Moving to Spain

Bit of a late reply this. I have been, part time, on the CB for the last eight years, originally buying a flat for holidays only but loved it so much we bought a larger house a couple of years ago. Still have the flat which I have just put on the market.
I love it here. The red tape can drive you mad at times but the lifestyle is excellent. Not working in Spain but did 30 years in green and had a job working in the NHS until I retired at 59. My two pensions give me a comfortable life but the crashing pound has caused a great change (1.60 to the pound when I first bought, down to almost parity just a wee while back but hovering round 1.15 now). If you have an income from UK, this has made a really big difference. Still, have marvellous neighbours, no commuting to and from work, potter round the garden, laze round the pools most of the day and great bars and restaurants in the area (not so cheap with the exchange rate but still reasonable).
We really enjoy it here and love the relaxed lifestyle. Flights to and from UK are cheap so have no problems with grandkids visiting on a very regular basis. Would have thought being an estate agent in the current climate might be a bit of a dead end job (why have estate agents stopped looking out the window in the morning.....because they'd have nothing to do in the afternoon if they did) but every man to himself.
Hope you continue to enjoy it as much as we have.
We have had property on the CB for 6 years now. Im ex -mil.
As explained before, estate agents here are reducing viewing trips, handing back keys of their hired staff cars as there are no prospective buyers to ferry around anymore. All jobs in that industry are on comission only and you provide phones, transport, mileage, time etc.

The Spanish constructors of off-plan property are suffering badly, so are the banks who are expected to lend the builders money. Its all at a standstill.

Sorry but thats the truth!!

However, enjoy Spain for the weather, pools, beer and totty on the beach.
If you are coming here to retire COME .If you are coming here to work DONT.
It is a wonderful country i have lived here 7 years after buying plot and buiding house .If you need income here is not the place to earn it.
I have a friend who has been here 20 years .his favorite quote .How do you leave spain with a small fortune ? Come with a big one
Totally agree with last posters. I am fortunate in that I do get a couple of good pensions. When I moved here, the money from my UK property sale was giving me an extra 5 grand in interest. That has now decreased to 850 pounds a year which is less that 1000 euros. Spain is still a very retrograde country (didn't want to say backward) in that, if you speak Spanish, you might be lucky to get a worthwhile job but it will pay very poorly. Bar work pays about 4 euros an hour and is seasonal. Those who were living on state pensions have seen them depreciate by a third in the last year and prices have risen in Spain. Hence the reason so many people are now returning to UK. The free medical system in the Costa Blanca has been stopped for those under pensionable age which is another worry (I'm fine as the missus is 60 and I count as a dependent until I'm 65). Building work has come to a standstill and house prices have dropped dramatically (anyone who bought 5 years ago would be lucky to get their money back).
However, I am enjoying it immensely. After 30 years of travelling the world in the Army I am happy to be settled and wouldn't go back to UK for all the tea in China. I find the people there to be miserable, over regulated and downtrodden. At least here people smile, have a good outlook on life and, being a Chinese food lover, the Chinese restaurants virtually give their food away (well, not quite, but cheaper than buying the stuff yourself from a supermarket). We have the beaches, marvellous swimming pools, a great and healthy climate plus I have made more friends here than I ever did in my village in UK which seems very insular. It is not a Paradise, by all means, with extreme red tape whenever you want something done. However, my council tax is 141 euros a year and I get the bins emptied every night. Road tax is 47 euros a year on my Ford Focus and you can get a plumber or electrician easily and cheaply compared to UK (called a plumber the other day to fix a leaky tap and he charged me 10 euros). Unfortunately, beer prices in local pubs have gone up rather dramatically and you will now pay 2 quid a pint which is a huge change in the last year. On the other hand, a "short" almost fills a half pint glass and you struggle to get the mixer in. Cigarettes are around half the UK price (I gave them up years ago so don't really benefit) and cigars (which I do still indulge in occasionally) around a third of the UK price. Beer from supermarkets are dead cheap as are litres of spirits (6 euros for non-premium brands). My favourite tipple of Glayva is 15 euros a litre compared to 32 quid in UK. As Tapas says, don't come to make a living unless you want to seriously lower your standard of living. If you have something behind you, it is a great place to live.
The reply's for this are basically what a hell of a lot of people who moved out here say. Its right on the button and across the board. I do have to say however that that since we opened our office in Algorfa on the first of march, we have sold 10 properties, we have a further 5 completions due in September. (August, everywhere closes because it is when everyone disappears on holidays here). We have 3 inspection visits in September by serious buyers. we have had to take on staff so we don't have to close the office and miss any prospective buyers.
Any property will sell at the right price. The problem is that as people who are filtering back to the UK because their income has dried up, they are putting their house on the market at unrealistic prices. Yes their house/Villa/Apartment may be very nice and has had a lot of money spent on it, however so has next door who is up for sale, so is the one round the corner which is for sale, both for 5-10K cheaper. unfortunately people are in Competition now to sell. The boom of 5 years ago inflated prices artifically and the knock on effect is being felt now. If you want to sell, then you have to take the pain of realising that your property as nice as it is is only worth what a ruthless buyer will pay for it. For example, A lovely 2 bedroom 1 bathroom end terrace bungalow set in a large well kept and established garden with a pool, barbecue area, conservatory, 5 minutes from the beach 2 minutes from shops, resturaunts, casino, bowling alley large water park..... Offers were being put in for €40,000. The property eventually sold for €54,000. Way under its value, but only what someone was willing to pay.
I do see though that a lot of people who move here though came without a plan. no back up when things might start going wrong. Many were 'free lance estate agents' working on commission for big companies like Gama, Ambersun, Atlas, when the bump hit, who are the first to go when houses aren't selling? It was good when it lasted, but again.. no contingincy plan when it goes wrong.
Things are hard at the moment, and I would be a liar to say otherwise. the exchange rate hurts and I am not living the sangria, pool and beach lifestyle so often attributed to moving here, but I am a hell of a lot more comfortable than I would be in the UK and I wouldn't change things for the world.
It seems that the market is picking up now here. Properties at the right price are being sold and people are getting much much more for their money.
I know of apartments on the market for as little as €50,000 which were worth double that 18 months ago.
If your buying as an investment, now is the time, Property Rentals are a great way of getting a second income, Real Estate here in Algorfa is at an all time low along with the Euribor mortgage rate.
Sun, Cheap wine and food, good living and a smile going to work.
I don't regret moving here whatsoever.

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