Those first tentative steps

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Melosine Melosine 9 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #52662
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hola everyone

    This forum and indeed website is a superb resource for someone like me that is considering the leap into the abyss, Russian Roulette or moving to Spain (delete as appropriate 😉 ) Thank you all very much.

    I have spent quite a bit of time reading the first couple of pages of threads and have gleaned a lot of useful information. I have also learnt that although Spain has a lot to offer, it also has a myriad of pitfalls that need to be avoided.

    So, although I am going to be spending considerable time reading through every article I can find before even contemplating a move, I would appreciate any advice that members here wish to share. Ultimately, this will go into a working document that I will compile that will act as a guide to a safe and successful relocation for anyone that cares to use it afterwards.

    Of course, if this document already exists (surely it must) then please point me in it’s direction.

    So, what am I looking to achieve?

    Well, I’m 30ish (The “ish” bit is 7 years but don’t tell anyone) and my partner is 32 with a child of 5. I guess we’re more Tygs than Togs 😆 (Ahhh, the universal medium that is Wogan). We are in the fortunate position to be ably to buy outright so will not need to worry about Mortgages.

    Our reasons for relocating are to get away from the Rat Race in the UK and spend a lot more quality time as a Family. We intend to start a small tourism business inland from the Costa Calida region or perhaps slightly North but not as far as Alicante. The reason for this choice of region is to be within reasonable driving distance of my Mother who has settled outside San Miguel. We appreciate that to operate a business you need to speak the Language, observe local culture and integrate into the community. This will be something we are looking to embrace.

    So, we’re not your average sun seekers looking to move to a new build to see out the end of our days. We are looking to change our lives to something that gives our family a better standard of living.

    Over the next 60 days, I want to develop a business plan, project plan and list of all requirements to fulfill from a legal, financial and operational perspective. This will allow us to make an informed decision as to whether we are confident this project can be a success and to begin to commit money to it. However, not one cent will be spent until we have all the facts, requirements, benefits and risks fully documented and understood which is why I’m asking for help.

    If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of this information (after taking out any personal data of course) I will be more than happy to send it when completed.

    So, pretend I’m starting from scratch, as there may be some basics I’ve overlooked, what advice would you give me on where to start on what to look at?

    Regards

    Larry

  • #69515
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Welcome Larry,

    Great idea to use your journey into the Spanish property market as a workable experience, that way any problems, stress etc. can be viewed from a distance and not too personal.

    I don´t think you will encounter any real hitches as you seem to be …..how can I put this….”well adjusted”. What i mean is that many people who seem to encounter the usual pitfalls are rather silly. They do things no-one would do in the UK property buying process. Common mistakes are…No legal rep – Buying from strangers in bars – not researching the market, location, bulder etc. I am an estage agent here in the Murcia Costa Calida area and have been so for 7 years. I have seen every permetation and corruption (on both sides) of the buying process, yet the whole thing is really very easy, simple and rather satisfying if done properly. There are good and bad agents, good and bad locations and good and bad buyers and vendors. The secret is nothing more than employ the common sense we were born with and use the process correctly. Ensure there is an information flow not only to you but from you and make your own desicion in your own time. Oh and one more thing, if you use an agent please ensure you and your wife agree on what you want or it gets very embarrasing. Good luck Larry and family…keep us posted…so to speak. Paddy.

  • #69516
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “Paddy”

    What i mean is that many people who seem to encounter the usual pitfalls are rather silly.

    Hmm, that comment will no doubt open a can of worms…especially coming from an Estate Agent! 😉

    Hi Larry,
    I think the best advice that I would give is to find an independent lawyer. (not one recommended by an estate agent or developer). Mark, the moderator has compiled a list of “tried & tested ” law firms for different regions. this can be found in the “search” at the top of the page. It is a good starting place. Do not think for a moment that Spain operates like the UK when it comes to a property purchase. It is not as tightly regulated. You need to be on the case every step of the way, especially when it comes to signing contracts. Make sure you know exactly what each document says.( Pay to get a translation if necessary. )Also make sure you will have legal title to any land/property you may want to buy.Ask to see these documents.

    You’ll get plenty of tips from reading the forum topics and from the members.

    I wish you luck in your venture and hope you achieve your goal. Spain has a great deal more going for it than Guildford!! 😉

  • #69519
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Paddy.

    You do hear about some real horror stories but I appreciate what you’re saying about the British leaving their brains behind in customs 🙄

    That’s not to say even the most reasoned person cannot get caught our by a scam or get lulled by what on the surface appears to be a reputable trader. However, 6P does help avoid this (P*ss poor planning prevents proper performance).

    One of the things I have heard a lot about is building and renovation. As I understand the situation, it can be horrendously difficult to obtain planning permission to extend property or erect outbuildings and stables. I can understand in built up areas but is this that same on a rural estate where you might be using the land for farm use?

    Thanks

    L.

  • #69520
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Larry,

    Yes the 6P´s plus proper legal representation does the trick. Some use lawyers after they have bought….WRONG…choose your lawyer as soon as you get off the plane then any builder/agent offering a hidden scam will be exposed as soon as your lawyer receives thier paperwork.

    Regarding building/renovation, generally you will have no problems if the house is legal. In Murcia you can apply to amplify living space within planning guidlines. say 20% per year Don´t expect to put another level on the house if the local townhall doesn´t permit it, again your lawyer will find this out for you before you buy a white elephant. Stables outbuildings are considered non-dwelling – so fairly easy to get minor works licenses as even rural classed land will allow you to errect buildings for storage, wether for horses/cars but not guests or mother-in-laws. That is living space so you need a full project etc. I hope that made sense!!

  • #69522
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Clare,

    Let´s hope the worms aren´t in here today (he he)

    Regarding “stay on it every step of the way” yes even lawyers need a prod every so often, but they will ensure you have a translated copy of the Purchase contract and read you through the builders permits or title deeds and ensure at the notary there are no debts etc. Should all be done for you Larry after all you are paying for the service.

    When I said ensure the info flow is both ways I often see cases where buyers claim they received no updates from Buiders and Lawyers. But you need to ask for it be persistent and get what you want.

  • #69523
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Claire, I had read the approved Lawers page and there is one in Mercia which I will probably look at.

    Has anyone got experience of this company?

    As for “the can of worms” 😉 err, yes. I did read a few interesting threads 😆

    Thanks again Paddy, that is definitely something I will need to bone up on.

    Shakeel sent me a PM with a recommendation to look at David Searls’ Book ” You and your Law in Spain”. I have just purchased this and his similar property book to look into these matters.

    (Yes, yes, I know that I wasn’t going to spend a penny until everything was documented but these seem a necessity)

    Great feedback chaps. Thanks again.

  • #69524
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Seeing as most tourism businesses fail within the first year I would also give research into this as a priority with just as much importance as the actual buying process.

  • #69525
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @katy wrote:

    Seeing as most tourism businesses fail within the first year I would also give research into this as a priority with just as much importance as the actual buying process.

    Yes, this is a concern but we think we can offer a more holistic approach with what we plan. We also are looking at various revenue streams and not relying on just one.

    Fundamental to the project will be to develop a independently audited business plan, complete some market research and to ensure we can, as much as possible, guarantee that we have adequate marketing to drive business.

    Failing that, we also know that one of us will be able to work from Spain and bring in much more than we’re expecting to gross on this venture so it’s really no risk. We just want to complete the change over as soon as practical 🙂 Otherwise it defeats the objective of moving out 😀

  • #69531
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    knock-on

    good luck with your project, i’d just like to say comments like this one,

    ‘people who seem to encounter the usual pitfalls are rather silly.’

    ……are a bit misleading, as you will read in the forums, many ‘non’ silly people have also come unstuck. I would advise shifting your belief in who and what you can trust to a whole new level! Things might very well be not what they seem.

  • #69532
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Knock on:
    Tourism as we know it, is on decline in Spain not matter what window dressed statistics you use. If you offer a special kind/type holidays, eg Horse riding, language, Flamenco dancing, cooking etc ( All been done )

    Bull fighting, holidays has not be done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Countries like Bulgaria, Turkey, Montenegro, Croatia has taken a shine off and soon Morocco will be added. I however see a two centre holidays emerging with South of Spain/Morocco. I however feel its atleast five years off.

    Yes, an indepedent business plan in theory is a good idea, it will be very expensive. Its usefullness, I have my doubts until your bank manager needs to tick a box on his check list. Besides the information, data collected for this purpose has to be taken with suspecion. The Spanish attitude of mas or menos ( more or less) could be as much as 15% out.
    This kind of varience was ok in the past in today’s Spain 15% or less could be your profit margin.

    My, advise to you would be to use the info on the Forum, there is wealth of it. You need to be un bais and focus on the aim/goals.

    What ever conclusions you come to in terms of profit/turn over etc , reduce that by half for prudence purposes and have other streams of Income already in placce

  • #69535
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    shakeel quote below………. (hope it was tonque in cheek?)

    ‘Bull fighting, holidays has not be done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ‘

    heaven forbid!!!!!, hopefully in a few years, the decent people of Spain will be as ashamed of that as we are foxhunting/cock fighting/bear bating. Putting a creature through extreme suffering before a horrible death, so that some sick morons can get pleasure out of it, makes me furious, tradition or not. And i was raised on a farm!

  • #69543
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks Goodstitch. I agree, you have to take in all opinions and then make decisions on what is solid business sense. However, there is always a risk of being caught out but preparation should minimise this.

    @shakeel wrote:

    Knock on:
    Tourism as we know it, is on decline in Spain not matter what window dressed statistics you use. If you offer a special kind/type holidays, eg Horse riding, language, Flamenco dancing, cooking etc ( All been done )

    Bull fighting, holidays has not be done !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Countries like Bulgaria, Turkey, Montenegro, Croatia has taken a shine off and soon Morocco will be added. I however see a two centre holidays emerging with South of Spain/Morocco. I however feel its atleast five years off.

    Yes, an indepedent business plan in theory is a good idea, it will be very expensive. Its usefullness, I have my doubts until your bank manager needs to tick a box on his check list. Besides the information, data collected for this purpose has to be taken with suspecion. The Spanish attitude of mas or menos ( more or less) could be as much as 15% out.
    This kind of varience was ok in the past in today’s Spain 15% or less could be your profit margin.

    My, advise to you would be to use the info on the Forum, there is wealth of it. You need to be un bais and focus on the aim/goals.

    What ever conclusions you come to in terms of profit/turn over etc , reduce that by half for prudence purposes and have other streams of Income already in placce

    The lessening of the traditional tourism industry in Spain does not worry me in the slightest. In fact, it could be an opportunity. People may be looking for more than what is considered acceptable today and that is something we think we can capitalise on.

    To compile a business plan, there is no expense for me. I’m used to compiling similar documents all the time. It’s also not for securing outside funding but as part of our own decision making process.

    As for forecasting, I make Eeyore look positive 😆

  • #69566
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I guess Spain is a little different to France when it comes to tourism. I have several friends in France running successful Gites, B&B, Adventure holidays and they are all doing very well. However in Spain we seem to get a different type of tourist, most come for the booze,fags,sun and fish and chips.

    I´m not “tarring everyone with the same brush” here guys but when I visit our friends in France they do seem to be dealing with a very different end of the tourist market.

  • #69568
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Goodstich44; Yes it yes it was tongue and cheek, re the Bull fight.

    Paddy: I agree with the difference of calibre of people who visit, Spain, France and Italy. Though stereo type that you mention do visit certain towns on the coast. I am happy to say that this is changing for the better in Spain. It is still a long way to.

    I feel the people that you refer to are going to Bulgaria. ( Where Spain was some 20 to 30 years ago.)

  • #69569
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes, shakeel, Bulgaria is appealing to the lower end at the moment. Though every € spent in Bulgarria is one not spent in Spain consequently damaging the tourist and property market here.

    Mabe Spain should re-invent itself, find new ways of attracting a different kind of tourist, it´s worked wonders for Dubai!

    Has anyone heard any news regarding the re-location of Eurodisney??

  • #69570
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @shakeel wrote:

    Goodstich44; Yes it yes it was tongue and cheek, re the Bull fight.

    Paddy: I agree with the difference of calibre of people who visit, Spain, France and Italy. Though stereo type that you mention do visit certain towns on the coast. I am happy to say that this is changing for the better in Spain. It is still a long way to.

    I feel the people that you refer to are going to Bulgaria. ( Where Spain was some 20 to 30 years ago.)

    That’s what I’m banking on.

    Spain has so much culture and vibrancy to offer that 2 pints of Lager and a packet of Crisps wouldn’t understand.

    Is Bulgaria really that bad these days? Good Lord 🙄

    As for EuroDisney Paddy. Nope, I’m sure it’s staying in Brussles 😆

  • #69571
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Don´t think I was clear enough Knock-on, I meant that other Mickey Mouse outfit up the road. 🙄

  • #69576
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes you are correct indeed that Spain needs to re invent it self. How is the biggest challange. I dont feel it can only be with a single sector approach. It has to be tourism, service sector, tech industry, cinema/TV. Before the above can be done the undermentioned needs to be looked at with an open mind

    Legal system, Civil service competancy, consumer rights, fairer tax system, low social security, control on crime, need for notary for all and sundry transactions, union powers,

    Dubai, has invented itself NOT re invented. Its safe, no crime and no TAXATION, positive encrougrement for inward investment.

    The only thing they have common is the siesta.

  • #69577
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Shakeel- I agree with your comments about Spain;

    “Legal system, Civil service competancy, consumer rights, fairer tax system, low social security, control on crime, need for notary for all and sundry transactions, union powers,”

    But Dubai did change from a solely oil producing nation. Having calculated that it´s oil reserves would run out sooner rather than later they decided to use the revenue from it to create a millionairs playground and become a real estate/investment capital superpower.

    It will all end in tears though, I for one would not invest a cent in a country run by a despot! When he dies or becomes ill, his brothers will fight for power and his children will assume it, could be a catastrophe waiting to happen. One man´s dreams are another mans nightmare!

  • #69578
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I understand where you’re coming from Paddy.

    Spain was initially agricultural and than embraced the tourism industry (and subsidies) with a gusto.

    Looking at other areas (Ireland for example) that have been successful in regeneration, we can plainly see that Spain has opted for a more easy route without trying as hard to attract industry.

    Similarly, they have an archaic bureaucracy that still believes it’s untouchable and has no need to modernise.

    We have had the first wave that has crashed on the shores of the Costa’s. Now we have the backwash before the building of the next swell. Someone said that the current downturn will last 10 years. I believe that the flash tourism that Spain has “enjoyed” (a double edged sword if ever there was one) will not recover but will adapt. The fast buck will disappear and hopefully be replaced by a more solid and sustainable economic future.

    Possibly, this is the time for the real smart money to take a look at Spain. If it were a company that I was looking to takeover and build, it would look ripe for the picking.

  • #69579
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Real smart money has been in spain. Blue chip co’s have moved on as they usually do to countries less costly. If I were an investor in a co’ that was seriously loking at spain I would pull out. Employment laws are too rigid.
    Paddy I agree, Dubai is a risk, only need a few terrorists to upset things. I have been and wouldn’t live there, I thought it was the pits (except for the shops) outside the buildings its a wasteland.

  • #69582
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Kate, Paddy, Knock on,
    We all agree on that Spain needs some serious surgery. As a business to take over, You will not do so as part of all large take overs are done with political backing. This you will not get. The right and left of the political spectrum will remains dogmatic.

    Yes, The Sheikh in Dubai had the Wisdom to diverse, As we all know nothing in life remains the same. Give the Sheikh the credit. However the Spaniards seams to lack this vision. (I recall in 1992 at the Expo in Seville, I had asked my Spanish friends what will happen to the site, infrastructure, etc after the Expo that was to last for six months. The answers from all sectors of the society was the same. We dont know.) The result is even today the place is deserted. The authorities could not plan further then six months.

    As regards to the despots. I am going to be very blunt here. The despots are there because the West wants them. Like the Shah of Iran, Sadam, The Saudi/Kuwaite Royal family ( The late Sheikh Zahid of Abu Dhabi, killed his brother wth help of the British, only because his late brother was not investing the Oil revenue in the West)

    Further, I can stick my neck out here. No terrorist will ever attack Dubai, in the foreseable future. You only have to travel in the Islamic world and speak to people in the street and you will get the answer

  • #69847
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi everyone, I’m on the scrounge again.

    Things have been going pretty well with working out exactly what needs to be accomplished before, during and after moving thanks in a large part to the advice I’ve had off this forum. A big thank you. 8)

    However, now I’m looking for some personal feedback from people that know the Mercia region as my knowledge of the place is pretty limited to the coastal regions.

    My next steps will be to go out for a few weekends and travel to the different regions to get a “feel” for the places and find somewhere that seems right.

    So, if you have any recommendations or know areas to avoid, then I would be grateful.

    To recap, my basic requirements for an area might include:

    Rural, not urban.
    An area of beauty, preferably in the hills and not in the plains unless by water.
    Away from modern developments. looking for a classic building or even a restoration project.
    Within 75 km (approx) of Mercia.
    I’m not too worried about being close to a town as we would like to be near schools and hospitals etc (I love bars and restaurants) but far enough out (if you know what I mean) to have peace and “tranquilo”. Equally, I will be just as happy with a village as we are looking to fully integrate with the community and wherever it will be, it won’t be more than a 30 minute drive to a major town.

    So, I’m probably looking at Cartagena to Lorca to Caravaca to Jumilla approximately.

    Any suggestions where to start looking.

  • #69848
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Sorry, I probably know less about the area than you, would advise anyone to rent whilst they search for a property. Its difficult to know what your really want until you have lived here. I know many people who have moved out only to sell on and move elswhere after about a year.

  • #69849
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Knock-on,
    Must admit to having a grin when you say not in the plains unless by water.

    We have many ramblas on the plains in my area of Murcia…but none with water in. Sorry rivers permitted only when it rains and then it’s the local roads that become temporary rivers rarely ever enough to even cause a trickle in a rambla.
    You might like to investigate the Aguilas side of Lorca. Typical rural Spain. Mountainous but not as high as Lorca / Velez Rubio area.
    The new AP7 passes n ear Aguilas so one will have access to Cartagena and Lorca and many villages inbetween.
    There are a couple of new developements in the pipeline in this area but because even in the , normal , urbanised areas one has to have a minimum of 5000 sq.m it is ,imho, the least densly populated area of Murcia.
    best of luck

  • #69850
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @melosine wrote:

    Knock-on,
    Must admit to having a grin when you say not in the plains unless by water.

    We have many ramblas on the plains in my area of Murcia…but none with water in. Sorry rivers permitted only when it rains and then it’s the local roads that become temporary rivers rarely ever enough to even cause a trickle in a rambla.

    Actually, I was staying with my mother a few weeks ago in San Miguel and she was moaning that they hadn’t had any rain since Christmas.

    Yep, that afternoon we had a brief shower 😆 Typical!!

    Anyway, I know there are a few minor rivers further inland so I was referring to them more.

    As an aside, does anyone know the law on drilling a bore hole? Is that allowed?

  • #69851
    Profile photo of Melosine
    Melosine
    Participant

    Know lots in nearby Almeria who do so without permission. However because my area of Murcia is still a farming area , we have to buy into the irrigation water as well ,even if you are on mains water supply.

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