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Accommodation & Property

Alicante - Accommodation & Property

Wherever you are in the province of Alicante, you will find at least a few English speaking expats, mainly British. Many avoid the city of Alicante itself, preferring instead smaller town or village life up to a 30 minute drive away, in towns such as Elche or Denia, which gives the opportunity of experiencing a real Spanish lifestyle, and mixing with the locals. The beach suburb of Alicante, San Juan, is also popular. However, renting before buying is always recommended to be able to experience certain areas and find out if they are suitable for easy commute to work, school, as well as the right level of social life that you are looking for.

For a rented 2 or 3 bedroomed apartment in the city of Alicante, you will be paying on average between 600 and 800 euros, and to buy a similar apartment, you can pay anything between 150,000 to 250,000 euros. If you have a car, you will need an apartment with a garage space as parking in the city can be difficult. If a garage space is not included with your apartment, you can rent one for around 100 euros per month.

Further out of the city itself, in Elche for example, prices for a detached family home start at around 250,000 euros.

Many estate agents cater for expats and long-term visitors, with many specialising in properties for expats. A quick search on the internet will bring up a wealth of properties on offer. However, many do charge a premium for both their services and their properties. It is recommended to stick to high street agencies that cater for locals as their prices are often fairer. They will, however, expect a long-term lease term if renting, sometimes up to a year, otherwise a higher monthly rental price will be charged.

A popular website is www.segundamano.es, which not only has advertisements for property, but many other items and services. The majority of rentals and sales on this site are through individuals, therefore avoiding agency fees, however a lawyer is recommended for all legal transactions.

The main daily newspaper in Alicante is Diario Informacion (www.diarioinformacion.com) and has a weekly property section on a Sunday, one of the most comprehensive property guides available. There are also a wealth of English language newspapers in the area which also include property sections, although very much smaller, among them The Coast Rider, Costa Blanca News, The Leader and Round Town News, which are available in most supermarkets and bars.

Domestic help is not common in Spain, although hiring a cleaner is becoming more popular for busy households. Many cleaners are obtained through word of mouth or notices in local shops.

There are two yearly taxes to be paid by property owners in Spain. The first is related to the cost of both the property and land and is called the The Impuesto sobre Buenes Inmuebles (IBI) and is paid at the local tax office (SUMA www.suma.es). The second is the yearly rates paid to the local council which contributes to municipal activities such as waste collection and street maintenance. The annual rates depend on the area in which you live.

If you live in an apartment building or complex, you will also have to pay a monthly community charge to the building or complex committee which goes towards the maintenance and cleaning of communal areas such as stairways, gardens, pools etc, and this can range anywhere between 20 and 150 euros per month.

For rental properties, these annual and monthly charges are usually incorporated into the monthly rental charge.

Waste bins are placed on all streets, and each person is expected to separate their rubbish and place them in the correct bins – yellow for plastic, cans and cartons, green for glass, blue for paper and magazines, and black for all other items. Bins are emptied daily, often at night, which may be another consideration when choosing your property, making sure that bins are not directly outside your bedroom window.

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