What would you do differently?

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23 Aug 2015 17:46 by newworld Star rating. 941 posts Send private message

As its a weekend  and not many new post go the forum I thought I would ask this question, and hopefully it will help new budding buyers.     What would you do different if you was buying or moving to Spain again, what lessons have you learned from mistakes in the past ???  


This message was last edited by newworld on 23/08/2015.

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23 Aug 2015 19:42 by bobaol Star rating. 2256 posts Send private message

bobaol´s avatar

Kicked the bloke from Atlas where it would really, really hurt.


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23 Aug 2015 20:14 by Fartharder Star rating in Loriguilla.. 172 posts Send private message

Fartharder´s avatar

If I had a chance to do things differently, I'd stay at home in the UK and just come to Spain on holiday.

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23 Aug 2015 20:18 by acer Star rating. 1435 posts Send private message

As a generalism I like Spanish people, so I don't wish to offend anyone. 

But I would realise they have lower ethical standards which is probably due to a combination of the weak legal system, poor standards of representation and an absence of the basic consumer protection legislation that you would expect. 

In short, you're on your own chum!  So trust no-one, not even your own solicitor who may not actually be on your side, or even be qualified!

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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24 Aug 2015 00:14 by windtalker Star rating. 1787 posts Send private message

I often give the ( I am thinking of buying posters) advise and always start my reply by saying rent first before you buy l bought without renting first what a big mistake that was.

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24 Aug 2015 00:25 by ads Star rating. 4025 posts Send private message

I would word this a little differently by asking the good legal firms that have arisen from this last decade of injustice to come together to consistently monitor and report their findings wherever instances arise that give cause for continuing concern, and thereby safeguard the rule of law by exposing any disproportionate favour, conflict of interests, contra legem rulings, regional inconsistencies, etc.

In effect, bring greater transparency to the system of justice and cleanse from within. (ever the optimist! wink)


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24 Aug 2015 08:40 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

An ex business collegue of mine and his wife fell in love with the Northern Costa Blanca and ended up having a gorgeous 4 bed, 3 bath villa with pool built. They were certain that they could rent it to high worth visitors for a premium, the visitor's book and on-line rental callender indicate that it rents out for circa 12 weeks a year. Their cleaners/managers are taking them to the cleaners, they don't even complete a full clean prior to new guests arriving.

Their three kids who loved the villa when they were young now comprise of a doctor, a dentist and an accountant who don't use it anymore, however when they start families I reckon that it will become attractive again. Their parents have now downsized in the UK in order to pay off a good amount of the villa loan, however they don't visit it that much themselves, was it all worth it? 


This message was last edited by Hephaestus on 24/08/2015.


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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24 Aug 2015 19:11 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 4541 posts Send private message

Roberto´s avatar

I wouldn't tell anyone I speak Spanish, would never answer my phone or open my door. I would make sure I am totally illegal, fly by the seat of my pants and stay under the radar.

But that's not me.....!




"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please"

Mark Twain




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25 Aug 2015 08:41 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

It's hardly surprising that a country that was a facist dictatorship up to 1975 has some wierd and wondrous ways of treating people who wish to come and settle in it. I suppose that the passive rule obaying brits are the ideal folk to be sold defective property and taxed until their pips squeak. However in 2013/2014 circa 90,000 brits packed their bags and left Spain for home, the French and Germans had done similar far earlier, perhaps the Spanish dream has turned into a nightmare for some. 


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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29 Aug 2015 08:57 by appyinspain Star rating. 10 posts Send private message

I would move to France instead.

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29 Aug 2015 09:03 by tonydean Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

I would have kept a home in the UK and bought a smaller property here. Bought in a village where I would have had to speak Spanish to survive. What are my likes and dislikes.. After 10 years my wife and I cannot cope with the weather. Brits with bellies hanging over their belts, tattooed, and not wearing a top. British women do not have a clue how to dress. The continentals are so elegant. Northern accents I cannot understand. Spanish food. The restaurants are appalling, Meals maybe cheap but why eat poorly cooked food?Tradesman who either don't turn up or try to rip you off. There is more but not a lot.

What do I like. Cost of living. Relatively quiet. Not a lot of traffic except for the summer. Health service. Availability of better quality drugs in the pharmacy. Beaches, weather September to June. Street markets, having a coffee on the beach in the winter. Cheaper diesel, Zenia Boulevard, Plus a lot more. I like Spain more than my wife does, and am happy to put up with its idiosyncrasies. My pension goes further than in the UK. At 72 I would probably be shelf filling or doing home deliveries. If we could sell our villa and recoup the money we have put into it I would be happy. The South of England beckons as do our little grand daughters. At the moment we have a feeling of being trapped which is sad.


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29 Aug 2015 09:49 by Tadd1966 Star rating in Los Montesinos. 1755 posts Send private message

Brits with bellies hanging over their belts, tattooed, and not wearing a top. British women do not have a clue how to dress.

Sums up your typical stereotype expat and Brit in the med and sadly this is the veiw of many Spanish and others across Europe

I would add a few

The drunks, the loud cackle laughers, the bad language (especially women) in public places


“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge”

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29 Aug 2015 10:50 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1840 posts Send private message

These people you describe Tadd all originate from the UK where there are umpteen more of them. So no point going back there when Spain loses its appeal.

It's strange but that this element of Brutish Britishness does not exist in France or Italy. So logically there's something about Spain that attracts them. It is not the authentic Spanish culture which is the antithesis of their loutish behavior. The Spain that has been created as an attraction for these people has been deliberately created by the Spanish for economic reasons. They contribute enormous sums to the Spanish treasury. So no incentive exists for the Spanish to change anything. In a sense it’s exploitation of simple minds. It’s the expat who finds it appalling who is living in the wrong place.

I saw a group of young women walking down a Spanish resort street recently with the written words  “Slappers on Tour” emblazoned on their ample chests .Would they do that in Britain? Probably not.

Negative football culture has similar comparisons. It's a form of collectivly sticking up two fingers to society. 

Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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29 Aug 2015 11:01 by ironwheels Star rating. 5 posts Send private message

It is sad that many people on this forum are not happy with their lot in Spain ,maybe its a case of under research or just falling out of love with the country. I personally havent moved here yet but have owned a home for 8 years .Being 61 years old and still working in the UK let me tell the ones who  are thinking of coming back that you are in for a mighty shock ,yes ,you may keep up to date via the news etc but its not like being here. Council tax is extortionate and services are being cut all the time ,we are being inundated with migrants wanting to come here who mistakenly feel that the UK is  El Dorado and the ones who are here are taking priority in lots of cases above indigenous people (and before I get a kicking on line I include black and asian in that) and take a walk down any High St on a friday or Saturday night and you could be back in Spain ,with the drunks, the litter, the swearing women and menwhen El Dorado turns into the Alamo.I enjoy my frequent visits to Spain and I know it has lots of shortcomings ( red tape ,the manana effect etc) but in my personal opinion I am much happier when there than in the UK .Ok ,some may say," see you how you feel when you live here full time " and you may be right but I feel that I have made the right decision to move there on my retirement. I may miss my grandchildren but I am only a 2 hour flight away( and so are they and I can offer them so much more when they come to Spain to visit than I could in the UK (just a visit to Thorpe park /alton Towers would wipe out my pension .The cost of living is another factor to include .Spain is not as cheap to live as it was a few years ago but it is still better than UK by around 30% the last time I tested it out ..Then of course is the weather and as I sit in my house typing this the skys are darkening ( well it is Bank holiday) and rain is forecast for this afternoon ( August in uk ,I love it NOT!!!  ) summer is my favourite day of the year over here . Maybe we are moving away from what this forum was supposedly asking and if I was asked I would say .

1.Do your research thoroughly.

2 Do not go with a lawyer that your building company suggests .(ask people already there for an independent lawyer recommendation)

3 Take your time ,it took me 3 years to make my decision. 

4 Rent first if possible .

5 Think very carefully about moving on to an Urbanisation ,although some are fine I hear many horror stories of little England and presidents whe fall just short of dictators.

6 dont try and fiddle the system . It will eventually bite you on the A---e. (not registering car ,not declaring tax tec)

Be happy.



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29 Aug 2015 11:11 by Hephaestus Star rating in The Peak District Na.... 1235 posts Send private message

France and Italy don't build reservations to house the worst of the brits, neither do they allow said brits to completely destroy their respective cultures with pubs, sky bars etc.  The Spanish developers knew what they were doing when they were busy buying up scrub land in the likes of Torrevieja for 5 pesetas a metre back in the 1950's, their chickens have now well and truly come home to roost.  


I'm Spartacus, well why not?

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29 Aug 2015 11:25 by tonydean Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Everything you all say is true. It is refreshing to read that other people feel the same as we do about expats. We are fully aware of the situation in the UK. A decision would not be taken quickly as to whether we would go back. Ideally  we would like to buy a reasonably priced motor home or static holiday caravan and use it as a base. Then we would have the best of both worlds. I thought George Osbourne had solved the problem of finding the dosh to buy something by allowing pensioners to draw on their pensions,  but my pension is in Gibraltar so I have to wait for the Gibraltar Government to accept the UK change of rules. All we ever seem to be doing is saying "if only"

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29 Aug 2015 11:37 by tonydean Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

We have contemplated moving to France. Around Poitou Charente as it is only 7 hour drive to Calais. France has become very racist and also with the immigrant problems it is a major concern for us as we cannot tolerate racism of any kind. Oh well nice swapping moans now to jump in the pool. Yes at the end of the day we must count our blessings.

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29 Aug 2015 11:57 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9347 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

A bit of reserarch by the hand of honest, good, independent professionals:  relocator lawyer,  will make the difference.

As an initial piece of advise: I would never sign a deposit contract without previous legal review.  We see, one after another, buyers in a crazy hurry when choosing a property-- sometimes illegal--- and signing a deposit contract. This initial step can entirely compromise the rest of the purchase, so take it  seriously.  Do not allow agents or sellers to impact your decission making process in a way you will regret. Calm down: there are hundreds of good, legal oportunities in Spain these days.

We have written consistently on this since years ago:



This message was last edited by mariadecastro on 29/08/2015.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA


Director www.costaluzlawyers.es

El blog de Maria

Like 6      
29 Aug 2015 12:17 by Mickyfinn Star rating in Spain and France. 1840 posts Send private message

What would you do differently?

Not touch the Spanish property market with a very long pole. Even at low cost prices the market is toxic.


Time is the school in which we learn Time is the fire in which we burn. Delmore Schwartz.

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29 Aug 2015 12:19 by floella Star rating in SE Spain. 789 posts Send private message

What would I do differently...absolutely ZILCH, NADA

However think there is an element of good fortune to be accredited as well as constant research ironwheels.  Think most of us have had heartstopping moments even though every " t"  thrice crossed.

Love where I live which is in a Spanish village. Every amenity within 15 mile radius but far far away from the Brit enclaves and the string vest brigades.  Returned to UK for a short visit a few years ago and realised everything had changed. So emergencies apart no more easyjet flights for me.

Naturally one misses the grand kids  but it is not so devasting as to be in the same town/ village in UK and still not see them. Has, and is, happening to many people I know because children grow up and apart. Add mobile devices into the equation and the only thing to get most folk chatting again is paralysis of the fingers....crying

Only downside is the devaluation of properties. But even that isn't really any big deal because the inheritors are going to inherit something that hasn't cost them a dime. So, they get less than they hoped for....big deal.....but still 1,000% more than most previous generation received.

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