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Locating Your Property in Spain

Spain

Anybody who loves the sun and the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle will probably sigh with envy when they hear about people who have left the UK and gone to live in Spain. Certainly a move to Spain can be the start of a wonderful adventure - but it's essential to do your research first.

Once you are confident that your finances and your personal circumstances will be suited to a life in Spain, the first big decision is whereabouts to settle. You may already have a Spanish holiday home, but a location that is perfect for a holiday is sometimes less than perfect as a base for everyday life.

On The Coast

Coastal towns on the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are lively and vibrant day and night in the summer. This can be great for a month or so, but you may not wish to live in a tourist hub from the start of the holiday season to the end. Then, out of season many places hibernate to a greater or lesser extent; bars and restaurants close, there are fewer English speakers around, and a villa or apartment that was designed to be used as a summer residence may not be equipped with the most energy-efficient of heating systems for the cold nights.

...Or Inland

For those looking to embrace a traditional Spanish lifestyle, inland Spain has plenty of attractive villages where life is not seasonal, property prices are lower, and you will be able to join in local community life. However, if you want to work in Spain, you may gravitate to a medium-sized town. Contrary to popular belief, it is often less easy for newcomers to find employment in places like Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia simply because there is so much more competition; Spain's major cities are very attractive places to live, and already have an established cosmopolitan workforce ready to snap up the good jobs as soon as they become vacant.

Regional Differences

A common pattern is for people to move from the UK initially to their Spanish holiday home, and to relocate to a different part of Spain a few years later after exploring the country in greater depth. There is probably a richer variation in regional cultures in Spain than in any other European country. Each region has its own history and its own traditions, and regions such as Galicia, the Basque country and Catalunya still retain their own languages alongside Spanish.

Certain parts of Spain have a high concentration of English-speaking residents, but being able to speak Spanish - and a few words of the local dialect - is the surest way of coming to appreciate the character of your chosen region, and leading an independent and fulfilling life there.