Why is this forum becoming so devalued?

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This topic contains 48 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #53789
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have started this thread as I don’t want to take others off topic as so many others seem to have done. I have only made a couple of posts on this forum. I have sat on the outside looking in for some months now. I have had to laugh at a lot of the comments posted on the forum which at times devalue it from being an insight into Spanish Property to a personal “ranting” soap box for a few. I am not sure it is doing the job that Mark intended when he started it. IMO, most of those “few” have had bad experiences either through greed, bad advice or plain stupidity. Some have fallen foul to illegal builds etc but even then good legal advice would have saved them a lot of the problems they experienced.

    I don’t want to quote individuals and their comments and turn this thread into another personal slanging match like so many other threads have become. I will give my honest opinions based upon 15 years of living in Spain, having bought and sold four properties as “homes” and three others as investments. I think I can speak with some authority.

    In the seven conveyances I have undertaken, I have NEVER encountered a problem (as in a legal one needing legal proceeding to resolve). That is not, as some people seem to suggest luck – that is, I believe by doing things in the same way as I would in the UK. I have bought and sold privately and through agents, with and without mortgages. At one time, because of a “dirty” divorce I was experiencing, I had five 120% mortgages which were, on paper, secured on property but actually were “back to back” with equal deposits in the same banks Gib branch. I have had bank managers help me to find solutions to my “needs” and never once felt that they were doing anything other than supporting their customer whilst also doing their job – ie making money for the bank that employed them. However, I have always used either Solbank (formerly Nat West) or Barclays – household names to Brits, subject to Spanish Banking Law but with some British mentality in their thinking.

    I have always used a Spanish “branch” of a UK firm of solicitors. By giving the instructions to the London office, you are covered by the Law Society for the actions of their Spanish “branch” who in effect are their sub-contractors. (I use “branch” because at the end of the day the Spanish office runs under the UK name but is a separate legal entity as members of the colegio in Spain). There is a double “duty of care” governed by the UK and Spanish systems. Cost is the normal 1% on purchases, although even that can be negotiated.

    I have always insisted on the notario being my selected Notario in Central Fuengirola and NOT one proposed by the seller. The purchaser pays the notary and therefore the purchaser chooses the notary. Yes some are better than others.

    I am amazed by the way so many people on this forum have jumped in two feet first to situations that they would never have considered in the UK? People come to Spain and throw all caution to the wind in a system they do not understand with a language they understand even less!

    Would anyone consider buying “off plan” in the UK with an estimated build time of four years giving a 10% plus deposit up front with monthly stage payments so that once the build is complete over 50% of the purchase price is held by the constructor – NO. Maybe a 12 month lead in time, with a 5% deposit, with a firm completion date stated in the contract and a two-way “late completion” penalty stated – YES. Would the contract even be signed and a deposit payment paid in the UK without full searches by the solicitor, detailed planning permission being in place etc? NO. Would legal completion take place without the UK council having issued a Building Control certificate of completion and the NHBC having issued their 10 year warranty inspection/certificate? – NO Would a completion take place without the “common area” works having been completed? – NO (or at least not without a retention equal to at least the proportional value of the incomplete works). So why do Brits come to Spain and do it?

    Stage payments on building should never be made to a promoter. The promoters bank no doubt have a mortgage on the development and are fully protected. They should be financing building costs. I would only consider paying stage payments if I owned the land and was having my own property built on it. Obviously the builders and sub trades need paying as they go but only against the agreement of your own architect or QS as to value of the work and then less a retention for snagging etc. If you are on a self-build project you are in effect the promoter. However, why would anyone in their right minds pay a promoter stage payments?

    In the past, there have been threads about the “buy one get one free” type of purchases made by so many Brits – ie buy two off plan, sell one of them before completion and the other one will be paid for by the profit on the sale. Anyone that was taken in by that really did leave their brains in the UK when coming on their £69 inspection trip! Why would the promoter give away his profits to a buyer if that really were true? Why were the Spanish not buying every flat in the complex to sell at a profit just before completion?

    So much is made of the corruption in the town halls – yes there is some but it has affected less than 1% of British buyers. Most of those buyers were actually caught out by their own mistakes. It is a minor problem that will be sorted out on an ongoing basis. Good solicitors would have prevented most of those affected from making the mistakes but in so many cases those buyers chose to use the sellers solicitors? Would they have done that in the UK – NO, NO AND NO AGAIN!! The UK is not free of corruption – just look at Westminster and the expenses abuse that has been going on that now appears to being swept under the carpet. The fingers are being pointed everywhere including at the last PM. Cash for Honours? Undeclared election expenses and donations? Buying to rent penthouses in Bristol using a convicted fraudster as your front man? The wife earnings on UK legal aid fighting the human rights laws introduced by her own husband (also a Barrister)?

    The latest thing in this forum that is being touted is to walk away from your mortgage debts and let someone else pay for them! I really do hope that the Banks chase every Spanish Mortgage Debtor to the UK and ensure that they have no UK assets available and no UK credit available until all their debts in Spain are met. Why should any debtor feel that they can walk away from the debts they have run up by leaving Spain for the UK? The argument that because they have negative equity they can walk away from the debt is absolutely insulting to every other user of this forum with one ounce of respect, decency and intelligence. People seem to feel that they should be able to go back to the UK and that their house there should be safe. Well hopefully it won’t be – hopefully the Spanish Banks will seize it and sell it at a low price to clear your debts as the law allows. Why should the rest of us as customers of the Spanish Banks pay your debts? If your property in Spain is in negative equity and it is your home, so what? It happened in the UK in the 80’s and will happen there again over the next few years. If it was worth paying (say) 1,000 Euros a month in mortgage for that property last year to live the lifestyle then it is still worth the same amount. The value may have decreased but not it’s functionability. The value will return in time. If the property was as a second home, a place in the sun, then again its value as such remains unaltered. If the property was bought as an investment then ALL investments can fall in value – you are unlucky, took a gamble and lost! Why do you think you can walk away from it? If you can’t afford to pay your mortgage then remember it was you that contracted it, you who thought you could pay it – now do so or risk losing your other assets. Falling house prices is a result of a WORLDWIDE Credit Squeeze brought about by a WORLDWIDE recession. It is not just a Spanish problem.

    The fact the Pound is so low against the Euro at 1.24 is stopping many from coming to Spain now. It is causing people with second homes a problem in paying their mortgage. That has nothing to do with Spain. It is nothing to do with the Central European Bank even. That is the UK in trouble. It is the pound that is of such low value. The Bank of England had to put an extra £5 billion into the monetary system this week. Brits can only blame themselves – at the end of the day they have resisted joining the Euro! The UK is only interested in the Euro when accepting Irish money over the bars in Cheltenham or accepting the EEC subsidies they received for so long!

    Something else that is coming into the forums is the same contributors that have made mistakes and now decry Spain in all ways are using the forums to hit out at the EC immigrants into the UK. One of my reasons for leaving the UK 15 years ago was the way the UK was being taken over. I didn’t like it. My children were being forced to eat school meals that were pandering to the ethnic beliefs of immigrants. The UK was an asylum being taken over by the lunatics. I voted with my feet, made my choice and got out. I became an immigrant in Spain. I became part of the system, pay my tax and social security here and enjoy the benefits of the lifestyle, the best NHS hospital system in Europe, good levels of public services and schools. My wife had a baby at Christmas and as a result we have received €2,500 from the state as a birth grant, 16 weeks of maternity pay and will receive €100 a month for 36 months as a “child allowance”. That payment is due to us as residents of Spain, which we became through the freedom of movement within the EC as detailed in the Treaty of Rome. Likewise, various smaller (mainly former Eastern Bloc) countries have now joined the EC and their nationals have exercised the same right of movement and gone to the UK. SO? They claim benefits they are entitled to. SO? The Brits have done it for years in Spain, we receive pensions and benefits equal to a Spaniard and likewise the Polish etc are entitled to do it in the UK. That is what the Common Market is about – a right of free movement within the community. The UK voted in a referendum to join it and did. For 20 years the UK were net receivers from the EC Budget – now they are net contributors – SO? I have to take 8 prescription medicines due to a heart condition. The retail value of those drugs is €360 per month – I pay €40 – the same as a Spaniard. In the UK, I would have to pay 8 X £7 = £54 except two of those drugs my mother needs and the UK NHS have told her she cannot have them on the NHS on cost grounds because she has the wrong postcode.

    Funny thing is, those same Eastern Europeans are coming to Spain. The British builders on the coast are complaining that the Polish are taking their work. Those Polish builders work harder, do a better job and take a Spanish rate of pay at about €70 a day and not the €150 a day the Brits con (sorry charge).

    Please – this forum is AN INSIGHT INTO THE SPANISH PROPERTY MARKET. We do not need the same people jumping onto their soapboxes to continually repeat that they made mistakes. They did things wrong and without listening to correct advice. They did things they could not afford. They were greedy and thought they could make money out of the Spanish. They blame Spain and everything Spanish for their own mistakes. They hijack every thread in these forums to beat their own drums AGAIN and AGAIN. I honestly believe that these forums are losing their status by becoming a stuck record about what has happened to a few individuals in the past. Let’s all move on.

  • #80135
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Pheeeeew, but must say I agree with those opinions and comments.

  • #80136
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    rob-fuengirola, there is some truth in what you write.

    But you forget some important things:

    1) the purchasing mistakes are usually made when you purchase the first house in a foreign country. Do not judge so harshly people that made one mistake.

    2) When you purchased your first house in Spain, the Spanish developers/authorities were not yet spoiled by foreigners buying properties like hot cakes. So they were presumably much more honest.

    3) some UK people invested in properties in Spain because they were cheaper than the ones in UK. They do not have any UK property so, if they walk away from Spanish property, there is nothing that Spanish banks take from them.

    4) Very few people had the vision that the EU interest rates would double.
    Very few people knew that the credit crunch was coming.
    You cannot blame them that they could envision a doubling of their mortgage rates in Spain.

    As I said many time before, it won’t be pretty and I do not admire people who will send keys to the bank for (i)legal properties, but many will do so. It does not matter if you like it or not, they will not ask you or me before doing so.

  • #80137
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    @rob-fuengirola wrote:

    I have to take 8 prescription medicines due to a heart condition.

    Careful, you’ll be needing more at this rate! 😉

  • #80138
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “They do not have any UK property so, if they walk away from Spanish property, there is nothing that Spanish banks take from them. “
    OK, so bankrupt them and at least it will stop them running up further debts that they can’t service and living of the rest of us like leeches.

    “Very few people had the vision that the EU interest rates would double.
    Very few people knew that the credit crunch was coming. “
    There are those who bought and would still not know what the hell you are talking about. To many, it was just a way to make a quick buck.

    Insight, well perhaps some will learn from what is happening now, but one thing is for certain, in 10 to 15 years time, all will be forgotten by many, much like the last recession.

  • #80139
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Rob,
    I fully agree with you. I have been a member since 2006 and seen the decline. If I remember I had sent a pm to Mark on the very subject.

    I cannot say that in the past year or so I have learnt or shared anything new and it for this reason that perhaps other well informed people like Maria de Castro & Draken have stopped contributing.

    I have bought & sold in Spain without a lawyer did an intensive research on the developer and like you took time even though I did not live in Spain. I have been on inspection flights and used the agents knowledge went back to UK and reflected and happy to say that upon reflection the properties introduced by the Agents did not stack up. Yes there is an element of luck & I will not deny it. But as they say you make your own luck and trying to make your luck on a week end inspection flight the odds are against you.

  • #80140
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Well said, Rob

  • #80142
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    A perfect summary! Like you, I am invariably on the outside looking in and you’ve summed up my thinking perfectly. Very well done!

  • #80147
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
    rob-fuengirola wrote:
    I have started this thread as I don’t want to take others off topic as so many others seem to have done. I have only made a couple of posts on this forum. I have sat on the outside looking in for some months now. I have had to laugh at a lot of the comments posted on the forum which at times devalue it from being an insight into Spanish Property to a personal “ranting” soap box for a few. I am not sure it is doing the job that Mark intended when he started it. IMO, most of those “few” have had bad experiences either through greed, bad advice or plain stupidity.

    Agree totally with this comment.

  • #80152
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Why is this forum becoming so devalued?

    What a thought-provoking post Rob. I’ve read it over & over several times. As the value of the forum is gauged by its posts, I’d say it changes daily.
    There have been many threads in the past that develop into arguments over whether the problems many are experiencing with their property purchase in Spain is ‘their own fault’. Yes, no doubt many could have done things better, but this doesn’t get away from the fact that many of these people are now caught up with developers who now have criminal records.

    The two new forums on here: Problems, Problems, & Spanish Property Black-Spots are relatively new, & obviously needed, so add value to the forum. There is no getting away from this, & rather than pushing away or trying to silence those with serious property problems in Spain, HOWEVER THEY CAME BY THEM, this forum is clearly here to help them. And if someone needs to let off steam here because they are so frustrated & confused, can’t we be understanding enough to accept it? We’re all different & cope in different ways.

    I’ve tried hard not to bang on about my own problems, but now bang on about getting justice & trying to help get these problems sorted out as effectively as possible, and make no apologies for this.

    Rob – you say “So much is made of the corruption in the town halls – yes there is some but it has affected less than 1% of British buyers”.
    I’d be interested to know how you reach this 1% figure, & over what time scale.

    What I think really does de-value this forum is the sarcasm & intollerance of other people’s views which happens often, but usually from the same minority. Expletives (with or without asterix) don’t help either, and also undermine anything positive in the post. I too have noticed the absence of Maria & Drakan, & hope that this is not the reason for their silence, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The input from trusted & respected lawyers is vital on this Forum. They have added greatly to its Value, & I really hope they continue to do so.

  • #80155
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Rob
    What a brilliant speech but in my view unreal in many aspects.
    Most buyers of an off-plan property in Spain are suffering economics consequences due to incapacity of the system protecting interest of the buyers. The injured number in the tens of thousands and not only foreigners, we have a long tradition regarding this issue in Spain , this forum is just an example, another tip of the iceberg.
    Certainly it is sometimes tedious to read comments about bad experiences buying property in Spain or using the legal system but you know what, I’ve never read any bad opinions about Spanish schools, hospitals, wine, food, weather, beaches and son on.
    You’ve undertaken seven conveyances without problems, were the seven off-plan or resale properties ?, as you know there is a great difference, there are no many posts about problems with resale properties and there are many about buying off-plan or in the countryside.
    It is a good idea to use a Spanish branch of a UK solicitor’s Firm, you have the guarantee of independence, I use to collaborate as sub-contractor for a few solicitors from EU countries but a solicitor in Spain or wherever can not avoid the bankruptcy of a developer or issuing fake licences by corrupts Town Halls, a solicitor in Spain just can try to fight after and wait for ages a judgment. Do you know any developers in UK winding-up with the money of innocent people or any British Mayor granted illegal building permissions.
    The corruption of our politicians do affect the final buyer more than 1%. Do you know how many illegal constructions are now threaded of demolition because the inactivity of the Town Halls allowing the construction of illegal dwellings from the beginning ? For me is perfect, more clients, but I have to say the truth. There are hundreds of Mayors in Spain charged with criminal offences.
    Nowadays I am not recommending my clients to buy off-plan developments because always I examine the documents from the developer I find just crap. Buy a resale property is the best and safe option now.
    I think you are exaggerating about the standards of our NHS, I suggest you ask people living in Spain from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany, etc they don’t have the same opinion. About your 100 eur a month, it is ridiculous, check please the amount in other EU countries I think Spain has the lower rate in this sort of aids.
    Spain is really a gorgeous place to live but we have a few problems and we do all know what are our weaknesses.

  • #80156
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Rob, a forum is exactly that and people can “rant” about illegal properties or any other matter concerning spanish property. Some members will look at your lengthy post and regard that too as a rant.

    Posters who have been conned do repeat their experiences because new posters come on board. They do this because newbies have probably not read old posts (bit like you believing Claire lived in Spain).

    I will repeat what I have posted before. I have never had a problem purchasing in Spain (I have bought and sold here since the 80?s so I think that gives me as much “authority” as you say you have to “rant”). I do think there is an element of luck but also I have not bought anything since 2001. Most of the corruption has happened since then. I do know many who are caught up in the situation and all have used Lawyers (including the London one).

    Silly to buy off-plan…yes, I could never see the attraction of it. However, does being “silly” make it ok. to con people of their life savings and in some cases lose their only home! We live in a civilised society and the law should protect.

    The credit crunch has not brought about the spanish property slump/crash, it has been sliding for at least 2 years. Spanish Mayors and developers have created the mess all by themselves.

    As for walking away from a mortgage. If I were the owner of an illegal property so would I. If the spanish bank wanted to go through the UK courts I would say bring it on.

  • #80157
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Suzanne:
    “There have been many threads in the past that develop into arguments over whether the problems many are experiencing with their property purchase in Spain is ‘their own fault’.

    Suzanne, irrespective of what positive experiences people had in buying in Spain and fortunately I am one of them, I have never denied the level of corruption at all levels and peoples nievity in purchase a property abroad. This nievity has been paid for by them & their loved ones in financial, emotional manner.

    Frankly, arguing on the forum ( no matter letting steam ) does not help the cause. Recently a lady wrote about her situations with her five mortgage and she was slaughtered. Was that a grown up mature manner in responding to some one who came to the forum requesting help & info.

    Dragging, drug dealers, scroungers, leftist, Afgan refugees has a place at speakers corner in Hyde Park.

  • #80158
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Would like to add that I find that most people who complain about negative posts almost always seem to be working in one way or another in the spanish property market.

    Speaking on “authority”…avoid Solbank….highest bank charges on the coast.

  • #80159
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Yes, we agree then Shakeel ❗

  • #80161
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Katy says “avoid Solbank”…truly up there with the worst piece of advice I have seen on this forum. I bank with them in Catalunya and they are excellent in every respect and offered enormous help and advice when I was buying my property. They may have the highest charges, but you get what you pay for in this life – and that, in a nutshell, possibly explains why so many of the people on this forum have experienced problems. They wanted the Spanish lifestyle without being prepared to put in the necessary investment.

  • #80163
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    We as human wants something for nothing another aspect of naivety . The sooner we realise that real life does not work like this anywhere in the world, the better it is.

  • #80166
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    @colinB wrote:

    Katy says “avoid Solbank”…truly up there with the worst piece of advice I have seen on this forum. I bank with them in Catalunya and they are excellent in every respect and offered enormous help and advice when I was buying my property. They may have the highest charges, but you get what you pay for in this life – and that, in a nutshell, possibly explains why so many of the people on this forum have experienced problems. They wanted the Spanish lifestyle without being prepared to put in the necessary investment.

    Do you mean like the 9E they charge ex-pats quarterly so that they don’t have to bother speaking spanish. Or the overpriced insurance and other services they offer? Nothing wrong with the spanish caja banks and its much cheaper to exchange money through Halifax. I would not expect a bank to offer me advice when buying property, prefer to leave it to the Lawyers. (Spanish ones that is, not the ones running expensive offices in the UK).

    Ps. Was it Solbank who advised you to pay over the black money too? Not many people fall for the black money scenario these days. 😯

  • #80190
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    What a long rant that was.

    Whilst I agree with some of it, some is rather over the top.

    I have lived in Spain for 13 years, legally, pay taxes and social security and not had a penny from anywhere to help me. So Im a bit sore that my taxes are used to subsidise someone elses child when I have to pay everything myself with no help.

    Or doesnt that count, Rob!

  • #80195
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have lived in Spain for 13 years, legally, pay taxes and social security and not had a penny from anywhere to help me. So Im a bit sore that my taxes are used to subsidise someone elses child when I have to pay everything myself with no help.

    Bring back means testing I say.

    What religion are you Rob, maybe someone will have ago about that, we’ve done Politics and your health.

  • #80197
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think Rob belongs to the “God fearing” religion

  • #80198
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    katy wrote

    ”Would like to add that I find that most people who complain about negative posts almost always seem to be working in one way or another in the spanish property market.”

    …..so so true katy, either that, or they are so damned selfish, they would just rather blame the victims than the guilty party, because the current situation does not work in their favour.

    It’s a poorly regulated system, where honesty and trust is often met with lies and liars, often getting away with it because they can!

  • #80199
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Much like UK and USA then?
    It’s a poorly regulated system = HSBC shares this week. Wasn’t it a poorly regulated system that allowed it?

    Share scam from USA where many Brits were conned. Were not the culprits liars, often getting away with it because they can?

    If you don’t agree with the Laws of a Land and its system, surpirised one would buy there.

  • #80200
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    mg: You mean HBOS & not HSBC ??? So where do we go & buy!!!!!!!!!!

  • #80201
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    The problem is Goodstich is that your opinion of Spain is now very clear, which as far as i can see is “Don’t buy there it’s a poorly regulated system, where honesty and trust is often met with lies and liars, and they often get away with it because they can.

    Which is fair enough I’m sure you have good reason.

    My experience on the other hand is if you take care with the system (which in my opinion is as bad as anywhere in the world) Spain is a good place.

    Which i hope you would say is fair enough

    I don’t think I’m selfish and i don’t work in or have anything to do with property, in fact I’m not really an investor, it’s my first and only property.

    That said i wish Mark would put your opinion as a sticky post at the top of the forum as all you ever say is:

    It’s a poorly regulated system, where honesty and trust is often met with lies and liars, often getting away with it because they can!

    Or something similar, it would save you the time and we could read it when we needed without effort or repetition.


    edited to fix some typos

  • #80202
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Shakeel

    You dont buy any property,investment product anywhere in the world and then the likes of m.g will have no reason to mock.
    Grrrrr . Do I hate bloody know it alls. 👿

    Just Frank 8)

  • #80204
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just Frank: Advise taken from a senior member of the forum. Can I buy a bottle of Rioja, Please, please.

  • #80205
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Sorry, it was HBOS.
    “So where do we go & buy” – Anywhere you wish but do plenty of research and seek expert advice before parting with money.
    Don’t buy blind and don’t buy because the sales person says it is a good investment.
    Leave the rose tinted glasses in UK.

  • #80208
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    m.g
    So we take it that everyone buying in Spain should do as they do in the U.K and use an independant solicitor.ensures that that if the development is off plan that Bank guarantees are in place to protect them then everything will be O.K do we. 😕

    Just Frank 8)

  • #80209
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    No, not everyone assumes that buying in a foreign Country is the same as buying in UK. Do they?

    Do prospective purchasers ever consider searches at the Town Hall before buying on a new or proposed development?
    Obviously not.

    There is a history of buying in Spain, Italy, France etc., which goes back decades, where those who assume that it is the same as UK often end up in tears, but some never learn.

  • #80210
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Just Frank

    come on, you know anyone who has come unstuck is just a naive fool who didn’t do their homework, and got what they asked for, and it’s always been just as safe buying in Spain as in the UK.

    …….how on earth could you think that’s a load of bull**it, continually peddled out by unbelievably selfish people, who will not, or don’t want to see how badly many decent people have been treated through no fault of their own….tut tut.

  • #80211
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “come on, you know anyone who has come unstuck is just a naive fool who didn’t do their homework” – Afraid so but often the case.

  • #80214
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi All

    Have sat back over the weekend and let you all disagree or agree with my original post. As I said before, I do not want to go into a 1-2-1 on anything – in my opinion when contributors to this forum do that, it becomes a slanging match at a personal level and that does nothing for the cred of the forum and certainly does not provide an insight into the Spanish Property Market. I think enough has now been said for me to add to my original post and to correct a few wrongs without getting into a finger pointing exercise.

    People that made one mistake on purchasing their first property in a foreign country are not judged harshly. However, the fact they have made that mistake does not give them the right to ram their opinion down everyone else’s throats for the next 3, 4 or 5 years on a totally repetitive basis.

    If few people had the vision that Euro rate mortgages could double, then more fool those people. Euro mortgages have been too cheap for a few years and we must all remember the 15%+ mortgages in the 80’s in the UK. When taking on a mortgage in Spain, the initial rate is set for 6 or 12 months then is revised to follow the market. Wherever in the world a mortgage is taken out, the purchaser should be thinking about what might happen in the future and what the effect on their own budget could be.

    Whilst I agree that the two new forums Problems, Problems, & Spanish Property Black-Spots are relatively new, & obviously needed, and add value to the forum, these are the home for the repeated rants of the few that wish to continue to bang their own drums repeatedly about their own bad experiences. They should not be joining every single thread in the general property forum with the same worn out record relating to their own problems that have been aired so many times previously. Those people have had bad experiences, we all have sympathy and would offer help as and how we can BUT please, let us draw a line at how many times people are going to be told about those same experiences.

    Six of my seven conveyances have been resales and one a new build (but NOT off-plan) – the house was completed and I could see the property and the paperwork.

    People living in Spain from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Iceland, Netherlands, Germany, etc may well find that the child benefits are lower than those in their own country. In the same way that others are a bit sore that their taxes are used to subsidies someone else’s child whilst they pay for everything themselves with no help. However, that was not the point. The point was that I, as an immigrant, receive the same benefits as Spanish Nationals do (and these birth/child benefits/grants were introduced in July last year) because I live here legally in the same way that Eastern Europeans of the same status are quite entitled to receive the benefits in the UK. I was trying to get across that it is wrong for anyone to decry the receipt of UK benefits by immigrants from the EC when the Brits can do likewise here in Spain, PROVIDED they are legal. That is EC law and it works both ways.

    People who complain about negative posts almost always seem to be working in one way or another in the Spanish property market is a comment seen so many times on this forum, that has been used as a way to negate positive comments which the respondent to that positive comment disagrees with but has no valid argument against. Quite simply, I have never been employed in the Property market here in Spain and would not wish to be. I, like so many others with valid opinions, make my posts on the basis of personal experiences as a buyer or seller. For what it matters, I am self-employed and run a B2B promotions service into the UK and USA (and have never promoted real estate, timeshare, financial services etc).

    So many posters on this forum have had bad experiences because they wanted something for nothing. There is no such thing as a free lunch. The Spanish are not stupid – they see greed and naivety coming. Any Brit buying in Spain who has ever believed that they would take the Spanish for a ride, or make a profit at their expense, and who has now come unstuck themselves, deserves everything that comes to them. What goes around, comes around.

    I am not aware of Solbank charging ex-pats €9 quarterly so that they don’t have to bother speaking Spanish. However, IF you wish to live in Spain and deal with a Spanish Bank but can not be bothered to speak Spanish then £25 a year to pay for that privilege actually seems a small price to pay. Once again, if contributors think they can receive a free banking service, then who do they think is going to pay for that on their behalf. As has already been said, you get what you pay for and those that have paid for the correct levels of service are the ones that seem to have not been caught out. As far as Spanish Caja Banks go, these are to be avoided at all costs. They are actually not Banks, but “Savings Mutuals” and are the very institutions that have caused a lot of the Credit Problems in Spain and will be the Banks to go under in the current climate. Likewise, the FREE transfers offered by the Halifax are at their exchange rates and not market ones. The best bet is to use the FX companies for top market rates. Personally, I use Currencies Direct who on “one off” exchange will offer spot market rates or on a regular transfer offer rates based upon bulk buying of funds for thousands of clients in a single transaction. They offer free transfers and have negotiated free of receiving commission deals with many Spanish Banks (Solbank is one). Customers therefore receive top market rates coupled with free transfers.

    In a lighthearted vein, I don’t really have a religion. I am probably Agnostic in that I believe in something but not sure what!!

    I am actually not surprised, but do note that certain posters have done exactly what I expected – hijacked this thread to repeat, parrot fashion, their previous posts about individual problems they have encountered. Those are the same problems that they have referred to in each of their 500 plus previous posts. As someone else has posted, anyone who has come unstuck is just a naive fool who didn’t do their homework, and got what they asked for, and it’s always been just as safe buying in Spain as in the UK. That is a pretty fair summary of the Spanish Property Market.

    I do not claim to be special, but I do believe that I must take responsibility for my own actions and my own choice of advisors / agents. If I make a mistake or have made wrong assumptions then it is for me to correct the situation. I would not dream of using this forum to continually tell people that I made a mistake and everything about a subject (in this case Spain) is wrong because I personally got it wrong! If you want to tell the story so that other people avoid your mistake, fine but NOT over and over again in every single thread. That is what I consider devalues this forum.

    Like everyone else, I have some issues being an expat in Spain BUT I made my bed and I lie in it. I earn all my income from the UK or USA and at the moment have probably more issues relative to the UK’s economic shortfalls than most. Because the pound is so low in value as a result of the UK’s economic failings (and failure to join the Euro) I need 20% extra on my income to maintain my lifestyle at the levels I enjoyed 6 months ago. I am fortunate that I had an excess of income over expenditure and have been able to increase income slightly whilst also reducing spending. I have, therefore, managed to cushion myself from the collapse of the exchange rates. I have ensured I lived within my means with some flexibility – unlike so many that complain that the economies of the UK and Spain have changed and they find themselves unable to afford the dream.

  • #80215
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    mg

    but not nearly so often as below is the case

    bull**it, continually peddled out by unbelievably selfish people, who will not, or don’t want to see how badly many decent people have been treated through no fault of their own….tut tut.

  • #80216
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    rob-fuengirola

    dear oh dear, i posted the comment

    ” anyone who has come unstuck is just a naive fool who didn’t do their homework, and got what they asked for, and it’s always been just as safe buying in Spain as in the UK.”

    ………as a sarcastic hit, on those who really don’t understand the the problems many have faced, mainly through poor regulation, corruption and lies.

    Your following comment

    ”That is a pretty fair summary of the Spanish Property Market.”

    just shows how little you do understand, or are prepared to understand, and i would say opinions like yours, however nicely put together probably de-value the site as little or as much as anyones.

  • #80217
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    “………as a sarcastic hit, on those who really don’t understand the the problems many have faced, mainly through poor regulation, corruption and lies. ” – But in many instances, this should also include the stupidity and greediness of the buyer.

  • #80218
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    mg

    of course in some cases, but is it not better to concentrate on what has done so much damage, poor regulation, lies, corruption, land grab, etc, (and how much more proof do you need than the current situation?), and try to change that, rather than picking on a few who were, as you like to call them, ‘greedy and stupid’…….often purely by trusting paid agents or even lawyers working on their behalf. Lets hit the guilty, not those who have had advantage made of their mistakes……even you do that now and again!

  • #80221
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    So what statistics are available to show that it is the developer’s/agent’s tactics that have lead to so many tears, compared to greed, stupidity, chance of a quick buck to be made, by the purchaser.
    It could be considered that the more wise purchaser would carrying out a complete investigation prior to parting with money, but the stupid, greedy or influenced by alcohol on viewing trips, do not do so much research, therefore, are the people who should be warned. Otherwise, they will put pen to paper and it will cost us all, in taxes and interest.

    The land grab is a terrible thing to get caught up with, but it has been there for a long time.

    Changing the laws of the land. That could take quite a while.

    “Lets hit the guilty” – Agreed, that means those who visited with rose tinted glasses, believed they could rent out and make good money, the find they can’t repay their loan and expect to hand the keys in and walk away.

    Made mistakes, sure have, but don’t blame everyone else and face up to it myself.

  • #80222
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    mg

    well we won’t agree on this will we. The evidence of greed, corruption, slow and often poor justice, many low-life agents, lawyers, and developers taking advantage of honest people is staring you in the face, if you don’t want to see it, then that’s your choice. By denial of the above, you are attacking the honest person swindled by cheats. With that attitude, i couldn’t sleep at nights.

    It takes all sorts. You see it your way, i see it mine. We can only agree to disagree i think.

  • #80223
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Also seems plenty of evidence out there of the stupid, greedy or influenced by alcohol on viewing trips, buyers, together with those who blamme all but themselves when it goes wrong.

  • #80224
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    ………and that accounts for thousands of unwanted, unsold flats, just ruining the coastline does it?, or one developer alone, facing 200+ cases in court of malpractice. Or people having their places torn down, even with the paperwork in place?

    …….as i said ”if you want to see”

  • #80225
    Profile photo of katy
    katy
    Spectator

    Rob, unfortunately for you it is not your forum and as with most fora you cannot select who can post comments to your liking.

    B2B…do you mean a call centre? know there are lots around the coast. When I said Caja banks I was not intending them to be used as an investment bank.

    You are clearly on here with the intention of rubbishing any poster who does not agree that everything about the spanish property scene is hunk-dory, or indeed, anything spanish.

    Just like to ask if you are so smart how come you chose Fuengirola to live 🙄

  • #80226
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    But is “the paperwork in place” legal and legitimate.
    You see whatever side you wish, I just see what I read and not from tabloids, etc.,
    We may not like what is happening and developers who lose court cases and take it to a higher level, are obviously acting within the law of the Land.
    Much like the system in UK where you can appeal.
    The thousands of flats ruining the coastline. Well it is a pity that those leading the stampede to buy a few years ago didn’t think or consider that would happen. So in fact, it could be said that it is the frantic buyers who have ruined Spain. The developers catered for the demand?
    Quite similar to UK where buyers and self build people want to build on protected land, without perhaps giving it a thought that the floodgates could open in years to come.

  • #80227
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant
    rob-fuengirola wrote:
    Because the pound is so low in value as a result of the UK’s economic failings (and failure to join the Euro) I need 20% extra on my income to maintain my lifestyle at the levels I enjoyed 6 months ago.

    After 15 years of living in Spain, your main source of money is still in UK???

    You tell us that you did not invest money in Spain in houses or stocks during the boom years, when anybody could have gotten enough money for a decent retirement period?

    Pity you, but then you really do not have any authority to criticise anybody.

    At least you could have bought some exchange futures and fixed the exchange rate when the Pound was high.

  • #80228
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    mg

    most developers, agents, lawyers, losing court cases, appealing, or even being taken to court in many cases, are crooks, liars, and cheats. They have survived in an unregulated system far longer than they should, and certainly far longer than they would in the UK. Thanks to the media, and sites like this, and the fact they are destroying Spains and it’s reputation, they are now at last being bought to justice, if far to slowly.

    Of course, i wouldn’t expect them to see it that way. If they were honest or decent or truthful, they wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place, in the same way the decent ones are not.

    If you share their opinion, and prefer to blame the buyers, then why would you agree?.

  • #80231
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    “most developers, agents, lawyers, losing court cases, appealing, or even being taken to court in many cases, are crooks, liars, and cheats.” – The opinion of one who has been caught. Must be millions of stupid people around to follow like sheep then, as so many properties have been sold?

    “They have survived in an unregulated system far longer than they should” – Under UK regulation that is, so why buy in a Country which is not Governed by Brit, if you don’t know the system and the laws of that Country?

    “Thanks to the media, and sites like this, and the fact they are destroying Spains and it’s reputation, they are now at last being bought to justice, if far to slowly. ” – Think the financial market has more to do with their downfall that the publicity. If funds become more readily available again, punters will be lining up again to sign-up.

    “they were honest or decent or truthful, they wouldn’t be in that situation in the first place” – That is having made their millions. So who comes out the fools?
    The developers who have made money or the buyer who thought let’s buy 2, 3 or more properties off plan and make money quickly?

    Can’t say I share anyone’s opinion, just have one of my own and realise that developers may be wrong in some instances, but that is equalled out by stupid, greedy buyers.

  • #80234
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    mg

    yes i see, so if they make millions, however crookedly, you admire them eh’, and it’s only the economic situation that’s caused the downturn is it? It wasn’t happening before then???…….oh yes, and they would be lining up to buy would they, if not for the economic situation. Oh those wicked buyers!

    in the voice of Benny Hill………….”a milkmans life is full of fun in this fairy dairy land”.

  • #80235
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Rob
    Good to see a new poster and agree with many of your comments and the forum should be allowed to move on however that’s an opinion I have and at the end of the day its the editor that chooses the focus as how HE wants it to be.
    You want to bring value to the forum then fantastic and many will welcome it, however as this very thread goes to show that both you and the OTHER ONE Zzzzzzzz who clearly are way of their depth in an area you have no experience are in many cases the ones that really do devalue forums.
    Can we start with not slagging off people that for what ever reason have problems where all they want is what they contracted to buy and if its not supplied then the matter is resolved.
    I like you accept responsibility of the decisions I make and I KNOW that thousands of others will say the same and trust me they are not mindless idiots who looked through rose tinted glasses.
    People come to the forums often as a last resort to find help,share problems,you have no idea how they feel when they realize they are not alone and ,there are people willing to give their time freely to offer quality advice./not answers.
    New potential buyers have to be aware of the pitfalls many have experienced ,if those that issue warnings find just one person that they could save from the hell some have found themselves in they will consider job done and I am sure you will find that anything you say against them will fall on deaf ears.
    Rob PLEASE .If you want to help the forum move forward , find all positive news you can and post ,don’t come on saying its devalued where you have had no input .

    All the BEST

    Just Frank 8)

  • #80244
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Excellent response Frank. Couldn’t agree with you more.

    This always has been and remains a forum of the highest quality. Input is usually stimulating, intelligent and comments of all ‘colours and persuasions’ are tolerated. Why shouldn’t individuals feel able to post their opinions without the straight-jacket of political correctness? If a member expresses the opinion that immigrants to the UK are given ‘fast track’ privileges to available support, then they should be able to state that. It may or may not be true, but what is important is freedom of speech and an openess to debate rather than some narrow-minded individual attempting to admonish perceived racism! And then to state that they have been observing the forum for some time; well that just smacks of Big Brother tactics, lurking in the background watching.

    .

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