Moving to any “foreign” country can be equally as fantastic adventure, as it can be an absolute nightmare if you are not prepared, or if you don’t know a few of the tricks that help you get by from day to day.
I have indicated a few tips before you leave to come here, and a couple of tips to bear in mind when you arrive and start to make your life here.
All the points below are based on personal experience and I would encourage you to try out at least a couple of them to see what I mean.
Research, and then do some more!
I cannot stress enough, do your research before moving to Spain and don’t leave anything to chance. Rent before you buy, to get a good feel of the area you have chosen to live.
Remember, being on holiday in a place is very different form living there, and if you enjoy the nightlife, and move to a resort on the coast, bear in mind that during the winter these places can be like ghost towns and many shops, bars etc, close for the winter because of this so be warned!
Do not agree to buy somewhere “off plan” i.e. not built yet, you WILL lose all your money. Keep a UK bank account too, don’t totally cut yourself off, even if you do not plan on ever moving back, things can happen and times change.
Now you’re in Spain, what next?
Shops in Spain often choose their own opening hours, and always subject to last minute changes. They have a more laid back attitude to work, and to customer service, so save yourself the upset and expect the worse when you go shopping. Don’t be surprised, especially in some of the Chinese bargain shops that have sprung up everywhere, to be followed around the store like a shoplifter. Again, go out and try this for yourself, its true!
If like me, you like to go out and eat from time to time, money permitting, you will soon have found out that the Spanish are real sticklers for meal times, sometimes quite bizarrely so.
If you want to get a table in a restaurant for lunch (much longer, larger and slower than a uk lunch), here is a handy tip….
- The Spanish, without fail, will turn up for lunch at EXACTLY 2 pm.! (Go on, go out and see for yourself, it really is true!), so if you want the best table, turn up between 1.15 and 1.30 and you will have your pick!
- If you like a drink out, it is MUCH cheaper to buy wine and beer than it is to buy soft drinks. So it’s your round next!
- Apart from expat resorts, Spanish don’t drink pints. The weather and humidity means that the pint is warm and flat before it gets halfway down. Drink “Terceros” (third of a litre bottles) which usually only cost about 1.50, and you will find you will waste far less beer, which as any man knows, is a crime in itself!
- LEARN THE LANGUAGE! Your life will be easier and more rewarding if you make an effort and learn at least a bit of Spanish.
On a more important note, here’s a few other handy tips.
Get an NIE (Foreigners national insurance number) pretty soon after you arrive. In some towns its easy and some hard, but you need a bilingual “Gestor” to do this for you, and that is in fact another handy tip, a Gestor a cross between an accountant and a civil servant but employed outside the state system. his person can help you with many things, including sometimes, translation. Various companies will offer you similar services as part of relocation to Spain packages, but to get it done properly hiring a local Gestor is usual better.
Register yourself at the nearest health centre and get on the Spanish SIP (health card) system as soon as you can. If you are bringing kids to Spain, they will have to be on the health care system before they can be admitted to a school.
And finally, take your time and don’t expect everything to fall into place overnight. Moving to foreign shores is a big step, but if done right, you can sit back and enjoy your every own life in the sun!
Advice from Guy Alexander Bell
New Spanish immigration laws for EU citizens have come into force in July 2012. First and foremost the laws tighten you can obtain permanent residency in Spain and on what terms. How does it affect you and your plans to obtain a dream home in Spain?
The most likely answer is: It doesn’t!
Hefty debate is ongoing about the new laws restricting EU citizens from settling in Spain. Is it the first step towards Spain leaving the EU? Is it a violation of the Schengen treaty? These may be future legal battles and/or polemic political debates, but the effect on you as a future home owner in Spain is likely to be minimal.
What the new law states as requirements for permanent residence in Spain:
- You must be self supporting (Job, Pension, Self employed) or
- Have sufficient means in the bank / other assets and
- Have valid health care (private or public from your country of origin)
In other words, you can´t move to Spain and immediately sponge off the social system there. But then, were you really planning to?
If you are looking for a future dream home in Spain for your family to have as a base for a new life, you either have the cash to buy that house, a sufficiently good finances to secure a mortgage for it or at the very least enough money for a deposit and moving costs for a rental villa. That almost certainly means you have a way of supporting yourself … and if not, you should probably reconsider the move anyway.
Do as you always would. Find your preferred area, locate the property of your dreams and plan for the future ahead. The law says you have to be able to support yourself to realize your dream of a life in Spain – but it wouldnt be much of a life if you couldnt, would it? Theres a more thorough review of the new immigration law and its consequences for future expats in Spain here: Jávea Spain: Moving To Spain / A New Livelihood
Home is where we take a break from the fast-paced world outside. Whether you have a small or a big home, what matters is that it provides you a place to relax and embraces you with the comfort you need. The interior design can define the atmosphere of your home. It is the thin line of difference between a chaotic and a calming ambiance. And the interior design is nothing without furniture. So, when you are in the middle of renovation or you just bought a new house, remember to give home furnishings a lot of thought.
The worst thing that can happen when you are buying your furniture is to do it in overfilled warehouses. It’s a strain to even wait in long queues with the inspection. And what’s worse than driving a long way just to find out that what you want is unavailable. Wouldn’t that piss you off big time? Absolutely, it would!
IKEA, a Swedish furniture store, is right at your fingertips for high quality yet reasonably priced furniture and home décor without the stress. Your bathroom, living room, dining room, bedroom and even your outdoor space will never run out of design option because IKEA has a wide range of products you can choose from. This furniture store is well-known for its modern and contemporary designs with cut-back costs. You may be doubtful now, “If they aim to reduce cost, then the quality is compromised.” This is not actually the case. In fact, the company does it through innovation.
IKEA Spain shopping store is a new IKEA venture that caters Spanish interior and outdoor design enthusiasts and those who are just starting out a European life in this Iberian Peninsula. Like the other IKEA stores worldwide, it has the same easy and no-pressure mood.
Why would you take your time to visit this store? Would you be wasting your time if you do so? One guarantee when you choose to visit: IKEA Spain shopping store will give you a unique and the most wonderful shopping experience you’d ever have.
Once you’re inside the IKEA store, you’d be amazed at how their furniture are arranged in a way that you’d think you’re in a big house rather than in a selling place. The displays make it easy for you to visualize what the product would look like when you put it in your own home.
IKEA Spain shopping store thinks you deserve more than enough low pricing, so discounts will pat your pocket a good rest as long as you’re one of the early shoppers. As if you don’t have enough, the store also offers a guaranteed return policy. If you are not satisfied with the furniture you bought or you change your mind about the design, you can return products within 90 days from purchase.
If you ever need time to rest and ponder on the possible items to buy, a resting place inside the store is waiting for your weary feet. And when you get home, you’d know that you’d never have a fulfilling and wonderful shopping for a long time.