Introduction

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Magnum03's picture
Magnum03
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2012
Posts: 31
Introduction

Hi all,

I'm new in the forum and just wanted to give a short introduction. Don't know if this is the right forum - so correct me if I'm wrong.

I'm a telecommunications engineer and work for an ISP (Internet service provider) as network architect, I like to tell people I build the Internet, at least a tiny part of it.

Got two homeschooled children and we are in the process of buying a house, with some land, to grow our own food.

We are living in Andalucia, Spain - but are Danish. We moved here a year ago.

I'm really glad I found this forum, because I have been looking for a place where I can discuss these issues and get connected with others. I'm so glad to see, that there are other europeans here, since most other sites are very US focused.

Saludos

Magnum

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 3504
Welcome Magnum!

Let me be the first to welcome you to this community of realistic optimists.

You are living in the center of one of the more interesting stories of change that is happening in the developed world, so I would very much welcome your first-hand experiences and observations.

Perhaps you caught this today:

Spanish house prices suffer severe fall

December 14, 2012 1:10 pm

By Miles Johnson in Madrid

Spanish house prices tumbled in the third quarter as stagnant demand and an continuing shortage of mortgage credit accelerated the deflation of the country’s housing bubble.

In the week that the Spanish government’s so-called bad bank vehicle, designed to mop up soured real estate assets from nationalised lenders, secured its first private investment, data showed that Spanish house prices fell by 15.2 per cent year on year in the third quarter, according to official statistics.

Do you use a bank?  Are people yet worrying about keeping their money in a bank?  How is gold being viewed by the general populace right now?  How are younger people coping with the vastness of joblessness?  Are they getting in trouble or doing interesting things with their time, or are they 'checking out' via drinking, clubs and video games?

We also homeschool our children and I am very happy with that decision seeing how they are turning out and the skills and character they are entering with into this dynamic if uncertain world.

Best,
Chris M.

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 27 2010
Posts: 626
Welcome Magnum03

Welcome Magnum03!  I too am interested in your insights from Spain/Europe/Denmark/the IT industry.  The more breadth we have here, the more likely our "hive mind" will produce important observations and conclusions.

Tom

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Magnum03's picture
Magnum03
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2012
Posts: 31
Hi Chris, lots of questions -

Hi Chris,

lots of questions - I'll try to cover some of them.

first I need to give some background, as to why we are here. We were fed up with Denmark, trying to live a "different" lifestyle, homeschooling, my wife quitting herr high pay job and so on. Even though all the statistics and laws, show the Denmark is one of the most free and happy countries - that is only true if you conform, to the states predefined way of living your life. And nobody sees this. So we left it.

We became aware some months ago and had serious talk about our life. We decided to stay. First because of the people and second because of the land.

It's my impression, that the Spanish are divided. There are people here, who still have a facsistic mindset, including branches of the police. There those who just follow authority with frustration. And then there are strong people - very strong. We have met more active libertarian and anti-authoritarian people here in a year, then our entire life in Copenhagen. People genuinly don't care about the government, because the belive the government dosn't care about them.

On real estate

I didn't read it - I just look out of my window :) Earlier this year the government stated, that it expects housing prices to drop by 2-3% a year, for the next two years. That's BS, they are going to drop even more. Simply because the banks havn't put all repo houses on the market and havn't repo'ed all of them. There we several suicides because of evictions - so the government gave people 2 years before they can be evicted. I could go on about how new loans are being issued - it's crazy.

But you are wondering why we are buying.

I think it was Rockefeller who said "when the blood is on the streets, it's the time to buy". Expats are leaving the country - they need to get rid of everything, In order to go homer and hopefully find some work. Don't gete wrong, I sympathize with them. But people who come here from the UK competing for work with the spanish and they don't even speak the language, havn't done their homework.

You can pick up great deals. I got an old Audi A6 stationwagon for 3.000 and the same goes for houses. We want to get away from the city centers, grow our own food, have our own water supply and set up solar energy supply. That is doable here, that is why we stay for land.

Magnum

Magnum03's picture
Magnum03
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2012
Posts: 31
On banks, money and

On banks, money and gold

banks don't lend money here. Someone like me, might be lucky to get a mortgage from a bank, but no more than 50%. So I askes our real estate agent, who also happens to be our friend, where I could get a mortgage. She gave me the spanish attitude "Banks are crooks, we don't deal with banks!" instead there are private finance agents (including the postal service?!?) who will issue mortgages. I learned that all mortgages are issue by Banco de España, the central bank. So these agents are simply dealing with the central bank directly. They charge a hefty premium for their services.

There is a general sence, that things are only getting worse. Although I have only met a few people who axtually realise, how bad they are going to get. My real estate friend, on the other hand, is full of optimism. I guess she has to be in her line of business.

Although credit cards are accepted most places, most financial transactions take place in cash for (non) tax reasons. Few peole have any savings of significant value, so there isn't much money to keep in the bank.

I do use a bank, but this is mainly because I need to transfer my salary from Denmark to Spain. My main savings are in gold and silver. Recently i transfered a substantial amount of money to my spanish account for a purchase. I was surprised to get a call 5 min. after the money was in my account. This was not to inform me about unusual activity, but to tell me about how the bank could invest the money for me. Later that day I was in the bank, because I needed the directors signature and he greeted me with "you're the man with the money"! I was horrified! Wasn't there anyone else with money in the bank?

People don't have the money to invest in gold, but I do think, they know they need to hang on to their jewlery. Most people here lived under a dictator not to many years ago, so they still have a memory of what real assets are. On the other hand I also think, that a lot of people are selling their gold to get by. I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing, since there is a "Compro oro" (I buy gold) on every other street corner.

Magnum

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1582
Welcome, Magnum03

Glad to have you aboard.

I also left a restrictive place, near New York City, for a southern place - America's South Carolina. We have our own water and can grow some of our food and are surrounded by resillient people.

You're right: this is not entirely a USA-centric site. Many of the people here are from Europe: Belgium, England, etc. Some are in Australia and New Zealand, one even lives with his wife's family in Mongolia. check out the section of this site called "Groups" - there is a Group in Germany and another in Belgium.

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1373
Great insight!

Welcome Magnum!  In just your first 3 posts you've enlightened me to the happenings of Spain and Denmark!  Thank you!

Echoing Dr. Martenson, please keep us informed as to the goings on over there.  The more we learn from each other, the better off we'll be in the future.  Again, thank you!

Question:  Have you watched the Crash Course?  If not, please do so.  If you have, then let us know your thoughts.

Again, Welcome!

Magnum03's picture
Magnum03
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2012
Posts: 31
I watched the Crash Course.

I watched the Crash Course. I've seen a lot of these, so there was nothing in there, that I didn't already know. But it is very well put together, it's unbaised, short and to the point - I like that.

For a more documentary style full length movie, I recomend these:

Overdose:

The Pyramid scheme (ignore the comercial content - it still is very good):

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