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Festive Cheer and Home Comforts

It’s now Christmas, a time to be festive and cheerful, and to look back on a year that has been positive for the real estate market and – by extension – the general Costa del Sol population. So a happy story to highlight this mood of optimism. The British Embassy in Spain has reported the results of a survey that reveals some of the secrets to happy living in Spain, and how expatriates adjust to life in the Iberian sun. Just under 1,600 people responded to the “Integrometer” online survey into levels of resident integration, with two-thirds living in Andalucía or the Valencia region, “where there are some high concentrations of British residents and integration is often low”. According to the survey, integration into the Spanish way of life is the key. “More than half of the British residents who responded say they speak Spanish regularly with friends and neighbours, enjoy Spanish food, use the Spanish healthcare system and employ Spanish tradespeople.  The adjective ‘happy’ is the word that they most commonly use to describe their lives in Spain, followed by ‘relaxed’ and ‘content’. “But some Brits admit to getting by without learning Spanish or registering on the padrón, and fail to make Spanish friends or keep up with Spanish news and politics, all things that appear to help others get more out of living in Spain.” Commenting on the survey, ambassador Simon Manley said, “It’s great to see so many Brits saying they are happy and content in Spain as a result of their efforts to integrate into local life. I would definitely urge others to follow their example. If you are settling here, the first and most important thing to do is to register on the padrón. That way you can access the health and social services you may need now or in future.” At this time of the year, of course, one of the celebrated aspects of Costa del Sol living that British and other northern Europe visitors find particularly appealing is being able to enjoy the festivities outdoors – be it an al fresco lunch, or taking the children to a local park or simply strolling through the streets admiring the decorations. Sometimes, however, we became all watery-eyed and yearn for a little nostalgia: preparing a bowl of glögg or mulled wine, nestling into a comfy armchair in front of the fire (a real one) and happily enduring the syrupy, tear-jerking family movies that dominate the TV screens over the festive season. So for our final featured home of the year we headed away from the glamour of the coast, out into the Costa del Sol hinterland for some rustic charm and cosy homeliness, and found it at this five-bedroom villa in the Istán mountain village. Even better: the price has been reduced from €2,600,000 to €1.900,000! For an added touch of luxury at your new country property, and with 2015 drawing to an end next week, we also visited the Rolls-Royce boutique and decided this cocktail hamper would make a perfect accompaniment to New Year celebrations. Special Selections We appreciate your taking the time to read about this exceptional property, but perhaps it is not exactly right for you? If not, we invite you to have a look at our other special selections for: La Zagaleta, Luxury Villas, Golf Properties, Seafront Properties, Apartments and Special Offers. Click on the category of your choice and follow the link. Also please feel free to roam around our website: www.villamarbellanow.com.