We are going to take early retirement to Sunny Spain

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08 Jul 2011 00:00 by victoriaplumb Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Hello

My name is Vicky and my husband is Pete.  Six years ago we went for a cup of coffee in a beach cafe in La Cala de Mijas.  We ended up staying at the beach table for lunch and wine.  It was this day we decided that when my husband reached 55 we would take early retirement to Spain.  Although we are one year over out plans due to the economic crisis in the UK we are now in a position to leave the UK on March 31st 2012.  We just can’t wait.  However, the stories of mistakes and warnings keep our feet firmly on the ground.

 

So where do we start?  Find a town, perhaps rent to begin with?  Do our research? ( hence finding this website that is excellent by the way).

We are not looking for grandeur just a home that will fit the visitors in now and again.  We know the Costas but have never explored any further.

Is the any advice on how you started?

POh by the way, we are going to learn to speak Spanish during our time left in the UK





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08 Jul 2011 12:51 by gerrycon Star rating. 6 posts Send private message

Horses for courses I´d say when it comes to deciding where you want to live.  Inland-  cheaper,  beautiful,  stinking hot in the summer and much colder than the coast in the winter,  at least in high lying areas.  The coast,  well the attractions are obvious but it is pricier and busier in summer and English is widely spoken(is that good or bad-  you decide). 

Having been through the experience,  I´d say to you:

Yes,  rent before you buy.  With The Bank of Spain forecasting house prices to fall still further it is likely to prove a wise investement for once.

It´s a buyers´ market right now as well,  bear this in mind.  There are bargains to be had esp. if you are willing to shop around and bargain. 

GET A GOOD LAWYER,  either recommended by one you trust or found independently.  If nothing else, do this.

Set aside some of your hard earned to contract a Gestor-  the angel who will take care of the nightmare of "life administration" for you-  and don´t underestimate how much hassle this is.  These people exist precisely for this purpose.

Beware of unscrupulous people in any walk of life who will try and rip you off.

I hope the above does not put you off. It certainly is not meant to.   Living in Spain is a wonderful experience but it pays to be vogilant.





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08 Jul 2011 13:37 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 367 posts Send private message

Whether you rent (good idea initially) or buy my only advice would be to avoid living in close proximity to British enclaves because many who were merely miniscule cogs in the UK  suddenly  IMHO become overbearingly pompous, bullish, snobby and cliquey when they relocate here.  

Nowhere in Spain is devoid of your fellow countryman so you will never feel isolated.  Just retain a few kilometers of space to choose true friends in preference to have  "friends"  foisted upon you.

 





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08 Jul 2011 13:38 by campana Star rating in Marbella. 480 posts Send private message

campana´s avatar

Hello Vicky:

 

You are welcome here! By and large I would echo what Gerry has just said: "Living in Spain is a wonderful experience but it pays to be vigilant."

Definitely read the more recent articles published on here by Justin (click on "articles" ).

Definitely rent first, which will allow you to get a feel for your surroundings.  If you can, try to hold on to your home back in the U.K. for a while, just in case.

I can't over-emphasize the need of having a good lawyer.  Despite comments to the contrary there ARE excellent lawyers in Spain.  And as Gerry so rightly says, do not hesitate in using the services of a "gestoría" to deal with the tiresome red-tape.  Again, choose the gestoría wisely, and keep away from amateurs in this particular field.

When you do come over, and rent, then do some exploring.  Get on the train, travel throughout the country.  Visit some of the inland places, maybe stay in one or more of them for a night or two.  If you finally decide to buy and live here, try to plan to be away from southern Spain for the Summer months, or maybe plan to get away to the north of this country. 

As Gerry says, the heat is appalling.  Even after decades in Spain I never got used to the Summer heat. 

Best of luck

Patricia

 

 

 





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08 Jul 2011 15:31 by johnmfranci5 Star rating. 111 posts Send private message

For gods sake read the threads on the site concerning Bank guarantees (and how useless they are) and never never ever consider buying off -plan.

Trust no-one in particular Spanish Lawyers or politicians !!

Make the assumption that you wiil receive no help whatsoever from the Spanish government should you be ripped off.

Remember there many hundreds of people of all ages who have been fleeced of their life savings and the Spanish legal System in reality offers no protection whatsoever for the vast majority of people affected.

Its happened to me and many others but at least I am only mid 40s.

If you do love Spain so much that you do want to buy however then perhaps you are in a position of great strength and I would aim to offer no more than 70% of the current askjng price (which should be far less than a few years ago anyway). Even with that I would still get private legal advice in the UK from Spanish specialists as well as Spain because recent history has shown how many pitfalls there can be.

 I would also be in no rush to convert too much money into Euros just yet. If and when the Euro does collapse then the exchange rate may very well be that much better. In fact if Spain ever does have to return to the peseta then that would likely be hugely beneficial to Britains with the majority of their savings still in pounds. To that end renting for some time is the ideal answer.

The SPanishgproperty market  is now so bad it will take many many years to recover so I do not see any rush to buy.

Sorry if the does sound rather pessimistic but I only wish someon had took me and given me a good reality shake when I foolishly parted with my money in the naive belief it was  a great thing to do ! ...If only I had waited a while .......

Forewarned is Forearmed as they say !

 Good luck and I wish you well !

 


 



This message was last edited by johnmfranci5 on 08/07/2011.



This message was last edited by johnmfranci5 on 08/07/2011.



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12 Jul 2011 09:06 by Jon07 Star rating in Sydney. 86 posts Send private message

We are also planning to retire in Spain next year & the objective advice from Patricia etc below is just superb !

Wonderful Forum & please keep up the good work.

Thanks,

Jon





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12 Jul 2011 11:53 by Sneezey Star rating. 64 posts Send private message

Sneezey´s avatar

johnmfrancis says "Remember there are many hundreds of people who have been fleeced.... " well remember too that there are MILLIONS who have NOT been fleeced, living happily in Spain. Just keep in mind that you are in a foreign country and sometimes things are different. It's no good saying, "well in the Uk we do this" because if you move here you will not be in the UK.  You need to find professionals that have been reccommended to you by people who have experience here, and that you truly trust. It is VERY important that each professional is be independent of the other, e.g don't use a Lawyer reccommended by an Estate Agent. Don't listen to the "Bar Philosofers" who think they know everything, Don't leave your brain on the plane, as many do. Use your common sense and don't part with your well earned cash until you are sure it's going where YOU want it too and you can actually see what you are buying isn't just a promise. Sorry, loads of "Don'ts",  but here are some "do's" now: I agree Do rent for a while until you find the exact spot that you would like to live. (La Cala is a lovely place, I lived there for many years).  Do go for it because it is a lovely way of life and so much more laid back than what I remember the UK to be.  Do learn as much Spanish as you can, that will be a help.  You can be happy here like so many of us are, good luck.





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12 Jul 2011 14:31 by campana Star rating in Marbella. 480 posts Send private message

campana´s avatar

Sneezey, I so agree with what you say:

 

"It is VERY important that each professional is be independent of the other, e.g don't use a Lawyer reccommended by an Estate Agent. Don't listen to the "Bar Philosofers" who think they know everything, Don't leave your brain on the plane, as many do. Use your common sense and don't part with your well earned cash until you are sure it's going where YOU want it too and you can actually see what you are buying isn't just a promise. "

Patricia





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12 Jul 2011 21:45 by victoriaplumb Star rating. 3 posts Send private message

Thank you all for the good advice. It all seems scarey!!!  Renting it is then. 

We are going to the 'Place in the Sun' live show at the NEC and  hoping for good legal advice there.

I am jealous of you all living there already.

 

 





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13 Jul 2011 13:45 by campana Star rating in Marbella. 480 posts Send private message

campana´s avatar

Sneezey says and I fully agree:

 

"Remember there are many hundreds of people who have been fleeced.... " well remember too that there are MILLIONS who have NOT been fleeced, living happily in Spain. Just keep in mind that you are in a foreign country and sometimes things are different. "

Patricia





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13 Jul 2011 15:29 by M11block Star rating. 141 posts Send private message

Hi Victoria

Could you tell us when the property show is on at the NEC, we would love to go and meet up with the promoters ................................ and let them know how we are enjoying 'Our Place in the Sun'. We sounded like you once, excited, planning our future retired in the sun but our early retirement 2006 has turned into late retirement 2011 broke and still waiting. Good Luck.

Disheartened

 





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13 Jul 2011 15:41 by johnmfranci5 Star rating. 111 posts Send private message

http://www.aplaceinthesun.com/

from 30 September to 2nd October.

Previous exhibitor list:

http://www.aplaceinthesun.com/exhibition/exhibitors/ExhibitorsEarlsCourtMarch2011.aspx

You will notice Aifos amongst the list !

:

 

 


 



This message was last edited by johnmfranci5 on 13/07/2011.



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13 Jul 2011 23:08 by johnmfranci5 Star rating. 111 posts Send private message

 

victoriaplumb,

its perfectly natural to want to follow the pleasant friendly advice of I am sure perfectly decent folk on here as most of us Brits are on here. I and many others had a similarly "blinkered" view of Spain 7 years or so before I was thorughly shafted for 60K euros plus by  a Spanish Developer ands its utterly useless pointless legal System. All I wanted was a nice place for regular holidays with the family. My wife and kids have been robbed of this.

Please be very warned by my previous post, M11 block and many other peoples on Bank Guarantee threads.

Please see :

http://www.eyeonspain.com/forums/posts-long-13759.aspx

In paticular the quote :

'Spain is not a country to be trusted in any way at all, its it not a country of honour or with any real belief in citizens rights and will say anything to get money from you but will not keep its end of the deal

Sorry if I offend anyone but 12 years of experience of this excuse for an EU country (in reality a third world corrupt dictatorship pretending to be a democracy) have brought me to this conclusion'

DON't LET IT HAPPEN TO YOU !!

 

John
 

 

 

 

 


 



This message was last edited by johnmfranci5 on 13/07/2011.



This message was last edited by johnmfranci5 on 13/07/2011.



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13 Jul 2011 23:33 by campana Star rating in Marbella. 480 posts Send private message

campana´s avatar

Victoria:

All I would ask is that you be careful, do your homework, don't believe everything you hear or are told at the NEC exhibition.  Just use your common sense and intuition. 

Again I refer back to Sneezey's post on this thread. 

Patricia

 





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14 Jul 2011 00:11 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 367 posts Send private message

Anyone desiring to relocate to Spain would be wise to avoid property exhibitions. Especially anything off plan for although many, years ago, who bought via this route  succeeded in their dream many more have not. And for those it is an eternal nightmare. Even the so called "Independant advisers" are at the exhibitions for their own gain. So be warned.

Spain is a fabulous country to live in and the people friendly and very helpful so I totally disagree with the statement..... 'Spain is not a country to be trusted in any way at all,..... because many of those who lost money were initially conned by the developers ( many their own countrymen) not the Spanish builders .

IF you get it right. And by right I mean a area where the Mayors have not been lining their pockets through the massive over building programmes in which they indulged.

The same  rogue areas and developers are highlighted constantly so once you have located a area you like, before you even speak to an EA , do as we did search and ask via forums. Also employ the services of an English speaking gestoria to double check there are no local planning issues or  illegalities. Once you are completely satisfied, and only then, start looking in EA´s windows.

Here´s hoping you realise your dream. 

.

 

 





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