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Posted on March 29, 2017 by @cad in Newsletters Archive 2013

Dec 2013** Some of the content might not be relevant on the date of reading this**

A banking favour at last: Since 2008 we have not had any reason to thank any of the major banks in Europe but in the beginning of November all that changed. The European Central Bank cut their interest rates in relation to the Euro to one quarter of one percent. 50% lower than in the UK. That in itself was a shock but the good news was that the steady climb in the value of the Pound continued meaning it is now even cheaper to live here in Spain. A strong Pound is good news for expats who are on a pension.

A lower cost of living PLUS not having to pay expensive fuel bills in trying to keep warm during the winter means the residents already here are onto a winner at this particular point in time. It does not affect the sales of the homes of course as they will continue to be sold in Pounds in order to prevent the exchange rate fluctuations from upsetting either the seller or the buyer. Offers for any home are made in Sterling and accepted in Stirling and so there is never any confusion.

Christmas is coming: Feliz Navidad is Spanish for Happy Christmas and of course we send everyone Christmas greetings this month. For the Spanish they regard the evening of the 24th as their Christmas and it is during that evening all family members get together and enjoy a Christmas feast. Not a turkey but every kind of fish and meat coming out in the form of tapas and raciones (technically rations but really larger Tapas portions) along with a great selection of Rioja wines. Bars, restaurants and shops are all shut from about 4pm on that day. Spain becomes a ghost town after that as everyone is at home in family.

The good news for anyone who does not want to bother with Christmas dinner on the 25th however is that all the Spanish restaurants are open as usual and of course their meals are at normal prices with Spanish customers expected. To them the 25th is just another day. Not so the residents of course, they will be either doing the Full Monty Christmas dinner at home or having a BBQ just to be different.

Not so mobile homes: The homes on Park La Posada and Park La Vina started out as mobile homes when they first arrived in Spain on the transporter but after being installed on the residential parks they soon stopped being mobile homes and became real homes. This is because all the homes were installed onto concrete foundations with full mains services. After that decking areas were built to compliment the living area and to make the homes very residential in style.

Many homes over the years have also had new furniture added as well as new fixtures and fittings and in some homes they are furnished to a higher standard than many villas or apartments here in Spain. That is what makes the homes so special. They are lived in by the owners, taken care of by the owners and never rented out to holiday makers. Washing machines, dish washers and sheds are installed for exactly the same reason as they would be installed in the UK.

The no sub letting rule is also a sign of a quality residential park. This is because the park is a community of like minded people first and foremost and although friends and family are more than welcome to visit it is fair to say that the facilities on the parks are in place for the support and enjoyment of the residents themselves. Not having different neighbours on holiday every two weeks is considered by all the residents currently living on the parks as a God send.

Lifestyle: Each month we try and give readers a little lifestyle information from pets to cars and a lot more besides. This month it is the all about what to expect as a new resident. During the year we have had quite a few new residents arrive to settle into their new home in Spain. Not as scary as it may sound. If flying to Spain we met them at the airport and took them to their new home. If driving from the UK to Spain Malcolm or Sandie met them at the park and then settled them into their new home. The next few days after having arrived it was simply a matter of getting a few provisions in with our help and meeting some of the residents. Not to mention of course getting wifi and telephone connected so chatting to family back home is possible more or less straight away.

After a few days arrangements were made to deal with the registration process. This is needed because an NIE (National Identity Number) issued by the authorities will be required for purchases such as a car or home insurance. New residents are also registered with the local doctors. After that the reception on either park then became the place to go should any new resident require anything else. Malcolm and Sandie were still on hand of course and are invaluable for having answers to any question. They live on the parks themselves and of course know everybody and everything and so if a cheap run around car is required for example they for sure will know someone who is selling one. Rodney and Ann who came in July did just that and their run around did them just fine until they were ready to buy the car they wanted to have long term.

New e-mail alert service: On the 19th of November our first Hotel Special Offer alert e-mail was sent to the registered subscribers currently signed up that service. The alert sent informed them that there was a 3 star hotel in Torremolinos offering 4 night s hotel accommodation INCLUDING breakfast for a total of only 55 per person based on two sharing a hotel room. The dates on offer were for 4 nights in December. Clients booking using the discount booking link in the alert itself were able have the airport transfers service plus a full day seeing the parks and area for only 25 Euros more. The links on how to join this and our price alert service are sent with every e-brochure we send out. We are happy to send the hotel offer sign up link to anyone who requests it.

December viewings: We have a few visits booked for December and are looking forward to welcoming the visitors to Spain and the parks. However, if anyone reading this is also thinking of coming this month we ask if you could please avoid the four days from the 22nd of December until the 26th of December. Not because we can not cope of course but simply because the residents will be getting ready for Christmas and so the homes for sale and the parks themselves will be in Christmas mode. Many residents also have visitors over Christmas.

A few newsletter readers have also booked to arrive in January 2014 after getting Christmas out of the way and of course we have dates available should anyone else like to enjoy a break in Spain during that month as well. Tradition has it that flights to be taken in January and booked before Christmas tends to be quite cheap as demand is quite low. A flight bargain makes a visit even more worth while and a good way to get over Christmas and New Year.

Spanish you will hear: Living in real Spain is one huge part of the retirement lifestyle (it is not all about park life) so why not let us help you in advance to understand a few words that the residents hear all the time when they venture into real Spain which as you already know begins as soon as they exit the park.

For this month the chosen words are La Quenta and normally followed by Por Favor . This is asking for the bill in a bar or restaurant. It is worth remembering however that once living on a park you should refrain from tipping like a tourist. The Spanish would NEVER dream of leaving a tip after enjoying a cup of coffee or a drink in a bar and if we think about it why should they, the service is included in the price. It takes a bit of getting used to but after a few weeks you will be doing the same. After a good meal however a tip is left but again the Spanish will only leave a couple of Euros at most.

Finally: Checking out the concept of living in a community in Spain is not always possible with just one visit. It is the main reason we use two long term residents as your hosts when visiting either park. After the first visit you will have their personal contact details and can contact them as often as you like asking the questions you did not get round to asking them on the day. You have the advantage then of having met the person you are writing to.

Better still is that on a second or third visit to the parks they will be able to help you get a real feel for the park lifestyle because you will already have a good idea as to how good the parks are themselves. Moving to Spain should never be rushed.

It only costs a few hundred Pounds to come and visit the parks in Spain so coming several times is quite a good idea really. It is also worth knowing that with Sandie s and Malcolm s help in choosing the right home, should the time to buy one arrive, you will get a good deal thus making the visits made in advance well worth while.