Festive Promise in the Malaga Province

Festive Promise in the Malaga Province

We at DEPinDEPendent love the celebrate, and now the interest rates in Spain have finally fallen and you have your free mortgage quote, now let’s get into the festive season! And here it is again, that time of year where people start to prepare for all kinds of enjoyable things, from finishing work, cooking up a feast, buying gifts for loved ones, drinking copious amounts of whiskey and sherry or watching festive movies for days on end with the family. Festivities aside, it is also an exciting time of year because of the promise of all things new and fresh. We like to think that next year things will be different somehow; not necessarily because the previous year was so awful but because human nature seems to dictate that there is always room for improvement. There are many ways to experience the Christmas season in Malaga province. Of course there will be many parties of varying durations and levels of decadence, but we know this isn’t for everyone. Fortunately Malaga never fails to cater for different tastes and lifestyles.       Culinary delights If you have a sweet tooth, Christmas is the time for guilt-free indulgence. The Convent Sweets Fair (or the Feria del Dulce de Convento) in Torremolinos offers sweets and pastries made in convents – we guarantee you’ll never have seen so much confectionary in your life! Well, not in Andalucia anyway. It runs from 5th – 8th December at Costa del Sol Congresses and Exhibition Palace.   Twinkling lights and all things bright For all round family fun, we recommend a visit to the gorgeous lighting...
Health on the Move: How to Find Quality Spanish Healthcare

Health on the Move: How to Find Quality Spanish Healthcare

So, you have found the house of your dreams, and received the best independent mortgage advice from DEPinDEPendent to find that mortgage in Marbella`, now there may be other things to take into consideration. Moving to Spain to live a life of luxury on one of the Costas, leaving your cares behind may well be a great idea, but it would be prudent not to leave your health behind too. In order to make that dream happen there are naturally a number of things that you’ll need to check out about living in Spain first. One of the questions that you probably want answered is whether or not Spain offers quality medical care. In short, the answer is yes. For every 1000 Spanish residents there are 4.9 doctors ­– compared to 2.8 in the UK and 2.5 in the USA. Around 10% of Spain’s GDP is spent on healthcare, and as a result of which the Spanish healthcare system is regarded as one of the best in the world. Spain also has the second highest life expectancy in the world, bested only by Japan. So that’s just one more reason to move to Spain!     The best things in life are free The best thing about healthcare in Spain is that it’s completely free. First you’ll need to check if you’re covered, but don’t worry if you’re not – you still have options! All foreigners working in Spain will need to make social security contributions, which immediately entitles them to Spanish healthcare. Spouses and children will also be covered. Self-employed workers can apply for a social security number...
The Surprising Secrets of Spanish Sherry

The Surprising Secrets of Spanish Sherry

So, you’ve found your ideal Spanish property mortgage, and what better way to celebrate than cracking open a bottle of fine Spanish sherry!  Those with a taste for the finer things in life may already be well aware that sherry comes from Spain. To be more specific, in order for a wine to be termed ‘sherry’ in European law it must come from an area known as the “Sherry Triangle” in the Cadiz province of Andalucia, between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa Maria. So accept no other. Interestingly enough, the word ‘sherry’ is actually derived from Jerez, the town that has been the most famed for sherry production, and its wine-making can be traced back to the Phoenicians in the 12th century BC. In the 16th century Cadiz was sacked by Sir Francis Drake, who also made off with 2,900 barrels of sherry. After this, sherry became popular in Britain, partly for the reason that fortification made the shipping and storage of sherry easy, at a time before cooling technology was on the scene. In recent decades sherry has lost popularity and the sherry towns of Cadiz have suffered a large reduction in exports, but wine buffs have remained loyal to the unique taste of the Andalusian wine and many predict an increase in interest at home and abroad. The important thing for these enthusiasts is said to be drinking a high quality sherry, and to find the type that is right for your particular palate. There are three types of grape used to make sherry; palomino, Pedro Ximenez and moscatel. Palomino...
Spain is Still Number One for European Ex-Pats – Spanish mortgage lenders love this!

Spain is Still Number One for European Ex-Pats – Spanish mortgage lenders love this!

Most of us were hit in some way by the financial crisis, some of us worse than others. For some, the repercussions continued for years and the depressing conversations at home or at work seemed endless. The idea of getting a bank loan in Spain seemed like a far away dream, but now that it finally seems to be over. Can we think about trying to live our lives again? Is it time to escape the austerity and misery of Cameron’s Britain, or the freezing winters of Norway or New England, and seek warmer climes in a more pleasant environment? For Brits moving to Eurozone countries, the time to get a mortgage in Spain has never been better. Since the global financial crash, the pound to the euro has been increasingly strong, and this summer treated Brits to a seven and a half year peak – meaning they will get 10% more euros than last year. For those looking to buy a second home abroad, or even a replacement for their existing one, the first questions will probably be this: which country would be the best choice and where can I find a mortgage specialist to guide me through the process? Well, there are certainly options but as is often the case, there can be cons to counteract those pros. The beautiful scenery, rich culture and excellent cuisine of Italy have always been a draw for those coming from less romantic heritage, but the lengthy buying process and difficult planning permission laws can make the move a headache for many.   One man’s loss is another man’s gain 200,000...
Get the best exchange rate for your Spanish mortgage with these 5 tips

Get the best exchange rate for your Spanish mortgage with these 5 tips

Are you thinking of taking out a mortgage in Spain? If so, you’ll probably be aware that the exchange rate can make a big difference to your cost. For instance, just this week the pound has hit 1.39 versus the euro, a full +19 cents than higher than at the start of 2014. Were you to transfer £250,000 to Spain for a mortgage, you’d hence receive +€47,500 more than 21 months ago! With this in mind, how can you ensure you get the best possible exchange rate for your Spanish mortgage? Well, here are 5 top tips from Pure Fx to help you on your way. Enjoy the sun, sand and sangria of Spain! 1. Don’t blindly accept the exchange rate your bank offers you. This is because the high street banks don’t specialise in foreign exchange, meaning you’ll receive an exchange rate far worse than that available elsewhere. To be specific, were you to exchange currencies with a foreign currency specialist, you’d get an exchange rate up to 4% better than the bank, adding thousands to euro total! 2. When a good exchange rate becomes available, take it. By this I mean, don’t wait and see how high the exchange rate goes. This is because the foreign exchange market is volatile, and can quickly reverse, so that while it looked like the pound was rising versus the euro, it can quickly fall again. Hence, it’s better to avoid taking risks, and transfer your money to Spain while a good rate is available! 3. Seek advice from a professional currency dealer. A qualified currency dealer will be able to...
Retirement in Spain – a Cultural Cornucopia!

Retirement in Spain – a Cultural Cornucopia!

You’ve made it! You’ve found your dream house on the Costa del Sol with a sun-filled terrace, palm trees in the garden, a cheerful housekeeper and a view of the sparkling Mediterranean. You’ve signed all the necessary papers with the help of your agent and your mortgage broker. You’ve given your new address to all your loved ones so that they can visit when they get the chance. So, now comes the best part – relaxation! It would take many a long time to get bored of the lovely weather, beautiful beaches, stunning scenery and delicious food, but if you do ever find yourself looking for things to do in Spain, then you will find that there are more than enough activities to keep expats of all ages busy. For those with an avid interest in history, Moorish South Spain abounds in architectural wonders, such as the Alhambra Palace and the Generalife in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba or the Giralda in Seville. Andalusia’s rich cultural history can be seen in its many museums, and visitors to Valencia are blown away by the architecture of old and new on visiting the late Gothic La Lonja de la Seda (silk exchange) and the City of Arts and Sciences.   The diversity of options means you’ll always have something to do Spain is never short of festivals and carnivals big and small, from Valencia’s spectacular Las Fallas to the extravagant carnival of Cadiz, every month brings in festivities of a different kind, welcome to all kinds of people. Find out more about Andalusian festivals here. Lovers of art will be amazed...