4. Can I afford to move out there?
You may look at the prices of property online and feel you can afford to buy. In Spain, you need to add on roughly 7-10% of the asking price to cover taxes, etc. Also, many estate agents will charge between 3000 and 4000 euros to help you negotiate the deal. Make sure you check that out up front. You will need to provide a deposit, which is non- returnable, and that is paid as soon as your offer is accepted, usually before you have time to have it surveyed – if you can find a qualified person to do it….
Can I afford to live there?
If you buy into one of the complexes on the coast, you will get a reasonably clear idea of costs – how much your maintenance fees will be, etc. If you buy privately, you need to ensure that you have a valid, up-to-date set of deeds and you need to read it through thoroughly and if in doubt have it checked by a lawyer. Many expats have found out too late that part of their home is owned by another party, or that there are clauses in the deeds limiting their rights.
You also need to be aware that once you have signed, in Spain, you are liable for any outstanding debts on the property, and this can be for hundreds or thousands when it comes to old electricity
bills or household tax. In short, you need to ask all the right questions and/or have a very astute lawyer, one you have verified is trust-worthy, and that is likely to be expensive!
What if I become seriously or terminally ill?
This was written before Brexit. Double check everything!!
You need to decide before you move out what your plans
are for healthcare. If you live 6 months or more in Spain each or any year, you are technically resident there and not eligible for health care in Britain. If you are under the age of 65 you will not be able to claim free healthcare in Spain unless you are employed in Spain and/or you or your employer are paying your national insurance.
If you are over 65, receiving a UK state pension, there is a reciprocal agreement whereby you register with the Spanish Social Services and get the same as in Britain.Check out the situation about moving your healthcare from Spain to the UK should you become terribly ill and want to return home.
What happens when I become older and frail or need support?
Where you choose to live may be influenced by this question. Is it wise to live 6 or 7km out along a dirt track to the nearest village, where there is only a doctor visiting, say, twice a week? This is not such an issue if you are younger and in robust health, but can create insurmountable problems when you are older, as you become less able to get about. It makes sense to check local facilities, buses to the nearest hospital if you need outpatients care, and, if necessary, flying times to the nearest hospital, should an emergency occur…
Do I feel I can learn a new language? Is it necessary?
It is always helpful to speak as much as possible of the local language. In areas away from tourist centres, it is almost essential, although usually you can find someone living nearby who can translate for you. This will usually require payment on your part since that is how the translators make their living..You need to fill in forms, talk to the bank, query your council taxes, consult the doctor, apart from mundane things like going to the butcher’s, etc.
But take heart, we have found that if you are prepared to try, the local people will bend over backwards to try to help you, and it is amazing what can be done with a few key words and lots of hand signals!!