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Brexit - Cheer Up, It May Never Happen
Brexit - Cheer Up, It May Never Happen
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It is annoying to hear commentators and politicians talking as if the U.K. is already in the process of leaving the E.U. Not so. All that has happened is that a non-binding referendum has been held which has split public opinion, roughly along age lines and with significant regional variation. It seems that politicians of all colours believe it imp
Good Banks vs (Very) Bad Banks
Good Banks vs (Very) Bad Banks
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When clients of ours buy or sell a property in Andalucia, we do all we can to make the process as simple, enjoyable, transparent and cost-free as we can. Unfortunately, sometimes we are let down by other players in the chain, as happened recently. A vendor client of ours had returned to Germany to live and no longer had a Spanish bank account. 
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San Juan Fiesta del Agua y Jamón
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Wherever you are in Spain, but particularly in Andalucia, you are likely to know the name of a small town in Las Alpujarras, even if you have never been there. Order a bottle of water in a bar, or buy one in a shop and the name you will mostly likely see emblazoned across it is Lanjarón, a place that is famous for water, in more ways than one. This
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Spanish Property Recovery Continues
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Last week we wrote about how the resale market and house prices were definitely improving. But now, it seems, even the new-build market is finally recovering. On Spanish Property Insight Mark Stücklin notes that since 2008 the building of new houses has dropped by 97%. And, once the recovery began, a lack of new housing meant there was nothing
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How to Live like a Spaniard: el Paseo
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An evening in Spain, in any part of the country and nearly all year round, begins with el paseo, a leisurely stroll through the streets, meeting and greeting friends and family. It is the dividing line between the working day and the evening, signalling a slowing down of tempo, a shift from activity to leisure. In summer, this glorious tradition is
Granada’s Etcétera Puppet Theatre Company
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  According to Spain's Institute of National Statistics (INE) the year on year price increase in the first quarter of 2016 is the highest since 2007. See graph above. The average price of a resale property was 6.4% higher than the same period in 2015. And the rate of increase is accelerating. Also on the up are property sales. See graph above.
Discovering Andalucia: Las Alpujarras
Discovering Andalucia: Las Alpujarras
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The cities of Andalucia are exceptionally beautiful but, if you are more interested in living in the countryside, in a finca or a cortijo, the Alpujarras is a wonderful area to consider, especially if you like walking. Sandwiched between the Sierra Nevada to the north and the Mediterranean to the south, this is a hilly region, full of stu
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How To Live like A Spaniard: Breakfast
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In Britain, where I come from, breakfast is the meal that is most likely to be eaten at home. Head south, across France and to Spain and, the further south you get, the more outdoors eating and drinking takes place in the morning. And, once you have bought a property in Andalucia, one of the best ways to discover your neighbourhood, and meet your n
Living With Nature On Your Doorstep
Living With Nature On Your Doorstep
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Four years ago my husband and I led a 'city life', he was a successful commercial photographer and I was the Director of the Netherlands Institute. But there was something unsatisfactory about our lives and we decided that we wanted to make a change. Not just a change of country but a bigger, all encompassing change of life and lifestyle. We wanted
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Why Spain Is “Safe As Houses”
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One of the first questions you might ask, whether buying a property at home or in Spain, is "Is the area safe?". In the challenging economic conditions of the last decade, which have hit southern Europe harder than most, it is easy to imagine that, given the significant increases in unemployment and poverty, crime figures would
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Andalucía Benefits From An Improving Property Market
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What goes up must come down, so we’re told, but, in property, it is often the opposite. After a tough decade, the Spanish housing market is recovering, and Andalucía, in particular, is benefitting. Foreigners constitute a significant proportion of Spanish property buyers, as Spanish Property Insight notes. In the first quarter of 2016, 99.427
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How To Live Like A Spaniard: The Hours
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One of the first things that might have struck you when you first visited Spain was how empty the restaurants were at 1pm, or 8pm, and how people seemed to think nothing of eating breakfast at 11am, or meeting for a drink past 10pm at night. I, for one, remember being laughed at for going for churros y chocolate at 4pm; churros are a classic breakf
Ignorance And Forgetting
Ignorance And Forgetting
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On our patio in the Albayzin district of Granada we have a large olive tree. Like the lemon tree on the other side of the patio it is a force of nature. Every second year the crop of black olives is huge. In the past I have tried curing them to rid the bitterness. Without much success.  The tree grows at such a phenomenal rate that it invades
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Lemons And Witches
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The huge lemon tree on our patio in the Albayzin district of Granada is, and always has been, ecological and entirely natural. And just as in the human population people are made in all shapes and sizes, so it is with lemons! In the photo there are a few of this year's plentiful crop. Most are round, the shape associated with lemons, but some are e
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Paradise Lost And Found
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We had been thinking for many years about retiring to Spain and each year we spent some of our holidays visiting different areas.  Les was born and grew up in the West Indies and wanted to get back to warmer weather than that of England.  Auds is from the Emerald Isle and a sun lover.  We have two children, both with commitments in E
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New Holiday Lettings Legislation
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On 12 May 2016 a decree enacted in 2012 (Decree 28/2012) comes into force. It has important bearings on people who rent their homes or parts of their property for holiday lets on a daily or weekly basis. This affects many of our clients. Under this decree all persons who let their properties in this way will be required to register the activity. Th
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Should a Possible Brexit Stop You Buying Property Now in Spain?
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For those who want to buy a property in Spain the important question is whether to go ahead with their investment now or wait until after the vote. And what would happen if the U.K. decided to leave the E.U. after the June referendum. Most people believe that coming from within the E.U. is beneficial when contemplating buying propert
How Much Cash Can I Legally Carry?
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In a recent legislative amendment the national government has empowered local authorities to reduce the amount of IBI payable according to the energy efficiency of a property. There is a sliding scale of reductions ranging from 4% for a class E property to 20 % for a class A property. But don’t get too excited. Firstly, of all of the properties we
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Spanish Health Service - Good or Bad?
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Last week I met an English resident of rural Andalusia who, around a year ago, went to see his local GP complaining of chest pains. It was diagnosed as bronchitis but, three weeks later, when it hadn't go away he returned to the surgery. A second doctor immediately arranged for him to have tests at a hospital. Guess what? The result was that he had
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Bank Repossessions - Fact Or Fantasy?
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Imagine you are a Spanish home owner unable to meet your monthly mortgage repayments. You have two choices: either sell the property, pay off the loan and pocket whatever difference remains or sit tight and do nothing until the bank eventually obtains an order to evict you. In countries such as the United Kingdom the lender takes the risk that the