Looking for a little lowdown on what's going on in coastal Spain? We'd all love to know who are the fraudsters on the coast, which estate agents to avoid and what are the latest scams on the Costas.
Well you might just be in luck. If you visit the Spanish Shilling blog you'll get some info on various different groups and publications that unveil wrongdoings in Spain, admittedly they are mainly aimed at the Costa del Sol, as this is where most ex-pats are located, and oddly enough, it is mainly ex-pats that are responsible for much of the wrongdoing against other ex-pats along the coast. They are predominantly British but the Irish are getting in on the act and our biggest drug dealers have famously set up camp in the Torrevieja region just south of Alicante on the Costa Blanca.
Also worthy of a mention is the Costa del Sol action group magazine (which features heavily on the previous site in any case) which seeks to uncover financial scandals across the province, some of the stuff is pretty chilling. You'll find it at www.costa-action.co.uk.
Mark Stucklin's Spanish Property Insight site has long been a source of information for those looking to invest in property along the Spanish coastline. The site, at www.spanishpropertyinsight.com, also has a Spanish property forum which is pretty good at uncovering various shifty dealings going on in Spain relating to property. Unfortunately the site has been threatened with legal action on a number of occasions by various companies which have been discussed. The most famous is MacAnthony Realty International (MRI), which has somewhat diluted its effectiveness but Stucklin has a lot of knowledge of this market so it is a site to visit if you're looking at Spanish property and seeking info on what and who you should avoid.
Closer to home you'll find the Overseas Property section of Brendan Burgess' Ask About Money (AAM), at www.askaboutmoney.com has some useful discussions on the various ins and outs of property across a number of countries. Like Stucklin's forum, the AAM site has been threatened with legal action by a few companies, again most notably MacAnthony's (see a common thread popping up here anywhere?). In fact, MRI have been discussed so often and in so much detail on both sites, leading to a litany of legal threats, you'll find a sticky on both sites stating that discussion of the company is completely forbidden (with the notable exception of the complete reprinting of a less than flattering Irish Times piece on the company on AAM which is available at This Link.)
Eye on Spain is also worth a look, it has rating forums for most agents and developers you'll find along the coastline, very informative if you're considering purchasing in a particular development or from a specific agent. There is also a worldwide version at Eye on Worldwide.