BREXIT? What to do next?

We recently attended and made notes at a local meeting in Hondón de los Frailes about BREXIT.  This was organised by the British Consulate, Alicante division. Our notes are below which may help some of you.

BREXIT for Expats in Spain

Yes, the situation as we write (Nov’ 2018) is still very fluid and subject to change and as yet there is no deal/ a deal is agreed between the UK and EU.

However, with time running out Brits abroad are worrying what they should do!

Of course Hondon Villas are no experts on what actually will happen, nor are we privy to any more information than anyone else. But we try to keep an eye on what could happen to protect our business and help new and existing clients.

With that in mind here are the things we picked out from the talk…

AIM of the Talk: For British citizens living in Spain to be ready for Brexit.

Citizens rights:
Brits that are over living here ‘legally’ can continue to do so as normal.
To be ‘legal’ you must hold a residencia. You can have lived here for less than 5 years but you still need a residencia.

Health Care:
If you have health care already in Spain via a S1 (pensioners) then you can continue to do so. If you have healthcare in Spain through any other means i.e S I P card then this continues also. The European health card ( EHIC) should not be used if you are living here permanently.

Time frames:
To achieve legal status (residencia) before December 2020 (if a deal is reached). To achieve legal status (residencia) before March 31st (if a deal is not reached).

Part time residents:
Maybe difficult for them to do 6 months Spain/UK. This group may have to choose which country they want to be resident in! Nothing has been agreed in the negotiations so far but may mean that if you are not resident legally in Spain there could be restrictions on the period of time they can reside per year.

Driving License:
Should not be driving on a UK driving license if living in Spain. You need a Spanish Driving license.

False info/scaremongering:
Anything written on any platform other than the Gov.UK site is not true.

Voting rights:
This was not included in the Brexit negotiations. However Spain and the British consulate are in discussions so hopefully Brits legally living in Spain will be able to vote in the local Spanish elections soon.

Spain/difficulties in registering:
This can be described as a bureaucratic country with regards getting your documents especially your residencia. However, this in the long term is good thing as it gives you a good footprint in Spain.

Gestores:
Due to the difficult nature/red tape of some of the paperwork needed to obtain some documents, the Spanish tend to use a Gestor who can, for a cost, sort out everything that is needed. Recommended, especially if yout Spanish is poor.

Other info
Facebook page ‘Brits in Spain’

Citizens Advice Spain – a voluntary website to help foreigners in Spain.

Brexpats– Formed to assist the Brits during Brexit. Not for/against Brexit just works with the consulate to help get info out to Brits in Spain. Brexpats is a legal and regulated association in Spain with 5,500 members to date. They also work with international lawyers and are hopeful that they can achieve the voters rights for Brits in Spain to vote in local elections.
Join : More members needed to increase their voice!

The message clearly was to make sure you are a legal British citizen in Spain before Brexit….the only way to achieve this is to have all your documentation but most importantly your residencia.

As we do not know as yet whether there is going to be a deal…I guess it would be sensible to recommend that we all get our paperwork sorted before March 31st 2019.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please consult official channels and not the local bar-room chitter. You can share your experiences on the Hondon Villas Facebook page

Thank you

The Hondón Villas team
Office Numbers: +34 965 075 357 or +34 865 571 981 |
Mobiles: Español +34 683 635 339 | English +34 622 314 244
OFFICE #1: Central Plaza, Hondon de los Frailes
OFFICE #2: Central Plaza, Hondon de las Nieves

Tax & Residency Guides for Spain

Whilst we cannot vouch for all their advice or practises, Blevins Franks, have a long and respected reputation for financial advice, tax, BREXIT and the Spanish legal maze.

They offer books, videos and free basic guides to paying taxes in Spain. They often advertise free seminars in the area where you can meet and quiz their experts in relaxed surroundings.

Use the link below to find an array of published guides (PDFs) and books. e.g. Franks & Blevin, AIPP, etc

https://www.blevinsfranks.com/download/tax-guides/

 

Hondon Villas can Help

Hondon Villas (an AIPP member) have already helped 100’s of people buy their DREAM HOME in the Hondon area. You will find that we are passionate about your property needs… Buy, sell or rent!

Welcome to our Estate Agents!

  1. NO PRESSURE! – We listen, offer expert advice BUT let you choose… please take your time, after all it’s a BIG life changing decision so we want you to find the right property in the right location.
  2. EXPERIENCE & KNOWLEDGE: No other local agent comes close… 30+ years in the industry and trained to corporate standards and 13 years in the area!
  3. 2 STAFFED OFFICES: Yes real people in real offices with real desks in the main central plazas of Frailes & Nieves
  4. TRANSPORT: Airport taxis, car-hire and temporary accommodation
  5. SPANISH PAPERWORK: Escrituras, NIEs, Padron, Utilities
  6. LEGAL ASPECTS: planning permissions, contracts, land-registry, conveyance, power of attorney
  7. FINANCE: mortgage brokers, Spanish bank accounts, currency exchange
  8. CULTURE / LIFESTYLE: Social scene, bars, restaurants, fiestas, entertainment, schools, shops
  9. BUILDINGS & DOMESTICS: Yes you still have to do chores & DIY in Spain! But we know the local tradesmen and services in the area
  10. BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: …and of course our award winning service with a smile and patience all to AIPP best practise levels…
  11. We are Hondon’s Safest Buy, Spain. PERIOD!
    CALL, EMAIL or VISIT
    to BUY, SELL or RENT in the Hondon Valley areas

Learn about Spanish Property Paperwork

bnr-hondon-property-epcBuying or Selling, you need to know more about the Spanish Property Paperwork you should have or consider? The Kyero quick guide can help…

Before signing anything there are some important pieces of paper you and your lawyer should have a look at the following paperwork and requirments.

1) The Escritura Publica and Nota Simple: The Escritura Publica is the registered title deed of the property. It is entered in the ‘Registro de la Propiedad’, the Property Registry, and is the only guarantee of title in Spain. It contains a description of the property, the details of the owner and any mortgages or legal claims that exist against the property. This document is important because it tells you if the seller is the owner of the property being sold. A nota simple contains further details of any mortgages or charges against the property and is also available from the Registry.

2) The IBI receipt: Before purchasing a resale (not new) Spanish property check out the ‘lmpuesto sobre Bienes lnmuebles’, or IBI, which is the municipal property tax. Ideally, you’ll be able to see the IBI receipts for the last five years because that is the limit of liability for unpaid back taxes and is attached to the property, not the owner. A new property bought from a developer will not have an IBI receipt (because it has never been ‘owned’) so it will be your responsibility to register the property for this tax.

3) The Referencia Catastral: Every property sale must quote the ‘Referencia Catastral’ of the property in question. The Catastro is another system of property registration in Spain, concentrating on the location, physical description and boundaries of the property. While the Property Registry focuses almost exclusively on ownership and title, the Catastro is concerned with property valuation.

These two systems do not communicate with each other, and it is common to find that the catastral description of a property differs greatly from the one in the Property Registry. It is a good idea to request the actual certificate from the Catastro with a full description of the property. The certificate is in two parts, one being a description of the property and the other being either a plan or an aerial photograph.

4) Community fees, statutes and minutes of the AGM: This only applies if you are buying a property in an urbanisation or where there are some ‘communal’ resources, shared amongst a number of properties. These are the fees charged by the ‘Comunidad de Propietarios’, the Community of Property Owners, a legal body that controls all the elements held in common; the lift, gardens and pool for example. Each owner is assigned a quota, or percentage of the expenses which, by law, must be paid.

5) Utility bills: These assure you that the bills are paid and also provide an idea of what the running costs of the property will be.

6) EPC (Energy Performance Certificate): The EPC (energy performance certificate) is a report that describes how efficient a home is in terms of energy consumption and also gives recommendations on how to save money and make your home more efficient. It assigns an energy rating to each home on a scale which ranges from “A” (the most efficient) to “G” (the less efficient). The EPC law is  approved and it came into force on the 1st of June, 2013. It is obligatory for all sellers and lessors who are advertising their property for sale or rent. At the completion of the sale The Notary will ask to see the original EPC. When buying a home you should get the EPC for that property and it’s rating. If you are selling you should obtain one.

7) Misc: If you are buying a property in an urbanisation, make sure that it is legal and registered by asking to see the approved ‘plan parcial’ at the town hall. If the property is on the beach, make sure the development is also approved by the Jefatura de Costas. For a new property, make sure that it has been declared for IBI and that the developer has made the ‘declaracion de obra nueva’. Also ensure that the escritura mentions the house you are purchasing as well as the plot of land on which it stands. As an additional safeguard, it is wise to examine the town planning maps for the area around the property, called the Plan General de Ordenacion Urbana, or PGOU.

Be Realistic with your Selling Price on Hondon Homes

As much as it hurts, in the current market, property sellers still have to be realistic about the price they want for their property in Spain. Most people in the Hondon area have too great an expectation of their property value.

 

In general houses for sale in the Hondon area have sold for well below their original sale price if they were bought in the boom/pre-2008 (the crash). Very few sellers achieve their initial asking price. And it’s a fact that whilst Hondon Property Sales are definitely on the up in 2017 / 2018, figures such as 30% or 40% below pre-crash values are now common.

It’s a buyer’s market right now.

Not great news if you are selling!  And supply is larger than demand in many areas of the Spanish Costas, pushing prices down even further. Thankfully, most expert reports think this has trend has now bottomed and a slow recovery is now happening. We’d echo that in the Hondon Valley area. as 2017 was a record year and we have already smashed our own target for 2018 (Aug now).

The property portal Kyero keeps tabs on many of the official property indicators and housing data on their blog. They have just reported the news that house prices on the whole are fairly stable now. Read their page as often they do contradict but it might help you when valuing your own house. And do comparisons with similar property in your area. Remember, though that these reports usually talk in averages. > SEE HERE> KYERO “Spanish House Prices Have Fallen by 41.4% Since 2007” ARTICLE

The hard truth though is that the property market usually dictates the average exchange so what we want for a house is not always what we get.

So, please, do your property research or call / visit us for a free no-obligation valuation and an experienced chat.

We are Hondon Villas in Frailes & Nieves, the most experienced agents in the area. AIPP accredited and extremely helpful.
: TEL 965 075 357 property @ hondonvillas.net

AIPP: Association of International Property Professionals

Real Estate Code of Conduct

Hondon Villas are proud to be a member (5 years running) of the AIPP, an established organisation aiming to improve the standards of Real Estate services across the globe.

Our service is based on the AIPP’s code of conduct for Realtors. 

In fact we believe we always aim to go beyond every other agent’s service standard! Maureen Cook, the director of Hondon Villas is passionate about making buyers and sellers happy WITH NO PRESSURE and her amiable and honest approach to real estate services. (Read the testimonials here)

Buyers & property owners using an AIPP trade member benefit from unique assurances not available through non-AIPP members or far too many car-only based agents.

AIPP is registered at UK Companies House No. 5677417

AIPP is a bona-fida trade non-profit members organisation of over 350 global paying members, including A Place In the Sun & Right Move Overseas. The membership fee ensures proper accountability and systems are used and scrutinised by its members. The AIPP membership agree, publish and oversee professional standards in the international property market.

Members include estate agents, property developers, lawyers, financial services, media & others. All have signed-up to the AIPP code of conduct and clients of Business Members are covered by the leading UK Property Ombudsman service.

Based in London since 2006, AIPP has over 350 company members in 30+ countries. Find your AIPP property professional by searching members on the AIPP website via the link at the bottom of this page.
> https://www.aipp.org.uk/

Your Online Privacy is Important

GDPR, Privacy and Cookies: (May 2018)

We take your data privacy very seriously. And so should you. In May 2018 the E.U. passed new privacy and data laws : collectively known as the General Data Protection Regulation.

Cookie anyone?

It affects us all and it is in your own interest to understand how your data is harvested and used across the Internet. Importantly, also what you can do about it. The policies and information below should help you. There are other resources online by regional Governments also.

» You can read our updated GDPR Privacy & Cookie Policy on our main website. Be assured we NEVER SPAM or distribute your personal data without consent. We need and only use your data to service your business with us, namely to buy, sell or rent Spanish property.

Once we have completed our relationship we periodically delete your details. Be careful, we know of other agents that are very flimsy with your data and have never had a privacy or cookie policy (which is unlawful since 2011). Ask if you need further clarification but our online policy should answer any fears.

 

Spanish Real Estate – Brexit Buy or Sell?

Brexit … groan! As important as this historic event was and is likely to be in the next few years we are tired of hearing about it? But we cannot ignore it.

But or Sell in the Hondon Valley post Brexit

Well…. despite some jittery nerves after the UK Brexit vote in 2016, thankfully Brexit does not (as yet at least) seemed to have had a negative outcome on Brits buying property in Spain.

Without doubt Hondon Villas have had an incredible start to 2018 as in 2017 so we can say for now that people are buying here in Hondon despite Brexit. The charm  and value property of the Hondon Valley does still seem to inspire our prospects to want to live or holiday here.

We know from many studies and stats that the British are still by far the biggest group of foreign buyers of Spanish property, almost double the next biggest group – the French. Great news for the Real Estate sector and indeed for Spanish home sellers and the Spanish Government who rely on us for a massive part of the national income. Whilst it is nowhere near the heady heights of the pre-crash boom, things still look rosy in Spanish Real Estate.

We also know that many buyers who had designs to move to Spain are bringing forward their new life in fear of Brexit making it harder later.

“We decided to make our move sooner rather than later, as it may not be so easy in the future after Brexit,” says Natalie, 47, a primary-school teacher.”

Of course There are many factors on when or why people want to invest abroad… not just Brexit. For example there is a strong correlation between British demand for Spanish property and the strength of the pound against the Euro.   TIP: So Brits selling to return to the UK might want to do their sums as often the Euro to Sterling exchange rate can make up ground on any sales loss, especially if you bought in the boom years when GBP was 1.45+ €s.

But 100% it’s still a buyer’s market as supply by far outweighs demand. So sellers will likely not get the asking price they want as typically all buyers will make a reduced offer. Certainly in Hondon just about every house sold in recent years does not achieve the price the vendor thinks they can get. Many sellers with prices too high have had to wait years to sell and then only to reduce the price anyway.

Idealista have published that on average, buyers of Spanish Property offer 20.9% less than the vendor wants.

» Our reduced price Hondon Villas can be seen on this page

Hondon Valley Property AgentWe believe in general that this is to be expected and we ALWAYS advise sellers to keep their guide price as realistic as possible or you could be waiting a long time! Too many people proclaim “I’m not giving it away” but more often than not they have to accept it in the end.

So as a seller you should be prepared to negotiate and lower your guide price. The simple fact is that the Spanish Real Estate market has been depressed for nearly 10 years but it is definitely looking better, albeit slowly slowly.

Speak to Maureen or Jacquie for advise if you are unsure on what to ell your Hondon property for. 

 

Thanks to Mark Stücklin (Spanish Property Insight) for helping with this article.

Driving in Spain : Roundabouts

Spanish Highway CodeIf you have driven in Spain already you’ll know it can be frustrating and bewildering. It has also been known to induce Road-Rage! Why is it so hard to grasp?

Apparently the Spanish “Highway Code” (Codigo de Trafico y Seguridad Vial (pdf)) is about 1000 pages long! (in Spanish of course). So realistically you will not read it and judging by experience not many locals have read it either.

Is it any different in other countries? There will be cause and blame from both locals and foreigners not familiar with Spain’s road laws and of there can be the usual disregard for other road user’s safety.

So what about Roundabouts in Spain?

Drivers here already know one of the most hair-raising driving situations here in Spain is usually at roundabouts. It can sometimes feel more like the fair-ground dodgems and a free-for-all guessing game of lane changing. Of course a lot of drivers do not even signal their intentions (lazy!). So you need to be very careful of other drivers on “glorietas” when driving in Spain.

Driving in Spain : Glorietas
Driving in Spain : Glorietas (click to enlarge)

It should be quite simple: Under normal circumstances you should always exit the roundabout from the right hand lane.

Remember that you must stay to the right and drive as far to the right as possible when travelling around a roundabout in Spain. The right hand lane is the normal driving lane. Try and think of the roundabout as a normal road that has curves.  Have a look at the graphic above:  Car A and Car B is good driving but C, D and E is bad driving and could impede others drivers or worse still cut-off or force an accident.

If (due to traffic or lane markings approaching the roundabout) you need to enter the roundabout in a left/middle lane then ensure you still move over (and signal) to the right lane in time to exit the roundabout ( like CAR B ).

The principals are similar to the UK rules but of course in Spain we drive on the right.

The main thing is to be very aware of other drivers as unfortunately far too many do not know the above rules… you will be cut-off and will see many near-misses on Spanish roundabouts! Keep calm!

New Sunday Opening Laws

Shock!! Some larger shops are  closing on Sundays …

Sunday Shopping Laws

Many Shop­pers got a shock this week find­ing that large stores like Carrefour, La Zenia Boulevard and Haban­eras shopping malls were now closed on a Sunday after years of be­ing opened vir­tu­ally every day.

This is be­cause in March 2015, Valen­cian Com­munity passed a law to limit Sunday open­ing and weekly open­ing hours, which would not come into ef­fect un­til March 2018.

However, Murcia region have different laws so in only 30 minutes from Hondon you can still get your retail therapy fix at the many Retail parks near in and around the Nueva Con­dom­ina centre.

» Find out more in this Article: