13 Nov '11, 4am

As banks curb loans, Spaniards turn to home swapping: MADRID (AFP) - When Jorge Lucero decided he needed a bigge...

MADRID (AFP) - When Jorge Lucero decided he needed a bigger home for his growing family, he knew it would be tough getting a loan from Spain's risk-shy banks. So instead of buying, he swapped. Like an increasing number of Spaniards, the 36-year-old engineer short-circuited the hard-pressed financial system by agreeing to swap his apartment directly with a retired couple's house and garden. His new 260-square-metre (2,800-square-foot) house in Mahon, capital of the Balearic island of Menorca, has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a living room, kitchen and office - nearly three times the size of his old home. It is valued at 560,000 euros (S$985,477). To make up the price difference between the two properties, Mr Lucero agreed to pay 160,000 euros on top of giving the retired couple his smaller flat in Mahon and parking space.

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/TechandScience/S...

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