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Research 'important' for an expatriate in Spain

Before moving abroad and becoming an expatriate in Spain it is essential for a person to undertake research, according to a chartered accountant.

Bruce Wilson, tax partner with Campbell Dallas, said that it is important to seek local advice in order to avoid situations like Catral, where the local authority gave planning permission to build houses but the federal government had not.

Now the government is threatening to pull done all the expatriate houses because they are in a ‘green zone’.

"You need to be extremely careful. It’s a different culture, different rules, different laws; you’ve just got to be so careful," said Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson went on to say that a potential expatriate must be comfortable with the fact that they may not be able to communicate well with the local bureaucracy.

"You might have to sit in front of a notary who may not speak English well. It’s just a different way of doing it," he added.

Private bank Cater Allen reported in September 2008 that over three million people were likely to purchase a foreign property within the next two years.

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