1. If you have children, look at the education opportunities well before moving. Spanish schools open up their matriculation procedure in early Spring, and most parents have secured a school place for their child well before Easter. Look at the Resi-Education section and check out our section on international schools in Spain. If you want to learn some Spanish before moving to Spain, try one of these online Spanish language courses.
2. Look for guarantees before buying a house in Spain. Spanish law require people who sell properties to "give honesty" to people who buy them. In other words, purchasers can (and should) always claim all the land registration guaranties and proof of payment of all outstanding debts before the operation is completed in front of a Spanish Notary. Never go through with any purchase unless you obtain the legal certificate, which proves such payments. Once again, you should be advised by a good Spanish lawyer. Read our comprehensive section on buying property in Spain.See also our Spanish-English glossary of real estate terms, so that you know what you are dealing with. And research the areas you plan to buy in. Try our new section of online guides to Spain with a province by province description of what to see, where to go etc.
3. Take into account all the expenses which arise from living in Spain These include the following:
4. Bear in mind before you move to Spain that you will need to get a NIE (Spanish fiscal number) and then a resident permit on arrival. You can actually obtain a Nie before you arrive (see how to apply for a NIE in the UK). You will need this document in order to buy a property in Spain. While getting a NIE is quite a quick painless exercise, residence permits can take as long as six or seven months after the presentation of documents. Or even longer (my last permit took 15 months to come through). Documents required for resident applications depend on the financial situation and age of the applicant so it is important to get reliable advice before going to the local Police Department. And take a book with you when you go. The queues can be very very long.
5. Choosing a removals firm. A good removal firm will allow you to retain the best of DIY in combination with their experienced removals team and vehicle. Helping pack, load and unload the truck is good because most firms charge the earth for a full service and you should try to keep an eye on your goods as much as possible, anyway.
6. The flexibility you really need usually comes with hiring self-employed owner-operator removers. These carriers are a much better bet than using big firms with salaried crews, as they generally don't have sales offices or other forms of corporate anonymity to hide behind if things go wrong. In fact, they rely almost exclusively on recommendations from satisfied customers in a highly competitive marketplace. Try: www.simonmarshall.co.uk/trucking.html