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Property Sale

Tips To Sell Your Property Faster

More often than not, house sellers would prefer to sell their home quickly. With an abundance of Agents to choose from it can pretty overwhelming to pick one to choose to handle the sale of your property. Here we are going to list some of the services you should check for when browsing agents or tips you should simply do yourself if you are selling privately. Here is what you should do to sell your property faster.

Photos & Lighting

Real Estate Photographer

This may seem obvious & more frequently we see sellers hiring professional photographers which is great! We live in a digital age where your house will be listed on a property portal or agent website in-between hundreds or thousands of other homes for sale, and your home will be judged by its first appearance which will often be the online photographs.

A few things you should keep in mind for selling your home fast is that people prefer photos of large & well lit spaces. If browse your agents website & find many photos are dark & don’t show off the larger areas then hiring a photographer can make your house stand out against the bleak row of houses listed alongside your property.

 

Neutralise

Neutral Property Colours

It may be hard to believe, but not everyone has the same taste as you, many people like to make a property their own & this can be hard to imagine for potential buyers if you leave clutter everywhere, have bold colours & “unique” furniture. The best approach is to place your more personal belonging into a storage unit or if that’s not an option place them out of direct view, stored away in the garage for example.

Neutral pastel colours, whites or creams on the walls will help make the property inoffensive in the eyes of potential buyers, making it easier to sell your property.

Be Prepared

Property Contract

Just like you want to sell your property fast, once a buyer has deiced that your property is the one want, they will want to buy it as soon as possible. Have all your documents & paperwork ready, have your home inspections & valuations done ahead of time, this may seem obvious & frequently it is a requirement to have all your papers in order by your agent before listing it but this should not be overlooked, you would be surprised how frequently a deal can break through because a piece of paper that was not prepared ahead of time.

 

Pricing To Sell Your Property

Property Pricing

Some buyers have very specific requirements for their new properties, for your property to even be considered to make it into the final “pool” of choices for buyers the price must not exceed their budget by too much. Your pricing should be realistic, unfortunately for many the 2008 crash left many with a property value far lower than their purchase price but don’t give up hope, in 2018 in the Spanish Property Prices have been rising & many British buyers have not been turned away by Brexit.

Finally, you should finish with giving your property the TLC it needs, get all the inexpensive repairs done, replace the dud bulbs, paint over the furniture marks, clean the windows, do the gardening & make sure the pool still receives regular maintenance. Every small nitpick a potential buyer encounters might just be the last straw to turn them away from your property & they may not even realise it! Although they won’t realise it right away, more often than not the buyer will think back to the perfect property, with large open spaces, good lighting & ready to move into oppose to the property with a chip in the tiles with the needs the walls painting.

 

We understand that it’s a very broad scope to try and cover each unique property, seller & buyer and that there are always exceptions to every situation, however following these basic but frequently overlooked tips will increase your odds and making a sale.

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beach-closed Costa Blanca

Jellyfish Declare War On Our Beaches

Many readers will be wondering why some of their favorite beaches have been closed these last couple of days in the Alicante region. This is due to the Portuguese man o’ war, also known as Floating Terror. There have been reports of the jellyfish all over the coasts of the Costa Blanca and several beaches have been shut down due to this. A young child aged 11 was hospitalized after being stung by a Man O’ War, luckily the life guards removed the tentacles from the child’s arm and he was taken to Elche hospital where he was cared for and discharged a few hours later.

What is a Portuguese Man o’ War Jellyfish?

Well, the truth is they aren’t actually jellyfish at all, but rather something called a “Siphonophore” which is actually a colony of organisms called “Zooids” which work together to create the man O’ war which resembles a jellyfish. They’re tentacles pack a powerful venomous punch that kill fish and in some rare circumstances humans too. The individual organisms have to integrate themselves with the other individual components to survive. The Man O’ War can not actually move itself but it completely dependent on the wind & sea currents to get around. They consist of a gas filled bladder that floats on the surface of the water with venomous tentacles dangling beneath them.

Why The Panic?

Finding one of these on a beach usually means more will follow soon as they are often in groups and as they are propelled entirely by their circumstances. Sometimes the Man O’ War can find itself beached, this does not mean that they are no longer dangerous, the venom in the tentacles remains  potent for weeks or sometimes months in the right conditions when beaches, meaning stepping on one could still be a painful affair. Beaches are being closed to avoid any injuries caused by these creatures seeing as many people & tourists mistake them for far less threatening jellyfish. They have been spotted as far up as Benidorm.

Portuguese Man O War Jellyfish

Man O’ War Survival Guide

Despite the council’s best efforts to close beaches and deal with the situation, you might still run into a Man O’ War whilst enjoying your time at the beach, if you see one, we recommend the following:

  • Do not touch the Man O’ War – Stay away from it and definitely do not try to swim under them but rather try to swim round them
  • Report it to the lifeguards immediately and pay attention to their advice, even if you haven’t been stung it’s important to take their advice seriously
  • If you have been stung the lifeguards are still your best bet, waste no time in reaching them, they can immediately address the situation and call authorities if needed
  • Do NOT urinate on the sting! This is false information and will not help, it could even make the sting more painful, but it’ll definitely be a waste of time and make you smell unpleasant.
Beach Bar Protesting

Bring Back the Beach Bars!

The Orihuela Costa region has began shutting down more & more beach bars on the local beaches. Areas such as Punta Prima & La Zenia have been suffering from the laws causing the bars to be shut down. We first saw this back in September when the Sunrise Beach bars were shut down. Last time the people were caught by surprise but this time round there has been a far bigger uproar from the public.

Tourism & Jobs

Spain, especially the coastal area of Costa Blanca relies heavily on tourism to help its local economy and to provide jobs for it’s citizens. Many of the staff that worked in these beach bars could be seen protesting against the closing of the beach bars as this is their livelihood and job and many of them would be left unemployed if the bars were to shut down permanently. Aside from the employees of the bars, the locals will also be affected by the closure of the bars as many of them were choice locations to bring visiting friends and family. Lastly the tourism in the area is mostly driven by the beaches & the beach bars are a must in our opinion as they encourage the tourists to visit again and again.

Health & Safety

Aside from the more obvious reasons stated above as to why people are fighting to keep the beach bars open is the health and safety. Many of the people reading who are not local to the area will be unaware that there was a recent tragedy involving a young boy that was perhaps preventable had there been a beach bar with a defibrillator accessible. Many locals were filling petitions and making arrangements to make the beaches a safer place, all of this work will become undone should the bars be removed from the beaches.

Shutting Down

As with the Sunrise bars, the reason as to why the bars are being closed down is full of speculation & rumours and without a definite answer we will not dig deeper into them to spread misinformation. When more information becomes available we will share it across our Facebook & blog. We invite anyone with access to the online petitions to keep the bars open to contact us and we will update this post with the link available for anyone who wishes to sign.

 

 

Spanish Property Phrases Top Spain Property

Spanish Property Phrases

If you’re moving to Spain & looking to buy a property, there are some essential Spanish property phrases you should probably learn so you know exactly what you’re looking at if you end up deciding to browse Spanish websites or buying through a Spanish agent. We will break down the words and phrases into 3 sections, essential ones where you can learn the minimum you need to understand the fundamentals, the basic words so you can get a better understanding and the more advanced phrases which will teach you some more specific or niche Spanish property jargon.

Essential Spanish Property Phrases

These are the bare minimum to help you understand the basic information displayed on most Spanish agent websites.

Dormitorio = Bedroom
Cuarto de baño / baño = Bathroom
Garaje = Garage
Casa = House
Jardín = garden
Cuarto = Room

Basic Spanish Property Phrases

These phrases are a little bit more specific but might just help you find the exact features you want from your new home

Aire acondicionado = Air Conditioning
Aparcamiento = Parking
Ascensor = Lift / Elevator
Balcón = Balcony
Bien situado / comunicado = Good Location
Calle mayor = Main Street
Cocina = Kitchen
Comedor = Dining Room
Trastero = Storage Room
Vista = View
Amueblado = Furnished

Advanced Spanish Property Phrases

These phrases will help you look for niche items when browsing properties in Spanish.
A Estrenar = Brand New
Adosado/Pareado = Semi Detached
Antiguo/a = Old / Antique
Apartamento/piso duplex = Duplex apartment / flat
alquiler = Rent/ For Rent
Armario empotrados = Fitted Wardrobes
Ático = Penthouse / Top Floor With Terrace
Buen estado = Good Condition
Calefacción general = Single boiler heats a building; occupants cannot control when it is turned on or off. Cost are divided.
Calefacción individual = House with its own boiler; the occupant can control the heat as desired and pays for individual use.
Chalet = Detached house / villa
Cortijo = Country house / farmhouse
Independiente = Detached
Mediodia orientación = South Facing
Lujo = Luxury

 

Flag of Spain

Lifestyle In Spain

Lifestyle in Spain can be very different in subtle ways to lifestyle in the UK and here are a few points you should probably know to prepare for your holiday or first home in Spain. Spain is very tourist friendly and you’ll find many UK themed and inspired businesses, bars and restaurants, especially in the Costas such as Costa Blanca & Costa Del Sol but for those of you going more inland or just looking to blend in a little better and avoid any inconveniences, here’s what you should know.

Don’t get locked out!

One of the less obvious differences between the UK and Spain is the way safety is handled. In Spain it’s very common to have grills or bars across all windows making entering through them impossible without removal of the bars. What many people don’t notice is that in Spain most houses come with a door that only opens with a key from the outside. In the UK many doors have handles which open the door from outside as long as it’s not locked, in Spain however many doors need the actual key to open the door from outside rather than using a handle or door knob, effectively locking the door from the outside whenever it is shut. This catches many new property owners or holidaymakers off guard, going outside to enjoy the sun only to realise they’ve left their key inside and now can’t get back inside the property! In this case it’s usually advisable to call your rental agent for a spare key or a local locksmith if it’s your own property!

Window grill lifestyle in spain

Going hungry

A big lifestyle difference in Spain is the time at which the Spanish have their meals & drinks. In Spain it is common to have breakfast as the first meal as in the UK, however in the UK normally people have a sandwich or small lunch around midday. To contrast, in Spain lunch is the main meal of the day and usually had around 2 or 3 pm. Moving over to dinner which is often in-between 5 and 7 pm in the UK, it is at 9 or 10 pm in Spain. This reflects in many different aspects of Spain, the shops are open later (usually closing 8:30pm – 10:00pm) and going out for drinks is very different. In the UK drinking is usually to get drunk, in Spain drinks are often restricted to mealtimes. When the Spanish go out drinking it is called Botellon and it consists of drinking and pub crawling before ending up in a nightclub. In some cases they drink in the streets in large groups and share alcohol, a very friendly atmosphere that is a good experience for any fans of social drinking.

 

Fiestas & Siestas 

Two very frequent phrases you hear when people talk about the lifestyle in Spain, what do they mean? A fiesta can be anything from a festival or party to a bank holiday. This catches people off guard as many assume that fiestas usually just mean there’s going to be a party of some kind, but many shops will close and in more religious and traditional Spanish areas will shut down completely during a fiesta. They can be a little bit tricky to work out as different parts of Spain can have fiestas that do and don’t apply to them. So in some instances all of Spain may be closed, in others it may just be your pueblo so it’s important to pay attention to which areas your fiesta apply. Secondly we come to Siestas, the time is a little different between areas but usually it’s from 14:00 until 17:00. Often you’ll find shops and cafes open from 9:00 or 10:00 until 14:00 which is Spanish lunchtime. At this point many places close so the owners and staff can go home for lunch or a “siesta” to catch up on sleep. at around 17:00 or 18:00 all the doors open again and now stay open until late into the evening. Tourists can get stuck looking for a place to eat dinner whilst Spain is taking its nap time, so if you’re going inland be sure to keep your eye on the time.

Ryanair’s New Bag Policy

It’s no secret that Ryanair is one of the most commonly used airlines for flights from the UK to Spain. Starting January 15 they’re putting new policies into place that they believe will encourage more customers to fly with them and it’s also supposed to combat delays. Popular destinations include Alicante, Malaga and Valencia

Changes to Ryanair Bag Policy

The most important changes are as follows: Ryanair is reducing the costs of checked bags from €/£35 down to €/£25 and increasing the size from 15 kilograms up to 20 kilograms. However there is a catch to the new system. In order to help prevent delays Ryanair will only allow passengers who have priority boarding (at the cost of €/£5 during booking or €/£6 after booking ). to take 2 bags on board, their cabin bag (55cm x 40cm x 20cm) and a smaller handbag or backpack (35cm x 20cm x 20cm).

Non Priority Passengers

Passengers who don’t pay the extra fee to become priority will as usual be asked to queue in the “Other queue” as normal, however they will now be asked to place their cabin bags into the hold, only being allowed to take their smaller bag onboard. Ryanair suggests that you take any items needed for medicinal purposes or for your infants on board in your smaller bag. non priority passengers who refuse to comply and don’t allow staff to put their bags in the hold will be refused travel with NO REFUND issued.

A 50 Million Euro Gamble

As said above, they’ve made these changes to help avoid delays and they believe that this change will increase the amount of passengers who book with them, we can only hope they are correct as the cheaper prices and larger bags allowed from this change will cost Ryanair approximately 50 million euros per year. With the forecast for 2018 being that more properties will be sold, and knowing that a large percentage of properties sold are to Brits, it’s no surprise that flights between Spain & the UK will continue to be in high demand, especially during the holiday seasons in which Ryanair has hinted that costs of checked luggage may rise by up by €/£10 to compensate for increased baggage handling costs by the large amount of passengers flying during peak seasons.

All information is sourced directly from Ryanair’s official website.

Spain Monopoly

Property Price Forecast 2018

2017 was a very healthy year for property prices in Spain with an estimated growth of 6.9% over the year according to Anticipate. The property price forecast for 2018 shows a very similar trend, with estimates of around 6% growth leaving it slightly behind 2017 but still a healthy growth in price and a great opportunity for buyers to get capital gains on the properties they purchase at the start of 2018. These property price forecasts are set to hold an upward trend provided there is no dramatic economical impact from the current Catalonia situation.

Catalonia Votes

Independence For Catalonia

Catalonia has been the topic on many people’s minds and some have even begun comparing it to Brexit, although on a much smaller scale. For those unaware, Catalonia (notably Barcelona) have been fighting for independence, and the referendum dictated that approximately 90% of the Catalonians want independence. Why does this matter? Because Catalonia is a large source for all Spain’s wealth and many are uncertain of the economical impact this will have. However, with the Madrid Government having taken over and replacing the Catalonians, we will have to wait and see if there will be any action taken or if the vote becomes dismissed. Government officials have spoken out about not wanting to negotiate with Catalonia if they decided to pursue the independence, many of them are angry with the decisions taken by the Catalonian government. The bank Caixa has decided to remove its headquarters from Catalonia until it is made clear on what is destined for Catalonia.

Overall Property Price Forecast

Now that you’re up to speed on the situation in Catalonia, we’d like to add that not even the government is certain on whether to grant Catalonia its independence, and if it did occur, nobody is certain what exact effect it will have on the property market apart from that some of the most expensive properties in Spain can be bought here and that some major property companies in the Catalonia area have seen their shares drop by over 5% each. Despite all of the political drama it has had no effect so far on the rest of Spain’s property prices or its forecast. We end this article by presenting you with some forecasts by Mark Stucklin from Spanish Property Insight. Stucklin tells us that the companies forecast is 85% higher in 2018 than it was in 2013 but it is still 42% lower than it’s peak in 2006 where more than 900,000 Spanish properties were sold. Keeping this in mind, the property prices currently seem to be at a good price with much potential to rise over the coming years.

Happy New Year

Spanish New Year Traditions You Should Try

Spain is a country filled with sunshine, culture and a large diversity of different nationalities but the Spanish keep their traditions intact and celebrate them proudly. So here we have 4 Spanish New Year traditions you should try this new year!

1. Eating 12 Grapes

New Year Green Grapes

We start our countdown with the most well known Spanish New Year tradition. For those who don’t know, it is common practice to eat 12 grapes on the stroke of midnight, symbolising good luck for each of the 12 months to come. Many Spaniards follow this tradition and it can be surprisingly difficult and entertaining to pull off.

Usually there is a count down that leads to one grape per second, if not, then the challenge is to eat all 12 grapes before the bells stop ringing. This is commonly practised around the dining room or in public places, most famously so in Puerta Del Sol, Madrid, but rest assured that this is practiced all over Spain.

A few tips to help you achieve this without your relatives or friends laughing at your struggle to eat 12 grapes so quickly are to make sure you buy seedless grapes & to get smaller sized grapes as opposed to the larger ones. This should make the consumption of grapes quicker and easier. Get your grapes ready to make sure you don’t miss out on your good luck for the next 12 months!

 

2. Right Foot Forward

The Spanish have a tradition that is commonly seen used in conjunction with the scoffing of grapes is starting the new year on the right foot. They claim that the best way to start your new year is to keep your right foot in-front of your left foot when eating your 12 lucky grapes. A small but subtle tradition that anyone can give a go, far less challenging and comical than trying to eat 12 grapes in 12 seconds. It’s a small ask to get a head start in the New Year, so make sure you’re keeping your footing after all those New Years drinks!

 

3. Golden Drink

Cava New Year Spain

So you’ve opted out of your 12 lucky grapes, well luckily there is another common Spanish New Year tradition you can participate in. Many Spaniards will put a golden coin or ring into a glass of Cava to toast at the stroke of midnight. It’s supposed to symbolise good fortune. Many married couples will put their wedding rings into their drinks to wish each other good fortune and a healthy marriage.

 

4. Wearing Red Undies

Speaking of marriage, if you’re looking for love in the new year then the Spanish have you covered with the last tradition on our list. The tradition is to wear your best red underwear so that cupid can come along and make your new year wish come true. This isn’t as commonly known as the other traditions so we can’t speak of it’s success rates but it seems like a small amount of effort to try and get your New Years kiss.

 

Summary

So are you prepared to eat your 12 lucky grapes whilst keeping your right foot forward in your red underwear whilst you toast your loved ones with your wedding ring inside your glass? We hope you enjoyed these traditions and we wish you a very happy, a very healthy and very prosperous new year!

Santa Clause Zenia Boulevard

Santa Claus Is Coming To Zenia Boulevard

Not sure what to do with all this holiday time off? Are the kids full of Christmas excitement? Not sure where to go? Zenia Boulevard are having a special event on the 22nd of December where the one and only Santa Claus will be riding around with his sleigh & be available to meet your children & have their photo taken with him.

Christmas Tree Zenia

The Santa will ride around in his sleigh and create huge Christmas excitement as children’s eyes will light up seeing the one and only Mr.Clause right here in our local shopping centre! Don’t forget Zenia Boulevard will be full of offers for your last minute Christmas shopping!

Santa isn’t the only attraction to see, the entire shopping centre is filled with Christmas decorations, if you haven’t been recently you have a good excuse to escape the indoors and feel jolly at Zenia Boulevard!

ChristmasDecorationZenia

Santa will be at Zenia Boulevard at approximately 18:00, be sure you don’t miss him!

Earthquakes in Torrevieja

As many of you will have heard, Torrevieja and surrounding areas experienced a minor earthquake of 2.3 magnitude on the Richter scale with a depth of 11km on the 7th of November 2017. However what a lot of people do not know is that Torrevieja and earthquakes have had a shaky relationship since the town was first founded. In 2015 there was a earthquake of 3.2 magnitude that lasted about 3 seconds on the 11th of January. Many of the locals assumed it to be a much bigger earthquake due to the tranquility of the night.

Torrevieja’s History

Torrevieja was founded way back in 1803 however the town soon met with a huge setback. In 1829 the town of Torrevieja was devastated by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6! This event resulted in several deaths and injuries, however the people of Torrevieja fought back. Armed with the knowledge that Torrevieja may be earthquake prone, they decided to rebuild the town and make it more earthquake resistant.

Apart from the sturdier building materials and methods, there was one big innovation brought in by engineer Agustín Larramendi. Many who visit Torrevieja may wonder why all the roads appear to be one way & seem to be confusing and long winded, but there is a good reason for this. Torrevieja was rebuilt with the buildings in parallel & perpendicular to each other.  The result of this is not only one way streets, but more importantly the purpose of this grid like structure is to minimize collateral damage. Should the unfortunate event occur that another huge earthquake hits Torrevieja and one of the new buildings does give in to the force of the earthquake then that building and that building alone collapses, not knocking into other buildings causing a domino chain effect. This smart design is the ultimate fail-safe in case nature strikes again.