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Buying Spanish

Property and
Living in Spain

The Definitive
Quick Guide.
An E-Book by
Graham Hunt (MA, BA (Hons))
www.valencia-property.com
www.devanio.com

Chapter Headings
Introduction
What reasons are there for living in
Spain?
What to expect on the ground.
(This is the introduction and opening chapters of
the ebook. For the rest of the chapters and much
more great free information go to
http://www.houses-for-sale-in-spain.net and sign up
for the newsletter. The ebook comes chapter by
chapter)

Introduction

I have written this book in order to give you some


sort of guide to what the buying process consists of
in Spain. Lots of the examples come from where I
work in Valencia, www.valencia-property.com as do
many of the pictures. I have tried to include some
pictures of the typical types of property sold in this
area but recognise that many people are looking
for the basic two bedroomed, two bathroom
apartment overlooking the med with beautiful
views to the next block of apartments just besides
you. That is not really Valencia. Whatever you are
looking for the guide will serve you as it includes
all of the steps needed to take you from the
beginning to the end of the process and beyond.

Enjoy the eBook and if you want to come back for


more remember that I will be releasing another
second guide with advanced property tips and
tricks very soon.

If you have any queries regarding the eBook or


would like more information on any of the topics
covered within it feel free to get in touch on
graham@valencia-property.com.

Copyright is the author’s, Graham Hunt, and this


work is not to be reproduced without permission, or
changed in any way without express written
consent. All information is up to date at the time of
writing, March 2008, and any further developments
will be noted in future editions.

Chapter 1;
Why Do You Want to Live in Spain?

Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences.

A selection of answers to that question that we


hear from people coming over here;

“Well Britain is just full of immigrants innit!”

“Council Tax”

“I don’t feel safe any more”

On coming to live in Spain you are an immigrant


now and yet you expect to be treated like a King.
The point of view should change and you should
try to integrate into the local culture because, after
all, that is one of the biggest gripes of the expat
living here, how the foreigners in the UK stay in
their own little World.

Spain is a country with loads of nationalities living


here before you even start to include the Brits, the
Germans, the Dutch, the Ecuadorians, the
Americans, the Moroccans etc... A Basque
considers himself Basque before anything else, a
Catalan is a Catalan first and foremost and will
usually deny being Spanish, an Asturian lives in the
real Spain because it was never conquered by the
Moors but the rest of the peninsula was
(Apparently it was to do with the weather as
opposed to any heroic resistance) and therefore
doesn’t count, and a Gallego is a romantic dreamer
who looks first to the Americas and the sea and
then to Madrid. That Madrid is the capital is an
accident of history but this book is not about that it
is about buying a property and living here.

The World Health Organisation describes certain


areas of Spain as the best places in the World to
live, Valencia and the Mediterranean apparently,
due to the climate, the lifestyle, health issues and
longevity. The Spanish tourist board has always
said that “Spain is Different” but today it is less
different as the World becomes more
homogenised. What makes Spain special continues
to be the essence of the country itself, not the
people, not the culture, not the climate but the
combination of these factors along with a potent
mix of hedonism and living for today that make the
average Spaniard impervious to thoughts of
problems round the corner yet terribly au fait with
the plight of others in the World and in their own
country; they give the most of any Western
Country per head to help fund charity work in the
developing World.

Where can you fit into this highly controlled yet


anarchic blend of a country is what you must ask
before you come here.

Those who shouldn’t come here are the following;

Anybody who is frustrated by delays and


prevarication.
Anybody who hates dealing with paperwork.
People who don’t like noise, especially in the
Valencia region. Spanish cities are the loudest
in the World and they rarely sleep during the
fiestas that exist in each village, town and city
at various times during the year.
Anyone offended by overt Catholicism, even if
only paid lip service to outside the fiestas and
church visits.
Anyone who does not have a clear idea of
what job they want to do but needs to do it
now.

Those Who Should Come Here;

Those who do not believe that there is no such


thing as society. Here there is.
Those who want to live in a better climate.
Global warming may have the last laugh but
after acclimatisation you find yourself
complaining it is cold at 10ºC.
Those who want a slower pace of life. It is
possible here. Even though people with their
own businesses here spend 24 hours a day
rushing round they still notice a difference
when returning to their country of origin.
Those who want to retire and have lower costs
than in the UK.
Anyone who wants to integrate themselves
into a vibrant community.
Young people looking for opportunities in life
and parents of young children who want them
to remain children for longer and grow up
happier.
People looking to change their lives for the
better.

So if you fit the profile, you fancy a challenge or


you simply want to see more of the sun and feel
better as a result then start reading, start learning
and save yourself a lot of money in the process.

Chapter 2. What to Expect on the


Ground.
The Fallas Fiestas in Valencia

This is a “How long is a piece of string?” question


because each region of Spain has its own quirks
and personality. The majority of the country is open
and welcoming for outsiders (Although overt
racism towards ethnic minorities is very
noticeable) However there are parts of the country
that are not Spanish really.

The Costa del Sol for example is for people who


wish to live the life of an Eastender in the sun. The
ill fated BBC soap “El Dorado” had it just about
right, lots of squabbles and eastender style
ructions interspersed with sun, sangria and sex
and finishing up with everyone dying in a bus crash
on the way to Gibraltar (Well all apart from the last
bit of course) If you take into account the lovely
corruption problems endemic in the area now
sorted out hopefully by the imprisonment of most
council officials in the area especially in Marbella,
then you have an anarchic chic in even the most
salubrious places.

The Costa Blanca has areas that the menus are


written in English or German but not Spanish (Or
even Valenciano). For some reason Denia has
traditionally been German and Javea British! They
are next to each other.

Catalunya has a different language and a chip on


the shoulder about using it yet the beach resorts
are mostly Spanish.

The Basque country is an indstrial powerhouse


fallen on hard times and the Cantabrian and
Asturian coasts are green and inviting but
remember they are green because it rains and
how.

Madrid has “Nueve meses de invierno y tres meses


de infierno” (Nine months of winter and three
months of hell) yet is a living, breathing 24 hour
party city with fantastic cultural offerings and
around it are the historic cities of Toldeo,
Salamanca and Segovia.

Andalucia has Flamenco, Gypsies, Bulls and most


people’s impression of what Spain is from their
experiences of Flamenco nights in any number of
beachside bars.

But get away from the coast, just a few kilometres


will do usually and you find the real Spain,
populated by Spanish people surprisingly enough.
The idea of putting a fence five kilomtres inland
has not been floated yet but it would easily
separate two totally different nations. You can find
the real Spain very close to the overdeveloped
tourist areas and especially within the big cities.
Valencia is often described as a collection of
villages forming a metropolis and that is what it is.
The people of the Cabañal, the old fishing village of
the city are fiercely proud that their area is not like
central Valencia, they even support Levante
football club not Valencia, and the Old Town
considers itself bohemian and modern with real life
as opposed to the artificiality of the newer areas.
These feelings can be found in any major city in
Spain.

The villages as you move inland are immediately


different. You may wander into a village and find a
third world war of fireworks going on for what is
the Feast of an Inconsequential Saint for the rest of
the region or country but it is a highly significant
moment in the life of the village and extremely
important in their social calendar. You can also
become a part of this national fiesta. Those from
outside are welcomed with open arms into these
villages as rural depopulation through movement
to the cities has placed the continuing existence of
these traditions in doubt. Foreigners help the
traditions to continue, they may well morph into
something different over time but they will
continue to have great significance in the life of the
village.

(Remember if you have liked this go to the


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