What do I need to know before moving to Spain?
When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Spain, they said:
"In addition to what was mentioned previously, get a local mobile phone number as soon as possible. It seemed we got a faster response when we gave our facilitator's number. We used the local real estate websites like Fotocasa and Idealista for our searches. And to reiterate from others, PREPARE/RESEARCH - there is so much info on sites like this one; PACK ONLY THE ESSENTIALS (prescriptions and enough clothes to layer for warmth when necessary) - don't incumber yourself with STUFF - you are doing this to have new experiences and make new memories; and LEARN THE BASICS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE - people will respond so much better if you try to communicate in their native tongue and usually will revert to English because they want to practice,"
mentioned another expat when asked about moving to Barcelona.
"Be methodical and organized. Have a time-line with goals. Seek input from people who have made similar moves. Test drive the town and neighborhood before committing to a long-term lease or purchase. In Spain, for example, there are numerous vacation rental apartments, homes, villas, etc. where you can stay for several weeks or months (at far cheaper rates than most hotels) to get a feel for the area you are considering,"
commented one expat who made the move to Altea.
"Take some time and get to know the zones of the city in a preview trip if you can. Do what works for you... unlike the US, you are paying the rental agents at least a month's rent for their services, so call SEVERAL and see what each can find. Be very clear what you are looking to rent, and walk around in the area and call the numbers from the signs in the windows. Be wary of the "too good to be true" and "no renting agent" signs... if you don't speak the language fluently, you will be at risk if there are problems,"
remarked another expat in Valencia, Spain.
"Decide what you want from the area first,do not buy the house then see if it offers what you want, location location.
I choose the area because of sailing, and then formed the S.A.M.M sailing
assoiciation.Which is based in Los Alcazares
and has now over 150 family members. We now have a number of groups with 8 share owned boats,and members with privately owned boats,"
said another expat in Los Alcazares.
"You can get much cheaper and larger apartments outside of the center of the city (duh). I do like where I live simply because I don't have to go anywhere to have fun. I'm 10 min away from the central tourist/party area of Sol. I live 2 minutes away from a metro stop and have literary hundreds of club and bars outside my doorstep. With all of this I hear no sounds at night since my apartment window faces inwards,"
remarked another expat who made the move to Madrid.
"Make sure you don't end up in a tourist trap area and that where you do end up there is plenty of close by public transport. In Mallorca, stay in Palma or choose a country town where the train passes thru. The bus system is not good,"
explained one expat living in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
How do I find a place to live in Spain?