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Spain > Property


Andrew Queen, Golf Property Store

Sunday October 27, 2013 (20:29:20)
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’ ( or 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 ...

Spain > Property


Sharon MacNicol, La Agencia Real Estate

Sunday October 27, 2013 (19:49:00)
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 ...

Spain > Living


Making the Most of Madrid, Minus the Tourist Traps

Sunday September 22, 2013 (19:54:53)
Madrid at night
With sunshine, siestas and a whole wealth of cultural attractions to explore, Madrid makes a fantastic holiday destination, and many people fall in love with Spain’s capital city after a couple of visits. Moving there is a whole different ball game, however, and it’s easy to find yourself swamped by tourists in the city streets, craving a nice quiet beer in a bar that isn’t packed with people taking photographs for their friends back home.

The Spanish nightlife scene is famously vibrant, and initially seems like one of the best reasons to move there: who wouldn’t want to spend every weeknight watching flamenco in the tablaos or partying the night away in Alonso Martinez Square? The answer, of course, is ‘people who live there’. Staying in a place for good is far different from experiencing it for a couple of weeks’ holiday, and the reality of not being able to find a quiet spot to enjoy the local culture quickly begins to grate. Luckily there are plenty of more sedate, arts and culture based venues where locals gather to enjoy the city without the crazy partying side.   more ...

Spain > Living


Things To Consider When Moving To Spain

Saturday September 07, 2013 (00:19:22)

courtesy of Crown Relocations

Located in South West Europe, just miles from North Africa, Spain’s unique way of life stems from the age-old cultural mix which makes up the country. There’s no other country in the world quite like it, and the laid-back lifestyle, excellent food, great climate and friendly people make Spain a hugely popular destination for both tourists and those looking to start a new life abroad. This is especially true for the British, with a huge expat community now living in the country.

Spain’s landscape is beautiful and encompassing, a combination of flat, desert-like plains, lush greenery, white sandy beaches and snow-tipped mountains. The Canaries and Balearic islands also come under Spain’s rule, with the sun drenched party capital of the world Ibiza just a short flight away. But for anyone who wants to live long term in the country, there are some key points to remember to avoid any possible culture shock when initially settling into the country.   more ...

Spain > Living


One Stop Shopping In Barcelona

Thursday January 03, 2013 (18:43:15)
l'illa, Barcelona
by Patty Sanchez

By now most expat families have settled into a new apartment and neighborhood in Barcelona after arriving in September to begin new jobs. I recently met a mother who moved from Illinois to Barcelona and wanted to find a store where she could find it all: groceries, domestic appliances, clothing, etc. Obviously, she wanted to save time by shopping at one location rather than running from one shop to another to cover basic needs.

“Is there a store similar to Target where I can find it all?” she asked.

My initial response was “Yes,” there is a store similar to Target that has many departments to accommodate consumer needs all in one stop, albeit somewhat pricey.   more ...

Spain > Living


Grocery Shopping In Barcelona

Tuesday September 18, 2012 (00:48:41)
The shopping trolley - the best expat investment ever
by Patty Sanchez

If you just arrived to Spain and decide it is time to go grocery shopping, hold that thought! Do not be a new inexperienced expat and think you can walk home carrying three bags of groceries loaded with fruit, meats, dairy products and a five liter bottle of water. After five minutes of walking towards your new apartment two or three blocks away, you will stop to continuously shift the weight of the plastic bags to keep them from digging into the crooks of your fingers. You will instantly lament those past days of yonder when you once drove to the supermarket and leisurely loaded groceries onto the trunk of your car.

The solution to this problem is to purchase as soon as possible a shopping trolley/cart. You can load the shopping trolley/cart with bottled water, milk tetra bricks, one kilo of apples, or any other heavy food item that once crunched your spinal discs. You will walk out the store in relief that the trolley was the best expat investment ever.   more ...

Spain > Working


Working In Spain – Still An Option?

Wednesday September 05, 2012 (02:33:29)
Rob Innis
by Rob Innis

It is no secret that the Spanish economy, along with most of Europe, has taken a battering with the current financial downturn referred to here as the ‘crisis.’ Unemployment is running at record high levels – so does that mean job opportunities are zero?

Here on the Costa Blanca the boom years of mass construction are over and immigration levels are down. During that period work was easy for not only the locals but many foreigners came and setup all different types of business including bars, restaurants, supermarkets, car sales etc to serve the new arrivals. Unfortunately many of those have now closed and vacant commercial property is in abundance.

However the economy here is different to the major cities where there tends to be a high concentration of white collar jobs in the large government and corporate headquarters offices of Spain’s big companies. But beware the large organisations are cost cutting.   more ...

Spain > Living


It Is Now Tougher To Relocate To Spain

Sunday August 26, 2012 (01:43:40)
Rob Innis
by Rob Innis

Spain’s financial downturn, known locally as el crisis, has meant that apart from the government increasing taxation and making severe budget cuts the rules regarding both taking out Spanish residency and obtaining healthcare have recently been revised.

All EU citizens are entitled to live and work in Spain as part of the overall EU Freedom of Movement regulations. All other persons should check their status with their appropriate authorities as they might require a visa for legal entry to Spain.

It is a requirement for everyone to hold and maintain a valid passport from their country of origin as a form of identification in Spain.

Spanish Residency – Revised Rules

The new stricter rules for Spanish residency, introduced in July 2012, state that within 90 days of arriving in the country with the intent of taking up permanent residence persons must register at the local Oficina de Extranjeros (literally meaning Office for Foreigners) for a residencia.   more ...

Spain > Living


Moving to Spain - Tips and Lessons Learned

Monday May 21, 2012 (04:14:11)

We were internet marketers that needed a we started a tapas restaurant in Spain! Some said we were crazy, some said we were brave. We say we are a little bit of both. Read our story, the lessons we learned and our tips...

It has been almost three years since we moved to Spain and finding our way around has been fun and sometimes a struggle. When you move abroad you realize that you are giving up your career, your house, the lease car and all. But in return, there is a romantic future lying ahead of you; a future without stress, traffic jams, thousands of emails a day, dark clouds, rain. An exiting future with new possibilities, new people and new habits.

Our romantic and exciting idea of the future was setting up a tapas restaurant in a pretty little village on the Costa Blanca. We would only open for a few hours per day, run it together, and cook all kinds of delicious tapas for our guests.   more ...

Spain > Health


Health Care In Spain

Monday May 21, 2012 (04:11:55)

Moving to Spain usually involves a few of basic activities such as learning Spanish, looking for a job (if outplacement was not the reason for moving), finding a new house and a looking for a proper school for your children. Once accomplished, you will experience you are not only living in a different country, but also in a different culture.

Most people do experience living in another culture as an opportunity to learn more about life in general. Reading about another culture is one thing, living in another culture is quite another. Although the Spanish culture is a Western one, it still differs in many ways from British or American culture. The medical culture in Spain is also different in certain aspects. The level of medical care is usually good to excellent. The health care insurance system equals more or less the systems in the United States and in Great Britain: a national health care system which offers the opportunity to all kinds of people to be provided with basic health care and a private system where you can go to if you decided to upgrade your medical insurance by paying more each month.   more ...

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