Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Red Palm Weevil

There are a couple of things that people often want when they come to Spain and more especially Valencia to live in a house. Firstly, outside space so that they can have a little garden and then a few things to populate that green oasis. For most people it is usually a lemon tree closely followed by an orange tree but often the desire is for a palm tree.

This is where your mortal enemy the Red Palm Weevil comes into the picture. Visiting houses for the first time in a while has become a journey into the unknown recently. At the start of December we had a storm and it was very windy. It was at this point that the true extent of the damage wrought by the red palm weevil was discovered. What it does is eats at the base of the palm leaves which all come out from the top of the tree. When it has eaten away at this area a strong wind can often decapitate the trees, as it has done in many trees in the gardens of our clients who are selling.

It is obligatory to treat your trees if you have palms to stop the spread but many people haven't. Now here is the weird thing. The red palm weevil is a fussy eater and it prefers certain types of palm tree. Therefore you might have a perfectly healthy specimen in your garden right next to a decapitated stump.

If you are a house owner with palm trees we hope that your trees are the wrong type. If you want to buy then bear in mind that the beautiful palm that adorns the garden may soon become a lovely roman pillar.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Confessions Of An Estate Agent

Welcome to the first chapter of the Confessions of an Estate Agent, part of the Audiobooks that I made a few month ago. The introduction will come at a later date but this part will tell you how the situation came up that 1 in 400 people in Madrid was working as an Estate Agent in 2006, how the mind of the Spanish seller often works and how much money you are actually paying in commissions to the agents involved. It tells you how Spanish Estate Agents work, the tips, tricks and terrors you need to avoid in order to get a Spanish property at the best price and how an ethical estate agency can work for you too.

LISTEN TO THIS FIRST PART HERE


(Or click on the bull below)




The audiobook has six chapters in total and then there are currently 19 audio interviews of people who have made a success of their move to Spain. These interviews are the main part of the Audiobook series and this part of the monologue is just a small part. To see more about the product and how it can save you thousands when you purchase a Spanish Property go to the download pages and sales page here. You can watch videos about the content of the audiobooks and judge for yourself how much money this will save you in the future when you buy a property in Spain whether that is through my services or through any other agent.

Related Posts

1) Where you can find this product

2) The Spain Uncut Video Series

3) The NIE Number Guide

Latest Spanish News

1) El Pais Newspaper

2) El Mundo Newspaper

3) As Sports Paper

4) Marca Sport Paper (Official Mouthpiece of Real Madrid)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The December 2009 Podcast

The final podcast for the year is now ready to listen to. You can listen to it here.

Spanish Property Podcast Now Ready

There are other ways to listen to it of course. The easiest way is to subscribe to the Podcast series in iTunes. If you have iTunes on your computer, and most people do these days, then go to the Podcasts section in the iTunes store and search for VPAudio. You can press the subscribe button, it is free of course, and get this episode and all previous episodes too.

Now they are all in MP3 format so you can also record them onto a USB, iPod, MP3 Player or CD and listen to them in the car or while doing other things. Imagine my dulcet tones accompanying you while you do the Christmas shopping, go to the gym or drive through the freezing cold weather in the UK while I tell you more about the delights and challenges of Spain.

Selling Your Spanish Property Using Social Media

Again listen here or subscribe through iTunes. (You are not alone by the way. Up to now we have had 1704 downloads of the episodes according to my stats)

Regards and Merry Xmas to you all. Have a great New Year too.

Related Listening.

1) November Podcast

2) Interview With David Leigh

3) Interview with Amanda Hamilton

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting a NIE Number in Valencia and Spain

This is an article I have had published at EZine articles and I thought might be useful for this blog. I have added in the process on video too for you to enjoy.

The Difficulty of Getting a NIE Number in Spain



The Difficulty of Getting a NIE Number in Spain
By D. Graham Hunt




NIE numbers in Spain are absolutely necessary now but getting one can be a long and tedious process. There are many bad things about the process but the worst thing seems to be that the steps change constantly. When you speak to the civil servants about it though they will insist that the system has always been the same and never changes.



Anyway this is the current system in Valencia, although the steps can be applied to other regions too to a greater or lesser degree. The process is done in six stages:



Stage 1. Avenida de Constitucion is a road on the outskirts of Valencia to the North. It is here where you need to apply with the online NIE number application form. You must fill out the form correctly without any sort of online translation tool to help you. Currently there is no need to have photos but take them just in case.



Stage 2. Get yourself a temporary NIE form from Hacienda, this is the tax office (Opposite FNAC in Valencia so at least this one is central). You need two pieces of paper to do this, the application form you have got previously and the copy of your deposit contract on your property (If you haven't yet got one then get one drawn up:-)). You then get your new temporary NIE number and the reason you need that is just in case your purchase goes through before your full NIE comes back. This NIE, that starts with an M, actually allows you to buy a property so if it is urgent this is the process unless the Notary tells you that you cannot buy the house with just that form which may happen sometimes.



Stage 3. About four weeks later go to Patraix in Valencia to pick up your NIE number. this one will start with an X and will be yours for the rest of your life. However to do this you need to have paid for it which you cannot do until you have the bill. You get this by asking for it in the same police station having queued for a long time. This you then take to the bank which is nowhere near this police station as it is in the middle of an industrial estate. You get your car and go to the bank to get it. Unfortunately you usually need an account to be able to pay the bill, therefore it must be a bank where you have an account already opened up. Set one up beforehand.



Stage 4. Go back to the Police Station in Patraix to pick up your NIE number. Remember you will need to queue and the best tip is to turn up at around 1pm. (Make sure you have let a month pass by though because if you don't you will find that the NIE is not yet there)



Stage 5. Go back to the Tax Office with your NIE. Show them your NIE number and ask them to cancel your temporary NIE.



Stage 6: (This one has just been added in) You now need to register your NIE number. Without doing this you cannot hand over your hard earned cash to the Spanish Government.



Look on this as a challenge by the way and you will have fun rather than being totally frustrated.




For more information about getting your NIE number in Spain go to the website below and look at the sidebar and you may well be able to get your NIE before coming to Spain.



Graham Hunt is an estate agent in the Valencia region of Spain. His website http://www.houses-for-sale-in-spain.net is a high quality website with great value properties and more importantly excellent information about the process of buying and selling property in Spain and also lifestyle issues in Spain.



The property website he runs is http://www.valencia-property.com. This complements the lifestyle aspects of the blog site and offers a huge variety of properties all around the Valencia region and also elsewhere.



Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=D._Graham_Hunt
http://EzineArticles.com/?The-Difficulty-of-Getting-a-NIE-Number-in-Spain&id=3418025







Monday, December 07, 2009

Great Villa For Sale In Villamarchante 238k

This four bedroomed property was purchased by the current owners from us five years ago. They are now moving further south and they have decided it is time to sell. In the years in between they have done some serious work and this is one of those houses that you can just move into straight away. Have a look at the video and and get in touch with us to tell me what you think.



(By the way on some PC's the video might not work except in HD so try it both ways. If it doesn't work for you try this link)

The basics are four bedrooms, three in the main house and one in the guesthouse, two bathrooms, large open plan kitchen and living room, glassed in terrace with TV room, beautiful swimming pool area, 1400m2 plot and set just a couple of kilometres outside of the small town of Villamarchante where the metro arrives next year.

Download:
FLVMP43GP
Download:
FLVMP43GP

Friday, December 04, 2009

Getting The Full Story

You may have noticed that there is a little pop up that appears if this is your first visit to the site, or every couple of days if you are one of the many regular readers. Well I have changed the offer for those who sign up to the newsletter. Now you get my great new report on "The Seven Secrets to Buying A House In Spain" which is a very quick overview of the buying process and what you need to have crystal clear when you are going to buy a property in Spain.

Pedralba House Sold

Remember though you also get the ebook "Living and Working in Spain", loads of hints tips and more, first access to the Podcasts, Newsletters, Audiobooks, Videos made especially for the mailing list and much more. Sign up using the sign up form either on entry to the site or on our sign up page and get yourself well informed before you come over to Spain or keep yourself in touch if you are already here.

I look forward to welcoming you and giving you some fantastic information here on Houses For Sale In Spain.

Related Reading:

1) The Latest Podcast

2) The Latest Photo Report

3) The Latest Newsletter

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Valencia Photo Report

I thought I would give you a little gift today. I have done a little photo report of Valencia with a small introduction to what Valencia really means to people.

Download it here.


It is a PDF file so you should be able to see it easily enough.

Hopefully it will whet your appetite. Meanwhile for those of you who need a little more convincing to download stuff here is the introduction to this little piece.

What is Valencia?



Valencia Central Market

"Valencia is many things to many people; the traditional dress of the Fallas, the stunning modern architecture, the old mixing it with the new, paella, horchata, fireworks and a whole lot more. The hidden jewel of the Mediterranean is just that, well hidden away from the throngs of Stag Party goers cruising up and down the Ramblas in Barcelona, the Hemingway hunters in Madrid, (How many places did Hemingway actually sleep or get royally drunk in really?) and the drunken hordes of the Costas."

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bollywood Recommends Valencia Property

Just for a little joke look at this from Bollywood.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Banging on About Learning Spanish Again


After hearing some rave reviews from people who had used the product I thought it was time to recommend another product to learn Spanish and start the integration process. So here it is. It is called Streetwise Spanish and claims that you will be speaking good Spanish and getting complements for it within a month.
(Disclaimer: It might take you a bit longer than that ;-))


Anyway have a look at it and decide for yourself. I have to say that it is much better than any other ebook I have seen for learning Spanish although you do nee to put some work in. It will not just come to you. If you are coming to Spain really you should be learning Spanish as virtually every interviewee in the Success in Spain audiobook series stated. It is very important and every day more essential when you think about getting a job in Spain.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Happens When An Inheritance Goes Wrong

I have recently placed a property for sale in Spain on the website which just goes to show the folly that can happen when buying in a market that had overheated. The current owners inherited a tidy sum of money at the start of 2008 and bought a shack. They then added a double garage, swimming pool, renovated everything, put in a fantastic garden by buying already mature trees and landscaped everything using the pressed concrete method which looks really nice and for the price it should be.


Anyway the total cost after rounding up or down a bit is around 300k and the pool and garage are ever so slightly illegal, something they are trying to sort out right now. Remember this is a BMV Property for sale in Spain with an ultra modern solar system for light but it is still solar and not on mains.


They haven’t got a mortgage but they have got a problem. They have run out of money and there is a health issue. Therefore they want to sell. Meanwhile the bottom has fallen out of the market and when I went to see the property last week I gave them an estimated market value of 180k to which they should accept offers. They have intimated they will. Have a look at the photos and if you can handle the fact that a couple of the elements are ever so slightly illegal then think about whether this is a place that you may want to buy. It is on a plot of over 2000m2 comes fully furnished and of course is key ready as new.


Five minutes from the motor racing circuit at Cheste, ten from the airport and 15 from Valencia. Nice.


Check out the video too.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Success in Spain Audiobook Series - Buy it Now

Hi There

The Success in Spain audiobooks and ebooks are now available for you to purchase. Here is the video introduction to them so that you know exactly what you are going to get when you buy this great product. For anyone planning on moving to Spain, working in Spain or living in Spain this guide will save you thousands and also give you a roadmap for planning your move over here.


Hopefully you will enjoy and we will see you here in Spain sooner rather than later.


Thanks

Monday, October 05, 2009

More Food Shopping

I found this really cheesy video on YouTube. Great images from markets in Spain. Compare and contrast with my recently bought fruit and veg video.



Seriously though buying food can be a great experience in Spain and is much better experienced in the markets or the small shops than the supermarkets. For a good discussion about what to buy and where have a look at this blog post by @bencurtis at Notes From Spain.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Book Fair and Meet The Teacher In Lliria on Saturday

For all of you near Valencia if you can make it on Saturday my wife is running two events. They are together so you don't need to go anywhere else. Firstly, we are going to have a meet the teacher and this is together with the book fair we are running.

Obviously we are very interested in promoting Usborne books because they complement the online reading course for children really well. Check out the site here http://teachyourchildtoread.net/us (And if you are not in Valencia, or even Spain, you can order books directly from there too) However for the local people that are signed up for the course it is also an opportunity to get to know Lynne too and she will be explaining how the course can be used and how the books complement that but also answering any questions that may have come up so far.

If you are nearby and want to see Lynne and participate in the fair it is being held outside Spainsburys supermarket in Lliria If you have GPS then the address is Pza Jaime Roig 1, Marc Cornelli, Lliria.

Book Fair Special.
12 Phonics Books for the price of 4. We have 12 packs remaining of the Usborne First Phonics Series. 18 have been snapped up the first day!!

The book fair and meet the expert session will be from 10.30am-2.30pm depending on the weather and you are welcome to come and talk with Lynne.

If you cannot get there we will be holding a teleconference in October if there is interest so that parents can grill Lynne on all aspects of teaching their children to read and also ask questions about the process. We would like you to send questions in for this beforehand using the lynne@teachyourchildtoread.net email address.

Looking forward to seeing you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Raining in Valencia - The Gota Fria

It's that time of year again when the deluge takes everyone by surprise, schools are closed, roads cut off, garages flooded and images of floating cars festoon our TV screens. The Gota Fria has arrived.

So for the uninitiated what is the Gota Fria? It is a monsoon like breaking of the summer that results in things like the below video. Enjoy the video and remember this usually lasts a few days to a maximum of a week. Be prepared for it but also remember that Valencia in general has around 300 days of sunshine per year to enjoy.



If you like the lifestyle information presented here why not sign up for the newsletter which includes loads more information about life in Valencia and Spain and also a free ebook about the process of buying property in Spain. Guaranteed to save you thousands when you buy. Go here to sign up right now and you will get a free ebook about buying a property in Spain explained in stages.

Oh and by the way here is an explanation about how my other site "Houses For Sale in Spain" works

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Client's Business

One of my clients has started up a new coaching business and she wanted to help promote it here. Therefore I asked her to write a blog. You can see it below. If you have any comment on this particular post then please direct them straight to Tabitha on her numbers below or by mail. As this is a biz op I must do the usual disclaimers here, you must always do your own due diligence just as Tabitha did on any business before committing yourself to it.

Enjoy her blog

"I work with an international team of like minded people who have joined forces in 144 countries to date for the mutual benefit of all of us who are part of this company. The founders of this business have devised a simple 3 step system to create a six figure income in the first twelve months of business and a potential seven figure income by the second twelve months.

You will be shown how to use the now famous "Law Of Attraction" as recently described by Rhonda Burn in her best selling book "The Secret". The Law of Attraction has been written and spoken about by hundreds of Philosophers and countless authors through out the histories. The reason its coming out again now as "The Secret" is simply because for some reason we chose to take no notice of it until now. Having been rediscovered again we have decided to put "The Law Of Attraction" into full practice and most have achieved fulfilling changes beyond their wildest dreams.

You have the opportunity to be part of one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. The industry of Personal Development. This is a chance to join a powerful business which was valued at 14 billion US Dollars in the US alone last year.

Our business is NOT a Franchise business. It is NOT multi-level marketing neither is it pyramid selling.

It is a straight forward direct sales business with a proven 8 years history of complete success. It can be conducted from anywhere in the world. From your own home, in English and in Spanish.

It was clear to me from the outset that by using the products and the business module which is simply following the 3 step system, while following the full training and support at every step of the way. One could achieve financial freedom very quickly.

So if you are like me and want to bring financial freedom in your life and have the time to enjoy it. Then this is the business opportunity for you. There is no previous experience required. No travelling necessary. You will not have to persuade people to buy our products.... or conduct home parties!

I am looking for leaders. For smart motivated individuals who want to improve the quality their lives and their loved ones while making money. Because this is Personal Development, sound business ethics and integrity are of paramount importance.

If this sounds like you and you are ready to grab the opportunity to change your life for the better, to work with like minded people of very high integrity, get paid handsomely while making friends world wide. Then please call me Tabitha Lovelock on 961 982 698 or mobile 607 485 370 or by mail on tabithalovelock@yahoo.com or simply go to our website http://www.passionformiracles.com/

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Valencia's Furniture and Design Fair

Valencia's Design Fair Today. Enjoy the video.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Spanish TV and Much More

I know I am always banging on here about how you should learn Spanish before coming here or see and use more of it if you are already here but it is difficult mainly because Spanish TV is quite frankly rather rubbish. If you are in the UK then you can get TVEi on the Sky box, I think it is channel 805 but I could be wrong. But you cannot get 297 Spanish channels.



Now though you can through your PC or Mac. A huge selection of 3500+ channels of which the 297 from Spain include some of the big hitters. Click Here! for more information and for a one time fee you can get not only the Spanish channels but tons of others too.

Well worth a good look. The tendency to move away from the television into the PC or Mac for all your entertainment needs continues apace and remember you can actually connect your computer up to the TV for a bigger and better picture.

For more information about getting free satellite TV every month go to the link and have a look. It is well worth your while and equally you get a guarantee that if you are not satisfied your money back. Can't really go wrong there.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Banks In Spain. Anyone Want A Conspiracy Theory?

One of the things that you learn when you have lived in Spain for a time is that things are not what they seem in many cases. This may well be why "Spain is Different" still holds true. What on the surface can seem a totally normal thing has millions of tentacles and subplots underneath. Today's question is what are the banks doing? Now Spanish banks look safe and have not had the huge upheavals of the States or The UK. However there is something going on and I would like to make a feww suppositions here as everybody loves a good conspiracy theory.

In the last two months I have had four property deals disappear from under my nose because the banks are turning everybody down for mortgages. And I mean everybody, great credit history, huge incomes, good percentage of loan to value on the property and having money to put down. One of the few deals to have gone through recently meant the bank getting in 143k for lending 90K which if you want to know more about email me, it is quite extraordinary.

So if you want a buy a property in Spain you cannot currently get a mortgage, or can you. All over the country banks are advertising 80-100% deals on mortgages. To qualify you need to be a resident and able to prove you can pay and little else. Non residents, ie foreginers coming over to buy can get up to 80% too and in some cases some banks will go up to 100% but only on one condition:

The purchased property must be one owned by the banks.

Now consider a couple of other factors. Bank owned properties are repossessions and they had a debt associated with them. That debt will eventually become a liability on the bank's balance sheets so they are desperate to get rid of the properties as they are reluctant estate agents. However, they are currently the biggest estate agents in Spain without even a close second. (Not even me I hear you ask)

Most chains of Estate Agencies have gone bust or reduced drastically their network of offices. Most developers have gone bust or sidetracked their businesses elsewhere. This leaves the banks holding the very dirty baby they created by making access to credit much too easy in the past.

If those properties they own pass to the liability side of the balance sheet then their books are not going to look good with an estimated 8-10% non performing loan portfolio looking sure for the end of the year. So what do they do? They stop lending for anyone except people buying the properties they hold. Their stock thus gets reduced and the new debtor will pay back the bank a lot of money over the next 25-30 years, or even 40 to make places affordable, in the long run. Balance sheet looks better magically.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Cheap Flats Near Port and Formula One in Valencia

If you are looking for a good bargain for money property near the Port and beach in Valencia, not to mention the Formula One track, then these properties could suit you. You can see them in full on the homepage, Valencia Property, but have a look at the video and explanation of what they are and how they offer you good value for money when buying a flat in Valencia. Prices range from 100k to 120K Euros so even the banks may finance.



Related Stories.
1) Looking for a job in Valencia

2) Valencia Property Client Testimonial

3) Price Drops in Valencia

Enjoy reading and watching and any comments are welcome.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Looking for a Job in Valencia? - More Banking Madness

An experience I had with a client the other day means that I know there are jobs out there, you just need to make a convincing argument.

My client is recently arrived and wanted to open a bank account and a future business account once the business is set up. As their Spanish is basic at the moment they wanted to open an account in a branch where there was a customer service rep who spoke English. (At this point remember that we are not talking Serbo-Croat or Martian but English.)

They had been recommended the BBVA in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento by a friend. Main branch of second biggest bank in Spain. Well guess what nobody there speaks English even to a basic level and they laughed at the suggestion and said we should try the branch round the corner opposite the tourist office. That just happens to be my branch too so I had my doubts, obviously I always speak Spanish there but cannot remember anybody with a knowledge of English. We got there and guess what, nobody!

Next option was the CAM as I work closely with their customer service rep for foreigners but he is based in Lliria. Another blank. Then Bancaja, the Santander I will not touch with a bargepole after their treatment of an American client recently even though the subdirector does speak English to a fashion.

Barclays had someone who speaks English but after waiting for 40 minutes for her to come back from her morning coffee and another 40 minutes to deal with one client plus another 20 minutes trying to sell my clients the offset account she decided that they couldn't open an account without being able to prove where they worked. This is one day after arriving in the country and running their own business online and by phone. Therefore they had to provide a tax return for 2008!!! Basically if you want to open an account with Barclays you can if you have a crappy job paying 600 Euros per month but you can't if you have a few million to deposit and don't need to work ever again in your life.

Finally we gave up on the speaking English part, went into the Caixa Catalunya and opened an account with 100 Euros and passports. It turned out that the rep did speak English but he didn't volunteer this info we discovered it after half and hour of me translating. Oh and another thing, they weren't allowed to open a joint account because one is Canadian and the other German so a single account has been opened for now!!!

So what is the job? Get yourself round to the banks with a business plan and teaching plan specifically for teaching English to bank employees and point out that they are losing clients due to the total lack of preparedness for the modern world.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Day For Valencia

Apparently the Valencia Grand Prix went well and looked good on TV and a new contract has been signed to guarantee the event for the next five years. If we ignore the politics around this, the local Government has put up the money to save the backside of the private company that was organising it, the decision to change the date to October rather than August might well bear fruit as not so many people will be away from the City unlike in August. However they seem to have forgotten one thing, the dreaded Gota Fria.

The Gota Fria is a huge monsoon like breaking of the summer that happens around September/October time and is a localised event, ie Valencia alone. Let's just hope that it doesn't coincide with one of the races. However I think the crowds will appreciate more getting soaked rather than roasted on metal stands in the middle of August as happened last year and this.

Now August can be given over to what it is supposed to be for, closing the whole of the country for a month.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cheap Bargain in La Pobla de Vallbona




This property in La Pobla de Vallbona is being sold very cheaply compared with other stuff in the area. Two houses for the price of one, especially useful if you have teenage children or lots of visitors who will be coming to see you.


The plot needs some watering and tender loving care but is 1200m2 and has lots of possibilities. The main house has 4 bedrooms and the other house another bedroom. There is also an outhouse with storeroom and paellero. Set on an estate just 4km out from the town of La Pobla and 20 mins from Valencia this is a bargain house.


It also comes totally furnished too.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Formula One Rentals


Formula One comes back to Valencia this month and Michael Schumacher is returning. This has created an interest that possibly would not have been there due to Alonso's suspension and general form prior to that suspension. Suddenly rental flats for the week of the Formula One Race have become like hen's teeth. Luckily we have a few available for the wek and if you want to know more get in touch on the email in the header above and give us your budget and dates for the week and we will see if we can find you a great place to stay near the track.

The hotels are virtually 100% booked so accommodation is going to be at a premium again this year in the city.

Valencia Property Client Testimonial

I went to visit Paul one of our clients from six years ago today. He wanted to talk to me about some paperwork he had received and didn't quite understand. Anyway on the way I had an idea to record a cient testimonial so that you get to see that it is not just me who says I do a good job and know what I am talking about.

Have a look at the video and concentrate on what Paul says because the little things make a big difference in your experience of buying property in Valencia and Spain


Watch Valencia Property Client Testimonial in Celebrity Videos | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Extremely Good Explanation of Why You Should Learn Spanish

My friend Steve Hall runs a few websites about Spain and is an erudite authority on Spain, he speaks the language fluently too. He has tweeted today an answer he put on a forum in Jan 2008 and I think that it is even more relevant now. Have a look at the link and see what you think. Comments welcomed below.
Here is the article link

For one of my previous blogs on learning Spanish have a look here

Monday, July 27, 2009

Valencia Campus Party

Just a little video taken this morning outside the Campus Party. What is the Campus Party? - A geek gathering of the very best allowing you to collaborate real time with over 4000 other geeks on the latest in web technologies. Ok so most of the people there will spend the whole of this week in sub Glastonbury mode playing World of Warcraft together and stuff but some really good collaborations come out of this. 8.5 Gigas of Wi-Fi so get yourself down there and have a look at the way technology will influence your life for the better in future.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Battle of the Flowers on Sunday

Sunday in Valencia in the Paseo de la Alameda is one of the weirdest fiestas in the Valencia calendar. If the Tomatina is a mess as you get covered in Tomatoes while throwing things at people then the Battle of the Flowers is a bit more genteel. What happens is that a load of decorated floats with girls and women in Fallera dresses parade up and down the Paseo de La Alameda in Valencia avoiding the flowers and petals being thrown at them by using tennis racquets. Sounds fun?



It is happening tomorrow Sunday in the Paseo de la Alameda in the centre of Valencia in the afternoon/evening (Sorry but that is the best I can do. My mate Google won't tell me when.)

Here is a link to last year's pictures

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

2009 Valencia Formula One Ticket Details


Learning from the experience of last year and the hordes of unsold seats, a bit of common sense has come into the Formula One World with the ticket prices for the qualifying or race day alone. You can now get tickets for individual days at Valencia's Formula One Race for 50, 100 and 150 Euros on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday respectively. You can still get the three day tickets starting at 230 Euros and ranging up to the frankly insulting 720 Euros

Ticket prices are still high of course but with Fernando Alonso's results getting better and the introduction of the new driver for Toro Rosso Jaime Alguersuari, the youngest ever Formula One driver and also Spanish, the organisers are hoping to get 60000 people in of the 75000 tickets available.

If you are still wanting tickets then you can get them online or at authorised outlets in the city. remember the date of the race is the 23rd of August and all hotel places are already taken so if you are looking for accommodation for Formula One Race Week then get in touch and we will see what is available.

Remember also to keep an eye out locally for balcony rental. The local council has put a ban on renting out balconies for the race but that hasn't deterred people from selling hats and pens at 400 Euros but you must come to pick them up with free drinks during the race!

Spain After the Crisis

Spain After the Crisis

I have just put together a Hubpage about Spain After The Crisis. Have a look and comment please

Friday, July 17, 2009

Valencia Magazines

There are quite a few English speaking magazines aimed at the city itself. In the video here I have brought you a quick look at the latest issues and the aim of each magazine that was available in the Tourist office today. I am missing Hello Valencia as there were no copies available and also Britchat as it is not aimed at the city itself but more at the surroundings. However we have included Valencia Connect, 24/7 Valencia, CV News and The InGuide which is about Canovas and is more of a map with ads.



All will give you great information about what to do and where to go to enjoy your visit or your life in Valencia. Check them out by picking them up from any of the tourist offices in Valencia.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Upcoming Audiobook

Success in Spain - An Introduction


Here are two videos telling you about what it means to live and work in Spain. I recorded them carcasts last week and now they are here to introduce you to the audiobooks that I will be producing very soon to help people out who are moving to Spain. There are two distinct areas of the audiobook and it is aimed at people who are thinking of coming to live in Spain and also those already here who are searching for their own particular roadmap. It will be accompanied by a document with links, tips and that extra special sauce for getting the most out of living and working in Spain.



The first video talks about the mistakes that people make before coming over and how they can be avoided. The second takes it to a deeper level and introduces you to the Audiobook about Success in Spain, how you too can be successful when coming over to live in Spain. The audiobook comprises a series of interviews with people who live and work successfully in Spain and provides a roadmap for those wishing to come over to avoid the crash and burn scenario so common among expats who move abroad on a wing and a prayer.



It provides a road map for coming to live in Spain that gives you all the information that you want and need for starting up in Spain and setting yourself up. It should be ready by the end of the month but meanwhile keep an eye on this site and our other sites for more announcements about the audiobook and how many lucky clients will be able to get a discount on the audiobook when it comes out.

Like any good launch it comes with bonuses one of which is something I have thought about for a long time and never got around to doing until now, the Estate Agent Confessions. An inside look at how estate agents in Spain operate and how you can avoid falling for the tricks of the trade. This audiobook will save you thousands on any potential purchase and hundreds on rental costs. It is more than worth the value of the course on its own. Apart from this there are free chapters from other books by those featured in the interviews and lots of other goodies you can get hold of.

I am aiming for a launch date around the end of July so sign up for the newsletter from this site or Houses for Sale in Spain and I will give you first notification on the launch.

(By the way why is it in two parts? Camera stopped recording during the first one!)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Price Drops in Valencia




I have just changed a couple of the prices at the request of the owners on flats in Valencia City. A drop from 190k to 155k makes this one the featured property on Valencia Property for a couple of days. Great three bedroomed flat near the Beach and Port.









This second property near the riverbed has been dropped too by 13000 Euros. Very well situated right near the Carmen and again three bedrooms but with two bathrooms this time.




This allied to other price drops means that Valencia Property in the city is getting ever more affordable and as a lifestyle choice you really should look at it with a view to purchase or rental because it is a great city to live in. Have a look at our YouTube channel to get that proved with loads of videos of Valencia and its surroundings.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Valencia Land of 400 Holes

July has arrived and with it the hell that are the roads in the city of Valencia. Every year they decide to dig up the roads and install cabling, gas pipes, water pipes etc and it is always done in July and August for two reasons as far as I can see. Firstly more people are not in the city and therefore disruption is minimised, very laudable. Secondly to really annoy the workers doing the jobs as the thermometer reaches over 30 degrees every day and they work directly in the sun.

Why is it so bad this year? Well the "New Deal" put in place by the government has meant that loads of public works have been started in order to disguise the real unemployment figures just like Roosevelt did in the States.

Anyway my take on it in video.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Contact Details and Related Sites

Sometimes you need a little recap on how to get in touch with us and what we can do for you. We have so many ways to keep in touch with the Valencian and Spanish property market and I thought I would just let you know here. So here are the various ways to keep in touch. Make sure to subscribe, sign up or become a friend at all of these sites and you will not miss a thing.

Facebook: You can go to our Valencia Property Facebook page and become a fan. This will aggregate all entries into various other sites and you can keep up to date with Valencia news. As soon as we hit 25 fans there I will change the page address and update you

You Tube: Our video page has just got a new look and this is where we upload many of our videos about life in Spain and houses for sale in Spain. Subscribe to the feed and you will not miss any.

Google Reader Feed: Not necessarily us but news from Spain we find interesting. We generally put up four or five stories a day which include news, blogs, events and tweets.

Twitter: Personally you can follow me and my life at @grahunt on Twitter. The new company account concentrating on property news is @valprop. If you don't have a Twitter account then go here to get one. Think Facebook a few years ago.

Valencia Comment: Our other blog(On Wordpress) which concentrates more on Spanish property news and lifestyle.

Signup: Go to this blog or the Houses for Sale in Spain Blog and you will get a pop up with the opportunity to sign up to our mailing list. Do it. You will then get important news as it comes up and the best opportunities pointed out to you.

Devanio: This blog will be developing over time and is a coverall for all of my activities in Spain. Business ops, internet news, social media news and loads more opportunities are there.

Mail: You can email us on grahunt@gmail.com and you will have an answer very quickly.

Phone: Yes this still exists and you can get in touch with us on +34 961662892.

Post: If you really like the old methods of getting in touch then send us a letter to the office at Valencia Property, C/ Valencia 57, 46185, La Pobla de Vallbona, Valencia, Spain.

Why would you want to keep in touch? Well a few examples.

  • One client was watching a property and noticed it had been reduced in price considerably. He immediately put an offer in and was able to secure it at a price well below market value. A good job because in the two days following there were eight other serious enquiries at this price.

  • Another client was able to secure a great rate on money transfer as they found on Twitter a movement in currency that only lasted a day. The transfer was worth almost 2000 pounds more for them compared with doing it a day later.

  • Clients already here have been to events in Valencia due to keeping an eye on our feed of Valencia news.

  • Other clients found that the definitive list of Spanish Twitterers was very useful as it has put them in touch with people giving them the services they need and given them some great information along the way.


So sign up and things and you will find that you are much better informed. Also if you have an RSS feed reader you will also find feeds at all of the sites to sign up there. I appreciate your interest.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Spanish Banks and Current Offer

A little video report I put together yesterday about Spanish Banks and their current lending practices. Enjoy it and if you need more information about anything to do with Spanish Mortgages or Loans and Spanish Bank Repossession Offers get in touch (See the header at the top of the page)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

#Twain: Twitter Users in Spain

Twitter Homepage Example

Twitter In Spain (#Twain)

I was thinking what to call this but contractions like Spitter didn’t work. Finally let’s go with Twain (Twitter in Spain) to distinguish it from Twanish (which would be Twitter in Spanish which is a whole different area) So what is Twain? Twain means people who Twitter from or about Spain. I have recently been running a series of introductions to Spanish Twitter users on my blog here(www.houses-for-sale-in-spain.net) and it was suggested to me to introduce Twitter to the users of www.thisisspain.info as a way to get to know more about the country.

So What is Twitter?

What are you thinking or doing right now? That is the basic question. It is a way to tell everyone about what you are doing at the moment. Well that doesn’t sound very exciting does it? It isn’t but what you can do with Twitter is stunning. Twitter is becoming the default news site for breaking news in the World as people post links, photos and opinions on news stories and help keep others informed of what is going on.

You want examples;

A few months ago a plane ditched in the Hudson river in New York and one of the passengers Twittered the experience. The news was on Twitter 20 minutes before any of the news wires and photos and video used were taken by people with mobile devices and uploaded onto Twitter before the news media had the story.

In Iran the news blackout meant that the best way to get news out of the country was by Twittering events as this was much more difficult to control. (Today they have turned off mobile comms in Teheran as a result) The support of people’s avatars going green meant the story was not allowed to die. In the long run it make not make much difference but surely it is not long before the first social media driven revolution

Well known people and celebrities are using Twitter to keep in touch with their fans and directly communicate with them. Ashton Kutcher (Who I would not recognise if he smacked me in the mouth but I believe to be the hubby of Demi Moore) was the first Tweeter to get to 1 million fans and is now at 2 million. Oprah Winfrey Twitters (Or her helpers do) Lance Armstrong Twitters and Andy Murray is quite a prolific Twitter user.

Why is Twitter great? Many reasons but here are a few.

Choice, you choose to follow the updates of someone and they may well follow you back (How can you use that in your business?)

Cost. What if all of your friends followed you and therefore you could direct message them by Twitter which costs nothing rather than using a text from your mobile?

Potential. How many people can you meet if your interesting Tweets are retweeted (Sent on by those who receive them so that their followers can see the message?) Imagine that Ashton Kutchner (Whoever he is) found your Tweet interesting and sent it to 2 million people to look at!

Search. Twitter is Google in real time. You find the latest news about anything you search for. It is a glorified search engine. It has limitations of course as a search engine but it cannot be denied that it is hugely up to date. If you are Twittering about your favourite football club regularly you will build up a following as long as your content is good.

Twitter in Spain or Twain then.

If you are interested in what is going on in Spain, how people are living here and what is being said about the country then you cannot find a better way to do this than Twitter. You can search for a city, region, business, property or whatever you want in Spain and you will most probably find it. How you then keep that information is important too and that is where RSS comes in. You can keep your searches and follow them daily on an RSS feed through Google Reader or your mail programme. For more about that you can mail me on grahunt@gmail.com and I will direct you to a video about it.

So anyway just for starters here are 50 Twitterers based in Spain that you would do well to follow. If you haven’t got a Twitter account then try www.twitter.com and sign up with a username and password then search for the following people. They are in no particular order of relevance and also without any criteria for following one more than another if you are interested in the country. Of course you can follow me on Twitter at @grahunt. Most of these people Twitter in English, the Spanish list is obviously different but that is another blog post altogether.

(And for the rest of my contacts and anyone in Spain who is not on here do not take offence. You can add yourself below in the comments.)

1) @grahunt This is me so obviously the most important Twitter User in Spain.

2) @thisisspain The host of the blog where this article first appeared is Steve twittering from Fuengirola and Torrevieja about Telecoms and Football
3) @BarcaFan Simon is a University teacher from Barcelona who has an excellent blog and forum about Spanish football
4) @bencurtis. Ben and his wife Marina run the excellent Notes From Spain website and also Notes in Spanish for those of you who want to learn some of the language through great podcasts
5) @DreamingSpain Amanda is a guest house owner in Córdoba who really gets Spain.
6) @cmrlee Guest blogger on one of my other sites Valencia Comment, Chris is a cyclist who runs the excellent website Cycle Tour Spain
7) @mikecj and @juliecj Blogging for a living from Lanzarote and teaching people how to monetise blogs.
8. @sscullion Living in God’s own country of Asturias and loving the rain up there.
9) @Tomraftery Featured blogger on various websites blogging and tweeting from Seville. Made famous when he got a job offer through Twitter and accepted it last year. Tom works in Green technology
10) @AlexFayle Blogging from San Sebastian and teaching you how to simplify life and get rid of someday syndrome.
11) @Ryanopaz Blogging from Terrassa in Catalunya, Ryan talks about wine and helps wineries make more money through social media.
12) @Luzbego Teaching English to the Spanish in Madrid and doing it well with a nice blog too
13) @Matthewbennett Our Murcia representative twittering bilingually usually so you can work out what the Spanish one is from the English one at roughly the same time.
14) @RandomGoodStuff As the name suggests brings a cornucopia of random stuff from the web for you to look at. Based in Valencia
15) @Guide2Valencia Magazine based site around Valencia with info about what is going on
16) @ValenciaBlog The Valencia bias continues with great photos in the blog and information about activities in Valencia
17) @peppersantblai A donkey blogging for Mallorca. The better half of @RogerSwain I believe
18) @gospain Writing about Spain for About.com and recently Twittered the Camino de Santiago
19) @LaBarceloneta Musings on life the Universe and everything from Barcelona
20) @BarcelonaFlats As the name suggests Twittering from Barcelona about all things financial and providing great flat rentals in Barcelona
21) @alanuci Provides rants to rank with the best of them down in Alicante
22) @lifeingalicia An occasional Twitterer Martin gives loads of great information about Galicia on his blog
23) @thebadrash Tom Clarke is again in Barcelona and runs an excellent political blogsite too.
24) @VoicesEnEspanol Twitters in both Spanish and English so you can practice but also has a very interesting background on the Twitter page
25) @jonholl Teacher in Madrid who Tweets very interesting info about Spain
26) @toptapas Tweets about ham from Andalucia
27) @torretwit Not exactly in Spain but has property in Torrevieja and house in Norfolk but lots of good stuff and RT’s about Spain
28) @Somethingcakey Doing interesting things with cakes in Andalucia
29) @BullRunning As the name suggests all the news from Pamplona about the running of the bulls this summer
30) @PamplonaMan For organised tours of the bull running in Pamplona too
31) @visitseville If you want to follow a whole city!!! News and views from Seville of course.
32) @RondaSpain Andy runs an expat newspaper in Ronda and has loads of good content for anyone thinking of going down that way
33) @justinaldridge Runs the website eyeonspain and does loads of interviews with people making their life over here.
34) @pittkethley Fiona writes a lot about Cartagena. One of the most prolific Twitterers in Spain
35) @bungeespin Steve is another prolific twitterer using social media to promote his online business.
36) @justinparks (Justin has reminded me I had forgotten him) Excellent social media news from Southern Spain. Not much info about Spain yet but that will come.
37) @gabriellaopaz I have already recommended @ryanopaz and had a great joint interview with them this morning. If you need to know more about Spanish Wines these are the people to follow
38) @KeithSpitalnick For all of you news about Currency Transfers and the Exchange Rate. Based in Marbella and Tweets regularly about the Costa
39) @the_alchemist73 New tweeter based in my old stomping ground of Gijón
40) @thelawinspain As the name suggests links and articles about legal matters in Spain. Interesting links posted.
41) @maackers Drinking beer and hanging out in Valencia. Internet professional.
42) @linnetwoods One of the most prolific Spanish based Twitterers (41000+ Updates) living on a schooner off the Balearic Islands and doing quizzes for people every night more or less. A writer by trade.
43) @abroadinspain Tales from an American living in Burgos of all places as he teaches English and blogs. At the moment he says it is hot hot hot.
44) @spanishman Stan the Man twitters from the Costa Blanca and wears the Suit Of Lights so beloved of Spanish bullfighters on his profile page.
45) @benicassimfest All the news about the big music festival coming up in Benicassim as it does each and every year. Think Glastonbury with sun sea and sand and with a distinct lack of mud and you just about have it.
46) @lifemax_europe Oh that’s me again so you really should follow. Especially if you have high cholesterol or depression issues.
47) @Valprop My latest alter ego twittering more about real estate in this area
48) @retiringoleway Based in Jumilla in inland Murcia, Sue has just written a book on the area and her experiences.
49) @nicchick Entrepreneur around Marbella area with flair. Networker extraordinaire.
50) @rojasjoan Most tweets are in English but the bio says “Editor of La Casa Rojas, an On-Line Magazine which features original articles, written and recorded by authors from all over Hispanoamerica and Spain”

Doing research for this and the other articles I found that it seems to me that many people in Spain do not get Twitter. They just use it to try and get some reply from a celebrity also on Twitter. Remember, use it to communicate and post good and relevant content not to get desperate attention. These people all get Twitter and use it right.

Twitter itself is not the greatest webpage in the World. To get the best user experience download Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop. They are “Twitter Clients”, programmes specifically thought of for using Twitter. In these programmes you can more easily see Direct messages to you and replies made to you that everyone else can see too known as @replies. If you are really keen you can also have more than one account through them and post from your personal and then business account for example.

So get yourself a Twitter account if you haven’t got one by going to www.twitter.com and signing up. Then click on everyone here and you will get loads of great information about Spain each and every day. Also answer their tweets and create your own content and you might well find you have new friends all over the Peninsula.

Regards
Graham Hunt
http://www.houses-for-sale-in-spain.net
http://www.valencia-property.com

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Special Post - 300 Up

There are some milestones in life that are to be celebrated and others don't mean that much in the grand scheme of things. However today's post is the 300th on this blog. So I thought it was time to look at what has happened in the time that this blog has been up.

Well the Spanish property market has crashed and burned and has gone from the boom to end all booms to the inevitable bust.We are still mired in the problems created by the banks and their ridiculous lending criteria but things are beginning to look very much up.

When this blog started at the start of 2006 with this news and were featured just after that in The Guardian Newspaper For anyone listening at the time we were telling you that the price rises were not sustainable but not many people were listening.

We were then featured in other newspapers and talked about the carbuncle that was and is Marina D'Or Our charity project which we continue to work with was featured in the Costa Blanca News and we warned about sharp practices on the roads (We were also warning about sharp practices in the Estate Agencies.

A bit later we continued our quest, alone it seems, to put a lid on prices after a particularly stupid owner put up their price. This seemed to be a trend over time as people just didn't take heed that the top of the market had been reached. A great feature appeared in the Sunday Times with a glowing report on Valencia by Spanish property Insight owner Mark Stucklin.

Time continued onwards and we stuck to our principles. In March 2007 I produced the first draft of the Definitive Guide to Buying property in Spain which sold really well and later i started giving to everyone who wanted to buy in Spain as it helped so many people so much.

October 2007 still had strong sales as can be seen in this post For good priced properties this has always been the cae. Only if you are overpriced and in the wrong place will you not sell. We then stated our current position and how we were working for clients. The info there is still extremely relevant

We started podcasting in 2008. This meant you could listen to loads about Spain while commuting as you can get it through iTunes. Check out the VP Audio podcast for old episodes. Our You Tube channel also started to be used more but that has really exploded as we moved into 2009. It now has an excellent overview of what you can do and see in Valencia.

I decided that it would be better if everyone knew beforehand who they would be dealing with over here so moved into online networking and social media too. You can find more info here Follow me on Twitter for example and you will find out lots of stuff about Valencia and great links to news about Spain and more specifically Valencia.

As the crisis really hit home I started up another website which is being ultra successful in terms of visits. You can visit it at Houses for sale in Spain and I started a series of things you needed to know ranging from Holidays to Food and more. This one is about Bridges

Now what am I doing? Well I am currently doing a load of interviews in preparation for an audiobook and ebook about coming to live in Spain and Working in Spain. It will provide a road map for your transition over to Spain and will also have a bonus audiobook called The estate Agent Chronicles which will tell you how to get the best deal and avoid the scams that are prevalent. Stay tuned for more information.

So for now follow me on Twitter go to the Valencia Property Facebook page and become a fan and get here to Valencia to live a great lifestyle.

Ebay Auctions of Spanish Stuff

About Me

Today is a new day, the sun is in the Sky. I wake up this morning and greet the new day.