When you go to another country to live obviously you need to learn the lingo sooner or later, it’s better sooner so get onto it straight away. Having lived here in Valencia for years all of us here at Valencia Property speak Spanish fluently, some with more of an accent than others of course, and one of the things we understand more than anything is the lingo of the Valencia Property purchase.
Today, therefore we are going to help you to navigate your way around the language that you may hear when visiting Valencia Property. Owners and agents can be a bit mad and they will say all sorts of rubbish just to avoid an awkward silence or pause in the conversation. Suffice to say that you can basically prepare a bingo card to play along with as you visit properties with these sayings from owners and agents that you get to hear very often. Listen up.
Things We Hear When Visiting Property
There are lots of things that we hear over and over again when we are looking at property in Valencia. We are actually pretty sure that you can hear these phrases all over Spain too and when translated they are probably international but these are the most common phrases we hear when out and about.
“De los muebles se puede hablar” – “We can talk about the furniture”
Real Translation: Pay me money for stuff I cannot be bothered to move.
We love talking about the furniture, that sofa the owners ask 400 Euros for because they bought it for 500 twenty years ago. The scratches on the arm from the cat, the stains (Let’s not get into the stains), the lack of cushioning in the foam… they mean nothing to the owner of this sofa, it’s worth 400 still! Erm… no it isn’t.
“Ahi viven“, – “Someone lives there”
Real Translation: it’s going to be difficult to view, don’t expect to go when you want to go or maybe even don’t expect to go at all.
This one comes from the agents when we contact them. Oftentimes it’s the child of a divorced couple who lives there rent free and they do everything they can to avoid any visits being made and if you do manage to get in then…. what awaits you. A newly created mess of dirty clothes, exotic teenager smells and dishes with three weeks of washing caked into them. It’s at that point that we use the “You’ve got to look past the dirt” gambit!
“El propietario es especial” – “The owner is special”
Real Translation: The owner is old, old skool, smells, rude, generally unpleasant.
Perm any of the above. Maybe just one of them, maybe all of them. Agents are generally terrified of owners as they don’t want to lose the listing or potentially not get paid and therefore they won’t lift a finger to bother the owner whose house they are trying to sell supposedly because of the catch-all “El propietario es muy especial”. The truth is that the owner might be the nicest person in the World but the agent has been told by their boss not to lose the listing so refuses to do anything that they themselves may consider annoying.
“Y algo en B si quieren” – “Some payment in cash if they can/want”
Real Translation: Please help me pay less capital gains/fleece ex spouse/launder money. During the boom years of the early 2000’s there was always a part of the price paid in B as they call it here. Owners insisted on it or they wouldn’t sell the property to the potential buyer. Why? Because they wanted to avoid paying taxes such as capital gains. They sold it to the buyers as a benefit for both of them as the buyer would pay less purchase tax. What they failed to mention was that buyers then get screwed over on sale when they declared the full amount because Capital Gains tax was higher than purchase tax.
These days money is much more traceable but even so owners often ask for money in B. At times you may pay something for the furniture if the place is furnished decently and not like in our first example above but not a lot to help an owner avoid tax. It’s illegal, but it still happens.
By the way, the second reason happens. When the owner is going through a divorce we often get asked to declare a bit less so the spouse receving half gets less than half in reality. Our lawyers disabuse the owners of that notion!
“Esto es lo mejor que hay” – “This the best thing about the place”
Real Translation: They are showing you a pantry, some western saloon doors, a particular shelf or something mundane that cost the owner some money ages ago, usually rubbish. I really can’t say much more about this sentence because it is never something that you would really want/ask for/or not get rid of immediately you move in.
“No te hace nada“, “ Don’t worry, he won’t bite”
Real Translation: The dog who is currently trying to copulate with your leg or baste your face in preparation for eating you later is harmless. Never mind the fact it will cover you in hairs/bark and generally get in the way of the viewing though. Never mind about that smell of dog that permeates every room but most especially the bedroom and never mind about the hairs everywhere that are making Graham sneeze and his eyes water because of his allergies. That’s no problem because he won’t maim you straight away.
“Tiene muchos novios” – “It has a lot of suitors”
Real Translation: We’ve done loads of viewings but no-one has bought it yet. We have had some professional photos done and they look great because of wide angle lenses, photoshop and lighting. However, when you get here the actual state of the place tends to turn people off so we call previous visitors “Novios” even though they have shown no interest in the property after leaving, we haven’t had any offers or even questions about the place once the visit was over.
“No tengo prisa en vender” – “I’m in no rush to sell”
Real Translation: It’s overpriced but I won’t admit it yet. This may mean they won’t accept your very generous offer of 400k even though they are only asking 410k. They’ll wait for someone to offer full price. Truth is, if it’s good they’ll get it. If it isn’t then it will be on the market for a long time with them insisting that it has a lot of “Novios”
“Necesita mejoras” – “Needs improvements.”
Real Translation: “I know its a dump I just couldn’t be bothered to actually do anything myself and now it’s just too late innit!” We can see it needs improvements, it doesn’t need saying.
“Es un cuarto sin ascensor eh?” – “It’s a fourth floor with no lift eh?”
Real Translation: Your client better be bloody serious about buying or I am not dragging my a*se up four flights of stairs. This is an agent saying that it was 40 degrees last week and they had four visits to this place meaning they have let their gym membership lapse. They will only show it if our client signs a form using their own blood that they know it is fourth floor without a lift and that they are not bothered by that fact! Heaven help you if you are not particularly impressed with it once you get up the stairs. The disgust emanating from the agent will be palpable.
“¿Pero ya han visto el video?” – They do know it’s a sh*thole, yeah?
Real Translation: OK so that’s not the literal translation but we are not in a literary world here, it’s what is the real meaning of the phrase, “But they have seen the video right?” That is the literal translation. The sentence comes with a disbelief that anyone could be seriously interested in the property if they had looked at the video. This phrase is usually when the place is a wreck and needs a full reform. What the agent forgets is that this is exactly what our clients are looking for at times. They like the area so as they will probably be doing a modernisation anyway it may as well be a wreck!
“¿Pero ya conocen algo de la zona?” – They do know it’s in a sh*thole area, yeah?
Real Translation: Again that’s not a literal translation, the real translation is “But they know something about the area right?”, we added in the “sh*thole”. This is when the agent doesn’t like the area themselves so they apply their own prejudices to the area the property is in. They think you should be buying in Ensanche not Ruzafa. They think you shouldn’t touch Nazaret or the Cabanyal because twenty years ago when they were growing up their parents told them these places were dangerous. First impressions last in Valencia. However, we tend to ignore this prejudice because we will have already told you if it were awful and we wouldn’t want to be visiting!
“¿Los abogados, sabes como son, no?” – Lawyers, you know what they’re like right?
Real Translation: It’s definitely illegal so we don’t want you to use a lawyer who might find that out. One of the reasons we always say, use a lawyer.
“Informarte bien antes que nada!!!!!” – “Make sure to check the property out!
Real Translation: They are going to knock it down but we are not going to tell you that. You have to find that out for yourself but we have said “Make sure to check it out” so you can’t sue us when you find out that it is going to be knocked down next week!
There are more of course but these are the ones we hear the most from people. Have you heard any of your own that we should know about? If so, let us know. Send us a whatsapp to 0034 657994311 or a mail to Valencia Property. We’d love to hear your experiences.
Valencia Property of the Week
In last week’s blog we recommended a beach apartment and about ten minutes after publishing it, it was sold! Them’s the breaks. This week therefore we are hoping this will stick around a bit longer.
“Many of you will know that one of the first things we request of prospective clients is that they fill out the requirements form on our website. The most common “Must-Have” by far is outdoor space. Now you would think in Valencia what with the climate here that we would all have balconies where we while away the evenings drinking Agua de Valencia and listening to the sweet sweet sounds of Chimo Bayo. Not so, unfortunately. It’s true you will have something in the majority of properties that would be classified as outdoor space, but a lot of the time it amounts to a gallery just wide enough for you to hang out your clothes to dry.
This apartment however probably has enough outdoor square metrage that they could donate a metre or two to every other apartment in Valencia and still have enough left over for you to enjoy your traditional Spanish breakfast of coffee and cigarettes. Okay, I´m exaggerating but this terrace measures 80 (EIGHT ZERO!!) square meters and has an outdoor kitchen installed to boot. It’s connected to the sizeable living room on 2 sides with ceiling-to-floor doors, and you could feasibly live 10 months of the year just between these 2 spaces (toilet breaks excepted obvs).
To go along with the 80m2 outside, there’s 120m2 inside to play with. The apartment needs a little bit of work but it’s not a complete overhaul we’re talking about here. Located in the latest “barrio de moda” of Patraix, within walking distance to the city centre, you will be well connected with the metro station a few minutes away, bus lines that take you to anywhere in the city and beyond, and plenty of neighbourhood bars and restaurants to keep you sated. Oh, and to top it off there’s a parking garage and storage space included. If this sounds up your street then don’t dawdle, places like this don’t tend to hang around for long.”
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