Expats thinking of returning home

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of katy katy 6 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #55396
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    Just read the results of a survey carried out by Moneycorp in which they claim that 74% of expats in Spain are considering returning home because of the economic crisis.

    Apparently 37 per cent of those who responded to the survey said they were already looking into returning home and a similar number said they may have to consider the option in the future

    I don’t know how representative the survey is of expats’ intentions but I’ve certainly picked up from various sources including personal experiences that for many the dream has faded. I know a few people who are trapped and cannot return because they cannot sell their properties. Must be even worse for those who live in an illegal house and want to return home

    Richard

  • #96166
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @rt21 wrote:

    Just read the results of a survey carried out by Moneycorp in which they claim that 74% of expats in Spain are considering returning home because of the economic crisis
    Richard

    I think you will find that over the past 20 years if that survey was done, that 75% of the people who moved here are considering moving home at some time in the future. Economic crisis or boom time people come for however long they want and I would say that 75% return at some point.

  • #96170
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Totally agree with you Chris.

    I and my family came to live in spani 16 years ago this february. My husband at the time alongside his electirical business ran a very successful smal man and van operation.

    He lost track of how many times he moved people in and our of accomodation, back to the UK, in and out of bars and other businesses within a few months or weeks of starting! Many as they did not do their homework properly and were not able to pay their bills after a few weeks!

    And this was in the boom time!

    On another note – has anyone seen the article in the Costa de Sol news. page 3? A Malaga court has dropped charges against a home owner from Alhaurin de la Torre who shot and killed 2 armed intruders in 2009. The court found the man had acted in self defence.

    One of the many reasons I choose to live here than the UK!

  • #96172
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Not all ex-pats leave because of financial difficulties…Shaun Connery, Rod Stewart…. 😆 Seriously, although many estate agents, bar owners have fled, people leave for death of a partner, old age and illness, a desire to be nearer the family, divorce, getting a decent school for their children, or they just don’t like the place anymore. I know at least one in each category. I also know someone who sold up only to return to Spain a year later.

    I really don’t think the ability to carry a gun and shoot burglars would count on my list of reasons to stay in Spain.

  • #96174
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Its not a place for everyone I agree with that, and I know people who are moving out here again as they feel they made a mistake moving back.

    Carrying a gun wasnt what I meant, the person in question had a licence (licences for guns arent easy to get)

    What I meant was the system has more bloomin sense here rather than condemning someone for protecting themselves and their property!

  • #96177
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    I really don’t think the ability to carry a gun and shoot burglars would count on my list of reasons to stay in Spain.

    Agree, I’m sure there are lots of valid reasons why you might have wanted to move to Spain, but I find that a bit odd! Why did you move to Spain? Well for a start you can shoot burglers with impunity! 😀 There was a simialr case in UK this week, where a guy had chased a burgler down the street and beat him with a baseball bat. He was released from prison.

  • #96179
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Agoreira, I moved to Spain for the chance of a better life for myself and young family. After moving around the UK for years (I am british born and bred) I experienced attempted violence and fear for my kids in the mid 90’s UK.

    Luckily none of us were harmed – my parents had a place here and we gave it a try before decideing whether to stay in Spain, return to the UK or carry on to Oz.

    We stayed and have carved a life out for ourselves. My kids have more freedom than they could have had back in UK and its something they themselves comment on after returning from family visits there.

    The point I was merely trying to point out was when the chap who caught the person responsible for terrorizing his family and beat him (UK), he himself was jailed, as have others been who attempted to protect themselves and their property, whereas in Spain the alternative is the case, which surely is as it should be.

    Whislt the chap was finally released in the UK – he will have a criminal record and an awful experience. His business suffered as did his family yet again!

    After all the Spain bashing there has been of late, I just wanted to highlight something different!

  • #96181
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    You can’t argue with a figure of 74% although it seems high set against my own personal experience where the majority of people seem quite happy. But then again the survey looks a bit vague – “might consider a return in the future”. I remember a survey a few years ago suggesting that a majority of Britons wanted to leave the UK. These things come and go.

  • #96191
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Advoco

    yes, the grass is greener……. Inez made the point about what is important to her, I think that’s often the issue? Some might consider a better justice system more important or animal cruelty issues? Each to their own. The danger I think is, when people prefer to ignore ugly truths in order to justify their reasons or opinions, and that’s often true of any country.

  • #96192
    Profile photo of petej
    petej
    Participant

    Looking at the survey it would seam a Eurozone rather than just a Spain phenomenon with Germany, Spain, Italy and France at the top in that order with the devaluation of sterling being a big factor.

    I think most would never rule out a return home and most want to return home for there very later years to be near family etc,

  • #96193
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    petej

    very true. Having fairly elderly parents, I can see that. My parents considered moving to a warmer climate when they retired about 11 years ago, and then they could have coped ok, but recently I can see they are losing confidence in their ability to look after themselves. I don’t think they would feel comfortable being far from their children now? A tricky one I think?, as many people like the ‘idea’ of seeing out their days in a warm country with a slower way of life, but in reality probably find they want the percieved or real security offered by their homeland.

  • #96194
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I see a lot of elderly here who are not coping well, it’s sad. I have seen them go from sprightly late sixty/seventy year olds to doddery. Their nice shinly Mercedes have turned into old bangers, struggling with their gardens, lugging gas bottles about etc. Not just British, Germans and Scandinavians too. Many have bought villas with lots of steps. Something to think about.

    I didn’t dislike anything major about the UK except the weather! I often wonder what sort of places people lived in the UK. when I see some of their posts on other forums as I don’t recognise it.

  • #96198
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Many people dream of a retirement to the sun, which is why many people have moved to Spain. But I’ve thought for a long time that most should rent instead of buying. You get the same experience with less of the costs and risks. When the time comes, you just give the landlord a bit of warning and pack your bags. A lot of elderly people are now trapped here; they’ve got all their equity in a Spanish property and can’t sell. They wouldn’t be in that position if they had rented. It is a sad situation.

    Mark

  • #96199
    Profile photo of Aunty Val
    Aunty Val
    Participant

    To be honest, I think there are more and more people considering the rental options in older age (be that here or anywhere).

    It gives you plenty of freedom to make decisions and if people are selling up they will invariably have sufficient funds to stick in the bank, enjoy life and still have something to leave the kids.

  • #96200
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well – the impartial piece from The Torygraph ends with:
    ‘By monitoring the currency markets and seeking expert guidance they can avoid nasty surprises in exchange rates and determine the best time to transfer money to and from the UK’.
    Honestly – even the Euro-weenie would put ‘advertising feature’ across the top of the article.
    I decided to do some research – here’s a poll on a forum based in Albox (where they really do have problems):
    Wanna go home: 39
    Wanna stay in Spain 141 (78.3%)

    So the Telegraph figures are (unsurprisingly) a load of bunk.

  • #96201
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The problem with renting is that in areas where there is little choice of rental property,. People want to feel secure in later life and not be moving from rental to rental.
    I feel that people want to have there own things around them and moving from property to property is not what I am looking for.
    As for the kids inheritance give them a good upbringing a full and varied education and a good work ethic. What more can they expect from you.
    My children have enjoyed all these in a loving family environment. They will be dissapointed if I go without to leave them anything further.

  • #96203
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    What if you had a good choice of rental properties, furnished or unfurnished, with good services, that you knew you could rent for as long as you wanted? Might you be interestd then?

    Mark

  • #96205
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi,

    I know where I want to be and know that there is no property for long term rent in that area with the facilities required.
    Just not for me, prefer to purchase for certainty.

  • #96206
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Not for me either, renting someones naff taste in decoration. Would have to pay thousands per month to get an almost decent place. I realise though that renters are in a good position right now they can just walk away.

  • #96207
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    Although renting appears to be the sensible approach, I feel that the Brits have been conditioned over the years to aspire to homeownership and that mindset is difficult to change even when moving to another country with different attitudes.

    I remember once when I had to uproot my young family within the UK under a job relocation package. I suggested to my wife that we rent rather than buy because I had read a very novel article at the time (William Keegan – late 1980s) that house prices might fall for the very first time. The answer was a firm No. She wanted the security of living in her own house.

    As a result of this love affair with home ownership, prices have escalated and people take huge risks in borrowing. Contrast that with the German approach to house buying, which appears to be based on buying value for money and within what they can afford to buy.

    see the following link to the recent article in the Times about the German attitude to buying in Spain

    http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/overseas/article6997008.ece

    Richard

  • #96208
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Must agree I will be buying based on value for money and lifestyle. I have spent half my life looking for best value in my proffesional life.
    This is not a capital investment but as I have a comfortable life style now I will be looking for a property I feel comfortable with. Good time to buy for the right reasons.

  • #96209
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @vilprano wrote:

    I feel that people want to have there own things around them and moving from property to property is not what I am looking for.
    .

    I prefer to pay the same money as the rent for a villa with pool than the mortgage for a 2 bedroom apartment.

    Or to rent the 2 bedroom apt. for 1/2 of the mortage cost.

    Rent has to be at least 80% of the mortgage cost to make sense to buy.

    There is no such thing as “scarcity of rental properties” in Spain.

  • #96214
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I agree with Mark. Long term unfurnished letting in Spain is the way forward both for investors and tenants. However problems arise in finding decent tenants who will pay on time and not trash the place.
    So called ‘agents’ will not vet the tenant correctly or do sufficient background reference checks. Also some owners think they can charge the costs of their mortgage as rent! Rents need to represent around 60 to 75% of your cost base to ensure occupancy. Owners returns are long term when the market is in upturn.
    This market has advantages for both and surely must be the future with such a glut of unwanted and unsellable property. In fact forward looking banks such as CAM already offer 5 year tenancies with options to buy at the end. Rental payments to be taken from the final purchase costs.
    France and Germany have very strong rental markets. Buying property has entered the subconscious in UK as the only thing to aspire to. Utter tosh.

  • #96222
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Must agree with Katy, who wants to live in a naff property that in many cases is up for rent because it is in a bad area, or has no facilities and that may have had little or no work carried out for years whilst it has been steadily deteriorating due to lack of funds or interest. If the property is unsaleable then its probably not a good long term rent.
    And no there is not a glut of good rentals everywhere in Spain.
    Take a look at some of the traditional villages where reasonable size properties with outside space are few.
    Been looking for a long time since we were robbed but wont seettle for second best.

  • #96223
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @vilprano wrote:

    If the property is unsaleable then its probably not a good long term rent.
    And no there is not a glut of good rentals everywhere in Spain.
    Take a look at some of the traditional villages where reasonable size properties with outside space are few.
    Been looking for a long time since we were robbed but wont seettle for second best.

    A property is usually unsaleable because the owners are deep in debt and cannot decrease the price… Where I live there appear quite often excellent rental properties due to the imposibility of selling them.

    Maybe you should expand your set of “traditional villages” by tweaking a bit the definition of “traditional”.

  • #96227
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Google ‘Long term rental Spain’. There are upteen properties.
    I do agree however that almost all of them are properties which are failed sales or holiday lets, poorly furnished and today without hope..
    The market I suggested to aim for if you cannot or don’t choose to sell your property is good quality tenant, unfurnished long term rental.
    This type of letting is very different from the traditional Spanish Costa short term let to anyone and has good growth potential. Only however for the long term. You need to be creative in your advertising to attract the right tenant.
    Chuck out the naff furniture, install good quality white goods, pitch your rent and tenant costs to the area norms not your mortgage and get a good lawyer to draw up agreements and vet the tenant.
    It at least gives some return on your costs until the market eventually turns. Which in my view will be in terms of years.

  • #96228
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I just carried out a survey and 100% of people I spoke to love Spain.

    Ahhh OK so I surveyed one person.

    While it is good to see the good, the bad and the ugly in terms of people’s current feelings on Spain v UK, there will be people returning to their home countries for a variety of reasons from many different countries. At the same time I know of 3 people in the last couple of months who have actually come back from the UK having decided that even with this crisis etc, Spain was better for them than the UK.

    Don’t forget Spain was and is the preferred location for many people moving to a warmer climate. Therefore the numbers will always be higher than anywhere else.

  • #96265
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Quote from Mark: “Many people dream of a retirement to the sun, which is why many people have moved to Spain. But I’ve thought for a long time that most should rent instead of buying”.

    I’d just like to pick up on what Mark actually said.
    I’m interested in renting in Spain in the future but what concerns me most is the costs.
    I’ve virtually given up any idea of buying now because of the exchange rate and a particular health reason.
    I’m now considering extended stays in perhaps the Costa Blanca, Costa Daurada or even the Costa Brava in the future but what concerns me, obviously, is the cost.

    My wife and I don’t envisage having much of a pension income due to the fact that our pensions have had such a hammering and I may have to consider working far longer than I originally intended, provided that I can find a job. My wife has already partially retired but I’m still working.
    Our plan now is, perhaps to rent instead, maybe long term in the colder months of the UK year and return home in the Spring but not a holiday rental.
    We’d like to live reasonably close to the coast in an area where local transport is good as we will not be able to afford to rent a car in Spain; that much we already know.
    We’d only require one bedroom, perhaps with a small outside space but not that essential but other than the holiday rental market we do not know how one goes about researching. With the wealth of knowledge on this forum, can anyone give me some idea on rentals?
    I realise that this may be slightly off topic but Mark did raise the point, as did Aunty Val, hence this post.

  • #96267
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @stevmk2 wrote:

    Our plan now is, perhaps to rent instead, maybe long term in the colder months of the UK year and return home in the Spring but not a holiday rental.
    We’d like to live reasonably close to the coast in an area where local transport is good as we will not be able to afford to rent a car in Spain; that much we already know.
    We’d only require one bedroom, perhaps with a small outside space but not that essential but other than the holiday rental market we do not know how one goes about researching. With the wealth of knowledge on this forum, can anyone give me some idea on rentals?
    I realise that this may be slightly off topic but Mark did raise the point, as did Aunty Val, hence this post.

    Go to

    http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk

    http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk

    I am sure many of the owners there would be happy with a long-term lease.
    You can choose the area and then send messages. There are plenty of apartment with very few bookings, you can negociate hard with them.

    Good luck.

  • #96270
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    stevmk2 – my Aunt and Uncle usually spend at least a couple of months each Winter in Benalmadena. They rent directly from the lady owner and I know they get a very good deal. Walking for them is a little limited re. my Uncle but they enjoy the strolls along the seafront promenade there, very friendly neighbours, with shops/bars etc. all close. Pubic transport links to other places are good apparently. I think the owner has several there.
    If the area suits, send me a pm and I could get more info if you’re interested.

    Deaf not daft? That’s what my Uncle says. 😆

  • #96273
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I would never rent for long term without seeing the place first. Internet photos and descriptions are unreliable.

    Just a little story re. rent or buy.

    When we moved to Spain full-time (about 16 years ago) we met and stayed friends with a couple who came out on the same ferry as us. They had around £60,000 cash and were looking for an apartment. They rented a nice 2/2 and at that time they were on sale for £40,000. They prevaricated for various reasons. Suddenly the slump was over, not enough properties on the market (hence the rise of off-plan) and prices soared….they were priced out of the market. So, they continued to rent at around £650 per month, having to move often as owners changed. With only a retirement pension and a small private one they were drawing on their cash sum. In May last year they returned to the UK almost penniless.

    Now I doubt there will be any boom years as before but the fact that they had to keep moving every year would deter me. The only time renting would work is by keeping and renting out a UK home and using this income to rent in Spain. A cousin moved to Dubai 3 years ago, rented out their UK home at £1,600 pm. no voids. They pay £1200 in Dubai so it has worked out well as they never intended to stay in Dubai forever.

  • #96275
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @flosmichael wrote:

    Go to

    http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk

    http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk

    I am sure many of the owners there would be happy with a long-term lease.
    You can choose the area and then send messages. There are plenty of apartment with very few bookings, you can negociate hard with them.

    Good luck.

    just been looking through the 2 sites and because I am familiar with the rental market I looked at Fuengirola. The prices are of many of the properties, i am sorry to say are ridiculous. I’m seeing prices of 225GBP per week in off-season in out of the way locations, etc…

    I agree negotiate VERY hard with these people.

  • #96277
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    I would never rent for long term without seeing the place first. Internet photos and descriptions are unreliable.

    Just a little story re. rent or buy.

    When we moved to Spain full-time (about 16 years ago) we met and stayed friends with a couple who came out on the same ferry as us. They had around £60,000 cash and were looking for an apartment. They rented a nice 2/2 and at that time they were on sale for £40,000. They prevaricated for various reasons. Suddenly the slump was over, not enough properties on the market (hence the rise of off-plan) and prices soared….they were priced out of the market. So, they continued to rent at around £650 per month, having to move often as owners changed. With only a retirement pension and a small private one they were drawing on their cash sum. In May last year they returned to the UK almost penniless.

    Now I doubt there will be any boom years as before but the fact that they had to keep moving every year would deter me. The only time renting would work is by keeping and renting out a UK home and using this income to rent in Spain. A cousin moved to Dubai 3 years ago, rented out their UK home at £1,600 pm. no voids. They pay £1200 in Dubai so it has worked out well as they never intended to stay in Dubai forever.

    I think they might have bought a very nice two bed apartment 16 years ago no? And even taking into consideration a 30% fall in prices from say 2007 onward, what would that property have sold for today, for them to have taken funds back to the UK with instead of returning penniless?

    And what have they paid out in rent for 16 years?

    If renting is so wonderful, why don’t we all rent in the UK?

  • #96278
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @fuengi wrote:

    @flosmichael wrote:

    Go to

    http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk

    http://www.holiday-rentals.co.uk

    I am sure many of the owners there would be happy with a long-term lease.
    You can choose the area and then send messages. There are plenty of apartment with very few bookings, you can negociate hard with them.

    Good luck.

    just been looking through the 2 sites and because I am familiar with the rental market I looked at Fuengirola. The prices are of many of the properties, i am sorry to say are ridiculous. I’m seeing prices of 225GBP per week in off-season in out of the way locations, etc…

    I agree negotiate VERY hard with these people.

    The best periods to rent for July-August are :

    – October-November the year before when people want to get some money in advance.
    – May-June when the desperate owners want to have any kind of money…

  • #96280
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    And what have they paid out in rent for 16 years?

    If renting is so wonderful, why don’t we all rent in the UK?

    Because:

    – British people are obsessed with properties…

    – people have been told that one cannot go wrong with brick and mortar

    – the tenancy laws in UK are the most owner-oriented of all the developed
    countries

    – people could get cheap money to buy over-priced properties.

    I bought a house just because it was the best locati0on of all the rentals+sales propertie in the area.

    The people with £60000 which lost them in 10 years time might have made some serious financial errors. The money could have offered some good return if simply put in the bank…

  • #96284
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @flosmichael wrote:

    Because:
    – British people are obsessed with properties…
    – people have been told that one cannot go wrong with brick and mortar
    – people could get cheap money to buy over-priced properties.
    The people with £60000 which lost them in 10 years time might have made some serious financial errors. The money could have offered some good return if simply put in the bank…

    I don’t know Flosmichael,

    Am interested what Katy thinks these people could have bought 16 years ago and what it would be worth today, post boom and in crash, but…

    If you bought 16 years ago in UK and all the evidence is exactly the same on the CDs you absolutely could not and did not go wrong with bricks and mortar, in fact you did extremely well.

    You would not have fared anywhere near as well with your money in the bank. In fact you would have returned home penniless.

    And today, you can get money cheaper than ever in history to buy a property, subject to meeting the terms and conditions.

    Prices are at levels back to 2000 – 2003, prime property at that, interest rates are at all time lows, yet rentals as Fuengi pointed out are often ridiculous and Katy and Vilprano pointed out completely unsatisfactory if you want your home to be your home.

    I am not for a minute saying that some people should not rent to experience and understand the local area, I think that can be very healthy advice.

    But there are some fantastic buys and opportunities right now, and certain buyers will be cock a hoop again in a few years time.

    Is it not horses for courses?

    For some it is absolutely the right time to buy, and for others absolutely a must to rent?

  • #96285
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    If you bought 16 years ago in UK and all the evidence is exactly the same on the CDs you absolutely could not and did not go wrong with bricks and mortar, in fact you did extremely well.

    Prices are at levels back to 2000 – 2003, prime property at that, interest rates are at all time lows, yet rentals as Fuengi pointed out are often ridiculous and Katy and Vilprano pointed out completely unsatisfactory if you want your home to be your home.

    I am not for a minute saying that some people should not rent to experience and understand the local area, I think that can be very healthy advice.

    But there are some fantastic buys and opportunities right now, and certain buyers will be cock a hoop again in a few years time.

    Is it not horses for courses?

    For some it is absolutely the right time to buy, and for others absolutely a must to rent?

    Hi Chris,

    there are some very good rentals in Costa del Sol. I liked it there and I wanted to go there but my wife said that she hated the cold Sea and she prefers the Alicante area with much warmer waters.
    I do not know what rentals Fuengi refers to but I could have gone again in Riviera del Sol for less than £400 for the 2 weeks in July-August.

    What happened in the last 16 years or so might have been a once-in-a-life-time event with so many baby-boomers gaining nice salaries and needing to invest them somewhere. That was the reason for the stock market boon in the 1990’s and the real estate boom in the 2000’s.
    I am not saying that prices cannot jump again but I think that the generation X won’t have so much cash available for investments and luxuries…

  • #96290
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I am not sure if it will happen again, would only buy for lifestyle. I wouldn’t buy anything on the spanish costas built after cerca 2000. Built before that are probably legal and most were built with a bit of pride and character. Even right now I don’t think anyone could lose out if they bought by about 2000, they could reduce drastically and still walk away in profit.

    Wow aren’t I Ms Positive this morning 😯 Not brown nosing, will only last until something winds me up. Another story…do let me know if I am boring y’all.

    Irish friends from Dublin were looking for a holiday apartment (about 1997) . They did everything wrong, bought from a man in a bar! Older type and has it’s own private garden. On the sea side of Elviria. £28,000. About 18 months ago, having financial difficulties back home they put it on sale at 250,000 euro. I thought the price was OTT. Of course, it didn’t sell. In summer they reduced the price and it was finally sold at 179,000.

    I really don’t think prices have bottomed out yet remembering last time. But if looking for a real bargain, don’t look at anything built within the past 7 years or so.

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