Life after moving to Spain: housing, work, and life

Life after moving to Spain: housing, work, and life

More foreign nationals are choosing real estate in Spain for profitable investments, seasonal holidays and permanent residence. The country is attractive not only for its comfortable climate but also for its high standard of living. We'll take a closer look at what awaits visitors in Spain and how difficult it is to adapt to local traditions.


Spain for foreigners

Many expats from all over the world live in Spain. Most choose resort towns on the seashore. The Balearic Islands and Valencia are in high demand among expats. Also, Torrevieja and Alicante are the most popular cities with foreign nationals. Most visitors know how to improve their lives. The easiest, well-known way is to be a freelancer who can work remotely from anywhere in the world. Your own business has a promising future. So for this, you look at areas that are in high demand.

Жизнь в Испании после переезда: жилье, работа, быт

Pros and cons of moving to Spain

The country has many advantages:

  • Tolerant attitude of locals towards expats. You can always get information and help - there are no issues when you need to learn something new.
  • A safe life. Serious crimes are extremely rare and very unlikely to happen.
  • Ecology and climate. Increased humidity eases breathing and protects the skin from drying out.
  • Developed infrastructure and high-quality roads.
  • Luxury beaches. Over 500 of them are marked with a blue flag. This shows cleanliness and comfort.
  • Rich cultural heritage. There's a lot to see in the country, no matter where you live.
  • Simplified way to get a residence permit and visa by purchasing real estate for over € 500,000.
  • The right to receive a pension. There's an agreement between some countries and Spain where however long you worked in your country counts towards the pension you get in Spain. To apply for a pension, you must move to Spain before the age of 65 and work here for at least 2 years. If you have 15 years of work experience in Spain or your home country, you can apply for retirement benefits.

There are also some disadvantages:

  • Poor internet connections. Most providers have very low traffic speeds.
  • Central heating. Not all houses have this, but if your home has heating, it can be turned off at night.
  • High prices for electricity. Heaters can become a significant part of budget expenses.
  • Humidity. Clothes dry badly.

Quality of life in the country

Apartments in Spain are difficult to classify according to a budget. But, the cost of real estate differs from housing in France, for instance. Foreign nationals will also like the following things:

  • High quality of medical care and education. 85% of hospitals are state-owned with free doctor appointments.
  • Affordable prices compared to continental Europe, although the term "cheap" is difficult to apply to the country.
  • A steadily developing economy.
  • High life expectancy. The climate and Spanish diet of seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables contribute to an increase in life expectancy.

Jobs for foreigners

Not everyone can afford to buy a villa in Spain and live on a decent pension or income earned in another country. Most people think about finding a job in the Kingdom. This depends on the person's education and knowledge of the Spanish language. When legally moving to the country, you can confirm your language proficiency and apply for a high-paying job. If it's difficult to do this, there are vacancies for wage earners and support staff. It's easiest to find a job in large cities. These are Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. But the cost of living in these cities will be higher than in the suburbs. Seasonal vacancies are popular, for example, during harvesting. Winter is the hardest time to get a job. This is when the tourist season is over and the number of service personnel needed drops.

Жизнь в Испании после переезда: жилье, работа, быт

Spanish ways of life and habits that foreigners need to get used to

A distinctive feature of locals is their leisurely lifestyle. Spaniards are never in a hurry and this lifestyle applies to personal and business life. So, the owner of a store can close it for a lunch break, and after lunch, can change their mind and not go back to work. In other countries, this behavior is unusual for people who are self-employed. Products are available every day except Sunday as shops are closed then. It's easy enough to get a quick snack as owners of apartments and houses in Spain can go to one of the many restaurants nearby. But, you need to get used to the weekend in Spain. It's worth noting other everyday moments that may be unusual for people:

  • Specific housing layout. The bedrooms in apartments are small and designed only for sleeping. The local population is not used to using a bedroom for more than sleeping and prefers to spend most of their time outdoors.
  • No habit of taking off shoes at home. Spaniards always wear shoes no matter whether the floor is laminated or carpeted.
  • Bureaucracy and a slow lifestyle. It's difficult to get the service you want as quickly as possible. Often, you need to leave a request, wait for contact from a specialist for a few days, then agree on a time when you can visit, and only afterwards, get the work done. So, if you have a broken washing machine, professionals can take several weeks to fix it.
  • Noisy and highly sociable locals. Hands-free phone calls are commonplace. In a shop or any other place, Spaniards can talk to a stranger. Poor language skills for foreigners aren't an obstacle.

During the adaptation period, these moments may be puzzling and irritating. But it's easy to get used to the difference in Spanish life.

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