Sat 13 February 2016
Spain News | Living in Spain is easy If you know how
Living in Spain is easy If you know how.
February 13, 2016
Making the move to Spain is a great adventure. However, when the decision is made and the time comes, it can also be daunting. We believe the best approach is to embrace the Spanish way of life.
If you want to live in Spain and you decide a new way of life is what you deserve here are some tips worth noting.
- Property prices are better than where you currently live. You can buy a beautiful property in a great location at a surprisingly good price tag. There are some great deals to be had!
- Regular flights and deals mean that trips to and from Europe give you opportunities to book ahead to visit family and friends.
- A warm and dry climate. Over 300 days of sunshine per year and a moderate temperature throughout the whole year. On average two substantial rainfalls per year and a warm climate throughout.
- Very good Spanish road system and public transport at affordable rates, which is great if you wish to see more of Spain. Trains are very well maintained and the new high-speed rail links all over Spain are going to make travelling in Spain even easier. Motorways and roads are exceptional making Spanish road travel a very pleasant experience.
- The cost of living in Spain is generally lower in comparison to parts of Europe. Despite inflation in the past few years the cost of living in Spain is still cheaper. Council rates, utility bills, eating out and supermarket / fresh produce are all still cheaper than European countries we work in.
- Schools in Spain in many areas offer a bilingual education. Children stay for longer and the values that are shown to children in Spanish schools are of a high standard.
- A geographical paradise. From snowy mountain ranges in the Pyrenees and Granada to tropical islands in Tenerife and the Canary islands to long stretches of unspoiled coastline and of course thousands of acres of almond, orange, grape and olive groves. Spain also has many world heritage sites including la Alhambra, in Granada and the Serra de Tramuntana, Mallorca, which was recently declared this year. World heritage sites are determined by UNESCU and Spain is second in Europe being home to a total of 42 World heritage sites.
- Unbeatable National Health Service. Clean hygienic hospitals and very competent medical staff.
- Spanish people are generally very friendly, tolerant and family orientated. If you make an effort to integrate you will find it very easy to make friends.
- An unbeatable lifestyle. Fabulous fiestas all over the country all year around, a country oozing culture and places of historical interest, fabulous golf courses, Sandy beaches and a healthy Mediterranean diet.
Spain has a unique culture. It can take a little time to adapt. If you do it right you will have no regrets and you will live your life to the full. Be prepared to be frustrated during your search, the process may not always go to plan! However, once you find your dream home in Spain, it will all be worth it.
Here are some tips that will help you along the way.
Come for a holiday and visit different areas. Once you narrow down your target areas come back and arrange to work with an agent who can guide you along the way.
- Be assertive, open minded and respectful. Don´t expect everything to be done overnight. Spain has a bureaucratic system that drives even the locals to distraction.
- Do some research and find a good lawyer. Speak to locals and they will recommend both lawyer and agent.
- Make sure all your paper work is in order. A good “gestor/gestoría” will help with the process if you don´t speak Spanish. This gets you good legal advice without the more hefty bills you get from a fully qualified lawyer.
- Your Gestoria / Abogado (Professional administrative agency/Lawyer) will help you to obtain a NIE number (Number of Identification for Foreigners-tax identification) You must have this to buy property in Spain.
- Try and learn at least a little Spanish. Most Spanish people who work in the service industry etc speak English. However you will feel more integrated if you try to grasp the basics.
- Be patient. It is no urban myth that the Spanish use the term “mañana” a lot! The pace of life is more relaxed. You might have to wait longer in queues, and wonder why people stop their cars for a 15 minute conversation with their friend in the middle of the road.
- La hora del Almuerzo, (Brunch) takes place nationwide between 10.30-11.30 each day. Don´t be caught in any queues at that time and especially if it is to file a complaint. If you are in a queue and waiting to be attended by a funcionario. You are likely to have the window closed in your face despite the fact that you have been queuing for 1 hour. Change your timetable it is much better that way.
- National holidays, bank holidays, local fiestas in August are all times when most shops and services are likely to be closed. Prepare for this in advance. Get a calendar of the local fiestas and bank holidays. Don´t try and do anything in August that requires the processing of paper work or means placing an order for something that is not in stock.
- If you live on the coastline expect an influx of holiday makers coming to invade your private space through the summer periods. If you live inland expect noise from Donkeys, chickens, dogs and animal life!
- La Mañana, (Morning) is until 14.00 hours. Buenos Días, (Good Morning)
The Spanish Lunch hour is between 14.00 hrs and 16.00 hrs.
La siesta, is between 15.00-16.30 hrs and is when the Spanish generally take a power nap.
La tarde, (Afternoon) runs from 14.00 hrs until nightfall. Buenas tardes, (Good afternoon)
La Noche, is from dusk until midnight. After that the small hours are referred to as La Madrugada. Buenas noches, (Good evening).
Life in Spain is different and can be a real culture shock. A good sense of humour and an open mind will certainly mean that the good will out weigh the bad. Remember why people from all over the world relocate to Spain. The weather, of course, but also the incredibly laid back lifestyle. Embrace it and live the dream.