Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spanish Estate Agency, A Day in The Life | Houses for Sale in Spain

My typical day. In other words what does a Spanish Estate agent do all day? How does yours pan out?

And it might not be what you imagined, not all glamour and Spanish villas but that is how things work in the background



Monday, January 30, 2012

TALENT PICTURES: Simon Harris Teacher and Writer, Passionate About Football and Music, Has Called Barcelona His Home Since 1988

Barnatalent interview Simon Harris who has created a niche for himself in Barcelona based on football and living in Catalunya. Take a look at how a business can be set up in Spain using what you love doing as a guide.


Spanish Property Pinterest Board.

I thought that I best jump on the Pinterest bandwagon and put together some boards of things to do with Spain. Here is a Spanish Property Pinterest board that may interest. A look at the different styles of property available in Valencia and other areas of Spain. 

Are you using Pinterest? If you aren't then why not sign up and let everyone know what things you like.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Nick Snelling & Graham Hunt, Laptop Entrepreneur | Expat Bookshop

We are listed in the Expat Bookshop for Laptop Entrepreneur. Take a look and grab yourself a copy. Especially useful if you already have a business and want to ramp up the online part of it. 



The Battle For Spanish Society | Entrepreneur Solo

Here is another longer post I put together for my other blog, Entrepreneur Solo. The Battle for Spanish Society talks about how Spain faces the problem from a brain drain, a lack of leadership and a huge loss of confidence. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. 


I wrote this article while editorialising for my new magazine, Spain is Different. However it needed to be expanded upon and explained fully and the obvious place to place it wasn’t apparent. In the end I decided that here was as good a place as any, a blog about being an entrepreneur in Spain.

So here we go, enjoy and comment.

Spain is at a crossroads, a place where the next moves forward could determine a lot of future outcomes for better or worse. Spain is in a fully blown crisis both of the economy and also of confidence. Spain needs change and that change cannot come too soon.

However Spain also has good raw materials. When you have good raw materials you just have to to put them together well into something that is worth it. Spain has those raw materials in my opinion but can it mix them together well, I am not too sure of that.

Let’s look at something that may help you to understand the last point in the article. If something is approached in the right way there is usually a good outcome.

If you give everyone the ingredients and the instructions to bake a cake it is likely that you will get ten very different tasting, and looking, cakes. Some will be good, some bad and some, mine included probably, very indifferent, or possibly burnt.

If you bring ten different people to Spain they will have ten different viewpoints and ten different experiences. Their reaction to Spain will depend on their cultural background, their education level, their likes and dislikes and even how they felt on that day. Six may enjoy it, a couple may think “meh” and a couple may hate it. It all depends on what they are presented with really and whether that suits their personality and tastes. However if Spain presents the right raw materials to the right people in the right way then there is really no reason not to enjoy it. However there is, in the end, no accounting for tastes.

What Are The Raw Materials or ingredients of Spain?

Read the Rest Here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paddle4Heroes, from Gibraltar to Marbella by kayak

Paddle4Heroes, from Gibraltar to Marbella by kayak



On the 31st May this year, nine men from Paddle4Heroes are going to paddle from Gibraltar to Marbella in Spain by kayak to raise funds for Help for Heroes and a new charity called Families of The Fallen.  Both of these charities should touch the heart of anyone British, as they are at the forefront of helping servicemen and women recover from the trauma of war.

Of the nine paddlers (aged between 20 – 58!), six are ex-servicemen (including one from my own regiment) and all live on the Costa del Sol.  Several have experienced active service and all know the devastation that war can bring to everyone involved.

Indeed, the consequences of active service can be long lasting, not just for servicemen and women but also for their immediate families.  Both parties often need significant help readjusting to normal life (whether the trauma is psychological or physical) and that is where charities like Help for Heroes and Families of The Fallen come into their own.

Needless to say, Britain seems to have been continually at war for years now, with the Iraq wars and Afghanistan being notable.  However, our military forces also continually operate in many other areas including often as unsung UN peacekeepers, which can often involve significant risks – and injury.

Kayaking for charity


In fact, whilst deaths in battle always make the news, injuries rarely do and they, of course, far outnumber deaths, despite often being utterly life changing for those hurt.  Indeed, I hate to think how many British servicemen and women have sustained terrible injuries over the past twenty years – with their injuries never having made the news or having been ‘hidden’ deep within governmental statistics.   Certainly, many more servicemen and women (and their families) need help than most of us realise…

Needless to say, the point of the canoe trip by Paddle4Heroes from Gibraltar to Marbella (90 km) on the 31st May is to raise funds for Help for Heroes and Families of the Fallen.  It is your money that keeps these charities going and your money that directly helps our servicemen and women in their time of greatest need.

So, please make an effort to spare some money for Paddle4Heroes.  What they are doing deserves your support and it would be great to think that any of you Britons, with any connection at all to Spain, could help to make the Paddle4Heroes event an outstanding fund raising success – that does justice to any Briton living or holidaying in Spain!

If you want to know more or wish to contribute to Paddle4Heroes then please see the Paddle4Heroes Facebook page.

Paddle4Heroes training


Please do give Paddle4Heroes some Likes on their Facebook page and  spread the ‘word’ about what they are doing (your Facebook/Twitter/Google+/Blog etc.).  This is a commendable cause and I would urge any Briton to help Paddle4Heroes.  Your enthusiasm and support is needed by the team – with every donation (however small) very much appreciated.

Finally, if you want to get hold of Paddle4Heroes directly then you can e-mail them at: paddle4heroes@hotmail.com

 Nick Snelling – Culture Spain

Fund raising Marbella Paddle4Heroes training Paddle4Heroes Kayaking for charity

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Survey reveals expat banking fears - Telegraph ( and I get quoted again :-))

Another press article I get quoted in, this time in the Telegraph on my pet subject, banks in Spain, and why Spain is bottom of the satisfaction poll among expats for banking services despite being the place where expats are happiest in life apparently! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/offshorefinance/9024941/Su...

(Source: http://twitter.com/suzidixon77/status/162546736882122753)


Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews: Laptop Entrepreneur: How to Make a Living Anywhere in the World

The Typical Madrid Apartment vs Your Expat Quality Expectations

Pierre writes a blog about Moving to Madrid. What he says in this post is very true. The majority of property in the big cities is not up to renting standard. Also you must be careful of the stipulations in the contracts so that the landlord is responsible for general upkeep and you for damages if you break something. 


Madrid is a great place to live, mainly because it is a capital city with all you need, and with the quality of life you do not have in London or Paris: no pressure, no insecurity, you can eat out for as much as 10 €, people are open and talkative.

However, you have to know that the typical Madrid flat does not comply with the expectations 90% of newly arrived expats.

Plainly put, the average quality of real estate in Madrid (and in other main Spanish cities) is significantly below the average quality in other big cities, and especially the USA.

This means that even with the crisis, there is more demand than offer for quality, premium or luxury flats a bit like the photo at the start of this post.

At any time, you will only have handful of real luxury flats available in Madrid, which you have to know where to find and how to book. If they let you book months in advance, because usually the companies managing these flats just accept booking a month before the entry date.

For the rest of the article go here

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why You Just Have To Love Athletic Bilbao | Blokes on the Blog

A paean to all things Basque, despite the inherent contradictions. http://www.blokesontheblog.co.uk/why-you-just-have-to-love-athletic-bilbao/


Sunday, January 22, 2012

End terrace in La Pobla de Vallbona (Another of my neighbours)

Well I have managed to make another of my neighbours' want to sell their house. After successfully selling the house next door to this one two month's ago the owner of this end terrace has decided to finally get the cleaners in so I could take photos of this one. 


154000 Euros but will sell for 150k I am sure.

Beautiful Villa For Sale in Torrente For Sale 348k

This is a really stunning property for sale in Torrente with views to die for and a very high quality house in itself. A very large feeling house of 207m2 plus garage, outhouse and outside bathroom too along with a swimming pool with a large terrace around it.

So the basics, there is a very large lounge and a large covered terrace in front overlooking nicely tended gardens. On the ground floor you have two other bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen with washroom attached but to all intents and purposes is a part of the kitchen. 

There is a lovely staircase leading up to the first floor with three more bedrooms, the main one having its own dressing room and bathroom, and there is also another bathroom here too. There are three terraces upstairs the best of these being the covered one to the front leading off the main bedroom with arches and great views towards the city of Valencia. The other two terraces are to the front and rear. The rear terrace has views over miles of rolling hills and countryside. Due to the lack of light pollution in the area it is an excellent place for stargazing.

The plot is around 1200m2 with a pool, tended gardens, a fruit tree area, lots of other good looking trees and an impressive driveway entrance leading up to the house.

The property is situated around 4km from Monserrat but is in the Torrente area. There is a bar just a couple of hundred yards away that serves food too and it is in an area of tranquility but just half an hour from the centre of Valencia and some twenty five minutes from the airport. A brilliant property with a free jacuzzi thrown in for good measure. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The madness of property sellers

5 great reasons to work online as an expat! - Birds on the Blog | Birds on the Blog

Nick Snelling my co author on Laptop Entrepreneur has put together a good list of five reasons why you should seriously think about working from home if you can. Take a look at Birds on the Blog.



Friday, January 20, 2012

Spanish corruption clamp down to impact agent sales

I am getting quite a lot of press coverage at the moment and again yesterday was featured, this time in Global Edge looking at the measures taken in terms of the NIE numbers in Spain. As you will have seen from my previous posts I believe this to be a hugely retrograde step. There is a general unanimity from estate agents and lawyers in Spain about this problem. Take a look at the Global Edge article and decide for yourself. Increasing the number of hoops you have to jump through makes no sense at all.

Update: We had it confirmed yesterday that the lawyer can still pick up the NIE once applied for in person. How do we know? He went to pick one up!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spain is Different Magazine Currently Unavailable

Hi There

If you are trying to download the magazine the site is down at the moment due to the huge demand. Please be patient as it should be back in the next hour. Meanwhile you can download it from here http://db.tt/pjM8U9Ns

You can actually read it on the page but if you want the links to work you need to download it.

Sorry for the messing about but i wasn't expecting so many downloads


Spain is happiest expat destination - Telegraph

The ubiquitous Lisa of @familyinspain gets quoted again.

"Lisa Sadleir, who has lived in Spain for 20 years, said that the country's economic troubles had not gone unnoticed by expats but that “despite the economic downturn, we have never been happier”.

“Some people thought we were crazy with all the forecasts of doom and gloom but we love our family life in Spain and could not ask to live in a better place. As the saying goes 'the best things in life are free' and it costs nothing to head out into the dunes and enjoy a day on the beach,” she added."

The curse of the estate agent

Monday, January 16, 2012

NIE numbers become another obstacle to solving Spain’s property glut | Spanish Property Insight Blog

My article about the stupidity of the new NIE number rules is quoted in this article by Mark Stucklin, the Spanish property expert for the Times. Total bafflement abounds as to why the Spanish government has taken this step. http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/buff/2012/01/16/nie-numbers-become-anot...


Houses for Sale in Spain | Spain Is Different Magazine

There are now three issues of Spain is Different magazine out and hundreds of people have signed up to receive the weekly issues before anybody else. Why don't you take a look at the latest issue on this page and you can also download the first two issues from this page. So if you want to know about just how corrupt a PP politician from Castellón is, the longest bar of chocolate in the world, how a guy with no arms is trying to pass his driving test, five Spanish startup companies to keep an eye on or Laurie Lee in Spain then just download it and sign up to future issues with the signup box on the Spain is Different page.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Montserrat With Great Views at A Good Price Now Reduced By 15000 Euros

This property for sale in Montserrat has just been reduced by 15000 Euros. It is a three bedroom house with a good sized living room, large kitchen and dining room with lovely views and just a couple of kilometres out from thre town of Montserrat. Take a look at the pictures at the page.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

High Speed Rail In The UK. Look At The Spanish Example

So the UK government thinks that a high speed rail line is a good idea. Just twenty years after Spain started their experiment with high speed rail. A huge success in Spain. Or is it? Find out with the story of Spanish high speed rail and what it means for the country. 



Sunday, January 08, 2012

Pilota Valenciana in the Street

I found the road closed as I was going through La Pobla this morning. So I made a quick video about Pilota Valenciana in the street. Traditional street games are still popular in the pueblos in Valencia

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Beautiful House and Guest House in Cordoba with added video

I have added a video of Iznajar into this bed and breakfast for sale in Córdoba. A really great property for sale in Andalucia. Take a look at the link and also the video here and get in touch to buy at an excellent price. 

Ebay Auctions of Spanish Stuff

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