Should we be buying in Spain in 2011?

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This topic contains 54 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Inez Inez 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #56131
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi

    I stumbled across this excellent resource recently and thought that I would make my first post. Apologies in advance as it will probably be a little lengthy, but there is so much wisdom and experience on this forum that I would be crazy not to ask for advice on a few issues in our minds.

    Let me explain please…..

    My wife and I are not ready to retire yet but we do have plenty of spare time too, so we would be using it mainly for holidays initially. We are fortunate to be able to buy a property for cash in Spain and it seems that it is most certainly a buyers market presently. We definitely dont consider ourselves starry-eyed dreamers who can’t be objective and prepared, and realise there are downsides to everywhere too.

    My main issue to ask is – does the forum think prices are bottoming out….. or not? If we have to, in order to get best value, we can easily wait, on the other hand we dont want to miss out on capitalising on the market if things are as attractive as they probably will be for buyers currently. I know that its virtually impossible to call the bottom of the market – but its easier for those who are in the know to guide you. Is it a case that mortgages are so hard to come by that a cash buyer is viewed very favourably? We deal in property in the UK and the power of cash there now is extraordinary – so Im guessing the same, at least, applies in Spain also?

    We love the region east of Malaga and are strongly favouring Torrox pueblo. It kind of ticks all the boxes for us. However we are not impatient and not in a rush to buy for buyings sake, on the other hand we can negotiate well with cash I guess. We arent looking for anything too grand, we want a typical 2 bed townhouse and are allowing ourselves to spend about 120,000 euros including fees. We could, and probably would, go to more if there was a compelling reason to do so – but dont want to spend just for the sake of spending. We are looking for a comfortable bolt-hole that could be a primary residence there one day.

    So I guess what I am asking is what advice could anyone here give to us?

    Also does anyone have any views to share re Torrox pueblo, or can anyone recommend somewhere similar in that area (we want to be near Malaga City – to the east). We dont want modern new built property ansd want to stay in a ‘typical Spanish small town’. If anyone thinks there are flaws in our plan – please let us know! 🙂

    In fact, any advice whatsoever about anything property related would be most welcome – we are on a steep learning curve and are prepared to bide our time until we understand exactly what we want and how it all works!

    Thanks in advance for any help given.

  • #103217
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The best advice I can offer you is consistent with all my other postings on this forum. If you buy a property in Spain now it will devalue by about 15-20% at least over the coming 2-3 years. You will also have great difficulty selling it again should you decide it was a mistake.
    If you are in doubt use your common sense and look at the wider economy of Europe and the rest of the world. Economic decline is continuing apart from Germany and the far east. Even in the US the prospects are poor for the medium term.
    Spain is lagging behind the rest of Europe and drowning in sovereign debt, unemployment is catastrophic and rising despite austerity measures. The banks cannot lend except on their massive repossessed housing stocks which produces a stagnant and falling market.
    All these factors and more such as high and rising taxation, buying and selling costs, death duty even for a spouse add to a further declining and unattractive property market over at least the short to medium term.
    Keep your capital in a decent investment portfolio and rent long term or whenever you come to Spain. As I have said before the market will bottom when Spain’s economic fortunes change for the better. When that will be is anyone’s guess.

  • #103051
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The best advice I can offer you is consistent with all my other postings on this forum. If you buy a property in Spain now it will devalue by about 15-20% at least over the coming 2-3 years. You will also have great difficulty selling it again should you decide it was a mistake.
    If you are in doubt use your common sense and look at the wider economy of Europe and the rest of the world. Economic decline is continuing apart from Germany and the far east. Even in the US the prospects are poor for the medium term.
    Spain is lagging behind the rest of Europe and drowning in sovereign debt, unemployment is catastrophic and rising despite austerity measures. The banks cannot lend except on their massive repossessed housing stocks which produces a stagnant and falling market.
    All these factors and more such as high and rising taxation, buying and selling costs, death duty even for a spouse add to a further declining and unattractive property market over at least the short to medium term.
    Keep your capital in a decent investment portfolio and rent long term or whenever you come to Spain. As I have said before the market will bottom when Spain’s economic fortunes change for the better. When that will be is anyone’s guess.

  • #103221
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Logan for your detailed reply. I didnt want to pre-empt the tone of any replies, so kept my thoughts to myself. Your thoughts and explanations are exactly in line with mine and therefore my option of maybe actually buying there is diminishing quickly day by day.

    Certainly as we cant live there full time yet anyway it is silly to buy. We can rent a townhouse in Torrox for under 200 euros a week for holidays. There’s also a lovely hotel there too that is doing b and b for 2 at £35 per night now too!

    When it becomes possible to live there then we can review the situation. However, regardless of the economic situation then, I think the arguments for renting versus buying are very strong anyway.

    A few questions please….

    Can anyone tell me what’s the rental world like in Spain, particularly east of Malaga, presently?

    Is it easy, or hard, to find somewhere?

    What’s security of tenure like for tenants in general? I hear that landlords want you out after 12 months because of the rights you gain by staying longer than that etc. Is this right? Certainly prices seem very keen when I look, and this usually reflects oversupply.

    Once again, thanks in anticipation.

  • #103053
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Logan for your detailed reply. I didnt want to pre-empt the tone of any replies, so kept my thoughts to myself. Your thoughts and explanations are exactly in line with mine and therefore my option of maybe actually buying there is diminishing quickly day by day.

    Certainly as we cant live there full time yet anyway it is silly to buy. We can rent a townhouse in Torrox for under 200 euros a week for holidays. There’s also a lovely hotel there too that is doing b and b for 2 at £35 per night now too!

    When it becomes possible to live there then we can review the situation. However, regardless of the economic situation then, I think the arguments for renting versus buying are very strong anyway.

    A few questions please….

    Can anyone tell me what’s the rental world like in Spain, particularly east of Malaga, presently?

    Is it easy, or hard, to find somewhere?

    What’s security of tenure like for tenants in general? I hear that landlords want you out after 12 months because of the rights you gain by staying longer than that etc. Is this right? Certainly prices seem very keen when I look, and this usually reflects oversupply.

    Once again, thanks in anticipation.

  • #103223
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Google ‘rent in Spain’. Many, many offers and explanations of differing contracts. Even banks will rent you a property for up to 7 years.

  • #103054
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    Google ‘rent in Spain’. Many, many offers and explanations of differing contracts. Even banks will rent you a property for up to 7 years.

  • #103225
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rialto,

    As it happens our personal circumstances – some time to retirement, cash in the bank, etc – are very similar.

    I started following this market closely, together with the Spanish economy, some two and a half years ago. In that whole time I’ve had people telling me, on here and elsewhere, to “buy now, you’ll never get a better price” or the like. Rather than listen to them I have preferred to keep my eye on the fundamentals. On the costas these are:
    – Huge over supply
    – High unemployment
    – Prices too high relative to incomes
    – Financial problems and austerity measures in feeder countries

    The bottom line here is that prices have been falling for four years and pretty well every independent follower of the market expects this trend to continue for some time yet. My guess is around 2 years but the truth is that nobody really knows.

    Logan’s advice is sound. Take your time. Follow the market. Be sceptical about what people, particularly those with vested interests, try telling you.

    I also happen to be looking in the same area as you. Torrox as it happens doesn’t really do much for me. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up in either Nerja or Frigliana.

  • #103055
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rialto,

    As it happens our personal circumstances – some time to retirement, cash in the bank, etc – are very similar.

    I started following this market closely, together with the Spanish economy, some two and a half years ago. In that whole time I’ve had people telling me, on here and elsewhere, to “buy now, you’ll never get a better price” or the like. Rather than listen to them I have preferred to keep my eye on the fundamentals. On the costas these are:
    – Huge over supply
    – High unemployment
    – Prices too high relative to incomes
    – Financial problems and austerity measures in feeder countries

    The bottom line here is that prices have been falling for four years and pretty well every independent follower of the market expects this trend to continue for some time yet. My guess is around 2 years but the truth is that nobody really knows.

    Logan’s advice is sound. Take your time. Follow the market. Be sceptical about what people, particularly those with vested interests, try telling you.

    I also happen to be looking in the same area as you. Torrox as it happens doesn’t really do much for me. I’m pretty sure I’ll end up in either Nerja or Frigliana.

  • #103233
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @brianc_li wrote:

    Rialto,
    Logan’s advice is sound.
    Take your time.
    Follow the market.
    Be sceptical about what people, particularly those with vested interests, try telling you.

    Logans advice is not sound, it is as flawed and as limited as his narrow view of economic macros and takes no account of what you are looking for… knowledge / inside track on the bottom of the market, others believe it is here, but if it is that doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to last a while, but this forum will be far behind the upturn if you listen to Logan methinks, because by the time he sees it, it will have happened a year before.

    Nobody’s advice on here is sound, and of course that includes mine.

    But the rest of Brianc_li’s advice is as solid as it get, however with regard to the last point, Logan very much it seems has vested interests also, you’d have to wonder why he is even bothered with this forum really.

  • #103059
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @brianc_li wrote:

    Rialto,
    Logan’s advice is sound.
    Take your time.
    Follow the market.
    Be sceptical about what people, particularly those with vested interests, try telling you.

    Logans advice is not sound, it is as flawed and as limited as his narrow view of economic macros and takes no account of what you are looking for… knowledge / inside track on the bottom of the market, others believe it is here, but if it is that doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to last a while, but this forum will be far behind the upturn if you listen to Logan methinks, because by the time he sees it, it will have happened a year before.

    Nobody’s advice on here is sound, and of course that includes mine.

    But the rest of Brianc_li’s advice is as solid as it get, however with regard to the last point, Logan very much it seems has vested interests also, you’d have to wonder why he is even bothered with this forum really.

  • #103237
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The reality is there are always differing views of present and future market trends. That’s what makes market investing an interesting business.
    A one dimensional view I would agree is a route to loss. I try and study market trends from a multi-dimensional prospective and I’m fortunate enough to have the time and space to do that.
    I also participate in these forums discussions in the hope I can prevent people from entering the bear trap called Spanish property ownership and avoid the miseries so many have experienced.
    If I offer advice it’s usually in an area where I have some knowledge or expertise. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and if I recognised any signs of market improvement in the short term I would say so.
    I have no vested interests apart from having been a successful investor in property in Europe over the last 35 years. I sold when I saw markets starting to turn and everyone else was piling into it and also bought at that same stage when I felt markets turning.
    John D Rockefella had a great saying. He said ‘when my shoe shine boy starts asking me for share tips I know it’s time to sell’. The point being that whenever markets create a bubble through demand overheating happens and a crash is inevitable.
    That stage came in Spanish property when developments were selling off plan like hot cakes before they were built.
    Markets are actually not that difficult to read if you have a little experience, time and insight.
    I hope in some small way this forums can contribute towards that.
    Chris McCarthy’s interest lies in selling. Nothing wrong with that but it would be difficult to describe that as anything but one dimensional.

  • #103061
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The reality is there are always differing views of present and future market trends. That’s what makes market investing an interesting business.
    A one dimensional view I would agree is a route to loss. I try and study market trends from a multi-dimensional prospective and I’m fortunate enough to have the time and space to do that.
    I also participate in these forums discussions in the hope I can prevent people from entering the bear trap called Spanish property ownership and avoid the miseries so many have experienced.
    If I offer advice it’s usually in an area where I have some knowledge or expertise. I don’t pretend to have all the answers and if I recognised any signs of market improvement in the short term I would say so.
    I have no vested interests apart from having been a successful investor in property in Europe over the last 35 years. I sold when I saw markets starting to turn and everyone else was piling into it and also bought at that same stage when I felt markets turning.
    John D Rockefella had a great saying. He said ‘when my shoe shine boy starts asking me for share tips I know it’s time to sell’. The point being that whenever markets create a bubble through demand overheating happens and a crash is inevitable.
    That stage came in Spanish property when developments were selling off plan like hot cakes before they were built.
    Markets are actually not that difficult to read if you have a little experience, time and insight.
    I hope in some small way this forums can contribute towards that.
    Chris McCarthy’s interest lies in selling. Nothing wrong with that but it would be difficult to describe that as anything but one dimensional.

  • #103243
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have to side with logan’s viewpoint – as the evidence seems hard to ignore. For someone like us, once any emotional urge has been stripped out, there is no compelling reason as to why we should be buying. My property business in the UK has taught me to research and be patient, and compared to the UK, Spain appears to be on it’s knees from a property aspect. I would be very surprised if the Spanish market picked up any time soon too.

    I can understand that anyone who has a vested interest in selling property would want to talk the market up – thats human nature of course, but those who can see that the Emperor isnt wearing any clothes will see through that one. The more research that I do (thank goodness for the internet – a double edge sword for market makers!), the more I see that buying any time soon would be pure folly.

    I intend to take the best things from Spain and avoid the drawbacks regarding property ownership. Hotels and rental properties seem so cheap now and arent anywhere near as cumbersome of being saddled with a property that may be hard to sell if you have to do so.

    Maybe one day it will be a good time for us to buy.

    I have to thank you logan for your injection of logic here. There certainly is no rush to buy!

  • #103064
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have to side with logan’s viewpoint – as the evidence seems hard to ignore. For someone like us, once any emotional urge has been stripped out, there is no compelling reason as to why we should be buying. My property business in the UK has taught me to research and be patient, and compared to the UK, Spain appears to be on it’s knees from a property aspect. I would be very surprised if the Spanish market picked up any time soon too.

    I can understand that anyone who has a vested interest in selling property would want to talk the market up – thats human nature of course, but those who can see that the Emperor isnt wearing any clothes will see through that one. The more research that I do (thank goodness for the internet – a double edge sword for market makers!), the more I see that buying any time soon would be pure folly.

    I intend to take the best things from Spain and avoid the drawbacks regarding property ownership. Hotels and rental properties seem so cheap now and arent anywhere near as cumbersome of being saddled with a property that may be hard to sell if you have to do so.

    Maybe one day it will be a good time for us to buy.

    I have to thank you logan for your injection of logic here. There certainly is no rush to buy!

  • #103245
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    @rialto wrote:

    Thanks Logan for your detailed reply. I didnt want to pre-empt the tone of any replies, so kept my thoughts to myself. Your thoughts and explanations are exactly in line with mine and therefore my option of maybe actually buying there is diminishing quickly day by day.

    Certainly as we cant live there full time yet anyway it is silly to buy. We can rent a townhouse in Torrox for under 200 euros a week for holidays. There’s also a lovely hotel there too that is doing b and b for 2 at £35 per night now too!

    When it becomes possible to live there then we can review the situation. However, regardless of the economic situation then, I think the arguments for renting versus buying are very strong anyway.

    A few questions please….

    Can anyone tell me what’s the rental world like in Spain, particularly east of Malaga, presently?

    Is it easy, or hard, to find somewhere?

    What’s security of tenure like for tenants in general? I hear that landlords want you out after 12 months because of the rights you gain by staying longer than that etc. Is this right? Certainly prices seem very keen when I look, and this usually reflects oversupply.

    Once again, thanks in anticipation.

    The main site for rentals is:

    http://www.enalquiler.com/index.php/

    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_casa_torrox/alquiler-casa-piscina-y-aire-acondicionado-torrox_1096024.html
    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_piso_torrox/alquiler-piso-piscina-y-ascensor-torrox_1145060.html
    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_piso_torrox/alquiler-piso-amueblado-piscina-torrox_1013038.html
    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_piso_torrox/alquiler-piso-piscina-torrox_1013018.html

    Torrox has plenty of places between 400-650 euros a month. I expect theyd want you to rent 6months of that, but I bet many will do you a monthly deal if desperate enough. Most want at least a month deposit, which can be difficult to get back, depending on the type of landlord you are dealing with.

    Also try: http://www.fotocasa.es/en/ you can select rentals instead of purchase.

    http://www.fotocasa.es/Search/results.aspx?t=torrox&l=&tti=3&prchti=2&bti=2&bsm=&opi=36&cu=en-Us

    The spanish word for renting is “alquiler”

    BTW, agree with many above, doubt we are close to bottom of market, things could get very grizzly here in Spain. Plus make sure you consider all the associated costs of buying AND selling – they can both be significant. You may also see some other fun and games that cost a fortune if you read a few of the other forum posts.

    Renting makes sense unless you can really steal an incredible deal.

  • #103065
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    @rialto wrote:

    Thanks Logan for your detailed reply. I didnt want to pre-empt the tone of any replies, so kept my thoughts to myself. Your thoughts and explanations are exactly in line with mine and therefore my option of maybe actually buying there is diminishing quickly day by day.

    Certainly as we cant live there full time yet anyway it is silly to buy. We can rent a townhouse in Torrox for under 200 euros a week for holidays. There’s also a lovely hotel there too that is doing b and b for 2 at £35 per night now too!

    When it becomes possible to live there then we can review the situation. However, regardless of the economic situation then, I think the arguments for renting versus buying are very strong anyway.

    A few questions please….

    Can anyone tell me what’s the rental world like in Spain, particularly east of Malaga, presently?

    Is it easy, or hard, to find somewhere?

    What’s security of tenure like for tenants in general? I hear that landlords want you out after 12 months because of the rights you gain by staying longer than that etc. Is this right? Certainly prices seem very keen when I look, and this usually reflects oversupply.

    Once again, thanks in anticipation.

    The main site for rentals is:

    http://www.enalquiler.com/index.php/

    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_casa_torrox/alquiler-casa-piscina-y-aire-acondicionado-torrox_1096024.html
    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_piso_torrox/alquiler-piso-piscina-y-ascensor-torrox_1145060.html
    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_piso_torrox/alquiler-piso-amueblado-piscina-torrox_1013038.html
    http://www.enalquiler.com/alquiler_piso_torrox/alquiler-piso-piscina-torrox_1013018.html

    Torrox has plenty of places between 400-650 euros a month. I expect theyd want you to rent 6months of that, but I bet many will do you a monthly deal if desperate enough. Most want at least a month deposit, which can be difficult to get back, depending on the type of landlord you are dealing with.

    Also try: http://www.fotocasa.es/en/ you can select rentals instead of purchase.

    http://www.fotocasa.es/Search/results.aspx?t=torrox&l=&tti=3&prchti=2&bti=2&bsm=&opi=36&cu=en-Us

    The spanish word for renting is “alquiler”

    BTW, agree with many above, doubt we are close to bottom of market, things could get very grizzly here in Spain. Plus make sure you consider all the associated costs of buying AND selling – they can both be significant. You may also see some other fun and games that cost a fortune if you read a few of the other forum posts.

    Renting makes sense unless you can really steal an incredible deal.

  • #103247
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone who has helped here – a credit to the forum and its objectives.

  • #103066
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks to everyone who has helped here – a credit to the forum and its objectives.

  • #103249
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    RENT dont buy !

  • #103067
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    RENT dont buy !

  • #103259
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rialto,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Renting is always sensible, but if one day you plan to buy then start following the market now, as others have suggested.

    For my part, I don’t think the market is going to recover anytime soon, but I also seriously doubt that the good stuff will go much lower. Attractive property in good locations is always scarce, and it’s never given away.

    It might be too far East for you, but one attractive property I’ve noticed to the East of Malaga is this one:
    viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4875

    And keep in mind that, whatever the economic circumstances, Spain is a wonderful country to spend time in.

  • #103072
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rialto,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Renting is always sensible, but if one day you plan to buy then start following the market now, as others have suggested.

    For my part, I don’t think the market is going to recover anytime soon, but I also seriously doubt that the good stuff will go much lower. Attractive property in good locations is always scarce, and it’s never given away.

    It might be too far East for you, but one attractive property I’ve noticed to the East of Malaga is this one:
    viewtopic.php?f=5&t=4875

    And keep in mind that, whatever the economic circumstances, Spain is a wonderful country to spend time in.

  • #103263
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Much as I dislike the cold-fish, over-analytical debate from the Eurosceptics, who will miss the market bottom by a mile anyway, I have to agree that 2011 is not the year to buy a property in Spain. For those with a pressing need to come and live in this beautiful country, renting is the most sensible option at this uncertain stage.

    I’ve searched high and low for some positive and realistic good news about the Spanish property market, and had I found it I would have posted it here with bells on, but I’m afraid I couldn’t find any, and that really makes me sad.

  • #103074
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Much as I dislike the cold-fish, over-analytical debate from the Eurosceptics, who will miss the market bottom by a mile anyway, I have to agree that 2011 is not the year to buy a property in Spain. For those with a pressing need to come and live in this beautiful country, renting is the most sensible option at this uncertain stage.

    I’ve searched high and low for some positive and realistic good news about the Spanish property market, and had I found it I would have posted it here with bells on, but I’m afraid I couldn’t find any, and that really makes me sad.

  • #103269
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Rialto, if you’re British you probably should not be buying in Spain with the current exchange rate, it’s dire at anything below 1.40 euros to the pound, dreadful at current 1.16 -1.20, and when the rate flips back, if you wanted to sell and convert to sterling again you would lose big money.

    Plus, consider the 10-11% (extortionate) completion costs before you buy.

    If you want a lifestyle change and will never need to resell and convert back to sterling, then, you should be looking at property that has fallen by at least 40-50% to get anything like a bargain in sterling terms.

    You should take with a pinch of salt anyone who may be saying now is the time to buy, they will almost certainly have a vested interest.

    If you continue, then go to one of 2 agents who post on here who know the market better, and really try and grab a bargain that’s reduced 50%, but don’t use an agent’s recommended solicitor. Ask Mark or the regulars which lawyer to trust.

    Like smoking, buying in Spain and elsewhere abroad can seriously damage your health and wealth, seek top advice.

    Don’t trust property shows/programmes like ‘A Place in The Sun’ many have been misled by these.

  • #103077
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Rialto, if you’re British you probably should not be buying in Spain with the current exchange rate, it’s dire at anything below 1.40 euros to the pound, dreadful at current 1.16 -1.20, and when the rate flips back, if you wanted to sell and convert to sterling again you would lose big money.

    Plus, consider the 10-11% (extortionate) completion costs before you buy.

    If you want a lifestyle change and will never need to resell and convert back to sterling, then, you should be looking at property that has fallen by at least 40-50% to get anything like a bargain in sterling terms.

    You should take with a pinch of salt anyone who may be saying now is the time to buy, they will almost certainly have a vested interest.

    If you continue, then go to one of 2 agents who post on here who know the market better, and really try and grab a bargain that’s reduced 50%, but don’t use an agent’s recommended solicitor. Ask Mark or the regulars which lawyer to trust.

    Like smoking, buying in Spain and elsewhere abroad can seriously damage your health and wealth, seek top advice.

    Don’t trust property shows/programmes like ‘A Place in The Sun’ many have been misled by these.

  • #103271
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Angie and everyone else here.

    A firm picture is forming now – and it is illustrating to me that it would be stupid to buy. I think that when the time does come where we can spend more time in Spain (we arent sure that we want to live there all the time), we could afford to rent something at say 400 euros pcm (equivalent to todays rates) and keep a place back home too.

    That way we would be enjoying Spain, on our terms, for say 182 days per year, not having to get embroiled in buying property and currency fluctuations/economic issues/tax in Spain, and we could pop back to the UK for half of the year – at different times. OK we would have a rented unit empty for 6 months in Spain in total – but at it all works out in my eyes as being worth it for being a convenient non-committted way to enjoying Spain and the UK (which still has a lot of positives going for it!).

    If we spent 26 weeks in total in Spain and left the unit empty for 26 weeks, the rental would work out at 185 euros for each week we spent there – or £22 per day!

    We could then have our finger on the pulse in Spain for when a perfect opportunity MAY arise to grab a bargain based on a hardball price and hopefully stronger pound.

    Can anyone spot flaws in that type of plan?

  • #103078
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Angie and everyone else here.

    A firm picture is forming now – and it is illustrating to me that it would be stupid to buy. I think that when the time does come where we can spend more time in Spain (we arent sure that we want to live there all the time), we could afford to rent something at say 400 euros pcm (equivalent to todays rates) and keep a place back home too.

    That way we would be enjoying Spain, on our terms, for say 182 days per year, not having to get embroiled in buying property and currency fluctuations/economic issues/tax in Spain, and we could pop back to the UK for half of the year – at different times. OK we would have a rented unit empty for 6 months in Spain in total – but at it all works out in my eyes as being worth it for being a convenient non-committted way to enjoying Spain and the UK (which still has a lot of positives going for it!).

    If we spent 26 weeks in total in Spain and left the unit empty for 26 weeks, the rental would work out at 185 euros for each week we spent there – or £22 per day!

    We could then have our finger on the pulse in Spain for when a perfect opportunity MAY arise to grab a bargain based on a hardball price and hopefully stronger pound.

    Can anyone spot flaws in that type of plan?

  • #103273
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Renting is a very good idea especially before buying, checking out areas etc. We rented for 8 months on a golf course, 400 euros all in, (not inc. the rip-off golf though). It was fine through Winter, quiet and temps not lower than 15F, but come Spring/Summer too many noisy holiday renters.

    Keeping a base in the UK makes very sound sense too, and you can enjoy Summers there, Winters abroad!

    The CDS has best mainland temps during Winter, but I still prefer South of France,Italy and Portugal as destinations in Europe, they seem less blingy and less built-up than Coastal Spain. Inland Spain IMO, is better than the Coasts though.

  • #103079
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Renting is a very good idea especially before buying, checking out areas etc. We rented for 8 months on a golf course, 400 euros all in, (not inc. the rip-off golf though). It was fine through Winter, quiet and temps not lower than 15F, but come Spring/Summer too many noisy holiday renters.

    Keeping a base in the UK makes very sound sense too, and you can enjoy Summers there, Winters abroad!

    The CDS has best mainland temps during Winter, but I still prefer South of France,Italy and Portugal as destinations in Europe, they seem less blingy and less built-up than Coastal Spain. Inland Spain IMO, is better than the Coasts though.

  • #103275
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I prefer Italy (Sorrento, Positano etc) for a holiday but I don’t think I would like to live there. It is true that those places have not been spoilt like the costas. Some of those mayors should be charged for war crimes 😉 :mrgreen:

  • #103080
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I prefer Italy (Sorrento, Positano etc) for a holiday but I don’t think I would like to live there. It is true that those places have not been spoilt like the costas. Some of those mayors should be charged for war crimes 😉 :mrgreen:

  • #103277
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The renting plan is good. However the difficult bit will be finding the right property in the right place which suits you. The choice is enormous so don’t commit for a long period until you have tried it.
    Angie is right, most places in Spain can be fine for the winter but come the holiday season it can be grim. Heat, noise, traffic, dust, drunks and children. 🙁

  • #103081
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    The renting plan is good. However the difficult bit will be finding the right property in the right place which suits you. The choice is enormous so don’t commit for a long period until you have tried it.
    Angie is right, most places in Spain can be fine for the winter but come the holiday season it can be grim. Heat, noise, traffic, dust, drunks and children. 🙁

  • #103279
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    most places in Spain can be fine for the winter but come the holiday season it can be grim

    Then of course you have the other problem of places that are fine in season but become drab, deserted ghost towns in winter. Salobrena Costa is one place that particularly springs to mind.

  • #103082
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    most places in Spain can be fine for the winter but come the holiday season it can be grim

    Then of course you have the other problem of places that are fine in season but become drab, deserted ghost towns in winter. Salobrena Costa is one place that particularly springs to mind.

  • #103283
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    All makes sense to me. Nov – end April Spain, then 6 months UK. I appreciate that finding the right location/security of tenure may be issues – but thats all they are – issues. Much better than more stressful issues such as overpaying/transaction costs/buying before bottom/poor exchange rates/spanish tax/bureacracy/etc.

    As my intention to retire to Spain would be to relax and avoid stress, to buy now would obvioulsy be counter productive to those aims it seems.

    Its still a British cultural thing ‘to buy’, even though that is changing slightly here nowadays. I’m a landlord in the UK with quite a few properties and my view is that I would never give notice to a good tenant. Why should I?

    I only have to find another one. Appreciated, if a landlord wants to sell up thats different. There will always be property to rent in Spain – and that path of renting allows us to take the best bits of the country and avoid the potential pitfalls of the economic fallout.

    Thanks again folks – very invaluable advice and viewpoints all-round.

  • #103084
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    All makes sense to me. Nov – end April Spain, then 6 months UK. I appreciate that finding the right location/security of tenure may be issues – but thats all they are – issues. Much better than more stressful issues such as overpaying/transaction costs/buying before bottom/poor exchange rates/spanish tax/bureacracy/etc.

    As my intention to retire to Spain would be to relax and avoid stress, to buy now would obvioulsy be counter productive to those aims it seems.

    Its still a British cultural thing ‘to buy’, even though that is changing slightly here nowadays. I’m a landlord in the UK with quite a few properties and my view is that I would never give notice to a good tenant. Why should I?

    I only have to find another one. Appreciated, if a landlord wants to sell up thats different. There will always be property to rent in Spain – and that path of renting allows us to take the best bits of the country and avoid the potential pitfalls of the economic fallout.

    Thanks again folks – very invaluable advice and viewpoints all-round.

  • #103286
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @rialto wrote:

    All makes sense to me. Nov – end April Spain, then 6 months UK. I appreciate that finding the right location/security of tenure may be issues – but thats all they are – issues. Much better than more stressful issues such as overpaying/transaction costs/buying before bottom/poor exchange rates/spanish tax/bureacracy/etc.

    As my intention to retire to Spain would be to relax and avoid stress, to buy now would obvioulsy be counter productive to those aims it seems.

    Its still a British cultural thing ‘to buy’, even though that is changing slightly here nowadays. I’m a landlord in the UK with quite a few properties and my view is that I would never give notice to a good tenant. Why should I?

    I only have to find another one. Appreciated, if a landlord wants to sell up thats different. There will always be property to rent in Spain – and that path of renting allows us to take the best bits of the country and avoid the potential pitfalls of the economic fallout.

    Thanks again folks – very invaluable advice and viewpoints all-round.

    Actually the best solution in my earlier posts has to been to retire in the UK and move to a QROPS pension and spend no more than 183 days a year in chosen countries — getting a 6 month rental anywhere is no problem. Tax residency should be in Hong Kong which is no issue and live somewhere else.

    Also do not forget you are exposed to :

    (i) tax residency rules in Spain if you buy — a desperate country in the future looking for money isnt good for your wealth
    (ii) lack of rule of law — Spanish legal system isnt up to it if something goes wrong
    (iii) market transparency is extremely poor
    (iv) becoming a ripoff target for the local councils that have shown they are un-accountable and out of control

    All in all, the British obsession with owning property is fraught with danger for retirees.

    As mentioned before, do not buy under any circumstances until these things are sorted out which may take decades.

    I wish it was different but it isnt.

    — Munky

  • #103086
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @rialto wrote:

    All makes sense to me. Nov – end April Spain, then 6 months UK. I appreciate that finding the right location/security of tenure may be issues – but thats all they are – issues. Much better than more stressful issues such as overpaying/transaction costs/buying before bottom/poor exchange rates/spanish tax/bureacracy/etc.

    As my intention to retire to Spain would be to relax and avoid stress, to buy now would obvioulsy be counter productive to those aims it seems.

    Its still a British cultural thing ‘to buy’, even though that is changing slightly here nowadays. I’m a landlord in the UK with quite a few properties and my view is that I would never give notice to a good tenant. Why should I?

    I only have to find another one. Appreciated, if a landlord wants to sell up thats different. There will always be property to rent in Spain – and that path of renting allows us to take the best bits of the country and avoid the potential pitfalls of the economic fallout.

    Thanks again folks – very invaluable advice and viewpoints all-round.

    Actually the best solution in my earlier posts has to been to retire in the UK and move to a QROPS pension and spend no more than 183 days a year in chosen countries — getting a 6 month rental anywhere is no problem. Tax residency should be in Hong Kong which is no issue and live somewhere else.

    Also do not forget you are exposed to :

    (i) tax residency rules in Spain if you buy — a desperate country in the future looking for money isnt good for your wealth
    (ii) lack of rule of law — Spanish legal system isnt up to it if something goes wrong
    (iii) market transparency is extremely poor
    (iv) becoming a ripoff target for the local councils that have shown they are un-accountable and out of control

    All in all, the British obsession with owning property is fraught with danger for retirees.

    As mentioned before, do not buy under any circumstances until these things are sorted out which may take decades.

    I wish it was different but it isnt.

    — Munky

  • #103288
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    This is going a bit off topic but it’s an interesting debate.
    The problem with a QROPS pension are the taxation levels in the adopted foreign country. Most European states have higher taxation and lower personal allowances than the UK. So your tax liability ends up being higher. I know there are ways to avoid that such as residency in Hong Kong or other tax havens. However most pensioners want/need state healthcare in their adopted country. To qualify for that you need residency status and residency status means a taxation liability whether you own a property or not. It’s ‘Catch 22’.
    In my view it’s all swings and roundabouts. Save tax yes then be forced to spend that saving on private healthcare. What’s the point other than to benefit the fund managers.
    Having said that I do think the previous poster has some good suggestions and I agree with all his points on Spain but legal tax avoidance is just not that simple. I wish it were 🙁

  • #103088
    Profile photo of logan
    logan
    Participant

    This is going a bit off topic but it’s an interesting debate.
    The problem with a QROPS pension are the taxation levels in the adopted foreign country. Most European states have higher taxation and lower personal allowances than the UK. So your tax liability ends up being higher. I know there are ways to avoid that such as residency in Hong Kong or other tax havens. However most pensioners want/need state healthcare in their adopted country. To qualify for that you need residency status and residency status means a taxation liability whether you own a property or not. It’s ‘Catch 22’.
    In my view it’s all swings and roundabouts. Save tax yes then be forced to spend that saving on private healthcare. What’s the point other than to benefit the fund managers.
    Having said that I do think the previous poster has some good suggestions and I agree with all his points on Spain but legal tax avoidance is just not that simple. I wish it were 🙁

  • #103290
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    If you buy in Spain you can buy as a non-resident and are therefore not subject to taxation laws.

    If retired and above legal retirement age then a gestor would be able to tell you what benefits this may give you with regards to heathcare etc.

    I have always thought that staying under 183 days a year in a one country is a good idea, I think you would be wiser to ensure your rental contracts are exactly that too otherwise it could be used against you if any of the authorities wanted to be awkward, and somewhere down the line Im sure you would have to prove entry and exit dates, alternatively buy a boat large enough to live on and then your home moves with you.

  • #103090
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    If you buy in Spain you can buy as a non-resident and are therefore not subject to taxation laws.

    If retired and above legal retirement age then a gestor would be able to tell you what benefits this may give you with regards to heathcare etc.

    I have always thought that staying under 183 days a year in a one country is a good idea, I think you would be wiser to ensure your rental contracts are exactly that too otherwise it could be used against you if any of the authorities wanted to be awkward, and somewhere down the line Im sure you would have to prove entry and exit dates, alternatively buy a boat large enough to live on and then your home moves with you.

  • #103293
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    This is going a bit off topic but it’s an interesting debate.
    The problem with a QROPS pension are the taxation levels in the adopted foreign country. Most European states have higher taxation and lower personal allowances than the UK. So your tax liability ends up being higher. I know there are ways to avoid that such as residency in Hong Kong or other tax havens. However most pensioners want/need state healthcare in their adopted country. To qualify for that you need residency status and residency status means a taxation liability whether you own a property or not. It’s ‘Catch 22’.
    In my view it’s all swings and roundabouts. Save tax yes then be forced to spend that saving on private healthcare. What’s the point other than to benefit the fund managers.
    Having said that I do think the previous poster has some good suggestions and I agree with all his points on Spain but legal tax avoidance is just not that simple. I wish it were 🙁

    I know is this is a complex topic. I have researched this deeply and will keep things simple deliberately.

    Let me explain to clarify.

    The QPROPS law is clear and not that well understood by the populus.

    Rule No 1. — you have to be tax resident somewhere and somewhere thats on the “good list” with all the major countries
    Rule No 2 — always but always be tax resident in one place, and have your money in another — the ultimate protection.
    Rule No 3 — spend your time in a place(s) that has double expat tax treaties with your home tax domicile (HK fits the bill) — Spain has this in place and best to use a blind HK trust to eliminate Spanish regulatory change risk.

    HK has zero tax on QROPS pension receipts provided its done in the correct manner.

    Guernsey has zero tax for pension payments provided you dont live there — this is where the money is.

    You can see where this is going.

    Logan is correct about healthcare.
    You must pay for it. However, given the savings gained the extra costs are minimal for the best global health insurance in the world which only allows for 45 days a year in the US which suits most and will fly you to a hospital of your choice.

    One final point — this is the killer — after 5 years of retirement the HMRC reporting requirements end. If you want to be silly you can then take the entire pension amount tax free in one go and either (i) die happy or (Ii) return back to the UK

    I think I have said too much …. time to go….

    — Munky

  • #103093
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @logan wrote:

    This is going a bit off topic but it’s an interesting debate.
    The problem with a QROPS pension are the taxation levels in the adopted foreign country. Most European states have higher taxation and lower personal allowances than the UK. So your tax liability ends up being higher. I know there are ways to avoid that such as residency in Hong Kong or other tax havens. However most pensioners want/need state healthcare in their adopted country. To qualify for that you need residency status and residency status means a taxation liability whether you own a property or not. It’s ‘Catch 22’.
    In my view it’s all swings and roundabouts. Save tax yes then be forced to spend that saving on private healthcare. What’s the point other than to benefit the fund managers.
    Having said that I do think the previous poster has some good suggestions and I agree with all his points on Spain but legal tax avoidance is just not that simple. I wish it were 🙁

    I know is this is a complex topic. I have researched this deeply and will keep things simple deliberately.

    Let me explain to clarify.

    The QPROPS law is clear and not that well understood by the populus.

    Rule No 1. — you have to be tax resident somewhere and somewhere thats on the “good list” with all the major countries
    Rule No 2 — always but always be tax resident in one place, and have your money in another — the ultimate protection.
    Rule No 3 — spend your time in a place(s) that has double expat tax treaties with your home tax domicile (HK fits the bill) — Spain has this in place and best to use a blind HK trust to eliminate Spanish regulatory change risk.

    HK has zero tax on QROPS pension receipts provided its done in the correct manner.

    Guernsey has zero tax for pension payments provided you dont live there — this is where the money is.

    You can see where this is going.

    Logan is correct about healthcare.
    You must pay for it. However, given the savings gained the extra costs are minimal for the best global health insurance in the world which only allows for 45 days a year in the US which suits most and will fly you to a hospital of your choice.

    One final point — this is the killer — after 5 years of retirement the HMRC reporting requirements end. If you want to be silly you can then take the entire pension amount tax free in one go and either (i) die happy or (Ii) return back to the UK

    I think I have said too much …. time to go….

    — Munky

  • #103294
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    If you buy in Spain you can buy as a non-resident and are therefore not subject to taxation laws.

    If retired and above legal retirement age then a gestor would be able to tell you what benefits this may give you with regards to heathcare etc.

    I have always thought that staying under 183 days a year in a one country is a good idea, I think you would be wiser to ensure your rental contracts are exactly that too otherwise it could be used against you if any of the authorities wanted to be awkward, and somewhere down the line Im sure you would have to prove entry and exit dates, alternatively buy a boat large enough to live on and then your home moves with you.

    Actually Inez mentions a good point in the strategy that I failed to mention in my haste — a nice big boat (if you can afford it) is the away to go in Med Europe — South of France, Majorca and Algarve all beckon.

    Inez, you have rumbled my tactics !

    — Munky

  • #103094
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @inez wrote:

    If you buy in Spain you can buy as a non-resident and are therefore not subject to taxation laws.

    If retired and above legal retirement age then a gestor would be able to tell you what benefits this may give you with regards to heathcare etc.

    I have always thought that staying under 183 days a year in a one country is a good idea, I think you would be wiser to ensure your rental contracts are exactly that too otherwise it could be used against you if any of the authorities wanted to be awkward, and somewhere down the line Im sure you would have to prove entry and exit dates, alternatively buy a boat large enough to live on and then your home moves with you.

    Actually Inez mentions a good point in the strategy that I failed to mention in my haste — a nice big boat (if you can afford it) is the away to go in Med Europe — South of France, Majorca and Algarve all beckon.

    Inez, you have rumbled my tactics !

    — Munky

  • #103295
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    There is big money for advisors and providers administrating QORPS…should set the alarm bells ringing, especially when they are spamming forums. The high rewards for psuedo advisors attract all the scum. It is not suitable for everyone and you need independant advice. Many people have been scammed and I know some who were in Spain. Another example here

    http://www.qrops.net/offshore-pension-tax-scam-costs-couple-86000/

  • #103095
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    There is big money for advisors and providers administrating QORPS…should set the alarm bells ringing, especially when they are spamming forums. The high rewards for psuedo advisors attract all the scum. It is not suitable for everyone and you need independant advice. Many people have been scammed and I know some who were in Spain. Another example here

    http://www.qrops.net/offshore-pension-tax-scam-costs-couple-86000/

  • #103296
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    There is big money for advisors and providers administrating QORPS…should set the alarm bells ringing, especially when they are spamming forums. The high rewards for psuedo advisors attract all the scum. It is not suitable for everyone and you need independant advice. Many people have been scammed and I know some who were in Spain. Another example here

    http://www.qrops.net/offshore-pension-tax-scam-costs-couple-86000/

    Katy is right to be careful and is also right it is an area attractive to these type of dodgy operators.

    You must do your own research as always and nothing is risk free.

    In hindsight, it could be interpreted that I am promoting this kind of activity and as such this is the last post from me on the details of this particular subject.

    I will state for the record, I am not in any way involved with this kind of industry (or its subsidiaries) — just a highly diligent participant/observer of the way things are at present.

    However, I still stand by my earlier outlining of the risks of buying property in Spain.

    — Munky

  • #103096
    Profile photo of ozmunky
    ozmunky
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    There is big money for advisors and providers administrating QORPS…should set the alarm bells ringing, especially when they are spamming forums. The high rewards for psuedo advisors attract all the scum. It is not suitable for everyone and you need independant advice. Many people have been scammed and I know some who were in Spain. Another example here

    http://www.qrops.net/offshore-pension-tax-scam-costs-couple-86000/

    Katy is right to be careful and is also right it is an area attractive to these type of dodgy operators.

    You must do your own research as always and nothing is risk free.

    In hindsight, it could be interpreted that I am promoting this kind of activity and as such this is the last post from me on the details of this particular subject.

    I will state for the record, I am not in any way involved with this kind of industry (or its subsidiaries) — just a highly diligent participant/observer of the way things are at present.

    However, I still stand by my earlier outlining of the risks of buying property in Spain.

    — Munky

  • #103298
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Munky – its my long term strategy and has been for about 15 years now!! 🙂

    One can go further afield too and as ports register you in and out, easy to prove via print out where you have been. Private worldwide healthcare taken out young enough to still be cheap and voila!

    Another advantage is being able to drop anchor in International waters.

    If you have your money in an offshore private account then its too much hassle for authorities to find you, and the boat can be registered in an offshore company name too! (20m is pretty much the right size too for 2 people to handle – MV, not one of those needing sails!!!)

    Just waiting for the right one to come along now!! lol

  • #103098
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Hi Munky – its my long term strategy and has been for about 15 years now!! 🙂

    One can go further afield too and as ports register you in and out, easy to prove via print out where you have been. Private worldwide healthcare taken out young enough to still be cheap and voila!

    Another advantage is being able to drop anchor in International waters.

    If you have your money in an offshore private account then its too much hassle for authorities to find you, and the boat can be registered in an offshore company name too! (20m is pretty much the right size too for 2 people to handle – MV, not one of those needing sails!!!)

    Just waiting for the right one to come along now!! lol

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