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“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain..”

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American author.

mortgage loan, also referred to as a mortgage, is used by purchasers of real property  to raise funds to buy real estate; by existing property owners to raise funds for any purpose while putting a lien on the property being mortgaged. The loan is ” secured” on the borrower’s property. This means that a legal mechanism is put in place which allows the lender to take possession and sell the secured property (“foreclosure” or “repossession”) to pay off the loan in the event that the borrower defaults on the loan or otherwise fails to abide by its terms. The word mortgage is derived from a french legal term used by English lawyers  in the Middle Ages meaning “death pledge”, and refers to the pledge ending (dying) when either the obligation is fulfilled or the property is taken through foreclosure.  Mortgage can also be described as “a borrower giving consideration in the form of a collateral for a benefit. (wikipedia)

Traditionally in this area of Spain most families had their apartment or “piso” in the town and apart from that a cottage or “casita de campo” in the countryside. This cottage used to be fairly basic, there was not always electricity and often the water came from a well. Families used to pass summers there and holidays. They used to eat paella with friends and family or prepare “cocas” (a kind of local pizza) in the woord oven.

People used to work hard, and all the money earned was saves, so that when a daughter or son got married they could buy their own apartment. Usually people did not go on holiday, and of course they did not have things like  42” plasma television sets nor computers. Life was much simpler. The shops in town provided for all necessary and little more.

They did not need much more. People attended the “fiestas” of the village, the “bous al carrer”, “moros y cristianos”, or whatever fiestas they celebrate in each particular village. The families took care of one another. Grandparents looked after their grandchildren and the children looked after the grandparents.

As I mentioned before when young people got married their parents – who had been saving for this occasion even since they got married – bought them an apartment, and the cycle started all over again.

When about 20 years ago I decided to buy a house (a small bungalow with two bedrooms), and I told my Spanish father in law that I wanted to talk to my bank to see if they would grant me a mortgage, he thought I was crazy; “How could I even think of getting a loan, this just WAS NOT DONE!!!

Nowadays almost everything is bought with a financiation. The house, the car, the freezer, the television, dental treatments… And normally we just do not stop to think of how much we pay exactly monthly for all these financiations, mortgages, leasings, etc.

Usually it’s things we really believe we need. Obviously we need a house to live in, most people also need a car, and of course dental treatment is really e necessity. But we could just think a bit more before signing for these loans. Do we really need to spend € 250.000 on a house? Or could we manage with a smaller one? And the car? And do we really need 3 television sets?

And what about borrowing money to go on holiday???

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