relocating to spain

So here it is, you’ve probably just made one of, if not THE biggest decision of your life. You’re packing up what you know and love in England and moving yourself to become a permanent resident in Spain. You’ll be among thousands of other ex-pats who have made the brave decision to relocate, whether they have moved early on in their 20s, waited until they have a family, or with the crowds that flee to Spain for warmer and much more relaxed retirement years. People of all ages move to both the coastal areas and inland locations, different people have different tastes and requirements.

2Locations and Properties

Moving house in the UK can be complicated, so when you’re moving to a whole other country, preparation is key to ensure sorting out all the practicalities doesn’t get too overwhelming. We’re assuming this will be the first thing on most peoples lists, but thorough research of what area you would like to live is important. This isn’t just booking a holiday for a week. It’s much more serious. If you get there and the location doesn’t work for you, you’ll regret the whole move. Different people are looking for different things in a location to move to and its important you find where is absolutely perfect for you.

The most trusted estate agent on Camposol is Mercers, who have countless years of experience in helping people find their dream Spanish home. Their extensive property portfolio also covers many other areas across Spain.

When you have finally decided on the location for you, get in touch with different estate agents in the area and get to know what they can offer and how they can help you and get a feel for how much house you will get for your money in various towns, in conjunction with what you can comfortably afford. After that, you’ll generally get a feel for if they’re the right estate agents for you, or a bit of snooping around the internet you’ll find thousands of truthful reviews which can be a big help. After that, find your dream home!!

Residence Permit
If you are an EU citizen you will not need to apply for a residence card for stays anywhere up to 3 months, however if you are wanting to relocate on a permanent basis you will need to apply for a permanent residence card. These permit cards are issued for 5 years and are then automatically renewed. Any applications for a residence card must be completed by the person who the card is for and must be done in person at the foreigners’ office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or the national police station (Comisaria de Policia Nacional) with the foreigners department relevant to the city in which you will reside in.

When you are in the process of applying for a residence permit, you will be required to present the following documentation:
– Your valid passport that is at least 6 months away from its expiry date.
– Three passport-sized photographs.
– Medical certificate – if required.
– Proof of family relationship if you are applying for reuniting family members.
– Proof of how you will financially support yourself for your stay in Spain.
– Pension or copy of work contract if you will be working in Spain as an employee.
– Necessary proof that you meet requirements to work self-employed.

Learning the Lingo
You’ll find more Spanish locals speak English than those who don’t, but understandably, there will be times where it would be ideal if you spoke Spanish, at least
a little. Spanish is such a beautiful language and there are many classes you can attend to meet people in similar positions so it will never really seem like a chore learning the language. You can catch up with a language book as a bit of light bedtime reading of when you’re lounging around the wonderful pool in your garden. 

On the Camposol urbanisation you’ll find countless English ex-pats, and really all across Spain is popular with Brits so you’ll never really need to be fluent in Spanish, it’s just nice to be able to hold a basic conversation in Spanish.

Spanish isn’t a difficult language to learn, you’ll actually be surprised how much you pick up in passing without going out of your way to learn it, and even when you do sit down to learn, you’ll be shocked at just how many words you are already familiar with. If you’re not quite at retirement age yet, it will be more of an advantage for you to know Spanish as it will make your life a lot simpler, and you may be faced with more opportunities to earn much more money because:

  • You’ll receive greater job opportunities.
  • The Spanish locals are very friendly people and its always nice to be able to how a conversation with the locals, they will be your neighbours after all. You’ll benefit from a much more active social life if you can communicate effectively with the Spanish and keep them as your good friends. Many young people may speak English but the older generation may not be so up to scratch.
  • Being able to converse with a Spaniard whilst living in Spain will bring you much greater independence. Even though you’re probably thinking the daily chores of life will stop because you’re moving to sunny Spain, this isn’t the case. You will still need to go shopping, get your hair and nails done, have your car MOT’d and serviced, speak to people via telephone concerning bills and mobile contracts, just a selection of what may become difficult should you not be able to speak the language. You’ll feel so much more independent the day you no longer have to bring along your friend to translate. It also opens up your options on service providers you can use for an array of things.
  • Learning the Spanish language is more than learning a series of words, it will enable you to appreciate the culture, appreciate the Spanish people, and all of your surroundings. The Spaniards will feel not only grateful that you have taken the time to learn the language, but pleased that this will enable you to embrace the Spanish culture, and it will enable you to get more involved in the Spanish way of life in every way possible. 

There are many ways in which you can effectively learn Spanish, its just about finding the right method for you.

When relocating to Spain on a permanent basis, you’re going to need to ship a lot of personal effects. Approximately 6 months in advance, we recommend that you obtain quotes from 3 or more removals companies to see how much they will charge you and what additional are included in that price. For example, packing equipment, boxes, insurance and any further arrangements. It’s best you go with a well-established and highly recommended removals company so you know what level of service you’re going to be receiving.

The larger companies are more likely to advise you on any potential problems that may arise, how they can be solved, the best way to go about transporting your belongings abroad and will either include insurance in their price or direct you in the right way for the cheapest insurance policies.

Plan Your Finances
The most important thing to remember regarding your finances when moving abroad is the exchange rate from GBP to Euros, and how this will have an effect on your money, everything from exchanging your funds in to the necessary currency, buying property abroad or even paying for overseas education.

The most sensible option is probably to open a bank account with the local bank, there is one on the Camposol urbanisation that you can use, and this will help with general day to day banking. If you have ongoing transactions in the UK (such as income from rent or direct debits) it would be wise to keep a UK bank account open.

It is going to take a few days, maybe even weeks, after your initial arrival to get used to your new Spanish home and the Spanish way of life and it may all seem overwhelming and confusing at first. But you needn’t worry, this happens to everybody and the locals and fellow ex-pats will make sure they are accommodating and welcoming towards you. In the midst of unpacking boxes or after the process is completed, take yourself for a wonder around your new home town. You can make yourself known with neighbours and other locals which will instantly put you at ease, and they can give you some advise or make you known to things such as locations of amenities, the best restaurants, bars etc. We can guarantee they’ll all be friendly and more than willing to help you.

Day-to-day Life
As well as purchasing a house in Spain, you’ll be getting with it a lifestyle that will make even the most privileged people jealous. You’ll see more than 300 days of sun per year, you’ll always be greeted with warming hello’s, you’ll more than likely be no more than a 15 minute commute from a golden beach, it really is the dream life! There’s endless designer shops, or quirky traditional Spanish shops, countless outlets to buy the most fresh and delicious Spanish delicacies and exciting and colourful markets.

You’ll feel healthier and happier from the second you move there – that doesn’t seem bad at all! Just enjoy your time and embrace every moment. You’ll LOVE it!