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Hey Zippy:

Hold your head up and crack on. The people giving positive and negative advice are just trying to give you a 'warts and all' opinion of life around Spain.

It's quite strange how sometimes you have to bite your lip when you read some of the scare stories on here? As a city person, London, I can assure you that many of the negatives on here would be tripled by my own current experiences living in the worlds greatest city ...

Red tape, theft, dubious councils on the Costas? Like it doesn't happen here (UK) x10.

The main negatives in Spain are unemployment, red tape and widespread corruption.
I must admit that I find how some people approach a forum difficult to understand. A poster on here talked about needing courage and needing to be brave to post, and now Expatliving, you say you have to bite your lip. I don't understand why. You may need to be brave and to have courage to leave your country and loved ones, but to ask a question on a forum? To type a few words about your experience?I don't see it.
My own opinion is that you have to keep a civil tongue in your head, but your opinion is your opinion and your experience, which is probably the most worthy thing to write about here, is your experience which no one can refute (although some will try :)). You also have to/ should be prepared for the information that comes back not to be what you expected. To take advantage of this forum particularly I would say you have to be open minded, genuinely interested and ready to re formulate ideas that you maybe didn't even know that you had. For example, it took a long time for my family to accept the idea that we have snow where we are and there is usually at least one heavy snowfall each year. They couldn't get their heads around the fact that I live in Spain and it was cold. Well if someone tells you that it snows, has lived that, has had that experience then it's kind of annoying that people question this time and time again.
So, if you want information and are prepared for what comes back at you Come On Down!!!!!
 

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I must admit that I find how some people approach a forum difficult to understand. A poster on here talked about needing courage and needing to be brave to post, and now Expatliving, you say you have to bite your lip. I don't understand why. You may need to be brave and to have courage to leave your country and loved ones, but to ask a question on a forum? To type a few words about your experience?I don't see it.
My own opinion is that you have to keep a civil tongue in your head, but your opinion is your opinion and your experience, which is probably the most worthy thing to write about here, is your experience which no one can refute (although some will try :)). You also have to/ should be prepared for the information that comes back not to be what you expected. To take advantage of this forum particularly I would say you have to be open minded, genuinely interested and ready to re formulate ideas that you maybe didn't even know that you had. For example, it took a long time for my family to accept the idea that we have snow where we are and there is usually at least one heavy snowfall each year. They couldn't get their heads around the fact that I live in Spain and it was cold. Well if someone tells you that it snows, has lived that, has had that experience then it's kind of annoying that people question this time and time again.
So, if you want information and are prepared for what comes back at you Come On Down!!!!!

My experiences, currently, are based on living in the biggest city in the UK and far bigger than anything in Spain. How can I seriously identify with a person who say, lives in the Cotwolds, or how about Scotland? The pressures and concerns have similarities in core issues, politics and society, but how can I make a reasoned comment on a subject related to say, living near the sea or countryside issues? Likewise, how can anybody pass judgement on the rights and wrongs of living in a metropolis with the huge costs and problems associated? No one on here needs to hear me go on regarding the underlying reasoning for me moving to Spain this coming spring, but if you want a clue, just open up a London biased newspaper and read on.

Whilst change is good for society, the implications for cost to service that 'change' are massive. We already subsidise one part of the UK, now we (tax payer - I'm still working for the foreseeable future) are expected to pay for the newly created social demands that come with EU membership ... No prizes for that rather awkward conversion.

So, family in tow, I head to Spain, I will pay my taxes, I'll pay for private health insurance (I should repeat that) and I will contribute to my community. I'm certainly not xenophobic, I'll embrace Spanish life and will question quite why people retire/move to Spain, only to rush into a newly created British ghetto, where those same people can recreate their own personal utopia, based on what they wanted the UK still to be?

I'll open my arms to everything that comes to me and my family in Spain, the good and the bad. I won't hide away, but I'll choose to be tactful and not to hurt or annoy other residents in my community. The same thing applies on this forum, it's easy to be a 'smart arse' or 'know all' via your fingertips, but as you probably know PW those sort of attitudes disappear when you meet some of the detractors face to face.

Come rain or shine, I'll head to Spain, perhaps to create my own Utopia? I leave behind Europe's greatest city and a country pretending to be on the up. No regrets and I'll take on all the red tape and nonsense thrown at me ... because that's what I'm use to.

References to being 'brave' and having 'courage' are people being polite and not wanting to offend people, with their worries and concerns? I take note of your slight cynicism, it takes a lot of courage to be brave sometimes with replies ... ;)
 

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I must admit that I find how some people approach a forum difficult to understand. A poster on here talked about needing courage and needing to be brave to post, and now Expatliving, you say you have to bite your lip. I don't understand why. You may need to be brave and to have courage to leave your country and loved ones, but to ask a question on a forum? To type a few words about your experience?I don't see it.
My own opinion is that you have to keep a civil tongue in your head, but your opinion is your opinion and your experience, which is probably the most worthy thing to write about here, is your experience which no one can refute (although some will try :)). You also have to/ should be prepared for the information that comes back not to be what you expected. To take advantage of this forum particularly I would say you have to be open minded, genuinely interested and ready to re formulate ideas that you maybe didn't even know that you had. For example, it took a long time for my family to accept the idea that we have snow where we are and there is usually at least one heavy snowfall each year. They couldn't get their heads around the fact that I live in Spain and it was cold. Well if someone tells you that it snows, has lived that, has had that experience then it's kind of annoying that people question this time and time again.
So, if you want information and are prepared for what comes back at you Come On Down!!!!!
And of course many of us who now live here have, like yourself, had experience of living and working in countries other than the UK and Spain. I lived for many years in London, have lived in Dorset and spent long periods of time in many European countries and in North America. We can bounce our Spanish experiences off what we've learned in other places and make reasonable comparisons and judgments, allowing of course for the passing of time and other changes.
But even with that experience, if you're not brain-dead you are constantly learning something new.
I do get a bit taken aback at times by the obvious callowness and lack of experience of some people who are ready and willing to throw up their whole lives - and sometimes those of their children - to start on a new life in a country which, whilst not the banana republic some make it out to be, has a whole new set of customs and languages with which any immigrant has to come to grips.
I keep thinking back to my experience of the years spent living in the Czech Republic....All those decades of visiting, getting reasonable fluent in the language, making friends over decades....yet no way was I prepared for the actual experience of living full-time even in a 'civilised' capital city like Prague. Shopping, dealing with every-day bureaucracy, getting used to the subtle differences of culture....it all took some getting used to.
As for crime and bureaucracy....both, in the UK and Spain, cannot compared to Eastern Europe. Mind you, if you are physically assaulted or robbed or your house is burgled it makes no real difference where you are. Your perceptions are changed forever, no matter what may or may no happen in Birmingham, Berlin, Barcelona or Beijing.
 

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My experiences, currently, are based on living in the biggest city in the UK and far bigger than anything in Spain. How can I seriously identify with a person who say, lives in the Cotwolds, or how about Scotland? The pressures and concerns have similarities in core issues, politics and society, but how can I make a reasoned comment on a subject related to say, living near the sea or countryside issues? Likewise, how can anybody pass judgement on the rights and wrongs of living in a metropolis with the huge costs and problems associated? No one on here needs to hear me go on regarding the underlying reasoning for me moving to Spain this coming spring, but if you want a clue, just open up a London biased newspaper and read on.

Whilst change is good for society, the implications for cost to service that 'change' are massive. We already subsidise one part of the UK, now we (tax payer - I'm still working for the foreseeable future) are expected to pay for the newly created social demands that come with EU membership ... No prizes for that rather awkward conversion.

So, family in tow, I head to Spain, I will pay my taxes, I'll pay for private health insurance (I should repeat that) and I will contribute to my community. I'm certainly not xenophobic, I'll embrace Spanish life and will question quite why people retire/move to Spain, only to rush into a newly created British ghetto, where those same people can recreate their own personal utopia, based on what they wanted the UK still to be?

I'll open my arms to everything that comes to me and my family in Spain, the good and the bad. I won't hide away, but I'll choose to be tactful and not to hurt or annoy other residents in my community. The same thing applies on this forum, it's easy to be a 'smart arse' or 'know all' via your fingertips, but as you probably know PW those sort of attitudes disappear when you meet some of the detractors face to face.

Come rain or shine, I'll head to Spain, perhaps to create my own Utopia? I leave behind Europe's greatest city and a country pretending to be on the up. No regrets and I'll take on all the red tape and nonsense thrown at me ... because that's what I'm use to.

References to being 'brave' and having 'courage' are people being polite and not wanting to offend people, with their worries and concerns? I take note of your slight cynicism, it takes a lot of courage to be brave sometimes with replies ... ;)
You're being too subtle for me Expat, and I can't tell if you're having a go at me or not, so I'll be "open minded" as I said others should be and go with the flow :)
I certainly agree with you that living in the Cotswolds is not the same as London or other big cities, and in the same vein"encourage" people on the forum to not make sweeping statements about Spain and the Spanish as they are usually referring to one part of Spain and more often than not the comunidad, region or even municipio where they happen to live. The use of bars on the windows, central heating, office working hours, gas, use of English/ Spanish and climate come to immediately to mind as to subjects that people are likely to generalise on when you really can't. North, south and central Spain are very different as is inland and costal, mountain or beach localities, tourist areas and non tourist and any other division you can come up with.
As for smart arsing, I think there are few who are or who try to be. Most people who post and who have lived here for a while have a real interest in the country and are eager to share their enthusiasm. There are few "moaners" who run down all that is different to the UK.
And I don't understand this, but maybe it's not important...
References to being 'brave' and having 'courage' are people being polite and not wanting to offend people, with their worries and concerns?
 

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And of course many of us who now live here have, like yourself, had experience of living and working in countries other than the UK and Spain. I lived for many years in London, have lived in Dorset and spent long periods of time in many European countries and in North America. We can bounce our Spanish experiences off what we've learned in other places and make reasonable comparisons and judgments, allowing of course for the passing of time and other changes.
But even with that experience, if you're not brain-dead you are constantly learning something new.
I do get a bit taken aback at times by the obvious callowness and lack of experience of some people who are ready and willing to throw up their whole lives - and sometimes those of their children - to start on a new life in a country which, whilst not the banana republic some make it out to be, has a whole new set of customs and languages with which any immigrant has to come to grips.
I keep thinking back to my experience of the years spent living in the Czech Republic....All those decades of visiting, getting reasonable fluent in the language, making friends over decades....yet no way was I prepared for the actual experience of living full-time even in a 'civilised' capital city like Prague. Shopping, dealing with every-day bureaucracy, getting used to the subtle differences of culture....it all took some getting used to.
As for crime and bureaucracy....both, in the UK and Spain, cannot compared to Eastern Europe. Mind you, if you are physically assaulted or robbed or your house is burgled it makes no real difference where you are. Your perceptions are changed forever, no matter what may or may no happen in Birmingham, Berlin, Barcelona or Beijing.
I do enjoy your posts, you are a seasoned traveler that is well worth listening to. Perhaps some of us 'soon to be' newbies are chasing excitement, rather than the grey World of the UK, both in the sky and throughout society?

My kids think its a great laugh, if it goes tits up? We'll flog our home at a knock down price and live somewhere else in the UK.

Life is about risk and enjoyment, surely ...;)
 

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You're being too subtle for me Expat, and I can't tell if you're having a go at me or not, so I'll be "open minded" as I said others should be and go with the flow :)
I certainly agree with you that living in the Cotswolds is not the same as London or other big cities, and in the same vein"encourage" people on the forum to not make sweeping statements about Spain and the Spanish as they are usually referring to one part of Spain and more often than not the comunidad, region or even municipio where they happen to live. The use of bars on the windows, central heating, office working hours, gas, use of English/ Spanish and climate come to immediately to mind as to subjects that people are likely to generalise on when you really can't. North, south and central Spain are very different as is inland and costal, mountain or beach localities, tourist areas and non tourist and any other division you can come up with.
As for smart arsing, I think there are few who are or who try to be. Most people who post and who have lived here for a while have a real interest in the country and are eager to share their enthusiasm. There are few "moaners" who run down all that is different to the UK.
And I don't understand this, but maybe it's not important...
Pesky ... No way am I digging you out. I always read your posts because you don't pull any punches, simple as. All I was trying to convey is that new posters are not looking for continued 'rose tinted' glasses comments, we (me included) would sometimes like replies that start with positives. Surely there are some positives in Spain?

Having said the above, I wouldn't want you to change, because sometimes its like a swift kick between the legs to bring me to my senses! :eek:
 

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Pesky ... No way am I digging you out. I always read your posts because you don't pull any punches, simple as. All I was trying to convey is that new posters are not looking for continued 'rose tinted' glasses comments, we (me included) would sometimes like replies that start with positives. Surely there are some positives in Spain?

Having said the above, I wouldn't want you to change, because sometimes its like a swift kick between the legs to bring me to my senses! :eek:
There are plenty!
But they are perhaps not always what people think they'll be. For example, stifling hot weather can really be unpleasant, especially if you have to work. I remember when I had a car without airconditioning I had to seriously think my wardrobe and my parking strategy. Now with airconditioning I can semi relax and usually get to work with out pools of sweat running down my back.
I always remember Jojo talking about her kids not appreciating the weather and also about colours and how they seemed more vibrant here or maybe it's that Britian is greyer, or maybe it's a frame of mind, but I do agree with her!
I am often surprised by the people here who seem to be more positive, more forgiving, more open minded, more ready to laugh, more patient, but that's very personal as well. That's not to say you can't find wonderfully generous and warm people in the UK, but I've found more here.
Some people talk about the wonderful food. I eat well here, but I eat well at home with my husband and I making our own concoctions with good basic ingredients which you can probably find in the UK, but at a more expensive price.
Something I do appreciate here is the time. Eating later, both lunch and evening meal, things seem more relaxed. No rush to get back and cook lunch you can be out all morning and still have time to have an aperitivo and a chat and cook lunch, which is what we did today. Late breakfast at home, cup of coffee in bar, walk with dog in crisp winter conditions, favourite bar for a Martini and tapa and back for lunch. And there's the possibility for a repeat performance in the evening! I love going to a friends for lunch and not getting back until 9 in the evening.
And, briefly because this is taking the thread right off track I love the wine and the countryside. I love the countryside in the UK too, but I don't love the life!

I hear what you say about positive comments. It's difficult if people ask about employment and the economy, and I know I sound like a grouch at times, but I do think it's important that people are not taken in with a couple of unresearched stories about Spain's rise out the recession and political propaganda. I did start a Good News Thread a while back in order to overcome this!:).It would be nice to be calm and objective in all our posts, but we don't always manage it, and sometimeswe're just plain wrong and need to be put right, but politely please:)
 

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tumbling tumbleweeds

These are tumbleweeds. They blow through a thread when the thread question isn't answered, or it goes cold, forgotten like a cup of tea you made before the phone rang. Tumbleweeds scare some people, as this video will show.

The question remains: what is a "Pinoso" and does it have any honest trades people living on it who won't rip you off? :popcorn:

 

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I do enjoy your posts, you are a seasoned traveler that is well worth listening to. Perhaps some of us 'soon to be' newbies are chasing excitement, rather than the grey World of the UK, both in the sky and throughout society?

My kids think its a great laugh, if it goes tits up? We'll flog our home at a knock down price and live somewhere else in the UK.

Life is about risk and enjoyment, surely ...;)
Enjoyment, yes, risk...for me, a huge no-no.

I didn't find life in the UK 'grey'. My life was full, don't know about exciting, we had a good social life, travelled a lot, had enough money not to have to worry about making ends meet, enjoyed good health... I have never run down the UK, I have no reason to do so. I am what I am because, to paraphrase The Boss Springsteen, I was 'born in the UK'. Born, bred in the UK, educated, met my partner there, spent most of my life there. What's not to like?
We decided to leave the UK for a change, no more, no less. You can stay in the place you're familiar with, with your old familiar friends when you retire....or start anew somewhere. As I've said, it's like leaving home again.
But exciting??? Well, if you were going to live in some remote corner of the Amazonian rain forest and go native or like PW go to Colombia, not on Thomson's destination list, then yes, I guess that would be exciting. But Spain is a middle-class western European country, rapidly becoming comme les autres, as are most European countries, and life is in most respects just like in Blighty but with more sun most of the time. As JoJo always wisely points out, you go shopping, wash the clothes, cook dinner, clean the loo whether in Barcelona, Berlin or Bognor Regis.
I do think life is largely what you make it. If you are a loser in the UK you'll bring your problems in your luggage to Spain with you. I do get a bit puzzled by folk who go on about the 'Spanish dream'. If your life is so drab that a bit of sand, sun, sea ad palm trees is essential to give it spice....that's sad.
You know, there are many people in parts of the UK who would give their eye teeth to swap places with you and live in London.:) When I was growing up in Dorset I wanted the bright lights and action of The Smoke....but when I lived there it was....not that different, really.
We didn't plan to stay in Spain. Our thoughts were Spain after Prague, then France, then back to OH's hometown Glasgow to end our days in a converted loft in the Merchant City. But we love living here, we have a quiet life with books, music, good food and friends and what more could a pair of ancianas want from life??:D
 

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The question remains: what is a "Pinoso" and does it have any honest trades people living on it who won't rip you off? :popcorn:

]
I have no idea about your first question. As to the second, which applies everywhere.....of course there will be honest tradespeople there. The knack is finding them.
My general advice would be to steer clear of Brits and other foreigners unless you have really good grounds for thinking they are kosher. Look for a long-established Spanish local tradesperson who has a reputation to lose. Don't be seduced by cheapness. Be on the spot and keep an eye on things.
Not much more anyone can say, really. And every tradesperson can have a bad day or fall out with a customer, however good s/he may be.

As for thread drift, it's something you'll get used to. It can mean no-one can answer your query, no-one is that interested, or something in a post has caught their interest and they want to discuss it. Mods are very sensible and only 'kill' threads when they stray kilometres, not metres, off-track.:)
 

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Thanks. Yes, my tongue was in my cheek when I posted the tumbleweeds thing. I've been on a few forums and I understand......Pinoso isn't that interesting even for me! Thanks for the tips though. I need to work on my Spanish...
 

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Phew its taken me half an hour to read through these comments as we've just got back from spending a few days at our house in Spain.

My original post earlier last year asked for advice in general regarding help etc. We were lucky in that we had an excellent estate agen (CasasinEspana) who held our hand and steered us through the whole process.

My partner and I are both successful business people. I work in London, he works for an international shipping company. We are both savvy and know what's what. That said, our move to Spain involves us taking a massive step outside the box into the unknown. We're past the scary stage and now at the cant wait to move and get on with it stage.

Luckily, we can both do some work remotely. We also have lots of ideas. None of which I want to discuss on an open forum. If that's unreasonable, frankly I dont really care!

I've tried to give Frank some useful advice and have put him in touch with our builders in the hope that they can help him. Having spoken to them last week, I'm hopeful this will be the case.

We're always happy to help those who want to be helped. We're no good with negative people and have no wish or desire to live as ex pats. We shall integrate and learn the language.

We still have questions about the move. Having just returned from our trip to Spain - and having taken the dog with us this time - when we move permanently - do we need to bother with a passport for the cat? The borders this end had no interest in the dog and we only had to show her passport on the way back yesterday. Thoughts? The cat's an ancient old thing who's never had a vaccination in his life! As for a microchip?!!!

If anyone can offer advice on the above, I'd be interested to know. Otherwise, I will use my very good friend google and have a look myself!

Big shout out to all those in the Pinoso / Elche / La Romana area :)

Karen. x
 

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Hi Zippy-watkins. Pleased you got sorted, we are almost there with a house just outside of Elche. Hope all goes well with your move.
Hi Nick

Yes, all the red tape is now done and the house was officially ours a few months ago. That said, we still get the odd very official looking letter - in spanish of course - which sends us off scurrying to our bilingual friends for help!

Fingers crossed that your house purchase goes through ok. Elche's a great place so you'll love it there. Are you moving permanently?

Karen.
 

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I've tried to give Frank some useful advice and have put him in touch with our builders in the hope that they can help him. Having spoken to them last week, I'm hopeful this will be the case.

Karen. x
Thanks again for that Karen. I've been emailing with Paul, and he sounds like a decent fella, that's a promising start. I can ask him at some point if he wants his contact info posted here, for the benefit of others in a similar position, and for the benefit of him if he wants more work obviously.

Sounds like you has a positive trip and I can identify with your ecitement, although personally, I'm in a bit of an emotional lull as I have many obstacles to overcome still, not least of which is fleshing out the income plan more than we've done already.

I liked Elche (or was it Elda?). Anyway, the place I had to go to to get my NIE number. Waited outside the police office from about 6:30am as I was advised to turn up early to beat the crowds! I liked that town anyway - it was a refreshing contrast to Pinoso's rather small, gossipy feel.

Do you have a date set for the move?
 

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Thanks again for that Karen. I've been emailing with Paul, and he sounds like a decent fella, that's a promising start. I can ask him at some point if he wants his contact info posted here, for the benefit of others in a similar position, and for the benefit of him if he wants more work obviously.

Sounds like you has a positive trip and I can identify with your ecitement, although personally, I'm in a bit of an emotional lull as I have many obstacles to overcome still, not least of which is fleshing out the income plan more than we've done already.

I liked Elche (or was it Elda?). Anyway, the place I had to go to to get my NIE number. Waited outside the police office from about 6:30am as I was advised to turn up early to beat the crowds! I liked that town anyway - it was a refreshing contrast to Pinoso's rather small, gossipy feel.

Do you have a date set for the move?
Glad you're making some headway now. Paul is a decent chap and all our worries about builders on site whilst you're not at the house et etc, have all been completely unfounded.

Elda for NIE numbers. We also had an early start to get our NIE numbers. That's further compounded by the fact that the NIE numbers (whilst your number remains unique to you) are only actually valid for three months (ARRRGGHH OMG). We've managed to fudge it thus far and in fact our NIE certificates dont have a date on them in any case!!

I still get confused between Elda, Monovar and Novelda. Elche is where we go food shopping so I know that one now :)

We'll be making the big move first week of May this year. In four months. Omg. Considering we started doing our online research this time last year, its gone soooooooo quickly!

Karen :)
 

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I didn't realise the NIE only lasted 3 months! After all that effort! I need to check my certificate.

We'll be taking a trip over this year to meet Paul and maybe plan some work on the plot etc. Maybe we could hook up when we're there?

I really like the feel of that area, especially as you're driving in from the main motorway (can't remember the name) and you get into that valley before Pinoso. It's beautiful. Still feels a bit surreal to think we'll be living there one day...:)
 

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I didn't realise the NIE only lasted 3 months! After all that effort! I need to check my certificate.

We'll be taking a trip over this year to meet Paul and maybe plan some work on the plot etc. Maybe we could hook up when we're there?

I really like the feel of that area, especially as you're driving in from the main motorway (can't remember the name) and you get into that valley before Pinoso. It's beautiful. Still feels a bit surreal to think we'll be living there one day...:)
The number stays, but the certificate lasts three months......worth remembering. Apparently we shouldn't need it again... but then had a sticky moment when Darren bought a left hand drive car and needed the NIE certficate. We got away with it then........

And yes, definitely be happy to hook up. We might even have some guest accommodation on offer if you need it - depending on (a) whether Paul et al get going on our next project and (b) when you intend coming over.

I still remember our awe at the beauty of the place when we made our first drive up to Pinoso. Its stunning and I'm not sure I will ever tire of looking at it.

We've been to'ing and fro'ing a few times since buying the house, and the house in Spain now definitely feels more like home than our one in the UK!

Karen.
 

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Please don't be confused between the NIE certificate and the certificate of registration - one is white and the other green (just to help us foreigners :p).

It's far simpler to go straight for the green form first as it will also include your NIE. IF YOU ARE PERMANENTLY RESIDENT THAT IS.

If you go for the NIE first, although a simpler process, it will cost you more and you STILL have to get the green one at some point!
 

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Please don't be confused between the NIE certificate and the certificate of registration - one is white and the other green (just to help us foreigners :p).

It's far simpler to go straight for the green form first as it will also include your NIE. IF YOU ARE PERMANENTLY RESIDENT THAT IS.

If you go for the NIE first, although a simpler process, it will cost you more and you STILL have to get the green one at some point!
But you need your NIE number to buy the house? And without a house you cannot get permanent residence? Maybe I've got it wrong.... again!
 
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