Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Spain on Sale- property bargains galore


Since 2008- Spain's real estate market has imploded. Bad news for those who bought when prices and confidence were sky high but good news if you didn't. Spain is now worthy of a close look- with prices and confidence way down. Developers have run out of money, banks have shut their doors and have been left with nearly one billion euro's worth of repossesssed properties. Meanwhile there are empty new builds across Spain- but especially in the Costas. Prices have continued downwards through 2010-2012 and there may be worse to come. The average price of real estate has fallen by more than 50% since 2006 with costs per metre for apartments now around 1,600 euros (from 3500 euros.) Basically Spain is now on sale. Still the old adage: Location, location, location applies. Look for repossessed new builds in good locations- the areas that the Brits used to buy and will again one day. There are bargains everywhere for the brave. However, there is a lot of dross out there and a lot of pitfalls. Its very much a case of buyer beware. To help you through the whole process and what to be aware of I highly recommend you buy: How to Buy Spanish Property Safely.. (click on link for more information.) 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

How to Travel and live around the World for FREE- become a HOUSE SITTER.


From Arizona to the Yucatan in Mexico, there are numerous gorgeous places that you can stay worldwide- for FREE- in return for some pet sitting, grass cutting and/or other light duties. As a housesitter you can cheaply and easily travel and live in many exotic places: mountain, lake, city, rural and live like a local for anything from a few days to a couple of years.

Opportunities currently on offer include: a seven week housesit by Lake Isabella, California, eight weeks in Malua Bay, NSW, Australia or six weeks in Brisbane, Queensland or four weeks in New Zealand. Housesits in oceanfront properties in Panama, Australia and the Caribbean or city apartments in Paris or Barcelona are not uncommon.

Here’s how to become a housesitter:
You will need to be able to view and request housesitting positions using the internet. This is the most cost and time efficient way to find your perfect housesit. One of the most popular housesitting websites is Housecarers. There are two levels of house carer membership: one free, the other paid. Basic registration is free and you can post your ad, receive emails of latest jobs etc. but you will need to upgrade in order to contact the homeowner directly when you see the job of your dreams. Full membership costs $50 USD per year and allows you to upload your photos, contact homeowners. You can choose to either receive daily emails from just a few of your target countries or for worldwide housesitting opportunities as soon as they are posted on the site.

It would be useful to obtain references and police checks as soon as you are ready to launch your new housesitting adventures- obviously house owners are putting their trust in you to look after their most valuable possession-their home- so any references are a sure way to present yourself as a reliable and honest, trustworthy person.

Putting some money aside for a deposit and offering to pay a deposit is also a good way to show potential homeowners that you are serious about looking after their home. Not every home owner asks for a deposit but have a fund set aside just in case.

Make sure that you spend time on your profile. This is the write up that will appear on the website along with whatever contact details you have provided. Treat it like an interview: be positive and tell your reader a little about yourself, your experience with housesitting and looking after pets (dogs and cats tend to be the main pets- but ponies, chickens and even the occasional pig, other exotic animals can also need to be looked after.)

You are now ready to get online and find your dream house sit. Using Housecarers you can filter your search results to narrow down your targets or just roam around the website to sit what’s on offer and when. Upload photos, references, police clearance checks, your calendar and your preferences. If you are flexible about location make sure you turn on ‘Include Me’ in Flexisearch results under ‘Preferences.’

You will need to discuss and agree in writing how outgoings are going to be paid before you start your housesit. Some homeowners pay for all outgoings, some require a payment towards electricity and broadband. Make sure everyone knows who is paying for what to avoid arguments later on.

Now the hard work has been done you can sit back and wait to see if there's a homeowner in your area who's desperate for a little peace of mind while they are away travelling. Who says there's no such thing as a win-win situation?

Don’t forget to ask for a reference once your housesit is completed (provided the experience was a positive one for everyone!) Build a portfolio of references- particularly in the early stages. Many friendships are made via housesitting and who knows- that free housesit may become a more frequent occurrence.
If housesitting sounds perfect for you…

Click Here!

That $50 yearly fee will repay itself many times over.

Holiday Inn Express Hotels - Click Here

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Teach Abroad- See the World- as a TEFL Teacher

Ever wondered how you are going to afford to retire early and improve your lifestyle by moving to one of your favourite destinations?

Does the idea of being chauffeured to your teaching job at an English Language school somewhere exotic appeal to you? How about living in a multi-cultural city in Asia, Europe or South America- with help with your accommodation costs?
Or does the chink, chink of your evening gin and tonic appeal to you- brought to you by your maid at the end of  your workday?
All these things are possible for YOU- depending on which country you decide will be your next best place to teach and live abroad.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a great way to combine living abroad while earning enough to enjoy your new lifestyle. You’ll usually be paid a lot more than the locals. Your most important qualifications are being a native English speaker (from UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada for example),  a couple of years’ teaching experience under your belt and a university teaching degree and/or TEFL certificate are bonuses.

If you don’t have a teaching TEFL qualification, there’s still time to do a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course. These courses are offered: online, correspondence or classroom based or a mixture of all three. Having a degree is often asked for, but by just being in the country, being a native speaker and having a TEFL certificate often works just as well.

The good news is that the number of English language schools worldwide and the demand for TEFL teachers is growing rapidly.

Start your search for a teaching English job anywhere in the world here:
Dave’s CafĂ©:   www.eslcafe.com  A fantastic free website to search for TEFL jobs worldwide, get teaching resources and post your CV.

Times Educational Supplement   www.tes.co.uk  Search “International” for current teaching vacancies.

Search TEFL jobs, TEFL courses, businesses for sale for free. Sign up for free (daily/weekly/fortnightly) newsletters detailing both long and short term summer vacancies at: www.tefl.com
You can even search your daily living costs on this website-in 158 cities in 87 countries!

Browse a Directory of English schools in any country: www.english-schools.org
Check out the world job index at: www.internationalteflacademy.com

Job recruitment fairs are a great way to see what’s on offer under one roof. See the links above for the dates/venues of jobfairs near you. Often, once you’ve expressed your interest in a certain country/school you can have an interview at that time and a new job within days! (Think of the whole process as a bit like speed dating!)

It’s important to check out what’s offered as part of the total package: are return flights included (or just one way) or not at all? Is accommodation included- if not what are rental costs? Is accommodation subsidised? You need to be asking plenty of questions before you leave home rather than discover some nasty answers on arrival at your new location.
Also check out local living costs: food/taxes etc. Make sure you have a written contract-so you know your hours, salary and general responsibilities and the length of contract. Check resources available at the school, what visas are needed and whether medical insurance is part of the package benefits. And most important of all- don’t part with any money upfront.

Although it’s not essential to know the language of the country you will be living in- it will make life a lot easier if you know enough of the basics for everyday living. 

'Teaching English Abroad' by Susan Griffith is THE Bible for teachers looking for a TEFL job worldwide. Regularly updated with great advice and personal stories.
Check it out.



Here are 3 recommended online foreign language resources to get you started learning a new language. 
  • BBC Languages    www.bbc.co.uk/languages/other
  • MIT Open Courseware  http://web.mit.edu/fll
  • Open University (Learning Space) http://openlearn.open.ac.uk
Subscribe by email to my 'Best places to live abroad' blog posts to receive hot off the press news, in depth country profiles, real estate best buys and more from around the world.

  Holiday Inn Express Hotels - Click Here

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Teach Abroad- See the World-work at an International School


How to Teach Abroad- Live Abroad- work at an International School

Ever wondered how you are going to afford a lifestyle change or early retirement in one of the world’s best destinations?
Does the idea of being chauffeured to school appeal to you? How about living in a swanky city in your favourite country- with help with accommodation costs? Or does the chink, chink of your evening gin and tonic appeal to you- brought to you by your maid at the end of your workday? All these things are possible- depending on which country you decide will be your next best place to live abroad.

Teaching is a great way to combine living abroad with earning enough to enjoy your new life. Teaching in an international school is a great way to live abroad; if you are English speaking, have two years’ teaching experience under your belt and a university teaching degree. International School lessons are usually taught in English and usually the curriculum you’d be teaching is based on the American or British system. The diversity of background’s of students and teachers is what sets an international school apart from those back home.
The good news is that the number of international schools worldwide and the demand for teachers is growing.


Start your search for a teaching job in an International School (there are over 5,000 worldwide) here:

The International Educator   www.tieonline.com 
Well laid out, user friendly website. Need to become a subscriber. Search job vacancies, information/resources, post your CV online. Costs: $39 USD for a web only annual subscription plus another $29USD for instant job vacancies by email.

Search Associates    www.search-associates.com

The Council of International Schools (CIS)   www.cois.org 
Annual CIS recruitment fair dates for 2012- in London are January 27th-30th and April 20th- 22nd. You will need to register online beforehand in order to attend this fair.

Times Educational Supplement  www.tes.co.uk  Search “International” for current teaching vacancies.

Teachers’ International consultancy (TIC) www.findteachingjobsoverseas.co.uk

Browse a Directory of International schools in any country: www.english-schools.org

Job recruitment fairs are a great way to see what’s on offer under one roof. See the links above for the dates/venues of jobfairs near you. Often, once you’ve expressed your interest in a certain country/school you can have an interview at that time and a new job within days! (Think of the whole process as a bit like speed dating!)

It’s important to check out what’s offered as part of the total package: are return flights included (or just one way) or not at all? Is accommodation included- if not what are rental costs? Is accommodation subsidised? You need to be asking plenty of questions before you leave home rather than discover some nasty answers on arrival at your new location.
Also check out local living costs: food/taxes etc.  
Make sure you have a written contract-so you know your hours, salary and general responsibilities and the length of contract. Check resources available at the school, what visas are needed and whether medical insurance is part of the package benefits. And most important of all- don’t part with any money upfront.

Although it’s not essential to know the language of the country you will be living in- it will make life a lot easier if you know enough of the basics for everyday living.
Here are two recommended online resources to get you started.
For a warts and all real life account of teaching in an International school read on Kindle: Notes from the Jungle...

Subscribe by email to my 'Best places to live abroad' blog posts to receive hot off the press news, in depth country profiles, real estate best buys and more from around the world.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Small Island Living- Roatan, Honduras

If paradise for you includes...fantastic year round weather, cooling trade winds, high temperatures, beautiful white sandy beaches and barrier reefs on your doorstep for endless snorkelling and diving-you need to check out Roatan in Honduras.

Welcome to Roatan, Bay of Islands, Honduras- a serious retirement Caribbean option for those looking for a tropical Caribbean paradise with seafood, fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance and a little adventure thrown in too.                                                                            

.

Roatan has been named as the number 1 island in the world tor retire to and has made it into the Kiplinger.com as one of the eight great places in the world to retire.

Hot and humid, November and February sees approx. 90 inches of (warm) rain.

Airlines flying to Roatan include:
Airlines from USA to Roatan International Airport (Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport)- Delta (direct flight from Atlanta), Continental (direct flights from Houston/Newark), American Airlines or Taca (direct flights from Miami/Houston.)

Ferry to Roatan from mainland Honduras:
Another option is to take the high speed ferry from La Ceiba to Roatan. These run twice a day and cost $22USD approx. each way. Journey time: approx. one hour.


For up to date travel guidebooks check out:
Fodors: Honduras and The Bay Islands (Book)
or: Lonely Planet- Honduras and The Bay Islands (on Kindle.)

To find out more about Roatan living and real estate listings see:
www.roatanonline.com
(As with any real estate purchase abroad, you'll need to do due diligence and make sure you get title insurance.)

Holiday Inn Express Hotels - Click Here