Sunday, February 27, 2011

Life in Spain: now!

Should we really believe anything the Daily Mail writes?

via Culture Spain – for all things Spanish by Nick Snelling on 2/27/11



A few days ago I was sent a link to one of the most hysterical articles about Spain and expats in Spain that I have seen for a long time.  Sadly, it was from one of the major UK tabloids and, equally sadly, seemed to give an impression totally at odds to what I had written a few days previously about life in Spain.

Of course, as anyone who keeps up with this Blog will know, I have been nothing if not a Cassandra when it comes to the Spanish economy and the Spanish property market.  For five years I have been banging on about how (and why) a crisis would occur, the consequences of that crisis and how long any recovery from it would take.

However, at the same time, I have never missed an opportunity to emphasise how good life in Spain can be – nor what benefits Spain has offered (and continues to offer) to either those people coming here to live permanently or just for their holidays.  For me to have done otherwise would have been pretty odd, frankly.

I say ‘pretty odd’ because my family have happily lived in Spain, permanently, for the past eight years.  Meanwhile, the vast majority of expats that I know would state the same thing, namely that they enjoy their life in Spain and that their move here has been a success on a range of different levels.

Of course, there are people who have found that their life in Spain has not worked for them.  Indeed, some have been ruined by their move here.  This has often been due to a poor property purchase (both in terms of location and inherent flaws in their property), unrealistic expectations or an inability to earn a viable income.

Certainly, Spain is not a paradise and there is no getting away from the fact that there are problems associated with living in Spain.  Equally, it is true to say that moving to Spain (see my book on the subject) must be done with exceptional care to make sure that, once here, life in Spain works for you.  Make a mistake and buy an illegal property, for example, and all your happy dreams will quickly shatter.

The same is true for any illusions about making a living in Spain easily – particularly during the current ferocious economic crisis.  As I have written in ‘The Secrets to Working and Making a Living in Spain’ you have to be cautious about the prospects for making a secure income.  It can be done but the days of ‘strolling’ into Spain and easily picking up well paid work have long gone.  That is not to say that you cannot make money here – but that you have to be pretty canny, well prepared, risk averse and have a viable ‘Plan B’.

In my experience there is a common denominator amongst the people I know who have moved to Spain permanently and who continue to enjoy life here.  This is that they are invariably people with realistic expectations and sound finances – who bought their properties in Spain with infinite care and attention to detail.

So, if you are planning to live in Spain then know what you are doing – well before you come here.  Plan carefully, have realistic expectations about what life in Spain will really be like and, for Heavens sake, buy any property very carefully – indeed, with far greater care than you would do in your own country.

One thing is for sure – Spain can provide a wonderful quality of life.  It does for many people and, if you exercise care, it will do for you.  So, do not take too much notice of hysterical gloom and doom articles.  Their stories may be true for some people but the silent (and contented) majority of expats here are likely to be looking on amazed at what is quoted…


How to Move Safely to Spain

The Secrets to Working and Making a Living in Spain

Spanish culture: alive, vibrant and the best reason for coming to Spain

They dreamt of a better life

Bargain property for sale in Spain

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