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​This is a real life experience from someone who looked at the reasons to move to Spain, which ultimately led to the decision to cease the day and do it!

Here is Sarahs’ story as I am sure it applies to most of us who were or are in a similar situation?


It’s sunny

The most obvious reason first.

I love the sun. Nothing makes me more miserable than being cold and constantly looking at grey skies. It’s fine when we get a heatwave in the UK like last year but that hardly ever happens and you can’t rely on the British summer.

I’m happier when I’m warm – the husband has always said I’m solar-powered and need to live in a tropical climate, which is quite strange considering I’m a pale, freckly redhead!

The Costa del Sol has an average of 320 days of sun a year and even in January, the average temperature is 12 degrees Celsius. The thought of waking up to blue skies almost every day makes me very happy.

More family time

In the UK we go to work and school, come home, have dinner, watch TV for a couple of hours, go to bed and start all over again the next day. If you’re lucky there might be a few days in the summer when you can go to the beach or pub garden after work but those days are few and far between.

If you’ve ever been to Spain you’ll know that people eat dinner later and stay out later as it’s so warm. After work and school, there’s plenty of time for more fun – a swim in the pool and a BBQ throughout the year are high on our list!

The cost of living

A big factor in our decision has been the difference in the cost of houses between the UK and Spain. Here we have a very small 3 bedroom house on a new(ish) build development. We don’t have enough space and it’s not in the best area, but to move we would need another £75k at least. Unfortunately, this is more than we would be able to save to move house in the next few years.

In Spain on the other hand, we could have a house bigger than our current one for around £100k less. With the money we’ve made from our house sale, plus some savings, we would only need a very small mortgage in Spain meaning we might finally be able to get the kind of house we want.

The general cost of living is cheaper too. Food costs less, rent (we’ll be renting for 6 months) is lower, there’s no council tax…

More time outdoors

After being cooped up at work all week, the weekend arrives and… it’s usually cold or rainy so you either stay indoors or pay a fortune to do something like cinema, bowling or lunch out.

If you stay indoors then no doubt the kids will be glued to the TV/tablet/phone/games console for most of the day. You’ll probably have lots of arguments and bribery to get them to do something else.

In Spain you’re outside most of the time, enjoying the weather and fresh air. I am so looking forward to this and getting Little H away from the computer as at the moment it’s all she is interested in doing.

Less stress

Like most working parents our lives are full of stress. I blame the rushing around constantly from work to school, as well as the high cost of living.

There are bound to be plenty of stresses still in our Spanish lives, but we plan to rush around less. People are much more laid back there for a start.

I’ll be working from home, the school has a bus that takes the children to and from school, and there’s hardly any traffic on the roads.

I will have to let you know how this ‘less stress’ plan goes!

A new adventure

Maybe it’s an impending midlife crisis (I’m 40 next year, the husband has just turned 40) but we feel totally stuck in a rut here and life feels the same day in and day out. It definitely feels like a case of ‘live to work’ rather than ‘work to live’ at the moment.

We’re in need of an adventure, some new surroundings and I guess a new life. Since Little H needs to go to school we can’t pack everything in and travel the world, so another country is the next best thing.

So, in case you were wondering why we had decided to uproot our family and leave the country those are just a few of the reasons.

We’re under no illusion that there will be bad bits too. We already know it’s going to be hard work, we have to learn another language and we will miss our family and friends. But hopefully, the good will outweigh the bad.

I’m sure I’ll blog again in the coming months to let you all know whether the reality has met our expectations or not!

With the Pound strengthening against the Euro, you can get a lot of property for your money with the exchange rate.

Do you dream of moving abroad? If so, what’s stopping you right now?

With the on-going challenge to find a resolution for Brexit, many people are wondering if it is right to continue to make their move to a life in the sun in Spain.  Some articles in the press and news are making some people anxious about their purchasing a property in Spain.  However, did you know that UK buyers actually increased by 16% in 2018, so what do they know that you don’t right now? Read on to find out more.

So here it is – people have done their research and they know how to move to Spain, Brexit deal or no deal, and they’re started to think ahead – they’re ‘Brexit-proofing’ their plan to make the move to live in sunny climbs.  We have more information below to explain how you can buy property in Spain, whatever happens with Brexit:

Brexit Deal Agreed – Buying a home in Spain

If a variation on Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement is approved, then there is a strong possibility that with will be phased over a two year period until 31 December 2020. During this time you will be able to move freely in Europe without the requirement for a visa, essentially just the same as you do now. Also, if you have purchased a property before the final date, you will have your rights guaranteed for five more years. Following on from that, you can then apply for permanent residency in Spain. 

No Deal Brexit – Buying a home in Spain 

If it does come to a no deal situation, you can still buy your dream home here in Spain. There is no requirement for any extra documents to buy a property here as a non-EU citizen. The main thing that you will need to do is to apply for the correct visa once you’ve bought a property. Once you have appointed a lawyer, this is a smooth and efficient process. We at Universal Real Estate can handle this for you on your behalf.

Below are the main options to be considered:

You own a holiday home

If you have purchased a holiday home in Spain, all that you will need to do is simply apply for a regular tourist visa each time you come out for a visit. The temporary visa will then let you stay for around three months at a time – plenty of time of enjoy the sun, sea and cuisine!

You are retiring to Spain

So, if you are retiring to Spain, you will need to get a Temporary Residency (Non-Lucrative) Visa, which will allow you to stay in Spain for a Year. After that first Year you can then renew for two-Year blocks at a time. After five Years, you can apply for permanent residency.  You will need to demonstrate that you have €8,000 per person to support your family, full private medical cover for one year and a medical certificate showing you don’t have any serious diseases – particularly showing  that you have no illness that would threaten public health.

You are coming to work in Spain

As above, if you are wanting to come and work in Spain you will need to apply for Temporary Residence (Lucrative) Visa, which will allow you to work either employed or self-employed here. If you going to be employed, you must obtain a signed contract from your employer. To be self-employed, you’ll need to comply with business licence rules. The government would likely base this on the minimum wage, which is set at approximatetly, €600-800 a month. Normally, this type of visa is for a period of one Year, renewable after that. After five Years working in Spain you can then apply for permanent residency.

Alternatively, you could apply for an EU blue card. This is issued to people with a job offer and, in Spain, a minimum salary of around €33,900. In Spain, it’s valid for one Year and can be renewed indefinitely.

You are going to investing in Spain

Did you know that Spain has an investment visa? Also referred to as the Golden Visa, available if purchasing a property worth €500,000 per applicant or if you are in a postion to deposit €1 million of bank shares in a Spanish bank account. For this, you get family residency, renewable every two years. After five years, you can apply for permanent residency.

For all non-tourist visas it is important to note that you make any requests in person at the embassy/consulate (and have all documents translated into Spanish by a sworn translator). Your lawyer will advise you what is required guide for you to do this satisfactorily.

Upon your arrival in Spain, unless you have a tourist visa, please ensure that you  register as a temporary resident in person as the Foreigners’ Office/Oficina de Extranjeros or a National Police Station with a Foreigners’ Department.

Once you have been in Spain for five Years, you can now apply for permanent residency. You will need to be able to provide proof of your time in Spain (normally registering as a temporary resident), evidence of your income and a medical certificate. The good news is, under Spanish law, you will be entitled to family status, so close relatives can come out to join you too. With your residency all complete, you are entitled to live in sunny Spain forever – despite no Brexit.

So now you know the facts, why not get going with your ‘Brexit-proofing’ actions:

Contact a reliable lawyer for proper advise about the best visa for you and how you can apply for this 

Start to get official translations of your documents showing the Apostille of the Hague (an official stamp) if needed

Register with a good currency company to discuss how best to transfer your funds to Spain

Once you arrive in Spain, please make sure that you register as a temporary resident with your local Town Hall

Please do look at our website to view over 4,000 properties to suit all budgets and tastes, or contact us at info@universalrealestate.es

At Universal Real Estate we know how important it is to fully prepare before you move to Spain. We have done it ourselves so we can support our clients based on our experiences.

We thought it would be helpful to share the process before starting your property hunt – helping to answer ‘why should we choose Spain’ and helping you to clearly decide and define what it is you want out of your move.

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