Buying property in another country can be an enormous step to take - particularly if you have no links to that particular region. However, an increasing number of Britons are flocking to buy property in rural and idyllic locations or prime party hotspots in Europe - most popularly, in Spain. But whether you're thinking about retiring in Spain or moving there with your family, there are a variety of factors you need to consider.
Firstly, learning the language
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is important: even if you want to move to an area of Spain that is popular with Britons, learning Spanish can make a crucial difference in easing your re-settlement process. And if you're planning to move to Catalonia, it's definitely a good idea to learn
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Catalan. Certainly, people planning to move to Spain long term should make a real effort to become adept in the local language - and even if you already know enough Spanish to find your way to the toilets or ask about the nearest restaurant, you'll find that this won't be sufficient if you want to converse with your new neighbours about the latest football scores or how to sort out your tax forms.
Considering the healthcare benefits in a specific region is also of paramount importance before moving to Spain. For example, EU residents are entitled to benefit from Spain's public healthcare system but the rules are slightly different if you're a retired Briton who receives a UK pension. Consult the Department for Work and Pensions
site to find out exactly what you're entitled to.
If you're moving to Spain with young children, then you'll also want to establish where the best schools are, as well as decide whether you want to put them into English-language or Spanish schools. While 80 per cent of expatriates in Spain send their children to Spanish state schools where education
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is free, it's also possible to send your children to International Schools where they'll learn in English and follow the British curriculum. Making this decision can form a crucial part of your experience in Spain.
EU regulations mean that Britons moving to Spain can work without a visa or work permit. It's also important to find out about obtaining a residence card - these are necessary if you're retiring to Spain, and you should seek specialist advice before doing so. Once you've considered all these aspects of your lifestyle, make sure you choose the optimum location for your property in Spain. Various estate agents and property websites offer excellent listings for people looking for houses in Spain
, so when you start your property search, you won't be short of resources.
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