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Buying overseas and giving up camping???


Dave225

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Just a thought seeing as it is the start of a New Year and ideas are usually in the mind.

 

Would one, should one even consider buying property abroad? Do not get me wrong we happily enjoy our trips with our outfit each year, and do have the satisfaction of being able to come home at the end of the season without worry about what we may leave behind.

 

However...........

 

Time is passing, we are getting older, the outfit is getting older and may need replacing sooner or later. The hassle of the drive does me no favours but to stay at home is possibly even more depressing as the weather and the costs will drive me to drink. Maybe that is a positive, I do not know.

 

Property in Spain is probably as cheap as it is going to get, give or take a few thousand euros and we do wonder if maybe this could be a time to dabble. Not at the expensive end of the scale but a sum where if it all did go totally apes...t then well, we would complain but not starve. And if we could have it till deathbed makes us depart, and leave it to the kids, well possibly an advantage. We have looked at the ins and outs, and yes, all the scare stories about illegal properties and dodgy lawyers, but again at the end we are looking at, that is not so much of an issue, provided we check as much as we can. The advantages are that we can get a 3 hour flight for less than ¼ of the cost of driving over 4 days. We could reduce each trip and make more of them. We could leave our stuff, and have more of it. The place we are looking at has a great community and is not the terrible new builds of some of the Costas. Walk to the bar/restuarant/beach, stagger home afterwards. Let the kids use it for the odd weekend they are free. Very tempting I admit. Inheritance tax??? Too small a cost to worry about, and if all did go belly up here, then I could skive out for longer and maybe even consider a fulltime move, but again at my age, I doubt it. Have seen a place that is interesting and at a cost that is attractive. Of courseit may not still, be available and we may find it is next door to the local tip but....

 

Anyway, the brain is ticking and I am wondering..........

 

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Guest pelmetman

If your buying purely as a holiday home then your right the prices ain't going to get much cheaper than they are now ;-)................as the Russians are moving in :-S..........

 

But I'd make sure I kept a UK......or should that be ;-)........a independent Scottish base :D.............and I doubt the purchase and running costs will be much different than a new camper ;-).................although parking with EHU might be useful for forum freeloaders B-)........

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Hi Dave. Could just about be right to buy in Spain. My cousin bought a new house abt 50 mile south of Alicante 7 yr ago, price 120,000 euro, he reckons it's now worth 40,000 euro. Big Big Hit but says he won't come back, the weather alone is worth it ,so they're staying there.

 

Dave

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Interesting - We have been looking at the same for a while now.

 

We have decided to rent somewhere for a while and then check out our options. But we too are considering exactly what you set out.

 

A while back I posted about a place we had found that had great accommodation as well as an attached "granny annexe" that would have made the place both extremely flexible as well as a potential source of rental income.

 

Sadly we are coming to the conclusion that with cheap flights but expensive fuel costs then lugging your accommodation around behind you - be it MH or C'van or 5th wheeler - may not be the best option. But the problem of choosing the wrong place/location is a very real one.

 

And yes things could never be cheaper than they are now in Spain - but on balance we tend to prefer Portugal.

 

Or the South of France near Perpignan - having spent many happy hours in that region with the Med in front and the Pyrenees as a backdrop behind - I am not sure it gets much better.

 

 

 

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CliveH - 2014-01-01 8:11 PM

 

Interesting - We have been looking at the same for a while now.

 

We have decided to rent somewhere for a while and then check out our options. But we too are considering exactly what you set out.

 

A while back I posted about a place we had found that had great accommodation as well as an attached "granny annexe" that would have made the place both extremely flexible as well as a potential source of rental income.

 

Sadly we are coming to the conclusion that with cheap flights but expensive fuel costs then lugging your accommodation around behind you - be it MH or C'van or 5th wheeler - may not be the best option. But the problem of choosing the wrong place/location is a very real one.

 

And yes things could never be cheaper than they are now in Spain - but on balance we tend to prefer Portugal.

 

Or the South of France near Perpignan - having spent many happy hours in that region with the Med in front and the Pyrenees as a backdrop behind - I am not sure it gets much better.

 

 

 

With a bargain banger on the drive ;-)...................what else would one need B-)

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Well there is that Dave - we are still keen on a 5th Wheeler and go permanent for a year or two.

 

But having looked at air fares compared to fuel costs of anything other than a modern diesel car - the comparison does not make "touring" as attractive as it once was.

 

 

 

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CliveH - 2014-01-01 8:26 PM

 

Well there is that Dave - we are still keen on a 5th Wheeler and go permanent for a year or two.

 

But having looked at air fares compared to fuel costs of anything other than a modern diesel car - the comparison does not make "touring" as attractive as it once was.

 

 

 

As I see it................It costs the same to drive to Spain and back............whether you do it in a fortnight or take 6 months or a year Clive ;-)

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Fair comment Dave - when walking the dogs a while back I had a chat with a guy down from London who had lived for several years in a mobile home in Spain whilst he rented his house out. He even bought an adjacent Mobile Home on the sight to rent out in the summer and for family to use at other times.

 

He did this for 7 years and only came back when they wanted to be near the grandkids growing up.

 

He said it worked really well and he still got a fair bit back when he sold up.

 

I think the thing to remember is that the options are very wide and varied indeed. what suits one - will not another. Consider all options and keep things as flexible as possible.

 

 

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We have committed to moving to SW France this year on a permanent basis for reasons of ,partly cost, partly family, partly way of life. We shall take our motor home because we will be only 3-4 hours from the Atlantic coast and 2-3 hours from the ski resorts,so we can take off at a moment's notice, south or west according to the season.

AGD

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Hi AGD

 

I note you have decided to move to a property in France but just wondered if you have looked into the legalities regarding what happens if one of you passes away as a French resident? The French have restriction on who can inherit and how much - I'm not up to speed with it but I believe they dictate that it is shared out with a minimum of 1/4 going to the surviving spouse and a large portion of the rest being equally split between the children, plus an amount which can be freely disposable. There are also tax issues to be considered. If you aren't fully aware of it, have a read of this and then get some legal advice pronto!

 

http://www.french-property.com/guides/france/finance-taxation/inheritance/rights/surviving-spouse/

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Hi Mel and thank you.

We think that we are aware of the potential problems, and we do have family out there, so we blindly believe we have covered all the angles, but we also know that there will be things that will come up and bite us on the tender parts.

Wasn't it Burns that did that bit about the best laid schemes of mice and men?, but I think that my favourite story concerns the world's most successful aeroplane, the Boeing 747.

The747 was being developed at the same time as Concorde and Boeing were convinced that there would be no future for conventional airliners when Concorde started to fly, so they got the design team to lift the cockpit up into the roof so that they could put in a huge cargo door at the front, and find a market for it as a freighter. Now I would have thought that people designing aeroplanes would be ever so clever, and that they would know that aeroplanes travelling at the speed of sound cause a sonic bang which people standing under it's flight path would hear and possibly be affected by, and that at twice the speed of sound would cause a double bang.

How many billions of Pounds and Francs and Dollars and Roubles were spent before that first Concorde flight across America when someone heard the noise and said " you can't be serious". So Boeing fixed the cargo door permanently closed, put the seats back in, and introduced the world to what was to become the most successful aeroplane ever.

We'll keep you posted on the move to France, the first phase is demolition.

AGD

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Buying as a holiday property, subject to being confident that the original construction permits are legally valid, and that you have proper title free from family claims, is one thing. If the exchange rate, or travel costs, make visiting too costly, it can presumably be used as a holiday let to earn some income - subject to restrictions on letting.

 

Moving abroad permanently, particularly in retirement, is another ball game altogether. Many who have done this are finding their pensions, which are sterling based, have fallen sharply, because the pound has lost value against other currencies, and now face hardship. Local inflation rates are a further consideration because any indexing of pensions relates to UK inflation and not local inflation.

 

There is uncertainty over the status of the UK post the Scottish referendum, and there is uncertainty over the UK's continuing membership of the EU. These uncertainties seem to me unlikely to be fully resolved in the near future, and lingering uncertainties damage currency values. No-one can say with confidence whether Sterling will appreciate, or depreciate, against other currencies over the next decade or so.

 

FWIW, I therefore think moving abroad in retirement is, at present, one hell of a gamble on future out-turns that are, frankly, impossible to forecast. For anyone who is well breeched, fine, but for anyone who can just about make it work at today's prices, I'd say it would be highly unwise.

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I would strongly advise extreme caution against becoming resident in another country - fat better to maintain a home in the UK (even if you rent it out) and exist in the other country as non-resident i.e. live there for most of the year on extended "holiday"

 

In France in particular they have placed restrictions on non domiciled residents who have not paid into the French tax system to enable recent residents to access health care.

 

http://www.financialexpat.com/files/Moving_to_france_-_how_do_the_recent_heathcare_changes_affect_you.pdf

 

Whilst what Mel has posted re the IHT and inheritance situation is correct - it is not the same if you are both domiciled and resident in the UK, but just happen to live most of the time - on holiday - in another country.

 

From the Health Care situation - this has advantages as well in that make sure your EHIC is up to date and health care is pretty much free at the point of delivery, tho Spain with all its financial woes has made moves to try to change this:-

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22714147

 

But thanks to EU rules - the Spanish authorities have been warned to apply the rules as written - not what they feel they can get away with. What a shame the EU does not seem to be able get Spain to honour its own laws re property? :-S

 

 

 

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 If you decide to live in France, it really depends upon your age and contribution status as to whether or not you can access French Health services, with the UK bearing the same proportion of your health care costs as a French person.

You will need a top up assurance (Mutuel) which covers the proportion (usually 40%) which is not covered by the French Health care system or your European health insurance card while on holiday.

If you are over State retirement age you should be able to sign in to the French Health care system. but if you are early retirees or are considering working over here then there are different arrangements.

Costs of Mutuel assurance is C 50€ pp pm more info can be found here 

 

Signing up is easy, the state system via your local CPAM office and the top up via a price comparison site :-)

 

As for me, Living in SW France, I use the van as a picnic vehicle, and for longer trips away (Just back from Spain over Christmas..............Benicassim) So the van is an addition to your vie Francais. But Living here you tend to keep off the road during the summer, Hell, when its 30°C in the shade, who wants to leave the terrace beside the pool when you have (several) cold beer on tap! 

 

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Many thanks for the replies, and sorry for not replying to them sooner. We were a bit busy over the last few days.

 

Firstly, my idea is not to move permanently but merely have a holiday bolthole. We would not rent it out as the rules have been changed by our dear friends in Brussels, with a lot of pushing from hotels, and so it will be much more expensive to do that legally. My comment on that part was a bit of an afterthought as I could see the Uk becoming not such a nice place to live, or even up here if independent, and it may become a better ides to skip forth 'a la Costa criminals'. However, if things became that bad there are other boltholes that I would look at first.

 

I also agree fully on the cost factors. Even if you do as we do and spend nearly 5 months down there, and fly home in the middle, the 2 trips with the outfit knock a big hole in the costs. It is 1600 miles each way plus 3 nights en route minimum, and include the tolls, to get there quicker, and it all adds up. Plus we need to take northerly ferry as it is just as expensive as going to Dover, and much less of a hassle, and that also adds up even in off peak times. I do not mind so much the trip south as we are eager to get to the sun, coming home is a bit of a downer though as the weather usually gets much worse as you come north. I also start looking at the annual costs of keeping the outfit going, and these creep up significantly. My local 'stealer' hit me for new suspension bushes this time round, only £400 to you sir. I am getting too old and crochety to crawl around trying to do it myself anymore. All in all I am looking at the short end of £10 grand per annum but then again for 5 months that is still only £500 per week, for everything so not too bad compared with other holiday costs.

 

However I could use the £10 grand to pay an awful lot of apartment costs and still have some over for living expenses, plus there is the vague possibility the apartment might eventually go up in value, but as we would not be selling that is only a peace of mind thought. We would also probably put itin the kids name anyway as that would stop the inheritance tax issue, and merely be 'tenants' in kind. My daughter has already talked about 'joining' us financially so every little bit helps as they say.

 

However, as mentioned at the start this is all dreamtime thinking, and we are not doing anything serious yet. We have booked the ferries for this year already so will probably do all that as planned, and have a damn good look around while we are not sunning ourselves on the beach. I am not planning on talking to any of the many Brits living there as quite a few are in the brown and dirty and I do not wish to hear tales about how it is all perfect, so they can get another mug into the club.

 

By the way thanks for the links, I am looking at them.

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When these situations arise everyone talks of 'WE'.

 

There will surely come a time when its 'ME' and then what - what about the other half assuming a lady - can she manage to cope - do you like living on your own in a strange location - all your friends have gone - the couple next door who you were friendly with have moved away - as a single person it will never - never - be the same again.

 

There was recently a situation on here with someone who once all his buddies had gone he was lost - totally lost - and when you return to the UK all your mates here have also gone.

 

OK so the sun is warm and the booze may be cheaper but loneliness is a killer !

 

PS Re-reading all again I believe you are too late in your decisions, you should have worked this out 10 years ago at least, you talk of a bolt-hole, that's not a firm decision expression is it? You suggest age is concerning you regarding repairs, unless you are stable in a set environment this will worsen.

 

 

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Will85 - 2014-01-08 11:19 AM

 

When these situations arise everyone talks of 'WE'.

 

There will surely come a time when its 'ME' and then what - what about the other half assuming a lady - can she manage to cope - do you like living on your own in a strange location - all your friends have gone - the couple next door who you were friendly with have moved away - as a single person it will never - never - be the same again.

 

There was recently a situation on here with someone who once all his buddies had gone he was lost - totally lost - and when you return to the UK all your mates here have also gone.

 

OK so the sun is warm and the booze may be cheaper but loneliness is a killer !

 

PS Re-reading all again I believe you are too late in your decisions, you should have worked this out 10 years ago at least, you talk of a bolt-hole, that's not a firm decision expression is it? You suggest age is concerning you regarding repairs, unless you are stable in a set environment this will worsen.

 

 

I fully agree with you and have quoted that very point a number of times. However, my scenario was that if things in the UK become so intolerable then one has to look atb alternatives regardless of what may be the downsides. I have no wish to leave the UK permanently but I am damned if I will be prepared to sit here suffering and paying through the nose once our dear politicians have totally screwed it all up. I am also loathe to be the last English speaking person in my community, but fortunately I am at the other end of the UK from where they all wish to vbe. Possibly it is better to have 10 good years followed by 10 not so good rather than 20 miserable ones here. I would also point out that loneliness is not restricted to countries away from the UK, it happens here a great deal in our so called modern world. It will get even worse as more and more people think that marriage or any other form of cohabitation is not for them, and end up very lonely indeed. The boltholes that may be on my list include servicing as a part of any housing deal and if be, any good chance the costs are lower then the money goes further and one can enjoy what time one has left more effectively. Once you have gone ga ga then you really do not care where you are.

 

One reason for looking at a EU country as a bolthole is that the State Pension is index linked. (while the politicians allow it) However, looking elsewhere may turn out to be just as cost effective,, but that is where you need to do your sums. A lower tax regime may offset any indexlinking.

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My dad was a classic example,he loved living in benidorm with his second wife,but after she died and one by one his drinking buddies he became lonely isolated and bitter,he had cut off contact with friends and family here,i would say he turned to drink but he was already an alcoholic,perhaps benidorm is not the best place to be if you have a drink problem.Having said that i know he enjoyed the time he spent running his bar
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We once had thoughts about full timing or buying a property in Spain.

It seemed a BIG move to make and then maybe find that it wasn't for us so we decided to buy a sited caravan with big fixed awning and to spend two periods of three months at a time living there to see how we took to living in Spain.

This was VERY much cheaper than buying property and almost like living in a house.

It turned out that living there was not for us but seven years later we still have our holiday home over there and it only cost us 6000 euro's to buy, we may get 3000 euro's for it when we sell but we think that is better than property purchases.

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Guest pelmetman

Cant say I'd want to be based in any country other than the UK............ ;-)

 

Chatting to a couple at the site bar yesterday who have a holiday home over here, and they were saying when they pass on their kids will get a 40k tax bill payable within 6 months 8-)............

 

We have pondered what to do when I get too old to drive down here for the winter sun :-S..........and reckon the cheapest and simplest way is just to rent a flat for a few months.......it'll work out cheaper than maintaining a camper and paying for campsites judging by current prices ;-).........

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pelmetman - 2014-01-10 11:24 AM

 

Cant say I'd want to be based in any country other than the UK............ ;-)

 

Hi PM;

We have pondered what to do when I get too old to drive down here for the winter sun :-S..........and reckon the cheapest and simplest way is just to rent a flat for a few months.......it'll work out cheaper than maintaining a camper and paying for campsites judging by current prices ;-).........

 

Tend to agree; and three or four couples we know have mixed experiences that don't encourage us to giv serious thought to buying. Too much property available, and a buyers market for forseeable future I think.

 

Oh and where are you currently enjoying the sun?

We are heading for Murcia mid Feb, and counting the days

regards

alan b

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snowie - 2014-01-10 2:18 PM

 

Oh and where are you currently enjoying the sun?

We are heading for Murcia mid Feb, and counting the days

regards

alan b

 

Camping Lo monte...................Its full...........tried to book for next year..........fully booked already...........so are on the 3rd page of the waiting list 8-).........

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Yes I have heard this is a problem when wanting a long winter stay.

 

Seems that many people prefer to own their own accommodation (MH/Cvan) if wanting to long term in Spain rather than run the risk of getting ripped of by dodgy Spanish practice.

 

Which seems sensible to me. If they think the Russians will role over as we Brits have done if the Spanish try it on them, then I suspect the Spanish are in for a nasty surprise!

 

 

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