Your Valencia Questions Answered

Last Friday we had a Whatsapp Q+A where we answered questions for everyone on our Whatsapp list. Our whatsapp list is where we send out notifications of new listings, price drops, blog posts, podcasts and more so that people can keep up to date with the market here in Valencia. If you want to join the list just let us know, you can find out how at the end. The Q+A was going really well until I used the word "Bribery" as a joke answer to a question. At that point things got a lot quieter and I found out later that people had stopped receiving the messages after that point. I am working on the assumption that Whatsapp throttled our messages after this point because every time I sent a message over 200 people received it.

Therefore today we are going to go through the questions and answers and include the lost messages as lots of people were following along. Next time we'll use a different method such as a Youtube live event, Zoom to hark back to lockdown or something like that.

Your Questions

Are they still working on eliminating the GV?

Yes. Can I tell you when it will end? No not yet. Likely to be before the summer break for politicians but not clear yet. We have a blog which I will be continually updating about this as news comes out

How safe are these areas, LEliana, Canyada, Campolivar, Santa Barbara. Do they have a guarda civil or local police?

Extremely safe. All of them have local police and you see the Giardia at times but towns are the responsibility of local police usually. Guardia is outside towns and then big crimes so they are rarely seen except on highways where they control the mad driving

I know estimated fees on buying are 15% over purchase price. What would you say those would be for selling without assuming capital gains which will be a separate issue.

Selling costs are really low. Notary registry and gestor are around 0.6% for the seller and usually sellers pay an agency for selling at 3%. Capital gains depends on the profit after all costs of purchase and selling are taken into account and usually average out around 22% of net profit

About renting. Every realtor I have spoken to has asked for 1 month plus VAT. I was told though that the law had changed though regarding charging that fee to the renter but it seems to be the same everywhere

The law has changed. You will still be asked for it. Contracts are often not long term but limited to 11 months so they can ask for a commission. The law has made the system even more of a minefield.

Have any of your clients moved to Spain by making the 90 / 180 day rule work for them

Yes many. We get lots of non eu clients who spend up to 90 days here then return to their original country or move to a third non Schengen country (UK, USA, Morocco etc) then come back. Also we set up Stepping Stone Rentals for those wanting to rent out their place while they weren’t here. For those of you wanting to know more about SSR feel free to shoot us a mail from the webpage.

What do you do to learn Spanish when you get there. I'm nervous about it

Immerse yourself as much as possible. Start with an intensive course there are loads of providers in the city itself and then make sure to practice outside class by going to small shops rather than supermarkets, meet ups, groups, hobbies etc. The Spanish are very helpful to anyone trying to speak Spanish so make the effort and you’ll be rewarded.

Who can you recommend for health insurance? And other insurances too?

We use a broker called Gidea insurance. They do all insurances and they find the best deal for your particular case. Diana in their office is lovely and friendly and gets good deals for people.

How do you get a network of people around you, friends etc… when moving alone

Yeah finding your people is difficult at times. We actually have an article coming up about this in a couple of weeks via a networking group for introverts in the city. But your hobbies, your interests and more are catered to here and I think that’s where many people find their tribe. People with kids usually find other parents and so have an initial advantage but setting up something around your interests can work really well too.

There was a follow up to this answer

Tony said:

"I have joined a lot of facebook groups before coming and have been able to connect with people when I'm on the ground there".

It’s a good point but be careful about Facebook groups. We have more questions to come about them so I’ll have more to say soon

Is it too early to crack the wine open ? ???

That totally depends on you. If you were asking me that from California I’d say it sure is but I know you are just to the north of me so as it’s Friday…. ?

This just popped up in my feed: Is it really true? I don't have an account to get much past the headline.

The article says that flats in the centre of Valencia under 250k are sold in less than 5 hours and the demand is off the scale. It was published on Thursday the 9th of May.

Is it true?

Yes totally

Wow. I thought it was hyperbole.

It’s not hyperbole. We are really struggling to find things under that price that aren’t awful. We sold a pocket listing to first visitor this week at asking price of 250k not even advertised anywhere.

Is it easy to get a workers visa from a Spanish company?

No and I’d go as far to say as it’s almost impossible. The company need to prove that you could do the job better than anyone from the EU27 and that’s difficult. I was talking to someone with a highly skilled worker visa today, they work in the UN, and that is the first I have seen here ever!

Follow up answer to this.

If you are a couple of years out from coming maybe start preparing yourself for the Digital Nomad Visa or the NLV. Perhaps you can set up a company that does “something” and pay yourself a salary from that company as when you apply for the DNV you have to show a year of attachment to companies paying you as a contractor for example.

Coming from the US, I often imagine Spain and most of Europe as a whirlwind of never ending taxes. Do you have a list of what can be expected as a resident and owning an apartment or property?

We have a blog about that and just as well as it’s a long answer Long story short. The upfront costs of buying are high, the ongoing costs are really really low.

Also on taxes

Can you please explain property taxes in more detail? There's a tax when you purchase a property that's quite high, how is it figured? And then annually what are the taxes or other government fees and charges for property ownership? And finally what's a reasonable expectation as far as utilities and other costs when you own a property ( I know that varies of course)

See the blog above. Ongoing taxes ridiculously low on property ownership. The big one is the 10% on purchase

Any way to speed up the processing of renovation permit applications that are pending at (Cabanyal) town hall?

Bribery is the only thing I can think of

(And at this point many people were locked out. As a meta joke I should just finish the article here ;-) However...)

I would always use a recommended supplier of services, in this case an architect, with good contacts in the town hall. Ask them for proof of what they have done before and how long it took and make sure that if at all possible you are applying for an obra menor licence rather than an obra mayor. The Cabanyal is the slowest place in the region for licences due to the demand and the protected nature of many of the houses

Follow up question

Is a permit necessary for minor renovations on interiors? (And this is why I know not everyone was locked out as this question came in after the answer.)

Yes. It’s called an Obra Menor permit and doesn’t require an architect’s plan. Therefore it is usually granted in days

Graham what do you think the price range approximately would be for a 2 bedroom apartment in/out of complex in a satellite town with rail links to Valencia ?

It's at this point that I started answering with voice notes as the answers required were longer. Therefore the transcription of the voice note is below.

"As this will be a very long answer I'll do it in the form of a voice note and keep it to a minute if I can. It depends on the town, it depends how far away you are from the town and it depends on a lot of other factors. You can get anything from a few hundred thousand to down to a hundred thousand or something. Two-bedroom apartments in Naquera for example, we've sold one recently for a hundred and fifteen thousand which had a swimming pool etc. In my town we sold a two-bedroom apartment a few months back which was a hundred and twenty-five thousand which is a really nice place overlooking the market. We sold a four-bedroom place that needed some work around a hundred and twenty. We've sold down in Cullera for example near the beach we've got places a hundred and fifteen hundred and twenty but all of these places are a bit farther away from the city. When you go a bit closer it gets more expensive. It's like a ripple effect from the city. The further away you get from the city the cheaper it gets. You can go all the way out to somewhere like Chelva which is 45 minutes from Valencia about 60 kilometers and you'll find a place for 70-80 thousand."

58 seconds of voice message summarised above. Not bad!!! By the way I used Talknotes to get the transcription done.

Do you have any insights you can share on schools? I’ve had a few responses so far saying waitlists are all closed as they’re oversubscribed.

A lot of insights on schools. Ok first thing. My school blog. And below the transcription of my answer which I gave in a voicenote.

"With the school blog you've got to read between the lines with some of the entries and there are a few things which I'm gonna add in the next few days. It constantly gets updated as we find more information about the schools from individuals there was an interesting thing on one of the Facebook groups today (and we'll get onto to Facebook in a minute) with somebody who'd had a really bad experience at the American school and I think you've got to know these things but they're never going to publicize them so the issue always is to get in touch with us and ask for a conversation on this. As soon as we finish this at five o'clock I've got three calls with parents because this is the time of year when people are trying to get the kids into schools. I've got three calls with parents who are wondering which schools they should be sending their kids to and I spoke with somebody this morning who managed to get a place for the children in Cambridge House for eight and five years and that's unusual because getting two places in the same school where there is availability is unusual"

Waitlists are closed if they have ten or more on them I think as the likelihood of getting in is virtually zero unless you have one child in and then any siblings go to the top of the waitlist in other years

15 mins left so any questions shoot. I have a couple more left (At this point I was essentially talking to myself but we still had a list of questions to go through!)

Which facebook groups are worth looking at or joining?

Ok, there are so many that aren’t but there are those that can have very useful information and great contributors

Expats Valencia
Expats in Valencia
Remote Work Europe
Expats living and working in Valencia
Move to Spain
Americans in Spain
Digital Nomad Visa Spain
Hiking in Valencia
Valencia Expats
Expats Retired or Working and Living in Spain

Then I answered the question with a voice note and some caveats.

"Okay, and they all come with a pinch of salt. For example, the Move to Spain group has got over 160,000 people in it, and people don't check what posts have been made, what questions have been done, so you get repeats of the same questions again and again, It also seems that you get the most stupid questions in there as well, because people have done no research whatsoever and because of the sheer numbers of members. I always say there's never a stupid question if you're asking us, but believe me, in this group, there are some really stupid questions. I also think many are trolling and posting under "Anonymous Member" as their name.

Be very careful in any of the groups. As soon as you ask some questions, as soon as you mention money, you'll get loads of messages saying PM or DM, private message or direct message. They are almost 100% scammers. Also, you'll get people like, for example, there's one person in one of the groups who every time he answers, he says, by the way, you should use (Redacted Name), for example. "Redacted name" is an agent here", Now I know her, she's very nice, but every single time he says you should use her because she's the best, he's recommending his partner. I mean, if you're going to do this, at least express an interest. "Oh, this is my partner, she does this".

We always answer the question asked or say, here's a blog post, it's got your answer in, or if we haven't got a blog post about it I might write one. But generally we put the answers that people need for the things, and never actually shill for business. That is our credo on it. Be very careful, there's lots of scammers in the groups, but the groups are very useful, especially if you use the search function, because the questions that you've got have probably been asked before as well and sometimes there are very useful answers in there"

Tell us more about the event in September you have mentioned

"Some of you looking at these answers have already bought with us, I know that, nice to see you here. Yeah, we are having an event in September for people who've bought property with us and also people who've rented property with us in the last couple of years, and we're inviting everyone for some free drinks. It'll be around September the 11th, 12th or 13th. So if you are currently thinking of buying, you best get a move on if you want to come to the event in September. It's to celebrate 25 years of Valencia Property.

We have been here for a long time now, this is the 25th year I've been doing this, so as you can imagine, we've had quite a bit of experience. To celebrate we're going to have this event in September, and we're going to be sending out more information as we go along. We've already had a lot of people interested in going to it, even though a lot of our clients won't be here because they buy and they move in and out of the country remember the thing we said before about the 90 days in, 90 days out, quite a lot of our clients do that. The majority live here, and we'll see how many turn up and say hello, and how many are happy with our services. We're going to have a videographer there, and we're also going to have photos of the event, it should be interesting."

Has Brexit changed the way Brits buy or come to live in Spain

Oh yeah. Again a longer answer which I have written about before in the blog

"So, previously people saved up all their life and then they'd sell their house in the UK, buy a cheaper one over here in Spain, and live off savings and pension. And they used to be able to do that because Britain was in the European Union and you could do that no problem. Now, there's a 90-day rule, and Brits are not in the European Union, so they can't do that. (They generally get zero points in Eurovision too now *Topical) So they have to prove that they've got a certain amount of money, and the thing is, British pensions are terrible, and therefore a lot of Brits can't afford to come over here, because even if they could afford to live here, they can't show that they've got the amount of money that you need to live here, which is around €32,000 for a couple per year, and you've got to prove you have that money. The second year, when you do your renewal, it doubles to €64,000, and a lot of Brits can't afford to buy the house and do that as well, and that's problematic, especially since prices have risen in the last ten years whereby state pensions haven't. British pensions are really low, unless people have got an occupational pension from a civil service job or something like that. On the other hand, people who were going to spend £300,000 or £400,000, until recently they were getting a Golden Visa by spending £500,000, upping their budget, but again, the Golden Visa will be stopping soon, we don't know when exactly, as I said before, so we'll see what happens at that point.

Why do you do a podcast? I see you only have a few hundred listens on each episode

You can hear all of the episodes here. There are more than forty and we produce a new one each month. The voicenote answer...

"Well, this is the voice you hear on the podcast most of the time, it's mine. And the reason we do it, is because some people prefer to listen rather than reading and they hear things in a different way. But secondly, and very important, we don't need thousands and thousands and thousands of listeners. We're not trying to make money from a podcast in the sense of selling advertising on it or anything like that. Basically, it's there to give information in a different way and provide a service to our potential clients. The people who do listen to it generally go on to be our clients because again, we've proved our abilities, we've proved our experience and our knowledge.

Visit Our Podcast Page Here

The podcast is probably our greatest lead generator of any of the things we do. We've got this blog, obviously, we've got the main webpage itself, the properties themselves. We're on Facebook, we're on Twitter, we're on all sorts of social media, Instagram, YouTube, etcetera. And I'd say the podcast brings us more clients than anything else. So that's the reason we continue to do the podcast.

And if anyone asks us anything, I mean, these questions, for example, we might use those questions in the next podcast as like another FAQ thing. We have asked our whatsapp list for voicenote questions before and got many. These episodes tend to be very, very popular but require a bit more editing.

Also, the numbers you see on there aren't the only listens, because they're up on Podbean, but they're also on Google Podcasts (Although this is closing down soon), Apple Podcasts, Spotify, they're also on YouTube, they're on various other podcast listening services. So there are actually more listens than it says for each podcast. But yeah, we get brilliant feedback from people from the podcast. (except those who say I speak too fast and they can't understand my accent. But hey, it is what it is and I do try my slightly posher off Liverpool accent at times and I do slow down a bit)

What other cities along the Mediterranean coast have a feel like Valencia? Alicante? Murcia? Others you can think of? And, since Valencia's home prices are up and inventory is down, which of those cities have good value?

Missed this one. Alicante is a sort of mini Valencia but not with the same vibe. We have a post about that on the blog. Murcia is a hellhole at 45 degrees in the summer. Are they good value? well, prices are going up everywhere and property is scarce everywhere too. You can probably find good value there but we don't really cover those areas as we are more concentrated in and around Valencia city.

Thanks for joining in everyone. I hope other people's questions were useful to you too. Any more questions feel free to shoot them my way and you'll get more individual answers. Have a great weekend. I’m off to talk with some parents for schools now.

And a bit later I sent a couple more messages

Just a quick message. A couple of people told me that they stopped receiving messages after I said “Bribery” ?. Others have told me that they were getting messages for the whole hour.

If anyone stopped receiving messages let me know. Anyway I’ll be posting a lot of this in next week’s blog.

Ten confirmations now that it stopped after bribery for many people and one who says they thought I had gone for wine. Will post all the questions on the blog next Monday and send out a link then


I need to find a better way of doing this. If you have any suggestions that have worked for you then let me know. I know all about Zoom and things but really really dislike the "Can you hear me" "It seems you are on mute" "Can you turn your microphone on" merry go round of Zoom. We will find another way for the next one and you'll all get the invite.

Property of the Week

You get a lot more for your money outside the more traditional areas of La Eliana, Betera and Rocafort as examples. Go just a few minutes further, in this case just past the golf course at El Bosque and up the hill so you get some great views, and you can find special properties like this one.

Large, imposing and at the same time inviting, this modernised property overlooking the valleys to the South of Calicanto offers you plenty of places to relax and enjoy yourself along with your extended family, friends or just your significant other half.

The gardens are easy maintenance with various areas for outside eating, drinking and being merry and there is a secluded pool area too. This place looks amazing in the Valencian sun.

Inside we go through a front door into an impressive hall with the living room to the left, a bedroom and bathroom to the right and a large, light kitchen diner further down the hall.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms and two more bathrooms. The main bedroom has an en-suite and a perfect outside terrace with views over the orange fields of inland Valencia.

The photos speak for themselves but why the sale? Downsizing. The family has flown the nest and this is a huge house. Perfect for you in fact if you are looking in this price range.

If You Liked This...

We have also done other posts answering questions so take a look here for more of our answers. Just click on the images.

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