Dec 092013
 
Spanish driving license – beware!

Having a Spanish driving license can be hazardous, as I have just found out.  Unlike UK driving licenses, Spanish driving licenses expire every ten years.  Unfortunately, you receive no notice that they are about to expire and that you need to apply for a new license.  So, sadly, the only time that you likely to find out that your Spanish driving license has expired is when you are stopped by the Spanish police.  At this […]

Dec 052013
 
Charity work in Spain

Many expatriates, to their enduring credit, undertake a lot of charity work in Spain.  This is a somewhat unusual concept for the Spanish (as something of a generalisation!), who seem not to have quite the same sense of noblesse oblige as the British. In fact, many of my expatriate friends and acquaintances spend a good part of their time in doing charity work in Spain – most notably for The Original Charity Shop in Javea.  […]

Nov 132013
 
Avoid demolition and fines when buying property in Spain

This week I was sent a cutting from a UK newspaper (see text) which is a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of buying property in Spain.  The article centres on an elderly British couple whose Spanish villa has just been demolished by court order because it was illegally built.  This, once again, emphasizes how important it is to be careful when buying Spanish property – and how vital it is to know how to avoid […]

Nov 132013
 
10 essential questions for your Spanish conveyancing lawyer

10 essential questions for your Spanish conveyancing lawyer 1.  Is my intended property in Spain designated as Urbano (on designated building land) or Rustico (on agricultural land? 2.  If the property is Urbano is it fully urbanised?  I stress ‘fully’ urbanised, as a property that is not ‘fully’ urbanised can be subject to an infrastructure project, which could result in you losing a part of your land and paying very considerable money towards the infrastructure works. 3. Does the property have a […]

Oct 312013
 
An end to the recession in Spain?

So, the Institute for National Statistics in Spain (see: INE in English) has just announced that the Spanish economy has grown – for the first time in two years.  The growth is actually minuscule at 0.1% (over the past three months) and is unfortunately 1.2% down – year on year.  However, it is positive news and begs the question as to whether it points to a true end to the recession in Spain? On a […]

Sep 162013
 
The Spanish property market, up and down!

So, what is happening to the Spanish property market? Well, the numbers of overall sales are still collapsing and prices, in general, are quite likely to continue falling.  However, against this general trend, purchases of Spanish property by foreigners have soared to the point at which foreign sales of Spanish property now make up one sixth of the sales being made in Spain! This is significant both for buyers and (some) sellers! Certainly, there are […]

May 032013
 
The 5 secrets to buying Spanish bank repossession properties

Of one thing you can be sure – there are untold numbers of Spanish bank repossession properties for sale! Indeed, the Spanish banks are the greatest property owners in the country, with huge portfolios of properties. Needless to say, the Spanish banks are desperate to rid themselves of their properties and have been dumping their repossessions onto the market for the past few years, selling them through agents and via dedicated bank property web sites. […]

Apr 242013
 
Energy Efficiency Certificates in Spain

So – as of the 1st June 2013 Energy Efficiency Certificates in Spain will be obligatory for all properties for sale or rent. These Certificates provide an energy efficiency rating for properties, with the rating graded from A to G (with A being the top rating for a very energy efficient home and G for the least efficient property). Energy Efficiency Certificates in Spain can be obtained only though properly qualified and registered energy efficiency […]

Apr 192013
 
Spain and A Place in the Sun

The past week has been quiet at Culture Spain because I have just returned from the A Place in the Sun exhibition in Olympia, where I was one of the three members of the expert’s panel on Spain – along with the British Consul for Alicante (Paul Rodwell) and a lawyer specializing in Spanish legal work (Alex Radford). The A Place in the Sun exhibition was certainly interesting and notably well run by the A […]

Apr 102013
 
The Spanish economy, light at the end of the tunnel?

In my last Post, I commented that I felt that the worst of the Spanish property crash was possibly ‘over’ and that certain types of properties are probably bumping along the bottom of their downward price range. This, obviously, begs the question as to whether the Spanish economy itself is actually stabalising? Well, any pronouncements about the Spanish economy have to be made with the very greatest care, most particularly if they concern anything to […]

Apr 022013
 
Fires in Spain, the reality and what to do

If you have been wondering why we have been quiet at Culture Spain this week then this is because last weekend we expereinced the full force of when fires in Spain go out of control! Indeed, we were at the centre of a ferocious wildfire that swept through our mountain valley.  Almost everyone was evacuated from their homes, whilst the fire service battled huge flames that lit up a vast area.  These were eventually put […]

Mar 122013
 
Health care in Spain - the best place in Europe for healthy living!

Well, it seems that if you want to live a long life in Europe then you should live in Spain – the Lancet claims that Spain is the top country in Europe for the healthiest life expectancy.  This is good news and maybe puts all the bad news about Spain into perspective! Certainly, healthy living in Spain must rank as one of the most important factors for anyone thinking of moving to Spain.  After all, […]