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).

Spanish Property Prices Index

+++ PROPERTY MARKET DATA ALICANTE REGION +++

AUGUST 2016: We use various property market indicators as a guide to the current status of Spanish Real Estate. Here are some interesting stat’s based on real Notary data since 2007.

The property price index for the Alicante region is up by 5.1 over last year with a 25% increase in sales. [ Hondón Villas have many reduced priced properties here » ]

You can see that houses prices in 2016 are about 69% average of what they were in 2007.
CLICK TO ENLARGE: You can see that houses prices in 2016 are about 69% average of what they were in 2007.

The average price of a 3 bed property in this wider Alicante region is €136K with Murcia being cheaper at €109K.

Foreign buyers of Spanish property are still on the increase (albeit a lot slower than the boom years).

Mortgage lending on house sales is up by 19% in the area but rentals are down by nearly 7%. The population is roughly the same so no mass migration from Spain as yet.

And sadly unemployment is still a problem for Spain and the Alicante region but down by nearly 3% (although we are in the main tourist season).
Overall Spain has seen prices increases across all its regions from just 1.6% up to about 9% in the Madrid area. Overall Valencia has seen a 5.1% increase in house prices, where as Murcia 2.9%.

You can see that houses prices in 2016 are about 69% average of what they were in 2007.  [Source: Kyero Data, Notaries]

Related Links:

» Albatera property for Sale
» Hondon Valley Homes for Sale
» Hondon Vallei Onroerend Goed te Koop
» Long Tern Rentals in Hondón

Healthcare Coverage in Spain

Spanish AmbulanceSource: internations.org| Every resident of Spain has a right to healthcare. The Spanish healthcare system is a non-contributory system paid for by tax revenues. Each autonomous community has its own budget.

If you are a non-EU national living in Spain, you are entitled to healthcare only if you are a legal resident and currently paying for social security. This means that you must either work in Spain or be self-employed there.

Citizens of EU member states who are living in Spain will automatically have access to health coverage in Spain once they become legal Spanish residents.

Sample EHIC CardFor shorter stays, EU citizens should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from their healthcare provider back home. The EHIC will get you access to state-provided healthcare at the same cost, or sometimes even at a reduced rate, as those insured in Spain.

For those who are not eligible for state healthcare provisions, both in Spain and back home, there’s the Convenio Especial healthcare scheme. This is perfect for foreigners in Spain who have stopped working but whose pensions have yet to kick in.  To be eligible for this scheme, you need to have lived in Spain continuously for at least twelve months, and not be eligible for state healthcare coverage. Keep in mind that a monthly contribution of 60 EUR is demanded of those under the age of 65, and 157 EUR for those above 65 years of age. You will be covered for the services included in the basic national healthcare package, but be aware that this does not include prescriptions.

Private Healthcare — Jumping the Queue

The Spanish healthcare system is very up-to-date, and doctors are caught up on the latest medical innovations. Due to the fact that medical care is state-run, though, hospitals are often overcrowded, resulting in long waiting periods. Spaniards sometimes choose the more expensive option of taking out private health insurance. One of the most popular private insurance providers is Sanitas, whose website also helps you locate the specialists they cover.

Dentists are private doctors in Spain and, arguably as a result of this, dental care is very good. As quality comes at a price, however, they are usually not covered by your health insurance. Unlike in some other countries, you are unable to buy medication anywhere other than at the pharmacy. Farmacías can be found on almost every street corner, clearly marked by signs in the shape of green crosses.

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Summer Fiestas 2016

Spain is renowned for it’s colourful and lively festivals all-year-round. But summer is the best time to see and enjoy what the Spaniards do best … PARTY!!

Euro Tour GuideWe HIGHLY RECOMMEND you join the Euro Tour Guide’s web site or Facebook page for up-to-date info on events.

Of course the Hondon Valley and its surrounding areas are no exception to fiesta culture and have an array of activities across the arts, music, drama, markets, crafts and events. Of course there are usually fireworks involved in the evening to end with a bang! But to be honest they are merely a starter gun for more partying under the warm evening stars… yes don’t expect to get in from a night Fiesta until at least 3am!  TIP: Always get there early if you want a seat as they get real busy and the atmosphere is great. You’ll soon see how a sleepy country Spanish village can come alive!

Fiestas Correfocs 2016. Hondon de las Nieves
Fiestas Correfocs 2016. Hondon de las Nieves

So Hondon de las Nieves ( July/August ) has many fiesta events but is best known for it’s love of the Medieval Market followed by the Correfocs (Fire Runners). The latter being a crazy mix of “fire ninjas”, loud music, dancing and teasing everyone with fireworks that ends with a grand finale on the main plaza stage. It’s late, smoky, loud, scary and exciting all at the same time… just forget “health and safety”.  Here is Taimara’s video of the proceedings… it’s mental!  ::: https://youtu.be/tVBNwaUQrnY

Aspe Medieval Market: (August) is a themed “fairground” market full of stalls, food and drink but the vendors and visitors make efforts to dress in medieval costume. Generally there are games and rides for the children, jesters, minstrels and juggling acts as well as falconry, donkeys and a mayhem of activities. Fireworks usually complete the night. Come from 18 to 21 of August 2016 to the Dr. Calatayud park and live an unforgettable experience

Fiestas Aspe Medieval 2016

And the beloved Hondon de los Frailes Parade and Water/Foam Party is usually at the end of August. The parade sees many of the locals in themed or comedy costumes walking or dancing through the main streets of Frailes. They decorate their vehicle and floats with marching brass bands and drummer groups making all the noise. The rest of the village folk line the streets or bring food to the free tables and cheer and celebrate. Often sweets and nibbles are given out … beware the local “punch” which might be a very alcoholic “knock-out” juice but is probably just a home-made sangria. Lots of fun and usually followed by an international singing band on the large plaza stage. An amazing night that defies a small village like Frailes. And yes it’ll be another late night / early morning finish!

The water/foam fight is an afternoon event and basically a water truck, hose pipes, buckets, bottles and containers are used to throw water at everyone. NO-ONE ESCAPES a soaking! You can bring your soaker-guns and a foam machine will flood the plaza like snow! Children and adults love it all the same. (NOTE: don’t wear anything special that day)

FiestasFrailesParade2015

And of course the other local smaller villages don’t forsake their annual fiesta quota. Barbarroja, Macisvenda, La Romana and La Canalosa all step up to the mark.

Further afield of course the bigger towns and cities are incredible such as the Elche Nit De l’alba Fireworks, Alicante’s San Juan Bonfires (the Spanish seem to like fire!) and Novelda has it’s Moors and Christians … there really is so much fun to be had and a great way to see this countries history and traditions, taste their food and party like a Spaniard!

201 Hondon Villas have sold another

A stunning immaculate detached villa set on a 10,000m2 plot which has been split into separate areas 3000m2 for daily use and 7000m2 plot which is very well maintained totally fenced and gated.

Suitable for stables badminton / tennis courts the list is endless.

A superb plot with stunning views between the village of La Romana and Aspe with all amenities close by.

On approaching the villa which is completely walled to a very high standard with remote controlled electric gates.

This property comes fully furnished with the full asking price only.

The villa has a magnificent sun terrace looking over the 10 x 5 private pool with Roman steps and artificial grassed area, mature gardens and the breath-taking views of the surrounding mountains and beautiful sun sets.

Internally:

The Villa briefly benefits from :

Full oil central heating, there is hot water via solar from April – October.

The property consists of a large L shaped entrance hall leading to a spacious lounge with feature log burner.

There is a large fitted kitchen with separate utility room and small glazed entrance porch.

Also there are 3 large double bedrooms all with fitted wardrobes 2 with en suite bathrooms and a separate family bathroom.

There is also in the hallway View Property Details

Proud! We are a Finalist in the Pride of Spain awards

Thank you to our clients for nominating Maureen and Hondon Villas for the “Business of the Year” award in the annual Costa Blanca “Pride of Spain” awards. Which is sponsored and run by the excellent Expat’ newspaper “Costa Blanca People” (formerly The CoastRider).

We reached the final!

We are honoured to be part of this. A few years a go Hondon Villas help sponsor this eventthat celebrates people, community groups, organisations or businesses that go above and beyond for others.

The ceremony and winners are announced on 28th Sept’ at The Clubhouse, la Marquesa, Quesada . Tickets are available at just €12 to include hot/cold tapas and I think there is some entertainment too. Please some along and support the local people who make a difference, a great newspaper and promote community services.

And thank you for your lovely comments and support on our the Hondon Villas Facebook Page.

Victoria Hext Grogan says: “Huge congratulations to Mo and Hondon Villas, for reaching the finals of Pride of Spain! It’s no surprise to us because you really deserve it. While I was in spain and renting from Hondon Villas, you and the rest of the HV team always made any problems a matter of urgency and nothing was ever to much trouble for you. Your help was always available even if it wasn’t linked to the rental villa and you made my Spanish Property experience so much easier for me especially when my husband was away working so thank you! Good luck xxx”

Congratulations Maureen, Gina and Sapphire. We really hope you win. We had been on two previous property buying trips with two different real estate companies, neither of which was really helpful. We tried 4 more agencies, one of which tried to push us into buying something so opposite to our criteria it was dreadful.  Thank goodness we found you Hondon Villas. I can’t remember the chaps name in Frailes outside the cafe, but he told us all about Maureen and how she would look after us and boy was he right!  Mo and team, not only do you have our thanks for helping find our lovely home, but also our respect. – Sue Savage

Andrea Campbell-Jackson says:  My Mom and Dad, Ann and Dave, who are arriving at their new home in Hondon tonight had nothing but wonderful things to say about you (Maureen) and the fabulous service you and your company Hondon Villas have provided. Thank you so much for looking after them both in their big move to Spain. You really put my Mom’s mind at ease knowing she had you to help and guide them. I look forward to visiting soon and maybe I’ll see you in the village. Well done on making it to the finals.

Kathryn Green Says: “Well done! That is fantastic but of course no shock to me as you have always given outstanding customer service and have always gone above and beyond for all your customers over the years. So lovely to read all these positive comments. xxx”

» More information at Costa Blanca People website (formerly CoastRider).

 

Google+, Facebook and Twitter

Social Media

Please like our Facebook page:
» www.facebook.com/hondonvillas – Hi all, Please rate this Facebook page using the “five stars” (usually on the left of the page) – Thank you, have a great weekend.

We are also on Twitter – Please join us / follow us on Twitter
» https://twitter.com/hondonagent

Our Google+ page: Leave your reviews, pictures or comments on our Google+ page: https://plus.google.com/+HondonVillasHondón/

It was an absolute privilege to be a sponsor, helper and patron for the “Stars of the Costas” charity concert on Sunday May 4th in Hondon de los Frailes. We all had a great time, lots of money raised for Cancer Support and the bands & karaoke were all great! The “Sonny n Cher” tribute was of course the best !!! I wonder who they were really? Well done to the organisers, crew and El Fogon for a FANTASTIC DAY!! Can’t wait for another one.
More info at www.starsofthecostas.com

Victoria Hext Grogan 2014 wrote to us: “Speaking from personal experience I would recommend Hondon Villas without hesitation. They are very helpful and professional and always go above and beyond.”

Did you spot our Property Feed? It lists our latest properties / updates and reductions.  https://www.facebook.com/hondonvillas/app_23798139265

How kind. Your comments on Hondon Villas

As you know we post our latest properties and local news on social media such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. And our 100’s of clients are generally a loyal and nice bunch who often comment nice things, stop us in the street for a chat or coffee at the local bars. Which is all, well … VERY NICE !!

Edward James said: “I used Hondon Villas earlier this year to sell a Villa, they were very professional, came to the Villa promptly and on time which is rare in Spain, gave good advice and valued the property fairly and in no time we had viewings and the property sold at a fair price very quickly, so thanks Mo and your team my wife and are very pleased with the great service your company offers.”

Yesterday, two more comments we noted that make us proud and confirms are attitude to customer service. Thank you all for your feedback and friendship.

Client Comments in Hondon