Thursday, April 30, 2009

Renting A Property In Valencia

If you are looking for a place to rent for a short, medium or long period of time then maybe you want to live with a bit if style, after all your lifestyle in Spain is one of the most important considerations isn't it?

This flat allows you all the style you want and is available now. To see more photos and the full description go here

Monday, April 27, 2009

Valencia Facades

I was taking a walk through Valencia today from one bank to another wondering why they are such.... no that is for another post. Anyway I got to thinking what a handsome city Valencia is. If the quality of a city can be measured by the look that it gives out to the visitor then Valencia would be up near the top. I took some pictures of the facades in a five minute walk from the Plaza del Ayuntamiento to the Plaza de la Reina and this is what came up.

If you are looking to buy a flat in a major city then you could do worse than Valencia. Check out flats for sale in buildings like this at

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Lotteries in Spain

Are a huge business. ONCE which is the national organisation for the blind and has a daily lottery, you see their sellers strategically positioned all over Spain every day, is the second biggest company in the country I think. There are a proliferation of them and it is best to know exacly what you are buying and where to find the results.

Here is a guide to all of the Spanish lotteries that you may find useful, very long but it will help you sort out where your money goes.

Sometimes of course your money doesn't go. On the Euromillones two weeks ago the two winners of the biggest prize were in Spain getting 15 million Euros each, and one of them lives in Lliria just up the road from here. The big question now of course is who is it and who is conspiculously consuming in Lliria during "La Crisis"?

Meanwhile here is a great story from a few months ago about a lottery salesman I wanted to find the story about the blind lottery seller who drove 40 miles to his position every day for about ten years as he knew the route like the back of his hand (Not very well as he was blind!) until he was suspended but that was pre Google I think so I cannot find it.

Following On From My Correos Blog Last Week

This is amazing. Last Saturday I sent a set of keys to the Isle of Man by normal post from our local Post Office. Monday last week was a holiday and as I only sent the letter around midday on Saturday I thought that it might just leave the country sometime on Tuesday if I were lucky. I was surprised by an email on Tuesday morning saying that the letter had arrived already, in the Isle of Man!!!

Kudos to Correos for once!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Valencia's Riverbed Park

So if the weather is good and you decide to avoid the Menu del Día in the local café/restaurant even though it may only set you back 7 or 8 Euros but you are in Valencia anyway at lunchtime what else can you do. Well, you could get yourself down to the riverbed park in any of the parts of it as it snakes its way through about 8 or 9km of Valencia. Starting at the new Bioparc zoo at one end and making its way past a host of attractions and the City of Arts and Sciences before getting to the Formul One track, there is something for everyone here

So I went today and made a little video while having my lunch.

Valencia is pure lifestyle. Go to this page on the Valencia Property website and find flats and apartments situated near to the riverbed so you too can partake of the delight that is the Riverbed Park.

(If you are reading this in the UK click below to win yourself a free 20 pound Virgin Wines voucher and possibly a year's shopping at Tesco and then get Spanish Wines if you can)

What is Deutsche Bank Playing At?

I wrote an article recently about banks in Spain and how they have increased margins between the Euribor rate (Base Rate) and the rates quoted for mortgages. So in Valencia yesterday I see that Deutsche Bank is advertising heavily that they will give you a mortgage at Euribor plus 0.27%. What are they playing at and how can they and why do they do it?

I will get back to answer this next week because the answer may well be very interesting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The World's Best Restaurant is...

El Bulli again. It is in Catalunya and is usually mentioned in the same sentence as the best restaurant in the World. No chance of getting a reservation but there are other Spanish restaurants in the top ten too.

El Bulli, which is situated in Roses, not far from the Salvador Dalí Museum in Figueres, only seats 8,000 people per year and i you fancy trying to get a reservation you must bear in mind that there are over these half a million applicants for those seats every year.

Of the world's 50 best restaurants, seven are in Spain which isn't a bad ratio and three of them are in the top eight (the other two being Mugaritz and Arzak, both of which are in the Basque Country).

Gordon Ramsey hasn't got a restaurant in Spain, as far as i know but if you want to eat at one of his places just click on the link below and complete a short survey. You may get a free meal at the Ivy in London.

Budget Blues

So after the budget in the UK when are you moving abroad? It seems that the news channels this morning only have comments from people who have already left the country or now plan to leave the country. So is Spain one of the destinations for you and why?

If you are thinking of moving to Spain looking for work then unless you have specialist knowledge or can work from anywhere then forget it. Unemployment is due to hit over 20%, 1 in 5 people by the end of this year and already in the Andalucia unemployment is 21.2%. If you are one of the high earners targetted by the budget yesterday and you want to look at possibilities think about the following.

1) Is it possible to retire early to a country where the cost of living is less?
2) Can you work remotely? (If you don't know what this is then look at this book which may well be a revelation for you)

3) What plans do you need to make before your move to Spain?
4) How do you plan to fund yourself once you get here?
5) What do you want from your life? (Does the daily grind really depress you and is it possible to spend a couple of years out of that rat race before getting back on the treadmill?)

Spain is an option if you come with your eyes wide open. Nobody is going to promise you that it will be easy and that you will get a massive salary working just three hours in the morning while you sunbathe away the afternoon unless you already have a life that allows you that 3 hour day. However you have to realise that life can be different. How different do you want your life to be?

How can you do this. Well there are many ways. You need to start creating different streams of income now. If you can build up your residual income before you move then the pressure to quickly find your niche in Spain can be reduced. There are various ways of doing this.

a) Learn a new skill. Earning on the internet is a possibility. Try this course for starters
b) You Must begin to learn Spanish. "The best online beginner's course is probably this "
c) You might want to try out Network Marketing of a product. Try this one. They give you leads and it is very low cost

If you come well prepared then you may well be able to live a comfortable lifestyle in Spain. Join the others asking for information here who are all starting to look at alternatives to live a better life.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Is Spain Different? Discuss

Latest video about Spain. Do you think Spain is different? This vid highlights the stereotypical views

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New "Spot" About Valencia in Spanish

Makes it look nice doesn't it!

Also very nice although this is a repeat. It looks so cool.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Value of Sterling and Houses for sale in Spain

Houses for sale in Spain can currently be found at 2003 prices but don't be surprised if you start to see some price rises soon on the site from British based sellers. The Pound which had fallen to almost parity with the Euro now stands at 1.11 Euros and is rising slowly. This is because the European Central Bank cut rates again last week and made it pretty clear that rates will drop again next month to get more in line with rates in the UK. This will again mean a strengthening of Sterling against the Euro. Spanish property for sale may well rise if the property is in a good area that is not overdeveloped. A report in El Mundo newspaper yesterday stated that the beginning of the end of the crisis has arrived with transactions well up in the first quarter of 2009 compared with 2008.

Therefore if you are prevaricating, my favourite word this morning, on whether to buy a place in Spain then do it now. Medium and long term there may well be another generalised rise in the pound against the Euro but it cannot be a sure thing in these uncertain times. The only certain thing is that your quality of life is the important thing and if you are constantly surrounded by the negativity of the UK then a change may well be as good as a rest. Sit out the crisis by getting your hands on a bargain Spanish property and check out our videos at Houses for sale in Spain where you can see videos about the lifestyle aspects of living here.

Images are from a house for sale in Spain in Villamarxant at 180k

Monday, April 13, 2009

First Time in the Pool

Not for me of course. My mad 16 year old daughter decided with a friend to get into the pool today, the 13th of April. And why did they do this? Just to show their friends at school that they were the first into the pool this year. If you search You Tube you can find the video results but it doesn't become me to put such cold pictures on this site. We have had two weeks of rain before the last two days!!!

Spanish Property For Sale Comes in Many Shapes and Sizes

Houses for Sale in Spain and your life when you get here. What type of properties are available and what can you do with yourself once here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

120000 Euros in Casinos

If you want to get away from it all then you could do worse than these two houses. There is not really a main house as both are around 90-100m2 with terraces adding another 50m2. There is a huge 12000m2 plot with over 90 olive trees, carob and fruit trees abound too.

The first house is a three bedroomed place with all the rooms coming off the living room. there is also a large living room, kitchen and bathroom. The covered terrace at the front is large and shady. Electric is provided from a generator and solar panels.

The second house is a four bedroom place again with living room, kitchen, bathroom and this time a hall because not all of the rooms come from the living room.

The houses are set a kilometre away from the tarmac and 5km out from Casinos in a very scenic area that is totally quiet. All you will hear are the sound of birds around you really.

Water is what falls although the current owners have an agreement with the next door neighbour to supply water from the pipes he has. There is a small raised pool and also a medium sized one which is currently used as a water deposit. Full of opportunities to spend relaxing time in the countryside just 35 minutes from Valencia and the airport this is a place that is for relaxing. I am not going to say it has all mod cons but it has the essential elements for living and you could even become self sufficient here. The houses are fully legalised too.

The Wonders of Correos

At 2.15 on Wednesday the post office delivered a card to me that I had two letters to pick up and I needed to go around to the local Post Office to pick them up, however I could not do it until the next day as it closed at 2.30. So yesterday morning I went to the post office on the off chance it might be open as most shops opened in the morning, to get them. I was half expecting it to be closed but not really expecting the note on the door which basically said that the next time they were open would be Tuesday (If they can be bothered). So Thursday is not a holiday in Catalunya, which was useful to know, Friday is a holiday everywhere and here's the biggie, Saturday isn't a holiday but "We will not be opening anyway". Sunday is Sunday, Monday is a holiday in certain parts of Spain, Valencia included, and then they will reopen for business on Tuesday.

So if I want to send a letter, which in these days of email is improbable but possible, even if I post it the letter would still not move until Tuesday morning when they would be so overwhelmed that it will inevitably get lost in the system

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

One of the Loudest Nights Ever

And no it was not fireworks. Spring has not yet sprung in Valencia, unless you consider Valencia as the new Green Coast thanks to all the rain and the blossoms being out on all the trees more than usual. But what spring usually means in Valencia is sunny weather, gradually rising temperatures and most of all pavement cafes for the ealry morning, mid morning and mid afternoon coffees. Usually everyone looks for the shady cafes under trees, in the shadow of buildings etc... This year inside is the new black as the outside seats are generally wet and cool.

So what happened last night I hear you ask? A thunderstorm, and a big one at that, accompanied by pebble sized hailstones. I have not been out yet but wouldn't be surprised to see damaged cars today as well as plastic garden furniture and the like. And it is also loud even now at 9 in the morning as I am given the smell of England, our gardener is going round the garden cutting wet grass with the loudest lawnmower in the world.

Image taken from the blog here which has some beautiful photos

Latest Cameroon News

For a few years now I have been working with a charity to help bring some parts of the modern World into Cameroon, more specifically the Malima School Project in Northern Cameroon.

Tomorrow is a big day in the project. Thanks to a friend who is a lecturer at the Esic University here in Valencia, we have a presentation of the project for the staff and students and they have adopted out charity to try out their marketing and promotion methods. As the University is a business school we think that their input will be more than useful so that we can take the project forward with confidence over the next few years.

Big thanks to Jose Luis for arranging the talk and hopefully my Spanish will be on its best behaviour to do the simultaneous translation needed.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Quiet Week To Come

Not much going on this week so I won't be too busy to answer questions. Easter week starts this week and all the kids are off school from Wednesday onwards for a week and a half. Hopefully I will get some time to spend with the little ones and Maria while they are off.

Friday, April 03, 2009

First Video Carcast - Mortgage Availability in Spain

Bit of a different blog entry today. I thought I would do a carcast video about mortgages in Spain. If you are going to be buying houses for sale in Spain then you need to have some finance in place usually. If you choose a property from the CAM they are financing between 80-100% of the cost on discounted properties so they could be for you. Have a look at the video and comment. Then check out the website at Valencia Property to look through some properties.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

The Tax Office

Hacienda has promised to return people's taxes for 2008 before the end of July in 85% of cases, if you are due a tax return. As they usually keep it in their clammy hands until the 31st of December the last possible day for repayment without paying interest payments on it, this is good news for everyone who benefits. The idea of the government is to help out with the "Crisis".

Good news or just a publicity stunt?

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.