Factors to keep in mind when deciding where to live in Spain:
- Accessibility and infrastructure,
- Property Prices
- Weather and climatic variations,
- Type of Environment
- Education and Schools
Let us explain…
How To Decide Where To Live in Spain
Have you watched the property programmes on television? You know, the ones that stress the importance of finding the correct location when considering buying a new house.
Highlighting the importance of Location, Location, Location!
Location is just as important when deciding where to live in Spain. Whether you are looking to invest money in a property in Spain or a simply looking for a rental property, choosing the correct location is fundamental to not only the success of your move, but also your future happiness in your new home.
If you are moving permanently to Spain, we encourage you to rent before buying, when you first move over. We understand that rent can feel like wasted money. However, until you are certain you have the correct location for you, the rental monies paid will probably be a lot less that the expense incurred by the purchase of the wrong property.
If, however, you know the area you want to move to and have spent a lot of time there, then purchasing a property may be your best option.
When purchasing a property in Spain, think about using our independent property finder services, to find the best location and best property for you.
Be warned that when you approach estate agents selling a particular property in a particular area, you may not always get the whole picture. Reputable independent property finders, like ourselves, are impartial to commissions. We work for you and we help you secure the most suitable location for your home in Spain, at the best price.
Let's take a look at some factors to keep in mind when deciding where to live in Spain:
Accessibility and available infrastructure:
What is the nearest airport? How frequent are the flights to your preferred destinations? It goes without saying that, once you have moved over, there will be an influx of visitors. Not only that, if you need to return back to your home country at short notice, it is comforting to know how easy it is.
Without wanting to sound morbid, we need to consider the age and health of our family and friends. Moving away is exciting, but bad news from back home can have a drastic impact on this excitement and the happiness of your family. Knowing you can easily pop back, if necessary, at a short notice, gives many people peace of mind.
If one of you travels frequently for work, proximity to the airport is very important. If this is your situation, as a guideline, we suggest not more than an hour’s drive or a short train ride away. Commuting can eat into your day and eventually wear you down. You are not moving to Spain for that.
The weather and climatic variations:
Although Spain has a wonderful climate, there are regional variations, particularly in the winter months. Do not make the mistake of believing that it is always sunny in Spain. Believe it or not, despite the South of the country generally having the warmest climate and the best all year round average temperatures, the wettest place in Spain is actually in Grazalema, a village located in the northeastern part of the province of Cádiz, in southern Spain.
In some parts of Spain, the winter months can be long and harsh and the summers dry and hot, particularly in more rural, mountainous locations. Many properties are not built to cater for these temperature changes. Keep this in mind when considering both places to live and properties to purchase or rent.
It is also worthwhile remembering that two weeks in Spain, in the heat and the sunshine, can be very enjoyable and relaxing when on holiday. However, is this what you are looking for on a daily basis?
Education and Schools:
Whether you intend to send your children to a Spanish State school or a private, International school make sure you research the education options before looking for a property. State schools have catchment areas. Most schools offer transport options. Gather this information before deciding on your property search area,
It may sound obvious, but seriously consider what you can afford. Property prices vary greatly, not only in each area of Spain but also within neighbouring villages and towns. Have a look online to see what average prices are in the areas you are considering.
We encourage people to set a comfortable budget and then to see what they are able to achieve within that budget. You may be amazed by the difference in prices within short geographical areas. Again, this is where the knowledge of local property finders and relation consultants, like ourselves, can be invaluable.
*If you are renting, we advise you to set a monthly budget to cover both rent and education fees (where applicable) . In some areas, you will be able to afford private education and rent within your budget. We are often surprised by people planning to spend up to €2500 per month on a rental property yet are unwilling to pay for their children’s education (when deemed necessary due to age and language ability).
NOTE: A long term rental contract in Spain is generally 11 months, although some owners will agree to a 6-month contract. Any shorter terms will be considered as short term or holiday rentals and will usually be charged on a weekly rate. Ensure you clarify contract lengths when inquiring about rental prices.
The type of environment:
Are you looking for a big, bustling city that offers an abundance of cultural activities? Are you dreaming of a beautiful, quaint, sleepy Spanish village? Whatever your ideal location, it is important to ask yourself a few questions:
- How important is it that there are people of your own nationality in the area?
- If you are looking at a typically Spanish village, might language be an issue?
- If you live in a more touristy area, what will it be like in the height of summer and also in the winter?
- Are there cinemas, activity centres, museums nearby to keep you and the children entertained?
- What activities are available when the weather is bad?
The basic factors we recommend you consider when deciding what type of property to choose are:
Type of property: Apartment / townhouse / villa: Remember that spending a couple of weeks on holiday in an apartment is not like daily living. Think about how much space you are used to. Do remember, that in most parts of Spain, a lot of time is spent outdoors. Research the different options available in the areas you are considering.
Minimum number of bedrooms and minimum number of bathrooms: Do you want the children each to have their own room? Do you want to have spare rooms for guests to stay? In all honesty, think of yourselves first. Do not lose the house that you like because it does not have a guest room. Children can share when family and friends come to visit or holiday rentals are usually easy to find.
Build size and Plot size: How much space do you really need? How much are you going to have to pay in utility bills and maintenance costs? A large villa may look appealing, but large properties often mean large utility bills. Also, a pretty country house with lots of land may seem like a dream, but who will be looking after all that land? Remember to think with your head and not only your heart!
Garden and Swimming Pool: Private or communal? Again, think of your own privacy requirements or the opportunity of meeting other children in communal facilities. Communal facility charges are usually included in the price of a rental property, but garden and pool maintenance are an extra cost to private villa rentals.
Distance from amenities / school / airport / beach: Are you happy to drive every day or do you prefer to be within reach of public transport or maybe walking distance of amenities. If the children’s school provide transport, find out the routes before deciding on a property. If you will be commuting back to the UK or abroad on a regular basis, consider the commute time.
Budget: This is the most important factor to consider. Calculate your budget and stick to it. Research what kind of property you can hope to rent in the area you are considering.
Are You Ready To Start Your Move To Spain?
These are just some of the many factors you should think about when planning your move.
If you are considering moving to Spain, request a copy of our initial relocation questionnaire and take the first step …