South Africa / Best of Rest versus Spain…

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This topic contains 68 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 7 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #54984
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    Well I went off to South Africa just over a month ago, and promised the family to stay away from the computer for the three and bit weeks we were there, and since then have had a week in the UK and a couple of hectic weeks in Spain, so I haven’t been near the forum in that time, however given my experience in SA I have been desperate to ask…

    Is there anywhere that is actually better than Spain to buy… to then use for that regular holiday, or to live, to work, or simply fulfil that lifetimes aspiration that many people have; which is to move to the sun?

    I have a real passion and belief in Spain, but I would have to admit it has been severely tested by my three weeks in Cape Town South Africa.

    It was a truly amazing place I have to say.

    Incredible scenery, coastline, beaches, shopping, restaurants, wines, people – really, really nice people – diversity of culture, something like 30-50% cheaper to eat and drink, play golf, and just fabulous service everywhere.

    Mmmm…. I am on this site to sometimes stand up for Spain. I just never expected to have such a fantastic time in South Africa, I certainly didn’t expect to be comparing it favourably in so many areas to Spain. I believe actually the people who are most valuable on the site are those that so often have a knock again and again at Spain, I took a quick look earlier at some other threads I had an interest in before leaving for SA.

    I saw some people telling other people to “shut up” and “stop being negative” well I find all of that firstly rather silly and secondly rather counter productive.

    This site really helps people get the low down on Spain particularly in relation to property and moving to Spain, and actually the people who are supposedly so negative here are actually the very people who simply tell it as it is, and most often in an even handed and fair way. All is not well in the Spanish garden and it is those who protest and shout loudest who will actually cause change and effective change at that.

    BUT IF NOT SPAIN THEN WHERE..?

    What is the actual truth about Spain versus A. N. OTHER…?

    Everyone I find is very fair on this site, so if no one has done it before…

    Would it be fun, or a bit interesting to debate, if not Spain then where?

    And then test the argument for the where else against what might be positive in Spain? To see how Spain truly stands up against its competition?

    I loved South Africa, I would like to go again, offered the chance to live and work there, I would be very sorely tempted… can anyone continue the argument and say yes to go and do so, or would you say no stay in Spain?

    Might be fun debate, or like one or two of the other threads I have started it might just die a slow sliding death down the forum list..!

  • #92044
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’ve not been to SA but have a friend here in Spain who was born in SA and still has family there. From what I gather there are huge employment problems due to +ve discrimination and also of course it’s not so easy (compared eg to Spain) to get the right to live there for any length of time. Even my friend (who HAD the right to reside but let his SA passport expire) is having to jump through interminable hoops (for a year so far) to reinstate that right.

  • #92046
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Interesting 🙂 Due to my love/hate relationship with Spain, I (we) have looked at many other countries. South Africa, (and other parts of Africa) are amazing, on the surface much better than Spain. The political situation is not stable, many think the country will go the same way as Zimbawbe. I am sure you know Chris that many S. Africans have moved to the CDS. We lived in Zaire for two years (now republic of Congo), loved it but investing and doing business there….forget it.

    We even had a look at Panama, it’s a dump 😆 Barbados is great but there is not a lot of house for your money and food etc is expensive. Belize the jury is still out. Suppose the problem being with all the nicer unspoilt places is (aside from the political instability) they are too far away to pop back to the UK for a bit of culture.

    My favourite would always be the USA for property and cost of living, drawback is the visa/green card problem.

    When looking around I suppose Spain despite it’s many faults ticks most of the boxes. Life is always about compromises, I suppose.

  • #92049
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Wont shake me from Spain. After landing here 15 years ago I felt at home and still do so, despite all the red tape and hassles here, you get those everywhere!

    Im sure there are prettier places and some breathtaking parts of the world, but somehow I suspect overall there is a very long way to go to beat Spain:

  • #92053
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    If I was younger I´d seriously consider the nothern parts of Brazil. (Natal, Salvador, etc). I have now visited this part of the world twice.

    There are real bargains to be had. A beachfront villa can be found for well under 50k, building plots for under 10k. It has a truly tropical climate, the people are really friendly, other prices are a fraction of European ones. The developers haven´t (yet) destroyed the place but you can see clear signs that they are moving in. The country is rich in natural resources and politically stable. It is set to boom in the next couple of decades.

    As I´m only some 10 years or so from retiring I am however aware that medical treatment will become more of an issue as I get older so the lack of infrastructure may well become an issue. One other issue is that it is at present very difficult to get your money out of the country legally once it is in there. This will change as the economy develops but will take time. It would be less of an issue if I was younger. For now I´m going to stick with Europe.

  • #92057
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Inez

    I realise you are one of the good guys, and i’m pleased things have gone well for you. Indeed you do get red tape and hassle everywhere. As you know full well though, you don’t get corruption, lack of regulation massive overbuild, and slow/poor justice on such a grand scale everywhere. That is very much part of Spain sadly, and until change is forced, must be recognised as part of the consideration.

  • #92058
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    I’ve heard a lot of good things about S.A. but there are certain issues that just make it a no no for me.

    really high crime rate. Highest murder rate per capita in the world, etc…
    HIV/AIDS is a major issue. Again very high levels.
    Racism still seem to be a very large issue. Just look at the all the race related violence last year with the illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe.

    I could not see myself living there or owning property there. Even if the issues above were not there, i would not want my 2 girls to grow up there and they would be too far from the rest of their family. Not exactly a short flight away!

  • #92061
    Profile photo of Pazza
    Pazza
    Participant

    Having travelled a fair amount in my lifetime, there are many places that I have loved to visit. India in particular. But when it comes to somewhere to spend the best part of my later years, I have to say that the total package of Spain takes some beating.

    Approx 2 hours flight from the UK, and more importantly having a daughter who is terrified of flying, two days drive from the UK (2 x 10 hrs). Winters that when in the sun, feel like a UK summer and being able to eat lunch outside in Feb. (sometimes) makes you feel like you are cheating a little.

    That said, in the summer the UK takes some beating (all 2 weeks of it ) 😉 and I would always want to maintain a property there of some size.

    The Spanish people in general are remarkably welcoming and tolerant, and the language is lovely. Being based on Latin it is far closer to English than most people realise.
    That mixed with being a stable country (a lot are not) and not too prone to major earthquake damage (That put me off Turkey) I think I have made the right choice.

    The Banks drive me mad, but the UK is catching up fast, and at least you have some form of guarantee that you might see your money again.

  • #92062
    Profile photo of peterhun
    peterhun
    Participant

    Having worked with South Africans for several years I can say I would never consider living in SA, they wouldn’t.

    The crime is war zone level, that plus the terrible way the country is run.

  • #92063
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    While in South Africa, we got to know some of the hotel drivers and tour operators quite well. We asked if it would be possible to take a tour of the townships, a private tour, where we could perhaps go into the shanty towns and have a look for ourselves how people lived there.

    We thought this might be a problem, but it wasn’t, an experienced and knowledgeable guide was found, and he took us and our two children into and I mean right into all the major areas of the townships on the Cape Flats.

    My goodness what an eye opener, it was staggering, we were booked for an hour and we spent 4 hours in there, we went everywhere and right into the homes of the worst areas, where we were welcomed with open arms, lots of smiles and laughter, now OK this was a Saturday afternoon, and had it been the evening our guide would not have considered for one second taking us there.

    But my children who are aged 17 and 15 have no real knowledge of what apartheid was, or its consequences or indeed of poverty on any scale. But they have the best four hours education that afternoon that I think they have ever had.

    And I saw amazing positives in that place and amongst those people.

    However, the really disturbing thing, was that of all the white South Africans we know and or had met, none of them had ever been in these areas or even had considered doing so.

    We don’t do third world, abject poverty and inequality on the Costa del Sol, we are a lot more fortunate than that I suppose, but the people on the Cape Flats were genuinely decent souls and a lot happier than many I have met elsewhere.

    I want to go again and again actually, I loved it, I think those people will rise above their problems and Zimbabwe it will not become, but I perhaps don’t have the time for the issues or the problems, and much as I truly adored the place for a hundred other reasons also.

    I don’t think I could give up Spain for SA.

    And I hear what Brian_li was saying about Brazil too.

    Giving America some thought after what Katy said…

  • #92064
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I hope you are wrong about RSA not becoming another Zimbabwe but I have to say I´m a tad concerned it might.

    I visited there not long after independence. (1986) At that stage it was a beautiful country with decent infrastructure, little or no abject poverty, a free press, a justice system that more or less worked, etc, etc.

    Even then there were a few things that concerned me. We were warned when we picked up a hire car that if we saw the President´s or another ministers motorcade we should get out of the way asap otherwise we were liable to be shot. The news on the state run TV ran barely nothing but items on ´Comrade Robert Mugabe´. There were whispers about land being taken from white farmers but assurances that there would be full compensation. etc, etc. It is difficult to explain exactly why, I just felt at the time there were problems ahead.

    Recent reports from RSA about motorists being shot because they were in the way of ministers motorcades and rumblings about land being purchased from white farmers together with the election of, shall we say, a ´colourful´, president have me worried that it may be heading the same way as its Northern neigbour.

  • #92067
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Apart from the reports of crime in South Africa I wouldn’t be happy about their stance so far towards Mugabe in Zimbabwe. The new President Mr Zuma is also a fan of Mugabe’s as was M’beke, this might make for future problems including property unless they distance themselves from Mugabe.

    On another note, some Estate Agents from Spain such as Ocean Estates saw South Africa as another easy pickings opportunity, so caution is needed there, as well as Thailand which they are pushing too! 😉

  • #92069
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    Is anyone going to stand up and say Florida?

    I was there a couple of years ago, as a family we thought Disney and the Orlando area was the pits unfortunately, the whole place was as flat as a pancake, featureless developments all looking the same and so many back yards covered in netting to the keep the mosquitos out.

    Miami was actually a bit terrifying with Coconut Grove and its expensive restaurants with one we were dining in being but an alleyway distance from the ghetto, where one poor woman had been raped several times the night before.

    I love Americans, just spent a weeks golfing trip with 10 of them in Sotogrande, (actually they raved about the CDS whilst here) I have worked with many of them and had a partner for 10 years who was American, but…

    I love North Carolina and its woods, country clubs, clapperboard houses and charm, but as a weeks golfing holiday, jeeze I couldn’t live there, it is a cultural void…

    And well in Spain we just don’t do Hurricanes do we? We don’t do Cyclones, Twisters and Huge Floods do we? We also have some crime but not like America, we don’t do murders and hold ups in convenience stores, you feel are safe to walk the streets late into the night are you not?

    We don’t do jet lag either? We probably believe it or not have a more stable real estate market as well.

    So, it looks like no to SA and not to the USA for me, and I am with Brian on Brazil, and I don’t think anyone is going to come on here and rave about Cape Verde, Bulgaria, Rumania or any of the other absolutely stupid list of top overseas destinations that Channel Four dedicated a night to a year or so back.

    It is perhaps not looking so bad…

    What about Thailand… Bali… Malaysia…?

  • #92070
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    Is anyone going to stand up and say Florida?

    I was there a couple of years ago, as a family we thought Disney and the Orlando area was the pits unfortunately, the whole place was as flat as a pancake, featureless developments all looking the same and so many back yards covered in netting to the keep the mosquitos out.

    Miami was actually a bit terrifying with Coconut Grove and its expensive restaurants with one we were dining in being but an alleyway distance from the ghetto, where one poor woman had been raped several times the night before.

    I love Americans, just spent a weeks golfing trip with 10 of them in Sotogrande, (actually they raved about the CDS whilst here) I have worked with many of them and had a partner for 10 years who was American, but…

    I love North Carolina and its woods, country clubs, clapperboard houses and charm, but as a weeks golfing holiday, jeeze I couldn’t live there, it is a cultural void…

    And well in Spain we just don’t do Hurricanes do we? We don’t do Cyclones, Twisters and Huge Floods do we? We also have some crime but not like America, we don’t do murders and hold ups in convenience stores, you feel are safe to walk the streets late into the night are you not?

    We don’t do jet lag either? We probably believe it or not have a more stable real estate market as well.

    So, it looks like no to SA and not to the USA for me, and I am with Brian on Brazil, and I don’t think anyone is going to come on here and rave about Cape Verde, Bulgaria, Rumania or any of the other absolutely stupid list of top overseas destinations that Channel Four dedicated a night to a year or so back.

    It is perhaps not looking so bad…

    What about Thailand… Bali… Malaysia…?

    You went to touristy part of Florida, no wonder you thought it was bad. There are wonderful palces of Florida which are not on brochures and are extremely beautiful.

    Miami terrifying? Are you serious? Coconut Grove is not at all expensive if you compare it to rip-off Britain.

    North Carolina is on the BIble belt.

    If you want to have a real impression of USA, take a plane to Las Vegas and drive to the East, to the North East and to the NOrth West from there. Or go to San Francisco and and go East and South from there. Then come here and tell us how does it compare to anything Europe (Spain included) can offer.

    OK, if you go for 1 week golfing in Vegas, you might again find also boring and disgusting… But there are parts of USA which cannot be seen froma golf course, you have to drive and then hike.

    About places in eastern Europe. I have not heard of any illegal building being demolished in Romania or Hungary. It might be much safer to buy there, they have notaries like in France who check everything.
    But then why would anybody want to buy property in Romania, especially at the current high prices?

    I understand that you want to present Spain as “the pace” to buy but….

  • #92072
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I was married to an American and spent time living in Arizona and Wisconsin (yes, I know 2 extremes!) and travelled widely throughout the States. I have to say I never felt unsafe anywhere. Agree with you about Americans. Despite my preconceptions, they are, on the whole very nice people on their own territory.
    But again, like SA, you have to jump through hoops, even as a spouse of an American, to gain the right to reside. Ditto getting qualifications recognised so that you can work. At the time, I decided it wasn’t for me but I do sometimes regret not going for it.

  • #92073
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @hillybilly wrote:

    I was married to an American and spent time living in Arizona and Wisconsin (yes, I know 2 extremes!) and travelled widely throughout the States. I have to say I never felt unsafe anywhere. Agree with you about Americans. Despite my preconceptions, they are, on the whole very nice people on their own territory.
    But again, like SA, you have to jump through hoops, even as a spouse of an American, to gain the right to reside. Ditto getting qualifications recognised so that you can work. At the time, I decided it wasn’t for me but I do sometimes regret not going for it.

    To be fair, Arizona and Wisconsin are safe states *(excluding Phoenix area).
    About qualifications recognised, it is very hard to jump through the hoops in UK too, my wife (US citizen) had to pass various exams to be able to work over here.

  • #92074
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    I actually don’t necessarily want to present Spain as the place to buy, that is not my intention here, I was hugely taken with SA and part of me wondered why anyone would buy in Spain when they could buy there.

    But I realised over a period of reflection that for many factors I wouldn’t, I just couldn’t so I am asking does that apply also to other areas.

    I get what you say about other areas of the USA, absolutely stunning, I don’t like Vegas myself but the drive routes and areas, spot on, but would you live or own a home in those areas there over Spain?

    Or New York, oh my goodness what a place, what an experience, but it is not really up for comparison in this scenario, nor would London or Paris be either.

    This is Spanish Property Insight, and mainly holiday home or move to the sun ownership for lifestyle fulfillment and by heck we know that a helluva lot of things have gone wrong with property in Spain, yet what compares?

    Where else to go? What else pertains when you go?

    But France is interesting…

  • #92075
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    For me, if I were to leave Spain, next on my list of desirable countries would be Italy I think. I know about the corruption and bureaucracy issues but living in Spain has given me a good preparation for that 😉 . The language should be fairly easy to pick up with Spanish under one’s belt. The climate is not dissimilar, the country is beautiful, the food is more to my taste than Spain’s, ditto the culture.
    France’s climate just doesn’t “do it” for me.
    Having said that, the next on my list of potential countries of abode would be Eire. Go figure! But it would need the cost of living and price of property there to come down before that became a realistic proposition.

  • #92076
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Orlando is just a small part of Florida, it is awful. Many British have moved there, opened the same ole bars and shops etc. It is flat but there are also many great (unspoilt) beaches, protected nature reserves and lots more activities for kids. Better winter temperature too.

    Jet lag, just look at it as par for the (better) course. Many golfers who come/came to our club every year are going to Florida and SA for the same price as here. What’s a few hours more on the plane….they stay up drinking half the night anyway 😉 Wouldn’t like to live in Miami, two weeks on South beach is fine though. 😀

    We bought a house in Naples S. Florida (before the last property boom), cost around 200.000 euro, the equivalent here would have been at least a million euro. We intended to do 6 months there and 6 months in Spain. (Didn’t work well as we have too many pets 🙄 ) Rental returns are good. We have rented to the same guy for two years, long term but he only spends about 5 months actually in the house. Community fees are lower than Spain. Yearly council rates have increased dramatically though (hence the renting!).

    The downside is that one cannot just move there, medical is expensive.

    This thread does show that living in Spain is a lot more feasable than most “paradises” (maybe the intention 😉 ). The main problem is finding work and the language barrier. Myself I would not set up in business here but in the UK….oversee it from my place here 8) .

    Compared with the rest of Europe Spain is expensive now, I don’t know why this has happened. I used to travel to France and Holland frequently and everything seemed overpriced to here, now it’s vive-versa.

    ps. we all missed out Portugal….was there for a weekend recently. Very nice but the prices were extortionate!

  • #92078
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    a couple of friends (two different couples) have bought in Turkey recently. I’ve never really fancied it much, but in fairness have not been, but it’s cheap to buy and live as far as I can tell?

    Any good or bad opinions on Turkey?

  • #92080
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    I get what you say about other areas of the USA, absolutely stunning, I don’t like Vegas myself but the drive routes and areas, spot on, but would you live or own a home in those areas there over Spain?
    .

    I would move to the West USA tommorow if I could (I lived 15 years there).

    But, as I have a permanent job in UK, I think Spain is the most similar place in my surroundings so I prefer to pay the cheap fares to come to Spain instead of

  • #92081
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @goodstich44 wrote:

    a couple of friends (two different couples) have bought in Turkey recently. I’ve never really fancied it much, but in fairness have not been, but it’s cheap to buy and live as far as I can tell?

    Any good or bad opinions on Turkey?

    Turkey is expensive to reach.

  • #92083
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Being a woman I would not want to live in a Muslim country, or bring-up kids in one. Some stunning scenery and cheap prices, not much chance of work, dead in winter.

  • #92088
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’ve enjoyed reading this thread and found the posters views very informative.

    Since the beginning of the year I have been looking for a second home in France, preferably Brittany or Dordogne.

    I came across this property –
    http://www.jbfrenchhouses.co.uk/jbp/aquitaine/cumond/cumond5225/6621 and thought it was very good value for money.

    It was above what I wanted to pay but now I am seriously considering buying it as my family home to live in most of the year.

    My first preference 10 years ago was to live in France, I like virtually everything about the country and have no problems with French people.

    I can still do my job from there and could buy something smaller here in Spain and still get rid of my mortgage.

    My family are still considering the move, but mentally, I have already moved in

  • #92090
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Peter, the French house you have mentally occupied puts Spain to shame in terms of quality. And compared to what you can get in Spain for 350k, the price is great.

    One big difference between France and Spain: France has been much richer for much longer. That means it has a large, attractive housing stock built over centuries for middle class types, whereas much of Spain just has peasant dwellings or rather unattractive new builds (generalising, but you get the point).

    Mark

  • #92091
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Peter that looks lovely and a good price for the area. French houses are more like a “home” and they do efficient central heating. The only negative for me is the attitude of the French to the British. (although it has become that way here). My French is not too good (couldn’t live in a country where I couldn’t “rabbit” 😆 )

    French food is better too as are the supermarkets. They do like to go to bed early though 😀

    We haven’t done Greece and the Islands yet….nice friendly people. Oh! and of course Dubai, never a consideration for me 😯

  • #92094
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    With you there Katy, only ever found the French to be quite arrogant – and I have a very good french pal who has recently moved to Spain stating he will NEVER again go back to France due to the rad tape and hassles he had as a native!

    Greece is lovely most of the year, cold in winter. Italy is lovely probably my next favourite. Portugal can be cheap, depends where you go.

    Nope, until I can retire in the Carribean, its still Spain for me!

  • #92095
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    first of, peter looks like a lovely home, i’m sure you’ll be very happy there.

    Now
    Turkey:
    a supposed secular country, but not exactly as free as the west. Little religious tolerance, etc…
    located in an unstable region.
    repression of minorities, etc…

    Impressive scenery
    interesting deep history

    unpreditable future.

    France
    lovely countryside.

    people have a bit of an inferiority complex.

  • #92096
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @peter Good wrote:

    I’ve enjoyed reading this thread and found the posters views very informative.

    Since the beginning of the year I have been looking for a second home in France, preferably Brittany or Dordogne.
    My family are still considering the move, but mentally, I have already moved in

    As we discuss about France, the Brits problem there is identical to the one in Spain – the party is simply over!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8044382.stm

  • #92099
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Peter

    wow, that place looks fabulous. As Flosmichael’s article says, the party may well be over in France also, but I don’t agree it’s an identical problem to the one in Spain. I’m no expert, but as far as I know in france you don’t have massive overbuild, corruption and slow/poor justice on anything like as grand a scale as in Spain? I’m sure France must have it’s fair share of problems that I know little about, and the people!! I’ve met some lovely French people, but quite a few pretty unpleasent one’s as well, but that probably what the Spanish/French say about us brits?

  • #92101
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    No overbuild but corruption and slow justice yes. What I am hearing from my pal here is awful, he has been left almost penniless due to the incompetance of the banks, he won his case but in view of the fact that many others would follow his precedence, the winning ruling wont be allowed!

    Work that one out!

    Its not rosy anywhere really.

    Weather is better here than France as well!

  • #92111
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Inez

    you must be joking. Are you really comparing corruption and justice in France to Spain???

    as for the weather, well i’ve had some pretty damp holidays in the north of both countries, but of course more of Spain is in a nicer climate.

  • #92115
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Not making any comparisons as I havent any experience of France. I can only tell you what a national has experienced. The point I was making is corruption is rife everywhere – UK MP expenses being the latest one there – they are only sorry and doing something about it now they have been found out – and that lot were fleecing everyone.

    20+ yeasr ago in the UK when I was working for a developer, I knew of many times bungs were given over to secure planning etc. I know it didnt impact in the same way to the end buyer, but there were problems which got ironed out to ensure the innocent didnt get burned. Spain while no way good is at least showing to try and do something – give them another 100 years and it may get there!! 😆

  • #92116
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Doesn’t it all just depend on why you want to buy the home in the first place. If you want a nice holiday retreat to spend lazy days on the beach in the sun then apart from the south of France, is France the best choice.

    A friend of mine went to south of France last year on honeymoon and was staggered at the general cost of living and eating out…much more than Spain.

    Italy seems nice but is the infrastructure and stability the same as Spain??

    The USA sounds great too but seriously for someone at retirement age the travelling and jet lag will be a factor. For younger more energetic types of course its much easier…but who is the target market.

    I think all countries mentioned have plus points and negative points but surely it boils down to individual requirements.

    If you want cost of living as you main criteria then forget much of western europe

    If you want sunshine throughout most of the year…forget eastern europe.

    If you want infrastructure and stability…forget places like Turkey

    If you want affordable health insurance…forget USA

  • #92122
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    You know I was with Hillybilly, it was Italy for me all of a sudden, oh goodness do I love Italy for the food, yep I know French food is lovely but the Italian food…! Jeeze Spain could do with a cuisine really!

    But then I thought would you live there? No, I don’t think I could or would really, not against the CDS and this is the conundrum, we all know its faults but perhaps there is a reason why literally tens of thousands of Brits have bought there and if you knew it like I did 20 years ago, then I think the place will learn, grow and move on from the bad times and become an even better place in the future.

    Then I had a Portugal moment, because except for last year I go there with friends for a weeks golf and sometimes for a week with the family, I really love Quinta Do Lago, and the beaches are amazing, but again it is holidayville for a week only and in some parts almost third world, compared to Spain.

    So, the truth is, Spain needs a damn good shake up, the government needs to get off their backsides, take a very serious interest and look at what could be their biggest asset and be seen to act in the interests of the many people who have invested in their country, but really be seen to act.

    I truly didn’t start this thread to prove that Spain or my part of Spain the CDS was the best place to be, but it has been an interesting debate, it certainly has.

  • #92126
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @pj wrote:

    If you want sunshine throughout most of the year…forget eastern europe.

    Why do you think Western Europe has overall more sunshine than Eastern Europe? Let’s exclude Spain and Greece.

  • #92128
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    OK did not expect you to take me literally and I do not profess to be an expert in world climates, but where in Eastern Europe has a better all year round climate than the holiday / property destinations in western europe we have been talking about. Maybe I should have been more specific and said south-western europe….aplogies for that.

    However the actual point I was trying to make was it depends on the individual requirements of the person looking for a property. Spain is not ideal for all buyers, Turkey for even less, Bulgaria..PAH etc etc.

  • #92139
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Chris

    you may have hit the nail on the head there? Most of us want Spain how it was before us brits started moving in!!!

  • #92143
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Nobody’s mentioned the Greek islands (have they?!).
    I’ve only visited Cyprus & Crete so my experience is limited there.
    Cyprus: climate good, people lovely, infrastructure ok, not too spoilt (yet…not when I went there anyway which was 2002 or 2003, can’t recall!) but I just didn’t “take to” the place at all. There was a helluva lot of building going on then and it just didn’t look “finished”! Now, where does that remind you of 😆
    Crete. Hmmm…I did like Crete very much, much more than Cyprus. Didn’t somebody on this forum buy there in the end? Charlie? Unfortunately I think it would be even harder to make a living there than Spain…nice to retire to probably tho. Ditto Malta perhaps?

  • #92146
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Cyprus has problems with people reclaiming properties, think about 50,000 mainly British are under threat. Greek Islands I prefer over Spain for a holiday but wouldn’t want to live there. Lisbon area is nice and the winter climate not bad. Geneva is one of my favourites as I lived there for a time, I don’t do bad winters though 😆

    Isn’t anyone going to come up with something out of the box ➡ I think I am leaning towards SA again 😉

  • #92158
    Profile photo of Fuengi (Andrew)
    Fuengi (Andrew)
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Isn’t anyone going to come up with something out of the box ➡ I think I am leaning towards SA again 😉

    all right then.
    what about norway.

    Beautifull country.
    Great country side with fjords, etc… So fantastic for outdoor activites, mountain climbing, fishing, etc…

    Good property market, boring but stable.

    Friendly (enough) people

    interesting weather.

    Summer are quite sunny. nights last only 4/5 hours.

    Expensive.

  • #92165
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    And cold!

  • #92167
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Bahamas? cheap to fly to Miami for shopping 💡

    http://www.hamilton-recruitment.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=60

  • #92169
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The daughter of friends of ours is working as a physio on Cayman Island. Having a fabulous time….. Tax free too. It looks a real paradise.

  • #92197
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Chris says ‘perhaps there is a reason why 10’s of thousands of Brits have bought on the CDS’! Yes the weather could be a reason originally, but probably many of those who did buy were unfortunately ripped off by unscrupulous estate agents and developers in the so called ‘boom’ times.

    The CDS and C Blanca will never ever be like they were 20 years ago, they are so overdeveloped with ghastly concrete urbanizations, gated communities because of crime, hillsides that have been removed or sliced right off, cranes all over the skyline, and just so busy on the roads etc!

    It’s not nice anymore, whereas the C. Brava is much prettier, less developed, but the weather is ok too compared to UK. 🙄

  • #92198
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Well, the cranes have gone around here…and the roads are less busy 😀 They have killed the golden egg, some crappy parts on the costa brava too, and it’s expensive. Temperatures can be lower than London in winter.

  • #92199
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    katy

    yes, the cranes are far fewer now on the CDS than a few years ago. We have had some lovely family camping holidays around Calella on Costa Brava, but also had some amazing thunder storms/rain, and the sea up there is cold. Nice area though, but nice weather only in mid summer months in our experience.

  • #92200
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    You are right Katy about Spain ‘killing the golden goose and egg’, Chris likes to talk the CDS up but even he must be able to see all the mess which will probably never be the same again as it was 20 years ago, it needs demolishing and starting again.

    Viva was just one of those agents like Ocean, ADH, Interrealty who saw it as a way of making loads of money by causing a ‘you must buy now before it goes up’ culture to unfortunate Brits etc with exhorbitant commissions driving them all.

    The CDS and Blanca have had it I think apart from a few hidden enclaves.

  • #92202
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    You are right Katy about Spain ‘killing the golden goose and egg’, Chris likes to talk the CDS up but even he must be able to see all the mess which will probably never be the same again as it was 20 years ago, it needs demolishing and starting again.

    I take your point about the mess, though CDS is no exception as all costas have their share of poor quality housing. However, I don’t think you can blame the agents for the amount of over-build, it was buyers that caused the market to happen, as without demand there is no construction.

    @angie wrote:

    Viva was just one of those agents like Ocean, ADH, Interrealty who saw it as a way of making loads of money by causing a ‘you must buy now before it goes up’ culture to unfortunate Brits etc with exhorbitant commissions driving them all.

    To be fair, during the boom, I, as an agent got tired of the promotors telling me “prices would go up next week”. The agents would have preferred the prices to remain the same or go down, it would have been easier for us to sell with those supply conditions. However the prices went up and the people still continued to buy. Agents cannot create the market, they can only operate within it, agents cannot dictate the builders prices, the banks do that when they tell the builder how much his mortgage repayments will be and how much his labour and material costs are.

    @angie wrote:

    The CDS and Blanca have had it I think apart from a few hidden enclaves.

    I don’t think any particular area has suffered any more than others. The market is down 90% or more wherever you look, even in Madrid and Barcelona which are places considered outside of the overseas market.

    It is a global recession and so the home market is down too.

  • #92207
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Peter, I’ve not blamed the agents for the amount of overbuild, personally IMO the greedy Spanish Gov’t encouraged the overbuild for taxes, and then greedy developers and agents moved in to fuel yet more greed or even the ‘life in the sun’ as a way to live and make money.

    The CDS and C. Blanca’s coasts are a real mess though which we agree on. I can’t see that ever improving without major demolitions first.

    You might well have been a fair agent Peter, however the likes of the ones mentioned misled so many people to gain their very fat commissions with the ‘buy now, flip later’, ‘you cannot lose’, ‘it’s a no brainer’ and ‘cherry pick the best plot’ one liners.

    Re the Costa Brava, it is just a more spectacular coastline with less mess and less overdevelopment IMO.

  • #92210
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    Peter, I’ve not blamed the agents for the amount of overbuild, personally IMO the greedy Spanish Gov’t encouraged the overbuild for taxes, and then greedy developers and agents moved in to fuel yet more greed or even the ‘life in the sun’ as a way to live and make money.

    The CDS and C. Blanca’s coasts are a real mess though which we agree on. I can’t see that ever improving without major demolitions first.

    You might well have been a fair agent Peter, however the likes of the ones mentioned misled so many people to gain their very fat commissions with the ‘buy now, flip later’, ‘you cannot lose’, ‘it’s a no brainer’ and ‘cherry pick the best plot’ one liners.

    Re the Costa Brava, it is just a more spectacular coastline with less mess and less overdevelopment IMO.

    Costa Brava has two BIG disadvantages for Northern Europe people:

    1) it lies in a rich area of Spain so locals have money to buy expensive properties so prices are high.

    2) it is cold over the winter so the weather advantage vanishes…

    If I were to buy in Gerona/Lleida/Huesca, I would only chose the Pirynees area which at least offers good skiing conditions, there is no reason to go for Christmas on Costa Brava as it can be colder than UK…

  • #92212
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    flosmichael

    the coastline of the Costa Brava is so pretty and so much more interesting for walks, snorkeling etc though. It does make the southern coastlines look dull. Shame it doesn’t have the south’s weather for most the year, or affordable property prices for most of us.

    angie

    fully agree. I know there’s some good guys, some who post on the forum, but the southern costa’s really attracted the scum of the property industry also, because they knew they could lie and cheat with so much corruption commonplace and so little regulation/justice to put a stop to there rotton ways.

  • #92215
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    The main culprit for all the ugly overdeveloped coastline is the Spanish authorities. They alone have/had the power to plan the coastal development and protect it’s citizens by careful, restrictive planning regulations. But they went for the jam today, bread tomorrow plan, they are corrupt from the top down and I still don’t think they have got the message…if the demand was there it would still continue the same.

  • #92220
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    The CDS and C. Blanca’s coasts are a real mess though which we agree on. I can’t see that ever improving without major demolitions first.
    .

    I rather think Angie that your sweeping statements about what a hell hole the CDS is, are rather to all encompassing, I have just come back to the coast for a week, and I am at this minute looking out over Elviria up to La Mairena right now, and it looks magnificent to me.

    Do you really know the coast? Did you live here? Do you know people who live here? Have you any idea how many people live here, come here time and again, and see something completely different to your protestations?

    I actually have been here for 20 years and despite the building boom I can actually tell you for a fact that it is a far, far better place than 20 years ago, and that is has a great future ahead of it.

    And if I want beautiful unspolit Spain it is up the hill 5 mins away and stretches all the way to Sevilla, and if i want stuning unspoilt beaches and zero development then i can head to Tarifia one hour away.

    I believe you are talking somewhat through your hat, and I don’t think you realise what the future holds here over the next 10 years, or how huge a deal the Southern coast of Spain is and will become.

    I think I got your point though, but it does seem to be the same point on every thread I see you comment on really.

    That is your absolute right to make it again and again, but I rather think that Spain is not for you no? And perhaps you are being a tad unfair or rather overblown in your opinions sometimes.

    I take your points about all the agents, the lawyers, the government, the law etc etc, they are all valid and well intentioned but I think you go too far the other way, your view of the CDS is dare I say it a little bizarre at times.

  • #92221
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    That is your absolute right to make it a present gain and again, but I rather think that Spain is not for you no? And perhaps you are being a tad unfair or rather overblown in your opinions sometimes.

    I take your points about all the agents, the lawyers, the government, the law etc etc, they are all valid and well intentioned but I think you go too far the other way, your view of the CDS is dare I say it a little bizarre at times.

    Chris,

    do you have apart time job for the Malaga authorities? Only promoters could present things in such a rosy way…

  • #92222
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Well I live in Elviria too and most of it is unspoilt. My garden leads direct into open country, protected pine and cork forest. Few minutes to the (probably) best beach in the whole of the CDS. Around here there are many small lanes that have just bungalows leading to the beach, so unspoilt that there is no paseo (promenade).

    I see foxes, boar, a stork comes daily. A nightingale sings sweetly all through the night. We are minutes from everything including marbella centre. Yes, most of the coast is crap but there are still some nice places, some I probably don’t know about and I have lived here a long time.

  • #92224
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Well I live in Elviria too and most of it is unspoilt. My garden leads direct into open country, protected pine and cork forest. Few minutes to the (probably) best beach in the whole of the CDS. Around here there are many small lanes that have just bungalows leading to the beach, so unspoilt that there is no paseo (promenade).

    I see foxes, boar, a stork comes daily. A nightingale sings sweetly all through the night. We are minutes from everything including marbella centre. Yes, most of the coast is crap but there are still some nice places, some I probably don’t know about and I have lived here a long time.

    Well, I live in Wirral (not by choice, work-force-related) and it seems similar to Elviria… We have seaview, a nice beach about 2 minute drive or a mediocre one in front of our house. We have protected areas and exceptional schools.

    The only big difference is that it rains much more and is quite cold about 9 months per year. 😀

  • #92226
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    I reckon it has been cold here about 6 months this winter too 😆

  • #92227
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I live in Melbourne, but own a very nice place in Gran Bahia de Marbella – which I will probably sell IF the market ever recovers (in my lifetime). I have to say that Australia knocks every other country I have visited/lived in into a cocked hat. Housing here is vastly overpriced, but the builds are generally of excellent quality (why can’t the UK build decent houses, ever, – oh, and LAMINATE flooring? Pur-lease!!).
    Like Sydney, the housing market in Melbourne is mature – people LIVE and WORK here and head out to the beaches and vineyards at the weekends. Melbourne itself is a great city, with fabulous culture, cuisine, vineyards and coastline. You can fly very cheaply up to Queensland (the Whitsundays, Port Douglas, barrier reef) or down to Tasmania – the contrast is quite stunning. Google places like Lorne, or Sorrrento on the Mornington peninsula – you’ll see what I mean. There is simply no comparison in terms of beaches or quality of housing and infrastructure.

    Still, I will probably return to Europe in 2010, having gained Australian citizenship. Why? The tyranny of distance. It’s just so damned far away from everything else. I firmly believe that if they ever found the means to tow Australia closer to Europe there wouldn’t be a single British person left in the UK. If only.

    It does puzzle me when people rave about CDS beaches. They’re not very nice to be honest. The CDS is attractive as a HOLIDAY destination because of its climate and the proximity to the UK – that’s it. It isn’t a place to live and lacks ‘soul’. I’m sure you know what I mean.

  • #92229
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Salinger

    only been to Oz once for a few weeks. We flew to sydney, and stayed with relatives in Manly, and had two internal flights as part of the flight package, so we flew to cairns and did some diving on the barrier reef, then flew up to darwin and stayed with friends, which was hilarious. It really was ‘crocodile dundee’ land.

    I loves Oz, like you say, if only it wasn’t so far away. Could also do with a few less things that sting or bite enough to make you very ill and even kill you!. In the rainforst there was even a plant that could parylise. Something you get used to I guess, and think little of if you live there?

    katy

    you seem to have a pretty balanced view from i’ve seen of Spain, which to be fair isn’t that much. (but i’ve learned quite alot in the last 7 years of our nightmare) Seems some lovely places still exist, but you have to look for them, as much of the coast is ruined. Sounds lovely where you and Chris live, though Chris does sound a tad ‘sales’ like! I could make England sound fantastic, if I forget about the bad bits.

    I used to have a rosier view of Spain, from many holidays touring round. Only when I tried to buy did I realise just how crap the system is at recognising right from wrong and doing something about it to help those wronged compared to the UK. It’s hard to see the positive sides having had our experience, but I realise we have had a rougher view of Spain in our limited experience of ‘real life’ problems than many. Certainly had our ‘rose coloured spectacles’ well and truly removed!

  • #92243
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Goodstitch – creepy crawlies that might kill you! You sound like my dad – heh heh. Yes, Queensland is sub tropical and so you are exposed to one or two nasties, but if you look at the stats, there are very few unfortunate incidents. Living in Melbourne, you are never remotely worried by the threat of creepy crawlies – it’s just like London, but a lot nicer! This morning was lovely and crisp – clear skies, breath hanging in the air and scarf and overcoat required. We have all the seasons but there is very little perma-cloud and there are real spring and real summers. No imminent threats from nature here, or in Tasmania or Adelaide (apart from the great whites – but then I’m not much of a surfer, and Port Phillip bay doesn’t get many white pointers heh heh).

    Sydney and Manly is lovely – the harbour and the northern beaches are picture postcard. Still, they say Sydney is the American city and Melbourne is the European city (big Italian and greek communities here). As my friend here opines – “Sydney is like the best one night stand you’ll ever have, but Melbourne is the girl you fall in love with.” I really can’t say enough good about the place.

    Oh, and a note for Chris McCarthy – if you are a REA, a word to the wise. The real estate industry controls EVERYTHING here – from the press to government policy. It also helps that Australians are OBSESSED with housing. I kinda resent the fact, because agents here are unscrupulous – but they all make a hell of a lot of money.

  • #92270
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/offshorefinance/5304397/Can-you-afford-your-dream-country.html

    According to this report maybe we who are paid in sterling cannot afford to live anywhere 😆

  • #92274
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @flosmichael wrote:

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:
    Chris,
    do you have apart time job for the Malaga authorities? Only promoters could present things in such a rosy way…

    Flosmichael,

    No I don’t have a relationship to the authorities although you would think they would have given me a medal over the years that my companies spent literally millions annually promoting the CDS and actually I have never had any recognition for it, which is a bit sad really.

    But I did start this thread with fulsome praise and interest in South Africa, and you know I think I am very well aware of the damage that the last “buying boom” has done to the coast, not only to the environment, but to the individual and to the economy here.

    It is just that one cannot throw the baby out with the bath water really.

    I have just seen the latest issue of HOT Properties magazine, I was looking at some of the imagery of El Chorro, reading about some of the new businesses here, catching up on News and Events, seeing some absolutley stunning houses and apartments, then a review of La Cala Resort which is just amazing, and so well presented and all of this just simply flies in the face of people saying the coast should be bulldozed over.

    Then there is an article lambasting the “ne’er do well types still trying to sell investment / investment, distressed, bargain, repossesed buys” whom are still trying to squeeze something out of the deflated ballon, this in effect an expose on those people, which I think is a fairly brave, straightforward and upstanding open approach.

    There are two sides to every story, if I sound a “tad” salesy from time to time, well I hold up my hands to that, that is what I have been for nigh on 30 years, I perhaps should get some retraining to be less so.

    I seem to have less and less time to come onto the forum though, it is quite consuming, though I hope everyone realises that I am not putting my head in the sand and denying the worst, I just present something of an alternative viewpoint from time to time.

  • #92277
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Chris, think you’ll find that you mentioned the word ‘Hellhole’ whereas I suggested those coasts are a mess. Why don’t you go to Mijas and look down on the panoramic mess below you? Overdeveloped, busy, hilltops sliced off etc maybe you like that sort of view?

    I did mention that there are some enclaves that are ok, Elviria for one is not too bad but they are few and far between. Flosmichael is correct in suggesting that you appear to have rose coloured specs, Goodstich is right too about the Costa Brava’s stunning coastline which knocks spots off the CDS and less developed too.

    Talking out of your hat Chris saying the CDS is far better than it was 20 years ago and has a great future ahead, what are you like?

    BTW you enjoyed the rich pickings of fat commissions with Viva for many years and that seems to be what irritates you methinks now that has slowed right down.

    I did live on the CDS (moved away for reasons mentioned) I do know the Coast, I do know many people there including very pleasant Spaniards (who by the way agree it’s been spoilt),
    not interested in a population count of the coast (too many), was there 20 years ago myself when the avocado farms were starting to be ripped up for concrete urbanizations, and know of lots of people who would move if they could sell.

    I think you plug the same point too, a commercial point, about possible boom times again.

    You’ve agreed with me in previous correspondence especially when I’ve not likened Viva quite like other less scrupulous agents we both know.

    As Katy says there’s ‘corruption from the top down in Spain’ regarding property.

    Still, the weather is really nice. 😉

  • #92278
    Profile photo of Chris McCarthy
    Chris McCarthy
    Participant

    @angie wrote:

    You’ve agreed with me in previous correspondence especially when I’ve not likened Viva quite like other less scrupulous agents we both know.

    :

    Hi Angie,

    I do hear you Angie, and I think you most certainly have a point, more than one point, and all valid and right to the point.

    On much you will not find me arguing with you, just plain agreeing with you, and I think your contribution is extremely important, and I more than appreciate you see my point also.

    Somewhere there is a meeting of minds in the future I think.

    And its nice that we can debate this back and forth, but do yourself a favour get a copy of the next issue of HP 84 I think it will come out around June 10th and tell me then whether you think it is all over for the CDS then… or perhaps that there might be some hope for the place yet, i would truly value your opinion on that also.

    And my apologies for attributing “hellhole” to you erroneously.

    Cheers

    Chris

  • #92294
    Profile photo of angie
    angie
    Spectator

    Thankyou Chris.

    I really did think the CDS used to look lovely when it had so many avocado farms and hilltops many years ago, it’s a pity so much of the Coast was destroyed for development.

    Re the Costa Brava, it’s true the Winter weather is cooler and sometimes cold, but it has hot and longer Summers than the UK has, and the benefit of being able to nip into France for a change of scenery and cuisine.

    Places like Palafrugell, Pals, Llafranc etc all very different to Southern Spain, and the air seems cleaner too, maybe because of the Pyrenees nearby. 😉

  • #92300
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Thinking about it there are many places that are concrete land but successful, Miami, Rio, Cancun, Monaco, New York. Spain needs to see that they can’t rely on just sand sun and golf. The concrete is here to stay so they need to build on other attractions (well not literally!) More sports and cultural activities, a few more concerts. The idea of marbella to extend the Port for cruise ships is a good one.

    I am not impressed with Costa Brava, there are some nice places but many grotty ones too, climate rules it out for me.

  • #92305
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just a quick comment…..

    Having lived in South Africa when younger it can only be described as beautiful and exciting.

    However, you are constantly looking over your shoulder and live with a nagging concern for your own / family safety. This wears you down. I was happy to return to the UK.

  • #92488
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Chris McCarthy wrote:

    Well I went off to South Africa just over a month ago, and promised the family to stay away from the computer for the three and bit weeks we were there, and since then have had a week in the UK and a couple of hectic weeks in Spain, so I haven’t been near the forum in that time, however given my experience in SA I have been desperate to ask…

    Is there anywhere that is actually better than Spain to buy… to then use for that regular holiday, or to live, to work, or simply fulfil that lifetimes aspiration that many people have; which is to move to the sun?

    I have a real passion and belief in Spain, but I would have to admit it has been severely tested by my three weeks in Cape Town South Africa.

    It was a truly amazing place I have to say.

    Incredible scenery, coastline, beaches, shopping, restaurants, wines, people – really, really nice people – diversity of culture, something like 30-50% cheaper to eat and drink, play golf, and just fabulous service everywhere.

    Mmmm…. I am on this site to sometimes stand up for Spain. I just never expected to have such a fantastic time in South Africa, I certainly didn’t expect to be comparing it favourably in so many areas to Spain. I believe actually the people who are most valuable on the site are those that so often have a knock again and again at Spain, I took a quick look earlier at some other threads I had an interest in before leaving for SA.

    I saw some people telling other people to “shut up” and “stop being negative” well I find all of that firstly rather silly and secondly rather counter productive.

    This site really helps people get the low down on Spain particularly in relation to property and moving to Spain, and actually the people who are supposedly so negative here are actually the very people who simply tell it as it is, and most often in an even handed and fair way. All is not well in the Spanish garden and it is those who protest and shout loudest who will actually cause change and effective change at that.

    BUT IF NOT SPAIN THEN WHERE..?

    What is the actual truth about Spain versus A. N. OTHER…?

    Everyone I find is very fair on this site, so if no one has done it before…

    Would it be fun, or a bit interesting to debate, if not Spain then where?

    And then test the argument for the where else against what might be positive in Spain? To see how Spain truly stands up against its competition?

    I loved South Africa, I would like to go again, offered the chance to live and work there, I would be very sorely tempted… can anyone continue the argument and say yes to go and do so, or would you say no stay in Spain?

    Might be fun debate, or like one or two of the other threads I have started it might just die a slow sliding death down the forum list..!

    As an expat I live in CT on the beachfront in Blouberg with the postcard view of Table Mtn across the sea. Been here for 26 years now so thinking about staying! Lots happening here sports wise with the Lions rugby, Confed Cup where I’ll be shouting for Espana and of course the footy W Cup next year with an England cricket tour sandwiched in between! I reckon the W Cup will be one of the best ever despite all the doubters.

    I deal in bringing sports tours to SA and over the years famous sportsmen have said to me that CT has got to be one of the top 3 cities in the world and these guys have travelled! It’s funny because my ideal would be to live in Spain about this time of year with a month or two in the UK as winters in CT can be cold and wet but with stunning days between. Have bought a unit off plan in Manilva but trying to cancel and get my deposit back as it’s taken 4 years to finish the development but that’s another story and we’ve got some bad builders in CT just like everywhere else.

    SA for Europeans has got to be so cheap and once you’ve paid the airfare the rest is for free!

    Yes, crime and other issues are not great but you wouldn’t get me walking areas of London after dark either. The world has changed big time and there’s not many places today that are completely safe.

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