People moving to Spain may be helped by reading the following tips and advice.
1. If you have children, lookat the education opportunities well before moving. Spanish schools open up theirmatriculation procedure in early Spring, and most parents have secured a schoolplace for their child well before Easter. Look at the Resi-Education section and check out our section on internationalschools in Spain. If you want to learn some Spanish before moving to Spain,try one of these onlineSpanish language courses.
2. Lookfor guarantees before buying a house in Spain. Spanish law require people who sell properties to "give honesty"to people who buy them. In other words, purchasers can (and should) always claimall the land registration guaranties and proof of payment of all outstanding debtsbefore the operation is completed in front of a SpanishNotary. Never go through with any purchase unless you obtain the legalcertificate, which proves such payments. Once again, you should be advisedby a good Spanishlawyer. Read our comprehensive section on buyingproperty in Spain.See also our Spanish-Englishglossary of real estate terms, so that you know what you are dealing with.And research the areas you plan to buy in. Try our new section of onlineguides to Spain with a province by province description of what to see,where to go etc.
3. Takeinto account all the expenses which arise from livingin Spain These include the following:
- Monthly, termly or yearlycommunity charge which changes depending on the quota fixed by your comunidadde propietarios which, in turn, depends on where the property is andhow much care its upkeep and maintenance requires. Qutoas are paid to your property's Administrador deFincas.
- Water, electricity and phone bills, payable every twomonths, usually through the bank account so open an account with one of the many Spanish banks offering services to foreign clients on your arrival oreven before you move.
- Yearlyproperty taxes and rates in Spain, payable to the Town Hall
- Anyprofessional fees paid to the consultancy that sorts ourt your paper work (see Spanishlawyer fees)
- School fees if you are going to send your childto an international school in Spain
- Domesticexpenses - cleaners in Spain charge an hourly rate of between 7 - 10 eurosper hour and are relatively easy to find. The cost of living in Spain is stillabout 20% cheaper than in Britain, although it has risen significantly over thepast 15 years.
4. Bear in mind before you move to Spain that you will need to get a NIE (Spanish fiscal number) and then a resident permit on arrival. You can actuallyobtain a Nie before you arrive (see howto apply for a NIE in the UK). You will need this document in order tobuy a property in Spain. While getting a NIE is quite a quick painless exercise,residence permits can take as long as six or seven months after the presentationof documents. Or even longer (my last permit took 15 months to come through).Documents required for resident applications depend on the financial situationand age of the applicant so it is important to get reliable advice before goingto the local Police Department. And take a book with you when you go. The queuescan be very very long.
5. Choosing a removals firm. A good removal firm will allow you to retain the bestof DIY in combination with their experienced removals team and vehicle. Helpingpack, load and unload the truck is good because most firms charge the earth fora full service and you should try to keep an eye on your goods as much as possible,anyway.
6. The flexibility you really need usually comes with hiring self-employedowner-operator removers. These carriers are a much better bet than using big firmswith salaried crews, as they generally don't have sales offices or other formsof corporate anonymity to hide behind if things go wrong. In fact, they rely almostexclusively on recommendations from satisfied customers in a highly competitivemarketplace. Try: www.simonmarshall.co.uk/trucking.html