We're Still Moving to Spain

Published on 12/04/2011 in Relocating to Spain

Just thought I would write and tell you about our thoughts on moving to Spain.

We know things are tough at the moment, more so it seems maybe in Spain than in the UK, but my family and I are still committed to the move as soon as possible.

I am 42 and my husband is 51 and we have 3 boys. It is something we have wanted to do for the past 6 years, but just as we have got close to it, there has been something to keep us here in the UK.

We have had to look after elderly parents and now as time is pushing on our two boys are in their crucial years at school. They are ages 15 and 14. We also have a 5 year old.

We have had our house on the market for sale for two and a half years and it has not yet sold, so it is now off the market until the boys finish school, then hopefully we will be able to sell it and go.

Moving to SpainWe absolutely love Spain, and especially the Costa Blanca, Murcia region, and have looked at many places in which we would happily live.

We have no plans work-wise yet as my husband intends to retire, and leave the financial planning of our lives to me!! I am studying for a degree in modern languages, in my third year and I am a support tutor at my local college so hopefully I will be able to find some part-time work in Spain.

We will most certainly rent first for a couple of years, then once settled, we will think about buying. We really can't wait until the day we wave bye bye to the UK and start to live our dream, which we have waited for for many years.

I just hope it all lives up to our expectations.

Many Thanks for reading.

Written by: Natalie Sells

About the author:

My name is Natalie Sells and I live in Norfolk, UK with my family of 3 boys and my husband. We are looking to move to Spain when kids have finished their education here. We are self employed, running a business on the seafront of Great Yarmouth. I can speak intermediate Spanish, and am studying for a degree.
I also attend my local college evening class to further my Spanish, which I love.....

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Dolly said:
20 September 2013 @ 08:13

We have lived in Spain for 10yrs and enjoyed every minute, even though there have been bad times to get through, but that's life! I run a part time teaching business from home and have done so for most of that time and even during the crisis am still very busy, however due to circumstances I now need to find the right person to take over from me.

Rachel said:
04 August 2011 @ 13:56

My parents are thinking off buying a mobile home in benidorm and are looking for a bar there too.. they want me and my lil girl to move out to and will buy me a mobile home aswell, dont get me wrong i love benidorm and would love to move there, but im thinking off my daughter and if its gonna be better for her..i want her to have a good education! would she in benidorm? is it hard to get a job? etc thanks for listening x

moira said:
26 June 2011 @ 00:36

I think you should follow your dream. Everyone has individual circumstances and if you believe in yourself no matter where you go in the world you will succeed!!! You owe it to yourself get on with it...and hope some day you will get baack to us and say how much a success you have mad of your life....good luck and God Bless Moiraxxxx

suzy said:
03 May 2011 @ 15:14

what a mixed bag of comments and opinions, well its time to add mine. i have been living on the costa blanca (inland) for six years now and would only return to england kicking and screaming. i am not saying life is easy my husband who is fluent in five languages has not had a full time job for 2 years now and things have been extremely tight but to me it is a life style choice, england is just a rat race and keep up with the joneses culture. if you want to keep the lifestyle you have in england then stay there but if the spanish way of life appeals then go for it. interegrating into the local comunity is the most important thing the spanish will welcome you with open arms as long as you try. as for the children i would agree there ages are not ideal, my children were 8 and 10 when we came (now 14 and 16) and had no touble they were fluent in the language after about 10 months and have only spanish friends although there are other english kids. as for the person who said that the spanish kids have drug drink and sex problems, i don.t know what area they are in but we see non of that. of course there are problem teenagers were ever you are but its up to you to guide your kids in the right direction. as for the education system i can not fault it . here if they do not reach the required level for that school year they repeat it, similar to the american system hence you do not get kids leaving school at 16 and not being able to read and write property which is what is happening in england ( i know i was a teacher). yes the job situation is poor but if the kids are prepared to put the work in there is opportunities out there for them. whatever you decide i wish you all the luck in the world.

Sneezey said:
28 April 2011 @ 13:17

I have been living in Spain for 30 years and love it! It's not any easier or more difficult finding work here than it is in any country. I think it would be advisable to try and get a job before you decide to move here. The wages are a lot lower than in England, and the cost of living isn't any cheaper, but the sun and the countryside are free, so you can have a good lifestyle if you are not too materialistic. There's a saying here that says "If you want to be a millionaire when you leave Spain, you have to be a Multi-milionaire when you arrive!"
You don't have to be rich to enjoy life here though, it's all down to priorities, there are things here that are cheaper and easier to do due to the climate, and the way of life. People here are outside more than in, and there's always a lot going on ,particularly in the Summer ..... I think yo should go for it, I have never regretted leaving England

Patricia said:
26 April 2011 @ 13:51

Hello Natalie:

I fully echo what "Frederick has said above. Spain is a great country (and it doesn't consist only of "costas" !!). And I have never been able to understand the obsession with the sun. I have lived in Spain all my adult life, and worked here for and with Spanish people. My husband is Spanish.
Reading your letter I can see you have the right approach. Do your homework, maybe rent at the beginning, follow Norman's advice to go back to England in the Summer months (try, if you can, to make some arrangement to have a small place to go back to in the U.K. from time to time).

Many non-national children go to school and university in Spain. In any case I am sure you are discussing these matters with your children.

The very best of luck, keep an open mind, no country is absolutely perfect.


Sanchez1 said:
20 April 2011 @ 11:21

the predictor
FYI, it's been raining on the Costa del Sol all week. We also had 3 months of almost solid heavy rain last winter. Winter can be pretty miserable on the CDS.

the predictor said:
20 April 2011 @ 04:38

Costa del sol...still the best place to be in Europe...despite crises...everywhere...
UK is fucking cold and rain in London all the time...move to here...only rent to buy...for a couple of years...go for it...
3 most important in life:
1. SUN
basic...310 sunnydays on Costa del sol (historic books)

Jeanette Whelan said:
18 April 2011 @ 13:13

Hi Gerald and anyone else with any ideas ?
I apologise to Natalie for digressing. I'm sure our alternative to living in Spain is not for you with a young family and we only live there between November to April / May but you never know what the future brings if you decide not to make the move until the children are grown up for the compromise of winter living.
Yes 4,000 a year is a lot for a plot but it is so much cheaper than living in a house with it's water elec, gas, suma charges etc. I know cos we had a lovely house in La Nucia for 10 years but lost it last year due to fraud - That's another story should it be considered suitable for print in the future.
Obviously living in a caravan can't compare with our beautiful house. We now divide our time between the UK and 6 months a year in Spain. Our lounge is a Belgium awning fully cladded with ceramic tiled floors, wall lights, lounge furniture, dining room suite etc. The kitchen is fully fitted and the caravan itself is stripped out simply as a bedroom with plenty of wardrobe space and shower room.
Our terrace has plants, garden ornaments and an orange tree. Enough outside space but again not comparable in any way to our previous garden, pool and terraces.
The site is extremely well run and clean. For those who don't wish to be awoken by the dawn chorus of dogs (I remember well in the residential areas) they are not allowed on this particular complex - please don't be offended dog lovers. I am one of you - but not a dozen barking all at once.
The high cost is the norm for local caravan parks. It provides free water so no charge there and electricity is so much cheaper.
It has exceptionally clean shower blocks, indoor and outdoor pools, aqua aerobics every morning, an excellent restaurent with line dancing two afternoons a week, craft fair one afternoon a week, entertainment every Saturday night, line dancing two afternoons a week. quiz nights etc and that is in the winter months when the area is exceptionally quiet. Therefore, we have lost our bricks and mortar but have a new life style. That said, you don't have to be a social butter fly taking part but it is there if you want it.
We see it as Glamping as opposed to Camping. The down side is the vans run in rows and rows and back to back. However, I suppose the same can be said for terrace houses without the sun.
The reason I asked about cheap land is because we could still visit our friends and use the facilities but would have our own back yard.
Good luck with your decision.

Gerald said:
18 April 2011 @ 00:00

To Jeanette

Not sure about the cost of such a plot. It just sounds a reasonable approach in the short term, as suggested by an earlier contributor.

However............. 4000 Euro a year for plot charges is astronomical. What sort of site is that?

I have done quite a bit of research and preferred the Los Alcazares area to Polop etc. Don't know what land is suitable there though for siteing a caravan. One day..........

Frederick said:
15 April 2011 @ 20:46

Do it Natalie, Spain is a wonderful country and the Spanish are wonderful people, my wife and I have lived here on the Costa del Sol for 22 years, haven't been back to England for 12 years and never want to, despite having family there, don't expect to get work but you can live very cheaply if you try but whatever you do ,DO NOT live in an English community, live amongst the Spanish. Good luck.

jeanette said:
14 April 2011 @ 15:18

To Gerald. is it possible to buy land that cheap for a caravan in the costa blanca area ? Possibly inland to Benidorm ? La Nucia, Alfaz, altea, albir, polop etc etc ? We currenlty pay 4,000 euro per year to keep our caravan on a registered site in Benidorm. It is a very big site with vans crammed together, it would be nice to have our own back yard so to speak.

Here in Spain said:
14 April 2011 @ 10:05

Please, think very carefully before leaving the UK with children. Don´t get carried away with thoughts of the sun and forget about their language, friends and fitting in at such difficult ages. Why not wait until your children have all left for Uni and you only have yourself and your husband to risk? Holiday in Spain every year until then......

karen said:
14 April 2011 @ 09:15

I and my family have just returned home to the UK after living in Spain. The main reason being the secondary education system. Unless you can pay for private education your elder children will have a very hard time in Spanish High school and get a very basic education. Yes the UK has problems,but so does Spain! If you care about your children's education stay n the UK and move to Spain when you retire and your children can made their own way in Life.

molly farr said:
14 April 2011 @ 02:33

Come to Catalunya

been here 10 years

no English I speak to want to go back

I visit just to remember why I left

Now England is worse
is that possible

Gerald said:
13 April 2011 @ 22:37

Was going to buy in Los Alcazares 2 years ago after doing a years research. I love the place.

Took my wage slips to the bank for a mortgage. The manageress had kittens when she saw what I earned. She said people in an equivalent position is Spain would not earn a fraction of that sum. That did it for me.

Two years on, with the property crash and the strengthened Euro, I'm glad I didn't buy. I visit and stay in the Hotel 525 when I feel the need.

I will work in the UK for as long as I can and hopefully save enough to retire to Spain.

Alternatively, a 1000m2 plot with a caravan on it sounds adequate! It's one thing to dream about living in Spain, it's a lovely country. Living the dream is not the same and can turn out to be a nightmare!!

norman said:
13 April 2011 @ 17:13

why does everyone want to work.Rent your house in England and use that to pay the rent in spain,you,ll be up on the deal.
Then all you need is food.Dont rent on the sea front like most simple folk ,this costs more.Try and rent a finca a mile or so back then you can grow your own food.For as little as 15000 you can buy 1000m2 of farm land and stick a caravan on.
Dont be obsessed with work.Go to England in the 3 summer months and work,then go to spain for 9 months no worries.If you follow the sheep ,you,ll get led into the same pen as the rest.And no matter how warm the sun is and how friendly and different the people seem (all nationalities) DONT TRUST ANYONE.Lawyers Banks anytype of oficialdom,these are the worst perpertrators,they will actually advertise you get in touch with them.They dont spend money for nothing.

Sanchez1 said:
13 April 2011 @ 13:44

What are your kids going to do once they've finished school/college? Youth unemployment is 43% in Spain. During the boom years it was 23%.

vikki said:
13 April 2011 @ 13:01

Please think twice about taking your children over to Spain, what kind of future job propects will there be for them, non spanish speakers, high youth un employment, you have had your life chances, but they will still have to make their own way in a foreign country, have many friends in Spain with kids who are all trying to sell up to return, mainly to give their children a chance of a good future.

Nati said:
13 April 2011 @ 11:18

Things in Spain are much worse than in the UK. Unemployment rate is over 20% here in Spain and 7% in the UK. Sorry for being so negative, I am talking from my experience here. I also love my country and being near my family. Hopefully we will buy a holiday home and come as often as we can till we retire!

Nati said:
13 April 2011 @ 11:07

I am also negative about Spain. I am a native Spaniard who came back to Spain 2 and half years ago. I am a qualified Modern Languages teacher and I have struggled finding a job on Costa del Sol where there are lots of international schools. I have been from temp to temp jobs with long periods of unemployment.My husband has been working in Gibraltar but since we came here he has not had a permanent job either. We cannot make long term plans as we may find ourselves with no jobs. Therefore we are planning to go back to the UK this summer and may be retire in Spain when we don´t have to think about getting jobs here. It is very very tough. Good luck

Dee said:
13 April 2011 @ 10:38

Im forced to reply to you Rosi because the story you are telling is identical to mine in reverse
My son worked for the Post Office in the Uk for 28 years he was made redundant and because he has little experience of anything else he can only now get a PART TIME JOB (that is the crafty move of most employers now).. he cant make ends meet and is running up massive debts with little help in benefits.. he is damned if he works and damned if he doesnty so I like you am proud of my heritage my parents went through 2 world wars to defend my country... would I go back NO WAY you can have my country Rosi and Ill have yours.

Rosi Reed said:
13 April 2011 @ 10:09

I am Spanish, but was brought up here in England and am married to an Englishman. We brought up our children here but took them back for long holidays and made sure that they spoke Spanish, knew their Spanish relatives and had a love and understanding of Spanish culture. When my girls were in their late teens they decided to move back to Spain permanently. One got a job with a well known holiday company, the other teaching English. Almost 15 years later the English teaching daughter is a senior at a very prestigious school in Sevilla and is on a good wage (for Spain). She can barely make ends meet and has to teach additional private classes in order to have some kind of decent standard of life. The other daughter was made redundant in 2010, her Spanish husband was made redundant at the end of 2009 and although he's been for many interviews he could find no work at all. They have now moved to England, where they are both working and although they hope to return to Spain in won't be in the near future. I run a holiday business in Spain and have lost 4 employees in the last year, as they simply can't manage any more there and have had to return home to Britain, just to be able to make a living and sleep at night without worry.
Before you go, please bear in mind that the local people can't get work - they wish they could. Do not presume you'll be able to and have a plan for a life there that involves you NOT working. Also be aware of the terrible growing drug and sex problems amongst the teens and keep a very close watch on your boys so they don't get dragged into what is becoming a very real problem that is breaking up Spanish families.
We love Spain and I'm very proud to be Spanish and of my heritage and culture - would I want to live there at the moment? NO WAY!

Diane Sharrier said:
13 April 2011 @ 09:25

Go with your heart - I can't wait to do it! My brother has lived there for 11 years, my sister has a place there as do my husband and I and my parents lived there. None of us run a business in Spain, we are all hard working ordinary people and none of us have looked back. My brother says he would never come back to the UK. He has gone through the rough and the smooth as he may well have done over here, but his argument is that at least through the rough times in Spain he still has the sunshine! Good luck!

Dee said:
13 April 2011 @ 08:39

Dont let anyone steal your dream..there are always . those who wish to paint a picture of doom and gloom.. there is an article in one of the free papers this week here that says there are many of us Brits who have chosen to stay in Spain.. Ive lived here 10 years and still love it and barring unforeseen circumstances I certainly would not choose to go back to the UK: You are doing the right thing .. rent first and look around. The economy is no worse here than the UK and certainly the cost of living is no worse If you give up on a dream you will regret it because you will always wonder. I know I´ve done it.l

Phil said:
13 April 2011 @ 08:26

Natalie follow your heart I wish I had done it years ago.There was always a reason not to!
Now we feel we are too old to start again...
Good Luck!!

Rob in bubble busted land said:
13 April 2011 @ 07:14

Í don't understand why Spain if you're retiring, the world is your oster so why not go some where nice and CHEAP. There are loads of Spanish speaking countries that are much much cheaper than Spain. And if you do move here for gods sake don't buy a house, rent, One day not to long from now you'll want to move back and you'll be stuck with a house you can't buy.

Also some people can live on 300€ a month (after rent) but most can't

midasgold said:
13 April 2011 @ 02:18

I wish you well with your dream Natalie,but be sure to bring healthy savings with you as it may take YEARS before you become financially secure here in spain.

Ros said:
13 April 2011 @ 00:33

Sorry to be negative - I know you won't want to hear it - but don't just hope for some work - try and set something up beforehand if you will be relying on the income. It's a tough economy over there. My Spanish friends work 5 hours a day in hot greenhouses for 25 euros a day - and they're fluent in Spanish!

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