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Discussion Starter #1
Hola!
We are planning a property purchase, initially as an investment and for eventual move to Valencia City and would really appreciate some insights on neighbourhoods.
We don't have children, would prefer to be in a Spanish or at least multicultural area with good transport links, cafe culture and access to art galleries, museums, nice parks for cycling, walking etc. We're thinking an apartment is the most likely property type.
Someone has suggested Patriax but beyond that we're stuck..
Thanks for any suggestions/insights!
 

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Hola!
We are planning a property purchase, initially as an investment and for eventual move to Valencia City and would really appreciate some insights on neighbourhoods.
We don't have children, would prefer to be in a Spanish or at least multicultural area with good transport links, cafe culture and access to art galleries, museums, nice parks for cycling, walking etc. We're thinking an apartment is the most likely property type.
Someone has suggested Patriax but beyond that we're stuck..
Thanks for any suggestions/insights!
Anywhere within the old city walls is great. The whole area is walkable - no need for a car, even if you could find somewhere to park it [or pay a premium for a property con garaje].

It's very obvious to spot on a map of the city. Bounded in the north and northeast by the old course of the river, now the delightful Turia Gardens, and in the south and west by the main thoroughfares [anticlockwise] Carre Colón, Carrer de Xátiva and Carrer Guillem de Castro. This area contains the essence of Valencia. The fabulous market, every 4th door is an eating/drinking establishment, shops, arty places, character in bucket-loads.

Whilst on a Skype call, my friend went on line, looked at Valencia and told me that there were 27 galleries amd museums within 2kms of my flat.

The other barrio that I recommend looking at is Ruzzaffa, extending in a grid pattern south of Carrer Cólon and the bull ring, to Av Peris y Valero as its souther boundary. c/de Filipines, c/de Cuba and c/ de Sueca, the 3 western-most streets and the cross streets between them are Valencia's China Town.

There's been a programme of 'infrastructure' improvements running in Ruzzaffa for a couple of years now. It is undoubtedly a barrio of the up - not that it was scruffy before. Some amazing 'fin de ciecle' facades in Ruzzaffa. It has a good sized market hall of its own. A good investment choice, without doubt.

Beyond these areas you have residential Valencia. As you move away from the centre you get more real estate for the money. As ever, it depends what your priorities are.

I'm single, no children, retired. My absolute must-have was to be within the old city walls. And I happened to be in the right estate agents' office at the right time. I have an 80 sq m 2 bed in a somewhat dog-eared building that in England would probably be called 'ex-local authority', which needed total renovation - including the floors and the ceilings! - But is 5 mins walk from Mercado Central and Plaza Ayuntamiento and, mercifully, in a pedestrian zone. A Consum supermarket is 300 metres. No traffic!

The only way to get an idea is to walk, walk, walk this town. I compiled a list of faves from the two property portals, fotocasa and idealista, stuck them into my Tomtom [an app in my phone - you could use Google maps if you have enough data allowance to run it for extended periods] and did walk-bys. This gives you an idea of what sort of flat is in what sort of street.

Get out your pavement bashers and get out there! Tho' in this heat, it won't be easy.
 

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Hola!

We are planning a property purchase, initially as an investment and for eventual move to Valencia City and would really appreciate some insights on neighbourhoods.

We don't have children, would prefer to be in a Spanish or at least multicultural area with good transport links, cafe culture and access to art galleries, museums, nice parks for cycling, walking etc. We're thinking an apartment is the most likely property type.

Someone has suggested Patriax but beyond that we're stuck..

Thanks for any suggestions/insights!


Hi,

The foreigners tend to congregate inside the old city walls and in the Grand Via / Russafa, pushing up prices significantly. If you keep away from these admittedly lovely areas you will pay a lot less. Another reason to keep away from the old town is the tourists.

There are no "bad" areas of Valencia. No areas are plagued by crime. You can make a happy life just about anywhere. The locals would say that Natzaret is bad (the only bario with a reputation), but by international standards it's fine (just poor and badly connected).

Most valencians live in flats. I agree this is the best option if you want to live in town. Be aware that they don't really have the concept of an over-arching freeholder, so you need to pay attention to the state of the building that you are buying into.

Some suggestions:

Cabanyal: buzzy, grungy, full of life, right by the beach, cheap. You can buy houses here, but they will need refurbishing.

Benimaclet: up and coming, loved by its young and trendy occupants. Not much to look at.

Paterna - Benimamet - Valterna : lots of high quality blocks, but you do feel a fair way away from the center.

I wouldn't worry too much about district, as long as you are near a metro station, all will be well. Just look for a nice flat in a building that looks attractive to you.


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Hi,

The foreigners tend to congregate inside the old city walls and in the Grand Via / Russafa, pushing up prices significantly. If you keep away from these admittedly lovely areas you will pay a lot less. Another reason to keep away from the old town is the tourists.

There are no "bad" areas of Valencia. No areas are plagued by crime. You can make a happy life just about anywhere. The locals would say that Natzaret is bad (the only bario with a reputation), but by international standards it's fine (just poor and badly connected).

Most valencians live in flats. I agree this is the best option if you want to live in town. Be aware that they don't really have the concept of an over-arching freeholder, so you need to pay attention to the state of the building that you are buying into.

Some suggestions:

Cabanyal: buzzy, grungy, full of life, right by the beach, cheap. You can buy houses here, but they will need refurbishing.

Benimaclet: up and coming, loved by its young and trendy occupants. Not much to look at.

Paterna - Benimamet - Valterna : lots of high quality blocks, but you do feel a fair way away from the center.

I wouldn't worry too much about district, as long as you are near a metro station, all will be well. Just look for a nice flat in a building that looks attractive to you.


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Roland is right. There are no "bad" areas of Valencia. A nice flat in a building that looks attractive to you will be very easy to find. However, the prime thing to bear in mind is "What do we want from Valencia?" Is this building where you find Valencia as you would wish to experience it? Are you happy to commute to get the buzz? In that sense, I would very much "worry about the district". As in every city in the world, you pay for location.

So much of it has been built in recent decades. Away from the centre, long avenues and boulevards through the residential districts are notable for their trees. There are, of course, local supermarkets, shops and bars. This is where the Valencianos live, who go to work, have family lives, need schools on hand. To a degree, the suburbs.

Of course, there is "life" there, as there is in any residential district. We are all familiar with this from our home towns and cities but is it what's wanted from a foreign adventure?

I recall an episode of "A Place In The Sun" where a young English couple came to Valencia to buy a place because they had so much enjoyed their many visits to the central city. They were shown a small atico right in the heart of the old town. A one bedder but a bit of outside space. They loved it. Then they were shown various other properties, away from the centre, with lots more space for the money and finally, a house down in El Cabanyal. A whole house! Great investment! Near the beach!

They got very excited about this but, on reflection said, "We didn't come here to invest but for the buzz of what we so enjoyed. The atico may be tiny but it is what we want, where we want it."

I live just off Av de Baron Carcer. It's northern end passes the back of the Mercado Central, which is 400m from my flat. The only tourists I see are those peering at maps, a bit lost. They are the wrong side of the market. Walk through the market and yes - it can be a mob scene if a couple of coaches have just unloaded, with visitors to the market and to La Lonja, the mediaeval silk exhange on the other side of the road.

I was having a coffee in a cafe opposite the market when an entire coach-load of Japanese tourists burst through the doors and made a run for the loos. As there was one ladies and one gents and 40 Japanese ladies and about 5 Japanese gents, the mayhem was mighty. As usual, the staff were a model of forebearance and patience.

There is a tight little area from the market to Plaza de la Reina and the cathdral which is the main area for tourists. But many of these tourist are the Spanish! Valencia is very popular with the natives. I have been asked directions several times by Spanish people looking for somewhere - often calle de los Caballeros, the street that runs from the basilica next to the cathdral up into the el Carmen barrio, which has a feel similar to NYC's Greenwhich Village or London's Soho.

To give you an idea of how local the tourist area is, a coffee and a pastry at La Lisboa, a cafe behind La Lonja, is €2.50. A five minute stroll to the cafe in the plaza Napoli & Sicilia, where you will find the local clinic if you need your ears jetwashed after your flight, the same is €1.70. And you will have walked past some of the best that old Valencia has to offer, including Plaza de la Reina and the wonderfully named alley c/ de los Baños del Almirante. How many baths does an admiral need? The admiral's palace is now the offices of some level of the city/province/regional/federal administration, as are most of the ancient buildings in VLC, including the palace of the Borjas, who became the Borgias, the Spanish popes.

I knew el Canayal's reputation as a barrio on the up. But it has to be said that it is coming up from a rather low base. Grungy is the word Roland used. Spot on.

It was blighted for many years not only by being run down on account of not fulfilling its original purpose, the fisherman's village - the fishing fleet is presumably now industrialised and based in the enormous port - but by the proposal to extend Av Blasco Ibáñez, 6 lanes gardens 100m wide down the middle, from its seaward end at c/ de Serradora right through el Cabanyal and down to the seafront.

When I was given a walk round by an estate agent he indicated the cross streets he reckoned would be safely clear of the disruption caused by the compulsory purchases and the construction of the avenida.

But I set out by myself to give el Cabanyal the opportunity to show me what it has to offer. I walked the length of the main 7 north-south streets that run parallel to the seafront and many of the cross streets too.

It reminded me of The Isle of Dogs after the great London docks had closed down and before Canary Wharf etc had created a new town on the area. The run-down remnants of a thriving, working class community rather left behind by failure of the city to invest in infrastructure and to encourage regeneration.

El Cabanyal is pending. Give it 20 years ... or get in now, if that's what you like.

There has been, over the years, a campaign to have this Av Blasco Ibáñez project cancelled and, with the defeat of the PP ruling VLC, the project has died a death.

As Roland mentioned, buildings are maintained by a management company retained by the residents' community. The management company presents a selection of quotes by companies bidding for the business. The residents vote for the quote they favour. I imagine it's similar to the condominium system in the USA - tho' without the armed guards!

My building is a bit dog-eared. I bought 1/3 of the way through a surcharge for the expense of dealing with the roof, so was in for the other 2/3rds. This year we have a €200/month x 12 surcharge to renovate and paint the facade.

Get a paper map and a hi-lighter. Trawl the property portals. Tour districts with Google street - incredibly useful. Get out on the street.

There is no substitute for leg-work.
 

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That was a great load of information. I agree with you that Ruzzafa i a good place but unfortunately after gentrification not too affordable anymore.
If you can give any real estate brokers advice would be great. Thank you
 

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Great advice Chrisnation and Roland. The public transport and walkable system means you do not need a car. Train into airport as well
Indeed. The bus system is great. The Bonobus card [€3 for the card, + your first set of trips] can be loaded with up to 30 journeys, at €0,80/trip instead of the €1.60 cash ticket. And each journey has a 60 minute duration entitlement, so you can change bus routes or hop back on the return bus on the same charge, up to 59 minutes 59 seconds! And the card, once loaded, retains the trips. They do not expire.

The metro service to the airport is good but I have just realised that the 150 yellow bus service from the airport terminates on Av Baron de Carcer, at the end of my street! When I flew in a couple of weeks ago, after a trip round the outer reaches of Valencia, I got off 200 metres from my flat!

This bus has a timetable but you must be standing at the stop at the airport in good time because, to judge by how it worked when I used it, the driver pulls up, whoever is waiting gets on and he drives straight off again, just like a town bus. The bus does not wait, as most airport bus services do.

So much of central VLC is pedestrianised, it makes walking around a real pleasure. In my years coming to VLC, since 2001, I usually walked for 3 hrs/day. If only my right knee would allow that now!
 

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Anywhere within the old city walls is great. The whole area is walkable - no need for a car, even if you could find somewhere to park it [or pay a premium for a property con garaje].

It's very obvious to spot on a map of the city. Bounded in the north and northeast by the old course of the river, now the delightful Turia Gardens, and in the south and west by the main thoroughfares [anticlockwise] Carre Colón, Carrer de Xátiva and Carrer Guillem de Castro. This area contains the essence of Valencia. The fabulous market, every 4th door is an eating/drinking establishment, shops, arty places, character in bucket-loads.

Whilst on a Skype call, my friend went on line, looked at Valencia and told me that there were 27 galleries amd museums within 2kms of my flat.

The other barrio that I recommend looking at is Ruzzaffa, extending in a grid pattern south of Carrer Cólon and the bull ring, to Av Peris y Valero as its souther boundary. c/de Filipines, c/de Cuba and c/ de Sueca, the 3 western-most streets and the cross streets between them are Valencia's China Town.

There's been a programme of 'infrastructure' improvements running in Ruzzaffa for a couple of years now. It is undoubtedly a barrio of the up - not that it was scruffy before. Some amazing 'fin de ciecle' facades in Ruzzaffa. It has a good sized market hall of its own. A good investment choice, without doubt.

Beyond these areas you have residential Valencia. As you move away from the centre you get more real estate for the money. As ever, it depends what your priorities are.

I'm single, no children, retired. My absolute must-have was to be within the old city walls. And I happened to be in the right estate agents' office at the right time. I have an 80 sq m 2 bed in a somewhat dog-eared building that in England would probably be called 'ex-local authority', which needed total renovation - including the floors and the ceilings! - But is 5 mins walk from Mercado Central and Plaza Ayuntamiento and, mercifully, in a pedestrian zone. A Consum supermarket is 300 metres. No traffic!

The only way to get an idea is to walk, walk, walk this town. I compiled a list of faves from the two property portals, fotocasa and idealista, stuck them into my Tomtom [an app in my phone - you could use Google maps if you have enough data allowance to run it for extended periods] and did walk-bys. This gives you an idea of what sort of flat is in what sort of street.

Get out your pavement bashers and get out there! Tho' in this heat, it won't be easy.
Thanks so much chrisnation - lots of food for thought there. I had thought about Ruzzaffa but then read that it's a party precinct which is not really out thing (in terms of an area in live in) - that said perhaps it's a false impression? We're doing our search from the other side of the world for the moment so it's really hard to gauge from just looking online
Thanks again!
 

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Hi,

The foreigners tend to congregate inside the old city walls and in the Grand Via / Russafa, pushing up prices significantly. If you keep away from these admittedly lovely areas you will pay a lot less. Another reason to keep away from the old town is the tourists.

There are no "bad" areas of Valencia. No areas are plagued by crime. You can make a happy life just about anywhere. The locals would say that Natzaret is bad (the only bario with a reputation), but by international standards it's fine (just poor and badly connected).

Most valencians live in flats. I agree this is the best option if you want to live in town. Be aware that they don't really have the concept of an over-arching freeholder, so you need to pay attention to the state of the building that you are buying into.

Some suggestions:

Cabanyal: buzzy, grungy, full of life, right by the beach, cheap. You can buy houses here, but they will need refurbishing.

Benimaclet: up and coming, loved by its young and trendy occupants. Not much to look at.

Paterna - Benimamet - Valterna : lots of high quality blocks, but you do feel a fair way away from the center.

I wouldn't worry too much about district, as long as you are near a metro station, all will be well. Just look for a nice flat in a building that looks attractive to you.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Thanks for that Roland O - I'm interested in Benimaclet - sounds nice with a diverse population mixed with still locals area. Do you know anything of Patraix or Jesus please?
 

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Hi everyone,

Thanks to Chrisnation and Roland I found very useful information. Thank you once again for sharing your insights with us.

I am on the hunt for one bed flat in the centre of Valencia as an investment, and I would like to ask you is there any estate agencies you would recommend? Does anyone have experience with the local real estate agents?

Thank you in advance
 

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Hi everyone,

I am on the hunt for one bed flat in the centre of Valencia as an investment, and I would like to ask you is there any estate agencies you would recommend? Does anyone have experience with the local real estate agents?
We mainly used apps from piso.com and fotocasa. There are a lot of real estate people, and many flats will be on with different agents for different prices (!). Also different agents will charge you different amounts of money. Having said all that, we ended up using Engle & Volkers a lot, because they are set up for ex-pats, and spoke english (not so common in Valencia).
 

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Thanks so much chrisnation - lots of food for thought there. I had thought about Ruzzaffa but then read that it's a party precinct which is not really out thing (in terms of an area in live in) - that said perhaps it's a false impression? We're doing our search from the other side of the world for the moment so it's really hard to gauge from just looking online
Thanks again!
I've just been in Ruzzaffa - having a tooth extracted! Part 1 of an implant routine. Great clinic. Half the cost of UK. Everybody speaking English.

Ruzzaffa is a genuine, all-round neighbourhood. I have to admit I have not been down there at what might be party-time but I doubt that it is any more party-central than other parts of central VLC. In fact, it is less likely to be subject to groups of loud and beery Brits and Germans than bars in the area between Merc Central and Calle de los Caballeros.

It has a mini version of Mercado Central, the complete range of every sort of shop, some stylish ones and others plain vanilla. The same goes for the bars, cafes and restaurants. It's northern boundary being C/Colon means that it is contiguous with the principle 'shopping' area of VLC, where El Corte Ingles [Spanish version of Debenhams/John Lewis] and all the 'label' shops are.

I forgot about piso.com. That's another site which has a great selection of properties in all areas. Roland scores again.

You really do have to start by working out what sort of neighbourhood you see yourself living in. Cruise round with Google street maps.

Although the market in VLC is still bumping along on a level, prices have firmed up. Do not expect, as I did 18 months ago, to get anywhere with offering 25-30% off the asking price. Prices are more sensible now. The Spanish have accepted that what their properties were worth in 2005 is now history. That said, VLC is known as a bit of a bargain city, compared to Madrid and Barca. Both these latter are showing distinct signs of another boom. Not so VLC.

The other thing is, do you want a turn-key property or do you want somewhere that you can renovated and, hopefully add value? For there is certainly scope to add value to a good renovation of a property in the right location - and anywhere in Ruzzaffa is that, along with Botanico, el Carmen and other 'old city' barrios. The team that did my renovation is thoroughly recommendable.

You will need a good lawyer and a gestor/gestora. A gestor is a job that doesn't really exist in UK. Spanish bureaucracy is ledgendary. Not quite at the level of India or Egypt but certainly convoluted and onerous enough to mean that you really need someone to help you.

Papeles, papeles, papeles. Google "Autonomo: The Movie" you will be very amused and somewhat horrified by this 3 minute saga of someone registering to be self-employed [autonomo]. A gestor/a is a qualified person at a level a bit short of a fully qualified lawyer. He/she knows the ways of Spanish bureaucracy. Mine helped me get the permit to do my renovation, the permit to have a skip in the street, the registration onto Spanish plates of an English friend's RHD van. She will help me sign on the 'Padron' [becoming a signed-up resident of VLC city]

She will then help me transfer my health care entitlement from the UK NHS to the Spanish one [as an EU State pensioner one is entitled to this] And then she wil help me sign up as formal resident of Spain. These things are, without having more or less perfect Spanish, beyond non-Spaniards. Gestor/a's fees are modest: worth every cent.
 

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I've just been in Ruzzaffa - having a tooth extracted! Part 1 of an implant routine. Great clinic. Half the cost of UK. Everybody speaking English.

Ruzzaffa is a genuine, all-round neighbourhood. I have to admit I have not been down there at what might be party-time but I doubt that it is any more party-central than other parts of central VLC. In fact, it is less likely to be subject to groups of loud and beery Brits and Germans than bars in the area between Merc Central and Calle de los Caballeros.

It has a mini version of Mercado Central, the complete range of every sort of shop, some stylish ones and others plain vanilla. The same goes for the bars, cafes and restaurants. It's northern boundary being C/Colon means that it is contiguous with the principle 'shopping' area of VLC, where El Corte Ingles [Spanish version of Debenhams/John Lewis] and all the 'label' shops are.

I forgot about piso.com. That's another site which has a great selection of properties in all areas. Roland scores again.

You really do have to start by working out what sort of neighbourhood you see yourself living in. Cruise round with Google street maps.

Although the market in VLC is still bumping along on a level, prices have firmed up. Do not expect, as I did 18 months ago, to get anywhere with offering 25-30% off the asking price. Prices are more sensible now. The Spanish have accepted that what their properties were worth in 2005 is now history. That said, VLC is known as a bit of a bargain city, compared to Madrid and Barca. Both these latter are showing distinct signs of another boom. Not so VLC.

The other thing is, do you want a turn-key property or do you want somewhere that you can renovated and, hopefully add value? For there is certainly scope to add value to a good renovation of a property in the right location - and anywhere in Ruzzaffa is that, along with Botanico, el Carmen and other 'old city' barrios. The team that did my renovation is thoroughly recommendable.

You will need a good lawyer and a gestor/gestora. A gestor is a job that doesn't really exist in UK. Spanish bureaucracy is ledgendary. Not quite at the level of India or Egypt but certainly convoluted and onerous enough to mean that you really need someone to help you.

Papeles, papeles, papeles. Google "Autonomo: The Movie" you will be very amused and somewhat horrified by this 3 minute saga of someone registering to be self-employed [autonomo]. A gestor/a is a qualified person at a level a bit short of a fully qualified lawyer. He/she knows the ways of Spanish bureaucracy. Mine helped me get the permit to do my renovation, the permit to have a skip in the street, the registration onto Spanish plates of an English friend's RHD van. She will help me sign on the 'Padron' [becoming a signed-up resident of VLC city]

She will then help me transfer my health care entitlement from the UK NHS to the Spanish one [as an EU State pensioner one is entitled to this] And then she wil help me sign up as formal resident of Spain. These things are, without having more or less perfect Spanish, beyond non-Spaniards. Gestor/a's fees are modest: worth every cent.
Excellent insights - thank you! I looked at some youtube guides on neighbourhoods today- Botanico area certainly looked really pretty - seems to be part of Extramurs?
We are looking for turn key enough to rent out initially and then probably do some cosmetic reno on when we eventually move to Valencia ( I'll be sure to ask for your builders details!) I had read the term gesture before but not understood what that is until now!
 

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Excellent insights - thank you! I looked at some youtube guides on neighbourhoods today- Botanico area certainly looked really pretty - seems to be part of Extramurs?
We are looking for turn key enough to rent out initially and then probably do some cosmetic reno on when we eventually move to Valencia ( I'll be sure to ask for your builders details!) I had read the term gesture before but not understood what that is until now!
You are right about Botanico. It does come under 'Extramurs'. It has much the same flavour of Ruzzaffa. A short walk across Guillem de Castro and you are inside the old walls.
 

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A gestor/a is a qualified person at a level a bit short of a fully qualified lawyer. He/she knows the ways of Spanish bureaucracy. Mine helped me get the permit to do my renovation, the permit to have a skip in the street, the registration onto Spanish plates of an English friend's RHD van. She will help me sign on the 'Padron' [becoming a signed-up resident of VLC city]

She will then help me transfer my health care entitlement from the UK NHS to the Spanish one [as an EU State pensioner one is entitled to this] And then she wil help me sign up as formal resident of Spain. These things are, without having more or less perfect Spanish, beyond non-Spaniards. Gestor/a's fees are modest: worth every cent.
I do think the issue of Spanish bureacracy is exaggerated. When we first arrived to live in Spain, almost 11 years ago, we had next to no Spanish - and certainly not more or less perfect. Despite that, and with our Ayuntamiento not having any English speaking staff (we're not in an area where there are a lot of British residents) we managed perfectly well to sign on the padrón, register as residents, register our S1 forms with the INSS (at that time we still had the 2-year S1s available to early retirees), register at our local health centre and apply for building licences to have work done on our house. We didn't have things like translation facilities available on smartphones at that time, either. I used to get the forms, take them home and go through them with the help of a dictionary, fill them in and take them back.

I think it really helps with the learning process to do these things for yourself rather than paying someone else to do everything.
 

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I think it really helps with the learning process to do these things for yourself rather than paying someone else to do everything.

You are right about that. I make a decision whether to involve someone to help me or do it myself based on how time-critical the matter is, or whether the prospect of getting it right in the end, despite delays and mistakes, justifies the effort.

It must make a difference where one is based, as to whether the effort is acceptable or simply going about it the very long and tedious way round. A village or small country town will be less daunting than a major city. In other words, the law of diminishing returns come into play.

Here in Valencia there are civil service buildings for national, regional, provincial and urban departments. Not one each - lots each. Finding the right office to go to is a job in itself.

Getting a permit for a skip is not done in the same building as signing on the padron, which is nowhere near the NIE police station, which is miles from Trafico etc etc....

In my case, filling in and getting signed the dreaded Declaracion de Responsibilidad [Typo ll] involved me, an architect, The Architectural Association of Valencia and the planning department for Valencia city. Meanwhile, waiting on hold to see the signed original before starting work, to protect themselves from a neighbourly denunciation for making a racket, were my builders, plumbers, tiler, sparks ...

Even with an English speaking architect and English speaking gestora, it took weeks. Most of that was sheer inertia in the offices of those involved. But having a gestora on my side meant that potential delays, especially any I might be responsible for by making mistakes with papales, were reduced to a minimum and dealt with promptly.

My gestora has become a very good friend. Her boyfriend Santi is my chippie. They are coming this afternoon to finish fitting the rodapie in the salon/comedor. Santi has decided to give me a birthday present [couple of weeks]. He is going to fit the laminado and rodapie in my small 2m x 3m office f.o.c.!
 

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I think it really helps with the learning process to do these things for yourself rather than paying someone else to do everything.

You are right about that. I make a decision whether to involve someone to help me or do it myself based on how time-critical the matter is, or whether the prospect of getting it right in the end, despite delays and mistakes, justifies the effort.

It must make a difference where one is based, as to whether the effort is acceptable or simply going about it the very long and tedious way round. A village or small country town will be less daunting than a major city. In other words, the law of diminishing returns come into play.

Here in Valencia there are civil service buildings for national, regional, provincial and urban departments. Not one each - lots each. Finding the right office to go to is a job in itself.

Getting a permit for a skip is not done in the same building as signing on the padron, which is nowhere near the NIE police station, which is miles from Trafico etc etc....

In my case, filling in and getting signed the dreaded Declaracion de Responsibilidad [Typo ll] involved me, an architect, The Architectural Association of Valencia and the planning department for Valencia city. Meanwhile, waiting on hold to see the signed original before starting work, to protect themselves from a neighbourly denunciation for making a racket, were my builders, plumbers, tiler, sparks ...

Even with an English speaking architect and English speaking gestora, it took weeks. Most of that was sheer inertia in the offices of those involved. But having a gestora on my side meant that potential delays, especially any I might be responsible for by making mistakes with papales, were reduced to a minimum and dealt with promptly.

My gestora has become a very good friend. Her boyfriend Santi is my chippie. They are coming this afternoon to finish fitting the rodapie in the salon/comedor. Santi has decided to give me a birthday present [couple of weeks]. He is going to fit the laminado and rodapie in my small 2m x 3m office f.o.c.!
Where I live is neither a village nor a small country town, and we do have a plethora of different buildings for different purposes. Urbanismo, for example, is not based within the Ayuntamiento building, and strangely, nor is the Oficina de Atención al Cuidadano of the Urbanismo, which is in a separate building. The Extranjeria office where one goes to register as a resident is 5km away, in a different town.

If I'd had a major building project to undertake which needed an architect, I'm sure I'd have found it more daunting. But with our current reforms to our new apartment, involving 3 rooms, I simply filled in the application for a Licencia de Obras Menores, which is a simple form, went to a separate building to pay the fee, asked how long it was likely to take and was told 2 weeks "mas o menos" and got a phone call from Urbanismo two weeks and two days later to say it was ready and I could come and collect it.

How nice of the carpintero to give you a birthday present - I do like the spanish way of doing things!
 

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I simply filled in the application for a Licencia de Obras Menores, which is a simple form,

Lucky you! I was originally told that an Obras Menoras would do, as although I was gutting my flat and making all things new, it was just new for old, there were no structural changes nor changes to the exterior. Then along came this Declaracion de Responsibilidad [Typo ll]! It didn't exist when I bought my flat. It didn't exist several weeks later when I got the builder round to quote.

Then suddenly, it did. It's a stitch up between the Ayunt and the Architects Assoc of VLC.

After I filled in my bit, it had to be completed by 'an architect'. Then it had to go off to the Architectual Assoc of Valencia for their rubber stamp - and a fee.

Then back to the architect for more scribbling and his signature. Next, back to the Ayunt to hand it in, accompanied by all the quotes from all the tradesmen. Several weeks later, another visit to the Ayunt. Pay them a fixed fee and a % of the cost of all the work. Declaracion printed off.

And finally a bill for €750 + IVA from 'The Architect'.

Once the builder had seen the signed original for himself, he started same day. The Declaracion itself is now of no use whatsoever. It's not like UK, where Building Regs issues a permit and then comes round to see if it's been done right. It's just a €€ grab invented by the Ayunt and The Architects Assoc of Valencia, for the benefit of itself and its members.

Just for fun I have addd a few photos of work in progress. Now I have to unpack great heaps of boxes. Because of my rather nomadic life in the past I have accumulated enough kitchen ware to open a cafe.
 

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Never mind, it'll be nice when it's finished, as we keep telliing ourselves!

Here, I paid 2% of the cost of the work as the fee for the Licencia de Obras Menores. The builder advised me to only put down part of it (because that's what "everybody" does), but being me I couldn't do that and the extra cost wasn't that much anyway.
 
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