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Portugal > Articles


Sarah Keogh & Paul Stubbs, P.P. Property

Posted on Sunday October 27, 2013 (17:07:27)
Paul Stubbs
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

P.P.Property is owned by two British expatriates; Sarah Keogh and Paul Stubbs, they are registered estate agents in Portugal (Imobiliaria). The company is now 5 years old and is growing strongly. The company has property for sale throughout Portugal, however their primary focus is between Lisbon and Coimbra, which cover the Silver Coast and Central Portugal regions.

The main districts covered are Santarem, Leiria, Castelo Branco and Coimbra. P.P. Property have branches in Ferreira do Zezere, Ansiao and two teams of agents in Caldas do Rainha on the Silver Coast and Santarem. Central Portugal and the Silver Coast is often referred to as the ‘real Portugal’, this of course refers to the old Portugal and in many ways it is stuck in a bit of a time warp.   more ...

United States > Articles

United States

Bruce Ailion, RE/MAX Greater Atlanta

Posted on Sunday October 27, 2013 (16:50:15)
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company.

My name is Bruce Ailion, have been a broker in Metro Atlanta GA for 34 years, currently with RE/MAX Greater Atlanta. In addition I am Managing Member of ATL Investors, LLC a private equity fund investing in residential and commercial property primarily in Metro Atlanta. I also provide relocation assistance to expat businesses and residents interested in Atlanta and provide referrals to other experienced brokers throughout the US.   more ...

Spain > Articles


Andrew Queen, Golf Property Store

Posted on Sunday October 27, 2013 (16:29:20)
Andrew and family
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company

My name is Andrew Queen, and my company is the ‘Golf Property Store’ (www.polarisworld.org.uk or www.golfproperystore.com). I arrived here in Spain in 2003 after my family purchased a villa here (Villamartin). It really was for a 6 month trip away from it all. Soon after this I fell into the property industry working for a large property company that brought people in predominantly from the UK on 2/3 day Inspection trips. I enjoyed the job immensely and ditched all plans to return to the UK very quickly! After a few years the recession arrived and the days of subsidised trips were numbered. I met my partner soon after and my beautiful daughter Sofia arrived soon after that. Of course, the recession took its toll on the property business but I adjusted to the market and moved into the ‘Bank Repossession’ market, where prices were very attractive and mortgage conditions were preferable. This has seen us through the recession very well – people are always looking for a bargain regardless of the times we are in!   more ...

France > Articles


Simon Kerridge, Languedoc Property Finders

Posted on Sunday October 27, 2013 (16:05:39)
Simon Kerridge
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company

I have been in residential estate agency for over 20 years. I began in London in 1989 and moved to Pezenas in 2001. Languedoc Property Finders specialise in helping British buyers and sellers buy and sell property in the Languedoc region of France. We currently have offices in Pezenas and Narbonne and operate in and around those two areas. I believe that buying a property abroad should be fun. An adventure if you like, and we work hard to make the journey as enjoyable and stress free as it should be for both buyer and seller.   more ...

Spain > Articles


Sharon MacNicol, La Agencia Real Estate

Posted on Sunday October 27, 2013 (15:49:00)
Sharon MacNicol
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your company
My name is Sharon MacNicol and I am the Sales Manager for La Agencia Real Estate agent situated in Costa Teguise, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain.

La Agencia is a small company which not only provides a comprehensive real estate service but is also a construction firm which has been in situ on Lanzarote for over 25 years. My boss is happy to still be reselling some of the properties which he built on the island over 20 years ago!   more ...

Financial > Articles


How the US Shutdown Affects Currency Exchange Rates for Expats

Posted on Saturday October 19, 2013 (12:44:51)
Simon Hilton
by Simon Hilton, senior foreign exchange consultant at World First and official Expat Focus foreign exchange partner

In the past few months, we’ve seen the strength of the US dollar take a bit of a tumble. At the start of July, USD was up at 0.671 against GBP, but in recent weeks, we’ve seen it fall below 0.61. And it’s not just the pound against which we’ve seen the US dollar struggle, having also lost ground to the Euro and Australian dollar (AUD), amongst others.

Add to that the political deadlock which brought about a US government shutdown, and it’s certainly been an unsettled picture. About 800,000 federal workers in America were told not to go to work while museums, national parks, services and government buildings remained shut in the wake of a lack of consensus over the US budget and the debt ceiling.   more ...

Switzerland > Articles


Expat Fairs In Geneva, Switzerland

Posted on Tuesday October 01, 2013 (18:45:10)
Expat Expo is an exhibition for all English speakers across Switzerland. It usually hosts five conferences each year, in Zug, Geneva, Basel, Ticino and Zurich. The next one for 2013 will take place on the 6th of October in Geneva. The exhibition plays host to over 5,000 people each time, and representatives from local businesses as well as meetup groups, information stands and voluntary initiatives convene for a day of speaking English, networking with other businesspeople and making new friends.

There are more than 400 stands around the conference, with services ranging from babywear to business tax, and if you’ve moved to Switzerland with the aim of starting your own business, this will be an excellent place to make new contacts. The purpose of the event isn’t to make sales, so if you’re running a kitchenware company, don’t expect to sell out of your best products by the end of the day. It’s more of an opportunity to get to know other expats and English speakers in the area, find people with similar interests to you, and work out how to make your life generally easier, especially if you’ve only made the transition fairly recently. If you have children, there’s also a play area complete with bouncy castle and café, where you can meet other expat families and swap tips on how to settle in to your new home country.   more ...

Belgium > Articles


Self-Employment in Belgium: Know the Rules

Posted on Tuesday October 01, 2013 (15:03:02)
Bruges, Belgium
If you’re moving to a new country for the sake of a lifestyle change rather than because your employer is sending you elsewhere, self-employment can be one of the best ways to ensure you still make enough to pay the mortgage whilst maintaining a level of control over what you’re doing and when. A huge number of expats choose this route, and there are countless websites devoted to helping people who want to live a freelance life. The benefits are obvious: getting up when you want to, dictating your own working hours, choosing which clients you can work with and perhaps pursuing something that has always been a dream job but never felt within reach. It’s not an easy route, though, and with more and more people wanting the flexibility to choose their own working lifestyles, competition is hotter than ever.

Beyond the usual difficulties, of course, there is also the added issue of trying to work out how to go self-employed in a new country. Many places have different tax laws for people who work for themselves, and as anyone who has done it in their home country will know, this can be confusing even when you speak the language and understand the culture.   more ...

Austria > Articles


What Expats Need to Know About Broadband in Rural Austria

Posted on Tuesday October 01, 2013 (12:24:56)
Across Europe and the rest of the world, superfast broadband is harder to find in the countryside than the towns. Whilst 99.9% of households in Europe have access to basic broadband services, that number nearly halves for Next Generation Access (NGA) technologies. The United Kingdom is far ahead of the curve, with the latest figures suggesting that 73% of UK postcodes have super-fast broadband, and the good news for expats is that Austria is only a couple of percentage points behind.

However, just as parts of Wales and Northern Scotland have very patchy service, so it is with the mountain states of Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Salzburg. So, if you are looking for an Alpine retreat from which you can run your business, or still get slick internet service, your options may be limited for the moment.   more ...

Austria > Articles


Where Should You Move To In Austria?

Posted on Thursday September 26, 2013 (15:30:26)
Vienna (don't worry, they also allow cars!)
Internationally known for Freud, Mozart and The Sound of Music, Austria is a hub of arts and culture and often quoted as one of the best places to build a new life. If anything, it can feel like there are too many options here; flicking through guidebooks on each city proclaims all of their advantages – of which there are many – and very few downsides. But of course, finding a place that feels like home isn’t just about the number of attractions and facilities that can be packed into one place; it’s about the feel of a city, the way you can walk through the streets and understand that you’re somewhere that makes you feel comfortable.

There is always the option of moving to the countryside, of course, if what you’re looking for is a more peaceful, isolated situation. Moving to somewhere like Schoppernau, a mountainous town in eastern Vorarlberg, affords beautiful views – the town is over 800m above sea level – and a culture of peace and quiet, with only 900 individuals living there in total. But most expat life in this land-locked federal republic focuses around its four main cities: Vienna, Graz, Linz and Salzberg. Which is best for you and yours? We’ve compiled a short guide to each city to help you decide.   more ...