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About esmerelda

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  1. Well hello catara..long time no speak!!! still have the place in asilah & its washing its face although occupancy has been down this year by about 25% on the previous year....but there is no doubt that construction on the atlantic strip from Tangier south to asilah has slowed or stopped on a couple of sites...this is just from my own observation on various trips over in the past year you understand. Tanjah Beach does still look as though its moving ahead. Did go down to azemmour just south of casablanca....saw El Mazagan...this is development by Sol Kerzner....the Sun City guy. I dont think this has been that actively promoted in the UK...I think there is one London agency handles this......This is a big complex that the brochure says will have hotel, casino and a range of villas etc etc a. The hotel has been completed as far as i know on schedule and is pretty damned good, golf course complete and some villas were partly constructed up to 1st floor level but i understand these were planned as 2nd tranche. The grounds looked great...so i was pretty impressed that in the current climate they had got the job done......occupancy rates.... i wouldnt know as i visited in october when it had just opened. Prices have dropped back from last year by approx 20% in asilah we hear and its taking longer for people to sell...pretty much what you would expect. However currency rates are more favorable for those who bought 3 years ago when pound was strong.....and now want to sell... so thats helping a few people out. Hey ho......
  2. Yes we came close to a similar experience when we finished renovating our place in Morocco & we wanted toi hold a big party as a thank you for all the workers & our friends....luckily we were warned & ended up having a big workers party with lots of nice food & just a couple of our friends first....the workers felt is was more their bash....then we had another party for our mates & invited them all again....& just their boss turned up for about an hour...so honour was satisfied on all sides...so many cultural reasons for that...too many to go into on this forum!!!
  3. Just to balance out Tim's viewpoint a bit if I may..... Yes there are some sharks and shysters...BUT....when we first went o buy an apratment we favoured a resale being sold by an english couple...they had us jumping through hoops to arrange financing in 6 weeks...only to pull out of the sale 30 minutes before we were due at the solicitors to sign everything. We were devastated...& as it was at the end of the season Kalkan was closing down around us whilst this was going on. Being very small place then...word quickly got around...(probably cos I was in bits in the mddle of the old town by mid morning!!!)...& then.....we were INUNDATED with kindness from the locals...invited for meals at their homes, given small gifts to make us "feel better"...we made friends in that week that are still with us. We bought our off plan apartment on a handshake....the developer knew what had happened to us & agreed he would give us first refusal of a specific apartment when it was finished - wit no deposit down from us...on;ly we had to decide within one month of it being ready...and 6 months later.....he did & we did! We have been up in the mountain villages around Kalkan (& you know some of them up there are on the bones of their ****)...& we have never come away empty handed.... on one memorable occassion I had complimented the lady of the house on her mountain tea & she presented me with a few sprigs from her garden beautifully wrapped in some old newspaper. That is not to say that everything in the garden is lovely... Yes there are some scallies...I recognise some of Tim's types from stays in Kusadasi & I am sure there are a few hanging round some of the clubs in Kalkan these days more's the pity! But the tourist touts tend to focus more on the larger tourist towns like Marmaris... So our overall experence of Turkish hospitality has been very positive.
  4. Well I can try but I'm no expert!!!...prices in 2002 average in kalkan between £38,000 & £45,000 but these were predominantly resale as there weren't many apartments available in Kalkan then & the internal finishes were very variable. One of the first of the new wave of off plan apartments was Begonville gardens - starting prices there were from £40-55,000 (reflecting ground floor, first floor & duplex penthouse variables). floor area for apartments were approx 70m2 with duplex having double that but with a 2nd floor with restricted head height. Pool shared between 3 apartments . Old Town houses with 2 beds approx 80m2 (no pool) were going for around £80,000.- as a comparison. By 2006, prices were around £70,000-95,000 mark. My own view is that the price is now probably resting around the £65-85,000 range....but you really never know until you put it on the market do you? However newer apartments that are much further away from the old town you will see have considerably higher asking prices....whether they have achieved that I don't know. Yes Kalkan is about £20,000 higher than other resorts on a 2 bed...& that has been consistent throughout this period. But then the places are very different...Altinkum ain't Kalkan. Location matters, Kisla has some nice views but is a schlep into town in the evening...ditto developments high up the slopes or well down the Kalamar Rd..although along Kalamar Rd is less hilly so can have appeal!! Also we have seen Kalamar Bay marketed as Kalkan...which it isn't & prices there have always been lower than kalkan itself. Whether this will change with new developments planned on the other side of it is up for debate. When calculating your costs...ensure you include earthquake, building & contents p.a. plus check the maintenance charges p.a. & how often common external maintenance will be undertaken. Hope this is helpful!
  5. Does anyone know of any mortgage lender that will take into account equity on overseas properties (these are not offplan). Specifically in Turkey & Morocco.?
  6. woah no...i am not a spammer & that's my reply up there to the original enquiry - check out the date - the original query was last year...... now as to the response offering mortgages today...altogether now...spam spam spam!!!!
  7. Well I would say, drop your price in today's market but that's not too helpful is it!!! the usual way to "add value" is to add space, but in a 2 bed flat I am assuming you have no way to expand!! Similarly it is unlikely that upgrading bathroom /kitchen would be worthwhile given the overall value. So you are looking at how you "present "the property. Make sure that you are happy with the EA's photos & general description....think about what is was that made you buy it...& focus on making sure that is communicated. Who is your market for this? young professional or older person? Then make sure that the presentation appeals to that market. What are the drawbacks to it & how can you minimise those? Have you asked the EA what their opinion is? So then it's a bit of House Dr stuff isn't it? spotlessly clean & tidy, no strong colour ways, carpet shampooed. Get a good firend to come round & act as a buyer being highly critical - see what they spot that you have got used to & maybe aren;t seeing (must be a VERY good friendd!!)If it is small & the living room looks a bit cluttered with furniture, see if you can remove something & store at a friend's house. MIGHT be worth looking at "dressing" the rooms a bit with a fewaccessories ..nothing too expensive & preferably what you could reuse (try TKMaxx for inexpensive stuff). Check out the communal area as that can put of potential purchasers & clean it yourself if it's looking a bit yeuky. good luck
  8. I'm a bit puzzled about this Tangier Hustle business....having done Tarifa/Tanger trip over a dozen times in the last couple of years I can honestly say that the maximum "hustle" or "harassement" I have had has been from one porter that kept trying to take my bag for me ...but even that was a max of 3 attempts before he gave up! Yes there's a bit of argy bargy at the taxi "rank" but that usually resolves itself inside of a few minutes. And this is about an equal split of my travelling with my husband and solo. I would say if you're not driving,...the worst bit is the mad rush to get to passport control at BOTH ends of the trip. If you are driving...well pedal to the metal & hand on the horn would be your best bet!
  9. Thank you for your quick responses... petrodollar, my parents would die of shame before taking a government handout which they view us charity....it's a generational thing! Please understand the amount of money is not their sole source of income but could make a difference to my mother's quality of life if something were to happen to my father. Bearsrus, yes they transferred their home to us several years ago for just that reason. I will look at the 6k issue but I want them to be as independent as they can for as long as possible but I will discuss this with them. many thanks for the suggestions
  10. I would like to ask this forum's assistance if I may. My parents are 80 & have £30,000 total over 2 separate Lloyds ISAs fixed at 6% that I set up for them last year. I know it is probably not much to some of you guys on this forum but it is their emergency fund. I need to find somewhere to stash this for next year that will protect them from inflation but will be absolutely safe. I am reluctant to tie this up for a fixed period now as, if anything were to happen to my father, my mother would need to be able to access this to generate some income to top up her pension. The top ISA I can find at the moment is 3.5% but it is fixed for a year. Should I stick with ISAs or look at moving this into a savings account? Any suggestions/thoughts this forum can offerwould be gratefully received as I am going bog eyed searching the net! BUT please bear in mind I need strictly no risk options. many thanks
  11. As an agent selling exclusively in Morocco you came onto this forum expecting positive feedback?????? : Seriously....Whilst the Moroccan local market is not as exposed to the credit crunch factors as the western markets, the people that buy properties, particularly the off plans that have spring up everywhere, are foreigners & they have been impacted & so I would expect to see withdrawals of those that have placed deposits only and a general fall off of interest until we have got through this cycle. Because of the sheer length of time it can take local developers to get all the permissions in place to move to contract exchange - i will be interested to see how they address this issue with investors that have cooled during this period. A lot of the development is backed by Emirati money so how their economy fares will determine future build programmes I should imagine. On the rental side, a lot of people on this forum tend to think of the moroccan market purely from a Brit angle ..but this is not really well developed in morocco outside of marrakech & agadir....the vast majority of the rentals where we are are spanish or french. Both of these markets have had new routes opened in the last year (whether they will "stick" in the current conditions is the unknowable). Morocco is not a long haul destination - Tangiers is 3 hr from heathrow - about the same as the canaries. Considerably less from Madrid. So whilst I share the scepticism re the tunnel-( it's impact will be as catara says many years in the future & should not be taken into consideration when assessing potential rental returns right now) really it's a side issue. We invested in morocco as a lifestyle investment not as flip merchants & we HOPE we can hold onto our investments as planned i.e. min 10 years - (I am old fashioned enough to look on property as a long term investment) . Is it the "best bet"? Depends on when you invest, where you invest, what you invest in and last but nor least why you invested. We have had a wonderful experience renovating & then renting out. It's been infuriating & enchanting in equal measure the past couple of years. But what has been a a really enriching experience for us might be a nightmare for someone else...so it's all down to the individual isn't it?
  12. OK I appeal to all you peeps that are much more tuned into markets, commodities etc than me.... I always understood that a prudent saver should have a spread of assets: property, shares, bonds with a small percentage in gold. The reason for this (I thought) was if one asset class tanked, it would be balanced by the others. SO..my question is (& please forgive my naivety here).... given the current economic situation - with both property & shares tanking big style & people worried about their own bank being secure home for their savings....why hasn't gold price gone ZOOMING up ? I don't understand what drove the gold price so high earlier this year and why it isn;t at least at those levels now...so if anyone can explain this I'd really appreciate it! Thanks in advance.
  13. Just a point here....the potential World Cup visitors are made up of people who probably have not visited SA before...they will get their opinions from reported news. Therefore the previous poster's views are quite valid in the light of some of your previous comments are they not? Whilst I applaud your devotion to your mother country, I note that you yourself are not domiciled there. I also simply do not understand how you think one sporting event can turn around the incredibly difficult social situations that SA faces. You CANNOT deny the high levels of crime, corruption and disease that appear endemic. Social factors and government "policy" combine to make SA a punt for who exactly? I just can;t imagine anyone voluntarily doing this (& I like emerging markets) but really...there are limits!!!
  14. Thank you to Paddy for a very clear exposition, most useful - & I wouldn;t feel you have to invest yourself to comment on market conditions in a country that you are living in---your comments were reasoned & I for one welcomed them. My thanks to McLuis for your clarifying your comments and providing the information I was looking for....
  15. Macluis - I have been reading your comments with interest but as you are a relatively new poster it would be interesting to understand your background to enable us to set your comments in context. Are you a moroccan person or have some connection with that country? Whilst I take on board SOME of what you are saying - you are painting a very bleak picture - which does not chime with our own experiences in morocco over the last couple of years, so I would be interested in understanding where some of your more extreme comments are coming from. For example you mention "neocolonialism" driving rentals targetted at non Moroccans. Surely one of the stated economic targets is to increase overseas tourism - therefore more beds are needed for those tourists. You mention that tourism has dropped off this year - whilst that has not been our experience, however I would be very interested if you have access to actual data that would substantiate your statement or if you could direct me to a reliable source??? You mention the Kings speech - is that available in French anywhere or is only available in Arabic - i would be very interested in what he is saying for myself if possible. Can you supply a link please? I am also completely thrown by your reference to 1BC??? Where is this coming from??? Sorry but it seems such a weird date to pick and not terribly relevant - now if you said "the most expensive in the past 20 years" - well that means something - you see my point? Anyway if you could provide some more information I am sure that would be very interesting for those of us on the forum who have a genuine affection for the place - and it's people .
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