Spain Explained

A guide for foreigners on every aspect of safe property ownership in Spain

Posts filtered by Life in Spain

Traffic fines in Spain

As in other countries, you can expect to be fined in Spain for a number of infractions of the traffic code. Speeding, parking where you shouldn’t, not having the right paper work in the car, all carry traffic fines in Spain – some substantial. An unusual system operates whereby if you pay the fine within […]

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Tax, tea and travel – in Fortuna

During March we welcomed people into our offices to answer their questions about tax and legal matters. However, we know that not everyone can make it to Torrevieja or Alicante. That’s why we’ve been running our ‘Tax, tea and travel’ roadshow. We started off by visiting Algorfa and then followed it up with an event […]

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Keeping informed in Spain

It remains a strange feature of the expat phenomenon that many of the expats who live in Spain know more about what is happening in the country they’ve left behind than the one they live in. Expat radio shows, access to the home country’s TV stations and the availability of papers from all over the […]

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Ear-splitting, head-thumping – it’s Las Fallas!

Spain is renowned for its collection of unique, rich, varied and perhaps rather bizarre festivals. Las Fallas has to rank high on the list of those internationally acclaimed opportunities to make lots of noise and party. In 2014 Las Fallas took place in Valencia from March 15th to 19th. This spectacular, final week, represents the […]

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Tax, tea and travel in La Zenia

Ábaco is in the middle of a roadshow of events. We’ve packed our bags and instead of answering your queries on the phone, by internet or in our offices, we’re coming out to you. So far we have been to Algorfa and our next location is La Zenia.  We want to clear up any confusion […]

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Tax, tea and travel in Algorfa

It is rather an unusual combination. Tax, tea and travel aren’t often found together. But there is some logic behind us combining such an odd trio. It’s the run up to the resident tax declaration deadline (June 30th). We are aware that many people living in Spain are still confused about their resident taxes. There […]

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Is property still a good investment?

There is perhaps an assumption amongst my generation that buying a piece of freehold, be it land or property, is a good investment. We were encouraged to buy our own home as soon as we could. Mortgages were easily available and it was part of the natural order of things to save a deposit and […]

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Helping in the community – Ábaco Ayuda

The recession has hit the vulnerable hard. Those already on the bread line have few resources to fall back on when times become even more difficult. It can be easy to block out the hardship experienced by some of the people in our community. It’s just too easy to turn a blind eye. And it’s […]

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Abaco Ayuda

The economic crisis in Spain is hitting the most vulnerable hard. The unemployed, seasonal workers and the low-paid have children. Through periods of hardship, such as we are experiencing in Spain, they suffer too. We can all feel sympathy for those caught up in austerity. We wanted to try and do something about it. So […]

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Singing the praises of fiscal residency in Spain

When you use the word ‘certificate’ it usually conjures up images of  celebration, graduation and prize givings. Some of us have studied long and hard to amass a collection of these things. Sometimes wondering what the point was after all! When it comes to the residency certificate in Spain the usual images of pomp and […]

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Counting the cost of term-time holidays

How valuable is a family holiday?  Time away from the day-to-day grind continues to be a must for many. It represents opportunity to talk to each other without the usual interruptions of work and household routines getting in the way. Two weeks away in the sun has become something that most families aspire to and […]

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What kind of expat are you?

We are all unique, of course. The reasons why people emigrate to another country are various and can be complicated to unravel. What were the strongest pulls to move to Spain for you? Was it the weather, the lifestyle, the culture? Was it the need to do something different with your third age years? Most […]

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Making the move from non-resident to resident in Spain

It’s the end of the February, half term holiday for most children from the UK. The aeroplanes in the Spanish airports will be full and the journey will be ‘lively’.  Most will be sad to leave Spain. Hopefully they have had a few pleasant days away from the floods and perhaps even managed to play […]

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SEPA in Spain: How does a SEPA Credit transfer work?

SEPA Credit transfer

You may have already received a communication about SEPA in Spain. SEPA stands for the Single Euro Payments Area. It is an initiative introduced by the EU governments, the European Commission and the European Central Bank to create an integrated payments market across Europe. It is expected to make financial transaction more straight forward and […]

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Keeping in touch with Facebook

Do you use Facebook?  It has crept, or perhaps leapt, into our lives at a startling rate and there are now few people who do not have an account. If you live in Spain or know someone who does, it has the attraction of being an additional point of contact with your family and friends. […]

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The town hall in Spain

Signs around every town centre in Spain will point you in the direction of the ‘Ayuntamiento’. They are directing you towards one of the most important buildings in the area – the town hall.  As you would expect, the Town Hall is the official base for the elected mayor. He or she will hold meetings […]

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The cost of living in Spain – ups and downs in the new year

  January is a pretty grim month. It’s cold, Christmas and the New Year celebrations are over and most people are out of money. Some people seem to save enough to make the January sales worth a visit, for the majority, it’s batten down the hatches and wait for the next wage slip. Matters aren’t […]

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Understanding embargoes in Spain

The use of the word ‘embargo’ in Spain is a lot more widespread than it is in many other countries. Whereas it’s often associated with a ban on trade between different countries, in Spain it can refer to an action taken against your property or Spanish bank account. If you have an embargo on your […]

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Exploring Guadalest

Most travel guides and tourist handbooks introduce you to the main attractions of Spain. Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Granada are covered in depth. They are fascinating places to visit and you could spend weeks exploring them. However, it would be unfair to neglect some of the lesser known but no less interesting towns and villages. […]

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Managing the January Feeling

Waiting at the airport to greet someone you care about is a wonderful feeling. On Sunday 22nd, it was our turn. My daughter and boyfriend were flying in from Stansted and we took our usual position at the barrier. As the flight was delayed, we had plenty of time to look around at the families […]

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Buying presents for your family when you live in Spain

I am writing this blog post at Christmas time when the heat is up, at least in terms of present-buying in bulk. However, present-buying  headaches for relatives abroad can happen at any time of the year. There are perhaps two issues for the resident wanting to treat their loved ones back in their home country. […]

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Admiring the Alhambra

Wherever you live in the world, it is likely you have heard of the Alhambra in Granada. The only Muslim palace to survive from the Middle Ages, it was originally Al Qal’a al-Hamra which means ‘the red fort’ hardly an inspiring description for such an amazing building. The history The Alhambra has had an incredible […]

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Antonio Gaudi 1852 – 1926

Most people have heard of Gaudi. It’s one of those names, like Picasso or Dali, that if you know nothing about art or architecture you still have a chance of recognising. If you are visiting Barcelona, there is no doubt that you should pencil into your itinerary at least one of the buildings that he […]

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Community of owners in Spain – checking up on payments

How are you at book-keeping? People might fall into three book-keeping categories following a request for an invoice: Category 1 answer:  ‘Here is the invoice for the 31st December 2010’ Category 2 answer:  ‘I had an invoice somewhere for that’ Category 3 answer:  ‘What’s an invoice?’ Some people are just better organisers than others. Hopefully […]

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Learning the Spanish language

What comes to mind when you think about learning the Spanish language? Is it long lists of vocabulary, verbs, conjunctions and unfathomable grammatical rules? Or is it a fun and challenging experience routed in dialogue, speaking and listening? Chances are it’s the first option. Unfortunately, our recollections of language teaching and learning still tend to […]

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