Written exclusively for Expat Network by Alexander Fordham of Property Guides
At Property Guides, we recently carried out a survey among our customers who are interested in moving to Spain. We learned a lot from this: for example, we discovered that most people are either looking to retire to Spain (47%), or they want to have a second home that can be used for holidays (40%). We also found that a huge percentage of people want to move to Spain in the hope of having a healthier lifestyle (70%), access to better food (44%), and plenty of time to relax (44%). But, something else that stood out to us about our findings is that a lot of people have similar concerns when they’re thinking about making the move.
Here, I’m going to break down what the top three worries are, and how likely it is that you’ll be affected by these problems if you decide to buy a property in Spain.
The uncertainty of Brexit
If there’s one thing none of us can be sure about, it’s what the outcome of Brexit’s going to be. Understandably, this has caused some people (45%) to put their plans on hold, but there are still those who are determined to follow their Spain relocation dreams, regardless.
The most notable effect of Brexit so far has been the weakening of the pound. Its value has fluctuated a lot over the last couple of years and, with the most important decisions to do with Brexit still being made, it’s likely this is going to continue for some time. But, a lot of people still haven’t been put off the idea of moving. In fact, according to our survey, two thirds of people looking to move to Spain understand the risks of currency volatility, with the same percentage saying that even a 5% decrease in the pound’s value wouldn’t cause them to change their minds.
Finding affordable healthcare
The results of our questionnaire showed that a third of people looking to move to Spain are also worried that they won’t be able to access affordable healthcare abroad. And, this is likely to be a bigger concern for people looking to spend their retirement on the continent because, as we get older, we do become more prone to certain illnesses and mobility issues. It could also be a particular worry for those with pre-existing conditions.
However, the majority of our respondents weren’t too concerned about this, as they’re confident they’ll be able to find the care they need. One in three (32%) said that they expect there’ll be a similar system to the EHIC even after Brexit, while more than two in five (41%) say they’d be happy to pay for private health insurance if necessary. A small percentage (15%) claimed that they plan to return home if they require any medical attention.
The process of buying in Spain is confusing
Just under a third (30%) of our respondents said one of their main concerns about relocating is that they think the legal process of buying in Spain is worrying and confusing. Of course, you need to put plenty of thought and research into buying any property, and there will be some extra factors to consider when moving abroad, but this shouldn’t put you off. Approximately 293,500 Brits currently live in Spain, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, and they’ve all had to jump through the same legal hoops as you, so there’s no reason why you can’t join them — you just have to be willing to put in some work.
There are plenty of resources that will help you to get a handle on the process as well. For example, the UK government has in-depth guidance about living in Spain. Reading all of this information and carrying out your own research should go a long way to helping you navigate the process of relocating.
When you’re planning a big life change such as moving abroad, it’s natural to have some concerns, but just remember that you’re not alone. I hope I’ve been able to put some of your worries to rest, so you feel more comfortable about taking the leap. Your new life in Spain awaits!
Property Guides offer a free Spain property guide that will walk you through the process of buying your dream home abroad.