Everything You Need To Know About Moving To Spain
Each year tens of thousands of people think about moving to Spain and living the dream. However, only a small percentage of those people make the move. One of the reasons why people back out from moving to the sunny climates of the Costa Blanca and other parts of Spain is the lack of information. Another reason is the fear that things may go wrong, as well as the fear of Brexit.
Spain has become a popular choice for people wishing to leave the UK and move abroad. With its sunnier climate, slower pace of life, it’s no wonder why so many people wake up in the morning wishing they were out of the rat race and living the dream in Spain.
Read our guide which we have put together to help people understand more about moving to Spain.
The Spanish Climate
A popular reason why people move to Spain is the climate. In the UK on average we have 106.5 days of rain, where Spain it’s mostly sunshine and warm nights. With Spain being such a large country the weather changes from region to region. In the North of Spain, there is a temperate climate, with mild winters and warm summers. In the South of Spain, the part where all the sun seekers visit, it can get very hot. Central Spain enjoys hot and cold weather.
The Cost Of Living in Spain
If you are a regular visitor to ex-pat forums, then you will see one of the most popular questions that people ask, and that is the cost of living in Spain. People want to know if they can live better for less in Spain. Although the prices in Spain have increased in recent years, you can still live cheaper than the UK, especially if you eat and live like a local.
Property prices in Spain have risen in recent years, but they are still much cheaper than the UK. To reduce the cost of living in Spain, it’s important to look for accommodation out of the tourist area. By stepping back from the area where all the holidaymakers visit and stay, accommodation will be much cheaper. However, if you want to live near the beach, then you will be paying premium prices.
Utility prices in Spain can be a bit expensive, so it’s important to look at this before moving into a new property. The Internet can be more expensive than the UK, and if you have to rely on bottled gas, then you will be paying more, hence increasing your living costs.
Finding Work in Spain
One of the biggest problems with moving to Spain is people not being realistic about the job prospects available. Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and for those expecting to jump on a plane and find work straight away are in for a huge shock.
A lot of people who move over to Spain are shocked to find the amount they can earn is much lower than in the UK. Another shock to the system is finding out there is little chance of gaining the same type of job as they had in the UK. When moving to Spain, it’s important to do a lot of research. A large portion of people who move to Spain ends up working in bars, as a cleaner or in a restaurant.
Finding work can be hard, and that is why we at In2town Travel Magazine recommend you take enough money to cover all your bills for at least eight months.
In the UK, a lot of people say those that move to the UK should learn to speak English, but it does seem odd that people who move to Spain don’t bother to learn Spanish. It is very important to speak the lingo if you want to fit in, and it’s even more important to speak Spanish if you want to expand your job prospects.
If you cannot speak Spanish, then you may need to hire someone who does speak Spanish when you want to go to official appointments or even to the hospital. Learning to speak Spanish makes sense and is a must for those thinking of moving to Spain.
Healthcare in Spain
The Spanish health service is one of the best in Europe. If you pay into the system then you will be entitled to use the health service just like someone who was born there. However, if you do not pay into the system, then you will have to take out private health insurance which can be expensive. If you are visiting Spain on a temporary basis, then you can use your EHIC card.
Spanish NIE numbers
If you are moving to Spain, then it is important to obtain a NIE number. You need to apply for one as soon as you arrive. An NIE is a legal requirement for anyone who plans to work in Spain or rent or purchase a property. You will also need a NIE number if you wish to open a bank account or plan to make a purchase such as a car. The NIE number can be obtained by visiting a local police station.
You will need to take the following documentation when applying for a NIE number:
- Your passport and a copy
- Passport photos
- A completed EX-15 form
Renting a Property In Spain
When looking to rent a property in Spain it is important to note that you will need to pay one month’s rent and one month’s deposit. Some landlords often charge two months’ rent in advance but it all depends on the landlord. There are different ways of finding a property to rent, which includes visiting a rental agency.
When using an agent to find you a property, you can find many of them advertising their services on Facebook where a finder’s fee will be asked for. This fee varies from agent to agent but can be as much as one month’s rent. A way to avoid paying a finder’s fee is by walking around the streets and seeing if any properties have a sign outside offering it for rent. Another way to avoid paying a finder’s fee is to speak to local people and bar owners and ask them if they know of any properties that are available to rent.
Buying a property
When buying a property in Spain it is important to have an expert on hand. You need someone who has been recommended and one that speaks English. It is important that you find one that specializes in Spanish land law as the system of buying a property in Spain is very different than buying a property in the UK.
Opening a bank account in Spain
There are some very good banks in Spain but the banks work differently than they do in the UK. Even though they have banks in Spain such as Santander, if you are a customer of that bank then you will still need to open a separate account in Spain.
Banks like Barclays and Santander aren’t affiliated, they are entirely separate and if you have an account with Santander or Barclays in the UK, you’ll still have to open a new, separate, account in Spain.
You can open a resident bank account or a non-resident bank account depending on your current living situation.
Moving to Spain can offer you a great life but you have to be realistic and remember that Spain is not the UK. You will also have to understand that the Spanish love red tape, this is just the way Spain is.