Moving back to the UK – what are the advantages?

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This topic contains 82 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew) Fuengi (Andrew) 4 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #56882
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello, I’d be interested to hear views on this ๐Ÿ™„ : I keep reading about people moving back from Spain to the UK. The reasons are said to be economic. I can understand moving back to the UK to be near family, or feeling that advancing age had taken the shine off Spain for whatever reason. However, I cannot figure out how, generally speaking, one could be better off financially by moving back to the UK. Even if pensions etc have eroded, they won’t be worth more in the UK. Fuel prices and the cost of just keeping a roof over your head have risen enormously in the UK in the last 15 years, even if houses are now cheaper. Is it just that people have forgotten what the UK is like, or have not realised how much worse it has got, in some respects, since they left? What do people think?

  • #109830
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Firstly, I don’t think it’s for economic reasons generally, you said it when you mention mainly to be nearer family, plus the shine has come off their ‘dream life in the sun’, people often feel more comfortable where they know, where they speak and understand the language, where they know the system, where there’s a quicker legal redress to being ripped off, where house prices have not halved in value or worse and are likely to be a safer investment in the future, where there’s an often used benefits blanket if times get tough (hence many foreigners moving to UK), NHS for everyone under retirement age as well as above, much cheaper golf, cricket, roast beef of old England, pints of bitter, where there’s less unemployment, no Euro currency which is unstable and could worsen and reduce your Spanish assets further, financial ombudsmen and watchdogs you know you can understand and approach, the list can go on, oh and the rain, yes people miss it sometimes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Not to mention no Merkel pulling the strings ๐Ÿ˜†

    I would bet that UK home owners have lost far less generally in values of their homes than those living in Spain, what better financial benefit is that? 8)

  • #109831
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    As an American, I cannot answer that. But there may be some commonly-known dynamics at work:

    1. People who are afraid sometimes are so afraid that they actually hurt themselves in the process of escaping what they fear.

    2. People who are angry sometimes are so angry that they actually hurt themselves if they make decisions and act while still angry.

    3. People hang onto a mythical view of the home country. Two American authors summed it up this way: “You can never go home again” – Thomas Wolfe and “There is no there there” – Gertrude Stein.

    But there are probably some who will benefit by going back. Those with two homes, those who return frequently for family reasons, etc.

  • #109832
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Angie, thanks. What I’m anticipating in a year or two is another lot of stories: ‘We made a terrible mistake going back to the UK. Now we are headed back to Spain!’

    If people bought their house in Spain at the height of the boom then they will be feeling pretty sick now. But if they go back to the UK…they might end up in a much worse house than either the one they had in Spain, or the one they had before they went to Spain, having lost a lot of capital on the Spanish one.

    I agree that UK home owners have lost far less than those living in Spain, but I think that in the UK houses have got a lot further to fall in some areas – it’s hardly started yet in some places IMO. So if people sell up in Spain and go back to the UK, and buy a house in the UK, they will then lose even more money in the longer run.

    Brits, as other nationalities comment, seem to have this ingrained feelgood factor if their house is worth a lot, and therefore maybe a feelbad factor if the price drops? I suspect that these days people see their homes as an expression and extension of themselves, a kind of exoskeleton instead of just somewhere to live. So I cannot see how running for ‘home’ will solve problems except, as you say, at the beer and cricket level. But when they get there they’ll find the pubs have shut down!

  • #109833
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Ubi, you’re not wrong in some of your thoughts either, it is possible that UK house prices will drop further, but for Brits they might feel safer about price drops in the UK compared to Eurozone countries.

    I recently quoted an example on another topic of 2 Brits who lived in C del Sol for 25 years and couldn’t wait to return to UK. For the money they raised in Spain on their Spanish property which took years to sell, they for some reason couldn’t find much of a house in the UK and rented, which suggests UK house prices went higher than their Spanish one for example. So fed up were they, they went back to Spain a year ago and bought against all advice again rather than renting, now, because their Spanish terrace near a golf course is so cold in Winter, no job or money coming in means they cannot heat it, they’ve had bad neighbours twice (not Spanish but Argentinians), poor sound insulation etc, they now regret moving back to Spain. They are in a state of anxiety and it seems don’t know what to do ๐Ÿ™„

    The other financial benefits maybe are the benefits blanket, the free NHS, and some of those mentioned before.

    Nowhere is perfect though, but familiarity sometimes means a lot maybe as people get older:roll:

  • #109835
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Well we left Spain after 15 years (we are both fluent and I have spanish relatives) and very happy to have done so and not lost money in the process. Don’t have time now but we left for several reasons which I shall post later ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #109837
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    Returning to the economic advantages (as stated in the OP) there are some, just not many. Of course if you think you can walk into a job (not that many can in these days of cuts) that may be a factor as in many cases the wages may be higher. But the main advantage for many is somewhat negative – they will be able to claim higher benefits..
    Most things will certainly be more expensive – as stated in the posts above both buying and renting a property will be far more expensive, unless you’re headed for a northern town like Oldham or Grimsby from the likes of Barcelona or Marbella.
    However a few things, like printed materials (books, newspapers), budget clothes may still be cheaper in the UK. Take-away food like kebab and chicken shops is still cheap, but for a reason!
    Public transport per mile is more expensive, but you may need to travel less in the UK to get to your local supermarket.
    I think the main saving tbh is the cost of flights to the UK at Christmas or Easter, because you are already there! Of course if you get sick of all the rain (floods in Wales last sweek, this week it’s the north’s turn) then you may want to holiday again in Spain – but that’s not a necessity.
    Another thing some may save on, is buying bottled water (and frozen ice), but that depends on location. Madrid’s water is of far better quality than London. However I suspect people based in the Valencia area would buy all their drinking water rather than use tap water.
    One other thing which some people have told me is more expensive in Spain – internet access – although this seems to differ between different places and depending on operator.

  • #109838
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hm, all very interesting, thank you. The advantages of the ‘benefits blanket’ in the UK are I suppose mainly of benefit to pre-retirement age people. However, the free NHS is of interest to older people. I don’t live in Spain but I understand that if you are over 65 you get Spanish healthcare.

    Maybe if a person is the ‘dream life’ type in the first place then they will still be a dream life type about the good old UK when they are in Spain. The first place I lived abroad was in Asia and I was always complaining about the food and wishing for a slap up British meal. When I eventually went back to the UK after 2 years and found that this dream consisted of a slab of meat and some plain boiled veg on a plate I came down a peg or two. When I then went back off abroad again I didn’t complain about the food any more, having learnt a lesson.

    I’d be interested to hear Katy’s story…

    To what extent do people think that the rush to Spain of a lot of Brits was a fashion of the past couple of decades which is now over? Do Brits there now want to stay there till they die? Is it still the desire of a younger generation of Brits to emigrate there?

  • #109840
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Great wording Ubi, the ‘feelbad factor’ how very true.

    I think in all honesty that the dream bubble of living in the sun has burst for so many people. There is a big difference between sitting on a sunny terrace sipping a tinto de verano on a two week holiday compared to living day to day in Spain.

    Maybe 15 years ago the brave adventurers bought a villa in Spain for very little. They were the outsiders but every holiday got to know the locals, the best restaurants etc. etc. They might have decided when they retired their holiday home would become their main home. Those people are probably quite happy living here, and will be until they wonder what they are going to do when they are in their 80’s and there is no support network?

    Most of the others who bought in the ‘boom’ did so because A Place in the Sun told them that a 3 bedroom villa was so cheap and that they’d be able to make a fortune renting it out. Those people paid through the nose, expected it to all be a dream come true and then came down to earth with a bump.

    Things are tough here….really tough and i’m sure they are in the UK. My friends and family over there are tightening their belts but nothing compared to the suffering which is going on here though.

    People want to go ‘home’ because they are scared and hurt and want to go somewhere where they feel safe.

    As pointed out they probably won’t be able to go back to the same type of home they had before because their money has been wiped out. Will they be happier going from a villa to a 2 up 2 down up north in the UK? If they’ve had the stress as some of the people I know have, in their late 60’s/70’s then I think that yes, they will be happier back in the UK for their last years. They gave it a try out here and enjoyed some sunshine but the reality of day to day living in a different culture/language isn’t enough to make people stay here and be unhappy.

    The only drawback I see is that the babyboomers still view their property as something which goes up in value. They are desperate to move back to the UK but won’t lower the price to sell so they moan about how they are trapped. Maybe they should bite the bullet, sell for whatever they are offered and move back to rent in the UK?

    Do I regret moving out to Spain, you bet. Do my family X, Y and Z plus friends A, B, C, D, E, F, G….. I could go on. Yes, we are all ‘keeping calm and keeping going’ but it’s tiring. I can see how those who can get out do and maybe they then miss the sunshine and the cheap bills (council tax IBI, car tax etc.). They’ll be back on holiday but knowing full well that they have a return ticket……

    I’m off next week and you’ll be able to hear me whooping all the way to the airport !!

  • #109845
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes, itsme, you are dead right. People should flog off houses now as they will not get more for them than they can now – not for 20 years at least, which means never.

    It’s only worth what people will pay for it – whatever that is.

    We had a terrace as a fallback house in the UK. Stupidly, when it was worth about GBP110 at the peak, we didn’t sell it. We kept it. Then the tenants lost their jobs and we had to take them to court [good thing we had very good landlords insurance to cover everything]. This was 2 years ago. Then they moved out and we put it on the market. The agent said ask 79,000. We asked 73,000. A few weeks later we dropped it to 70,000 and subsequently accepted 66,000 from a cash buyer. People thought we had let it go too cheap but a year later they were not saying that any more. If we had kept it empty for the year we’d have had to pay bills on it, possibly have squatters move in, etc., and probably still not got more than 66,000 [it wasn’t in good condition]. If you flog it off you a) are free [hopefully] b) have the money in the bank even if it’s not much, and these things allow you c) to have choice.

    I’m wondering if a new – smaller and poorer – generation of British retirees will start moving in to Spain, picking up the cheap property of those moving out.

    I remember in about 2000 some friends bought an OK 2 bed flat in Torrevieja for about 1.5 times his annual salary. I reckon that until the price of flat like that comes down to about GBP50,000 things won’t have normalised to economic reality – so maybe a long way to fall yet?

  • #109846
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    angie
    Spectator

    All good points mentioned so far methinks.

    I agree though that I can’t see great numbers of Brits ever wanting to live this portrayal of an idyllic low cost life in the sun again, and I believe that’ s gone for good. These programmes and exhibitions like ‘A Place in the Sun’, Excel Centre, UK hotels and venues everywhere were done to death, people got sick of them, plus the exposes in the Press and media opened people’s eyes.

    However, I also think Brits are inquisitive by nature and there will always be those who want to explore and say they tried it like we did and nothing wrong with that providing people immerse themselves in their locations and communities more. Like katy we managed to sell in Spain without loss even profiting somewhat, I wouldn’t wish to repeat the fight we had with Ocean Estates (now defunct) for nearly 4 years. We are happy we moved back though, we can see family and friends whenever we want now and yet visit friends abroad too. One place I would happily have stayed though was San Diego CA, a great outdoor life and real buzz there.

    So maybe all these countries like Spain, Portugal, France, Turkey, Dubai and more will be replaced by some niche venues still to come, perhaps more discerning Brits will always seek out somewhere a bit quirky perhaps. People tend to want to emigrate when they’re younger and return home when they’re older IMO ๐Ÿ™„

  • #109847
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    just come back from the airport in Malaga PACKED!!!…………. hordes of people with their rent a cars hurtling like crazy towards their flat, house, time share or hotel …………. out for dinner tonight and the bars and restaurants were rammed ………………. considering the world is about to end i was quite impressed with the “happy” atmosphere …….. people like katy and angie are really angry (we say amargada in Spanish) and have spent the last three years with vitriol spewing out of their mouths constantly slagging off Spain (always reminding us of their profitable exit etc yawn ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    the Brits will always love mainland Spain, the Canary islands and Balearics ………. in spite of the corruption, crooks etc (mostly their countrymen ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† )

    the advantages that the Brits have in going back is that they can get a job; even if it’s stacking shelves in Tesco; here in Spain there are no jobs for those who’ve fallen on hard times… ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

  • #109848
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    So, things seem to be mixed. Is it that people are moving back to the UK due to being fed up with Spain, or is it the lure of the UK that pulls them? Is it the bad factors in Spain that push them, or the good factors in the UK that pull them?

    Angie suggests that the good life idyll is gone for good and the ‘Place in the Sun’ bubble burst. Which it has because things have changed in Spain and in the UK. And there aren’t going to be all the Brits on the big protected pensions any more.

    But ubeda suggests the attraction is still there. Therefore it seems possible to me that Brits will still go to Spain, but with less money and with lower expectations. While in the past they wanted a villa and a good life, they might just settle for an apartment and a stroll in the sun.

    I’ve still got this queasy feeling that when people get back to the UK and the honeymoon period is over, they might find that they have changed, and that it has changed, so it isn’t how they thought it was going to be.

  • #109849
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    well Ubi (no relation r u ?), property prices along these coastal areas have dropped between 35% and 80% and there are already buyers moving in for the kill ๐Ÿ™„ —- in many parts (very pleasant really, obviously not posh enough for Katy and co ๐Ÿ˜ก ) of Murcia, Almeria, Alicante and the western costa del sol flats are now at 30 – โ‚ฌ80,000; the prices could well fall lower; but I bet you there will be many thousands (hundreds of 000ยดs) who will buy their dream home in the sun in the next few years…

    With our infrastructure now better than Britain’s (thanks for the cohesion funds :)) corruption being stamped on (no really) health care second to none etc ….. Spain will be the place to retire to for the usual northern Europeans and NOW all the eastern Europeans queuing up …………..

    At โ‚ฌ50,000 maybe worth buying a couple of flats; I can smell a boom coming on ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  • #109850
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Poor Ubeda off on another rant again despite us putting a perspective on life in both countries ๐Ÿ˜† I suggest if you make time to read all my posts you may also spot some of the positives I mention about Spain whilst also noting that I still visit Spain and places and friends there both Spanish and British that I rather like.

    You should also know that my main rants about Spain are aimed at the crooks who operated there some of which were agents, developers and lawyers, plus the non regulation of the property industry, the slow to non existent Court redress system, the overbuild that ruined the Costa coastline, the generally poor standard of build in large urbanisations.

    Now of course if you are kosher so to speak then none of this should affect you, but someone who prefers to hide behind the name of a town on here just may prefer not to come out into the open ๐Ÿ˜† Maybe we’ve crossed paths somewhere in the past and perhaps you have a vested economical interest and wish to remain anonymous but half the time Ubeda it is you who appear to be the ‘angry one’ and we know the truth can hurt ๐Ÿ˜†

    Are those road humps clearly marked yet? ๐Ÿ˜†

  • #109852
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I fully agree with Angie second paragraph. We can live where ever we like. But I beleive ” rolling stones gathers no moss ” No this not a track my Mick & the boys.

  • #109853
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @UBEDA wrote:

    well Ubi (no relation r u ?), property prices along these coastal areas have dropped between 35% and 80% and there are already buyers moving in for the kill ๐Ÿ™„ —- in many parts (very pleasant really, obviously not posh enough for Katy and co ๐Ÿ˜ก ) of Murcia, Almeria, Alicante and the western costa del sol flats are now at 30 – โ‚ฌ80,000; the prices could well fall lower; but I bet you there will be many thousands (hundreds of 000ยดs) who will buy their dream home in the sun in the next few years…

    With our infrastructure now better than Britain’s (thanks for the cohesion funds :)) corruption being stamped on (no really) health care second to none etc ….. Spain will be the place to retire to for the usual northern Europeans and NOW all the eastern Europeans queuing up …………..

    At โ‚ฌ50,000 maybe worth buying a couple of flats; I can smell a boom coming on ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Much as I share some of your optimism, I think it will be a long time before house prices boom again. For me personally this is a good thing – I don’t want to pay a fortune for the place where I retire. I also think it’s good for the general economy, as people will find different ways to make money (eg exports, manufacturing even working abroad). High house prices damage economies – we’ve seen this in the US, Ireland, the UK and Spain. In fact as the OP mentioned house prices are now coming down in parts of the UK too – when it affects London and the south-east that will be the time that the real economy can recover.

  • #109854
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Thank you shakeel, BTW we have lived in Spain for a couple of years only but as renters because we managed to extricate ourselves from Ocean etc which is why we went after them and others similar, and the fact that they’ve gone along with their many copycat agents I think has made it safer for people to buy in Spain with caution. Plus all the revelations on here make people wiser to what can go wrong.

    Back to living in Spain, we were not fluent in the language but everyday we learnt useful phrases which we used daily and built up a rapport with locals we lived amongst , made good friends too who were honest Spanish citizens trying to make a living, and even many of them were fed up with the tarnished image some agents etc had given the country, and fed up with the corruption.

    I may post a topic on the reasons I like Spain, but that won’t stop me pointing out the warts that are still there, so as to help others.

    We have the best of both worlds now and can visit whenever we like and stay a while if we wish too 8)

  • #109855
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Ubedas posts always have an undercurrent of desperation. Of course Mรกlaga airport is packed (at certain times), like all largish airports. Spain’s tourist board reckon tourist figures are up…they say it at some point every year ๐Ÿ™„ meanwhile lots of hotels have closed down or are struggling. The last few years we were there there were less and less people and according to people I know who are still there it is still so! BAA airports authority announced a few weeks ago that air traffic to Spain was down 2%, they should know.

    As for the infrastructure…which part would that be? Only 2 main roads for the whole stretch of the CDS with barely any link roads. The unfinished tunnel in San Pedro, or the absence of a train service after Fuengirola as far as Algerciras. Anyway do people really choose to holiday/live in a place for it’s infrastructure ๐Ÿ˜† The carribean does very well on it’s lack of it.

    Not sure of the motive of this thread ๐Ÿ˜• Is it a genuine curiousity or the beginning of a lets slag off the UK thread? When comments are made about being served a “slab of meat” in UK restaurants it makes me question the validity of the post…either that or the OP needs to shop around!

    The fact is there are many more Brits leaving Spain than moving there. The exodus started around 2007 when property stopped selling and most of them worked in the property selling business. There are also thousands of Brits who would like to leave but are trapped with worthless and unsellable properties and feel they have no alternative unless they return to the UK penniless and out of the property market. I do know someone who left Spain and returned after about two years, everyone is different. Of course, if you listen to people with vested interests they will tell you everything is hunky dory but those of us in the know are aware it’s a lie…Wasn’t some of them saying on here 2 years ago how things were picking up :mrgreen:

  • #109856
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi – re Katy’s post. As the OP I started this thread out of genuine curiosity. Having read articles in maybe the D Mail and D Telegraph about people going back to the UK I wanted to hear from the horses mouth, so to speak, the real story because I couldn’t figure out how going back to the UK would solve any financial or economic problems. In fact even having read the posts here I still can’t see that it would in general, although maybe for specific people. It seems like it would solve other problems tho.

  • #109857
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Show me a utopia & i will go & live there !!!!!!!!!!!

  • #109858
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    As I said, many people want to move back because they’ve been hurt by the system here and they want to go home, where they previously felt safe and happy. Whether they will find it when they get there is another matter.

  • #109859
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @UBEDA wrote:

    just come back from the airport in Malaga PACKED!!!…………. hordes of people with their rent a cars hurtling like crazy towards their flat, house, time share or hotel …………. out for dinner tonight and the bars and restaurants were rammed ………………. considering the world is about to end i was quite impressed with the “happy” atmosphere …….. people like katy and angie are really angry (we say amargada in Spanish) and have spent the last three years with vitriol spewing out of their mouths constantly slagging off Spain (always reminding us of their profitable exit etc yawn ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    the Brits will always love mainland Spain, the Canary islands and Balearics ………. in spite of the corruption, crooks etc (mostly their countrymen ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† ๐Ÿ˜† )

    the advantages that the Brits have in going back is that they can get a job; even if it’s stacking shelves in Tesco; here in Spain there are no jobs for those who’ve fallen on hard times… ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    Perhaps you are on a different CDS. According to Mรกlaga Sur, foreign tourism is down 6.3% for the first 5 months of the year.

    http://www.diariosur.es/v/20120623/marbella/andalucia-acumula-caida-turistas-20120623.html

  • #109860
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Re itsme’s last email, I’m interested to know how people would categorise the aspects of the ‘system’ that have hurt people? What aspects of what system? How much of it is due to being taken for a ride due to being a foreigner? How much are Spanish people exposed to the same things? How could it be avoided, if it could?

  • #109861
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I been reading this topic with interest and a few questions entered my mind, I don’t want to insult anyone or get into a fight, I don’t live in Spain (but I soon will), I also don’t live in England just so you know.

    My questions are:

    Did the people that moved to Spain at any time, did enough research before the move? or they just moved with false and unrealistic expectations ๐Ÿ˜ฎ , Spain has been and it will be different than the UK for ever, so the crooks were there the dishonest; bankers, real state people, waiters, etc etc were there!! so why move in the first place???

    Have all the people from the UK buying property expect to make profit some time or another?? did anyone buy a house hoping to live in it to retire without thinking of profit or thinking that everything in Spain is different than the UK, hence the reason to move??

    Did everyone forgot about buyer be aware?? ๐Ÿ™„

    Are all the English people living in CDS or any coast? has anyone venture to live in real Spanish towns in the interior ๐Ÿ˜€

    Have all the UK people think that everything in Spain should be like in the UK, or a perfect world?? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Is anyone happy living in Spain with ALL ITS FAULTS?????? ๐Ÿ˜€

    For those going back to the UK, please remember the old Buddhist proverb “you never step in the same river twice” ๐Ÿ˜•

    I am not doing this reply with malice, I am not selling houses, I am not a banker, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

    By the way, I will be moving to Spain soon, buying a house cash, to live in it till I kick the can, not expecting to make any profit ever, just to enjoy what I have left BEING GRATEFUL, I am fully aware of all the crooks at all levels, the uneven roads, bad waiters, poorly made paellas, too sour sangrias and the rest.

    But most important I will be GRATEFUL that I can do it!!!!!!!

  • #109862
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Jaime, I think your questions are the elephant in the room!

    I, like you, don’t live in either the UK or Spain at present. I have lived in several countries on three continents in the last 20 years and all/most of these countries were places where most people wouldn’t really want to live although they might want to go there on holiday. So I understand all the garbage that one can get – there was a long and interesting post on here explaining someone’s experience of it in Spain, but it seems to have been removed. But I think that, because in my case we were/are working in these countries we have been protected from some of the corrupt and silly garbage by the employers. A lot of the stuff we were saved from was with regards to accommodation, as we were always in rented or free housing. So that cut out a lot of hassle. Didn’t, tho, stop me being electrocuted, having to detach a cockroach egg from my toothbrush, nearly freezing to death on winter Wednesdays because the employer sold the electricity to a company on that day, being woken up at 1.15 am every morning because the neighbour’s slave labourers were in the garden cooking food to be sold to restaurants for breakfasts, etc etc etc.,

    But, I can see that if you go to these places without any protection and its you yourself that have to go to the electric board and struggle with the nonsense, etc., then it’s horrible and there is no recourse to fall back on.

    So I think maybe if people go straight from the UK and aren’t aware of all the garbage that can happen, they could get seriously fed up. If you have lived in other countries where things are actually worse as there is even less rule of law there, one might not find Spain so bad, or at least be more wary of things.

    I suspect that a lot of retirees in Spain have been expats and retire to Spain because they can’t stand the thought of going back to the UK because of the weather, etc. But are maybe more prepared for the garbage.

  • #109863
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Jaime, intresting post & here is my take on it. I am not shouting at you.

    My questions are:

    Did the people that moved to Spain at any time, did enough research before the move?

    I CAN SAY WITH CONFIDENCE THAT 95% HAD NOT DONE SO.PURELY HOLIDAY EXPERIENCE..

    or they just moved with false and unrealistic expectations

    SUNSHINE, CHEAP WINE & DISTANCE TO FAMILY JADED THEIR EXPECTATIONS.
    Spain has been and it will be different than the UK for ever,

    ALL COUNTRIES ARE DIFFERENT. SOME LIKE THIS DIFFERENCE OTHERS. THE MAJORITY WANTED A LITTLE ENGLAND IN THE SUN.

    so the crooks were there the dishonest; bankers, real state people, waiters, etc etc were there!! so why move in the first place???

    THE DISHONEST PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE. THE DIFFERENCE IN SPAIN IS A LACK OF ACCOUNTABILTY OF THESE PEOPLE. THEY MAY HAVE ENCOUNTERED RUDE WAITER/TAXI DRIVERS WHEN THEY WERE ON HOLIDAYS SO THEY EXPECTED THEIR BEHAVIOUR & A WEEK AFTER THE HOLIDAY FORGOR ALL ABOUT IT.

    Have all the people from the UK buying property expect to make profit some time or another??

    100%. HOW MANY BOUGHT WITH THAT SOLE INTENTION IS SOMETHING THAT HAS A BIG ? MARK.

    did anyone buy a house hoping to live in it to retire without thinking of profit or thinking that everything in Spain is different than the UK, hence the reason to move??

    AGAIN DIFFCULT TO GET THE %.

    Did everyone forgot about buyer be aware??

    YES THE MAJORITY. BUT TO BE FAIR TO THEM IF YOU HAVE A LAWYER & YOU HAVE A FINISHED PRODUCT ( SHOW FLAT ) YOU EXPECT THAT MATTERS OF LEGALITY WOULD BE TAKEN CARE OFF. DO YOU THINK THAT A BANK WOULD LEND MONEY ON A ILLEGAL PROPERTY ??? A NOTARY WILL NOTARISED THEM CONSIDERING IT IS HIS DUTY TO ENSURE THAT THE TRANSACTION COMPLIES WITH THE LAW OF THE LAND !!!!.

    Are all the English people living in CDS or any coast? has anyone venture to live in real Spanish towns in the interior

    FAR & FEW AS IT WOULD NOT BE LITTLE ENGLAND.

    Have all the UK people think that everything in Spain should be like in the UK, or a perfect world??

    YES, THEY DO EXPECT INCLUDING TV CHANNELS TO BE BROADCASTING IN ENGLISH.

    Is anyone happy living in Spain with ALL ITS FAULTS??????

    I AM SURE MANY ARE & OTHERS EXPECTS BECAUSE THE SUN IS THERE THERE ARE IN UTOPIA.

    For those going back to the UK, please remember the old Buddhist proverb “you never step in the same river twice”

    VERY PROFUND. BUT MOST RIVERS IN SPAIN ARE DRY !!!!!!!!

    I am not doing this reply with malice, I am not selling houses, I am not a banker, so please don’t shoot the messenger.

    MESSENGER ALWAYS GETS SHOT. JUST DUST UP AND CARRY ON WITH YOUR MESSAGE.

    By the way, I will be moving to Spain soon.

    PLEASE FOR YOU.

    buying a house cash,
    DONT KNOW. HOW OLD ARE YOU. I WILL NOT BUY CASH AND LEAVE TO THE TAX MAN. I RATHER LEAVE IT TO A WORTH WHILE CHARITY LIKE CHILDRENS EDUCATION FOR REASON OF THEIR SOCIAL MOBILTY.

    to live in it till I kick the can,

    I WISH YOU MANY HAPPY YEARS IN YOU NEW HOMES.

    not expecting to make any profit ever, just to enjoy what I have left BEING GRATEFUL,

    A VERY LEVEL THINKING IF YOU INTEND TO STAY THERE HOPE YOU COLLECT A LOT OF CANS THAT CAN BE KICKED..

    I am fully aware of all the crooks at all levels, the uneven roads, bad waiters, poorly made paellas, too sour sangrias and the rest.

    SOMETHING MUST BE GOOD ALONG WITH THE BAD ABOVE ???

    But most important I will be GRATEFUL that I can do it!!!!!!!
    YES,THE FREEDOM THAT ONE CAN DO WHAT ONE LIKES IS A WONDERFUL FEELING.

  • #109864
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    By the way, I will be moving to Spain soon, buying a house cash, to live in it till I kick the can, not expecting to make any profit ever, just to enjoy what I have left BEING GRATEFUL, I am fully aware of all the crooks at all levels, the uneven roads, bad waiters, poorly made paellas, too sour sangrias and the rest.

    But most important I will be GRATEFUL that I can do it!!!!!!!

    Brilliant post and you capture my sentiments exactly. I appreciate your humility. I am full of complaints about the process of purchasing an atico in Barcelona. But purchasing a home anywhere is a stressful experience. And there are crooks in every country.

    I have no expectation that Spain will be like the San Francisco. I’m prepared for that: I’ve taken cooking classes in cuisines that I can’t live without (Vietnamese, Chinese, Italian and Mexican), studied Spanish and I’m in the process of lining-up many of my future studies, endeavors and hobbies. Once I get through the reforma phase, my interactions with the Spanish bureaucracy should be very limited. Of course, moving to a large, established city I have less worries about construction quality, building on national parkland, and I have access to more connected lawyers, etc.

    What has always been curious to me is why people move to (or even vacation in) a foreign country to live in “ghettos” filled with expatriates from their home country. I really wouldn’t like that. Maybe it is an artifact of age.

  • #109866
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sorry, I deleted my post because I was beginning to even bore myself with my drama….

    To answer the questions from my perspective.

    I’m 35 years old and came out to Spain after being made redundant from News Int. in London in 2004 so I am not in the main group of people who came out to retire. I met a local Spanish guy and ended up staying here. My Mum and step Dad did come out after selling up in the UK. They’ve lost everything and have had to start again in their mid 60’s. Will their court case against those who wronged them come about. Sadly I doubt it.

    I think that because Spain had been a holiday destination used by the Brits for so long we were all lulled into a false sense of security thinking that it was part of Europe and therefore ‘they were like us’. That was the first mistake.

    I put a lot of blame on those television programmes such as A Place in the Sun where they showed people in their little houses up north in the UK that they could buy a villa for the price of a garage in the UK. Look at the weather, you’ll be on an endless holiday and you’ll be able to rent the place out for a fortune to cover the costs.

    Estate Agents, usually dodgy Brits who jumped on the bandwagon seeing endless sheep-like people on weekend visits putting deposits down on their credit cards. Buy now or you’ll miss the boat…..

    Ever so helpful banks who loved the Brits sending their pounds sterling over to get mortgages. ”The fees are this, that and the other, oh sorry…didn’t we tell you that?” They must have pocketed millions……

    Buyer beware you ask, but buyer beware of everyone… everyone who you would normally trust in any other first world country. A solicitor, who should represent the law. Why can’t you trust a solicitor? Nope. The Notary, the highest form of law isn’t he, or a guy who just reads the paperwork the agent, gestor, developer etc. has handed him? No comeback there. I don’t think any of us expected it to be the perfect world but if things were not done properly then the law should be on the side of the wronged shouldn’t it. Right should overcome wrong, not the other way around as it has so often been here in Spain.

    I’m grateful that I have my health, that my children are healthy and happy. They, at 5 and 6 years old, shouldn’t know the in’s and outs of mortgages, banks, money….and the 24/7 stress of having to pay off a big mortgage on a place valued at hardly anything by the ‘crisis’. There is no ‘get out of jail free’ card for us.

    I know many British people who came here to enjoy their retirement. They have been conned, ripped off and feel helpless. They want to go ‘home’ to the UK to just be somewhere where they can understand, where they know what’s what. They’ll get fed up of the rain but I bet when they think about it they’d say that they’d put up with the rain than have the stress of living in Spain back.

    Ubi, it sounds like you have lived in Spain before…. electrocuted by the terrible workmanship of most places, old and new builds, cables drapped all over the place. Cockroaches, yes..lots of those and then you have the traps to buy or the spray. Biting spiders, snakes etc. What about the daily sightings of abandoned suffering dogs… freezing to death, hmmm nearly. We all have to wear our fluffy pj’s and dressing gowns and huddle around electric fires in January as there is no insulation. Even now in mid June it’s burning hot….let’s not even talk about the heat in August. Woken by neighbours… well luckily my loud neighbour from Translyvania has moved out. She had loud music, laughing, parties usually until 4am. No one here thinks of ‘keeping it down’ because it’s late at night and people might be sleeping….

    So, I think that there must be some people who are happy living here. They probably live in a house, with no neighbourly problems. They probably don’t speak enough Spanish to notice what is really going on. They buy their groceries from the supermarket, say ‘gracias’ and go home again. Their gestor is probably a lovely guy/girl who really helps them out for their high fees. They bought for cash and still believe that their property is worth more than they paid for it. Little do they realise that they could have paid 10k for the place a year before they paid 150k.

    Cloud cuckoo land must be a lovely place to live…….

  • #109867
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    IMHO there is only one advantage to moving back to the UK and that is to enjoy all that London has to offer and a couple of visits a year takes care of that.
    Of the few people I know who want to move only one wants to return to the UK however, after being seduced by sun, sangria and property programs, it is obvious none properly researched thinking that in a few years they could “up sticks” after selling at an enormous profit, as per UK .
    Personally think it will be at least 20 years before any of us who bought in the past 7 years will even get close to getting our money back. If ever.

  • #109868
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Always look on the bright side…..

    If it’s 20 years by then we’ll only have 6 more years of mortgage to pay, yippee……

    One bad thing about moving away from Spain is that we are leaving the Spanish side of the family. It was just now very hard to see my husbands 86 year old grandmother saying that she’s going to miss her great grandchildren and how she wished things could have been different in her country so that we could stay. Very sad as at her age who knows if we’ll see her again.

  • #109869
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    First time poster to the site and have read this thread with Interest.

    We holiday in Spain at least 3 times a year at present and it’s costing anywhere betwen ยฃ500 and ยฃ750 depending on where we want to go.

    I am now at the stage where I’m looking at the prices falling daily and weighing up the cost of an apartment against several years renting (although at 41 I hope to be around for a few years yet). I would purchase cash so to take out the uncertainty of the mortgages and banking system.

    This would not be an investment (those days are long gone in most countries) but simply a buy to enjoy venture. I know there are pros and cons to buying, hence why i joined the site, but once things settle it will be a very tempting time for many.
    I know of a least 3 other couples who are thinking along the same lines as myself and I think, as pointed out by an earlier poster, that there is a new wave of owners waiting in the wings. I say owners and not investors as i would not expect to make a return on my purchase, well, not for many many years anyway, so this would simply be for my family and friends to enjoy.

    There is still money out there and as always, we have the weather to try and escape from. It may happen next week, or it may happen in 3 years time but there are people out there watching and waiting.

  • #109871
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    So a couple of posters claim that some did not do their research….what makes them think they are different ๐Ÿ˜† Anyone who did research correctly would definately not be buying right now, they would rent. Someone says “buyer beware” true, but how do buyers contend with retrospective planning laws. There are thousands who had ALL the correct paperwork until the Junta moved the goalposts. It is easy to come on here and blame the victims. As for research…you can do all you want but it’s just theory…you know nothing until you have lived in the place, or any place.

    Spain may be ok for some who did not know the place years ago before it became concrete world and the mountains in the countryside were sliced off to build untypical ugly overpriced villas. If they like it like that well there is no accounting for taste! Some of us saw the best of it, changed sooo much from about 2002.

  • #109872
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    There are plenty of very cheap places to buy for those who haven’t been stung…. and you’ve read all the problems that we’ve suffered so you’ll be ready and able to dodge the dodgy! They unfortunately are still mostly all out there….

    Could I be happy in Spain? Things for us would be very different if we had the correct value mortgage, if the two dodgy bankers were thrown in prison for what they did, and the money their stole paid back. I would be happy paying a mortgage of 70,000 euros, which is what it should be. Happy maybe isn’t the word when most of the block of flats are for sale for 25 – 35k, but happy in at least we haven’t been conned. Happy because with that amount we would be able to just about get by here so wouldn’t have to move our children away from their school, family and friends.

    If anyone is looking to buy please come and be our neighbours…. We’ll be holidaying here for years to come.

    If I was someone buying it would be tricky, a house/villa or an apartment? A house/villa avoids all the problems of the community, ie: everyone not paying, the mess, the lack of services, the lift being cut off, neighbours tapping into the community electric etc. etc.. but a house, as friends of ours know, is a risk if it’s empty and then broken into.

    I would, if I had the money, buy a detached house in a good area far enough away from any neighbours so if they change they don’t bother you. I would furnish it with basic Ikea rather than anything personal or special. A good area that you’ve checked out and know it’s a good area yourself rather than an agent telling you it is and then you find out it’s a dive. All fenced in and space for parking/garage. Something built more than 10 years ago and not an identikit box thrown up quickly in the boom. Probably not in a seafront area because of it usually being dead in winter and packed in summer, but about ten/fifteen minutes away. I would rent first and then really get to know the area, neighbours, local bars/restaurants etc. I would use a gestor rather than a solicitor to triple check the deeds and then again with the town hall. I would get a translator to do it all, and then get another one to check the first one. Then do the gestors job yourself to check that it’s being done right. I would ask the Notary to clarify what everything meant, if this happens, what about this etc. And I wouldn’t leave anything more in a Spanish bank account than the minimum. They will clear you out otherwise with their ‘great’ offers of life, home, car whatever insurance, pension plans this, that and the other. When you’ve finished at the Notary you would know that a few weeks afterwards you have to get the paperwork registered, and pay for that.

    Come in with your eyes wide open and a list of what to avoid and you’ll probably be a very happy buyer. That will be good for all of us with places out here as it’ll change the negative feeling into hopefully a more positive one ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #109873
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Totally agree with Gary’s last paragraph, why do so many expats want to live amongst their own abroad and not try the foreign culture? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Melosine, if you are happy in Spain then probably not getting your money back is less important so that suits you no doubt. Agree it could be many years before those who purchased in last 7 years could realistically break even, there’s just so many properties for sale. I do know several poor souls who are desperate to move because their partners have died or need medical help in the UK they think, but then wonder why they bought their dream stuck up the side of a mountain in Spain ๐Ÿ™„ However, we can get our fix of Spain whenever we like without owning there again a bit like your fix of London and we’re ok with that.

    Things changed in Spain, called ‘boom and bust’ so IMO anyone wishing to try it would be wise to rent first, but if they now buy and don’t like it a few years down the line then they can only blame themselves. Too many Brits and others did get ripped-off big time as Itsme says, some bit the bullet and got out even at loss, some pretend it’s not happening, and others buckle down and make the best of it knowing they can’t sell for years.

    The one big difference which tends to be forgotten or ignored is that the World is in financial crisis, and Spain is in the Euro and Eurozone and what happens there is still a great unknown and risky to purchase there (eurozone) until we know more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Not sure what to think of all those Brits who shop at and many work in Iceland Spain, to me that’s not Spain!

  • #109874
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Marmite and Sweet Chilli Sauce Angie…. Mercadona doesn’t stock them…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • #109875
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    itsme, we know some people who shop there because they live there because they can’t sell there, but go there (Iceland) to buy the few Waitrose Essentials there, and funnily enough they would never shop in Iceland in the UK, nor in Liddl and Aldi in the UK but do so in Spain ๐Ÿ˜‰ Strange topsy turvy World ๐Ÿ˜•

  • #109878
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Katy, what I was referring to by “not researching” has nothing to do with illegalities or being conned rather that they are seeking to sell because the area doesnยดt suit them.
    Buying 1 acre plots and large houses with sans Brits as neighbours some suddenly realise the reality is not what they dreamed it to be. Likewise for others living on an urbanisation overloaded with their fellow countryman.
    The common denominator being they all assumed that if they didnยดt like where they lived they could sell !!!

    Angie, when people relocate to UK from other countries it is the norm to see food shops open to cater for their finer needs so donยดt see why it should be any different here. Our nearest Brit shop, Iceland, is 40 miles away but without it my grand-daughter wouldnยดt get her much adored potato waffles ๐Ÿ™„

    Of course I would like to think that, if circumstances made it necessary, I would be able to downsize but whilst the market is in free fall better to believe the situation will never arise.

  • #109879
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Ah potato waffles Melosine, haven’t tried one of those for ages. I meant in a humorous way that Iceland is not my idea of Spain and then to see loads of Brits there who may not ordinarily use it in the UK is strange. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • #109881
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Melosine you are correct, we spent a lot of money finding exactly the right place. When we moved over we already had a place which we loved. less than 10 mins inland from Puerto Banus and directly on naranjos golf course. We had often stayed for a month at a time and many long weekends. However, we hadn’t been in July and August ๐Ÿ˜ฏ There were 12 villas (semis) with nice pool and gardens. 10 of the houses were owned by Spaniards from the North, mainly from Madrid. They seemed to be an average of about a dozen people in each house. So we laughed it off and said the next year we would spend August out of there. Then, (I remember it well because it was New Years day) We were stood on the rooftop terrace andsomeone was showing a woman and some kids around next door…they were renting. She was fron Ecuador, had two teenagers, a toddler and a baby and a nanny. Sometimes her husband (?) would show up, he had the habit of walking around the gardens with a beer can and slung it anywhere when it was empty. The noise never ended (everyone is aware how thin spanish walls are). 8am began with the rattle of the kids getting off to school, the baby screaming on and off all day, sometimes the toddler too. Their TV would be on loud until 4am regularly. So, we sold, luckily you could then and we made a profit (Somewhat eaten away when you deduct selling costs and the high tax on buying another). As much as I love my husband we have never been joined at the hip, I like a bit of independence and 24/7…not thanks ๐Ÿ˜†

    Our next venture was a quieter place outside a small village on the road to ronda :mrgreen: Took us about a year to reform a lovely old cortijo. by the time it was finished we had already decided it wasn’t for us. Too far for golf and we had a boat in Cabopino. Friends didn’t want to come as the roads were bad, particularly in winter. No decent places to eat and most bars were empty by 10pm when the locals (men only) went home to eat…culturally dead.

    Our next buy was a gem of a place, set in a country setting in a small urbanisation, mostly Spanish families and one German. 4000M2 plot so no noise, infact our spanish neighbours were hard working and usually went to bed before we did. Nice people, a group of women used to call for me around 6pm to go for a walk with all our dogs. We often finished up in a local chiringuito as it was only 12 mins walk to beach. The lane was a dead end and led into open countryside with fab views so we had the best of both worlds, close to sea, golf and hospital ๐Ÿ˜€ Then trucks started roaring up the lane, returning piled up with ripped up olive trees ๐Ÿ™ Yet another concrete block to be built!!

    Our next villa (and last) was as perfect as could be. In Elviria, nice residential area, mainly Spanish but a few Germans, British and an American. back garden gate led to a stream (river in winter) and open countryside as far as you could see. fantastic sea views over the pine trees to the front. We stayed there about 10 years. We were fortunate that in finding our ideal place it was always possible to sell and at a profit. Right now it is essential to get it right and I think it is important to rent first. You can do all the research you want but unless you are there on the ground it will only be theory. Much of the stuff you read will be biased, written by agents or people who want to sell their property.

  • #109882
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @angie wrote:

    Ah potato waffles Melosine, haven’t tried one of those for ages. I meant in a humorous way that Iceland is not my idea of Spain and then to see loads of Brits there who may not ordinarily use it in the UK is strange. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    So true ๐Ÿ˜€ We used to do a monthly shop at Morrisons, Gibraltar. It beat mankydonna and Alcampo anyday. Since I have been back in the UK I wouldn’t dream of entering a Morrisons. There is one thing I buy from Iceland since I had them at a friends house, the buffet food section, 3 for a fiver. The large prawns in tempura batter, min pizzas and mini spring rolls are super ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #109885
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I love your story katy, you should write a book about your tales in Spain and next time you move somewhere exotic we will happily move in with you, ๐Ÿ˜‰ and you also know Naples Fl ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Katy and Melosine, we used to shop in our local Spanish supermarkets Mankydonna and Notsosupersol, I will get slagged by ranting Ubeda no doubt for saying this, but they were the dirtiest supermarkets we’d ever been in anywhere, they didn’t know the meaning of hygiene eg their cheap plastic baskets were coated in grime, floors were filthy, didn’t know the first thing about ‘sell by dates’ so we had to scrutinise every purchase as most were out of date and surprisingly their fruit and veg sections were dire, tired old selection from Almeria no doubt, meat counter awful and don’t they like their flies? ๐Ÿ™„

    Local fruit and veg shops were fine though ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • #109887
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    To answer the op I can’t see much of an economic reason for a UK pensioner drawing a UK pension to go back to the UK. OK the pound is lower than it used to be against the euro, meaning the pension is a bit lower in local currency, and also prices in Spain have gone up quite a bit over the last decade, but I don’t think that these factors on their own would be enough to force a pensioner to go back to the UK.

    For those still working their is an obvious economic reason why so many are going back: jobs. For those living on the costas many of the jobs were tied to real estate and have now disappeared. Also many have lost money in the housing crash and need to “get it back” by earning more money somehow, which may well mean returning to the UK.

    As others have mentioned, I think a big factor is that the lure of a “better life” somewhere else clouds people’s judgement. For a start they don’t do the sums when it comes to calculating how much money they need to live somewhere else. In fact it is quite hard to do this these days because so much is paid electronically and automatically. People underestimate how things add up and they simply run out of money. They also refuse to accept that getting a job in a country where you don’t speak the local language is not that easy. People think they’ll get a bit of extra income “here or there”, but then find the reality is that such work is hard to find and there is huge competition from all the other expats trying to do the same. Even before the crash a lot of people returned to the UK, and I’m sure this was one of the main reasons.

  • #109888
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    I love your story katy, you should write a book about your tales in Spain and next time you move somewhere exotic we will happily move in with you, ๐Ÿ˜‰ and you also know Naples Fl ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Katy and Melosine, we used to shop in our local Spanish supermarkets Mankydonna and Notsosupersol, I will get slagged by ranting Ubeda no doubt for saying this, but they were the dirtiest supermarkets we’d ever been in anywhere, they didn’t know the meaning of hygiene eg their cheap plastic baskets were coated in grime, floors were filthy, didn’t know the first thing about ‘sell by dates’ so we had to scrutinise every purchase as most were out of date and surprisingly their fruit and veg sections were dire, tired old selection from Almeria no doubt, meat counter awful and don’t they like their flies? ๐Ÿ™„

    Local fruit and veg shops were fine though ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I believe Supersol and Mercadonna are both franchises, so it’s pot luck as to what the one near you is like. Personally I’ve always found Mercadonna clean and hygenic, Supersol rather worse and with slow checkout attendants. I’ve found that checking sell by dates as well as checking your receipt is a requirement in every supermarket in Spain. If you want to go upmarket there’s always Hipercore/El Corte Inglรฉs – but I really don’t find their hiper-inflated prices justify the slightly better quality.

  • #109890
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Chopera, you confirm what I thought might be the case. There are the two categories – the workers and the retired. The strange thing was that the news articles I read seemed to be talking about the retired going back to the UK for financial reasons. Their incomes had somehow gone down and they felt bad because their house [that they had probably regarded as a retirement nest egg] had now become devalued. But I couldn’t see, generally speaking, how they could be better off in the UK, taking everything into account, and still can’t.

    Katy’s progression is interesting – thanks for that Katy. Your experience meant that things got better each time.

    Also thanks to itsme for the advice on how to do it properly ie take it slowly and buy detached. Actually in the UK these days I would only ever desire to buy detached because British people are not what they used to be. Seems like renting first is the key. And actually in the UK I’ve seen the advice that if you are going to buy a house, go round there at all hours of the day and night and see what is going on in the location. Loud music? Youths hanging round? etc. One should do that everywhere I suppose.

  • #109891
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Travelling hopefully is always better than arriving. (R.L Stevenson).

    The truth is you cannot be better off financially anywhere by moving unless it’s to a better higher paid job. So it’s climate, friendly people, crime and food.

    Spain has all three and so does everywhere else.

  • #109892
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    My parents had a property in Spain and spent around 3 to 4 months there. It used to be mainly retired middle class professionals who hade moved out permanently. Was about the same when we moved out in 1995. They had retired young(ish) and then you could get a nice villa with pool, a new car and a boat and still have a savings pot with the proceeds of a decent house in the UK. Interest rates were 12 to 15% at that time. I remember someone boasting that he was getting interest on his interest ๐Ÿ™‚

    We saw a lot of these people age and become more impoverished. Struggling to pay gardeners and heat large houses. Their nice shiny Mercedes now a noisy 12 year old, or they had changed to a Seat!. Investments had gone flat and a few thousand of them had been swindled by dodgy (British) financial advisors. Then there is long term illness (scarce aftercare or assistance available)…or death of a partner. We used to help one old woman. She was practically housebound and in danger of losing her home in a failed home equity scheme. She had only a basic old age pension to manage on (not enough in the UK, neither in Spain) and a few thousand in the bank rapidly dwindling rapidly. She returned to the UK. has a decent apartment near Chichester. Rent and council tax free plus her basic pension is topped up to around ยฃ140pw. She also has company and outings etc. whereas she was isolated in Spain.

    At the other end of the scale was the place in the sun type. left the UK on a wing and a prayer with a few kids in tow. They became the scourge of the small inland villages where they had moved because it was cheap. One of the reasons why there is now so much anti-british feeling about. many of them worked as agents or property reformers. I actually spoke to one who was working as an agent and 3 weeks before he had been an electrician in the UK!! many of these started to drift back to the UK about 2007 when the bottom dropped out of the market. There are still a lot around, doing a bit of anything they can get. Illegal airport runs, painting etc. many are still claiming benefits from the UK too ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

  • #109893
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Perhaps you are on a different CDS. According to Mรกlaga Sur, foreign tourism is down 6.3% for the first 5 months of the year.

    http://www.diariosur.es/v/20120623/marbella/andalucia-acumula-caida-turistas-20120623.html

    Ah, so you’re back to believing Spanish reports, instead of rubbishing them? Perhaps then you’ll believe this report that shows the number of tourists rose in Spain in May – down a bit in Andalucia but up in Cataluna, the Balearics, Madrid, Valencia etc.

    http://www.diariosur.es/v/20120623/marbella/andalucia-acumula-caida-turistas-20120623.html

    Not that I think it is that relevant to the question, what are the advantages of moving back to the UK?
    I can see that even for retired folk they may miss certain things in the UK, even though they wouldn’t necessarily be better off. It depends where the family and relatives live I suppose.
    I may be the exception, but I’m not always comfortable with the extreme heat of a Spanish summer. Not that the floods and downpours of recent days in northern England are my cup of tea either! In this sense, I actually prefer London in summer to many places. But there are drawbacks, specifically cost.

  • #109895
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @Ubi Macapuno wrote:

    Thanks Chopera, you confirm what I thought might be the case. There are the two categories – the workers and the retired. The strange thing was that the news articles I read seemed to be talking about the retired going back to the UK for financial reasons. Their incomes had somehow gone down and they felt bad because their house [that they had probably regarded as a retirement nest egg] had now become devalued. But I couldn’t see, generally speaking, how they could be better off in the UK, taking everything into account, and still can’t.

    One thing worth bearing in mind is that it is much harder to withdraw equity in Spain. As far as I know Spain never had so many of these products that allow people to withdraw equity in retirement while using their house as colateral. Spanish banks want to lend to people able to pay back the mortgage through their working life, and that’s about it.

    @Ubi Macapuno wrote:

    Actually in the UK these days I would only ever desire to buy detached because British people are not what they used to be. Seems like renting first is the key. And actually in the UK I’ve seen the advice that if you are going to buy a house, go round there at all hours of the day and night and see what is going on in the location. Loud music? Youths hanging round? etc. One should do that everywhere I suppose.

    Definitely rent first. You need to spend at least a year in your target location just to get a feel for the place and what the different areas are like at different times of the year. In fact when I moved to Spain, rather than selling up I simply rented out my house back in the UK and used the income to rent somewhere in Spain. Nearly 9 years later I’ve still got the house in the UK – renting in Spain was so cheap that I was able to save up enough to buy somewhere without having to sell up in the UK.

    You should also be aware that many Spanish places become freezing ghost towns in winter (not just resorts, but inland villages as well) and you may also find that you value the security of a decent urbanizacion with 24 hour surveillance, along with the convenience of having say an indoor pool in winter, more than the privacy of living in a detached house. Everyone has their own tastes and circumstances of course, but you may find that your priorities change when you move to Spain.

  • #109896
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:

    @katy wrote:

    Perhaps you are on a different CDS. According to Mรกlaga Sur, foreign tourism is down 6.3% for the first 5 months of the year.

    http://www.diariosur.es/v/20120623/marbella/andalucia-acumula-caida-turistas-20120623.html

    Ah, so you’re back to believing Spanish reports, instead of rubbishing them? Perhaps then you’ll believe this report that shows the number of tourists rose in Spain in May – down a bit in Andalucia but up in Cataluna, the Balearics, Madrid, Valencia etc.

    http://www.diariosur.es/v/20120623/marbella/andalucia-acumula-caida-turistas-20120623.html

    .

    You have taken it out of context. I was replying to Ubeda who said the place was heaving…and he lives on the CDS which I mentioned! I didn’t say I actually believed it…like any stats that comes out of Spain. According to what friends say the fall is probably higher, probably 10% or more :mrgreen:

  • #109898
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Chopera, what the papers fail to say is that many of these pensioners wanting to return have spent all their savings on living the “high life” and now need good รณl UKยดs benefit system to help them out.

    I only use Mercadona (expect for waffles which if toasted in a toaster are fabulous) and cannot fault it on cleanliness although Spain has yet to learn about sell by dates !!

    Possibly because our previous life was in a Surrey village we knew our rural comfort zone…which was NOT atop of a mountain which because of the view ( of scrubland )!! many people say they prefer.
    So after legality, top of our priority list was max of 1,000m from a village, max 15 mins in a car to coast and city, a level plot directly off a tarmaced road, and street lights.
    Took a year to find our perfect idyll and because we live near an ermita the latter were actually installed a couple of weeks after the build was finished .
    Lo afortunado !!

    Unfortunately most people havenยดt a clue this part of Murcia actually exists so am thankful that selling is furthest from my mind.

  • #109900
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    I actually feel that too many tourists are a detriment to an area – and that applies equally to both countries. When I visit Madrid I now tend to avoid busy parts of the centre like Sol, Gran Via, and the trendy section of calle Fuencarral, just as in London I don’t like Oxford Street or Leicester Square.
    Of course it’s slightly different if visiting a beach resort – you need a set number of restaurants, shops, facilities etc. But I can’t imagine living happily in somewhere like Benidorm (or Blackpool for that matter), although I’m told there are people who do!

  • #109901
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    To get back to the question, if you have an income of around ยฃ25,000 (or more) then there aren’t any advantages in going back to the UK (perhaps you will pay less tax in the UK). Any advantages would be personal to you.

  • #109902
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy, please explain – if you have an income of less than GBP25,000, what would be the financial advantages of going back to the UK? Do you mean benefits? Also, do you mean working or retired people? Thanks.

  • #109903
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I think that post of Katy’s regarding the elderly lady returning to UK does illustrate the sad fact about growing old anywhere.
    You become poorer as the cost of living escalates and your income remains fixed and dwindling in value. Older people cannot supplement or improve their position either by working. Once capital is gone it’s gone, you lose a partner and pverty escalates as their pension goes. It’s an old life story, it’s nobody’s fault it’s just the way things are. We think it can never happen to us, but it does to most.

    In Spain the close family unit supports their elderly, usually for retired Brits that’s missing the state does it.

    Many British people of working age who leave Spain do so to claim state benefits not available to them in the country as either their job or business fails. These people probably have no choice but it’s unlikely they will improve their lives. It’s returning to a subsistence existence on the margins of society. However at least their employment prospects are improved.

    I honestly believe moving to live in another country is a bad idea in the first place. It will always make you poorer as well as wiser. It may be enjoyable for a while and the prospect seem attractive but in the long run your resources will only diminish.

  • #109904
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @dbmarcos99 wrote:

    I actually feel that too many tourists are a detriment to an area – and that applies equally to both countries. When I visit Madrid I now tend to avoid busy parts of the centre like Sol, Gran Via, and the trendy section of calle Fuencarral, just as in London I don’t like Oxford Street or Leicester Square.
    Of course it’s slightly different if visiting a beach resort – you need a set number of restaurants, shops, facilities etc. But I can’t imagine living happily in somewhere like Benidorm (or Blackpool for that matter), although I’m told there are people who do!

    Agree. No fun living amongst tourists in any country.

  • #109905
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @Ubi Macapuno wrote:

    Katy, please explain – if you have an income of less than GBP25,000, what would be the financial advantages of going back to the UK? Do you mean benefits? Also, do you mean working or retired people? Thanks.

    Just plucked that figure as rough example. I think it would be difficult to live on less than that and not struggle. The advantage in going back to the UK is that you have a reasonable chance of getting a job.

  • #109907
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    I think that post of Katy’s regarding the elderly lady returning to UK does illustrate the sad fact about growing old anywhere.
    You become poorer as the cost of living escalates and your income remains fixed and dwindling in value. Older people cannot supplement or improve their position either by working. Once capital is gone it’s gone, you lose a partner and pverty escalates as their pension goes. It’s an old life story, it’s nobody’s fault it’s just the way things are. We think it can never happen to us, but it does to most.

    In Spain the close family unit supports their elderly, usually for retired Brits that’s missing the state does it.

    Many British people of working age who leave Spain do so to claim state benefits not available to them in the country as either their job or business fails. These people probably have no choice but it’s unlikely they will improve their lives. It’s returning to a subsistence existence on the margins of society. However at least their employment prospects are improved.

    I honestly believe moving to live in another country is a bad idea in the first place. It will always make you poorer as well as wiser. It may be enjoyable for a while and the prospect seem attractive but in the long run your resources will only diminish.

    I wouldn’t say your existence were on the margins of society if your claiming benefits,my brother in law was working as a bench joiner and getting up at 5.30 every day 6 days a week and not getting home till 7.My sister became ill and he has become her carer and he is only ยฃ30 aweek worse of but he no longer spends ยฃ40 aweek going to work so is actually better off than when he was working.

  • #109908
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    I suppose it depends Dartboy on what definition you consider a margin is. It’s subjective to individuals but most understand where the margin lies.
    In Katy’s example of living on 25k in the UK I would think that’s pretty close.

  • #109910
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    .To me living on the margin is when you can’t afford the things you would be able to buy when working.It also depends on where you live i guess as those up north where the cost of living is cheaper would be able to have a better lifestyle than someone in the south on the same benefits.Personally i think they all get to much i was reading the other day about a lady who had 2 children and lived in a house in a nice area of london and received ยฃ18000 in rent alone which is just madness.

  • #109998
    Profile photo of DBMarcos99
    DBMarcos99
    Participant

    A very provocative piece from the DT expat section

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/expat/expatlife/9232140/Dont-blame-Spain-for-the-end-of-your-expat-dream.html

    Realistically, with Spain’s chronic skills shortage and declining education system, the dream is far from over for the career expats, so we can discount them from the hordes of expats that would return to the UK given the chance. Of the eclectic mix, it is hard to see why they’d go back โ€“ Spain offers a cheaper cost of living, better quality of life and often better job prospects (in my experience, the majority of this group are here in Spain not because they really wanted to be in Spain, rather that they didn’t want to be in the UK).

    Which leaves us with the expat pensioners, for many of whom the party does seem to be over. Falling house prices, an unfavourable exchange rate and a Spanish economy in ruins have seen those that can return head back home, leaving the rest “trapped”, according to a whole host of recent headlines.

    I’m sure most on here would disagree with a lot of the above. But the author continues to make provocative remarks. I can see why he wrote the following, but not everyone has the crystal ball:

    It seems to me that if people had sold up and rented, invested their money wisely and used the exchange rates to their advantage, they could actually be better-off rather than worse-off. That being the case, the reason that they are trapped is as much, if not more, to do with the decisions they made, than the mess that Spain finds itself in.

  • #109999
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    I can’t disagree with the writer saying that ‘if expats had sold up and rented and then used exchange rates to their advantage’
    they would be better off financially, certainly in Sterling terms, however we know most were too greedy and held out for high prices and then found themselves chasing a rapidly falling and overblown market. You cannot catch up with those markets then ๐Ÿ™„

    The reverse is true when looking to buy in Spain now and it confirms what I’ve been saying for ages when people keep saying that ‘prices are low and now is a time to buy property in Spain’, the exchange rates come into play again for Brits which negate the price falls with higher Sterling needed to buy properties, often ending up with Spanish properties costing as much now as they would have years ago in Sterling terms. Nothing wrong though if it is purely a lifestyle and long term move and there’s no need to resell for many years. ๐Ÿ™„

  • #110000
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    ‘Going back’ as many ex-pats refer to the process of repatriation is a retrograde step. If they have lived abroad for many years there is very often nothing or very little to go back too.

    When India and other colonies such as Kenya gained independence in the post colonialism period many chose to stay on. Some of my family included. The thought of losing their status and fantastic lifestyle was too much to contemplate. Many prospered and most never regretted the decision. They called that ‘staying on’.

    Going back is just that, a step backwards in life.

  • #110001
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    There were many left Kenya, our friends did as there was so much corruption it was getting impossible to run the company. Kenya is a beautiful country…now going to the dogs as the Islamists are making inroads! We worked in Africa for a few years but no way would I invest my life in the place

    Just showed OH this thread and he pointed out that it has been an advantage for us. We bought a UK house before we left Spain so have now had it about two and half years. Just sold it at a decent profit and within a week! Therefore if we wanted to return to Spain we would not only be returning with this profit but would be able to buy an equivalent villa to what we had for around ยฃ200,000 less. So I guess you could call it an advantage. When OH said this I asked him if he wanted to go back, he said, “Yes, but NO” ๐Ÿ˜† Only if it returned to what it was before the boom.

  • #110002
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The article link from Chris Marshall in the Telegraph is sheer tosh! He clearly knows nothing about economics. He also talks about ex-pats with careers ๐Ÿ˜† I only know one with anything like a “career” and he is an English Doctor with a private practice, plus a few teachers at English schools.

    What would you expect though from an ex-pat who makes his “career” out of writing about Almerimar (I would stick pins in my eyes before I lived in that fly ridden ex-pat dump!). Did anyone notice who sponsored the article?
    Say no more :mrgreen:
    This column is sponsored by:

    Spain Holiday and Campaya, offering holiday homes all over Spain and the rest of the world, with special deals this month available for Moriara and Barcelona

    and

    TorFX, a leading foreign exchange broker, offering excellent exchange rates for all your international money transfer requirements

  • #110003
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Having read the article properly, I see it as a purely commercial plug by the Holiday home agent and the foreign exchange broker, who no doubt paid The Telegraph for the space.

    The problem really is these newspapers rely so much on advertising space for revenue by these vile companies who will lie through their teeth and dupe more people into making big mistakes, and we know full well that these newspapers have lost so much revenue now that many of these agents, developers etc have gone bust. These newsprints always had ‘overseas homes’ supplements, ba


    s ๐Ÿ˜ก

    Katy, I feel you went a bit too easy on Almerimar ๐Ÿ˜†

    Now I’m happy ๐Ÿ˜†

  • #110004
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    There is a media trend now to sell anything and dress it up as a features article. I call them all lavatorials. ๐Ÿ™‚ Not even worth reading. Joe Public however thinks them true so it works. ๐Ÿ™

    To seek a relatively true picture of what’s going on anywhere forums such as this have lots of good information from people who actually are either on the ground or have been. It’s muddied by the clandestine agents, Mr McCarthy and those with an axe to grind but it’s not difficult to see through them.

    I read lots of different forums and about 10 – 15%% are very valuable.

    Going back to the thread. I personally have never been tempted for a moment to ‘go back’. Britain to me is just another country where I happened to be educated and make my start in life in the City of London. I love Europe, France in particular and Spain too. The history, culture, people, food, wine, values, pace of life and the climate (most of the time).

    In some ways Britain is a great country, nostalgic history, a long tradition of democracy and tolerance. However it’s very over crowded, has extremes of poverty and much inequality, expensive over priced housing, where everyone lives on top of each other, high crime, high taxation, a hopeless social security system that benefits idle feckless people and terrible traffic. A weak political leadership that cannot quite bring itself to admit the European Union is a disaster and a hopeless football team. ๐Ÿ˜†

  • #110005
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    On the Yahoo main page today is an article about the myriad of scams out there to dupe unsuspecting people.

    The well deserved vitriol aimed at those scammers and especially at the UK Gov’t in this case is incredible, it seems the worm is turning and people are rising up to Gov’t fiddles, Bank scams, Eurozone fiddles, Corporate fiddles, individual’s fiddles, it’s like a new tide of people not willing to put up with it anymore and speaking out.

    They should of course add the World’s largest property scam in terms of numbers and that award has to go to Spain whose Government does nada to rectify things, or extremely slowly if anything, why on earth did they never regulate that corrupt industry? ๐Ÿ˜ก Oh, of course the corrupt Spanish Gov’t was raking in huge financial returns whilst turning their blind eyes and cocking their deaf ears for years and years ๐Ÿ˜ก

    Rant over, now I’m happy again ๐Ÿ˜†

  • #110006
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Well the UK has plenty of faults but it isn’t all overcrowded. I live commuter distance to London, third of an acre. Not much traffic on nearest road (A31). OK M25 can be a nightmare but so can the coastal roads in Spain, Mรกlaga is a nightmare too and Naples in Italy. I like France a lot…but wouldn’t want to live there. Love Italy, but likewise. I could live in Florida but they won’t let me ๐Ÿ˜† We did live in Geneva at one time and had a super time, used to pop into France for food shopping. Every country has it’s good and bad parts. For me Europe has lost it’s attraction, over-hyped and over-expensive…some great places for short breaks though ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #110010
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    ‘Going back’ as many ex-pats refer to the process of repatriation is a retrograde step. If they have lived abroad for many years there is very often nothing or very little to go back too.

    When India and other colonies such as Kenya gained independence in the post colonialism period many chose to stay on. Some of my family included. The thought of losing their status and fantastic lifestyle was too much to contemplate. Many prospered and most never regretted the decision. They called that ‘staying on’.

    Going back is just that, a step backwards in life.

    Indeed a certain generation of my family followed the route from India, to Kenya, then maybe a year in the UK before getting the hell out of there and going to Spain or Portugal. They just couldn’t stand it in the UK : “it” being the winters mainly, but also the fact that after spending a few generations overseas, they simply didn’t fit in. They looked English and sounded English (albeit in a slightly old fashioned way) but having never grown up or lived in the UK, they didn’t have anything in common with the people living there. So the logic was that if you are going to live in an alien country, it might as well be one where the sun shone. Although nearly all of them eventually returned to the UK when their spouse died.

  • #110011
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    The article link from Chris Marshall in the Telegraph is sheer tosh! He clearly knows nothing about economics. He also talks about ex-pats with careers ๐Ÿ˜† I only know one with anything like a “career” and he is an English Doctor with a private practice, plus a few teachers at English schools.

    In fact there are quite a few of us “ex-pats” with careers in Madrid – and I know of at least one in Barcelona ๐Ÿ˜‰

    However I never really consider myself (or any of the others in my situation) to be “ex-pats”. To my mind I am just another EU migrant trying his best to live in a different country within the EU, along with millions of others. I think the term “ex-pat” refers to someone in a slightly different type of situation.

  • #110012
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    A lot of white South Africans moved to Marbella, probably the UK climate was a step too far ๐Ÿ˜† Some British I know left Spain for Florida but not on a permanent visa. My Grandfather left Madrid for Oxford and never returned except having a holiday home in marbella. He said he felt like a foreigner in his own country! For me it’s the UK for now, climate is relative anyway, I used to whinge about the spanish winters too. Nowhere in Europe has decent winter weather. We did look at moving to Barbados or St. Kitts but not sure if I would like the restriction of a small Island. I would never say never though.

    It is a small world these days and people don’t just have to choose between the UK and Spain.

  • #110013
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    So if a pensioner decided to settle in Spain and bought a place which now has lost some of its value, but their pension has not fallen, what difference does it make to their monthly budget? Isn’t the mortgage usually tied to the euribor (or whatever) and not the value of the property?

    One only loses money by selling for less than they paid. Unless they planned on selling in this turbulent time, I don’t see why anyone would get out, unless they hated living in Spain.

    I know that it must sting a bit for those who bought at the market’s apex, but what percent of total expat pensioners purchased at that time?

  • #110014
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @garysfbcn wrote:

    So if a pensioner decided to settle in Spain and bought a place which now has lost some of its value, but their pension has not fallen, what difference does it make to their monthly budget? Isn’t the mortgage usually tied to the euribor (or whatever) and not the value of the property?

    One only loses money by selling for less than they paid. Unless they planned on selling in this turbulent time, I don’t see why anyone would get out, unless they hated living in Spain.

    I know that it must sting a bit for those who bought at the market’s apex, but what percent of total expat pensioners purchased at that time?

    Gary, your post brings us right back to my original question, and you have come to the same conclusion that I have after all the intervening posts! Regarding the mortgage – folks – what is the situation with Spanish mortgages? In the UK, let’s say you buy a house for 200k with a mortgage of 150k. Then, if the housing market falls and your house becomes worth only 100k, you still owe, and have to keep paying off, the 150k mortgage ad infinitum….and are in a state of negative equity.

  • #110018
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @chopera wrote:

    However I never really consider myself (or any of the others in my situation) to be “ex-pats”. To my mind I am just another EU migrant trying his best to live in a different country within the EU, along with millions of others. I think the term “ex-pat” refers to someone in a slightly different type of situation.

    That’s an interesting point.
    Ex-pat was a term used during colonial times and did have a different meaning then. Ex-pat’s were usually not considered to be immigrants and they certainly never attempted integration with the natives. That thought would have horrified them. My grandfather spent his entire life in Africa but would never have thought himself as anything else but British.

    I have lived in Europe now the better part of my life and although personally I feel almost stateless to everyone else I am British or rather an ‘Anglais’. Tis just the way things are and always will be.

  • #110019
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    What pensioner would have a mortgage ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Ubi, negative equity doesn’t matter if you aren’t planning to sell. It’s only when the death/divorce stuff comes into it. Some have been stung in Spain by abusive mortgage terms and conditions. In some cases borrowers have been asked for higher payments because there is now no equity in the property. The question is…how long will people in negative equity in Spain have to wait? I would say a decade if they are on the costas.

  • #110020
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    It always amuses me when I see ‘expatriot’ written in error instead of ‘expatriate’!

  • #110021
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    What pensioner would have a mortgage ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    In Spain the banks will give you a mortgage up to the age of 85! Yet life insurance is impossible after 65, 70 in France. Spanish logic. ๐Ÿ˜•

  • #110022
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    What I really meant was which pensioner would be crazy enough to take out a mortgage ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #110026
    Profile photo of GarySFBCN
    GarySFBCN
    Participant

    What I really meant was which pensioner would be crazy enough to take out a mortgage ๐Ÿ™‚

    Me! But when I retire, I will have entrepreneurial hobbies and a few consulting engagements to hopefully pay-down the mortgage in 5-6 years, unless I am able to obtain a really good mortgage that I just found out about (yes, they do exist but not available to all).

    In the case of the good mortgage, and anticipating skyrocketing inflation, I will need to weigh the spike in monthly mortgage payment against the spike in interest income from my accounts, here in Spain and in the US, before I pay-down the mortgage.

    I guess I should add that in the US, one is allowed to collect a pension and still work, but not at the job that paid the pension. It’s a bit complicated.

  • #110027
    Profile photo of Chopera
    Chopera
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    @chopera wrote:
    However I never really consider myself (or any of the others in my situation) to be “ex-pats”. To my mind I am just another EU migrant trying his best to live in a different country within the EU, along with millions of others. I think the term “ex-pat” refers to someone in a slightly different type of situation.

    That’s an interesting point.
    Ex-pat was a term used during colonial times and did have a different meaning then. Ex-pat’s were usually not considered to be immigrants and they certainly never attempted integration with the natives. That thought would have horrified them. My grandfather spent his entire life in Africa but would never have thought himself as anything else but British.

    I have lived in Europe now the better part of my life and although personally I feel almost stateless to everyone else I am British or rather an ‘Anglais’. Tis just the way things are and always will be.

    Yes I always felt that an expat was someone from a richer country living in a poorer country, or at least a country with a radically different culture, and enjoying certain perks to compensate for the “hardship”. Also in such cases the expat wouldn’t be expected to integrate so much into the local culture. When I lived in Pakistan in the 90s that was certainly the case for me, and I considered myself an expat then. But when I moved to Spain I didn’t consider myself to be an expat any more than I considered my Spanish wife to be an expat when we lived in the UK.

  • #110031
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I agree with both of you but lets not be pedantic. A lot easier to use than to keep tapping in British immigrant in Spain ๐Ÿ˜€

  • #110033
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    @katy wrote:
    What pensioner would have a mortgage ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    In Spain the banks will give you a mortgage up to the age of 85! Yet life insurance is impossible after 65, 70 in France. Spanish logic. ๐Ÿ˜•

    There may be a bank or two that might give up to 85, but they are the minority. Most will not go over 70.

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