign expats and fellow countrymen. It also helps that frequently the common language is English.

 

5. Flights are plentiful

When it comes to selection of flights travelling from and to the UK, not many countries can beat Spain. Low-cost carries, like Jet2, Norwegian Air, Monarch, easyJet, and Ryanair, now have regional airports that link across the two countries. Some of the major airports include Alicante to reach the Costa Blanca, Barcelona to get to Costa Dorada and Costa Brava, Malage to reach Costa del Sol and Palma to reach the Balearic Islands’ Mallorca. These great air links help to make it easy and cheap for family and friends to visit you, and also for you to travel back to the UK for a visit, at Christmas for example.

So is Spain the place for you? If yes, then leave a comment below and share your experience.

 

The 10 Rules For Buying Property In Spain

Rules

If you have decided that you want to buy a property in Spain, you need to find as much information as possible to make the move as smooth as you can. When you buy property, you do not want to run into any surprises or additional costs. Fortunately, there are 10 rules that you need to know and use when you are buying property in Spain.

The Role Of The Real Estate Agent

In Spain, the estate agent’s job is to introduce a potential buyer to a seller. Once you have seen the property and are interested in buying it, you do not work through the agent. You will need to speak to an independent lawyer about the purchase and this must be done before you agree on the sale price.

Why You Need A Lawyer To Represent You In The Purchase

When working with an estate agent, they may not tell you that you need to work with a lawyer to buy property in Spain. This will be true if you are Spanish and know how to make all the needed enquiries yourself. As a non-Spanish national, you will generally not have the linguistic skills or an understanding of Spanish business culture and practices which are very different to the UK. You would never think about buying a property in the UK without talking to a solicitor, so you should not do that in Spain.

Choosing The Lawyer For Your Spanish Purchase

When choosing a lawyer to represent you, you should look at their direct experience with Spanish property purchases. The fees should also not be extortionate, but you should never hire the cheapest lawyer that you find. You do not have to choose a lawyer who operates close to where the property is located as long as they have experience handling property purchases in the area.

Clarify The Total Costs Of The Purchase

You need to clarify the total costs of all transactions at the start. This will include the Notary fees, the purchase tax, the lawyer fees, the property registration fees and any additional expenses. Your lawyer should be able to advise you on these costs and you should not rely on the information from the estate agent. They are acting in the best interest of the sellers and not you.

Third-Party Funding For The Purchase

If you are going to be using third-party funding for the purchase, you need to be careful. You should not contemplate agreeing to a purchase until you are certain that you will be able to get the funding to cover the costs.

When You Pay A Deposit On The Property In Spain

You should not pay anything to the seller or the seller’s agent until you are completely sure that you are going to purchase the property. This means that your lawyer should have completed all of the proper enquiries and reported back to you about this. This will mean that you have to pay the lawyer a bit before you secure the property, but you will be in a much better position for the purchase when you do this. You can also delay the negotiation of the price until you have all of the results from your lawyer.

Getting A Surveyor For The Property Purchase

It is important to note that the property you want to buy needs to be surveyed by a professional who has the correct experience and qualifications. This is a very sensible thing to do, but you might find that some Spanish estate agents discourage this. Spanish people generally do not instruct surveyors to create a report unless there is an obvious problem with the property such as walls that are not straight or big cracks. However, you should still do this, but you need to know what to expect from the report that you get.

Find Out How The Development Is Run

If you are going to be buying a property with common areas such as pools and gardens, you need to ensure that your lawyer has the minutes of the last meeting of the Community of Property Owners. This will help you determine the extent the owners are actually paying the service charge for the development. You should not look at buying an apartment or house in a development where your service charge could be raised to compensate for other people not paying.

Find Out What The Annual Expenses Are Of Owning A Property In Spain

You need to know what the annual expenses of owning the property will be. This will include the property tax, the service charges, the non-resident income tax, water, gas and the wealth tax if applicable. You should not assume that all of the costs are going to be manageable and you need to ensure that you know what they are before you commit to the sale.

Ensure That You Know What Is Going On

If you have gone through everything with the sale and you are still not sure about certain points, you need to ask your lawyer to explain it to you. You should not assume anything and you have to fully understand everything. Once you have completed the purchase it will be too late for you to start asking about the points that you did not understand going in. If your lawyer is not able to explain everything to you, you might not want to use them.