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Most of above still holds true for today. Of course there is alot of development and a much larger foriegn population but that has it's benefits. The infrastructure has been greatly improved, in particular roads and airports and accesibility to all parts of Andalucia from Britain has never been easier. It is now easy to take out a mortgage to buy a Spanish property either at home in Gibraltar or with a Spanish bank. There is certainly a far greater choice of properties for sale and of course plenty of Estate agents!
If you are thinking of moving over here then don't rush into buying first brand new villa or apartment you see, shop around. You will probably get better value for money if you buy a second hand property and at least you don't have to worry about dead lines not being met and being left high and dry with all your baggage packed and no place to go. Also all teething problems will have already been ironed out and water, electricity and possibly even phone connections will be up and running.
It is very quick to buy in Spain, it is just a matter of going to Notary with money, signing papers and you can move in- no need to exchange contracts and wait for completion dates etc. You don't even really need a solicitor but if this is your first time it is probably advisable.
Buying a ruin, as we did, and building is now more or less out of question as Junta de Andalucia have put a ban on rural development. The only exception is if you can prove that you have a working Finca and that you need to live on premises to tend to your livestock.
If you are serious about settling here then do make an attempt to learn Spanish as you will get so much more out of your time here. The Spanish people are very kind hearted and friendly and very patient with all us mad foriegners, so many of whom don't speak lingo, but they really appreciate you making effort.
So if your dream is to go and live in Spain then do it! You will find it a wonderful life enriching experience.
Ruth Polak is the owner of http://www.costadelsol-vacationrentals.com a web site specializing in holiday villas and apartments on the Costa del Sol and in Rural Andalucia. You will also find lots on information about Spain and Andalucia in particular.