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Living in Spain

Updated on January 18, 2018
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Paul has lived in Spain since 1992. He has lectured on the lessons learned, spoken on local Radio and TV.

Out of the cold and gray

El Balcon de Europa, Nerja
El Balcon de Europa, Nerja | Source

Out of the Cold and Gray

And now for the weather forecast. It will be minus 7 degrees tomorrow with snow and biting easterly winds, followed by icy fog and disrupted transport. Sound familiar? The British weather is so bad it is predictable. Leaves on the line play hell with your punctuality at work and that tree at the bottom of the garden looks a bit dodgy; will it survive the next gale? And, as for your birthday BBQ in July; well just have lots of brollies to hand.

Why do it? Life is too short. Come to Spain, be warm, live outside, meet people, stop being lonely cooped up in front of the rubbish Telly watching your football team get hammered, Foxes excepted.

Don't live where the tourists go.

There's over 300,000 of us here. It's awesome, they even make rubbish TV about it, but forget Benidorm. If you want to enjoy your life here in Spain, you don't want to abide in the middle of a tourist destination. It can be loud and disgusting. Brits on holiday don't have the finest reputations for discerning behavior

I recall my parents who retired to Spain in 1976. They chose to live in the middle of an urbanization full of rental properties and opposite a hotel. Their life was torrid. My mother put a sign up by the pool saying no swimming between 2 and 4 pm, please respect the siesta. Needless to say, she made a lot of signs, had no restful afternoon sleep, and as for the late nightly rendering of out of tune singing or streams of pavement pizzas. Yuk.

But with a bit of foresight, their life could have been so much better and it all comes down to the age old adage of location, location and location.

Buy the property not the view

But please stop teaching me to suck eggs. I hear you say but believe me when I tell you that we have a well known saying here among expatriates concerning brains and airports. But it's hardly surprising. The clear blue skies in November, balmy temperatures in January, over 320 days of sunshine are incredibly seductive.

As the estate agent unlocks the front door, most property buyers don't look for the potential problems. They imagine sitting by the pool with G&T's, or grilling in shorts and sandals, or relishing the distant sea or mountain views. Its just so much better than the disused gasworks back home.

Meanwhile, there is black mold behind the kitchen cabinets, the walls are cracking because of bad construction, and the electricity supply isn't powerful enough to run the oven and dishwasher at the same time. Not forgetting of course that the ever barking dog next door, just happens to be taking his one nap of the day.

Enough negativity. All this can be avoided with well informed decision making and some independent advice. Over the coming months I am going to write further articles about Living in Spain based on my own experiences and those of my parents. We all learned the hard way so you don't have to.

© 2018 Paul S Bradley


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