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Things to know before you relocate to Spain

There’s been a surge in searches for holiday homes and Spain was right at the top of the list. And it’s not hard to understand why. The climate, the landscape and the cost of living are all incredibly attractive reasons to consider investing in a hideaway.

If you’re thinking of relocating abroad, this diverse and vibrant country offers plenty of opportunities to find your dream location. With some preparation and research into the Spanish way of life, your relocation should be a breeze!

Nothing happens in August

If you’re house hunting, give August a miss. The whole of Spain goes to the beach for the entire month and you won’t be able to book any viewings – or find a space to spread a beach towel! Come back and look in the spring or autumn when the weather’s still great.

Come back later

The mornings are the worst time to pop into the bank or see your estate agent. You’re likely to find yourself in a long queue waiting to see a disgruntled receptionist while their boss enjoys a segundo desayuno or second breakfast at the local cafe. Time is relative in Spain where things can always get done mañana, afternoon spills over into evening and there isn’t even a word for evening!

So be prepared to fit into the Spanish timescale and come back later, or better yet pop in for a café con leche and relax…

Check your paperwork

Spanish bureaucracy can be quite an eye-opener. But you’ll soon get used to photocopying everything in triplicate and carrying your life around in several files. Before any appointment, it’s worth checking and rechecking that you have everything you need and taking extra documentation along for good measure.

You don’t want to fall foul of what the Spanish call the law of Falta Uno or the fact that, however many documents and copies you have, there’s always one missing…

Be patient, be assertive

This applies to everything from dealing with the estate agent and the bank to getting served in a bar. Try and rope in a friendly person who can speak the language and help you go through everything with a fine tooth comb. Any glitches in the relocation process can cost you time and money so be patient.

When it comes to integrating with the local social life, patience, politeness and assertiveness are the way to get that ice cold cerveza at the end of a busy day. Just summon up your most polite sounding yell of “¡Oye!” across a packed bar and you’ll fit right in.

It’s the little things

Knowing the customs and ways of life will make the transition from the UK to your new life in Spain go far more smoothly. For example, don’t expect a quiet drink at the neighbourhood bar during the summer as the kids stay up until their parents go to bed and will be seen and definitely heard!

On your birthday it’s you who’s expected to treat friends and colleagues not the other way around. And always remember to tip the butanero when he delivers your gas bottles. Now all you need to do is remember to drive on the right-hand side of the road and your Spanish relocation will go like a dream.

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