Buying a Property in Spain After Coronavirus
Property Guides expert Chris Nye talks through how to best navigate buying a property in Spain and provides an overview on the current state of the Spanish property market, then hands over to expert estate agents from across Spain who will give you an idea of what you can get for your money in their area, plus local tips.
Plus, hear from Smart Currency Exchange on how to safely manage your risk when buying in Spain and then ask your burning questions to the experts live.
First recorded on 25th April 2020
Vincent Real Estate
Senior Content Editor
Head of Sales
The Spanish Estate Agent
The Spanish Estate Agent
Private Client Onboarding Manager
Smart Currency Exchange
Accredited Real Estate Loan Assessor
Casa y Campo
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the Buying in Spain After Coronavirus Webinar coming to you from Your Overseas Home. I hope everybody can hear me and see me and, more importantly, I hope everyone can hear and see our speakers, our really interesting range of speakers who come from all parts of Spain, estate agents and mortgage specialists and currency specialists. I wish we were in Manchester today but that’s just the way it is. I wish even more that we were in Spain, but fortunately we know that things are still happening with property. You can still view properties online and speak to estate agents and speak to lawyers; there are still plenty of things that you can do.
How Your Overseas Home Was Founded
So, let me first say a little bit about who Your Overseas Home are. Well, we started as the Overseas Guides Company. We were founded in 2004 by a lady called Kim, whose parents-in-law were buying a property in Spain and it all went wrong. They had a terrible estate agent, the lawyer didn’t protect them, and basically it all went wrong. Kim decided that she was never going to let this happen to anyone else if she could possibly help it, and she started the Overseas Guides Company.
The first thing that she did was she started with guides, downloadable guides, and then we started the website, and then we brought in loads more guides as more things happened, Brexit and how to pay for a property, the full range, everything that you could possibly want to know about buying in Spain safely.
And then she thought, well, we need someone at the end of a phone really who can help, and so we brought in our resource team, which is led at the moment by Nadia.
And then we thought, well, really we should introduce people, because okay you want to buy in Spain, how to buy safely, but maybe if we could introduce the experts who can really help you, and that’s when we started building these partnerships, and we have these fantastic partners, trusted estate agents and lawyers who we recommend.
Then we thought, it would be lovely to have some events, and so we founded Your Overseas Home, and that has been fantastically successful. We had our busiest ever show just before the lockdown in London and hopefully, in the autumn, we will start again with those, with the live events. So that is Your Overseas Home and we are the people who we hope will allow to you to buy safely in Spain.
We’ve had tonnes of recommendations. This one I would just mention at the top there, Beth Nicholson, she started off as a client of Smart, she now lives in France actually and she now writes for us. She writes about how to do it and what she loves about it and all about her time in France.
Back to Spain. At the end of the session, we’re going to go over some questions for you but, firstly, we would like to extend our sympathy to our partners in Spain, who have been in lockdown, and can’t even leave the house for exercise for, is it six weeks now. So we want to extend a wave of sympathy to them, but we also want to know when can we start buying? What is this going to do to the Spanish property market? What’s this going to do for residency? We don’t know what is going to happen about the 31st December deadline yet, we don’t know, perhaps Spain can just extend the deadline for residency itself. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We’re going to hear about mortgages and we’ve also had lots of questions about renting out your property in Spain, what are the rules for that?
So, that’s me. I’m now going to introduce to you the lady from Casa y Campo, who is Karen O’Hagan, but what we’re going to do first is we’re going to watch a video. Now, it’s all about Almería but actually it’s kind of a taste of Spain. So, we thought we would just remind everyone what it is we’re looking at when we’re looking to buy in Spain and the kind of lifestyle we’re looking for. It’s a five minute video just to remind us what we’re aiming for when we buy in Spain.
Let’s go on to the next part of the presentation, which is from Karen O’Hagan from Casa y Campo.
An Overview of Buying in Almeria, Spain
Presenter – Karen O’Hagan – Casa y Campo
Good morning everybody. I hope everybody is safe and well during very challenging times that we’ve had. Correct, we are six weeks into lockdown here. It’s been quite challenging but it’s been time to have a bit of a catch-up, regroup, change things here, and certainly revamp the website and maybe tailor things to how we’re going to be working slightly differently, I think, for all of us moving forward. So, welcome to Almería, which is offered referred to as Hidden Spain or Secret Spain, one of the lesser known Costas of Spain and becoming quite popular; certainly in recent years it’s had a resurgence.
Where is Almeria, Spain Located?
Just showing you where we are actually located within Spain. We’re the southern eastern most corner and to the left you can see the kind of zone that we work within, which kind of is about a 50km radius of properties that we are able to bring to you and offer to our foreign clients, whether it be a holiday home or a permanent residence that you are looking for.
Some postcards from Almería. Almería is an area which is very much a microclimate – we have Europe’s only desert situation here, which became famous with spaghetti westerns back in the sixties, I’m sure you all know the movies A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. It is still today a filming location and very popular with all the big film makers.
The city of Almería is a city which is located on the beach and is one of our go-to places. Certainly every other weekend there is superb, live entertainment and a great cultural city. The monument at the top there is the Alcazaba, which goes back to the tenth century and is the second largest Moorish castle in Spain next to the Alhambra. So an area which is steeped in history and culture and a really interesting place to come and visit and come and explore.
So, just a few postcards there that show you the beaches. The one on the right there is one of our most popular resorts within the area, which is Mojacar. Never a busy beach even during the six week height of the summer, there is plenty of space for everybody. We effectively have 214km of beaches here so it’s not the crowded place where you need to set your towels down at 7am in the morning.
Who Are Casa Y Campo?
Just to let you know a little bit more about us. We are an estate agent, which is based inland, just 35 minutes inland of Mojacar, where I just mentioned. We specialise on this area and we know it very well, having lived here for 18 years plus. I found it myself looking for a holiday home 20 years ago and we decided to uproot and actually build / design our home here and by 2002 we were living here permanently, very young, in our early thirties, and we feel quite fortunate to have been accepted into this really friendly community.
So, founded by myself – I had the need to work in my early forties, having lost my husband and had two young babies. So I set up Casa y Campo and I love what I do. I feel quite privileged to be able to introduce people to this area, an area which I’m passionate about. Our office is based in a little white-washed village, which is just 5km from where I live. We have, roughly, about 300 properties on our books and we sell a whole range of things, from €15,000 for a doer upper, and I’m talking about a doer upper, through to a property which is based on its own beach and is €2 million.
We cover the off-plans, which are becoming more available in this area. We work with some of the big national constructors here in Spain and are fortunate to be able to offer you some superb properties, be it beach location or slightly inland. We’ve got apartments, we’ve got villas, country cortijos. If it is a doer upper we can help with you with that. Having been brought up myself by a builder, I’m quite au fait with building and, having built my own property and that of my parents and other clients, it’s something that I really enjoy getting my teeth into.
So, resales, new builds, off-plans, they’re all covered by us. Our company, basically, is very, very strong – integrity, transparency, and giving an excellent pre and post sales support. We are in touch with many of our clients who have been here for many years, and it’s good to be able to know that they can come back to us and still ask for help, even years after they’ve brought their property.
Why Choose Costa Almeria, Spain?
Almería is the driest city in continental Europe, with an average of 320 days of sunshine. It’s all true. We tend to hover around a yearly average of about 19°, summer temperatures 25° / 30°, it does rise above that as well, but you do cope with the heat and rather than stopping and chatting to people on the streets in the sun, you’ll move to the shady side of the street. So you learn to cope with it and it’s a dry kind of heat so it doesn’t feel oppressive to you.
It’s an area which Almería covers 10% of Andalucía but has a low population. That’s quite prevalent when you go down to the coastline and you see that the buildings do not obstruct the nature around here. We have very low rise and very strict laws in buildings, so you don’t get the high rises, you don’t get the overpopulation of the buildings, it is quite a low rise beach playa area.
In terms of value for money, Almería is considered to be one of the cheapest of the Costas to buy on. I’ll show you some examples of that a couple of slides on, and you can get a little bit more of an indication of that and, obviously, on our website you can see more. It’s an area that grew up in the sixties and seventies, was founded by the hippies, would you believe, and still has a bohemian feel. It’s very relaxed, very laid back, not so much glitzy and doesn’t have too many pretentions. A very nice place to exist and to live and to enjoy your holiday home.
The main areas that you may already be familiar with are Mojacar, Garrucha, Vera, Villaricos, Carboneras, all of which are areas that we cover within our zone of sales. So, on our doorstep, going back to the nature aspect, we have here, and feel quite privileged to have, the Cabo de Gata Parc Naturel, which is miles of unspoilt and natural beaches, which are wild; you won’t find chiringuitos, not too many restaurants, only in some of the bigger areas of Agua Amarga, San José, and Las Negras. So you can quite easily come across many, many beaches, of which you’ll be the only person on the beach. You might find you have to walk a little bit more or sort of stretch your legs down a track to get to it but, quite often, you can be the only person on some of the beaches here.
Airports to arrive to Almería, we’ve got several which are very accessible, Almería being the closest, which tends to be within an hour of the areas that are the main buying centres for foreigners here. We’ve got Corvera Airport, which is newly opened, and Murcia Airport, which is an hour and a half away, and then in either direction, we’ve got Alicante further north or we’ve got Grenada as well. So we’re quite well connected in terms of airports. You tend to find as well that the motorways are ten minute journeys to the beach resorts, so they don’t actually interrupt the nature of the beaches here – they’re quite respectful in how they’ve been designed and planned.
Something else that is quite important to us here is our food, of which last year Almería was voted the Gastro Capital of Spain, which was very fortunate for all of us and probably increased our waistline slightly.
How do You Define Your Needs & Plan Ahead for Your Overseas Property Purchase?
So, the things that we can advise you to do, certainly whilst you’re at home and during the lockdown period, is to plan ahead and define your needs. Plan ahead and do as much research as you possibly can. Work out your budget. Is it inland or is it coastal that you prefer and what type and style of property appeals to you, whether it be a rustic style, traditional, or something more contemporary and modern. These are things that we can start working through and certainly areas we can help you with as to what may or may not suit you.
Familiarise yourself with the legalities of Spain. There is a lot of information out there and certainly we’ve got a complete rundown, in a very gentle manner, on our website, which you can go to and just walk through in your own time. Find yourself a good solicitor. We can all connect you guys with solicitors, depending on the region that you’re looking to buy in. It is imperative that you have legal representation when buying in Spain. They can provide you with your NIE number and that can be done via a Power of Attorney, which is something, a Power of Attorney, you can organise from the UK; you don’t need to do it here.
Another thing which is really important is, within your budget, connect with the likes of a professional exchange currency company, the likes of Smart, somebody who you can trust and has the integrity as well. That will also determine the budget, and if it’s a plan that’s maybe four months, or six months or eight months away, then they can help you with what your expected pound can translate to in terms of euros, so really important to tie those things down.
In terms of a visit here, obviously we don’t quite know when the borders will reopen for you guys, it’s yet to be defined. If you need to plan a visit, we can help you with that. We have our own house here in the area whereby we can offer you a viewing package. It may or may not be suitable for you but it’s something that can take the stress out of organising a trip here.
Property Prices in Almeria, Spain
So, your search doesn’t need to stop even though you’re in lockdown. We’re here on the ground and hopefully, slowly and surely, we’ll be able to have some more freedom and we can certainly do the searches for you. In terms of property and what you can get for your money, certainly value, yes, your pound does go a long way.
I’ve put up some examples for you which, effectively, from the top there we’ve got a village house, which is absolutely beautiful and it’s a detached house with lots of outside space, through to some of the more luxury properties. The bottom left corner there is an architectural designed house, which comes with a hectare of land. It comes in at €365,000 and it’s absolutely beautiful, it has a very sleek interior, lots of open plan spaces, which is synonymous with homes here in Spain. The top right I was privileged to have a tour of a very famous cricketer who has recently bought within the Desert Springs complex, another area that we can help you with and certainly get you some great properties, be it off plan or properties that are available now as a resale. So a complete, broad spectrum of properties, which are on our website and please feel free to take a look at your leisure.
What is the Cost of Living in Almeria, Spain?
I wanted to give you today a bit of an example of cost of living here in Almería. I’ve picked out some figures to give examples of that. In terms of your council tax, you need to expect about €500 a year, which I think in comparison to the UK’s council tax is slightly different. An evening out in quite a nice restaurant with a decent bottle of wine will stretch you €25. Your Wi-Fi €30 which includes your UK tv. Things that will maybe just indicate the quality of life that is available here in Spain, and what the cost of that might mean to you in terms of your euro to your pound. So, excellent quality of life that I’m sure all of us here can wholeheartedly recommend to you all.
Casa Y Campo Testimonials and Further Information
I’m just going to finish with just a few testimonials from clients that have volunteered these, which is very kind; a lot of which can be found on our Casa y Campo Facebook page, which we’re keeping updated with some of the Government daily announcements that are being made. So if you want to go to the Casa y Campo Facebook page, it has a whole range of information, be it governmental, the dolphins that are seen daily swimming currently, new property updates, property price drops, etc. Pop over there. And we’ve also put a competition on there for your NHS, or medical worker, who you wish to nominate a holiday for when this is all over, then they’re welcome to a holiday on us. So if you know anybody out there that deserves a week’s holiday in Spain, please do nominate them.
How to Afford Your Property in Spain
Presenter – Paul Harris, Smart Currency Exchange
Good morning everyone. First of all, hope everyone is well and keeping safe at home. It’s great to see so many people actually joining us this morning and being still proactive throughout all this, and just getting as much information as possible for when we get back to some sort of normality, hopefully over the next few weeks and months.
How Can Smart Currency Exchange Help Your Overseas Home Property Purchase?
I’m going to talk to you briefly about Smart Currency as a company, and how we can help you with the cost of affording the property and keeping it as cost-effective as possible. A little bit of background about Smart Currency. We’re foreign exchange specialists and we’ve been in the market for just over 15 years now. During that time, we’ve helped over 10,000 people, just like yourselves, who were looking to buy property overseas, and help them provide a really good all round service and making sure that the costs are kept as low as possible for you, which is obviously the most important thing when you are looking to buy overseas.
We’re not just a currency company. Chris did mention our sister company earlier, the Overseas Guides Company, so Property Guides; you may have already downloaded the Spain Buying Guide and the Spain Property Guide. Lots of extra information in there but also as a currency company, we have our Trader’s Guide. So if you have signed up to an account you may have received a digital copy of that and there will be one on its way to you in the post as well. We’ll touch on it in a little bit more detail later on but, like I mentioned, we are all about an all-round service as well. We are ranked ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot as well, so I’ll talk a little bit more about some of our Trustpilot reviews as we go through the presentation.
Property Purchasing Tips and Understanding Forward Contracts
The top tips, from our point of view, for when you are buying a property overseas, and maybe one of the last things you think about actually doing is transferring the money, but one of the first things you actually think about is how much you can afford and how much you can spend; so when you’re looking at properties you will have a price range in mind. So, that’s where we can come on at an early stage and help you really understand how much your money in the UK can go towards the property purchase obviously over in Spain.
The currency markets are very volatile; some of you may have been keeping up with it over the last few months. I’ve got a graph to show you that I will go over briefly in just a minute as well which shows you the fluctuations that can happen. One thing I will say is that the currency markets will only go in one of two directions: it will either go up or it will go down. That’s our job when we’re working with you, to help you manage the risks of the potential fluctuations with you and, like I say, make it as cost-effective and as affordable as possible.
A very popular product we have, that’s incredibly popular with people in your position who are purchasing property, is called a Forward Contract. Now, a Forward Contract essentially allows you to fix today’s exchange rate but you pay for a future date. Just to give you an example, so you may have agreed a price on a property in Spain, that prices in euros is not going to change, that price is going to remain the same and it is going to be fixed. What will change on a daily basis is the amount that that is going to cost you in pounds. Like I said, it can go one of two ways.
But what we can do is we can protect you so you will know that, on the day you agree your price in euros, essentially when you booked your Forward Contract, you’ve also agreed the price in sterling as well. So you will know exactly how much is coming out of your UK bank account and that will go towards affording the property in Spain as well. So, it give you real peace of mind that, over the time window between when you agree the price and when you pay, the actual cost to yourself coming out of your UK bank account is not going to change.
Another option available to you is potentially to prefund your account. This is an option that some of our clients will take. You can send the funds to us and then we can look at trying to target an exchange rate for you. Now, one thing that’s really important to tell you all at this point is that we can never guarantee an exchange rate. We’ll have a conversation with you, we’ll let you know how realistic potentially your plans are. So if you’re aiming for a certain exchange rate, we’ll be honest with you, we can never say for certain if it is going to be achievable but we’ll be realistic, so if you are aiming too high, we’ll probably give you a pointer in that direction, because we want to make sure that you’re not losing out. It is definitely an option but, like I said, it’s really important to tell you that if we agree to target a rate, we can never guarantee that. So it is one of those things that we will need to keep in touch with you far more regularly with as well.
Understanding Currency Exchange and Volatility
I’ve got a graph here just showing you the last 12 months of the currency market and I’ve pinpointed a couple of points in here for you. Naturally, we have picked the high point and the low point, but I just want to talk to you a little bit about this graph just to explain why these things have happened and what potential factors could happen that we don’t foresee happening. So, if we go right back before the high point, if we’re looking around the August market, just to let you know we’re obviously at a very similar low point to where we were last month; the reason we were low then is because there was obviously a lot of talk about a no-deal Brexit. That came off the table.
So we started to see a bit of resurgence and then, when we had the General Election in December, we had a majority government which creates less uncertainty in the market, which is where we saw that high point. We touched just over the 1.21 mark which obviously is a very positive mark for the sterling-euro if you’re going back over the last couple of years.
The big thing that affected us all, and is still affecting us all, was obviously the coronavirus. Completely out of the blue, something that you just can’t predict for in the markets; you never know these things are going to come. But this sort of highlights what can happen over the space of a week or two and again from December last year to mid-March this year, we saw a difference of 16 cents. So, just to put that into real figures for you, for £100,000 at those points, back in December you’d be around €121,000, and in March time €105,000. So, again, if you had agreed a property price in December and you’d fixed your exchange rate, you’d be very comfortable now that you’d be making sure that you’ve benefited from that Forward Contract. The downside risk is that potentially, if you had waited, that property does become much more expensive now. So, that’s where we can help you, we’ll come up with a proper strategy for you and help work with you to make sure that we’re trying our best to hit those top targets for you.
The next one is to just outline forecasts. A lot of you will use the internet, I suppose a lot of people in the profession will use the banks’ forecasts and listen to the perceived experts like us. Ultimately, nobody really knows which way the market is going to go, and I know I should be sitting in front of you now saying we know it’s going to do this, we know it’s going to do that, you should do this, you should do that. Realistically, we can guide you in the best strategy but we can never tell you exactly what’s going to happen.
And I think that’s why this slide is so powerful, we’ve got three of the UK’s major banks and they all say completely different things. So, depending on who you are looking at and who you trust, you could be either way out of pocket or maybe get lucky that they might have got it right. So, it’s really important not to listen too much to what the forecast will say and try and be realistic with where you are at that point of time. The one thing that I would have always said to everyone that I speak to is make sure that you’re comfortable. As soon as you are comfortable with how much things are costing, try not to get too greedy, because the actual impact of you losing out on more money is far more than the benefit of you maybe making it slightly cheaper on the property. So as soon as you’re comfortable, that’s where we can really help you out and fix a strategy for you.
How Smart Currency Exchange Stands Out From The Competition
Most importantly I think for everyone who is in attendance today that would potentially be moving money, it may be life savings, you may have re-mortgaged a property, you may have sold a property and looking to completely emigrate over to Spain, your money needs to be safe and secure and that’s what we pride ourselves on. We’re fully authorised by the FCA. When the funds do come into Smart they go into a client holding account, so they don’t go directly into a Smart Currency account. Our banking is with Barclays and the Bank of Ireland and you would have a client account that those funds would go into. So, it’s only when the transfer is complete that the money would go into a Smart Currency account, so your money is completely safeguarded. So it’s really important to let you know that your money when it comes in is safe and secure.
When you work with us, some of you may have already spoken to him, you will all be assigned to a chap called Martin George, who will be available for meetings on Monday and Tuesday this week. We like to make sure that you have one point of contact. Not just in our industry but in many industries, you could call up a company to ask for either booking a transfer or asking for some help, you could speak to someone completely different every single time, and that just makes the first few minutes of the conversation very difficult, very awkward, because you have to go back over the conversation you’ve already had and explain what you’re doing again. So we try and make sure that you are always talking to the same person – they understand what you’re doing, they understand your actual requirements and can make sure that all your needs are met.
We don’t get paid on commission. So none of the sales guys, or the traders, are paid on commission in Smart. We look at our main target to retaining you as long-term customers. Again, a big preconception, a misconception of companies like ourselves, is that we look after you for the big trade and then we never speak to you again and for us, that’s simply not the case. We look to retain you for the long-term, and we realise that after you’ve bought a property, you haven’t just bought the property and that’s it, there will be some ongoing bills. You may have a pension in the UK that you may want to bring back over, you may have family back in the UK that you want to send money back and forth from. So that’s where we can help you in the long-term, and I’ll go through a couple of the extra things that we have available for you in just a second.
Most importantly for us as a company, something we’re incredibly proud of – I mentioned it earlier on –is that we are rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot in four different areas now.
Smart Currency Exchange Has Over 1000 5-Star Ratings via TrustPilot
We’ve created our own small guide called ‘Smart’s little book of reviews’. If you are interested in having one of these, please do get in touch with us, we can send some out in the post or we can send digital copies to you. Just a small compilation of some reviews that we’ve had from our customers, who’ve been in exactly the same situation as yourselves before, just to give you a feel of the service that we offer and the things that you can expect to see from us.
What You Can Expect From Opening an Account With Smart Currency Exchange
You may have already spoken to us, you may have spoken to a member of the onboarding team this week just to have a quick chat about your requirements, how we can help you and giving you a bit of an insight into the different options available for you; potentially, you may have spoken about Forward Contracts already. You may have actually gone all the way and spoken through to Martin, or one of the other members of the trading team and actually started to think about a potential strategy that may work for you.
Now, even if you haven’t found a property, if you haven’t been out and viewed a property, I do encourage you to use that service. It’s completely free, we’re not going to bill you for your time, you just give us a call or ask for us to give you a call, we’ll discuss your requirements, come up with a strategy for you and then just get the ball rolling. We don’t have to fix anything or book anything for you, but it just gives us a really good insight into what you’re doing and gives us a bit of a head start. So when things do start happen and the ball does start to roll, we’re in a really good position to help you the best way possible.
One thing we focus on, and like I said it’s linked to the Forward Contract and potentially fixing an exchange rate for you, is there is an awful lot of risk at the moment, and I will just touch on it briefly, I don’t want to go over it too much, but there is a lot of risk in the market at the moment, so that’s why we do encourage you to speak to us early. Like I showed you on the graph, the difference between three months per £100,000 was €16,000. That’s an incredible amount of money.
You could put that money into renovations, it could go into all sorts of projects over in Spain. You could even potentially look at extra things to buy out there when you do move, so just to give you a bit of understanding there. Please do speak to us and we’ll explain that in more detail over the telephone. Like I said, the benefits to having the Smart Currency account is it’s free, you have that single point of contact. Like I said, the earlier you work with us, the more we can really understand and help you understand your budget as we go forward.
So, your next steps. So most of you will have already spoken to us, like I said. Do try and speak to Martin, your trader, so get in touch with us. If you’ve not spoken to him already please do arrange a time to speak to him, or one of the team if you’ve not got through to him yet. We’ll be able to just help you from day one really understand the options available to you and make sure that we’re trying to keep your costs as low as possible.
Like I said, after you’ve moved, we’ve already touched on this slide already, after you’ve gone, do stay in touch with us because there will be potential transfers that you will need to make to cover bills, it could be the pensions, like I said, you may have commitments over in the UK and, like I said, if you have saved some money on the transfer and you’ve managed to keep the costs as low as possible, you may want to do some renovations in the property in the future and, again, we can help transfer the money for you for those renovations.
Finally, like I said, your trader will be Martin George, so he’s our specialist for Spain. He’s got years of experience in the industry, specifically with people buying properties in Spain. He has a real good understanding of how the process works, all the little different things that you may have to do, and he can give you advice not just on the currency, but he has obviously got all those years behind him. So do get in touch with us.
Understanding Buying in Costa del Sol, Spain
Presenter – Shirin Sharifi, The Spanish Estate Agent
How Can The Spanish Estate Agent Help Your Oversea Home Property Purchase?
Good morning everybody, my name is Shirin Sharifi and I’m from the Spanish Estate Agent and, yes, it’s lovely to see that so many of you have made it today, and hopefully we can give you some good information. I’m Head of Sales for the Spanish Estate Agent and I also head up the luxury portfolio as well, but just to tell you a little bit about the company. We have a large office in Estepona, but we also cover the whole coast, and I’ll show you later on which areas we cover. Within the office we have six members of staff who speak between them seven languages, so we can take care of you even in English. The company has been going in Spain for well over four years now but I myself have been working in real estate for well over 22 years here, living and buying property myself, and selling obviously. So hopefully, as I say, we can put that experience to good use on your behalf.
The main point of what we want to get across to you today is that, while we’re all on lockdown at home, there’s so much that we can do while we have this time. We can do lots of research, we can do lots of homework, we can look at different areas, and we have so much material that we can offer you in terms of virtual tours, web tours around properties, videos – all sorts of information we can send to you right now and you can do a lot of homework in the meantime until you can actually fly over. We have had a lot of clients actually look at properties and we’re even taking reservations on properties, subject to viewing if they wish, and some people, if they know the properties already, are reserving without viewing. So you can do a lot of homework, as I said, and lots of professional information online.
So, what we can do, we can speak to you – I’ve had quite a few web interviews with clients already and meetings, and it’s really good because we invest a lot of money usually coming over the UK and meeting with clients but obviously with technology we can sit, we can do video calls with you, and we can really go through what your likes and dislikes are and narrow down your wish list.
We have over 20,000 properties to view and we can do one-to-one appointments with ourselves as the agents, but also with the developers as well. As I mentioned before, we’re doing virtual tours and online viewings, which our staff have gone out and videoed some of the properties but also the developers have got their material. A lot of developers now are actually offering a €500 deposit for properties that you can reserve and as soon as there’s flights are available, you can come out and view. If you don’t like the property, obviously the deposit is fully refundable or we move it on to a different property that you prefer. We do have a lot of properties that are exclusive to the Spanish Estate Agent as well, so properties you won’t see anywhere else as well.
Why Should I Partner With The Spanish Estate Agent?
What that means for you is that you don’t have to put your plans on hold. We’re available all day every day to talk to you, to send you the information that you need. We get the earliest notifications of the new development releases, sometimes before they even launch, if you’re looking for an investment to buy as early as possible. If there are price drops, we have advanced information on those straight away, as well as the special offers.
The way we work, and the most important thing for me to get across to you at this stage, is that we have access to absolutely every single property that is for sale on the Costa del Sol. We work as a property finder. So if you see a property on any other website that you like the look of, but you prefer to deal with an agent that has the experience, has the credibility, being recommended by the Overseas Property Guides, and so on, then you can send that link to me, or send me any information you’ve got; there is no property on this coast that I cannot show you and introduce you to. So if you see anything anywhere else, send it to me, I can make all the appointments for you, I can get all the information for you and see whether the actual property really exists.
So that’s how we work, which is really important for you to know because, as I say, you can stick with one agent and I’ll arrange everything for you. That means you are not being pulled in all different directions by lots of different agents who are trying to sell you their own corner. For me, I cover the whole coast and we can offer you every property.
The Spanish Property Market in Costa Del Sol, Spain
The areas that we cover these are on the map here. Basically, we are looking at the area between Malaga, Malaga Airport, Malaga City itself, and Sotogrande in Gibraltar on the map here. Each town has something to offer and after discussing with you what your likes and dislikes are, we will make our recommendations but, of course, a lot of our job is actually showing the whole coast and letting you decide which areas you like yourself, but we will make suggestions.
For example, if you want to be close by to the airport, you don’t necessarily want to drive, there is a train link that goes between Malaga City, Malaga Airport and all the way to Fuengirola. So, for those not wanting to drive or use a car, that’s an excellent area to consider. However, more often than not, people do have a car and we recommend that, because it opens you up to so much more of the coast, better priced properties and better value for money. And in fact the distances that you see on the map, although they may seem large, are not really that far, because Malaga Airport to the centre of the coast, in Marbella for example, is really only a 30-40 minute drive, and if you go inland, which we do cover the inland areas as well for country properties and land and so on, if you’re looking places like Coin, for example, the drive to Marbella is only 20 minutes. So, we can look at the whole area, the type of property you’re looking for and best place you.
The Costa del Sol – historically, the US was always the second most popular after France, however, Spain has now taken over. There are many reasons for that, which I’m sure you’ll know and appreciate; we have the warmest climate in Europe. The other thing about the area we cover is that we have a true microclimate. So when I drive to work in the morning, my drive to work is spent driving down what is called the Ronda Road, with the mountains either side of me, looking down to the sea, and I can see Gibraltar clearly and Africa as well. Then I get on to the coast road and I’m driving with the Mediterranean on one side of me and the mountains the other side. What that means is that we enjoy a true microclimate, we are protected from the cold weather and the extreme heat as well, so it is perfect. A lot of people think the further south you are, the harsher the summers are and too hot, but, in fact, we do enjoy a fantastic microclimate. They call us the California of Europe.
As mentioned before, the cost of living is considerably lower than the UK. We have fresh, organic produce readily available and, of course, as mentioned before, eating out is way cheaper, not to mention the wine
Transport is fantastic. A lot of money has gone into building these amazing roads, very fast connections. Bus services and train connections; from Malaga Airport you can be in Madrid within two hours with the high speed rail link, and I believe Malaga Airport is the third busiest mainland airport in Spain, so cheap flights to Malaga are readily available, eventually. We are only a couple of hours drive to Seville and Granada, both beautiful, historic cities, as well as others. The advantage of being on an island, we have so much in the immediate vicinity.
Sports facilities are fantastic, we’re spoilt for sports and leisure. We have a fantastic outdoor life here with all the watersports, surfing, and so on. There is a beautiful town nearby called Tarifa, where you can enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing, and all sorts. We have well over 100 golf courses on the coast, so any degree of golf that you play you can play easily here. The mountains attract cyclists, the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France is raced here, the Vuelta and, of course, only two hours away we have the beautiful ski resort of Sierra Nevada.
In terms of value for money, with all the established infrastructure that we have, all the things that we have to offer, we still think, compared to other destinations, we do have a varied and good selection of properties at good prices.
All You Need To Know About The Spanish Property Market
The Spanish Property Market, what you need to know, some figures for you. UK nationals are still the largest nationality buying in 2019 and prices increasing overall in 2019 by 5%, whereas in 2018 it rose by 8%. Resale properties increasing by 5% and new builds increasing by 6%. I know a lot of you will have questions after on whether prices will go up and down, but those are the true figures that we have.
So, in 2019, 20% of all Spanish property transactions were on the Costa del Sol. Of those Andalusian transactions, 53% were in Marbella, Malaga, Estepona, Benahavis and Mijas. The most in demand in 2019 seems to be the new developments that are very much in demand at the moment, with modern design, contemporary feel, open plan and, of course, the new qualities that we have. As we didn’t have building work for nearly ten years, the comparisons people are making with the old properties and what is being built now is huge, qualities and that bright, open, modern feel. Of course large terraces, and outdoor space is so important. There are many advantages of buying off-plan, which we will go through later, but one of them mainly being the fact that you can lock in the price, enjoy the increase in value, and make staged payments along the way.
What I Can Get For My Investment In The Spanish Property Market?
So what can you get in the area that we cover, just to give you a very quick idea. If you have up to €200,000, you want let’s say a two bed, two bathroom apartment, close to the beach, shops, with sea views, in a nice resort with a swimming pool. We did research and between Estepona and Mijas, for example, there were 24 properties on the market with all those specifications, with the views and everything. Between Marbella and Puerto Banus, just to give you an idea of the increase in price, we found one property. That’s where the price seems to peak obviously in Marbella and Banus. Lower priced properties are still available, we think really starting at around €150,000 for two bed, two bathroom apartments, but new build developments, the pricing, in the Estepona area, you’re talking between €3,000 and €5,000 per square metre, whereas in Puerto Banus and Marbella you’ve talking around between €5,000 and €10,000 per square metre.
Health Care and Pension Information For The Spanish Property Market
There’s obviously been lots of questions also about healthcare and pensions and how it’s all going to work. I think there’s going to be some questions answered at the end of the presentation. There is a very small document now available, which sets out relevant information and so on, so if you would like a copy of that do get in contact, or if there is any information you need, please do get in contact with us and we’ll let you have that.
Have You Thought About Estepona for Your Overseas Home?
The reason why we talk about Estepona at the moment, a lot of our clients are enquiring about Estepona as a whole. Obviously before, everybody knows Marbella, but the two areas that are really opening up are Estepona and Benahavis, and we call it the ‘golden triangle’ at the moment, because the quality of what is available there is so high. People love it because it’s really truly authentically Spanish. So although they have the services they require and people speak English in the banks, or the lawyers and so on all speak the language, they still feel they’re in a very authentic Spanish village with beautiful flowers – hundreds of thousands of euros is spent on flowers around Estepona. They call it the Garden of Andalucía, It’s been cleaned up massively, the beaches are super wide, super clean, we have Blue Flag beaches, and we think it’s one of the best destinations and best investments also at the moment. So, lots of green areas and that expression of a ‘cement jungle’ does not apply whatsoever. It is really a beautiful destination to look at.
We’re really looking forward to speaking to you. I’m happy to call you in any shape or form, Zoom, Skype, however you like, we can arrange an appointment, and I’m there to answer questions and send you the information you need and make dreams a reality, so thank you.
The Mortgage Process in Spain
Presenter – Bozena Brunowska, Mortgage Direct
Who Are Mortgage Direct?
Good morning everybody, thank you for joining us. We are independent mortgage brokers. The company started in Valencia in 2006. We are qualified and we work with all the banks that are willing to lend to foreign buyers.
In today’s presentation, I want to cover the questions that usually are asked the most – so what type of mortgages are available in Spain, how much deposit I need to put down, how much I can borrow, what are the interest rates available at the moment, how we can help, and also I want to cover a little bit about applying for a mortgage, or agreement in principle, during the coronavirus lockdown.
What Types of Mortgages Are Available With Mortgage Direct?
Types or mortgages available in Spain, so we have the normal residential mortgages, so those are mortgages for fiscal residents of Spain. We have the holiday home mortgages, so if you want to buy a property to use during the holidays and then while you’re not using the property, you want to rent it out, so it’s just a mortgage. They don’t have in Spain buy-to-let mortgages, it’s just a holiday home mortgage. We’ve got the investor loans, commercial lending, construction mortgages. We have the self-building projects so if you want to buy land and design your own property and build your own property, you can obtain a mortgage on the land and on the building. We also have the short-term bridging finance for SL companies, somebody who needs a cash injection to develop a certain project.
How Much Of A Deposit Do I Need With Mortgage Direct?
The deposit very much depends on whether you receive your income in euros or not. If your income is in euros you need to put down a 30% deposit, and if you are earning in any other currency it’s usually 40% deposit. Saying that, there is a bank which will offer you higher amount but they have minimum lending of €100,000 so with this bank, even though you are not earning in euros, it is still possible to get 70% mortgage.
For the commercial lending we are looking at between 40%-50% deposit but again, it very much depends on the project, because if we make the bank believe that the project is good, and the banks like it and want to get involved, they like the location, they like the business plan, the terms are negotiable. So it could be that you would have to put down less deposit. The term of the mortgage is usually 15 years but again, if the bank wants the business, they might be willing to extend the term.
How Much Money Can I Borrow?
On the next slide, we’re going to cover – perhaps this is the most complicated question – how much you can borrow. In Spain everything depends on your debt to income ratio. What this means, the bank will look at your net salary and your current financial commitments and altogether that has to be within a certain percentage. On average, the banks will allow one third of your income, your net monthly income, to cover your current existing commitment plus the new Spanish mortgage repayments. Various banks offer different percentages. There are banks that offer one fourth of your income, which I try to demonstrate on the examples.
So, if you look at the example that I prepared for Mr and Mrs Smith – I’ve not used currency exchange here, I just tried to keep it simple. If we look at this example, Mr and Mrs Smith want to borrow €100,000 over 20 years and the repayments on that will be in the region of €510. The net monthly income is €3,000 per month, so we’re looking at two banks offering two different debt to income ratios, so Bank A it’s 30% and Bank B it’s 40%. If we times the €3,000 x 30% we get €900. What the €900 means is that this is the disposable income that can be allocated towards your current existing commitment, plus the new Spanish mortgage. Bank B offers slightly more, it’s 40%, so you can see the disposable income is higher, it’s €1,200. The current financial commitment for Mr and Mrs Smith, they have a mortgage of €390 per month, they have a car loan €120 per month.
So if you look at the calculation now, Bank A, which was offering 30% debt to income ratio, disposable income for that was €900. So if we deduct the €390, the existing mortgage, we deduct the €120 for the car loan, and we deduct the €510, the new Spanish mortgage repayments, we come to a negative figure of -€120, which means this bank will decline this application because we are outside the criteria. However, if you look at Bank B, where the disposable income was €1,200, we can deduct the mortgage €390, the car loan €120, the new Spanish mortgage €510, and we come to a disposable income of €180, which means the bank will approve this mortgage.
This is a general calculation, because it’s also depends on the type of income you receive, but please get in touch with us and we can do those calculations before we go to any of the banks and before we recommend anything. This is the most important, we start by calculating the debt to income ratio.
What Interest Rates Are Currently Available?
The next question is, what interest rates are available? Interest rates very much depend and again we are going back to debt to income ratio – the lower debt to income ratio the lower the risk for the bank, so they are happy to offer you better interest rates, and the higher the risk the more expensive the interest rates. Also worth mentioning that, in Spain the banks can offer you cheaper interest rates if you take out various additional products. So the main ones they usually ask you to take out is the life cover, house and contents insurance, and pension, you could be buying investments.
So anything that you take as an additional product, you get a discount on your interest rates, which sometimes it works out cheaper and sometimes it doesn’t, but we always compare two banks, the banks that insist on additional products and the banks that don’t insist on any additional products. The rates I’m quoting here are rates that are specific to Mortgage Direct. Due to the volume of business we receive, we get a better interest rate and also the rates that we’re quoting here are rates and those are quoted from the bank that doesn’t insist on any additional products, apart from building and contents insurance.
The variable rate, we know how the variable rate works. It goes up and down and follows the Euribor and the payment is not guaranteed, so there is an element of risk involved in this rate. The fixed rates you can get the same as you do in the UK, so you can have the two year fixed, you can have a five year fixed, but also in Spain you can have ten year fixed, 20 year fixed, 30 year fixed, so those are interest rates fixed for the duration of the mortgage. It gives you stability, peace of mind, and you know exactly how much you are going to pay per month.
How Else Can Mortgage Direct Help Me?
So how we can help. As I mentioned before, we start everything from calculating debt to income ratio. That then gives us an idea which bank we could go for. We go to the right bank first time, so we don’t submit the applications to all the banks hoping they’re going to approve the mortgage. Based on your financial situation, based on the first interview, we know whether we can get the approval, whether we cannot get an approval, or whether it is 50/50. We help you. If your debt to income ratio doesn’t match, we help you to resolve the issue. Sometimes it is something very simple like paying off your credit card.
We open a bank account for you, the required few questions about the bank account, so we open the bank account remotely and usually it is with the bank that will approve the mortgage, because the banks here they like you to have a bank account with them if they are providing the mortgage. The bank account, like I mentioned, is opened through the internet, it’s a normal current account so you get a card, internet banking, telephone banking, and it’s fully operational and you can use it immediately before you even buy the property in Spain.
We monitor the whole process from the beginning. So from the time when you contact us to say we need a mortgage, we need an agreement in principle, we need to have everything ready, up to the point where you go and pick up your keys. We talk to solicitors, we talk to estate agents, we talk to the bank, we keep everybody together and everybody updated throughout the process. We deal with branches for each bank that are multilingual, so that means that you don’t need to translate any documents but, also, the benefit is that if, after the purchase, lets say you want to arrange direct debit but you’re not sure how to do it online, or you want to cancel or change a provider, you have a port of contact with the bank that speaks the language, that speaks very good English, speak various European languages, so that can be very helpful.
We are very keen on this and we can arrange the agreement in principle for you before you travel to view the properties, so basically your mortgage is approved, you know you have the finances behind you. We submit the full case to the risk department with all your documentation. We get the decision, yes, Mr and Mrs Smith you can have a mortgage, go and find a property. That gives you peace of mind, you can come to Spain, view the property, make your offer, pay the holding deposit, knowing full well you’ve got the mortgage and so you don’t have to worry and stress.
How Can I Apply For a Mortgage During Covid-19?
So that’s about the criteria. How to apply for a mortgage during the lockdown? We are working, so the banks are working, the risk department is working, everybody is working. We’re working from home, which means that it will take longer to get an agreement in principle The bank staff, the underwriters, do have children and so they might not be able to work seven hours a day. So I would advise you, if you are thinking of buying a property with a mortgage, please do so in advance so we have the time to prepare the case, we can collect all the documents and also the underwriters have the time to approve this case.
Valuations are still going ahead. So the surveyors are going to view the properties, evaluations are coming back okay so, so far we’ve not had any properties devalued during the lockdown. The notaries are still open and we are going ahead with completions, so that is operational. What I would suggest, if you’re looking to buy the property after the lockdown, I would strongly advise you to start doing the NIE application as soon as you can. You will need to contact your solicitor and arrange a Power of Attorney and they can start applying. At the moment, it’s very difficult because obviously the offices are closed but in some areas it is still possible, so please let us know and we can put you in touch with the correct people.
Thank you for watching. We have some appointments available for the next few days. We do the affordability calculation for you; we can give you more personalised advice.
Buying in Costa Blanca
Presenter – Karsten Ryder, Vincent Real Estate
Who are Vincent Real Estate?
Morning everybody,. We are presently in our 21st year of operation in the Costa Blanca south, which means let’s keep this topical and how to buy in Spain after coronavirus. We had already actually gone through a previous economic downturn back in 2007/2008, not just us but the whole industry. We expect that there will be many fluctuations after coronavirus. This may or may not happen, we don’t know, it’s certainly not happened as yet, because during the lockdown that we are, should I say, enjoying or not, in Spain, we’ve sold two properties and we’re presently dealing with five offers on properties. When I say sold that means we’ve actually had deposits on properties that clients have not actually seen. The five offers that we’ve had through, most of them have actually been bang on the asking price or within about 5% of the asking price, which is normal in our industry anyway, irrespective of the coronavirus.
Just to basically compound what I’ve just said, we survived a previous economic downturn in the 2000s and we’re strong enough and big enough to actually outlast this one, which I think is important for people to realise, to stay with a company that has actually been there through previous crises and are going to remain there, and not just deal with a company that may have been in operation three / four years riding on a wave of opportunity, as it were. Having said that, we are still a small enough company to deal with people on a one-to-one basis. Please use both your senses here, both hearing and sight, look at the slides as we go along and listen as well.
This next slide just compounds what I’ve just basically said, we are going to stay here, all our staff are actually working from home. Enough said. We’re answering every single enquiry and we wouldn’t have sold the properties that we’ve sold during the lockdown, nor had the offers, if we were not continuing to work. As my learned colleague Shirin said, she’ll accept Skype or any form of video conferencing, any media with respect to a face-to-face with a client, if that’s what they require – I’m sure most of you have got all our details available to you, or you will have after the webinar finishes – right the way through to, shall we say, delivering food to our elderly clients.
Over 21 years, we have built up a very large ex-client base / present client base, and hopefully we will be having a lot more future clients. Clients that have not been able to get out of their homes have actually been asking us if we can go and get food for them, do some shopping, etc. We believe in the community that we actually live in and that’s also a service that we want to provide, but don’t necessarily have to provide but we still do it.
What Area Does Vincent Real Estate Cover in Spain?
Where are we? Well, basically we’re the Costa Blanca South, so that would be the south east of Spain below Alicante Airport taking through to Torrevieja and San Pedro del Pinatar, through also to the Mar Menor. We’ve got two offices, one of which is in Benijofar, which covers should we say up to Alicante, inland through to Elche, Crevillent, Algorfa, Almoradi, Dolores, Catral, through to Torrevieja itself, areas such as San Luis, La Siesta, El Chaparral, those places. And the Orihuela Costa office covers basically the dome of the Orihuela Costa, which would be the likes of Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, etc. Sorry if I’m going too fast but, as I said, you’re all going to get a link to listen to the whole thing later on today.
The areas that we cover are basically supported by two international airports, Alicante and Corvera. Obviously, post coronavirus, we don’t know when those airports are actually going to open to traffic. We personally feel that the traffic they’re going to open up to first will be those people that already have a residence in Spain. That’s the possible first de-escalation that we believe might be announced by Pedro Sánchez at some stage in the middle of next month.
We have many partners along the coast that, if we haven’t got what you want, we can certainly find it for you and basically save you a whole weekend of looking through websites, finding a property that you might want in 48 hours’ time, when we can do that job in between 15 minutes and 30 minutes for you. Leave it with one professional agent to actually do your property search for you.
Is an Investment In The Costa Blanca Property Market a Good Idea?
Read and obviously listen – in any time of crisis I think we tend to find that bricks and mortar would always be the ones that will come to the forefront as to maintaining and if not, indeed, increasing in value over the years. There won’t necessary be a quick fix on this, we’re not going back to the late nineties / early 2000s where you could buy something, do it up, sell it at a profit. Those days don’t happen as quickly now I don’t think anywhere in the world and obviously Spain would be included in that. If you want to grab a bargain now, by all means give it a go.
As I said earlier, the sales and the offers that we’ve actually had in have been there or thereabouts on the asking price. However, those asking prices have actually been reduced over the last few months by the vendors and we have looked at our own personal statistics and coronavirus hasn’t really decreased the value of the properties in the area because they were pretty much already, should we say, dropped by the vendors because of Brexit. Coronavirus is just possibly a continuation of the faith in the market that Brexit did or didn’t have for individuals. An example for you, we had a house, a two bed, two bath apartment, that was reduced from €52,950 to just below the €50,000 mark, so a €3,000 reduction, sold bang on the asking price because of a slight reduction; €3,000 based on a €50,000 purchase, about a 6% reduction. So there is still room for manoeuvre in the market for everybody that wants to grab a bargain.
The window of actually purchasing something that could be within your budget and costing you less money could be small. We don’t actually know but the best way to tell that is strike while the iron is hot and don’t regret your decisions along the way. Who knows? Property buying or any downturn in the market or upturn in the market is a bit like currency exchange for the pound to euro and vice versa, it fluctuates and who knows what you’re actually going to get around the corner. It should only be a bargain for you as opposed to a bargain for anybody else. We all buy things in life that mean a lot more to us than they might mean to somebody else or the value of them.
A Selection of Costa Blanca Properties From Vincent Real Estate
Here’s a few of the bargain properties that have recently come on the market, Punta Prima, Orihuela Costa, that’s, as I say, Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, Cabo Roig, La Zenia, that’s just been reduced by €7,500, so not a bad reduction, again 6.5% there or thereabouts. That’s a very short walk to the beach and localised facilities. San Luis, nearer to Torrevieja, lots of localised amenities, quite near the centre of Torrevieja to go and enjoy nights out, but far enough away to actually not hear the noise from your private swimming pool. That’s a decent reduction again, €30,000, just a touch over 10%.
An area Formentera del Segura, that’s only just across the river from where our offices are, a small typical Spanish village with mixed nationalities. That’s reduced by €5,000, again a reasonable percentage reduction, get in while you can strike. The vendor obviously wants to sell, as in any of these reductions, don’t be last in the queue. The last of one of our options, La Fiesta in the famous Quesada. Anybody who knows about Quesada should know it well, but pretty much all facilities are around that particular property. Again that’s reduced by €5,000. All these bargain properties that I’m displaying here, and any others that we’ve actually got, we’re here to put an offer forward because that’s our ethical obligation to do so; we can only negotiate on your behalf with a vendor. We act in the interests of all parties as a mediator, shall we say.
Basically, you can reserve for €2,500 over the telephone and the contract can be subject to viewing, based on travel restrictions that are in place by your relevant country and obviously ours here in Spain. That would be agreed by the vendor which would mean then basically you’ve reserved the property for €2,500, it is at a fixed price, as in a price the vendor has accepted and the vendor knows the terms and conditions, that it is subject to viewing and it comes off the market until you view that property.
Obviously, there has to be some kind of give and take in that. Hopefully, within the next three months, you will be able to view the property that you put the reservation deposit down on. Those are new situations that we’re coming across with the topic matter of buying post coronavirus. Some people have even bought blind, should we say, not even wanting to view the property. They’ve seen the bargain, they’ve bought it, they’ve known the area or have done the research themselves.
Tips For Purchasing Property In The Costa Blanca With Vincent Real Estate
Don’t worry about actually doing the transaction. The money can either be held by us, your estate agent, or given to your solicitor to hold the deposit. Your solicitor can then conduct the relevant legal searches necessary. Normally they are done remotely, and they still can be now, and those searches will, should we say, show to the solicitor that the property in question is that address, has no debts on it, and that you are covered with your deposit. That solicitor can also do Power of Attorney for you. So, in the comfort of your own armchair, which I presume is where you are now and not stood in the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester thinking that I was there on the stage; I’m not, I’m here in Spain. Use your internet as your friend, everybody has got thumbs to twizz around. Basically, do your research. We don’t mind people doing the research.
Sometimes people get confused. Use us. Between our staff, most of us have lived here 20 years plus, we’re multilingual, we’ve got many languages under our belt, right the way through obviously from the Spanish through to English, through to French, Dutch, also, should we say, even Croatian and Russian. If we don’t know the answer ourselves, we know people that have got the answers for you. Thanks very much for listening everybody. We’ll meet again, hopefully face-to-face, with a shake of the hand and you giving me a bottle of wine for finding the right property for you. Thanks everybody and have a good afternoon.
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