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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have posted snippets of our plans and the advice has been awesome, so I thought I would post the whole idea and see what you think.

We're both unemployed and moved from Australia to the UK to be with my mothers as we have had a run of family deaths. Well the short version is she was diagnosed with cancer in April last year and died in December.

As such we have no real reason to be here and now have some savings that aren't earning anything at all.

So we decided to try Spain as we both like the people, culture etc.

My wife landed in Alicante an hour ago and is hopefully going to find us somewhere to live. She is also looking at apartments which we will buy to let.

We have booked a motorhome to bring myself, my wife and our cat through the tunnel and then France into Spain. I am going to leave them there and take the motorhome back via Santanda ferry to Plymouth and return with our car on the ferry.

We have a lawyer who is setting up a power of attorney and bank accounts.

We have applied for the NIHC? healthcare card.

So, any advice, pitfalls and general holes in the plan?

We're going to try it for a year at least and we can survive without any additional income if needed, I would like to do something just to meet people. I am hard of hearing but am learning Spanish via the Android app Duolingo for now.

Thanks,

Simon.
 

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Hi and :welcome:

By NIHC I think you mean EHIC. This will entitle you to health care in Spain whilst on holiday and only for up to 3 months. After that you are considered resident and should register as such.

After 6 months you are considered tax resident and will have to submit a tax return.

So that's the doom and gloom ...


Are you sure that the buy to let route is the best way to go? I have rental properties and wish I'd never bought them.

In your shoes I would rent first to see if Spain is where you want to spend the rest of your life - and where abouts in Spain. Remember, generally speaking, property is just not selling at the moment so it might be hard to realise your capital if you should choose to go back to Australia (for example).

Why have you given a lawyer power of attorney? If you or your wife are here, then it would be best to do it all yourselves - some things you have to do personally anyway.

Best of luck with your future.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, thank you,

The POA is because I am not there, my wife is but I am not. That allows the property to be in joint names.
Can I ask why the rental properties are a mistake, we thought it the best way to earn some money as there is no interest at the bank.

We are looking around Alicante, mainly because it is an area that several friends in the UK like and we're open to ideas.

Thanks for your input.

Simon.
 

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Hi, thank you,

The POA is because I am not there, my wife is but I am not. That allows the property to be in joint names.
Can I ask why the rental properties are a mistake, we thought it the best way to earn some money as there is no interest at the bank.

We are looking around Alicante, mainly because it is an area that several friends in the UK like and we're open to ideas.

Thanks for your input.

Simon.
Are you talking holiday rentals or long-term rentals?

My thoughts on why I wouldn't do rentals if I had my time again;
  • No resale market to speak of
  • Tax on income can be daunting
  • EXTREME hassle with tenants. The law is NOT in the favour of landlords. They often leave without paying bills.
  • If you are not in Spain, you need to pay a managing agent and the costs for this are high
  • Some (all?) areas now require a licence to be able to let - these are not easy to get
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The idea was to get some income, otherwise we would have a finite period before the money ran out.
I will look into those points though, we would be nearby as we plan to be in the area but I have not looked at tax or legalities for landlords.
Thanks for your help.
 

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Can I ask why the rental properties are a mistake, we thought it the best way to earn some money as there is no interest at the bank.


Simon.
Are you thinking holiday rental or long term? Rental properties can be an albatross round your neck if you do decide to back-pedal and can't resell them because of sitting tenants. I know several people who, like Snikpoh, regret doing that. On the other hand if they are in a really good location, holiday lets can be lucrative especially if you can do your own cleaning and maintenance.
 

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While we were considering this at one time, a few years ago, we were told that the tax on rental income was greatly reduced if the tenant was under a certain age. That would have made it slightly more worthwhile, but I'm not sure if this rule still applies - check with a local accountant. But I agree - buying to let in Spain is not as worthwhile as elsewhere in the world, and you will not be able to recover the value of the investment in a hurry.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am more than happy to do cleaning and basic maintenance, we're a few years away from retirement so I am not sure about that.

The idea is find somewhere to live first and sort the rest out later, I do need to move away as everywhere I go there are memories of my mother.
 

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I am more than happy to do cleaning and basic maintenance, we're a few years away from retirement so I am not sure about that.

The idea is find somewhere to live first and sort the rest out later, I do need to move away as everywhere I go there are memories of my mother.
Sorry to hear about your mother and I can well understand why you feel the need to move away.

But.....your chances of finding work in Spain are really very slim if you don't speak Spanish and have no skills in demand. Do you know that there are over six million unemployed people in Spain?
As for cleaning and basic maintenance...every tree and lamppost round here has stickers from desperate people advertising themselves to do that. Some are willing to work for 3 euros an hour....
Renting for either long-term or holiday lets is something I would never consider here in Spain. I was a landlord in the UK and that was hassle enough. As Snikpoh says, the laws here very much favour tenants. Added to that there is so much rental property on the market, especially apartments.

Spain isn't the sort of place where you can just go and 'sort the rest out later', sadly.
There are various formalities and income requirements as well has having health insurance in place.

Best thing is to rent, get an idea of the reality of employment opportunities and regulations relating to being a landlord in Spain. Then put a plan together, one which is carefully costed and covers all eventualities. Look on it as a project....it will help take your mind off things and give you a realistic idea of the pros and cons of what you hope to do.
The wrong thing would be to do something rash without careful research and thought.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the input, I have relayed this to my wife and we are just looking for a home, for now :)
 

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I would definitely not buy a buy to let in Spain.

If you're thinking along the lines of rental income to fund yourselves, why not buy in the UK? It doesn't stop you living (renting) in Spain, but the market is a lot safer!
I had also been thinking of suggesting you buy in the UK for rental purposes. The market is usually stable, (not always). However, if you hang onto your UK property long enough, you should realise a return when you come to sell. You would have to pay agent's fees, and I think these still range from 10% - 15%.

It is something to consider and you may even have some areas in the UK that you know already.

Good luck and enjoy your time in Spain!
 

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I think doing anything drastic whilst still grieving is not a good idea.
Best to do as others have said, rent and live here for a while before committing yourself by buying.
Spending short periods of time here on holiday as you have done is really nothing whatsoever like living full-time.
Best to dip a toe in the water before diving in.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the advice, my wife is looking at the moment but we'll see what that turns up.

She'll be home on Friday. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone, well the viewing trip was not the best. They only showed my wife two suitable properties out of 25-30 they actually viewed. We did put an offer on one but they were not prepared to negotiate.
Now were are looking at renting somewhere and looking together in June and yes BTL in the UK once we're settled.
Now we're packing up and getting ready for the road trip! :)
 

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Well, we're here. We drove to the tunnel on day one and onto Rouen, then on day two we drove from Rouen to Pau, then day three we drove through the Pyrenees and down to Alicante and today we moved into Los Montesinos.
Overall a great trip and we met some lovely people on the way, but I would not want to do it again too soon! :)
We are having a rest day tomorrow and then we start house hunting. Lovely people in this area, been to the supermarket and all laughed at our attempts at Spanish, we ended up with two slabs of meat instead of slices but we managed! :lol:
 

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Good luck to you.

When we were delayed in our buying and had to book into a hotel, Mrs R went ahead to a bar to order two drinks for us. I arrived and subsequently so did our "drinks" turned out to be fried liver on toast !!!
 

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Well, we're here. We drove to the tunnel on day one and onto Rouen, then on day two we drove from Rouen to Pau, then day three we drove through the Pyrenees and down to Alicante and today we moved into Los Montesinos.
Overall a great trip and we met some lovely people on the way, but I would not want to do it again too soon! :)
We are having a rest day tomorrow and then we start house hunting. Lovely people in this area, been to the supermarket and all laughed at our attempts at Spanish, we ended up with two slabs of meat instead of slices but we managed! :lol:
Any recommendations about pet-friendly places to stay with secure parking in Rouen or Pau?
 
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