Is Moving to Spain a Good Idea? Expat Living Series

6 mins read

Some clients ask, is moving to Spain a good idea? However, the answer is not a simple case of yes or no. The answer depends on your current lifestyle circumstances, if you are a family, or need to work. Everyone’s reasons for moving to Spain are different.

However, we can say many expats living in Spain wholeheartedly endorse the idea. A report last year said roughly 380,000 registered people lived in Spain, with Brits making up a huge percentage of overseas nationalities, despite Brexit. To help you decide if moving to a new country is for you, let’s look at benefits, disadvantages and what to know before packing your bags.

Is Moving to Spain a Good Idea?

Benefits of Living in Spain

1: Weather: When moving to Europe, the climate is so diverse, but what is there not to love about Spanish weather? With more than 300 days of sunshine a year, everyone sports a year-round tan. Of course, expats invest in air conditioning during the hottest months, but it is a small price to pay for an excellent Mediterranean climate.

2: Flight Schedules: Spain’s European location and ultra-modern air travel transport network means getting to and from wherever you move to is easy. For British expats who want to pop back to the UK for a weekend visit to the family, it takes just 2 hours. Many of Spain’s modernised airports operate with a focus on getting passengers through quickly and smoothly.

3: Healthy Cuisine: Of course, many restaurants serve international cuisine, but we recommend taking an interest in all things Spanish. Experts say the Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest in the world, and fresh ingredients at the local weekly markets mean it pays to be creative in the kitchen.

is moving to spain a good idea

4: Beachside Destinations: Spain has nearly 5000 kilometres of coastline, and many UK expats head to Costa destinations to enjoy a beachside lifestyle. Take a promenade stroll, enjoy a cold beer watching a sunset or swim and sunbathe in beautiful locations that remind expats about the good points of living abroad.

5: Things to Do: There is no excuse for any retired expat to be bored in Spain. Of course, golf is a big thing with many award-winning courses, but many other hobbies await, from fishing to photography, hiking, trekking, and much more. Throw in the abundance of historic sites and tourist attractions, and getting in the car to follow the open road, throws up some pleasant surprises.

6: Beautiful Landscapes: Our environment affects our mental health and wellbeing. Experts always recommend getting back in touch with nature to rejuvenate ourselves, and this is where Spain delivers in bucket loads. As well as beautiful beaches, many inland locations, and small villages make the perfect picture postcard.

living as an expat in Spain

7: Outdoor Lifestyle: So, combine the gorgeous weather, alfresco style dining, things to do, and stunning landscapes to promote the outdoor living theme, that for some expatriates was their reason for moving. Granted January and February, the cold months, limit exploration choices, but expatriate living means using this as the time to recharge and get ready for 10 minutes of the great outdoors.

8: English Speaking locals: Spain’s tourism industry has thrived for decades, and because many locals rely on tourism for an income, they learn foreign languages, including English. This makes expatriate life easier. Of course, move to a remote destination with no expats, and you need to learn Spanish but otherwise, most of the expat population get by learning one Spanish word a day.

9: Existing Expatriate Communities: Moving house to another country is a daunting experience, but the move is more straightforward when settling into an expatriate community with expertise. They advise on everything from navigating red tape, the best shops, bars, and restaurants. It makes meeting other expat families more effortless, and, on many occasions, they form lifelong friendships.

living in spain

10: Property Market: In many areas of Spain, the real estate market is an ever-revolving circle of foreign and domestic buyers. The lure is understandable since there is a healthy choice of apartments and villas for sale. Twin that with Spain’s low-price index that has still not reached the 2008 crash prices, and in areas with mass developments, excellent prices make a wise real estate investment. To review the housing market, see our portfolio of apartments and villas here. Just use the contact details listed to find out more via email or to arrange a viewing.

11: Culture and Traditions: Open-minded expats with a flexible attitude and outlook often find Spanish culture and traditions exciting to learn about. From their family-friendly ambience with a special focus on kids to any excuse for a festival, we recommend delving headfirst into learning about Spanish culture.

What are the Disadvantages of Living in Spain?

1: Laidback Attitude: We all like relaxation, but the laidback manana frustrates every expat when getting things done, like legal paperwork or house repairs. However, there is no way around it. Expats can not change years of social practices handed down from generation to generation. They need to go with the flow on this one, be prepared for everything to be drawn out, and take longer.

2: After Dark: Naturally, given the hot temperatures during the day, Spanish people believe in doing many things when the sun goes down, hence the late opening times of supermarkets. They even eat later. Expats who like quiet evenings and an early bedtime should carefully research chosen destinations to make sure they don’t end up in a busy night-time hub.

3: Home Sickness: When moving from your home country, home sicknesses can strike any expat at any time. Even the ones who wholeheartedly believe a move to Spain was the right thing to do. The excellent news is homesickness is only temporarily, and thanks to technology these days, international moving means catching up with friends and family back home are only a touch away on your telephone.

4: Working: Gone are the days when expats hopped on a plane and were working in a bar by night time. Like many other countries, Spanish people ensure jobs go to Spaniards first. Some expats set up businesses, while others work remotely, but if you rely on an income for moving to Spain, research carefully before getting on a plane.

What to Know Before Moving to Spain?

When moving to a new country, some people who think on their feet pack a bag, jump on a plane, and settle in quickly. However, most people with existing obligations struggle with such a profound, significant change and need some tips for moving. To make the transition smoother and more manageable, we believe in research and preparation. Remember, expats need to sort out visas, residency and healthcare, a bank account, source somewhere to live, and navigate day to day issues like paying bills. Our article on what to know gives hints, tips, and advice on preparing for the move.

Where do Expats Live in Spain?

You may already know where to live in Spain, having holidayed there for years. But if you don’t, there is a general trend as to where expats end up. Most settle in southern Spain rather than northern Spain because of a warmer climate and more international feel. They head to the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, or Costa Brava. Our article about the best places to live talks more about cities, towns and villages ranking highly for ex-pat living.

About Us

We hope we answered your questions about whether moving to Spain is a good idea, but if you have any more questions about expat life, or would like to speak with an agent about buying property in Spain, call us today. Additionally, you might also like to read our blog that talks more about moving overseas, living in Spain for all wannabe expatriates, and destinations like Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Mallorca, Granada, and the Balearic Islands.

expats in spain

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.