Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? PART 2

This is the reality of city life.

You’re doing well if you have laundry facilities in your apartment building. You really have it made when you have a washer and dryer in your apartment. Life is different here. You carry your shopping home by hand rather than load a week’s worth into the back of your car in a spacious car park. An elevator is definitely a bonus when you’re living a few floors up. I never knew what the term ‘walk-up’ meant before living in New York city. It is a nice way of saying your building does not have an elevator and if you live on the 5th floor…. well let’s just say you will have strong calves!

After looking at numerous apartments in the city, we visited an open house just a short drive away. It made me feel a little ill. The contrast was stark. Here was a monstrosity of a house.

It had a dramatic double stairway in the front entrance hall leading up to a balcony and then an upper mezzanine decked out with wing chairs and windows looking out over the lawn and trees. There were four or five sitting rooms. A massive deck at the back had a full outdoor kitchen and space to seat about 40 people. There was a lawn and a pool. The basement could fit about three New York City apartments in it. The house was so big that the realtor showing us around couldn’t even find the entrance to the basement! The master bedroom was just ridiculous with a Jacuzzi bath, balcony and walk-in closets. I actually think the master bedroom had walk-in bedrooms off it…that’s how ridiculous this place was!

So what do you look for when you want a new place to live?

A washing machine in your own kitchen or a home that can double as a wedding venue? Or just the simple pleasure of a place to take off dirty boots and hang your jacket when you come in from an afternoon’s gardening?

The city is a crazy place where people pay high prices for small spaces crammed together in high-rise buildings. But as our friend put it – if you are living in the city and spending time in your apartment, you’re doing it wrong. City life needs to be lived in the parks and cafes and bowling alleys of the city – not in your small pokey apartment, whether or not you have your own personal washing machine.

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? PART 1

What do you look for in a place to live?

Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? I think location, location, location is definitely near the top of the list no matter your circumstances or situation.

But I was recently made rudely aware of how the rest of the list may differ wildly for different areas not so far from each other.

In Ireland (my home for much of my life), I think people are concerned about light. We love open plan kitchens, garden and a spare bedroom/office. A separate utility room is a handy thing to have too. We want south-facing gardens and lots of windows to bring in light. There is a very popular TV show in Ireland which involves an architect travelling around our country and placing big glass boxes (rooms) onto the back of people’s properties to create a ‘wonderful sense of light and space’. In a country where it is so often cloudy it is not a surprise that we crave light so much. Also we typically prefer to have a games room than a garage, as we are not usually plagued by extreme weather. Generally, we can get much of our list if we are willing to pay as we are not a densely packed country.

We were recently looking at apartments in New York City.

Now this is a completely different beast. The right location is still a priority consideration – how far is the subway? Being close to transport links is essential for city life. But no longer are we thinking about spare beds and TV rooms. The new questions are about washing machines and storage space. It had never occurred to me before spending time in New York that you might have to bring your dirty clothes in a bag down the street to a Laundromat. Or that I’d be using my suitcases that I’ve previously stored empty in the attic as a box to keep my towels in because I don’t have enough space in the cupboards.

Another thing that was new to me was the idea of building amenities. When you have so many people living on top of each other, each building becomes its own mini neighborhood. And many provide their own services. Some offer just a small fitness center. Others have beautiful roof decks with grilling stations, swimming pools, basketball courts and one of the most popular toys– golf simulators. You can potentially also find libraries, poker tables, arcade games, cinema rooms and even a climbing wall. All without leaving your building. Of course you pay handsomely for these facilities. It could be up to $200 per month in prime Manhattan locations for the privilege of being able to scale a climbing wall before breakfast.

To be continued tomorrow…

How to register my short-term Spanish property let?

This is a follow-up to our last article which examined the new requirements for short-term holiday lets in Spain.

In brief there are new regulations coming into place in Spain. This requires properties being let for less than 2-month period to be registered with the authorities. Here we will briefly discuss the process for register the property:

The first thing to note is that, in typical Spanish fashion, it is not the same for the whole country. Regional differences apply. Already each region have different laws and guidelines regarding tourist rentals. Check what laws are specific to your region.

Continue reading How to register my short-term Spanish property let?

If you let short-term Spanish properties then it’s time to register for taxes

In an effort to raise taxes (and apparently the quality of short-terms lets) the Spanish authorities are now going to begin inspecting unlicensed short-term rental properties.

This applies to Spanish properties that are let out for a period of less than two consecutive months. It does not apply to longer-term rentals.

It has all the appearances of a simple revenue-raising venture. But the authorities are also attempting to improve the quality of rentals. This means inspections will begin; likely in the upcoming busy summer season. As is expected the inspections will be unannounced. Continue reading If you let short-term Spanish properties then it’s time to register for taxes

JLL ‘City Momentum Index’ expects short-term growth in Indian cities

The index ranks based on urban economies and real estate markets. As well as indexes in order of those experiencing the most rapid growth.

Indian cities dominate the ‘short term momentum ranking’ in JLL’s latest annual global report ‘City Momentum Index’ (CMI) 2018. Hyderabad and Bangalore are occupying the top two positions. Pune ranks at fourth.

It is followed by Kolkata (5th) and Delhi (8th) in the top 10 cities out of the 30 top global short-term growth cities. Continue reading JLL ‘City Momentum Index’ expects short-term growth in Indian cities

To Architect or not to Architect

For many years I must admit to being quote opposed to use an Architect and their (what I considered) exorbitant fees.

When it comes to house design I pretty much think everyone else’s idea is a good one.

Also I am not really one for putting my own stamp on things. All this meant I ways thought there was enough house designs out there already so why not just buy off a prescribed house plan rather than looking at designing your own pile. Just look through the catalogue and pick the design you want. In recent months though I am not so sure….

Continue reading To Architect or not to Architect

Property tax in China – When and how it will affect the rest of the world?

Introducing a property tax in China has been an ongoing conversation for a few years now.

Up to recently it looked like 2018 was going to be the year of introducing property tax in China but now it appears it may be delayed until 2019.

As we know the number millionaires in China has seen a surge in massive years and they may soon overtake Japan with the most millionaires in Asia. Continue reading Property tax in China – When and how it will affect the rest of the world?

An Overview of Expected Property Price Growth in Europe

I was reading an article recently which reviewed a recently published S&P report. It indicated that 3 countries are set to led the price growth in property: Ireland, Portugal, and the Netherlands.

It appears the price growth in these countries is as a result of a shortage in supply.

The report predicts that the top 3 countries will continue to see growth in property prices until at least 2020. For the coming year it predicts growth of 8.5% in both Portugal and Ireland with the Netherlands close behind. Continue reading An Overview of Expected Property Price Growth in Europe

Buying a house in the USA – A step by step guide

Buying a house in the USA could be the first step toward the American dream.

Buying real estate abroad is now common practice for more and more investors and the USA is definitely one of the most sought after places to buy investment properties. Continue reading Buying a house in the USA – A step by step guide

Buying a house in Portugal – A step by step guide

Buying a house in Portugal:
Portugal is one of the favorite locations to move abroad.
It’s no wonder that it is the first choice for many when looking to buy a home to relocate or to spend their holidays.

If you have your eye on that nice cottage with sea view in sunny Portugal, then you are in the right place.

Here is a step by step guide to take you through the entire process when buying a house in Portugal.

Continue reading Buying a house in Portugal – A step by step guide