Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Outlook for the 2016 exchange rate for when to buy Valencia property

Guest Post by Peter Lavelle

 If you’re thinking of buying a property in Valencia in 2016, you may be aware that one of the things that most affects the price you pay is the exchange rate. After all, if the pound strengthens versus the euro, this significantly cuts the cost of buying Valencia property, as it means you receive thousands of euros extra when you transfer money to Spain.

With this in mind, is there a chance that sterling will strengthen against the common currency in 2016? Well, let’s take a look, as well as how this could benefit you when you buy your property in Valencia.

1. The most likely outlook for 2016 is that the pound to euro exchange rate rises, as the UK votes to Remain in the European Union.

According to the latest poll by OBR and The Telegraph, 53% of Brits intend to vote for the UK to Remain in the EU, on the referendum to be held on June 23rd, while just 41% plan to vote Leave. This would lift sterling, because it would remove the biggest cloud currently hanging over the UK’s economic outlook, and in turn lend you a helping hand when you buy your Valencia property.

For example, were the pound to jump from its current 1.26 back to 1.43, where it was before David Cameron announced the referendum date, a £250,000 transfer to Spain would get you €42,500 extra. Quite a boost!

2. Sterling may also fly higher versus the common currency this year, if the Eurozone debt crisis reignites.

According to the European Central Bank’s bi-annual survey of 141 banks, 81% have become less profitable since the ECB implemented its emergency monetary stimulus. This is to say, the ECB’s own stimulus to lift the Eurozone’s economy is actually hurting the currency bloc’s banking sector. If this escalates, it could drag down the euro, which in turn would make Valencia property less costly.

3. The pound may weaken versus the euro, if the UK shockingly votes to leave the EU, in the upcoming referendum.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that the polls could be wrong, and UK voters could favour Brexit on June 23rd. This is possible, because according to electoral strategist Sir Lyndon Crosby, Leave voters are more motivated. Were this to happen, the pound could tumble, because according to virtually every economic analysis available, leaving the EU would damage the UK economy.

With this in mind, to protect yourself against exchange rate volatility when you buy a Valencia property, you could set up a forward contract. This fixes the exchange rate where it is, meaning that were sterling to fall either before or after the referendum, you’d be protected. You’d be able to transfer money to Spain to buy your Valencia property at the exchange rate you’d locked in.

With all this in mind, you’re now in the best position to make the most of the exchange rate when you buy a Valencia property in 2016!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

US News & WR recommends Valencia to Seniors for lifestyle and cost

Retire in One of Europe’s Best Bargain Cities: Valencia

US News and World Report writes about the charms and low cost lifestyle of

 Some of the info is a bit out of date, (3€ haircuts?, 350€ apartments?),   but the general take is correct.  Valencia is a great place to live, and an inexpensive and safe place to retire. 

We tell our clients it can be less expensive in Valencia for retirees than Mexico or Costa Rica and  without the security concerns of Latin America.   On top you  are a short  and inexpensive plane trip from Paris, Rome etc... for great getaways.

The health care system is good and extremely inexpensive in comparison to the United States. The weather is good for outside activity year round, and the lifestyle is healthy.

A retired couple from  Florida who moved to Valencia last year  each lost 20 lbs in the first 6 months without dieting from  walking more and living well.  

It really is a great place for anyone to live  but perfect for retirees.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Berklee  Valencia Commencement Concert

Saturday  11 July  at 21:00   at the Hemisferic

Where: Hemisfèric (Lago Norte) - Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias, Valencia, Spain
When: Saturday July 11, 21:00h (local time)

How to Attend: Tickets required for reserved seats. Free open seating for general public.

Berklee College of Music’s graduate class of 2015 is graduating on Monday July 13th and to celebrate students from all four master’s degree programs on Berklee’s Valencia campus are putting on a special concert that will take place on a floating stage that will be set up on the reflecting pool opposite the Hemisféric in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia on July 11th.
The event will be streamed live online via Concertwindow. Click here to watch.
The concert features the following performances in a variety of musical styles, multi-media and technology displays, and screening of film cues from the Master in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games.
Daniel Marin & Friends – Flamenco Percussion Ensemble
Djank Yucca (Nick Bernstein & Gianni Abbott) – “Djank Yucca Presents”
George Lacson (GLP) – “Ain’t it Funny” (Original song)
Gonzalo Eyzaguirre & the Colectiva Corazon – “Nena” (Original song)
Jaewon Kim & Friends – “Aria” (Original song)
Jana Sustersic & Friends – “Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson)
Ji Hwang (Ji-Unit) – Funk medley (James Brown/Tower of Power/Jackson 5)
Juan Manuel Guevara & Friends – “Construção” (Original composition)
KB Killaz (Kyle Bagley) – “Apple Tree” (Original song)
Lili d’L Sol, Oscar Bahamonde & Bruna Lucchesi – “Amanecer” (Original song)
Maria Achaiba & Friends – Tocoban (Lord Kitchener)
Mi Young Kim Orchestra – “Spain” (Original composition)
Scratch Ambassadors – “Kashmir” (Led Zeppelin, arr. Webber)
Shane Del Robles & Friends – Little Liza Jane (traditional folk song, arr. Robles)
Sharif Elmahdi & Friends – “Evil Love” (Original song)
Sissy Dinkle, Bruna Lucchesi & Mariko Reid (trio) – Medley “It’s a long way”

Tickets are required for entrance to the seated area on the floating stage, but we welcome everyone to bring a blanket or lawn chairs and come and watch on the lawn opposite the Hemisféric.


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Broadand Internet Access in Spain

                      Credit NASA
Internet access is a must these days like having electricity and running water. Most of our expat clients first ask about internet access before they even see an apartment. Some owners may have an active account when you arrive. For most long term rentals you will contract with the ISP of your choice. 

The main providers are:
  • Jazztel - The first ISP to provide ADSL2+ throughout the country.
  • Ono - Spain's first cable Internet/telephone and TV provider.
  • Orange - the Internet branch of Uni2.
  • Movistar - Former state telecom monopoly.
  • Vodafone - ADSL and VoIP provider. Purchased Ono Spring 2014

Internet service in Spain is slower than in some other European countries and slightly more expensive. Though very fast options are becoming available as Fiber Optic cable is being installed in the major cities and good deals can be found. Especially in combination with mobile phone contracts.

To set up an account you will need an N.I.E. (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) and a bank account in Spain. We can help with setting up your internet, and with NIE and opening a bank account if neccessary. A bank accont is neccessary as the bills will automatically be debited from the bank account each month.

Installation time these days is quite fast, usually within a day or two. We had a case where we called in the AM and the technician installed the line that afternoon.

Telefonica the legacy phone company still controls the phone lines. So if you contract ADSL interent with Jazztel a technician from Telcor, owned by Telefonica will come to install the line. The router will then be delivered to you by courier within a day or two and you will set it up yourself. If you contract with Movistar, owned by Telefonica they will bring the router for you. Ono the only cable internet provider will supply a cable modem and router.

Installation and a wifi router are generally free. Some companies may ask for a 12 or 18 month contract for free installation and the router.

Basic contracts are for 10 to 15 mega download speeds. DSL companies usually have higher speeds sold as "Máxima velocidad" (maximum speed) or "Hasta 20 megas" (up to 20 Mbit/s); in those offers the speed of the connection depends of the quality of the line (length of the wire, distance from central exchange, attenuation, noise) as those speeds are just at the limit of the ADSL2+ technology. Jazztel gets better results with its "Hasta 30 megas" (up to 30 Mbit/s) because that connection works with VDSL. In contrast to those unguaranteed offers, Ono, the main cable provider, sells its connections as "x megas reales" (x true Mbps).

Depending on location you can expect 50 to 100megas with the more expensive fiber optic service. Ono is now offering 50 megas at a good rate to compete with the fiber. In some areas they offer up to 100mega download speed. We recently did a test on a mobile phone conected to wifi in an apartment in the old city and the download speed was 38mega which is quite good.

All require a fixed telephone line installed even Ono the cable provider. It costs 14 to 16€ a month on top of the internet service. You can get package deals with TV service provided as well.

For basic service, a phone line and internet access, expect to pay ~40a month with tax included.

All of the companies offer discounts if you contract your mobile phone with them as well as your home internet access. Ono was recently purchased by Vodafone. When service was upgraded in one of our apartments Ono offered us 25% off the discounted package rates for Home internet and our mobile phones. The combined cost is now just slightly more than we were paying for  internet access alone.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cava Festival en Mercado Colon

Feria del Cava Valenciano this weekend in Mercado Colon. Cava tastings, food pairings and workshops. 


Friday 21 November  from 19.30 to 22.30 hours

Saturday 22
November  from 12:00 to 15:00 and from 19.30 to 22.30 hou

Sunday  23 November 12:00 to 15:00


Friday 21 at 19.45 hours: Workshop - Cheese and Cava

Saturday 22 at 12:00: Appointment of Ambassador of Cava de Requena Joaquin Climent

Saturday 22 at 12.45: Workshop - Seafood and Cava

Saturday 22 at 19:00: Cooking workshop - Ricard Camarena and Cava

Sunday 23 at 12.45 am: Workshop - Burgers and Cava

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Golden Visa - Spanish Residence by investing 500,000€ in Spanish Real Estate

Spain residence permit for Non-EU citizens

International investors can now gain a residency visa for Spain through the purchase of Spanish property. The visa is available to anyone investing a minimum of 500,000 Euros in property.

A family or a person from a Non-EU country can as investor get a Spanish residency Golden Visa through the purchase of a property or properties in Spain.
Residency in Spain is granted under the new investor visa for investors spending a minimum of 500,000 Euros on a Real Estate property purchase. Residency means the right to live in Spain and travel freely to Spain which is within the Schengen visa area of Europe. It does not grant citizenship, which can be applied for at a later date. Citizenship in Spain can lead to residency in other European countries.

Residency in Spain under the golden investor visa program allows a Real Estate investor and his or her immediate family to live in Spain. The legislation has no minimum period of residence. Hence an investor can buy a property in Spain, travel freely to Spain at any point and his or her family can do the same. The family can live in Spain
permanently, with access to schools both state and private following the English curriculum. Eventually citizenship can grant access to study elsewhere at universities in Europe including the UK.



  1. The minimum investment must be at 500,000.
  2. On top of the amount of investment you need to add 11 - 12%, which goes to the purchase cost, including tax, stamp duty, VAT, notary and lawyer.
  3. Investments may be spread over several properties for a total purchase price of at least 500,000.
  4. Spanish residence visas may be issued to the immediate family, including spouse and children up to 18 years.
  5. There is no requirement for minimum stays ordering to renew the visa. This means that it is optional to stay in Spain.
  6. The Spanish visa does not need to be renewed within five years.
  7. As there is no law on minimum stay is not necessary to be tax resident.
  8. Permanent residence can be granted after five years if you have followed the rules.
  9. Your property investment can be sold after five years when you have achieved permanent residency.
  10. The visa allows access to unlimited travel throughout the EU Schengen visa countries.
  11. The entire application procedure for investment visa applicants will not take more than twenty days.
  12. Investments must be documented before applying for Spanish investment visa.
  13. Refusal of Spanish investment visa will usually only be justified by an unclean criminal record.
  14. Spanish citizenship can be given after an additional five years of permanent residency.
  15. The applicant must be able to prove that having traveled to Spain at least once in the first two years, and once more in the three subsequent years.
  16. While a Spanish citizen you automatically get an European citizenship.
  17. After this time (2 x 5 years), the family can live, work or study anywhere in Europe within the EU.
  18. We recommended lawyer to take care of the application for residence, and the full Golden Visa program, residence for the family, etc. The totally cost for this is ~ € 1,800 + 21% VAT.


  1. Not to have entered or stayed illegally in Spanish territory.
  2. Have to be 18 years or over.
  3. Not to have been refused entry in any of the Schengen countries.
  4. Have public or private health insurance authorized to operate in Spain.
  5. Have sufficient economic means to cover personal and family living expenses.
  6. Proof of the investment must be made through a Registry of Property certificate attesting ownership. Or, if the ownership title is not yet registered, via a copy of the acquisition public deed and proof of filing the deed in the Registry.


First  you get an ordinary 90-day visa so you can come to Spain to search for property, and once in Spain you sign a power of attorney  giving your lawyer power to act on your behalf in the conveyancing and residency process.
However, if you don’t have time to come to Spain, and you have found a property that you are prepared to buy without visiting, you can organize a power of attorney from your home country (this is not possible from all countries) giving your lawyer power to act on your behalf in the conveyancing and residency process. Your lawyer can then buy the property on your behalf, so you don’t even have to come to Spain at this stage.

One you have bought a property that meets the investment criteria (more than €500,000 on the deeds), you need to apply for a one-year investor visa, which allows you to spend a year in Spain, and travel freely in the Schengen area for 90 days out of every 180 days. Your lawyer can obtain this for you.

Once you have obtained this visa, you are not obliged to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain during the year. However, to get the residency permit at the end of the year, you do have to visit Spain at least once in the year. So, do not apply for the one-year investor visa until you are sure that you will be coming to Spain in the next 12 months.

This one-year investor visa will be authorized in Diplomatic Missions and Consular Spanish Offices and can be issued for one, two or multiple entries into Spain.
These visa applications shall be processed and notification sent within 10 working days, except in case of applicants subject to prior consultation.


Once an investment has been made, and after the first year, investors can apply for authorization to live in Spain for two years, renewable for another two years after that (and on), so long as the investment threshold of €500,000 is maintained (see below). For this application you have to be show that you have travelled to Spain at least once in the previous 12 months.

There is no limit to the amount of times this two-year residency can be renewed.

Properties can be bought and sold during this period, so long as the investment threshold is maintained.

There is no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain, so investors can remain tax resident outside of Spain, whilst benefiting from Spanish residency and the freedom of unlimited travel and stays in the EU.
Processing and granting the residence will be done by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Applications will be responded to within 20 working days from the submission of the application. If there is no answer in this period, the application shall be considered as accepted. The formal answer to the application can take up to 6 months, but in theory the application is considered accepted if there is no answer in 20 days.


After five years of continuous residence, investors can apply for permanent residence in Spain.

Likewise, after ten years of residence, Spanish nationality can be requested. In such cases, an effective justification of at least six months of residence must be provided, (unless due cause exists).


The investment threshold for real estate is €500,000 or more per investor.

To apply for residency, proof of the investment(s) must be provided with a Property Registry filing (certificate). If this certificate is not yet available, then the notarized deeds and proof that the deeds have been submitted to the Property Registry must be provided.

The investment can be comprised of:
  • One or several properties.
  • Of a residential, touristic, rural, commercial or industrial nature
  • Rural land, developed land, buildings under construction, or decrepit buildings


Investors must use at least €500,000 of their own funds, which must come from transparent sources that comply with existing legislation on money laundering and so on. Above that threshold there is no limit to debt financing, for instance with a mortgage in Spain.