Alan's Blog

 

Caravanning

     
 

A Home in the Sun?

 

Like many folks, Grace and I have often considered the possibility of buying a home in the sun, well away from the miserable climate of the UK. In fact, we almost went ahead with buying a property in Hungary, not exactly the warmest place in Europe, I agree, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. As things worked out it was a blessing that we didn't buy this property. We only decided against doing so because the timing wasn't appropriate for us as a family. I'd already put a business plan together and discussed it with our accountant.

It soon became apparent that we'd got lucky in not buying this property, which we'd planned to develop as a camping / caravanning site (enough for 70 caravans), because the pandemic kicked-in and world leaders made the ridiculous decision to imprison us in our own countries whereby no one (except the elite, I'm sure) was allowed to escape. We'd also considered buying a home in Italy where the population were treated even worse in their prison than we were in the UK.

Whilst I may not have a crystal ball, I can foresee that having seen the success of their pandemic experiment in controlling the population, world leaders are likely to continue their evil work in restricting our travels as much as possible. Even now, where many countries (not all!) have lifted the restrictions, we are also being restrained from going abroad by the airline and airport restrictions (called in the name of staff shortages) and even the RMT railway strike. In addition, there has been a massive increase in the cost of fuel that makes travelling by any means more expensive. Coincidence? The plan is to reduce travel as much as possible and cause as much confusion as possible so it will make people reconsider their travel plans for the rest of the summer. With the way things are going our evil leaders will do all they can to impose more 'pandemic' restrictions throughout the rest of the year only to let some of us out of prison briefly during the summer.

The other massive problem is that of the rotten deal the UK politicians and their representatives negotiated with the EU regarding Brexit, whereby, even though we are still part of Europe, geographically, we are limited to being able to travel anywhere in the Schengen zone (not just the EU) beyond 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. So, people with homes in sunny Spain, for example, can no longer spend, say, the six winter months in their own home in another country! How absurd is that? More and more of our rights to travel freely are being steadily taken away from us.

There are some people who would say that home owners abroad can apply for residency, which is of course true, but that brings about another set of problems with aspects of everyday life such as taxation and driving licenses to consider as well as all the other costs of living in another country – which Grace and I have been through even when the UK was still part of the EU.

So, what is the answer. You may well ask. I understand that huge number of UK citizens have applied for French residency as their conditions regarding the time spent in France are somewhat less restrictive than some other countries, although this may well change, particularly with regard to driving licences.

Another option would be to rent a holiday home (or get a good deal from a hotel) for the restricted 90-day period, then rent another holiday home / hotel room in a country outside the Schengen zone, such as Morocco for another 90 days – and repeat as long as necessary. As a matter of fact, I've seen very pleasant 1-bedroom apartments (with community swimming pool) for rent in Alicante (and other areas) for 300 Euros / month - that's only 3600 Euros for a whole year! Cheaper than many caravan seasonal pitches in the UK. Alternatively, and more expensively, you could take your touring caravan and do much the same – tour in the Schengen zone for 90-days, then escape to Morocco, or somewhere else outside the restricted area for the remaining days until you are allowed back into the Schengen zone again. How mad is that?

Another aspect to consider, especially if you're wanting to buy a home abroad to live in permanently, is how are you going to be able to live in your adopted country if they impose the sort of restrictions that we've seen several countries (Italy, Austria and Greece in particular) inflict on their people when (not 'if') the next pandemic comes into the scene? Of course, they may well hit the UK with these ridiculous draconian restrictions too, but that hasn't happened currently, so we can only hope this will continue in the future.

So, the real answer is, of course, don't buy a home in another country inside the Schengen zone or anywhere else that is, or has been, heavily restricted if you intend to use it as a holiday or seasonal home whenever and for however long you like in one visit. It's just not worth the expense and aggravation. How sad is that.

A possible exception to this for UK citizens would be the country of Ireland (in the EU but not in the Schengen zone). At present, UK citizens have the right to live and work in Ireland, although it is far from being a land of sunshine and thereby is outside the scope of the main topic this article is aimed at.

Note: My earlier article at URL: http://www.alsblog.co.uk/HolidayHome.html is now somewhat out of date as it was written before the pandemic scam.

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