latest info on Spain - depressing...............

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Wicksey
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Postby Wicksey » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:41 pm

Jool, I do have sympathy for you and hope things do work out.

I wouldn't have considered renting a house only I have bought and sold 2 properties here and I'd had enough of that so feel safer renting. However, it does seem like money wasted and it is fustrating not having our own house to work on, I also don't feel as settled as if it were my own home. At the moment it suits us but I don't know how many more years we will want to rent, but I just cannot imagine buying here again.

The downturn in the euro is pretty depressing too - someone on Sky thought that the pound and euro may reach parity - blimey that would be bad! I'm wondering whether to draw out some euros from the UK now before it gets any worse :cry: I read a letter in a paper the other day from a couple who are trying to move here saying are finding the house they want to buy is getting more expensive by the week and they can no longer afford it. I know it's all 'doom and gloom' but it is reality for many of us here. Those trying to sell up and move can't and those of us who rely on an income from the UK are getting worse off each week.

Bongtrees
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Postby Bongtrees » Thu Apr 10, 2008 4:46 pm

toyotadesigner wrote:I'm an industrial designer and photographer. I'll show my references, samples and all the nine yards to prove I'm a real professional. If a client doesn't want to see the reality, I can't help and care for the next client.

Did you ever have a chance to taste a bread (tomatoes, beer, you name it) before you've put the cash on the counter? With your way of thinking (no trust at all) I wonder how you could manage to survive until today, because no baker or supermarket would have handed out his commodities to you before you paid for it.


I quite clearly stated that I would not do this at the present time.

I might add that there is no comparison between centimos spent on bread or tomatoes and say 50% of a 10,000 euros job for instance.

I have a friend who designs electronic layouts for gas turbines , he forsaw the present financial blip and mothballed his little company and works for a very big design company and is being paid £110 per hour and working in their offices thus saving on rent and all associated overheads.

katy
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Postby katy » Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:06 pm

I know of more than one person here who paid a large deposit to a builder and never saw them again.

Don

Postby Don » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:09 pm

I can see where you're coming from Katy but isn't it a matter of who has most to lose. I have recently done a couple of deals, one with a Spanish builder and one with a brit supplier on the costa, in each case there was a "word of mouth" recommendation (the latter actually from this forum) and after an initial negotiation I put down 60% odd in advance as a statement of good faith, knowing that if the deal then went bad the potential damage to the builder/supplier through "word of mouth" would be much worse for them than me. If you are looking just for the cheapest deal then I would agree with you more as the cheapest is not often the best nor the best value for money.

Bongtrees
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Postby Bongtrees » Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:42 pm

Don wrote:
If you are looking just for the cheapest deal then I would agree with you more as the cheapest is not often the best nor the best value for money.


Who said anything about looking for the cheapest quote?

I certainly did not and I doubt Katys friends did either.

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toyotadesigner
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Postby toyotadesigner » Thu Apr 10, 2008 11:37 pm

I know of more than one person here who paid a large deposit to a builder and never saw them again.


Did they conduct a thorough research about the builder in advance? Probably not.

Did they ask for references? Probably not, they just looked at some lousy images and a 'pilot house'.

Did they check the presented references not older than 3 months? Probably not, otherwise they would have talked to other clients and discovered some inconsistencies. No builder turns into a completely bad guy over night.

The real problem is that many people from the north are to naive and blue eyed. Worst of all: only few of them speak enough Spanish to read between the lines and to insist on proper documents.

Many people (some call them 'private investors') haven't done their homework.

I see it this way: just show a foreigner some images with sun, blue skies, white walls, nice dark wooden beams and 'Andalucían Elements', as well as a tourquoise sea and they don't ask any more questions. They just sign the cheques.

I've seen this behavior many times in Mallorca (one of the worst places on this planet). People purchase homes in the summer, without asking about a heating system or a furnace. The first winter they get sick like hell, freeze to death in their 'wonderful mediterranean properties' and try to get rid of it because they have financed a large portion, leaving no chance for them to install a central heating.

I might add that there is no comparison between centimos spent on bread or tomatoes and say 50% of a 10,000 euros job for instance.


Wrong. There is. You can't mock up 10 or more references, you can't mock up a professional look of a design, you can't mock up professional photographs. You can't mock up experience or a certain style. No way. If you like what I present you know it will cost you a certain amount, and you can be sure I'll deliver good results. If you don't like it (translate: my rates are too high for you) you can shoot your images from your property or product with your digicam or leave this job to your agent. The web is filled to the rim with those lousy amateur shots and ugly designs. They are rather an obstacle than a sales promotion.

Again, my job is to design and photograph to communicate a story, a philosophy, an advantage of a product, not pretending to be a kindergarden bank.

Have you ever purchased a new car? Could you leave the premises of the dealer without upfront payment? No. So how could you know your new car is in a perfect condition? There are gazillion law suits around the globe where a customer sues the car dealer because the 'new' car had a defect.

How about your airline tickets? You have to pay them **before** you'll be able to board - without knowing if you'll ever make it to the end of the tarmac.

Any **real** professional who is honest won't mind if you come up with a trustee or a notary (paid by you of course) and a signed contract with all specs in it. But in this case be prepared that you'll have to submit the complete payment plus the fee for the trustee up front to the trustee, and it will be transfered to my account as soon as I present and hand over the documents. A fishy company or service provider will never agree on a deal like this.

I don't see any reason why I should invest time and money without being paid for it.

A declined job or deal is far cheaper than a job where you loose funds or savings to pay a lawyer to hunt down the faulty client.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

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j4mes
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Postby j4mes » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:35 am

toyotadesigner wrote:Have you ever purchased a new car? Could you leave the premises of the dealer without upfront payment? No. So how could you know your new car is in a perfect condition? There are gazillion law suits around the globe where a customer sues the car dealer because the 'new' car had a defect.


Errr...Yes I have...several times.....I ordered the car (chose the colour the spec etc) and then when I went to collect it and drive it away I gave them thier money?????

Airline tickets??? An "ATOL" backed company provides me with the guarantee I need....

I agree with some of what you are saying, but think you are giving bad examples!

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Postby katy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:42 am

Toyota, I don't know or care a **** what they asked the builder for, they were probably naive and trusting like most people here...its off topic anyway.

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Postby katy » Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:40 am

Some interesting comparisons. Ok I know its the Mail but it is what I have been saying for a while re. prices here...and I do have first hand knowledge of all three countries.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=558568&in_page_id=1770

Jool
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Postby Jool » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:11 am

Sorrry I dion´t know how to do the fancy quotes but TD wrote


Did they conduct a thorough research about the builder in advance? Probably not.

Did they ask for references? Probably not, they just looked at some lousy images and a 'pilot house'.

Did they check the presented references not older than 3 months? Probably not, otherwise they would have talked to other clients and discovered some inconsistencies. No builder turns into a completely bad guy over night.


We were ripped off by a builder and can answer these questions:

Research - yes and saw work (allegedly) done by him

Yes - they turned out to have been falsified by said builder despite being for a major UK company complete with names etc

Other people had had work done by him and gave positive references (later turned out to be his mates but how would we know that, being new to the area?)

We paid in stages according to the contract but it had to be one stage ahead due to high cost of materials and really following what TD says he always does. It seemed reasonable to us......

Every bad builder has to start somewhere and our message is you have very little protection indeed if there are problems and it is vital no one feels 100% confident as there is no guarantee no matter how clever or careful you think you are bing. We discovered hat if someone sets out to deliberately rip you off they are very adept and the average brit, like us, believes in fair play and honesty and would not dream anyone could do what this man did.........so BEWARE

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toyotadesigner
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Postby toyotadesigner » Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:54 am

Jool, the bad thing about these cowboys and fraudulent actions is that they spoil all types of business and remove the trust and honesty from any deal or job in this otherwise beautiful country.

My advice I'm giving for years to 'extranjeros': use a notary to act as a trustee. And use one from a different area or the next large city, not someone in the neighborhood of the builder or agent. Always prefer a notary who speaks your language - you'll find them in almost any large city as Málaga, Sevilla, Granada, etc. They can help you to cross check and verify the data and references the builder has given to you because they have access to lists and documents which the 'normal' citizen doesn't have. Many of them work together with professionals of the type of business who are indepentent experts and registered with the court of the given region.

In case of building or purchasing a house: if the builder or agent doesn't come up with British or German clients as references, look for another one who does have your countrymen in his references.

Ask for a British architect to supervise the building or to run quality checks. Even though he will charge for his service, it's more than worth the investment compared to the amount you might loose.

And when it comes to the dream of your life, negotiate on small payments, that means in steps of 5 K to 10 K, so you won't loose an arm and a leg.

From my own experience I can say that no matter where you are in this world, as long as you are a foreigner you'll run into any trap along the road. So I hire gestorias to deal with the ayuntament, to deal with any officials, to take care of my drivers licence, and to do my tax statements. And I hire notaries to care for my contracts, to check larger customers, etc.

Especially in these times of economic risks and the stirr up in the markets it't vital to contract a professional for assistance and guidance.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.



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Jool
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Postby Jool » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:48 pm

Well moaning on a forum must help change the energy as I was paid some money today!!!!!! :D Not everything I am owed by any means but something.....yippee............

I just wanted to share that with you all after your support.....and to relieve Julian of the need for counselling for a few more days!!

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toyotadesigner
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Postby toyotadesigner » Fri Apr 11, 2008 4:51 pm

Jool, congratulations! And I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that you'll get the rest very soon.
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.



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ICCSL
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Postby ICCSL » Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:33 pm

The Spanish newspapers are politically orientated as are the newspapers in the UK. Therefore any Spanish newspaper that is not PSOE orientated will run stories about what is happening. The Spanish radio stations usually have at least one programme a day broadcasting what is happening in the construction industry including the current government´s policies on demolition.

The Brits are actually a minority in Spain so therefore would not perhaps get as much coverage as a Spaniard would if his house was going to be demolished. I have a bar and anything that comes on the television with regard to destruction of houses or illegal build is avidly watched by all the Spaniards, and they do have a lot of conversations about the unfairness of it all.

In terms of the Spaniards being kept in the dark because of their lack of English, Spanish is the 4th most widely spoken language in the world. There are a lot of things that I would guess the Poles, Lithuanians and Asians have to moan about in the UK but how many English people would learn their languages to understand what their problems might be?
Tina

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Cassandra
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Postby Cassandra » Fri Apr 11, 2008 7:16 pm

Well done Jool :D Let's hope it's all good from now on!

You've not been using voodoo dolls have you :wink:

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Postby MarkF » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:42 pm

Jool wrote:Well moaning on a forum must help change the energy as I was paid some money today!!!!!! :D Not everything I am owed by any means but something.....yippee............

I just wanted to share that with you all after your support.....and to relieve Julian of the need for counselling for a few more days!!


Energy/karma whatever, it's good news! :D

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Postby Paula » Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:56 pm

:D Good news Jool :D Hope the rest follows soon.


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