One of the chores that you should have on your list right now is the one where you clear out your garden in preparation for the season ahead. It may still be a place to capture winter sun, but plants in Spain still go through cycles in temperature. A seasonal cleanup is always good for your garden, and whether you call in an expert or you do it yourself, your cleanup is going to be a great thing to do to keep your plants and your lawns healthy.
Garden clean-ups prevent pests from building up, weeds from strangling your good plants and it makes your home look tidy – which is exactly what you want. You can clear out the garden and enjoy a newly blooming space, because you’ve taken the time to clear up. If you need some new parts for your garden tools, you can get those replaced before you wrap your things up into the garage or shed for the season. Clearing out the garden shouldn’t be a huge issue but it should be done so that you don’t have to worry about it anymore! Let’s take a look at the tips you need to get it right.
Image Source: Pexels
Steps for tidying up your garden in Spain:
- Removing the pests. Disease and pests can eat through your garden and make it look awful, kill your plants and cause infestations you really could do without. The first tip for cleaning out the garden is to sort your pest issues out and call in an exterminator for those pesky bugs that just won’t let go!
- Maintain your compost pile. You don’t want to have any issues when it comes to your compost, so make sure that you prevent mold growth and seeds from blooming in your compost bin. Re-line the bin and make sure that the lid stays firmly closed. You can spread the compost over your perennial plants and feed them nutrients along the way. It protects from weed growth, too!
- Clear up the vegetable patch in your garden if you have the chance. You want to know that your vegetables can thrive and grow without being strangled by weeds and that means raking, pulling back, and clearing off dead leaves. The compost can keep them looking good for springtime, and that’s what you want for your plants.
BULB say they can help us save money on electricity in Spain: We’ve already signed up, have you?
What would you say if we told you that there was finally a way to Save Money on Electricity in Spain? Yes, you heard us right, we said … Save Money on Electricity in Spain!
A few years ago we shared our disgust and dissatisfaction about the service or lack of service provided by Spanish electricity companies and the extortionate charges (read here). Finally, four years later, there may be some light (no pun intended 😉 ) at the end of this tunnel.
When Bulb contacted us an offered to explain their services we were all eyes and ears and ad impatiently waiting to learn more. By signing up to their website you will be on their waiting list …
Join BULB waiting list
Over to you guys …
Bulb is coming to Spain. Who are we and what do we believe in?
We’re Bulb, a new electricity company that is about to launch in Spain. Our mission is to help people reduce their bills and carbon emissions. We’re currently the fastest growing supplier in the UK, with over 1.5 million members. We have recently switched our first member in Spain and are excited to have more family, friends and beta testers join us before the end of the year, followed by a full launch next year. If you want to be one of the first to have access to the service in Spain, you can join the priority list at www.bulb.es. If you register with this special link, you’ll receive €20 credit when your switch completes.
We’re expanding internationally to help even more people lower their bills and cut carbon emissions. When we started Bulb in the UK, we saw the same problems at lots of the big providers – poor service, high tariffs, inefficiency and little support for renewables. We wanted to give people a better choice about where to get their energy from. We looked closely at countries across the world when deciding where to take Bulb next. The most important thing was to work out where we could be most useful. Spain (as well as France and Texas) were the best bets for saving members a significant amount of money on their bills, whilst providing carbon neutral energy and an excellent member experience.
100% green electricity sourced in Spain
We provide our members with 100% renewable electricity from Spanish generators. For every unit you use, we make sure a unit is produced and put on the grid by a renewable source – solar, wind and hydro.
This helps people cut down on their carbon emissions. By being with Bulb and using green electricity, all our members are helping to protect the planet. Every year, the average Spanish Bulb home lowers their carbon impact by 906 kilos of CO2 per year. That’s the hard work of around 314 trees.
Illustrations by Aurelia Lange
One smart tariff for all
By keeping things simple, we help members to reduce their energy bills. We have been working on delivering a competitive tariff that will help people save money. We’ve done the maths and our smart tariff is 125€ cheaper than the Big 3 stable plans for an average home in Spain. It’s one of the lowest on the market, renewable or not. Our tariff also reflects the real cost of energy. This way everyone is always on the best possible price.
How can we be cheaper? We’ve developed in-house technology to help us keep our costs low. We have also automated many of our back-office activities to increase team efficiency. This helped us keep our costs low and we decided to pass these savings on to you. We believe that’s what’s fair.
A simple electricity bill
Energy does not have to be complicated. And, if you have any questions, you should receive the best service. You shouldn’t have to wait thirty minutes, or speak with five different people, to reach a solution. For us, it is important to provide outstanding service and take care of our members. All of our support is available in both Spanish and English. In the UK, we are proud to have more than 24,000 reviews on Trustpilot with a score of 4.8 / 5.
Join Bulb before anyone else
If you want to be part of Bulb in Spain from the beginning, join our priority access list here.
Sign Up For Updates and Save Money on Electricity in Spain!
Hope to hear from you soon,
Getting the perfect rented apartment in Madrid or any place requires careful attention to details. You must bear in mind certain information that aids the rental search. Here are a few tips that will aid you in renting a great apartment in Madrid.
7 Things to Consider When Renting an Apartment in Madrid
This tip may sound basic but it is very important especially when it comes to renting an apartment. You must work out the budget needed for the apartment. Make sure that your budget works fine with your monthly budget. Your budget should be a realistic one, you should not spend more than 30% of your annual income on housing. Your renting budget could depend on the area you want to rent an apartment.
2. Furnished or Unfurnished Apartment:
You should also consider if you want to rent a furnished or unfurnished apartment. It is best that when you are renting for the short term, you get a furnished apartment. When going for an unfurnished apartment, it is best done on long-term rentals in Madrid. Then you can do your furnishing yourself. You must also bear in mind that furnished apartments are more expensive and they require a larger deposit.
3. Look Online:
When you are ready to rent an apartment you should start browsing for some Spain rental websites. You can also call the numbers listed on the websites instead of sending an email or message. Most good houses in Madrid do not stay long in the open market so, don’t wait on it. When you get or see an apartment you love, it is best to get in touch with the landlords or agents.
4. Using an Estate Agent:
When making use of some websites, the contact numbers listed there are usually that of agents. When using an agent, you should also bear in mind that you can incur some extra expenses. Sometimes, you can get in direct contact with the landlord of the less expensive building. Although, estate agents are normally the ones that advertise the best apartments.
5. Pick out the right questions to ask when viewing apartments:
You should ask the right questions when viewing apartments with the landlord or agents. Some very good questions include the following; what is the deposit? Are the bills included? and Are their community fees or if they are included?
6. Air and Heating Condition:
You must find an apartment that provides you with great air conditioning or heating system. Since Madrid weather can be very cold in the winter and incredibly hot in the hot summer months.
7. Energy Certificate:
It is important that you also check for an energy certificate in any apartment in Madrid. When an apartment ranks the G certificate, the bills are likely to be on the higher ends unlike apartments with the A certificate.
So there you have 7 Top Tips for finding an apartment in Madrid. Go through each of the mentioned tips carefully in order to get the most out of them while searching for your apartment. You should give yourself plenty of time to find an apartment that suits you.
Many people dream of buying property abroad. If you are thinking of doing so, we strongly recommend you do your homework and spend plenty of time carrying out research!
I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear that Spain continues to reign supreme when it comes to Brits looking at buying property abroad. In fact, the country outshines the rest of Europe for enquiries from overseas buyers.
A whopping 2,513,374 searches are made every month for property in Spain by Britons looking to move to Spain or buy a holiday home here, according to property website Rightmove figures. This figure is 74 per cent more than in France, which is the second- most searched for European country with Italy third and Portugal fourth.
There’s no north-south divide at play here either with Spain being the No 1 sunny destination for people from across the UK including Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and London. Incredibly, 54 per cent of searches for Spanish property came from Glasgow with Liverpool coming a close second.
With its relatively mild winters and wall-to-wall sunshine in the summer, it’s no wonder Spain continues to attract UK property buyers. With an average flight time of just over two hours from the UK to Spain, it’s easy enough to fly out for a weekend or head back to the home country to visit family and friends whenever the fancy takes you.
Where to buy in Spain?
The favourite resort for Brits seeking to buy in Spain is Alicante, where the average enquiry price is €126,054 followed by Mallorca, which is much more expensive with an average enquiry price of €397,813 and Malaga is in third place, with an average enquiry price of €191,830.
What are people looking for in property in Alicante?
Alicante has the lowest average enquiry price in Spain. According to Rightmove’s figures, 62 per cent are searching for villas while 38 per cent are looking for apartments in Alicante. The popular Costa Blanca beaches, golf courses and low-cost flights into Alicante are all great reasons why people want to move here. The property prices are also very reasonable, especially when compared to the second-favourite destination, Mallorca.
As a guide, it is still possible to buy a two-bedroom apartment with communal pool for €45,000 in Torrevieja, south of Alicante. Further north, there is a two-bedroom apartment on Rightmove’s website in Javea for €75.000.
Malaga ticks so many boxes for Brits looking for property in southern Spain with its famous Costa del Sol beaches and golf courses as well as the splendid mountain ranges, ski resorts, white villages and Andalusian hospitality. Villas and apartments by the beach or golf courses are popular choices when it comes to buying property in Malaga while the cave houses and little mountain villages are also unique experiences for expats moving abroad.
Property prices vary enormously from resort to resort but you can buy a two-bedroom apartment on the Mijas Costa for €89,000, a a two-bedroom apartment in Malaga city for €127,000 or a charming five-bedroom rural cavehouse for €39,000.
Is it a good time to buy property in Spain?
Many people dream of buying in Spain – flights are generally economical and take a little more than two hours, the quality of life (and the wine!) is very good, plus property prices are very reasonable compared to much of the UK. But while some dream, others turn it into a reality. You may be surprised to find that a second home in sun-drenched Spain could be within your reach.
While living the UK has its high points, the weather and the warm beer aren’t among them. This could explain why there are more than 2.5 million online searches for property in Spain from British residents each and every month, according to Rightmove’s research. These property seekers are looking for a balance between affordable plane fares and short flight times so they can enjoy a long weekend away or a permanent move but be able to head back to the UK at short notice for work or to see family and friends.
The top destination for British property-seekers is – sunny Spain! The average price of property these bargain-hunting Brits are seeking is €156,940, which won’t get you much – if anything at all – in many parts of the UK. Rightmove has also found that the most popular locations for Brits seeking holiday homes abroad tend to be in the top holiday hotspots too. So which is the most popular destination? Alicante and the Costa Blanca resorts of course.
Alicante has the most of those 2,513,374 enquiries a month with people searching for an average price per property of €126,054. Mallorca is second with an average price search of €397,813 while Malaga comes in third where the average enquiry price is €191,830.
What’s so attractive about Alicante?
With about 320 days of sun each year and an average temperature of 29oC in August and 11o in January, it’s no wonder the Alicante region is so appealing. Plus many budget airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, Monarch and Norwegian fly into Alicante airport, which is the fifth busiest airport in Spain, so it’s easy to get to.
Alicante province includes the attractive Costa Blanca resorts with hundreds of kilometres of sandy beaches to soak up the sun or try watersports. This is a fabulous area for sports such as:
- cycling along the same routes you’ve seen in the Vuelta de España
- sailing in the same waters as the Volvo Ocean Race round-the-world yacht teams
- playing tennis on the same courts as David Ferrer
- playing golf on competition courses
- or simply sampling yoga on the beach; horse-riding in the mountains; paragliding; rock climbing; stand-up paddle and so much more.
It’s a paradise for food lovers too. You can visit the markets to buy the finest selection of fresh shellfish and fish, such as the special Denia red prawn, or head to the restaurants to sample some of the many rice dishes including paella and arroz a banda (rice cooked in fish stock).
With vast beaches, super theme parks, great nightlife, glorious mountains, traditional little Spanish villages and bustling cities, there are so many reasons to buy property in Alicante.
What’s magnificent about Malaga?
Malaga is Spain’s fourth busiest airport since it serves the city and the entire Costa del Sol resorts. It’s another favourite with budget airlines so you can enjoy an affordable flight to your chosen destination. The Costa del Sol is a long favourite with British expats and holidaymakers who can choose from the `fun in the sun’ resort of Fuengirola to the chic Marbella resorts and everything in between.
With endless sunny days, an average temperature of 26oC in August and a lovely 12oC in January, it’s no wonder that so many people head to the Costa del Sol throughout the year. As well as topping up the tan, people love the region for its countless golf courses to test all handicaps as well as amazing water sports facilities, particularly around Marbella and the swanky Puerto Banus.
Many people are also fascinated to learn there are impressive ski resorts in the region. It takes about 90 minutes to drive to the Sierra Nevada for skiing or snowboarding. It seems incredible that you could be skiing in the snow in the morning and then one hour later be having lunch on the beach – but it’s absolutely true!
Food lovers can sample fresh fish or shellfood straight from the sea; or try the cold gazpacho or salmorejo soups to beat the summer heat; migas made with bread, garlic and olive oil; or rabo de toro (oxtail). Simply delicious!
With its selection of beach resorts, mountains, white villages, historic cities, culture and friendly welcome, it’s no wonder so many people are looking for property in Malaga and its surrounding district.
Your next move?
If you are looking for property in Malaga or Alicante, please take a look at the Move to Malaga website for further information. Our contact details are there so you can get in touch to let us help you make your move to Spain.
Tell me how you can help me save time and money on my purchase …
I am continually surprised how many people, moving to Spain, tell me they haven’t even considered using the services offered by a currency transfer company.
It seems to me that too many people believe that their UK bank will give them the best available exchange rate.
I don’t know for certain, but I seriously doubt it.
- If your bank offers you the best exchange rate, what charges are incurred?
- If your bank advertises a “no charge on foreign currency transfers” service, what exchange rates do they offer?
It is vital that you ask these questions before deciding whose services to use.
The fact is, people are often so busy trying to save pennies (or centimos 😉 ) on smaller transactions that they are losing pounds (or euros) on others. This is particularly true when buying property.
I really feel that anyone planning to move to Spain or buy property in Spain should get a quote from at least one Currency Transfer Company.
Are you planning to buy a property in Spain?
Are you planning to move to Spain?
Do you live in Spain and regularly transfer funds from your UK account?
Do you live in Spain and use a UK bank card for purchases or to withdraw cash?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you may get a shock when you realise how much money you have “given away”.
Don’t dwell on the past, take action now and improve your future.
The following infographic demonstrates how interest rate changes can affect relative costs between Sterling and Euros when living in Spain or buying property in Spain. The rates used in this example are quite different, but it will serve to highlight my point.
In future monthly posts, we will publish current comparative prices, based on actually daily rates.
For this example, we are showing you the comparative cost of items in Spain, when the UK exchange rate changes from 1.1€ to 1.4€ to the pound …
A currency transfer company can save you a lot of money. They watch the rates and can guide you as to when is the best time to transfer funds.
If you’d like details of companies we recommend, simply Contact Us
How to save money on insurance in Spain …
Choosing the best insurance in Spain for you and your family is not always as easy as in your home country. Most companies and websites only offer their own insurance policies. Insurance brokers are not a common as in other countries. This can make searching for insurance in Spain quite a tedious task.
Here’s a solution …
Following months of research we are happy to let you know of a reputable, independent insurance broker who offers all kinds of insurance policies for health cover, home and contents, vehicles, pets and much more, with policies from over twenty different insurance companies.
As an independent broker, they do the work for you, searching for the best policy for your insurance in Spain, whatever type it may be and for the policy that best suits your needs.
Let’s look at the different types of insurance and the next step to receiving a no obligation quote from our broker …
Who should take out Health Insurance in Spain?
Anybody who has not been a resident in Spain since 2012 and is not contributing to the Spanish social security system, either as an employee on a Spanish contract (receiving a nomina) or a self employed worker (autonomo).
(*Please note this does not include pensioners who have reciprocal agreements within member states!)
Most expats take out private medical insurance in Spain, not just for medical care, but also for ambulance and dental services. If you are not covered by the spanish social security healthcare system, it would be wise to take insurance sooner rather than later, so that you do not risk being uninsurable for medical problems which arise over the course of time and to avoid any unexpected and expensive medical bills.
For a no obligation health insurance quote, please send us the following information: (for each person to be insured):
Name, date of birth, place of residence, contact email
Upon receipt of this information, the insurance brokers will contact you with your no obligation quotes.
What should be covered by Car Insurance?
Basic car insurance coverage should include compulsory civil liability and third party insurance, plus other responsibilities derived from the vehicle catching fire or any damage that occurs. As in other countries, you also have the options of Fully Comprehensive (todo riesgo), Third party (teceros) with options that include windscreen damage (lunas), fire (incendio) and breakdown asisstance (asistencia en viaje).
Each company offers packages to suit all vehicle types. Remebber to ask about the excess on any insurance claims (franquicia).
To request a no obligation vehicle insurance quote please send us the following information:
Your full name, date of birth, make and model of vehicle, registrations number, address, contact email
Upon receipt of this information, the insurance brokers will contact you to request further details of your requirements.
Who should take out Home Insurance in Spain?
If you are renting a property in Spain, you may want to consider taking out a home content insurance policy (contenido). Many owners who rent out their property will insure only the building itself and their own contents such as furniture, fixtures and fittings. In the event of a fire or theft, you may well discover that your own belongings are not covered.
If you are a property owner in Spain, you should consider both building and contents insurance (contenido y continente). As in other countries, the value you place on the building and its contents will influence the price of the policy.
To request a no obligation home insurance quote please send us the following information:
Your full name, property address, contact email
Upon receipt of this information, the insurance brokers will contact you to request further details of your requirements.
We do not want to dwell on this point but we would like to stress the importance of having the correct type of insurance in Spain to suit your own personal situation. It costs nothing to request a no obligation quote and it could save you a lot of money in the long run.
For any further assistance and quotes for different types of insurance in Spain, please complete this form and a broker will contact you:
Are you thinking about buying property in Spain?
The British Embassy website offers information and advice to allow you to safely buy property in Spain. We recommend you take time to read through all the information provided on the website about buying property in Spain and then seek independent advice. The more research you carry out, the more likely you are to find an ideal property and enjoy your life in Spain.
The dedicated “buying property in Spain” pages cover topics such as :
- General advice
- Purchasers checklist
- Bank guarantees
- Coastal properties
- Timeshare property
- Equity release schemes
- Taxes and other costs applicable to property purchases in Spain
- Additional costs
- Further information
- Letting a property in Spain
The Embassy’s sound advice is as follows…
“If you are considering buying a property in Spain you will need to bear in mind that the legal system and steps to follow are different from those you may have experienced in the UK. It is important to note that while many British nationals enjoy life in Spain, a large number who have bought properties in Spain over recent years now face serious problems with their homes. This guide is intended to help you obtain the information you need to make a full and considered decision about your property purchase in Spain.”
For more details, visit their website HERE .
Time spent on extra research must only be seen as an investment in your future happiness when buying property in Spain!
If you are considering moving to the Malaga / Costa del Sol area, do not hesitate to contact us for further assistance. We look forward to helping you make the most of living in Spain!
REMEMBER to read our NIE & Residency Application guide … Only €4.99 … CLICK HERE !
By Lisa Sadleir
In our “Property” category, you can read about some of the difficulties we encountered whilst trying to find our new family home in our chosen area in Spain. In this article you can read about another interesting option when buying property in Spain …
John Wolfendale from Eco Vida International gives us some great tips and ideas how to make our homes more environmentally friendly and more economical to manage and maintain.
His reply to the question “Are you Buying a home in Spain and Can’t Find What you Want?”, is as follows:
… “buy a home in the right place and convert it!”
“There is an abundance of cheap property in Spain at the moment. And as someone said to me the other day there are plenty of people out there who want to take their money out of the bank and put it somewhere safe!
Spain is a beautiful country. In my opinion it has everything: a sunny climate, beautiful beaches and mountains, great food, a fascinating history and culture, lovely friendly people with a great attitude towards family life and having fun.
There are also some beautiful country villas for sale with extraordinary views and cosy looking interiors.
The problem often is with the quality of build such as damp, thin walls with no sound or thermal insulation and so on. Or the problem could be with the layout. I’ve recently come across a swimming pool in the shade “because there was nowhere else to put it” and a multimillion pound villa without even a dining room.
However converting a property is easier than you think. You can take advantage of the low prices to be found, buy a property in your ideal location, and still have exactly what you want.
How to make it comfortable without burning money or fossil fuels
Many people thinking of buying in Spain don’t realize its cold in the winter especially inland. The worst cases are those country houses with cathedral like entrance hallways. And it’s easy to underestimate just how hot it can be in July August.
Converting you home into a comfortable energy efficient one could involve the following steps:
Insulate it: this can be exterior or interior depending on the budget and circumstances.
Make it airtight: change the windows and doors so they have a good seal and also improve insulation, aesthetics, and security at the same time.
Under floor heating and cooling: all the surfaces, the walls the floors and the furniture get to your desired temperature and give a radiant heat which is far more comfortable than simply heating the air. It’s like being warmed by the sun. You can pad about barefoot even in winter.
Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Exchanger: Extract dirty wet air from the kitchen and bathroom and exchange it with fresh filtered air from outside. In the winter the cold fresh air from outside exchanges heat with the dirty air you are expelling. It works to over 95% efficiency. It’s healthy too. In the summer it works the other way around keeping you cool.
Use a heat pump: Now you’ve reduced your energy requirement a heat pump can do the job keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer at a fraction of the cost and without burning fossil fuels.
Shading and terracing: We’re all in Spain to live the outside life. Terracing can combine with shading to keep the sun of the house for greater comfort and also to create areas for relaxing, cooking, eating, or playing.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could find one company that could take care of everything from design to implementation?”
For more information, contact John on +34 606380244 or Use our Contact Form by Clicking Here!
Please be advised that the Spanish tax authorities are catching up with foreign property owners in Spain who are not making any kind of tax declaration in Spain.
You are considered a tax resident in Spain if you complete your annual tax returns (Dec Renta) in Spain. If you submit your tax returns in another country, you are considered a non resident, in Spain, for tax purposes and consequently you should be submitting a non resident tax return (modelo 210) at the end of each calendar year.