Sunday, August 02, 2015

Interesting news for the housing market in Spain

Will there be a rush to buy while the exchange rate favours Brit buyers, may well be with  the predicted rise in prices.

Time to break free from the slump in house prices !!!!!

Saturday, August 01, 2015


Well readers its been a long time since we posted, so much has been going on in our lives that some things, sadly, had to be put on the back burner

Anyone who has read our posting will know we have had an interesting time here in Spain, we moved here at the end of 2004. So at the end of this year it will be eleven years of viva espaƱa! We are both now retired, now that gets you thinking believe me! We have decided that we have to have at least one more adventure. With this in mind we intend to buy a narrow boat and explore the waterways of UK. Ok OK I know its not exactly a trip up the amazon but we have always loved the canals in UK, we also worked on the canals on france, belgium and the Netherlands for a season. So what this means is that we are selling our house here in sunny Spain. Its will be a wrench as we love the place. Now I think we might well be blogging out adventures, looking for a boat then sailing, or rather chugging into the sunset. Anything could happen so watch this space.

If anyone is interesting in buying our house, and lets face now is the time with the exchange rate being what it is, contact us via the blog and we will put you in touch with our estate agent.
so as I said Watch this space cos its not goodbye its......

                                            HASTA LA VISTA

Friday, September 28, 2012

The heavy rain comes

We have just had our first heavy rain since last year, although Joaquin spent a week last year repairing the roof we still had several leaks, although the really heavy rain only lasted an hour the pool filled up a couple of inches, so i had to pump some of the water away, the good thing is the ground has had a thorough saturation which will really plump up the olives and lemons ready for a good crop in November.
Last week signs went up on the road into Blanca as there is a real subsidence at the riverside by the old wash house, this is just as you go into Blanca there are big cracks in the road and Mary always asks me to drive fast over it. i should not think this rain will do it any good and the town hall will need to dig deep to find funds for what looks like a costly repair job. Apparently the rains caused a large rock slide above the town but no  people were hurt or property damaged.
The two new footbridges over the river are still not finished, they  have been constructing them since spring and now they are putting the wood on them, i have heard they cost 250,000 euros.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wine, Weather and chilli

The temperature today is around 30 at present and you would think that would be pleasant. However the humidity is around 51% so it feels uncomfortably warm. High humidity levels can cause health problems, heat stroke can occur. Those with heart condition and asthma need to take care in this type of weather. The problem although you perspire the humidity does not let the perspiration evaporate and cool you down so you just get hotter and hotter. We have had quite a few days like this and it is very wearing. Best thing to do is a little as possible!
Another thing you find is that you don't want to be eating large or heavy meals, It is the norm to eat very late at night, though when its humid its still to hot to eat much. Lovely, interesting salad with exciting dressings go down well. We did have a curry yesterday though. I made meatballs flavoured with ground coriander and cumin seeds and a chickpea curry which we ate with turkish flat bread that I had made earlier in the day. I love a mango chutney with my curry and as an experiment I made some mango chutney with plums as we had so many. If I say so myself its really good and I will be making more with the next glut of plums. We love flat breads and its so easy to make, requires no kneading and can be flavored with whatever you fancy. Most often I use sunflower seeds on top but John wants me to try using some of my homemade chilli paste, I have two varieties hot and, well, dam hot. Great in curries and chillies and far more body than anything i have found to buy. I know that curry is said to cool you down, because it makes you perspire but if its humid it doesn't work that way so you need plenty to drink to counteract possible dehydration. Would never waste a bottle of wine on a curry meal, far better to have water, beer or lassi ( traditional Indian yogurt drink). Talking of wine Lidl they have some wonder wines on sale at the moment in Cieza. A fairly local one, from Jumilla, Cinglano Jovan, a surprisingly full bodied red with lots of fruit taste. I find it hard to believe its only 1.11 euros a bottle.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Handing Back the Keys!

Over the last few years we have heard very many British immigrants and holiday home owners utter the words, "I am going to hand the keys in". What they were saying in essence was that they intended to walk away from the debt they owned a Spanish Bank. We found this incredible when we first heard it and so much more so now.

In our experience quiet a lot of people, prior to the current world economic crisis, came to Spain and took on mortgages that where ambitious to say the least. We personally have meet large numbers of our fellow countrymen who had a mortgage in UK and took on another here for a holiday home. Then there are  those who had no income here, often just vague ideas of running a business that would serve fellow Brits. The problem is just how many property management companies and the like were needed. Also how did you compete with those who worked illegally- and incidentally  using an unregistered management company can invalidate your house insurance.
Well given the problems of earning a living here, paying two mortgages  the current crisis you can see that cracks would appear in some peoples dreams. Ask yourself this though, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING.
 We are not being smug just count ourselves lucky we have leaned from our lives and our mistakes. You know what they say if you have never made a mistake you have never made anything. But really would you go to a new country, possibly unable to speak the language, without the were with all to live at least for the first year. Whats more would you take on a second mortgage in the hope that you will let the place for some of the time to pay it and that your job was secure. Secure jobs didn't they die out in 1969? 
Following on from the stories of people losing there homes, handing back the keys as many have, we have seen endless media stories about "hard done too" Brits. Some people it seems think its OK to up and walk away from their debt because it is in another country. But think about this for a moment Banks in Spain have 155.84bn euros of loans at risk of not being repaid. That is 9% of all loans.
Of course we are not saying that's all immigrants walking away for a mortgage debt. However consider the up roar there would be if it was happening in UK., this handing in the keys business and running off home.
We have listened to the argument that the Banks are at fault and of course their easy mortgage policy has been a contributory factor. But did all the people who took 100 and even 110 percent mortgages  do so with a loaded gun at there head, I think not. If large amounts of individuals are aloud to ignore their debt to Spain it will be very unfair indeed.
Spain has 1 in 4 unemployed and By 2010, one in four Spaniards were at risk of poverty
or social exclusion. We would say to all the defaulters if you think you are badly off living back in UK think again. For many life is hard now in Spain and I am not talking about not being able to go out for a meal so often I am talking about not being able to eat.We hope the banks will use the international laws now in place that enable them to pursue these debts across borders.
For all this Spain remains the place we want to call home and a country that we love.Here in Blanca despite the hard times local people remain cheerful, helpful and generous.  Property prices are continuing to fall and we hope attracting people who can afford to live the dream. that people will cut there cloth to match there purse. In our area alone there are many amazing bargains that with a little work will become perfect family or holiday homes. The banks are getting their acts together, the rubbish agents whose advice was always to buy big or buy two, we know we met them, have all but gone. The established local companies continue to match, people with houses that suit not only the buyers taste but also their pockets.

What we try to do is on a daily basis is rejoice is the good things whilst hoping for a change for the better,recognizing that no one country is to blame and that individuals contribute to any problem you care to mention, but, we can and should seek solutions that are within our power.