16 Great Tips For People Thinking Of Moving To Spain

Published on 03/11/2008 in Relocating to Spain

Moving to SpainSpain is one of the most popular destinations for people from Northern Europe to consider moving to. The attraction of Spain's weather and climate, its perceived low cost of living, the closeness of Spain and the amount of existing expatriates serve to appear to make this an easy decision to make.

However what many people do not realise is that life in Spain for expats is hard - unless of course you have lots of money and no need to eke out a living in Spain. Many people end up moving back.

In order to help you avoid this fate we have a selection of advice and observations from expats who have already made the move. Use their pearls of wisdom to prepare yourself for your big move to Spain.

The better you are prepared the more chance you have of making a successful move to Spain.

* If you can afford to buy a house outright you are laughing because although costs have gone up a lot that doesn't apply so much to the costs of running a property which are still relatively low.

* If you don't speak fluent Spanish you will struggle.

* Try have a job sorted in Spain before you come out here otherwise you could spend precious weeks/months while savings melt away. Best come out on a flying visit, hit the streets, read the local papers, get something in hand and then go back home to pack up.

* Many people do come and go - don't assume you won't be one of them - rent first so you don't end up being stuck in Spain against your will as property can take years to sell.

* Be practical - you can't make a living in Spain if you are stuck in remote mountains or inland. Think about living within easy access to international airports.

* The Spanish state schools are in general very good.

* Your child will have a rough couple of weeks but then that could apply to any new school. In six months they should be fluent in Spanish.

* Many people say they are happy to do anything and that they will do cleaning, bar work whatever they can get - all very commendable but the novelty does wear off and then you realise you are struggling to make ends meet. This puts great strain on relationships.

* Competition for construction jobs in Spain is fierce. Southern Costa Blanca going rate is approx. €80 a day. Northern Costa Blanca is €130 but costs of living are higher.

* You may currently be fed up with your fellow countrymen but after awhile you may yearn for some creature comforts and familiar customs i.e. English football or certain products you cannot find in Spain.

* Perhaps the best time of the day is early evening - going for a walk in the sun along the beach and enjoying a drink afterwards.

* Foreigners are tolerated at best and often ripped off by the locals.

* Pay is much lower than Northern Europe yet costs of living have rapidly increased - Spain is no longer cheap.

* Getting bar work in Spain is fine in the summer but come October you may find you are out of a job!

* the Internet is fantastic for advance research but do visit Spain on fact finding trips, visiting the different areas so you know which area of Spain you like best.

* Your problems go with you when you move to Spain, they don't magically disappear. You don't change personality so be realistic. Life and it's many problems continue to hit you in Spain - in fact many people would say life in Spain is even harder than where ever you are coming from.

Written by: Mark Eastwood

About the author:Mark Eastwood is the publisher of http://www.CostaBlancaUncovered.com - the site for tourists visiting the Costa Blanca coast of Spain as well as residents and people considering moving to this popular area known as the 'California of Europe'.

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Poedoe said:
24 May 2014 @ 10:41

Moving to Spain was our aim in 2006. after several visit we bought an apartment inland from Guardamar. lovely Village now with a new college. The Agent was Atlas, who found our beautiful new home, we did all the research and employed a Spanish Lawyer, did all the right things & completed in Feb 2008, Although we have spend a few weeks in our apartment over 4 years We are are still waiting for the local council to grant the Habitation Certificate, WHY, The builder ceased trading the following month, then went on to remove some of the important utility units from the complex. Although we and the other purchasers which included Spanish French & UK citizens paid all the fees for the Utilities to be completed. Thousands of Euros are needed in the complex to replace & supply what this Builder removed. Today 2014 we are still waiting for the local authorities to allow much of this work to be done before the habitation certificate can be granted.
My advice to anyone purchasing in Spain is double check every aspect on completion. We did but the Builder sent his workers to remove vital equipment, returning to the complex and removed undercover and renting some apt's to his staff.
Over 7 years and we are still waiting for the Builder to pay up for the damage done to our complex. When will the authorities help and bring these villain to justice.

With all these problems we still wish to spend our retirement in Spain, as we get older the dream is getting very cloudy. The community fees are over €80 euros a month, which is helping with the fund to complete the work the builder failed to do. Please take care when signing your agreement. Get the law on your side,

cheri said:
10 February 2013 @ 09:28

ive had 2 years experience in Spain.. with very little of the language i managed to get a job in a Spanish hotel..it was very tough going...the Spanish work very very hard..in some places there is no day off..so 7 days a week for them..working for expats is what most people opt for.. i really loved Spain and i miss it a lot..and yes i learned from mistakes..there are people there without proper papers to work..and they live off crime..i had mobile phones and money stolen from me..
i disagree with the writer, as i was a changed person when i lived there..the climate agreeded with me..the food is much better ..i did find housing expensive due to so many holiday homes..that had pushed private lettings to be quite expensive..so most people shared..most people live in high rise flats..but i did live in a tourist area..

r3jok said:
22 January 2009 @ 18:01

How very true all this is. We went to Majorca 4 years ago without proper research and only lasted 9 mths. This time we are doing much more research, planning etc. and taking our time over it. Yes you do learn by your mistakes!

Just Looking Now said:
09 November 2008 @ 17:44

The author certainly paints a very gloomy picture of moving to Spain. However, lots of expats live there. I would be interested not only in knowing about the downsides (there appear to be many), but about how residents have resolved the related issues. My wife and I are probably 10-15 years away from retirement, but we want to start preparing now for the move. (We are in the US.)

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