Thinking of making the big jump and moving to a new home in Spain? The biggest decision is the location, and for most people the big decision is whether to live by the sea or not. So here we’re going to look at the ups and downs of moving to Spain and living either inland or by the sea.
The Costas Brava, Del Sol and Blanca offer the picturesque perfection of life by the sea. Warm sunny beaches, sipping a Pina Colada, in total relaxation.
But then, what about the nightlife? The culture, the concerts and the fiestas are all in the cities and towns. So where exactly is the best place to buy your new dream home in Spain?
Most expats that come to Spain buy their properties along the coast. In towns such as Malaga, Cullera, and Benidorm. In these places you’ll find communities of expats living in residential estates set apart from the heart of the villages and the cascos antiguos. They tend to be sleepy places where people either enjoy their retirement or work from home, nipping out for a dip in the pool whenever it takes their fancy. Bliss.
A large proportion of expats, on the other hand, move further inland away from the sea to cities such as Madrid and Seville, they tend to be younger, looking for work in property or in teaching and living a more energetic lifestyle and soaking in the Spanish culture.
Let’s take a look at the key considerations when deciding your new home in Spain.
Culture and things to do
In general (especially for the majority of expats), living on the coast is a sleepier, slower lifestyle. It really depends on what you want from Spain; it’s easier to look at this from these following points of view (painting in broad strokes FYI):
“I want to live in the sun and escape the cold British winters. I want to be able to buy English food from the supermarket and have friends who speak English. A golf course would also be nice.”
“I want to learn Spanish and experience the real Spain that the tourists don’t see. I want to work in an office with Spanish people and see concerts and films in Spanish. I want Spanish friends.”
Living on residential estates offers what many people are looking for; a relaxed life. For many people there are pastimes such as salsa dancing and theatre which offer a great way to get out of the house, meet new people and learn new things.
Yet some people want to move for a sense of adventure and exoticism, immersing themselves in culture and language and escaping life’s norms.
If you are looking to move to Spain for work, there are fewer jobs in coastal towns. In Benidorm, work in property, hospitality and entertainment is available all year round, and almost guaranteed in the summer. Many expats living around the towns in urbanizaciones find work around the estates: Around Alicante and Malaga there are many british plumbers, pool cleaners, gardeners and handymen who help out around the urbanizaciones and make a living. But for a career path, the main cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville and Bilbao are really where the jobs are to be found.
There are coastal cities such as Barcelona and Valencia which offer the best of both worlds. These cities have great music and clubs, lot of jobs for English teachers and property managers, and a beach! It’s fair to say Barcelona beach is not the most attractive, but slightly to the North in Badalona there are great beaches with fewer tourists and the sands are cleaner. Valencia also has a wealth of beaches to the north and south, from Cullera to Sagunto there are some 80 kilometres of coastline. These cities have a little of everything, from urbanizaciones to universities, everyone can find their niche.
Spain, as we know, is hot. But the heat is vastly different inland than on the coast. Some people are affected by humidity more than temperature. On the coast the temperatures are milder, cooler in summer and warmer in winter. But the humidity makes a big difference. In winter, though the temperature rarely goes below 5 degrees, the heavier wind makes for a chillier breeze. In the interior of Spain the air is drier, but being higher, temperatures in summer reach over 40 degrees and summer is shorter as temperatures drop in September and don’t rise until April or May.
If you are looking to buy a home in Spain, think not just about price but value. In villages with fewer expats, if you are willing to learn a little Spanish and get on with the locals, you will find places with much more space at a much better price. Prices are now back on the rise in Spain, and the housing sector is once again attracting expats to come and live; so the dedicated urbanizaciones around Malaga and Valencia (two of the most common places for expats to move to) are also rising in price. If you want to live in an expat area with amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and gymnasiums, be prepared to pay extra. These places also run hidden fees that are not obvious at first, so if you have any doubts about moving to Spain, give us a call and we’ll help you out.
Looking for a home in Spain?
Contact Blue Key Investments for the best property opportunities in Valencia.