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Swimming Pool. What you need to know.
29/01/2018 10:40 AM


Without doubt the first question all your friends and family will ask you when you tell them you are buying a property in sunny Spain is “DOES IT HAVE A POOL”?

If you are purchasing in a community or an apartment block you may find that you have a communal pool, however if you are purchasing a country villa some do and some do not and if you are buying a new build or off plan you may need to decide if you want a pool or not.

There is the cost to consider, the mess whilst it is being built, the ongoing upkeep with cleaning and maintaining levels…….. these are all costs that must be taken into consideration, however the first time you jump into your own pool on a hot and sunny afternoon to cool off… It was worth every penny.

So what do you need to know before dipping you toe in the water (sorry).


Building a pool in Spain is a very common practice. The builders, architects, planners, town halls all have great experience, so make use of it.

Firstly solicit the opinion of your friends and neighbors. Who built their pool, what did it cost, how happy were they with their builder, did they finish on time, hidden costs, what was included in the price and Would They Recommend Them?

Armed with this information you can then invite the recommended builders to come and quote for the work. A good builder will also make recommendations on pool size, terrace size, location, orientation, salt or chlorine, auto or manual ph, glass or sand filter, cold or solar shower. The builder will tell you what is included in his quotation such as architects fees, planning application, license fee and end of works certificate. 

My builder suggested building a seat in the pool steps. There is no better place to sit and have a cold drink or my partner sits here for hours reading a book. He also recommended LED color changing lights which added 100€ to the total cost but wow does the pool look great.

When you have settled on the builder they will come back with their architect who will make all the drawings to be submitted to your local town hall (Ayuntamiento). The architect will advise you on where you are allowed to put the pool on the plot in ration to borders as well as orientation for the sun etc. The architect will be familiar with all the technicalities of each Ayuntamiento and how to approach the application.

Do not try and cut any corners. Falling foul of the planning process will cost you more in the long run.

Once planning has been submitted and approved your build can get underway. Things tend to move very quickly. The diggers move in and the hole is dug with a single day as long as they do not come up against bedrock.

Once the whole is dug the iron work (reinforcement) and bricks are installed then the concrete (gunnite) is sprayed then the pool back filled then smoothed and waterproofed. Then the tiles are fitted, electric, pumps and systems.. Lots happen in a short time. The only slow down is whilst they are waiting a few days for the concrete to set.

Meanwhile your terrace concrete is laid. My builder gave me a cost per m2 for tiling, however I chose my own tiles, which were slightly more expensive and paid the difference.

Finally when the pool is finished….fill it up. Remember that you may not be allowed to use tap water, so again check. You may find it is not only quicker but cheaper to order the water by a tanker (75€ for 12.000lt).


Your builder will leave you with copies of all the paperwork for the pool. A copy and receipts for all licenses and permissions, the pool project and the end of work certificate to say the pool has been accepted and passed by the authorities. With this in hand you can now register the pool with both the land registry and catastral who are responsible for informing the town hall about what you have on your plot and how much council tax you should be paying. Your annual property tax (IBI) will increase slightly, but you will not be back taxed and fined if you do not register.

This paperwork can be done by the architect, your gestor or your lawyer. They will do it faster and easier than you.


Orientation: Keep the pool in the sun as long as possible.

Keep it away from trees that drop leaves or seeds.

Auto fill: Do you want the pool to top itself up with an auto fill or do you manually want to top the pool up with a hose. I went for auto fill and occasionally disconnect it so I can monitor water usage.

Depth: Do you need a deep end?  My pool is the same depth. You can always touch the bottom, the pool is warmer, easier to clean and it is safer if you have youngsters in the water

Pool lighting: Go for LED lighting. You can manually change the color, the colors can cycle through. Worth every penny.

Auto ph and salt system: I personally chose these with my pool. The computers monitor the levels and dose accordingly. I simply clean the pool as and when required. The auto systems level out any chemical peaks and troughs and ensure optimal levels. Much better for sensitive skin, young and old alike and dyed hair.

Costs: I have lost count of how many times I tell my clients to set a price and stick to it, and yet I am just as guilty as everyone with allowing costs to build without keeping control. I specified better terrace tiles, led lights in the pool, led lights around the walls, I had the walls redered around the pool, up speced the pool surround, changed the design of the pool house, added salt system and auto ph system. 

The pictures used are of my own pool, here in Hondon de las Nieves.


Author: Steven Bromley. Hondon Valley Homes & La Montanosa Villas. © 2018.


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Capital Gains Tax - Residents
08/01/2018 02:14 PM

In this article in collaboration with lawyer Michael Davies we explain the tax situation in which a fiscal resident qualifies for non-payment of capital gains tax:

The first thing is to be able to prove to the notary prior to sale (via your lawyer) is that you are a Spanish tax (fiscal) resident. It is important to differentiate between being a tax resident and having residencia. These are two entirely separate entities, as the residencia which is issued by the police and does not prove that you are a tax resident of Spain. If you only supply a residencia at the notary, they will consider you to be non-fiscal resident and charge you 3% of the sales price as a retention tax. This is time consuming and somewhat confusing to reclaim and can take anywhere between 6-18 months to reclaim.

In order to prove your fiscal residency your lawyer will contact the tax authorities and request a document, which confirms your fiscal residency. This document can then be used at the notary and you will not be charged retention tax. The tax office in Spain will only issue this document if you have been declaring your taxes in Spain each year. Even if your income is too low to pay taxes, you still need to declare this to somebody. Remember if you live in Spain for 183 days or more you should declare taxes in Spain.

It is advisable when meeting your lawyer prior to even selling your property to be aware of the tax implications, as this will have a bearing on the costs of selling your property.

There is an exception where a total or partial exemption from capital gains tax is possible:

If you sell one property to purchase another of the same or higher then you can claim 100% exemption from capital gains tax. In order to benefit you need to have been a fiscal resident for the last 3 years and filed returns. If the property you are purchasing is lower in price you can claim an exemption percentage of the capital gains back.

If you are aged over 65 years of age and you sell you main home where you have lived for the last 3 years you can claim back 100% even if you do not reinvest. If one partner is 65+ and the other younger then you can claim the exemption in relation to half the price.

You will be surprised how many vendors we visit who are not aware of the tax implications of selling their property. Regardless of your income, you are still legally obliged to make a return each year.

This article is for information only and should you be concerned with your fiscal situation pertaining to the sale of the property, we strongly advise that you seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer or gestor.

Michael Davies can be contacted on info@daviessolicitors.com

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2018 - A look ahead....
04/01/2018 04:09 PM


At the start of 2107 we were not filled with optimism for the year ahead.

There were general elections in Germany, Holland and France. Political uncertainty in these countries was expected to have a detrimental impact on potential buyers and we already had certain clients delaying buying trips until after the outcome of the elections was known.

Then back in the UK a snap election was thrown. The UK market had been very nervous post Brexit and a general election would add to the confusion about the direction the UK was going and again potential buyers were "waiting to see" what was goint to happen.

With a cautious start to the year forecast, it was a surprise to all that January was such a great month

As it transpires all elections went the way they were generally forecast to go and there were no major upsets (USA excluded) and the uncertainty soon dissapeared and the buyers literally flooded back in....... and so it continued with villa sales remaining high throughout the year and even the traditionally quiet times for sales in August (everyone is on holiday) and November-December (thinking about Christmas) were far better than previous years.

2017 was a great year for Hondon Valley Homes and La Montanosa Villas with sales exceeding our record year of 2016 by 10% on gross volume but 15% on total number of purchases. We found that footfall was down by 15% (number of client viewings), however the clients that came obviously purchased. 

We said goodbye to some great friends in 2017, but we welcomed many many happy buyers to the area to start their adventure in the sun.


So what does 2018 have in store..... 

We have started the year off in fantastic fashion. A sale on the coast originally agreed prior to Christmas has been confirmed with deposits paid and contracts signed. Another sale in Urb. La Montanosa, in Hondon de las Nieves at the very end of the year has had contracts signed and depost paid this first week of the year and yesterday we agreed the sale of a stunning villa in Lel to German clients with one of our network of trusted collaborators. The year has started with a bang..... no slowly easing yourself back to work at HVH and LMV.

With no political issues (yet) that can effect the buyers confidence either in mainland Europe or the UK we are receiving many enquiries daily for a wide variety of properties.

We project that in 2018 the resale market will continue its long and sometimes slow recovery from the crash 10 years ago. The right properties in the right areas will continue to sell strongly. A well presented property in the right area with the correct documentation and well priced should expect a relatively quick sale in the Hondon Valley and surrounding areas. The exchange rate is showing tentative signs of recovery and 1€ = £1.20 is not as far off as it once looked. 

The off plan market will continue to burgeon. We have developed excellent relationships with some of the finest builders, developers and architects in the area and there is a mini boom in off plan - self design properties in both country and Urb. locations. This we fully expect to grown at an exceptional rate in 2018 following huge success in 2017.

We are delighted to have been chosen to be the only agency to market an exciting new development od Hondon villas which we will be releasing very shortly.

As a company HVH has always been at the forefront of pushing the industry in terms of standards expected of us by our clients both vendors and buyers. This we will continue in 2018. We were the first to really raise the game regarding the photographic quality of our listings using professional photography equipment and the first to video properties for our clients. Now that some agents have caught up a little it is time to take the next step. Again we will have some amazing news over the next few months and take some huge steps forward in what we are able to do for our clients. These are changes that we started working on in the summer of 2017 and we will see the fruits of our labour soon.



At the end of 2017 a group of like minded agents and ourselves also launched the SAFE BUY SPAIN initiative. Disolutioned by some of the methods used by so called respectable agents and the proliferation of up-start agencies that have appeared, we decided to start the SBS. This will be a non-profit group where like minded agents with similar high professional standards, morals and ethics will be able to guarantee our clients top levels of service whichever SBS member they should choose to work with. To date we have obtained the backing of national banks, lawyers, finance institutions, architects and professional persons. Following a soft launch at Chrstmas 2017 we expect this group to become a powerful ally of purchasers and the agents as it develops.

So 2018..... the early signs look promising. One thing is for certain...... The sun will keep shining on this beautiful part of the world.

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Christmas 2018 Opening Hours
17/12/2017 02:55 PM


Seasons Greetings:

Over the festive period 2017-18 we will be open the following hours.

Until 21.12.2017 Open as normal 10:00-18:00h

Closed 22.12.17 until 02.01.2018

We wish all our clients past, present and future a wonderful Chrismas and a Happy New Year.



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Non Resident Taxes Explained
10/11/2017 11:00 AM

Everything you need to know about non-resident taxes in Spain

Making sure you are property tax compliant........All you need to know about non-resident property taxes in Spain

As the deadline for the non-resident tax declarations (December 31st) approaches, many non-residents with property in Spain have been coming to us with their questions. Here, we summarise the answers.

Am I a resident or a non-resident

If you live in Spain for more than 183 days a year then you are a resident here. Any less and you are a non-resident.

As a non-resident you must pay two non-resident property taxes.


What property taxes must I pay?

You must pay two taxes:

    IBI (Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles) or council tax

    Imputed income tax or rental tax (in some cases a combination of the two)


What is IBI?

IBI (Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles) is a council tax that must be paid by every home owner. IBI is:

    Paid directly to the town hall or the SUMA offices

    Collected annually

    Collected at different times of the year according to the area

    Based upon the rateable value of your property or valor catastral


When should rental tax be paid?

If you rent out your property then you will need to pay rental tax in Spain. This is collected quarterly:

    20th April

    20th July

    20th October

    20th January


Why do I have to pay income tax in Spain when I don’t live there?


The imputed income tax is payable by non-resident property owners who do not rent out their property and so do not pay rental income tax. The idea is that you could rent out your property if you wished.

Imputed income tax:

    is paid on a second home that is not rented out

    is declared in the non-resident annual tax declaration

    is paid to the Spanish Tax Authority


Why haven’t I heard about imputed income tax before?

The system of collecting taxes is different to that in many other countries. For example:

    you will not necessarily be reminded that you owe tax

    it is your responsibility to make sure your tax is paid

    overdue taxes must be settled before you sell or inherit


What happens on the 31st December?

The 31st December is the deadline every year by which time non-residents must have made their annual non-resident tax declaration. The non-resident tax declaration:

    covers the previous year

    is when your imputed income tax is calculated

    is the means by which income of interest to Spain is declared


What happens if I don’t pay?

If you miss paying one or both your non-resident taxes then:

    the debt is held against your property until it is either sold or bequeathed

    you cannot change the names on the Title Deed until the debt is settled

    you may have to pay late payment interest as well as sanctions

    you might be caught out through one of the Spanish Tax Authority’s anti-tax fraud campaigns

    your bank account can be embargoed leading to missed utility bill payments


How will they know?

The Spanish Tax Authority are increasingly cross-referencing information to identify where there are irregularities. This includes:

    monitoring electricity consumption

    comparing your details as logged on the Land Registry with utility usage


Won’t they warn me?

A letter may be sent to your Spanish address. If you are not there to receive it then:

    the letter will be returned to the Spanish Tax Authority

    a notification will be placed on the BOE (Boletín Official del Estado) - you are then considered to have been informed

    if you do not respond to the notification your bank account might be embargoed


What should I do?

We recommend that non-residents have a fiscal representative. A fiscal representative will:

    make sure your non-resident taxes are paid on time

    represent you to the Spanish Tax Authority

    be in a position to receive notifications

    alert you to changes in the tax law

    answer any queries you might have throughout the year

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26/07/2017 10:34 AM

Open Letter to UK Citizens Living in Spain, from HMA Simon Manley

Given the success of the Spanish State Visit to the UK the week before last, which, among other things, highlighted the importance of people to people links between our two countries, I thought it timely to return to the subject of citizens’ rights in the negotiations on our departure from and future partnership with the EU. 

In the year since the EU referendum, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you across the country, from the Balearics to the Canaries, along the Costas and in Madrid, and our consular teams have met many more.

I know from those conversations that there has been uncertainty for many of you. My teams and I have listened to your concerns about the future, including about your residency status in Spain, the level of your UK pensions, and your access to Spanish health and other social services, and have noted the questions you have about tax, inheritance, right to work and the implications of applying for Spanish nationality.

At our meetings, on our social media and in interviews, I have also pledged to keep you up to date as negotiations on our exit from the European Union continue. So, let me update you on where matters stand now, in light of the latest negotiation round in Brussels last week.

The UK Government has been clear that citizens are our top priority in the exit negotiations. We want an agreement that provides citizens with greater certainty about their future.

Last week, we held constructive and substantive discussions with the European Commission on the bulk of the issues underpinning our respective positions on citizens’ rights.  Together we have taken a big step forward. There is a much clearer understanding on the detail of the positions on both sides and significant convergence on the key issues that really matter to citizens. You can read this technical note which compares the UK and EU positions on these issues here. It is clear both sides want to move towards an agreement.

As you know, on 26 June, the Prime Minister outlined to Parliament an offer to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK. We are entering the negotiations with the European Commission and the other 27 EU Member States constructively and we therefore hope that the EU27 will offer reciprocal treatment for British nationals resident in the other Member States.

Many of you will have seen press reports of our 26 June offer, whether in the UK or Spanish media. I hope you will also have read the detailed proposals which are set out in “Safeguarding the position of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU” (https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/brexit)  and I would encourage you to sign-up for email alerts (you can do so on the Home Office gov.uk page) to receive updates, to ensure that you are receiving information and guidance from official sources.

The first key element of the new proposal is residence status and working rights. Until the UK’s exit, EU citizens in the UK will continue to enjoy all the rights they currently have under EU law; they can continue to live and work in the UK just as they do now. 

The same rights also apply to you, British residents in Spain.  You can continue to live and work here in Spain as you always have done.  After the UK’s exit from the EU, we are proposing a reciprocal deal that would protect the right of UK nationals already in the EU to continue to live and work in the EU.  We hope that the European Commission and the 27 other Member States will agree to this.

The second key element is healthcare, pensions, education and access to benefits. It is our intention to treat EU citizens with settled status in the UK in the same way as if they were UK citizens for the purposes of access to education, benefits and pensions.

For you, the Government has announced that the UK will continue to export and uprate the UK State Pension and provide associated healthcare cover within the EU, issues which I know from my conversations over the last year were important to many of you.

At the moment, those of you who are UK pensioners and resident in Spain access healthcare through the S1 form.  This means the UK reimburses Spain the cost of providing medical treatment.  After the UK leaves the EU, we want to continue your healthcare entitlements on the same basis. Healthcare in Spain was indeed one of the case studies cited in the detailed proposals made by the British Government on 26 June (see link).

Subject to negotiations, we want to continue participating in the European Health Insurance Card scheme meaning EHIC holders continue to benefit from free, or reduced-cost, needs-arising healthcare while on a temporary stay in the EU — and vice versa for EU EHIC holders visiting the UK. We hope the European Commission will agree to this.

The British Government has repeatedly said that, until exit negotiations are concluded, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force.  You can continue travelling throughout the EU on your UK passport, without any visa requirements.  You can continue to access Spanish healthcare and draw your UK pension.  If you have any difficulties accessing those rights, do please let our Consulates know

I will continue to engage with you and listen to you, as will my consular teams across Spain. In the meantime, please follow me on Twitter (@SimonManleyFCO) and access the Embassy’s social media (@UKinSpain on Twitter; British Embassy Madrid and Brits in Spain on Facebook) to keep up to date with developments.

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Fiesta programme 2017
24/07/2017 09:15 AM





2130 – Plaza de la Villa

Official Presentation of the Fondoneres Major y d'Honor  Music by Union Musical de Hondon de las Nieves




1000 – Calle Nueva

Classic car gathering then run to La Canalosa, la Montanosa and back to Calle Nueva for 1300


1400 – Industrial Estate Bajo Sombre

Giant Paella – Get tickets for food and drink (3 Euros) in advance. 1000 to 1200 in the pensioner's centre next door to town hall until Friday 21st or from 1600 onwards at Polideportivo until Thursday 20th.




1815 – Various streets.

Judging of the street decorations with traditional music.


2000 – Aula de Cultura

Opening of Photo Exhibition – 'El Fondó de les Neus – un Lloc per descobrir'




2000 – La Fuente, Plaza de la Villa

Tribute to those missing or no longer with us.


2130 – Plaza de la Villa

Pregon de Fiestas- Opening fiesta speeches, fireworks and street decorations switch on.


2400 – Biblioteca

Parade with band to the Colegio. DJ appearing – tickets required - via Town  Hall 0900 - 1100 until 26th July.




1030 – Polideportivo

Aquatic Gymkhana and Free Swim for Children.     


2130 – Plaza de la Villa

Sopar de Cabasset – Bring your own food and drink and enjoy the band  'Orquestra La Vendetta Project'. Tables must be booked in advance at Town  Hall 0900 – 1100 until 26th July


2400 – DJ in Colegio




0800 – Bell ringing and fireworks


1000 – Plaza de la Villa

Parade with traditional music, stiltwalkers and figures.


1900 – Biblioteca to Church

A floral parade offering tribute to la Virgen de las Nieves. Les Fondoneres and villagers in traditional dress, with traditional music and dancers.


2030 – Church Mass following parade.


2130 – Plaza de la Villa

Traditional dancing and music featurng the municipal group and the group Almadrava from Villajoyosa




0800 – Bell ringing and fireworks


0930 – Plaza de la Villa

Parade with traditional music


1030 – Church Mass for the departed.


1830 – From Plaza de la Villa through the village's decorations  Walk with the UMHN band, Fondeneres and Commisio de festes.


2100 – Plaza de la Villa

Performance by 'In Vivo Lyric Pop'. A tribute to Il Divo's Music.


2400 – Plaza de la Iglesia

Serenade by the Coral Amics Cantors d'Elx to honour La Virgen de las  Nieves.




0800 – Bell ringing and fireworks


0900 AND 1000 – Church Mass


1100 – Various streets

Parade by the UMHN Band


1200 – Church

Special Village Mass with Dignatories, Fondoneres and Comissio de Festes


2100 – Various

Candlelit procession with La Virgen de la Nieves, Fondoneres, dignatories and music from the Ateneo Musical Maestro Gilabert of Aspe.


2400 – Plaza de la Villa

Open air dance with the 'Orquestra Royal Music' Band from Murcia




1030 – Calle Vereda

Giant water slide for all ages. Bring a swimming ring to sit on!


2130 – Plaza de la Villa

Open air concert by the Union Musical de Hondon de las Nieves




0900 – From Plaza de la Villa

Cycle to La Canalosa for lunch then back to Hondon de las Nieves.




1900 – Plaza de la Villa

Children's day with activities. Games, circus theatre and treasure hunt.




1100 – Plaza de la Villa

Chess tournament – register at town hall beforehand.


1930 – No location given yet

Children's show – 'Jo mama' – by Regomello




1730 – Polideportivo

Sports activities with games and inflatables for the children.




1900 – Around Plaza de San Juan

Artisans Market opened by the Fondoneres.


2100 – Polideportivo

Sports gala to honour local sportsmen and women.




1900 - Around Plaza de San Juan

Artisans market


1830 – Various roads in and around village  XV Cross Urbano 'El Fondo de les Neus'. 10K Running race. Inscription (8  euros) at www.softimes.es  Children's race at 1800, inscription 1 euro


2400 – From Calle Vereda to Plaza de la Villa  Correfocs. Fireworks and music performance through the village streets.




1800 – XVth Marcha a pie Hondon to Aspe


1900 – XXXII Edicion Bajada Hondon to Aspe


Organised walk and later run to Aspe

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12/07/2017 10:07 AM

At last, we are freed from the shackles of slow 3g connection.

Yesterday the new 4G transmitter was operational and we can at last receive 4G

I did a quick speed test and obtained 41.42mbps download and 15.81mbps upload on the Movistar network.

In comparison, I normally get 28mbps download and 2mbps upload using my Movistar VDSL cable broadband.

Long gone are the days of 1mbps......


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RENTALS - Summer 2017
10/04/2017 01:31 PM

Unusually we have a selection of rental properties available for the Summer of 2017.

If you click on the link below you will see the up to date availability.

Normally all rentals are secured at the start of the year for the next 11 months, but this year we have two long term (11month) rentals and two shorter term (3 month) available.

Be quick or they will go...................



For example - Villa below ref HVH-NAJR. 700€ per month plus utilities on 11 month renewable contract.

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New drone video August 2016
30/08/2016 07:38 PM

Here it is.

The much anticipated new drone video featuring La Montanosa in Hondon de las Nieves.


Click on logo

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