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History and news about Competa - what it's like to live there, setting up a business, environment, walking, living in a finca.

Competa Fiesta
16 March 2014


The Cómpeta fair is just one of the estimated 3,000 fiestas held annually in Andalucia. The fair celebrates the patron saint of Cómpeta, Saint Sebastian, with live performances of singing and dancing every evening. The atmosphere in the village is electric from the firework display marking the opening of the festivities to the close of play four days later with the pilgrimage from the Plaza Almijara to the festival “HQ” in the new polideportivo (sports centre).


The Spanish really know how to put on a good fair – the parking arrangements are in themselves a feat in organisation in this mountain village where parking can be  problematic at the best of times.  With the Plaza Vendimia, the main car park and the Plaza Almijara all closed to traffic from 8am on 19th July to 6pm on 23rd July, local residents had to be imaginative in where to park, as did the many visitors from outwith the village who attend the fair, bringing potential traffic chaos. 


The village looked very festive – Plazas Vendimia and Almijara, as well as some of the main thoroughfares, were adorned with little flags of representing some of the nationalities resident in Cómpeta, giving an international flavour.  Baskets and pots of flowers maintained by the town hall and stalls set up in the streets.   There was also an aura of the old village fair in Blighty (the UK)  – dodgems, roundabouts and coconut shies – all perfectly safe but without the manic health and safety rigmarole of northern Europe.


Those living in the pueblo were treated to stirring renditions by the local Cómpeta youth band in the early mornings.  Marching proudly round the streets playing the trombone, trumpet and drum cannot be easy, given the steepness of inclines of some of the hills.  Even the flag bearers would have a hard time – at least it wasn´t the heat of the day.


The music and dancing continued all night on the Friday and Saturday, and revellers could be found wandering home at 6.30a.m. having started to party at 11pm.  The music was not traditional sevillanas or flamencos, but of a more modern sort, played live at the polideportivo.  Such stamina and energy of both revellers and those providing the entertainment!  I felt sorry for the street cleaners out at 8am cleaning up the debris after they had been partying all night.


During the day there were a foam fight for the kids, and a greasy pole for the adults in Plaza Vendimia, a fun bouncy castle in Plaza Almijara, and a number of musical events, all giving a festive flavour.  The idea with the greasy pole is to see how far you can climb up it – a messy business!  In the evening, in addition to the music, was the famous ribbon race for horsemen, cyclists and motor cyclists to show off their prowess in snatching a rolled up ribbon from a wire using a kebab stick. 


The final procession from the church was a rather sober affair accompanied by the usual rockets but none of the usual fanfare.  It is always great to see the horses and their riders dressed up, and the beautiful girls in their magnificent flamenco dresses.


The fair finally wound down in the early hours of Monday morning, and the amusements were packed up and sent on to the next village.  The village returned to normal until the next time – the Night of the Wine (Noche del Vino) on 15th August – another marathon event when visitors come from far and wide to observe how the wine used to be made and taste it while enjoying the typical songs and dances that celebrate it.





Like 1        Published at 20:41   Comments (0)

Financing your villa
16 March 2014

Making the decision


Having decided that Spain is the ideal location for your retirement, new business enterprise or base for your new life, you will decide on a budget for your property.  You should add between 10% and 11% to cover legal costs, Notary expenses, Land Registry fees, Stamp Duty, VAT (IVA) for new properties only and mortgage arrangement fees (if applicable).  The currency fluctuations between the euro and the pound sterling should be considered to ensure that you remain within budget.


Registration documents


Once you have found the property of your dreams, you now need to source the finance unless you are lucky enough to have the cash in hand. Before opening a bank account you will need your ‘Número Identidad de Extranjero’ (NIE) number which is a foreigner’s identification number. This is obtainable from the local police station (Comisaría de Policia) and is fundamental to life in Spain.  The relevant form is available from the police station, your passport and a copy of your passport.  The NIE number is required for you to be able to open your bank account and pay the taxes on your property purchase. You will also need to find a reputable legal advisor or asesoria/gestor (conveyancer).  The latter can help you in many ways, including obtaining the NIE number, ensuring that the title deeds are correct, organising the transfer into your name and later helping with filing your Spanish tax returns and making your Spanish will.  Prior to completion he/she will carry out searches and obtain a Nota Simple, an extract from the Land Registry which confirms that the seller is the registered owner of the property and that all taxes have been paid. 


Finding the finance


Spanish banks are the best source of finance, and, as in the UK, interest rates will vary.  The loan to value (LTV) rate you will be able to raise will vary between financial institutions but most will lend between 60 and 70% of the value of the property, depending on the type of land on which the property stands.  Urban land (in a town) attracts a higher percentage loan.  You will need to pay for a bank valuer to survey the property.  The purchase price will also be taken into consideration when deciding the amount of the loan.  If the purchase price is lower than the valuation, the bank will make the offer on the purchase price, not on the valuation.



Despite Spain being in the European Union, it is expensive to raise finance in the UK to pay for a Spanish property, given the current exchange rate against the euro although it is possible.  If you do decide to raise a mortgage in Spain, it is recommended that you do not pay the deposit until it has been agreed, as the deposit is non-refundable unless you are lucky enough for the owner to agree that it should be written into the purchase contract.



Final note…


You should be entirely sure that you can afford to purchase your property in the sun before taking the final steps.  Many people in the 1980s mortgaged their family homes in the UK to raise the money to finance their dream and lost not only their UK property but the Spanish home as well as they could not maintain the payments.

Like 0        Published at 20:39   Comments (0)

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