Picture a sun-drenched, white house with a shady courtyard, perched on a cliff-top site in Spain. With the deep blue sea beyond, and an olive grove nearby, it’s the stuff of which fantasies are made.
Beaches…mountains…fabulous cities…cracking festivals, and, of course, guaranteed sunshine. It’s not surprising that Spain is the most popular country for Europeans seeking a home overseas.
There’s far more to Spain than golf courses and a concrete sprawl of look-alike apartments. Venture a few miles into the Andalucian hinterland, into the far west, along the Bay of Biscay and along the Costa de la Luz and Costa Azahar. The “real Spain” is waiting for you.
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Population: : 47,370,542 (July 2013 est.)
Capital City: Madrid
Climate: Temperate; clear, hot summers in interior, more moderate and cloudy along coast; cloudy, cold winters in interior, partly cloudy and cool along coast
Not everyone looks forward to getting up and going to work. But I’m not complaining. The most difficult task I need to tackle today is to finish packing a suitcase. So I’m having a very leisurely breakfast before heading to the airport for a flight to Barcelona, one of the world’s most electrifying cities. Even though I’ve done it countless times before, I’m really looking forward to…
- Tango in the Park, Markets on the Street…the Fun is Out There
Posted on March 18, 2014 by Suchi Rudra
Over eight years ago, I decided to leave behind the urban jungle of American cities to travel. At the moment, I’m surrounded by the lush green suburbs of Buenos Aires. I’m constantly reminded of Jumanji out here. Thick green, leafy vines have completely taken over property walls and fences, wrapped themselves around tree trunks and flower pots. Palm trees and banana trees rise up like proud flags beside homes and office buildings.
- March 2014: Is Malta The Safest Bet In Real Estate You Can Make Today?
Posted on March 3, 2014 by Ronan McMahon
Is Malta the Safest Bet in Real Estate You Can Make Today? Could Be…Case Study: The Last Great Crisis Investment in Ireland…The Window is Closing on Our “Spanish Triple”…Burma—New Condominium Law that Allows Foreign Ownership…Will U.S. Flights Ever Land at Planned New Airports in Costa Rica and Nicaragua?…The Latin Currencies That Mean a Buying Opportunity for You…And More.
- Make Money in Property Management— No Experience Required
Posted on March 1, 2014 by International Living
Vacation rentals are a great way for an investor to create an income overseas but, unless they’re living next door, anyone who owns a vacation rental needs someone to manage it for them. Property management is a business you can start with absolutely no investment. You are simply trading your time and effort.
The global economic crisis popped Spain’s real estate bubble. That’s why today you could buy a spacious condo in a high-end community on one of the nicest stretches of the Costa del Sol with monthly payments from $483. That’s a low sticker price. And, this is a stunning place to visit and spend time. You have dramatic views along the coast. Long winding sandy beaches you can walk for miles. Quirky Gibraltar.
- Buy in Spain for Less Than the Cost of Construction
Posted on February 25, 2014 by Ronan McMahon
For 15 years, real estate prices in Spain soared. Then in 2007 demand slowed. By the time the worldwide economic crisis rolled through Spain and Europe, the real estate bubble had well and truly popped.
- Europe’s Seductive Tug: How to Indulge without Breaking the Bank
Posted on February 20, 2014 by Jennifer Stevens
Europe may be the second-smallest continent by land mass, but it’s extravagantly diverse in geography, climate, language, and culture. From the flamenco-dancing south of Spain to Rembrandt’s tulip-filled homeland, to the rugged cliffs of Italy’s Mediterranean coast, it’s equally rich with opportunity…for gracious travel…comfortable living…even for good-value investing.
- Ski Jumps and Caribbean Crab Racing: Festivals Around the World
Posted on February 20, 2014 by John Joe Worrall
Not the safest religious tradition we’ve ever heard of, but the Fire Wheel Festival in Sinca Noua, located near the city of Brasov, Romania, does sound like quite a sight. Celebrating the start of Orthodox Lent on March 3, the village asks its young men to roll hay wheels to the top of a local hill before each wheel is set alight. What follows is a true feast with music, drinking, and dancing.
- A Literary Drinking Den, Romantic Spain, Tea with Cats and Much More…
Posted on February 20, 2014 by International Living
Its parks are filled with roses, myrtle and the sound of nightingales. Water still splashes and trickles over marble fountains in the courtyards of its kings… “A pearl among emeralds” was how Moorish poets once described the royal palace of the Alhambra. It was from here that Spain’s last Muslim kingdom, Granada, was ruled and it’s just one of the gems you’ll find in Andalusia, Spain’s huge southern province.
Seductive and sensuous, an amalgam of cultures, Andalusia gets under your skin. Maybe that’s why so many of Spain’s signature sounds and images come from this vast, southern region of the country: castanets, gypsies, flamenco dancers, bull fighters, strumming guitars…This is romantic Spain…the one the tourists flock to.
- Profit from American Burgers in this Catalan Beach Town
Posted on February 20, 2014 by Shanna Kurpe
It’s not just the freshly-ground beef burgers or the perfectly-seasoned curly fries. It’s everything else that makes walking into Big Al’s Burger Bar like stepping back home. From the warm greetings and friendly customer service to the familiar music and on-tap beer, it’s just like a burger joint in the States… except that it’s 2,000 miles away from the U.S., in the Catalan beach town of Sitges.
- $50,000 from May to December… And Never Set Foot in an Office
Posted on February 1, 2014 by Shanna Kurpe
My husband, Kevin, and I both turned 30 this year, and while the rest of our cohort is punching a time clock and climbing up the bitter corporate ladder, we’re sipping sangria on the balcony of our seafront apartment on Spain’s Mediterranean coastline… savoring café con leche (Spanish coffee) as the sun rises…or celebrating with cava (sparkling wine) under the moon.
If you hear yourself asking, “Am I too young or too old to start a business?” you’ve just asked a question that is guaranteed to stop the flow of creative ideas. On the other hand, if you begin with a question like, “What project could I start right now that would add adventure and discovery to my life?” your imagination will get busy answering that bold question.
One advantage of living in Europe is that cheap airfares make the rest of it so accessible. I’ve just got back home to Ireland after an unofficial three-day jaunt to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. This tiny country holds the title for the highest per capita consumption of wine in the world, so there was a good reason to go bar-hopping.
The first time I went to a Spanish speaking country I figured that needing to know the language was over-rated. I jumped on a plane bound for Spain with an exaggerated sense of confidence, and a tiny phrase book that I assumed would cover everything I needed. After landing in Madrid, I found my way to the train that would take me to my destination: the beautiful city of Seville in Andalusia.
In August I visited a new luxury beachfront apartment building on the Costa del Sol’s new Golden Mile. Within eight days earlier this year, 122 apartments in the building sold. The fire-sale pricing was that good: $347,209 for an apartment. Seven months later, these apartments were listing for $528,396 each.
- “You Asked Her WHAT?!!”…Best Get Some Spanish Lessons Fast
Posted on January 21, 2014 by Koren Helbig
Jonathan Ahladas tells a great story about the day his Spanish-born fiancée sent him out solo into the streets of Madrid with a shopping list. It was just a few months after he made the big move across the Atlantic from America to the Spanish capital and at that stage, Jonathan had only a basic grasp of the language thanks to a few months of intensive classes.
In northwest Africa the village of Kartong, Gambia, hosts the Kartong Festival February 7 to 9. Traditional dance, music, and street performances, as well as local arts and crafts, are part of the event, which includes cook-offs and feasts. From February 7 to March 1, the Perth International Arts Festival in Western Australia will sate your appetite for the art.
- Breakfast in Paris, Lunch in Barcelona…and much more
Posted on January 20, 2014 by International Living
Colombians have been visiting the colonial town of Salento in the heart of the country’s Coffee Triangle for decades. Its colorful bahareque architecture and the proximity of the vast and magnificent Cocora National Park are just two attractions. Trout is a specialty dish. And costs of living are low. For example, expats who have settled in the region report renting for just $200 a month.
In medieval Europe, keeping an eye out for and guarding against invasion—a frequent occurrence in those days—was no easy feat. But one of a nobleman’s greatest defensive weapons was a castle perched on a rocky hilltop near an important mountain pass. The location itself—surrounded by steep cliff—offered protection.
For anyone who’s been there recently, it’s no surprise that Spain is one of the top five destinations in International Living’s Global Retirement Index—our pick of the top retirement destinations in the world. Spain is arguably the best bargain in Europe, offering First-World living at a cost that can compete with some Latin-American countries. Thanks to the ongoing recession, real estate prices in many parts of Spain have plummeted. Buying here is more affordable now than it’s been in decades.
- In Pictures: The World’s Best Retirement Havens in 2014
Posted on January 5, 2014 by Annie Power
For more than 30 years, International Living has been researching the best retirement havens in the world…and every January the Annual Global Retirement Index is released—highlighting the best places for you to retire. This Index ranks the top 24 countries in the world for retirement in 8 categories. The top 10 countries that feature on the list this year each bring spectacular benefits for retirees living overseas—from great health care and ideal climates to a low cost of living and financial perks for retirees. Starting with number 10, here are our top retirement havens for 2014.
Whatever you see on our leader board, just remember, we measure here only the very best havens. So the country last on our list—newcomer to the Index Cambodia—is still one of the best in the world. In each of these destinations, you’ll find thousands of folks who have already found their dream retirements. You can too, and this 2014 Retirement Index is designed to get you started. It covers all the bases, revealing a wealth of choice when it comes to a comfortable life overseas…
My husband and I have been traveling full-time for a little over three years. It started in 2010 when we sold most everything we owned and moved into a 30-foot motorhome. We spent 14 months traveling the East Coast of the U.S., while running our marketing and technology business from the small dining room table—you know, the one that also converts into a single bed.
The devil masks worn for the Diablada de Pillaro (The Dance of the Devils) in Pillaro, Ecuador, have spawned a whole school of art. It’s well worth joining the thousands of onlookers to see the elaborate processions that take place each night from New Year’s Day to January 6. The feast of Edina Bronya, which essentially represents Christmas for the people of Ghana, in west Africa, falls this year on January 2.
First-World cities with every modern convenience, beachfront hideaways, medieval towns, tropical islands, temperate mountain valleys… You can chose your favorite climate, your preferred lifestyle…the place you feel most at home…because the world’s best retirement havens have it all… and for pennies on the dollar, too.
- Buy a Traditional Mountain Home in Andalucía for as Little as $90,000
Posted on December 17, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
The white-washed town of Istán clings to the slopes of the Sierra de las Nieves (Mountains of the Snows). It’s a truly hidden place—yet stunningly and conveniently positioned. I’ve visited plenty of charming hill towns and villages in Spain, France, and Italy where real estate is cheap. But the downside has always been remoteness. Istán is different.
There’s something I never told you about my recent trip to Spain’s southern coast. If you review my full report from that area you’ll notice that the prediction I made about the La Duquesa condos—that they would sell fast—has come true. The units I recommended are now completely sold out.
In the Kisama Heritage Village in Nagaland, northeast India, the Hornbill Festival is a huge celebration of the indigenous warrior tribes of the region. Taking place between December 1 and 7, the festival is named after the Indian Hornbill, a large and colorful forest bird. You’ll need a government permit to visit, but it’s worth it to experience the beauty contest, archery, wrestling, and lots of singing and dancing.
The savviest investors and businessmen in the world are taking advantage of the bargains in Europe and you should be doing the same. “A few months ago, when I was researching European dividendpaying stocks, I learned about Neil Woodford and his favorite stock,” says Evaldo Albuquerque of Sovereigninvestor.com. “Not many people in the U.S. have heard about Neil Woodford. But in the UK, he’s a superstar…the UK version of Warren Buffett.
- Two Pockets of Opportunity in Europe—Window Now Closing
Posted on November 18, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
Real estate bubbles send all prices too high. When they pop, they bring everything down with them. Sometimes too far. The same irrational views that drove the prices up help push them down, and for a short time quality properties become very cheap. That’s when you should buy: before the fear subsides and prices go up once again.
- Troglodyte Homes: Around the World…and Underground
Posted on November 18, 2013 by International Living
The accepted story goes that as humankind progressed over the millennia, we abandoned our cave shelters in favor of constructed homes. But plenty of folks still live in dwellings carved out of volcanic rock, into mountains, rocky hillsides, cliffs, or quarries. And they aren’t living a primitive life in caveman-style homes, either (though they are referred to as “troglodyte” homes).
When I started learning Spanish in Spain some years ago, I never envisioned how helpful it would become. Mostly, I just wanted to know how to order food, talk to people a bit and avoid embarrassing myself as much as possible. The more I learned, however, the more I discovered how much of a key that speaking the language is. Spanish has opened many doors for me—in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Cuba and Mexico.
It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas. If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on. Your interests can turn into a career that you love…
- October 2013: A New Opportunity to Profit in Brazil
Posted on October 23, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
Your October issue of Real Estate Trend Alert is ready. Here is just some of what you’ll find in your latest issue:
∗ A New Opportunity to Profit in Brazil: I’ve scouted an exciting new deal in Brazil’s Northeast where there is still a window of opportunity to profit. There are limited lots (only 43 left) for members at a special 10% discount with developer financing before the project launches to the local market. Find out more…
- The Secrets to Finding a Rental for a Trial Run in Europe
Posted on October 17, 2013 by Valerie Fortney Schneider
You’ve made plans, set tentative dates…you’re almost ready to take off on your three- or six-month European tour…the next step is a roof over your head. But the short-term rentals offered online can be sickeningly expensive. Fully furnished and ready to go they may be, but with prices often multiples of those you’ll find on the ground, there are better ways to look.
Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Often that’s what I pay for accommodation when I travel. But I’m not roughing it. I’ve been in unique and unforgettable places around the world. I’ve made friends, met interesting people and learned new skills. Sometimes I feel as if I’ve cheated the system. But it’s entirely above board.
- Living in Spain: Enjoy an Affordable Lifestyle on the Coast
Posted on October 16, 2013 by Glynna Prentice
I love Spain. Every time I’m there I fall right back into the lifestyle. Someone recently described the Spanish as having “perfected the art of hanging out,” and I have to admit I agree. They’ve raised it to an art form. And the siesta? Greatest invention since sliced bread, in my book. I’m not alone in my assessment. I meet folks all the time who say, “Spain? Oh, yeah….” And then they sigh.
- Where to Get More for Your Dollar (and What to do if it Devalues…)
Posted on October 3, 2013 by Jennifer Stevens
You ain’t nothin but a hound dog…cryin’ all the time… Well, you ain’t never caught a rabbit… And you ain’t no friend of mine… Elvis was in the house last night. Young Elvis. Dressed in a nicely tailored black suit with a white, open-collared shirt, he serenaded our VIP readers over cocktails in the 20th-floor penthouse here at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. As I wandered through the crowd yesterday evening, I was pleased to hear that—the occasional Elvis recollection aside—the conversations had turned to the details shared thus far about the world’s best retirement destinations.
- How to Switch Careers with an Easy, Profitable Skill
Posted on September 26, 2013 by Efraín M. Padró
My former attorney colleagues and I used to joke that there were three kinds of closing arguments you could make to a jury: the one you carefully prepared, the one you actually delivered, and the one you wish you had given. Few things ever happen as planned. Nevertheless my “life” plan (the one I carefully prepared) was to practice law until I retired at 65; then I would pursue photography and maybe make a little money on the side.
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