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Spain > Living


How to avoid... (in Spain), Part 1

Monday May 21, 2012 (04:07:04)
Mark FR Wilkins
by Mark FR Wilkins, The Rights Group in Spain

The Off Plan Market

How to avoid...getting ripped off in making an "off plan" purchase

You'll have seen the wonderful images at the Property Show in Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow or Dublin and you'll have been very drawn to the idea of getting in early on the ground floor of this fabulous new development on the Spanish Costas. And why not - these developments often present really good value for money and, as you are getting involved early, pre-construction, you are potentially making real savings.

You agree to take an inspection flight, which, in any event, even if you don't buy an apartment, is a bargain weekend in Spain. You arrive at the chosen destination and it all seems to stack up - you are ready to buy...   more ...

Spain > Living


Check list for British expats moving to Spain

Monday May 21, 2012 (04:00:46)
Mark FR Wilkins
by Mark FR Wilkins, The Rights Group SL

In the same way that removals companies have countdown diaries to help you remember all those important elements needed before the "Big Day", I felt it would be useful for those seeking to relocate to or acquire a holiday home in Spain, to have a "Check List" featuring those items that required specific attention and which could be ticked off as they were completed.

According to a recent report prepared by Accountants PKF, more than 74% of Britons want to retire abroad. So if you are part of that majority who's interested in moving to Spain why not consider using The Rights Group's Check List to aid your smooth relocation?   more ...

Spain > Living


Relocation, Relocation, Relocation! A new life in Spain - Part 2

Monday May 21, 2012 (03:55:48)
Mark FR Wilkins
by Mark FR Wilkins, The Rights Group

Would-be relocators who have followed my family's migration from South West London to our new home in Spain may have already been assisted in their search for that dream home by our initial six easy lessons for a comfortable transition to life in Spain.

We have been asked to expand on our preliminary advice. So, from our direct - and thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience - I hope you'll appreciate these six further lessons.

Currently, servicing borrowings to purchase a property by way of a Spanish mortgage is an attractive prospect for those of you from Northern Europe, particularly the UK, where interest rates have risen in recent months. The Spanish financial services market is in the formative stages of its development - and whilst it is substantially more advanced than the markets of the former eastern Bloc - certain financial products which are widely available in the UK are simply not available.   more ...

Spain > Living


Relocation, Relocation, Relocation! A new life in Spain

Monday May 21, 2012 (03:44:19)
Mark FR Wilkins
by Mark Wilkins, The Rights Group

Over the last few years we have heard an increasing number of (perhaps apocryphal) tales of UK citizens "not recognising " the country they grew up in. Feeling alienated in their own country and looking for a way out.

When you decide that you are nearing the end a busy working life, your family have fled the nest or you simply want a better quality of life for your family, your mind will inevitably wander to questions of whether there is a better quality of life to be found elsewhere.

We've all attended those "lifestyle" shows at the NEC or Olympia (in the UK) where the prospect of 330 days a year of sun, a milder climate for arthritic bones, a golf course for every day of the week, international quality schooling and a magnificent diversity of influences are dangled carrot-like beneath our noses. Many of us have said "Can I have some of that?"   more ...

Spain > Living


Justin Aldridge, Eye on Spain

Friday January 06, 2012 (19:15:49)
Justin Aldridge
Justin is the owner of the popular expat website Eye on Spain.

Expat Focus: Justin, can you tell us a bit about your background and how Eye on Spain came into being?

Justin Aldridge: I was born and raised in Gibraltar and after completing my A-Levels at 18 I went on to do a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering at Liverpool University. After university I worked within the automotive industry, including a stint with a Formula One team, working in design, production and finally in a commercial role. The Automotive industry was, and still is, struggling in the UK and with the collapse of companies such as MG Rover, it made a big impact on the company that I was working for and they decided to shut the plant down, effectively making me redundant. I was only 28 and my partner Susan had just given birth to our twin daughters.

The redundancy gave us a little bit of money to do something different, so we decided to try a new life in Spain. We came up with the idea of Eye on Spain through our own need. Back in 2004 we were buying a property off-plan and still being in England we kept wondering if they were actually building it. So I asked a friend of mine who lived in Marbella to go and take some photos for me. He'd later email us the photos and it was very exciting to see the progress (or sometimes lack of it) being made.   more ...

Spain > Living


Victoria Twead, forum leader and author

Friday January 06, 2012 (19:13:19)
Victoria Twead
Victoria is one of the forums leaders of our Spain forum and author of the popular book Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools. In this interview we get to know her a little better!

Expat Focus: Can you tell us a bit about your background before you became an expat?

Victoria Twead: I was born in Dorchester, Dorset, the middle child of three. My father was in the army, so we were posted to Germany where I spent the first five years of my life. I was sent to a German kindergarten and spoke only German. At the age of 5, we returned to Dorset and I was enrolled into a village school. I settled in well and promptly forgot all my German.

All three of us kids were sent to boarding school, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was like acting out an Enid Blyton book; nature rambles, midnight feasts and adventures. On leaving school, I trained to be a teacher but did many jobs before deciding to teach. I was a hotel housekeeper, welded fireguards in a factory, looked after goats and seabirds in an animal sanctuary and became a housemother in a children's home. However, all I really wanted to do was write.   more ...

Spain > Property


Lenox Napier, AULAN

Friday January 06, 2012 (02:32:21)
Lenox Napier
Lenox Napier moved to Spain as a teenager and has spent most of his life there. He is involved with AULAN (, an organisation which supports small property owners in Spain by fighting corruption and injustice, including the infamous 'land-grab' of recent times.

Expat Focus: Lenox, can you tell us a bit about your background before you became an expat?

Lenox Napier: I've never been very happy with the word 'expat' (it sounds like I used to be a 'pat'). My parents moved here from Norfolk UK in 1967 when I was thirteen. They bought a house for the usual ten pounds. I continued in school (Latin, beatings, uniforms, cold showers) in England during the term-times and drinking, smoking, dreaming about women, zipping around on a moped and staying up all night (holiday-times in Spain). Eventually, I persuaded my parents that they didn't teach Spanish at my school and that I should move to an international school in Spain. So, at seventeen, I went to one in Seville (where you could smoke, drink, whizz around on your moped and move from theory into practice regarding women). I’ve never been back to England.   more ...

Spain > Living


David M Sutton-Rowe, moderator - Spain forum

Friday January 06, 2012 (00:50:23)
David M Sutton-Rowe
David has been a moderator of the Spain forum for quite a while. In this interview we get to know him a little better!

Expat Focus: David, can you tell us a bit about your background before you became an expat?

David M Sutton-Rowe: I was born in 1953 in Catterick, North Yorkshire. My father was in the RAF and I went to school both in the UK and Germany. By the time I left school I could speak both English and German.

I enlisted in the British Army at the age of 16 and served for three years in the Royal Corps of Transport, I then changed tack and re-enlisted into the Royal Military Police. During my time in the army I was posted to countries all over the world: Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Germany, America and the UK to name but a few. After serving six years I left the army and retrained as a Domestic Appliance Service Engineer (Washing Machine Engineer). I did this for a further 20 years and had the opportunity to appear on my local radio station as an expert on consumer rights regarding domestic appliances.   more ...

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