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:

Save 1000’s with the MoneyCorp Foreign Exchange

bnr-moneycorp-currency-calculator If you are using Sterling to buy or pay for your Spanish property / mortgage or just need to transfer some larger sums of money from the UK to Spain then you SHOULD be using a Currency Exchange Service.

IT CAN LITERALLY SAVE YOU LOTS OF MONEY ON FEES AND POORER BANK RATES.

Incredibly even a small percentage fluctuation in the rates can make a massive difference in what you get back.

IN FACT if you TIME IT RIGHT you can literally save 1000’s on an exchange deal when paying off your house purchase.

So it is ALWAYS WORTH using a reliable and trusted foreign exchange service, like MoneyCorp as their rates and service are much better than a typical bank or Bureau de Change service.

At Hondon Villas we use and recommend MoneyCorp for your foreign payments. Alan can advise you on the BEST ROUTE fro your needs, he is so helpful. Here is a quick link to » CHECK TODAY’S RATES

Who needs Agents? Find an Expat instead!

LOL! A recent story (abridged) …
Buyer: “Oh no I’d never buy a DVD player from a random bloke in the pub. Too rissssssky.”

Agent:Very wise! Oh so how did you hear about the house you want to buy here?

Buyer: “Oh the barmaid in that bar showed me it, she was very nice! She says I don’t need a to worry about black money or the paperwork.  And I don’t need an estate agent!”

Thought bubble!  So the biggest purchase of your life, 1/4 of million+ €€€ and you think the … well phhfff… we wish you luck with that one!

We know that a mechanic can fix a car. We  know the electrician will fit new lights. We know a butcher will cut a nice fillet of beef. We know the barmaid will serve ice cold drinks on hot days and the chef will cook that beef…

But a good real estate agent will sit next to you and hold your hand through the long property purchase maze, they will value, photo and video your property, negotiate the deal, sort the deposits and contracts, take you to get the right paperwork like NIEs, find me a good lawyer, open a bank account with you, know the area, the trade people,  help you with transport and the legal notary and always help you after the sale.

Do we also know the estate agent has lots of costs in running an office, employing staff, equipment, computers, websites, tax, insurance, advertising, networking, car / petrol, telephone bills, electric, water, heating, fixtures, fittings and so on… ?

We know the local agent will be part of the community, give to local charities, pay the rates, keep abreast of local planning and events, help the other businesses, create and distribute wealth, introduce people as friends, eat & drink in the local catering establishments and so on.

So a good estate agent is more than just sales person in our opinion. What do you think?

FREE! Guide to Buying Spanish Property

Free Download Guides for Spanish Property

As you know Hondon Villas are a proud member of the Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP). This non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation based in London help to ensure we agents improve and adhere to a high standards of service and practices. The AIPP also provide free and impartial information to UK citizens about buying a foreign property.

» Free Guide to Buying Spanish Property

» Free How to Buy Overseas Property Safely (2018 Ed.)

AIPP is also a Trustee of the IESC – International Ethics & Standards Coalition – www.ies-coalition.org

Hondon Valley Property AgentThey are also proactive in making sure YOU THE BUYER and SELLER are informed and well versed in what to expect when buying a property abroad. You can contact them via their website [ https://www.aipp.org.uk/ ] for advice and help. In the meantime download and read the above FREE PROPERTY BUYER GUIDES from the AIPP.

Opening Hours / Horario de Apertura

Monday to Friday (Lunas a Viernes) 10.00 – 17.00
Saturday / Sábado : By appointment only / Solo por cita

Telephones:

  • OFFICE (0034) 965 075 357 (Mon – Fri / Horario Comercial)
  • MOBILE ESPAÑOL (0034) 683 635 339
  • MOBILE ENGLISH (0034) 622 314 244

OFFICE: Calle Juan Carlos I #24,
Plaza Centr, Hondon de Los Frailes.
Alicante Region GOOGLE MAP
03689, España (Spain)

Social Media

Facebook: facebook.com/hondonvillas/
Twitter: twitter.com/hondonagent
Blog: Villas in Hondon, News and Blog

 

Hondon Villas wear the AIPP Badge

Real Estate Code of ConductHondon Villas are the only AIPP agent who have a local daily office in the Hondon Valley. We are actually in the central plaza of Hondón de los Frailes ( here is the Google map ) .

We are happy to be part of and perform to the Real Estate standards of the AIPP (Assoc’ of International property Professionals). It’s a fact, no other local agent has the experience or level of service we can offer.

Thank you Len Ridgway: “We would like just like to say and let it be known that credit where credit is due! Mo (Maureen) and Saff of Hondon Villas have given us excellent service and been the most helpful and professional agents to us and we know many many other people as well. They have always gone the extra mile for us and its most appreciated. We would still and have recommended them to lots of people 🙂 … Said it before but if you want to sell your property professionally then go with Maureen, she’s the best :-)”.

And we live here, know the people, know the facilities and have helped 100’s of people buy homes or settle here. We are “Hondon Villas” and we sell Villas in Hondon.

Our professional perseverance is paying off… we are on a roll as we have sold another 2 properties this week. Watch our on line channels (such as Facebook / Twitter / Google+) for updates.

Hondon Villas concentrate our estate services in the Hondon Valley and the surrounding villages. Everyday we deal with Hondon buyers, sellers and renters. We prefer not deal on the coast as we want to look after our special local community.

Please visit or contact our office for more Information:
Oficina Tel: 965075357

Here are some nearby towns and villages close to the Hondon Valley: Albatera, Algorfa, Algueña, Almoradí, Aspe, Balones, Benejúzar, Benferri, Benijófar, Benissa, Callosa de Segura, Cañada del Trigo, Catral, Cox, Crevillente, Dolores, Elche, Elda, Elx, Hondón de las Nieves, Hondón de los Frailes, Hondon Valley, La Romana, La Montanosa Urb Villas, Monforte del Cid, Monóvar, Novelda, Orihuela, Pinoso, Rojales, San Isidro, Santa Pola, Sax. All of them little gems in the Hondon Valley Crown!

Buying Advice: Always Protect Your Deposit

We at Hondon Villas always use a Lawyer (abogado) to collect and receipt deposits on house purchases. We DO NOT HOLD your money in a special account or keep it if the sale goes cold.

We highly recommend to NEVER PAY AN AGENT or BUILDER an advanced DEPOSIT. Always ask for a qualified lawyer or appoint one in advance to take care of your finances.

Unfortunately, some agents in the area who insist on taking a deposit as their commission, whether the sale goes through or not. This is RISKY for the buyer and seller and in our opinion WRONG! The chances are you will never see that money again. We are AIPP registered and adhere to good practice for both buyer and seller.

It is common practice when buying a property in Spain to ask the buyer to pay a % deposit on the home they wish to buy in advance of the completion. The main reason is to show good will and for the agent to remove the property from sale whilst the paperwork is checked. So you are making a reservation on the property by signing an “arras agreement“.

This actually helps both sides of the deal. The buyer is assured their offer has been accepted and there will be no further viewings or offers on the property and the seller has some peace of mind that the buyer has the good intention to purchase.

Bare in mind  that you may lose this deposit if you don’t complete the sale on the date stated, or that the vendor shall return double the amount deposited, was he finally not to honour the contract in the stated date. But your contract should be clear on that.

A deposit can be any amount depending on the sale price and circumstances. In the Hondon Valley and surrounding areas a €3000 deposit is common but can be more if the property is of a high price, a special deal or maybe an off-plan new build. The latter can be 10% of the purchase price so a a builder can commence with the work.

Of course integral to this should is trust and a signed contract spelling out the terms of the deposit, what it is for, costings and any other due fees or staged payments until completion. Make sure you understand the terms and if a deposit is refundable or not.

The lawyer will have a special holding account for these deposits and importantly is the legal guardian whilst the house sale goes through.

There are many good estate agents in Spain but the industry is more loosely regulated than in the UK and unscrupulous estate agents sometimes target overseas investors. So be careful!

Sean Adams, international director of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says:  “Do not hand over any money to an estate agent until you have taken formal legal advice. You should always choose a lawyer who specialises in Spanish land,” he said. “Ask for their registration number and check that they are registered and practicing with the local bar association (Colegio de Abogados). It would be wise to also check that your lawyer has professional indemnity insurance.”

Need more advice on deposits, purchase fees and buying in Spain?
Please call Hondon Villas and we will be happy to help. Or read this article for background >

At the time of writing, Hondon Villas are the only Hondon Valley based AIPP agent with this prestigious membership and we now have the right to show the AIPP badge. Which of course we do with pride.

Driving in Spain … Keep up-to-date!

Here on the Costa Blanca South the roads are generally very good and relatively jam free. As for the driving and parking here, well, that’s a common topic of (heated) debate, even if the debaters are bad drivers. There certainly are some eye-opening moments, especially at major roundabouts and junctions.

Guardia Trafico. Driving in Spain

Spain, especially on the Costas, have a myriad of foreign drivers and tourists who with the best will in the world will not know how to drive properly in Spain or understand the local laws or road system. Apparently the Spanish “Highway Code” is nearly 1000 pages long !!! Who can remember all that?

It can be said that sometimes even the Spanish drivers ignore or don’t know the rules! So the roads here can be a dangerous place or at least one fraught with problems and possible on-the-spot fines if you slip-up.

Of course. if you are from the UK you will have the added complication of driving on the right and if you hire or buy a Spanish plated car then you’ll also need to get used to the left-hand drive controls.

Know the Spanish Driving Rules & Legal Expectations

The laws, rules of the road and general driving etiquette might be foreign to you too. So, of course you’ll want to be prepared and up-to-date in terms of your vehicle road worthiness (MOT/ITV), importation of foreign cars, driving license requirements, speed restrictions, drink-driving, what to carry in your car and all the related laws. Note: Poor language skills, confusion or ignorance are rarely a defence if you are stopped by the police (Trafico).

To make matters worse the rules and laws change quite frequently here and the “bar-room Johnnies” and social media chit-chat will give you conflicting advice.

Thankfully there is lots of help points on-line for guidance and you can always go to your local Trafico Station for advice (take an interpretor just in case). And it’s BEST DONE as soon as possible.

On-line Help / Guides to Driving in Spain

  • DGT (Direccon de Gereral Trafico) : This is the official government site (in Spanish) on all things driving and laws. You can get up-to-date info’ on laws, traffic flow and speed cameras for your route.
  • N332 Road Website : The N332 is main coast road here on the Costa Blanca. The N332 has it’s own English language website with up-to-date road news, traffic forecasts and help. They also have a discussion page on Facebook if you need to ask a question.
  • RAC (UK): You can check the RAC’s website for helpful information on driving in Spain such as insurance, age groups, speed limits and important driving etiquette.
  • AutoExpress: A general help and support site for drivers with a handy check list when coming to Spain
  • Anglo Info: An expat help site that covers many things “living in Spain” as well as a large driving section.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau ES : Just like the same organisation in the UK this can help with and covers many topics, including driving in Spain. Their Facebook page acts as a bulletin board and a Q&A for members. You should join.

Get expert Legal Advice when buying or selling your property

Real Estate Code of ConductAs an AIPP registered agent, Hondon Villas would not be doing our job correctly if we didn’t advise our clients to seek proper legal advice when buying or selling a property in the Hondon Valley areas.

We have experienced many people “going it alone”,  doing a “black money” deal or bypassing some of the legal paths to save money but WITH DRASTIC and COSTLY RESULTS, including one deal with counterfeit cash (person got caught when trying to put a large sum into a Spanish bank !!)… another where a house purchased verbally as “fully furnished” found there was no furniture at all when they got the keys to open their new home!

These and many other problems of variable severity can be avoided with proper checks and contracts. So we think it is vital to seek independent professional legal advice for a property sale/purchase in Spain to avoid making costly mistakes. Your lawyer should undertake all the necessary due diligence / paper work on the purchase and, if granted power of attorney, will be able to act on your behalf and save you having to make numerous trips to Spain to open a bank account, obtain an NIE number and other necessary procedures.

If you don’t already have a Lawyer, ask others for recommendations as not all offer the same service or fees. At Hondon Villas we do use several Lawyers in the general area, preferring not to have all our eggs in one basket and to reduce dependency or allegiance to just one company.

If we feel a Lawyer (or collaborating agent for that matter) is not acting in the interests of the clients, simply we ditch them! (and we have).