Spanish Solutions August 2013 Newsletter – Comaskey Properties

AUGUST 2013 NEWSLETTER

Introduction

Many of you will be receiving this newsletter for the first time. We hope that you like it.. 🙂

I am pleased to report that we have been extremely lucky with the Gota Fria in the past few days and most of the Murcian Region and Orihuela Costa seem to have had only rain and some impressive lightning storms. Calasparra, in the North West of the Murcia region, however, had the heaviest rain in living memory (52 litres per square metre in an hour). The Alicante region suffered too with some heavy flooding in places. For those you don´t know, the Gota Fria is when a front of warm air from Africa hits a front of cold air descending from Northern Europe and causes some terrible storms at times. The weather today is mixed and we are very relieved we decided to go with the 6th September as the date for our Summer Charity Barbecue and not today the 30th August (please see below for details!).

Next month I will cover some of the Roman Cartagenian Fiesta in Cartagena, which is always a wonderful event, but please note that it starts a bit earlier on the 20th September than my newsletter which goes out the last few days of the month. The main battle however will be on Friday 28th September. Please see this website for details http://www.murciatoday.com/romans-and-carthaginians-2012_13043-a.html

It has been a very busy August and Comaskey Properties are selling houses like hot cakes! Please if you know someone putting their apartment or house up for sale, or rent, contact Comaskey on [email protected] as they really need more properties, especially for overseas clients.

Here at Spanish Solutions, we have seen a number of Probates delayed, made more expensive and more complicated by there not being a Will in Spain. If you have not made a Will in Spain, and own a property (or part own), please contact Amanda on [email protected] It will be 150 euros very well spent…

Finally, I am thinking of doing an article on where to visit around La Manga next newsletter. Can anyone help me with tips or where they like? Please email Amanda on [email protected]

FUN DAY

We are so excited about our Comaskey Properties/Spanish Solutions Fun Day to raise money for the Lion´s Club and Alpe (an educational centre for disabled children).

It is going to be a fab day and we hope to raise lots of money for those children with everyone´s support. The raffle prize of an all inclusive week´s cruise from Worlwide Travel is certainly going to help.

These are the raffle prizes to date:

FIRST PRIZE – FREE 7 NIGHT All INCLUSIVE MEDITERRANEAN CRUISE FOR TWO !!!
(Departure 27th October inside cabin – Malaga, Sicily, Malta, Sardinia)
DONATED BY COMASKEY PROPERTIES/SPANISH SOLUTIONS AND WORLDWIDE HORIZONS

VOUCHER FROM HEAD TO TOE HAIR AND BEAUTY
VOUCHER FROM PADDY´s POINT PUB
LYNDYLOO 25 Eur VOUCHER
BOTTLE OF WHISKEY DONATED BY IBEX
BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE DONATED BY HOME ESPANA
BEAUTIFUL PHOTO FRAME FROM PONDEROSA GIFT SHOP
MULTI CAR ADAPTORS FROM SADIR AUDIOVISUALES
PRIZE FROM CHAPTER RESTAURANT
VOUCHER FROM PADDY´S POINT
VOUCHER FOR FACIAL AND BLOWDRY – MELANIE´S HAIR AND BEAUTY
2 VOUCHERS FROM LA ZENIA FISH AND CHIPS (2 COURSE MEAL FOR 2 AND BOTTLE OF WINE)
PRIZE FROM EASY ADS LA ZENIA
BINOCULARS FROM SUNSHINE BABIES
SUNDAY LUNCH (3 COURSE MEAL FOR 2 & BOTTLE OF WINE) FROM ROYAL OAK PUB
30 EURO VOUCHER FOR PADDY´S POINT FROM BERNIE COMASKEY
WATCH DONATED BY OPTICA LLAMUSI
VOUCHER DONATED BY MARCELLA KENNEDY FOR MASSAGE/REFLEXOLOGY TREATMENT
VOUCHER FOR 50 EURO FROM LOOKING GOOD BOUTIQUE

You don´t have to be here to buy raffle tickets at 3 euros a strip or 5 strips for 10 euros. If we are holding funds on account for you, just ask us ([email protected]) to debit what you would like for this and we will debit say 10 euro and mark your name and phone number on them. If you are here just pop in any of our offices to buy tickets or get them on the day!

Obviously we hope to see as many of you as possible on the terrace of the new office on the 6th at Calle Malaquita (next to Lloyd´s Bank at the roundabout near La Zenia Boulevard).

THE CURRENT PROPERTY MARKET HERE

I asked Ian Comaskey of Comaskey Properties if he would give me his view of the current property market here as I know many of you will be interested. Also, we have been asked twice this week if we know of people wanting to take part in an ITV prgramme on why it is a good time to buy in Spain and a BBC one!

If you are interested in placing your house on the market, please contact Comaskey at [email protected] and the same if you are or friends are looking to buy. Their website is www.comaskey.com and well worth a browse even if you are not thinking of buying or selling. This is what Ian said below

“There are two ways of looking at the current property market – From a buyers point of view and from a sellers point of view. Good news- Yes, we have turned the corner.

As always there is much confusion in the market and people need to be aware of whats really going on.

There are buyers, plane loads of them, coming to the Costa Blanca every day. The Scandinavian market is red hot- Comaskey Properties recently had a client come to buy from us in La Zenia. Within 2 months three of his friends had bought from us with a 150 meter radius of his first purchase. They were thrilled with our relaxed yet professional way of dealing and rewarded us with recommendations.

The danger for sellers when they see this happening is that they feel they are selling too cheap – the reality is that when a seller comes in to our office telling us “we are in no hurry to sell” – we can tell there and then that they are not going to sell it and are stuck here, wanting to move home, simply because they don´t understand the market.

Buyers are smart – (so are many agents, surprisingly enough!). We encourage our sellers to set realistic prices so as not to waste time receiving crazy offers. A realistic price gets a sale, a 10% over the top price, costs the seller money. As soon as we tell a potential buyer that this particular house is on the market for the past 12 months, because “the owner is in no hurry to sell”, they assume something is wrong. The seller ends up taking an unnecessary year of stress, a potential drop in the exchange rate and worse still… a further 10% drop below what we recommended originally and it´s all because they can see wealthy buyers coming here to purchase.

The key is set the right price, ask Comaskey Properties and Spanish Solutions to do the deal and get it sold.

This market may not last forever so buyers and sellers need to take advantage just now.

For sure, its not just the weather thats red hot in Spain this summer!!

Go to Tabarca Island for a pleasant walk, seafood, and some history

How many of you have been to Tabarca Island? I bet not many. Let me tell you a bit more about Spain´s smallest inhabited island just off our coast here.

There are some days on the Costa Blanca when all you want is a sunbed, light filtering through an ice-cold drink, and nothing more strenuous than turning the pages of a new novel. But if you want some holiday stories to turn friends back home green with envy, sometimes you’ll need to explore a little further. The island’s waters are officially declared a Mediterranean Marine Reserve for their excellent quality and for the biodiversity of their flora and fauna.

Tabarca is the only inhabited island in the Region of Valencia and is located opposite the city of Alicante, 11 nautical miles offshore and near the Santa Pola headland. In fact, it’s more than just an island: it’s a small archipelago that comprises the islets of La Cantera, La Galera and La Nao as well as the IslandI itself. It is approximately 1,800 metres long and measures some 400 metres across at its widest point.

In the past, its shores were a refuge for Berber pirates and, in the 18th century, King Carlos III ordered the island to be fortified and a town built, in which to house several families of Genoese fishermen who were being held prisoner in the Tunisian city ofTabarka.

The walls surrounding the town have been officially declared a Historical and Artistic Site and an Asset of Cultural Interest.

You can reach it by boat from Torrevieja or Santa Pola. http://www.maritimastorrevieja.com

Form Torrevieja

MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY

1st DEPARTURE: 9’45 h with RETURN: 17’30 h

2nd DEPARTURE: 12’15 h with RETURN: 20’15 h

(the time of return is the time of arrive to Torrevieja Port)

FRIDAY, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY

THE ONLY DEPARTURE: 11’00 h with RETURN: 19’00 h

(the time of return is the time of arrive to Torrevieja Port)

Price : 22 €

Children from 5 to 10 years 10 €

For the groups more than 15 people ask the special offer.

Organising Your Trip
A visit to the island usually lasts one day. There are numerous departure times from the port of Alicante, although the regularity of these depends upon the time of year. The boat ride is comfortable and lasts for around one hour. The island can also be reached from Santa Pola and Benidorm.

Once on the island, visitors can enjoy the coves with their crystal-clear waters and a picturesque fishing port with excellent eateries offering the opportunity to try the traditional “caldero”, the island’s typical dish.

We recommend a stroll through the town and a visit to the island’s museum.

Visitors can now even enjoy an overnight stay on the island, thanks to the recent opening of accommodation.

TABARCA MUSEUM

Tabarca island.
Almacén de la Almadraba Building.
Phone: 965 960 175
Opening hours
Wednesday to Sunday

From 11.30 to 14.00 h.
From 16.00 to 18.30h.
Rates for the Museum
General ticket: 2 €.
Reduced ticket: 1 € for arranged groups of students of more than 10 people and adults with student card.
Free admisión for people older than 65 years, and children up to 12 years accompanied or handicapped.
When you step onto Tabarca Island it is very much like stepping back in time. There are buildings remaining from the 18th century and these tell the story of Tabarca Island.

The Story of The Pirates

The island was a refuge for Berber pirates up to the end of the 18th Century. Pirates used to hide away on the Island whist using it as a base to plunder passing vessels. This caused a problem for the then Spanish King – King Carlos III.

At the time Spain had possession of an Island off the coast of Tunisia called Tabarqah (Tabarka). In 1741, the King of Tunisia invaded this Spanish Island and took the Genoese inhabitants as prisoners. King Carlos III was incensed at this and rescued these prisoners and they were returned to the port of Alicante. He then decided that he would put these Genoese prisoners on the Island of Tabarca.

The pirates no longer had a hideout on Isla de Tabarca and were run off the island by these 300 or so prisoners. The military engineer Fernando Méndez Ras was responsible for planning the new town and he planned a fortified town with walls, bulwarks, warehouses and houses. These buildings still remain today. Around 1770 the island became known as ‘Nova Tabarca’, which translates as ‘New Tabarca’.

At the end of the 19th Century, the island had a population of around 1000 people mainly devoted to fishing. Now, the permanent population is around 50 during the winter months and even greater over the Summer months.

Fishing and tourism now drive the economy with Tabarca receiving between to 2000 – 3000 visitors a day during the height of Summer.

Tabarca Island Buildings to Visit

Walking around the Island takes about an hour and a half, so it is really quite small.

The West of the Island is the part that is inhabited. Here there are small streets, the church, the walls and their gateways, the beach and the port.

Walls

These defensive walls were built in stone on order from King Carlos III in 1769. The walls surrounding the town have been officially declared a Historical and Artistic Site and an Asset of Cultural Interest.

Nowadays the walls are used as launch pads for the daring!

Tabarca Island Cliff Jumping

Gateways or Entrances

The walls had entrances / gateways built into them and there were 3 points of entry.

Puerta de Alicante or San Miguel

Built from the north, has rough stone vaults and gives access to the old pier.

Puerta de Levante o San Rafael

The first gate you will come across if coming form the sea-port. There is a plaque commemorating the twinning of the islands of San Pietro and New Tabarca MCMLXXV XXIX VI.

Gate of Trance or San Gabriel

Built to the west and has a small dome, shield with real weapons and the inscription Carolus III HISPANIARUM REX, fecit, EDIFICAVIT.

Tabarca Island Gateway Tabarca Island Gateway

Iglesia de San Pedro and San Pablo – The chuch of Saint Peter and Saint Paul

The church dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul is a rectangular nave, is divided into four sections and has side chapels. It has two doors, fortified appearance and is located right on the edge of the island overlooking the sea.

Governor’s House

Tabarca Island Church

Built in the center of the town and was originally designed to house the town hall. It has a main body with two adjoining wings which make an open courtyard.

It has recently been converted into a boutique hotel but not many of the original features have been kept.

Torre de San José – San Jose Tower

Tabarca Island San Jose Tower

Designed by Balthasar Ricoud and built in 1789 it stands alone on the northeastern side of the Island in an area known as Campo. Originally it was a lookout tower. It stands at 27.5 metres high and is in the form of a ‘truncated pyramid’ with a square base and three floors. It was used as the state prison in the 19th Century.

Lighthouse

Tabarca Island Lighthouse

Located in the same area (unpopulated) as the San Jose Tower this lighthouse was designed by John Laurenti (1854).

Houses

Tabarca Island Buildings

There are some quaint old houses in the streets of the island that now house the remaining 50 or so residents (in the winter, more in the Summer)
Give it a try, it is somewhere very special to visit… I think it is at its best in September/October.

Buying a Property in Spain

For anyone considering buying a property or has friends who wish to do so, I thought it would be useful to explain everything fully regarding this. I will do the same for Selling in a future newsletter. As Ian says above, it is a very active market a thte moment, especially in the area close to la Zenia Boulevard and if it is something you have considered, now may be the time to do it…

Legal formalities & costs involved in purchasing property in Spain
Purchasing property in Spain is a relatively straightforward procedure. The property registry is very important for property ownership, as it shows immediately if the seller owns the property free of liens and encumbrances.

Most frequently, unless an immediate payment of the full purchase price is made, a private contract of purchase is drawn up wherein the details of the purchase are reflected – the legal description of the property, purchase price, form of payment, date of completion, date of possession, etc. Upon signing the private contract, a payment on account of the purchase price is always made which can vary substantially according to the terms of the sale and the date of completion. A quite normal deposit for completion within 30 to 60 days would be 3000 euros but it can vary..

New properties which are unfinished obviously are paid for over the construction period, and all payments on account before finishing must be guaranteed by a bank or insurance company: if the property is not finished by a certain date, a purchaser has the right to reclaim the monies paid, plus legal interests. Additionally, this law obliges the property developer to arrange a TEN YEAR insurance policy with respect to any basic building defects with the purchasers as beneficiaries.

At the time the entire purchase price is paid for the property at the Notary, a public deed of conveyance (escritura) is issued to the purchaser, free of liens and encumbrances. This deed is issued before a Spanish Notary, the solicitor takes it to the tax office to pay the Transfer Tax if the property is a resale or second hand property, or Stamp Duty if the property is sold directly by the developer. It is then presented to the Property Registry for inscription. A provisional inscription in the registry is made immediately upon issuance of the deeds, but the final version of the deeds are not issued until a few weeks after.

Property purchase costs
Transfer Tax (I.T.P.) – 10% – Payable by the buyer for the purchase of any second hand real estate (villas, flats, land, commercial premises, garages), provided the vendor is not a developer or normally trading in the business of resale properties. There is no VAT to pay and stamp duty is already included.

VAT at 10% and STAMP DUTY at 1.5% – For any VILLA or APARTMENT, or garage that is annexed to an apartment, where the vendor is a developer, or promoter for BRAND NEW PROPERTIES.

VAT at 21% and STAMP DUTY at 1.5% – for commercial premises and plots of land ( should you wish to purchase an Industrial Unit, or a commercial premises or simply a plot of land from a Construction Company)

Notary fees and property registry inscription fees
Notary fees can cost up to approximately €1.000 although the cost increases according to the number of pages or complexity of the title deed (e.g. transcription of statutes, payment in stages, property partially finished, etc.) and they are not usually that expensive. The property registry inscription fees also depend on the complexity of the transaction.

Municipal Added Value Tax (PlusValía)
This is an “added value” tax based upon the increase of the Town Hall index value of the land only, from the prior (vendor’s) purchase to the present sale. It is usually not a significant amount with respect to apartments or townhouses – less than €500 for the most part in the Orihuela Costa for an apartment or townhouse which last changed hands five or six years ago – but can be more in the case of villas with a large tract of land or in other areas.

This tax corresponds, by its nature, to the vendor who is responsible for its payment, unless otherwise negotiated. As there are several variable factors used in calculating this tax, especially the length of time of ownership of the property, the amount payable can vary substantially and should be verified before proceeding with the purchase.

Other costs involved in owning Spanish property
Local Rates or Annual Property Tax (IBI or SUMA)
Local rates are payable annually, and are calculated from the cadastral or rateable value of the land assigned by the Spanish Tax Office. The cadastral value takes into account the value of the land plus the value of the building, according to type, location, and usage. Upon this value, each municipal Town Hall decides on the percentage to be charged in respect of local rates.

Community fees
Generally speaking, the Community of Co-Proprietors or Homeowners’ Association is a legal entity comprised exclusively of the owners of the apartments in a building, or villas on an estate. The purpose of the Community is to own and maintain the common elements of the building or estate in question, and each homeowner is obliged to participate in the expenses of the upkeep of the community areas and services on a pro-rata basis with the other owners. Usually, a homeowner’s percentage of the costs is fixed by the size of the apartment, or plot, divided by the total area of all the apartments or plots.

A budget for the annual community expenses is presented at the annual general meeting of the homeowners, and they or their authorized representatives must approve the budget by majority vote of those present at the meeting. Expenses can vary substantially according to the services provided, and normally include salary and social security of the hall porter, common garden maintenance, lift maintenance, repairs to common elements, rubbish collection, water for watering community gardens, electricity for lighting communal areas, insurance, security, and administration fees. The President of the community must, by law, own a property within the complex itself and is chosen by way of vote by the co-owners. The President has no remuneration for this role.

In the case of an individual villa in an estate of villas, community fees are often less since the private gardens and exteriors of such properties are generally not maintained by the community, and the community fees are limited to road and roadside garden maintenance, basic common service maintenance, and security.

Insurance
One should note that in an apartment building, the Homeowners’ Association is required to insure the building for its reproduction cost. Therefore, the individual’s insurance policy for the apartment need not cover the entire value of the apartment, but only damages to the interior of the apartment, its contents, and third party liability. It is also advisable to insure the building at first risk in case the Community insurance is not comprehensive.

Electricity
Electricity is billed monthly or bi-monthly, depending on the area. Minimum rates are applicable whether you are in residence or not, and the minimum varies according to the amount of electricity your house could potentially use with all power and lights turned on.

With all the sunshine here, you will nevertheless be using less lighting and heating than in a lot of other countries!

Fixed-line telephone
The telephone bill is charged monthly. Standard rates vary according to the equipment installed, but can be in the region of €15 per month including a touch dial telephone and ADSL WIFI. There are many local and national telephone companies that can offer substantial savings to those who wish to spend some time studying the market. ADSL broadband services are available virtually anywhere and ADSL “packages” cost approximately €39per month (plus VAT), including all local and national calls to fixed lines.

Taxes
Some of the main taxes for non-residents in Spain include the following:
Municipal Added Value Tax (PlusValía): Please refer to Part 1 of this article ”Municipal Added Value Tax (PlusValía)”
Rates or Annual Property Tax (IBI or SUMA): Please refer to Part 2 of this article ”Local rates or Annual Property Tax (IBI)”
Income Tax (Impuesto sobre la Renta)
Wealth Tax (Impuesto de Patrimonio)
Capital Gains Tax (Impuesto sobre Ganancias Patrimoniales Inmobiliarias) and Retentions

INCOME TAX
Residents (IRPF)
RESIDENTS in Spain must file Income Tax and declare the income they receive regardless of their source.

For tax purposes, one is considered a FISCAL RESIDENT if one resides in Spain over 183 days per calendar year, regardless of whether one is officially resident. The Resident tax return is presented in June each year for the previous calender year on worlwide income.

Non-Residents (IRNR):
NON-RESIDENTS must also pay Income Tax (IRNR) on income received through the ownership of property in Spain. There are two forms of taxation applicable depending on the source:

a) Income gained on property rentals: 24.75% on returns.
b) And oddly, one that catches out many people, derived benefit on own use of property – WE CALL THIS NON RESIDENT TAX – please contact us on [email protected] if you are not sure what you should be paying.
WEALTH TAX
In 2008, the Spanish Government had abolished this Tax due to the “unjust” nature of its imposition. The last fiscal year that this Tax was on was the year 2007 and in 2008 it had, to all effects, been annulled.

However, Wealth Tax has now been reinstated in Spain. The new Royal Decree 13/2011 of 17 September 2011 brings this tax into force once again and outlines the taxable amounts and their taxation rates. Law 16/2012 of 27 December 2012 maintains this law applicable for the fiscal year 2013. Those who are liable to pay Wealth Tax are individuals who are fiscal residents in Spain as well as non-residents who have assets on Spanish territory.

The re-introduction of the Wealth Tax was initially to be applicable only for the fiscal years 2011, 2012 and has now been extended to the fiscal year 2013. Further changes have also been introduced to this reform affecting mostly those in the higher wealth brackets.

Spanish Wealth Tax is based on the total net assets held on December 31 of each year and the tax rates range from 0.2% to 2.5%. Fiscal residents are liable for wealth tax on their net worldwide assets, while non-residents are taxed only on their net assets located on Spanish territory or taxable in Spain.

The general conditions of the new Wealth Tax are as follows:

Wealth Tax will be applicable only for the tax years 2011, 2012 and 2013, and is to be abolished again on 01 January, 2014 (and, as a result, the corresponding Wealth Tax returns will be filed in 2012, 2013 and 2014).
The minimum taxable amount has been raised to €700,000 (previously: €108,182.18).
Therefore, individuals whose total wealth in assets is less than €700,000 are not liable to pay Wealth Tax.
Each resident may deduct from the Wealth Tax the value of their main residence in Spain up to a maximum of €300.000 (previously: €150,253.03).
Wealth Tax is levied on an individual basis. When a property or other asset belongs to two or more individuals, each person will pay tax according to the percentage of the property held in their name and the corresponding loans. In the case of married couples, if assets are shared by both spouses, 50% shall be assigned to each unless proof to the contrary is presented.

CAPITAL GAINS TAX and RETENTIONS
Capital Gains tax for non-residents is set at 21% for 2012 and 2013, payable on profits earned on the difference of the property value between the year of purchase (purchase price plus costs) and the year of sale (sales price minus costs).

Capital Gains Tax for residents for 2012 and 2013 is set at 21% for the first 6.000€ profit, at 25%, for profit between 6.001€ up to 24.000€ and at 27% for profit of over 24.001€. Law 16/2012 of December 27 is an amendment to capital gain for residents obtained as a result of the sale of a property that has been less than a year in the taxpayer’s assets. In this case, the Capital Gains is taxed based on the general Capital Gains tax scale mentioned above.

With respect to the sale of property belonging to fiscal residents in Spain, where the property is one’s permanent home, proceeds of the sale may be reinvested in another permanent residence during the two years before and after the sale of the prior property. If the total amount is reinvested in the new home, tax obtained for the sale of the previous home will be totally exempt. However, if only a part of the proceeds from the previous sale is reinvested, tax payable will be proportionally reduced to the amount reinvested. For the sale of property acquired prior to December 31, 1994, special taxation conditions apply.

All non-resident sellers, regardless of when they acquired the property, are subject to 3% retention of the sales price, paid to the Tax Office by the purchaser on account of the seller, and applied against the seller’s capital gains tax.

Q: What if I want to buy a plot and build my own home?
A. Providing that a building plot is situated within an urbanization, or an area zoned within the Municipal Plan for such use, outline planning permission will already have been granted for the construction of a detached home. However, building regulations, which vary considerably, dictate the permissible size of the villa according to the size of the plot. Care should therefore be taken before proceeding with the land purchase that one will be allowed to construct one’s chosen home on it.

Q: ARE MORTGAGES AVAILABLE?
A. Since the beginning of the banking crisis Spanish banks lend money but their criteria is much more stringent than before.

A foreign applicant should not be discouraged, however, and it is important to meticulously prepare the documentation needed by the bank. Current conditions dictate the need to have at least two or three banks to apply to. Your agent and lawyer can be very useful in this procedure, which can take anywhere from three weeks to almost two months from the time all the documentation is submitted.

A recommended route is to pre-qualify oneself with a bank before negotiating a purchase, which would be subject then only to the valuation which can normally be accomplished within 10 days. This allows a purchaser to negotiate for the property he chooses, without having to ask the seller for a purchase contract which would be conditional to the approval of the mortgage, as the basic loan would already almost have been approved. Sellers generally are reluctant to reserve a property under this type of condition.

A list of sample documentation required by the Spanish banks does not vary substantially from that required by banks in other countries, and includes:

Two years’ tax returns.
If you are receiving a salary, the last 6 months payslips, as well as proof of any other regular income. If you are a company owner, the proof of your various means of income.
A list of your current monthly mortgage payments (if you have any).
A statement of one’s total assets and liabilities, confirmed by a professional accountant.
Copies of one year’s bank account statements.
Copies of your passport
In all cases, there will be a mortgage application form to fill in, and sometimes additional documentation is required, depending on the case.
The above can be supplied in English, for most applications, but if these documents are in another language, they must be translated officially into Spanish. There also has to be a satisfactory credit report.

Q: Who pays estate agency fees in the sale of a property?
A: The seller always pays agency fees, unless you come up with a different agreement with your agency. Although the seller remunerates his agency, the agent has an ethical obligation to see that the purchaser gets fair value for money, and at the end of the day, a good agent’s job is to bring the buyer and seller together in harmony. This highlights the importance of working with an established estate agency with a strong reputation like Comaskey.

Q: How will I deal with standard bills, e.g. electricity, water, telephone, rates, etc.?
A: It is common practice in Spain to issue standing instructions to your bank to pay them on your behalf. We set up and deal with any problems with utilities as many of you know.

Q: What is an urbanisation?
A: An urbanisation is a planned community which has met the standards of the various governmental agencies with respect of the use of the land (residential, commercial, sports area, green zones), and to providing a specific set of services and a minimum level of quality in the construction of roads, sidewalks, drainage, sewage systems, electricity and water installations, and so on. Obtaining permission to develop land into an urbanization can take a developer up to several years and several million euros of expense. The most obvious advantage to the owner of a property within an urbanization is the fact that the land usage is strictly controlled. If one decides to build a house on a plot in a section of an urbanization zoned exclusively for single-family dwellings, you are assured by law that neither an apartment block nor a turkey farm can be located on the adjacent single-family plot!

Q: How long can I stay in Spain as a tourist?
A: Europeans from the E.U. can stay in Spain indefinitely. Visas are not required for some other countries such as the United States, but are still required in other cases, depending on one’s country of origin, and with varying lengths of stay permitted. Any non-resident residing in Spain 183 days or more per calendar year is considered by the Tax Office to be a resident for tax purposes.

Q: Where can I send my children to school?
A. There are several good public Spanish schools in the area and a few international schools where pupils are taught in English, and a choice of curriculum is offered between G.C.S.E.s and A-Levels, and the International Baccalaureate.edu

Q: Are there medical and health insurance facilities?
A: Torrevieja has a wonderful new, modern and well-equipped Hospital.

Private medical insurance is available through various groups. This could cost from €30 to €130 per person per month, depending on their age and the state of their health. Spain’s social security system now allows E.U. residents access to the health network via a special form if pensioners. For residents who are self-employed, own a company, or are employees, your social security contributions automatically entitle access to the Spanish health network.

Please note this is all general information above and as always, there is more detail on everything, so please contact us if you require more information on something.

SPONSORED WALK

Many of our clients are involved in this Sponsored Walk below. Please note that they need to know who is coming on the day. Do contact Lyn or Annie on the details below for sponsorship forms.

We love to tell you about new discoveries that we find in the office and Angie came back raving the other day about a beautiful tea room in the village of Crevillente. So I thought I would do a little piece on this lovely looking place…

Carmen Del Campillo, Casa Morisca, Crevillente

For a Costa Blanca trip out (with a difference) why not visit Spain’s best kept secret, the Moroccan/Arabian Tea House.

Situated just off the N340 road which runs from Crevillente to Albatera (around 36km from Alicante itself).

THE TEAHOUSE –

What to expect ..

The gates to this secret arabian tea house are locked behind you once you enter the place, inside there are exotic gardens illuminated by lanterns (at night) and a large winding property with a labyrinth of different rooms. There are peacocks roaming the grounds, piped Arabian music in certain places.. and a tepee on one of the terraces of the tea house.

Simply take a seat inside or out and someone will come round to serve you … The Arabian tea is quite sweet, of various flavours and arabic “sweets” are also offered.

Directions to the Costa Blanca secret Arabian tea house…

Turn right off the N340 road heading from Crevillente to Albatera at the Cespa Petrol Station.
Drive up this road for 1.7km – on the left you will see a small electricity building full of graffiti – turn right here and you will pass a house with two lions on the gateposts – turn first right after that house onto the dirt-track – 300m down this track turn right and 130m ahead of you is the Arabian tea house car park. The entrance to the Crevillente Tea House is at the bottom of the car park to the left.

It is apparently a bit out the way, so maybe best to go in a group at night.

Tea House Opening Times (Hours – Carmen del Campillo).

The best time to visit the Tea House is just before sundown on a hot summer night.. the doors to the Tea House only open around late afternoon.

Photo: Bienvenido Verano… ¿que os parece una tarde desconectando del mundo?Photo: Desde otra prespectiva…Photo: Se espera una ola de calor para este fin de semana… ¿un refresco?Photo: Otro rincón de los muchos que podréis descubrir en el Carmen del Campillo, ¿os gusta? ¿sabéis donde está?

COORDENADAS GPS
38.222414, -0.848973
Horario:

July to September – open every day from 6pm

October to June . closed Monday and Tuesday except fiesta days and Wednesday to Sunday – open from 4 in the afternoon

Email [email protected] for more info

PLEASE; PLEASE REMEMBER THEY ONLY SERVE TEA AND MOROCCAN PASTRIES, NOT FOOD OR ALCOHOL: WE WOULD HATE FOR YOU TO BE DISAPPOINTED!

Seee you on the 6th September we hope!!!

All the best from:

The team :

Poli Borisova (fiscal), Ana Maria Barbadora (utilities), Eva G. Gilmartin, Lynne Henderson, Angie Real, Amanda Thomas, AT Calle Flores, Bajo C, La Zenia, Orihuela Costa 03189, Spain
Phone: 96 676 17 41 – Fax: 96 677 32 38 skype: amanda.thomas57

Helena Labarta (NIEs/Residencias and car issues), Silvia Sanchez (special projects) AT Calle Malaquita 1, Local B-1B, CC. Costa Zenia, La Zenia, Orihuela Costa 03189, Spain
Phone: 96 676 09 17skype: silvia spanish solutions

Editor: Amanda Thomas, Spanish Solutions
www.spanishsolutions.net

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