THE promised land of sun, sea and sangria has long lured foreign residents to Spain’s shores.
In total, 4.5 million foreign residents bask in the Spanish sunshine. And as the country emerges from the economic crisis that number is only going one way: up!
Be it for the weather, the laid-back pace of life or a business venture, more and more foreigners are making a life in Spain.
But before putting all your eggs in one basket, there are some important things to consider before taking the plunge.
1) Learn basic Spanish
It is true that there are some parts of Spain where you hear more English than Spanish. However, these are usually tourist hotspots only bustling with Brits during the summer months. For the rest of the year expats must interact with Juan, Carlos and Maria. And the best way to get the Spaniards onside is to show them you’re trying.
Before upping sticks it is easy to prepare a basic level of Spanish to get by (hello, goodbye, how are you? etc..)
It may at first seem daunting but the opportunity to speak a foreign language should be an extra draw to life in Spain.
2) Cost of living
If you are coming from the UK, the cost of life in Spain could come as a welcome surprise – fiver for a pint? Forget about it, €1.50 for a tubo sounds much better.
The actual cost of living obviously differs from town to town so be sure to ask your estate agent when looking around.
The money you could potentially save on cost of living could allow you to buy a better house than you had ever imagined.
One word of caution, if you are planning on working in Spain, the lost cost of living must be weighed up against the average wage, which is somewhat below what you might have been getting in the UK.
3) Bank account
You need a Spanish bank account to live in Spain. There is no way around this. All service providers require one in order for you to pay your bills. If it is possible, sign up for an account before you arrive to make transferring funds easier and quicker. You will be required to have an account with your mortgage lender and with this it will also be easier to do everything from putting down deposits to being paid by your employer. If you are unsure how to go about this The Finance Bureau will open a bank account for you, whether applying for a mortgage, or not.
4) Purchasing property
Buying a property is probably the biggest decision when making the move abroad. There are many things to factor in; location, price, type of property etc.
It is important to do your research. Buying a property in Spain is not like buying in your home country. Know what mortgage rates are available to you before you go house hunting, find out what taxes or fees may apply to buying overseas and find out what the buying process entails.
This may seem like a lot but the best way to give you peace of mind is to contact an expert. At the Finance Bureau we can talk through the completion costs as well as mortgage options available to you from a number of different banks.
5) Insurance options
The final thing to be aware of before heading off to Spain is the various insurance packages available to you. At the Finance Bureau, we offer home, life, travel and motor insurance to give you peace of mind.
Different insurance packages suit different people so the best thing to do is contact an expert who will work out the perfect insurance option to make your move as smooth as possible.