Smart mailboxes arrive to Barcelona

Smart mailboxes have arrived to stay in new housings. A Spanish company has developed a project to help disregard those people who spend a large part of the day away from home and wait for parcels. Now it is the parcel that waits for the client.

Through encrypted mailboxes and a mobile application, users can easily pick up their order in their own building, which optimizes delivery processes and considerably reduces the waiting time since with a regular mailbox the client who is not at home at the time of delivery has to pick up the parcel in the nearest collection point, which usually increases the waiting time.

The real estate sector is becoming more technological and this new system adds value to it as it is gradually being integrated into new buildings. Old mailboxes give way to a model that adapts to buyers’ behaviour who increasingly make online purchases.

In addition, mailboxes are customizable in size and color and adapt to the style of each building in order to suit with the interior design.

It is a good solution to the current style of life and it will serve to improve it.

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5th Conference of the International Commission of FIDEM: United States

On Wednesday, June 6, the 5th Conference of the International Commission of FIDEM was held, this year dedicated to  the United States of America, with the topic “We open doors to export to the US“. The event counted with the Consul General of the United States of America in Barcelona, ​​Marcos Mandojana, and with professionals such as Raquel Sans, journalist of TV3, who moderated the presentations of the night; Aina Juliol, President & CEO of PGI Engineering, and Bernat Palau, Partner & CEO of the Netmind Group.

The Consul focused his presentation on the lowering of taxes of the United States Government for which investment in the United States should be much more attractive. The attendees explained their experience and offered the entrepreneurs and businesswomen tools to facilitate the export of their services or products in the United States.

The speaker Aina Juliol exposed her 13 years of experience in the implementation of her company in Miami as a spearhead in order to give way to 14 more countries. His first failure to then get up and start a more advanced company in a country that gives second chances.

Bernat Palau, meanwhile as CEO of a consulting company and technology trainer, shared his experience, absolutely different from that of Juliol, in terms of integration in the American world.

Both interventions gave an absolutely practical vision of how to work, of what attitude is valued and which can be the best partners for the adventure of internationalization via United States.

The act was closed by Raquel Sans, who explained her experience as editor of TV3 for 4 years in Washington, as a journalist, as a mother and citizen who wanted to integrate fully into the local world.

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Underground cities: a solution for overpopulation

According to United Nations studies for 2050, 66% of the population will reside in urban areas  due to two aspects: the persistent preference of people to move from rural to urban areas and the growth of the population during the next 35 years. These two factors, among others, are beginning to be taken very seriously at the urban level in order to manage the exponential growth of the cities that goes by expanding their housing resources in underground cities.

Almost 90% of the urban growth will occur in Asia and Africa and that is where the first initiatives to solve the problem are emerging, and it is beginning to look towards “underground” for the creation of cities. Until now the solutions went through skyscrapers but, why not the underground?

Expert architects this question of the construction of large buildings that grow downwards in those overpopulated cities, which due to their location can not grow any more.

Currently there are already some examples of cities underground.


In Mexico, a so-called “Rascasuelos” is already being designed, which will be extended under Mexico City and it will have 65 levels with housing, shops and offices. Although it is currently in the study phase, the BNKR architecture studio has been responsible for its design, in the form of an inverted pyramid, to ensure sunlight throughout its entire length of 300 meters underground.

It is estimated that thousands of people could live in the rascasuelos, below the 57 thousand square meters (240 x 240 meters) of the Zócalo, the main square of Mexico City.

The Earthscraper by BNKR


In an area of ​​710 km2 with more than 5 million inhabitants, it is not possible to grow more. Although there are still no houses built underground, it already has large storage spaces several meters deep that can serve as an example.

For now, the Underground City of Science is being designed, which covers some 300,000 m2 of scientific facilities and which aims to house some 4,200 workers at a depth of between 30 and 80 meters deep.


Currently in Beijing there are already people living underground. It is estimated that close to 1 million people live underground in the Chinese capital, where a network of anti-aircraft shelters converted into housing is hidden due to demand and high market prices.

The flight from rural areas to large cities has led to this new housing system that, in most cases, does not comply with sufficient measures to ensure minimum conditions of habitability.


Beneath the city of Helsinki lies another world. And in the Finnish capital is better to stay underground than on the surface supporting their -20 degrees in winter. Eija Kivilaakso, an urban planner who collaborated in the design of underground spaces, states that “there are so many underground tunnels that it can be difficult to build more”.

The granite subsoil of Helsinki has enabled almost 10 million cubic meters of space, such as shopping centers, running tracks and swimming pools, to be built underground. The first 30 meters under the surfaces are full, in order to build more they should dig much deeper.

Helsinki: Underground cities by Ruben Alonso

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Which are the expenses related to a purchase agreement?

When an action of sale of a property is made there are expenses that must be taken into account after the activity. Here we outline what you need to know.

Notary fees

What is it? The Fees for the intervention of the Notary as public notary so that the document is a public deed and can be registered in the Land Registry.

How much? The price is determined by the value of the sale, but can also influence: the length of the writing, the number of copies. Take into account that at this fee we must add VAT / IGIC (Canary Islands)

Who pays for it? The buyer

Who is paid? Notary

When is it paid? When the Deed of Sale is written


Registry expenses

What is it? The Fees for the intervention of the Registrar that verifies the legality of the document and registers it in the Property Registry.

How much? According to the tariffs of the Property Registrars. Take into account that at this fee we must add VAT / IGIC (Canary Islands)

Who pays for it? The buyer

Who is paid? To the Property Registrar

When is it paid? At the time of Registration in the Registry



What is it? Taxes on the sale of real estate:

  • AJD Tax that is paid whenever the sale is taxed. If you pay with ITP (Transfer of Property Tax), AJD is NOT settled.
  • VAT or ITP As applicable

How much? Approx. 1% of the value of the sale. No variation depending on the Autonomous Communities or the buyer’s conditions.

Who pays for it? The buyer

When is it paid? At the time of the Sale

Capital gain

What is it? Although everyone knows it as “Plusvalía”, it is actually the Tax on the increase in the value of land of an urban nature. It is a municipal tax that is paid every time there is a transmission of the house (sale).

How much? The difference in value from the previous sale (if it exists) and the current one, is corrected based on the complete years elapsed and a percentage that varies according to the municipality is applied. The values ​​are assigned by the municipality, here it does not influence how much has been paid.

Who pays for it? the seller

Who is paid? In the city Hall

When is it paid? 30 calendar days from the date of the Deed

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The best age to adquire a property

One of the most important decisions in the life of a person or family is, currently, to become an owner. And is that buying a property today is a cost that can change our day to day for several years. Therefore, the best advice is not to rush, meditate all the pros and cons and do it at the right time. Analyzing all aspects is key to help you make the best decision.

The age to acquire a home is very relative and, each time, the real estate market influences more in relation to the offer of brand new properties and the increase in rental prices. On the other hand, also the possible of Government benefits for the acquisition of first homes and other factors such as the employment and family situation of the potential client.

In 2017, more than 40% of the mortgage requests were from buyers between 30 and 40 years old. 27% fromo buyers between 40 and 50. 17.5% from buyers between 18 and 30. This last age group is marked by the instability of the job market and the fear of banks to grant loans to so young customers. On the other hand, this year 2018, the Government has announced a package of aid for the rental and purchase for youths under 35 years that aims to encourage the purchase with a help of 20% of the total price,if the applicant’s salary contribution does not exceed 22,000 euros.

The previous help is very positive, but, considering the current job instability, it seems unlikely to bet on the acquisition. It seems that the age range between 35-45 years is the most common and successful, since employment seems to stabilize and the family economy allows an investment of this type becoming a more affordable expense. It is important to decide to take this step when the disbursement of the purchase can be assumed as an additional expense and not as a monthly challenge that can lead to major problems in the future facing, perhaps, an eviction for not being able to meet the debt.

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