More and more people are also choosing to live in the buzz of Spain’s third city, Valencia. But what is it about the coastal city that is proving so attractive?
Real estate agent Graham Hunt, who has been selling Valencian properties to expats for decades, shared with The Local some of the typical, and not-so-typical, reasons given by his clients for choosing to base themselves in and around the city.
At times people decide that they need a change in their life. They do their research and decide that the combination of a thriving and good looking city, an excellent climate and the outdoor lifestyle is something that attracts them. They add to this a relatively stable country with a respectful attitude to all people regardless of age, race, interests and sexuality and Valencia looks good to them. In many cases our clients can work from anywhere so they choose the place that most suits them for their non-work time, the place they can do the most in and get the most out of whilst being well connected, virtually and physically to the rest of the World and Valencia comes out on top.
US President Donald Trump was a popular figure in Valencia's Las Fallas festival. Photo: AFP
Who has got it worse, the British or the Americans? Personally being British I would say the Brits have it worse, just like a dog Brexit is not just a crappy Xmas present, it’s for life. At least Trump has a limit of eight years or impeachment, assassination, death by bad health or whatever else comes first.
The recent flood of clients escaping Trump or Brexit is never ending.
Increasingly people are citing a need to escape the politics of their own country in their decision to move to Spain.
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The Valencia region is said to have one of the healthiest climates in the World. A lot of clients come here for health reasons, from arthritis relief, to Seasonal Affective Disorder, to depression to asthma, the climate, light and warmth of Valencia has a positive effect on people who choose to come here to better their health.
Whether it’s for the beautiful landscapes of the interior of Valencia or the lovely sandy beaches and sea views of the coast, Valencia seems to make people feel better.
“Americans and Their Gun Obsession”
Recently we have had a lot of American clients for whom the dangers of the USA have become too much. For one client the Parkland school shooting in Florida was too close to home and the fact that their children were being asked to have a bullet proof vest and backpack as part of their uniform was the final straw. For another the constant stories of mass shootings in random places but especially one very near to their home a few hours after they had been at the Mall where it took place hit home hard. The question they always ask first is how safe is Valencia? Luckily we can give the answer that it is a very safe place.
“The Cold and the Darkness”
Vienna is beautiful, it’s one of my favourite places I have visited along with Prague, the weather in the summer is lovely but the winters can be awful. A client last week arrived from Vienna where there was a grey drizzle and 5 degrees to 28 degrees in Valencia at the end of October, this meant pavement cafes, sunshine and warmth. It cannot be overestimated the difference that makes. But there was one other thing that attracted him, the apartment he bought was double the size and half the price of something in Vienna.
“Beautiful Countryside Within 30 Minutes From the Centre of the City”
“I need fast broadband fibre, a countryside setting that’s pretty quiet, easy access to an airport and the city, let’s say half an hour max”. This was the spec from a client and the property we found them in Naquera suited them down to the ground as it ticked every box.
“A City Moving in the Right Direction”
The client was looking for a forward thinking, left-wing city with ecological ambitions and solidarity. They were attracted to Valencia by the opening up of so many new bike lanes, the progressive relegation of the importance of the car, great public transport options, an open attitude to refugees and plenty of projects that showed solidarity with others. They wanted a city that reflected themselves. They found it in Valencia.
“Interesting Young People”
Our client could easily retire early but wanted to do things, start more businesses and meet others like him. He didn’t want to be in a place where the average age was “waiting to be picked by the grim reaper” but did want to be on the Mediterranean coast and enjoy beach life. Valencia as a real city ticked the boxes. Plenty of young people around looking to get opportunities and wanting to help others.
“Education in Life”
“I want my kids to be more open, bilingual and to know more about other cultures.” We often hear this as a part of the attraction of bringing kids to Spain but with this client it was front and centre. The most important part of their move was to make sure the kids grew up with a different attitude to what they were seeing in their home country where things were becoming a bit toxic (You might be able to guess where that was)
“Two Season Tickets”
Mestalla stadium in Valencia. Photo: AFP
As a reason for moving to Valencia the fact that there are two first division football teams at the moment, Valencia and Levante, means that they get to see good quality football every week because one week Valencia are at home and the next Levante. And they paid just over €500 for those two seasons tickets.
“Rip Off Britain”
A UK client was so tired of high prices to do almost anything that the last straw was when they got a quote of 1800 for fixing a boiler that was supposedly under guarantee, “Ah yes but that particular part and the labour are extra!” The main reason they saw Valencia as a good place to come to was that there are so many free or really cheap options of things to do even on the few days when we see rain and that the day to day costs of living are extremely manageable.
“My wife and kids could no longer walk the streets safely”
Walking down the streets feeling safe is an underrated superpower that Valencia has. When Cairo becomes too scary for your family then maybe it’s time to move on. Feeling like a prisoner in your own home is not a good look.
“Retirement in Geneva is not an option”
When you have lived the last thirty years of your life working with the United Nations in Geneva and it comes to that time when you are thinking of retirement you start looking at options. Buying a five bedroomed house in La Eliana with pool, large gardens, huge living room, lower ongoing costs and excellent communications beats a one bedroom apartment in Geneva for the same price or more. When your whole family can visit you and you still have space to spare then it’s a bit of a no brainer. La Eliana is a wonderful option being just twenty minutes from the city and airport and having plenty of excellent restaurants and cafes to enjoy.
Graham Hunt is a real estate agent and relocation expert based in Valencia. Originally from just outside Liverpool he came to Spain as a student and never left. Read more at his blog or follow him on Twitter.
If you want him to show you around some properties in Valencia, drop him a line.
And if you live in Valencia, tell us why you chose it in the comment section below.