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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, Can anyone give me information on living in spain.
I currently live in centre of France and rather than return to the uk I was looking for information on Spain. Honest information. Property prices, rental would be better. I would like coastal area but would like to know the true life style, is it as bad as the TV says , is it quiet, can you have a social life , what areas are good, what areas are bad, . I am 60 this year, female, and presently feel as if I am in solitary confinement in the centre of france, live in the country miles from anywhere, I do not drive and cant get anywhere, . My first thoughts were to sell and move back to UK, but now I am thinking perhaps of moving to Spain but would like to find some truths from people who live their , the fors and against.
I would welcome any information you xpats can give me .
 

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Hi, Can anyone give me information on living in spain.
I currently live in centre of France and rather than return to the uk I was looking for information on Spain. Honest information. Property prices, rental would be better. I would like coastal area but would like to know the true life style, is it as bad as the TV says , is it quiet, can you have a social life , what areas are good, what areas are bad, . I am 60 this year, female, and presently feel as if I am in solitary confinement in the centre of france, live in the country miles from anywhere, I do not drive and cant get anywhere, . My first thoughts were to sell and move back to UK, but now I am thinking perhaps of moving to Spain but would like to find some truths from people who live their , the fors and against.
I would welcome any information you xpats can give me .
Well, if you listened to Sarkozy's electoral speeches you'll know that Spain is indeed in the brown stuff, and up to the neck! But, as I presume you wouldn't be looking for work, Spain might be an option. It depends how much money you've got basically...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, if you listened to Sarkozy's electoral speeches you'll know that Spain is indeed in the brown stuff, and up to the neck! But, as I presume you wouldn't be looking for work, Spain might be an option. It depends how much money you've got basically...
Thanks for your reply.... I would not be looking for work, France isnt doing much better believe me, the cost of living is high here, and properties not selling so Brits are letting them go at silly prices . How much money I will have depends on what price I can get for my property here , it is already reduced greatly, and have someone interested in it finally, but it has took 3 years to get an interested party. So I would rather rent I think, and keep any money to live from as I wont get a UK pension until I am 62 1/2 .
 

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Rent in Spain, prices are falling fast still so your on a sticky wicket parting with cash to own your own and rental prices have dropped also. We have friends with an old house in Normandy and they were telling us about the prices in France these days; for the first time ever they now take a lot of food with them when they go over :(
 

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Compared to France the cost of living here is far cheaper. There are many areas that do not have the vast influx of N-europeans but you can still have a social life .
The area south of San Javier all the way down to Águilas & a little farther to the border with Andalucia is completely undeveloped & is a mainly spanish holidaying area . Even in the summer , whilst being busy it is not congested . There are large amounts of property available for renting everywhere & at low prices. The nearer to the coast here the better the climate as you get a cooling breeze in the summer & slightly lower temps; whereas were I am In Lorca, approx 30kms inland from Águilas ,the summer heat & humidity can be quite stifiling. This is not helped by the lack of rainfall !Probably why it is known as the City of the sun !:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Compared to France the cost of living here is far cheaper. There are many areas that do not have the vast influx of N-europeans but you can still have a social life .
The area south of San Javier all the way down to Águilas & a little farther to the border with Andalucia is completely undeveloped & is a mainly spanish holidaying area . Even in the summer , whilst being busy it is not congested . There are large amounts of property available for renting everywhere & at low prices. The nearer to the coast here the better the climate as you get a cooling breeze in the summer & slightly lower temps; whereas were I am In Lorca, approx 30kms inland from Águilas ,the summer heat & humidity can be quite stifiling. This is not helped by the lack of rainfall !Probably why it is known as the City of the sun !:D
I have been stuck in the middle of the country on my own since my divorce in December, and as I dont drive it is very difficult to get anywhere. I have to rely on peoples kindness and help to get groceries from the nearest town 36 K away. I rarely see anyone, dont speak French so hard to talk to anyone, I never go anywhere, speak to anyone or do anything. Have a fab house, plenty of land, but prices reduced so much that returning to UK with house sale proceeds with the current exchange rate would be a non starter. I need to look at a map of Spain , and check out the coastal areas, have been on holiday in the past, but a holiday is different to the reality of living some where. I would be looking for a coastal area, within easy distance of a town for shopping and groceries, somewhere if you fancied putting on your glad rags you could walk out and go somewhere, meet people, make friends proper ones, and not freezing cold in winter with frozen pipes and unable to keep warm, need to keep airports in mind, how does the health service work in Spain for ex pats. Does anyone have links for property rental sites to look at other than the megga priced holiday rentals you find on the net. I Cant wait to get out of France, Bye bye baby, will not be a miss at all, apart from the house of course, but UK is always the first thought, to run back to your roots and safety , but ask myself would I really like to go back , would much prefer to make a happier life for myself , sun, sea and whatever springs to mind.
 

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I have been stuck in the middle of the country on my own since my divorce in December, and as I dont drive it is very difficult to get anywhere. I have to rely on peoples kindness and help to get groceries from the nearest town 36 K away. I rarely see anyone, dont speak French so hard to talk to anyone, I never go anywhere, speak to anyone or do anything. Have a fab house, plenty of land, but prices reduced so much that returning to UK with house sale proceeds with the current exchange rate would be a non starter. I need to look at a map of Spain , and check out the coastal areas, have been on holiday in the past, but a holiday is different to the reality of living some where. I would be looking for a coastal area, within easy distance of a town for shopping and groceries, somewhere if you fancied putting on your glad rags you could walk out and go somewhere, meet people, make friends proper ones, and not freezing cold in winter with frozen pipes and unable to keep warm, need to keep airports in mind, how does the health service work in Spain for ex pats. Does anyone have links for property rental sites to look at other than the megga priced holiday rentals you find on the net. I Cant wait to get out of France, Bye bye baby, will not be a miss at all, apart from the house of course, but UK is always the first thought, to run back to your roots and safety , but ask myself would I really like to go back , would much prefer to make a happier life for myself , sun, sea and whatever springs to mind.
if you have a look at the 'forms, education etc etc.................' sticky thread there are links to several rental websites & some threads discussing the ups & downs of renting in Spain
 

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The Canary Islands in general are far cheaper than Iberian Spain, also the temperate climate is far kinder to the bank balance, insomuch that we do not need heating in the winter nor air conditioning in the summer.

Where ever you are situated in the archipelago, the coast is never far away.
 

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Hi nfmac.
As you will know (and as Pesky said) Spain is indeed in the brown stuff, and up to the neck!
And I'm wondering whether you will fare any better in Spain in the long term than in France.

As you may have read on here, there is some confusion about applying for residencia here (or, as an EU citizen, for your certificate that you are registered as living here).
It appears that you will have to prove that you have health cover (which, in your case, I would presume to be private - at least until you can get your UK state pension) and prove that you can sustain yourself here with some form of income (figures vary on how much this is and how savings or capital are taken into account).
But, if you can manage this, then you may wish to go for it!

However, I did notice (and completely understand) your feelings of isolation in the French countryside, and you say that some of this is down to not being able to drive, and some of this is down to not being able to speak the language.

Unless you live in a Spanish town with a good bus service and/or a good supply of local shops and services, then you will still find life difficult in Spain, as getting around here without a car can be just as difficult as in France, if not more so.

Then there's the language...
A few years ago, you could move to certain towns in Spain and get by very easily hardly speaking any Spanish at all, but, with the exodus of expats returning to the UK, that is becoming increasingly difficult.
Not to mention the fact that you feel isolated, so will want to make friends with people you can talk to. That again, is not as easy at it once was.

Do you have family and friends in the UK?
Because, if this is so, I am wondering if returning to the UK would be your best bet?
Ok, the weather in the UK stinks! And prospects there are not good, but at least you can speak the language.

You say that, after the sale of your house in France, you will not have enough money to purchase a property in the UK and are thinking about renting in Spain and living on the capital from your house sale.
But you could do that in the UK too.

As someone returning to the UK (and therefore without an up-to-date credit rating), you would probably be expected to put down a lump sum on a rental property, but after that, you would have a base to live and access to health services and, eventually, pension benefits too.

But only you can decide what you wish to do.
Just don't let your thorough dislike of your experience of living an isolated lifestyle in France lead you to making the wrong move.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.:)
 

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Thanks for your reply.... I would not be looking for work, France isnt doing much better believe me, the cost of living is high here, and properties not selling so Brits are letting them go at silly prices . How much money I will have depends on what price I can get for my property here , it is already reduced greatly, and have someone interested in it finally, but it has took 3 years to get an interested party. So I would rather rent I think, and keep any money to live from as I wont get a UK pension until I am 62 1/2 .
Hi there,
We found the perfect town to live, Javea, in the Alicante region, but not noisy, and doesn't have the high rises. You can actually live there among the Spanish and also other expats from Uk, Germany, Holland, Swizterland and live in an apartment not too far from the sea with all the amenities nearby,
If you don't get you pension until you are 62 1/2 you would not be able to use the Spanish health care system, have you got private health care cover? Lots of expat pensioners take that out as well.
I am just promoting our own town, because I love it, I am very sure there are other places up and down the costa's which are just as lovely, depends what you want in the end! But I would suggest maybe going on holiday to one of the towns and looking around, probably for areas where there are less holiday makers and more locals, so the place isn't a ghost town out of season.
Look at a website called Kyero.com at the rental properties section, it will give you a rough idea what is available and where.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Canary Islands in general are far cheaper than Iberian Spain, also the temperate climate is far kinder to the bank balance, insomuch that we do not need heating in the winter nor air conditioning in the summer.

Where ever you are situated in the archipelago, the coast is never far away.
I was looking at the Canary Islands today, more info would be welcome
 

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I was looking at the Canary Islands today, more info would be welcome
There are seven main Islands, situated out in the Atlantic, almost 1000 miles south west of Spain, they are divided into two provinces.

The province Of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria consists of three Islands, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. These islands are situated closest to the coast of Africa and are therefore the most arid. All three islands have a good tourist industry, and some fantastic beaches.

The province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife consists of four islands, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and the best kept secret in Spain, El Hierro, where I live. These Islands are far greener, because we are more occidental and do receive rain. Tenerife has a good tourist industry, the beaches are mainly man made. The island has the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, 12198 ft-high. The other three islands have little tourism especially El Hierro.

Each island has its own individual identity and differs considerably from its near neighbours. The one I live on is very remote, there are only five English residents, so once or twice a year we fly to Gran Canaria, 45 minutes, to stock up on things we cannot source here.

I would suggest that you visit Gran Canaria, or Tenerife, these islands have excellent bus networks, English is widely spoken, especially in the south of the islands where the tourist resorts are. Out of the two, I prefer Gran Canaria having first visited in 1962, I usually stay in Las Palmas the capital. However the small resort of Puerto De La Cruz on Tenerife impresses also.

The below link will show you photos of this Island, should you need further information, please ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
There are seven main Islands, situated out in the Atlantic, almost 1000 miles south west of Spain, they are divided into two provinces.

The province Of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria consists of three Islands, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. These islands are situated closest to the coast of Africa and are therefore the most arid. All three islands have a good tourist industry, and some fantastic beaches.

The province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife consists of four islands, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and the best kept secret in Spain, El Hierro, where I live. These Islands are far greener, because we are more occidental and do receive rain. Tenerife has a good tourist industry, the beaches are mainly man made. The island has the highest mountain in Spain, Mount Teide, 12198 ft-high. The other three islands have little tourism especially El Hierro.

Each island has its own individual identity and differs considerably from its near neighbours. The one I live on is very remote, there are only five English residents, so once or twice a year we fly to Gran Canaria, 45 minutes, to stock up on things we cannot source here.

I would suggest that you visit Gran Canaria, or Tenerife, these islands have excellent bus networks, English is widely spoken, especially in the south of the islands where the tourist resorts are. Out of the two, I prefer Gran Canaria having first visited in 1962, I usually stay in Las Palmas the capital. However the small resort of Puerto De La Cruz on Tenerife impresses also.

The below link will show you photos of this Island, should you need further information, please ask.

Thanks for your reply and information. Your remote island with only 5 english residents sounds amazing, lets hope you all get along haha.
The photos are very good, thank you for them..... I know someone who lives in Gran Canaria am going to try and track them down for info, thanks for your help.
 

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Thanks for your reply and information. Your remote island with only 5 english residents sounds amazing, lets hope you all get along haha.
The photos are very good, thank you for them..... I know someone who lives in Gran Canaria am going to try and track them down for info, thanks for your help.
I forgot the weather, coastal areas rarely go below 16ºc, maximums sometimes reach 40ºC, but this is rare, usually a comfortable 28ºc.

I think you are wise to consider Gran Canaria, it was our first choice until we found this place.

We rarely see the other English, all our friends here are either locals, Spanish, or South Americans.
 

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I have been stuck in the middle of the country on my own since my divorce in December, and as I dont drive it is very difficult to get anywhere. I have to rely on peoples kindness and help to get groceries from the nearest town 36 K away. I rarely see anyone, dont speak French so hard to talk to anyone, I never go anywhere, speak to anyone or do anything. Have a fab house, plenty of land, but prices reduced so much that returning to UK with house sale proceeds with the current exchange rate would be a non starter. I need to look at a map of Spain , and check out the coastal areas, have been on holiday in the past, but a holiday is different to the reality of living some where. I would be looking for a coastal area, within easy distance of a town for shopping and groceries, somewhere if you fancied putting on your glad rags you could walk out and go somewhere, meet people, make friends proper ones, and not freezing cold in winter with frozen pipes and unable to keep warm, need to keep airports in mind, how does the health service work in Spain for ex pats. Does anyone have links for property rental sites to look at other than the megga priced holiday rentals you find on the net. I Cant wait to get out of France, Bye bye baby, will not be a miss at all, apart from the house of course, but UK is always the first thought, to run back to your roots and safety , but ask myself would I really like to go back , would much prefer to make a happier life for myself , sun, sea and whatever springs to mind.
So, you are 36k from the nearest shops, you are really isolated! If you can manage the health care costs you would have to pay in Spain, you would be much better in a coastal town like Javea, Denia, plenty of shops and restaurants on the 'doorstep' if you live by the sea, plenty of activities to get involved in to meet new people, like choirs, charity work with pets, bridge, golf etc etc.There are buses which connect to other towns along the coast, if you fancy a change of scenery once in a while.
As I have mentioned in a previous post you do not want to be in a too touristy area, otherwise it would be very quiet out of season, the above towns have a good sized population of people in winter. If you cannot speak Spanish, you can learn just like me! I am older than you, but enjoy trying to speak Spanish even to Spaniards who may speak fair to good English, if they understand me I am so pleased, if I miss the odd word they will gladly help, appreciating the effort I have made.
I was watching a local charity 'fun' dog show, and held a conversation with a much older than me Spanish gentleman, about his dogs and puppies, he couldn't understand a word of English, but understood my Limited as yet Spanish, I felt like I had won a gold medal for being able to do this. When I first arrived to live permanently I thought it would be much harder 'at my age' to learn a new language, but I will continue, with effort I have proved myself wrong.
 

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I was looking at the Canary Islands today, more info would be welcome
The only island I know well is Gran Canaria. Its wonderful, an island of all climates ranging from the wetter north to the sunny south. The resorts on the south of the island have good weather pretty much 365 days of the year, NO frozen pipes. Although Spanish its not committed to the EU so prices for a lot of things are 'duty free' and if your a nicotine and alcohol addict you'll be in heaven.

Because of the guaranteed good weather property prices are higher than the mainland in that you get less for the same money but you will find apartment from €500 a month.

You don't get the high rise developments that are common in some resorts of mainland Spain.

GC or Cyprus is where my wife and I will be spending half the year now she is prepared to cut the cord with Nursing and retire next year.

There is a couple here who live there and can give help with more day to day prices such as internet etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The only island I know well is Gran Canaria. Its wonderful, an island of all climates ranging from the wetter north to the sunny south. The resorts on the south of the island have good weather pretty much 365 days of the year, NO frozen pipes. Although Spanish its not committed to the EU so prices for a lot of things are 'duty free' and if your a nicotine and alcohol addict you'll be in heaven.

Because of the guaranteed good weather property prices are higher than the mainland in that you get less for the same money but you will find apartment from €500 a month.

You don't get the high rise developments that are common in some resorts of mainland Spain.

GC or Cyprus is where my wife and I will be spending half the year now she is prepared to cut the cord with Nursing and retire next year.

There is a couple here who live there and can give help with more day to day prices such as internet etc.
Hello, thank you so much for your reply. i would love to get in touch with the couple you know who lives their , as info on everyday life is good to have, some people paint places to have rose coloured spectacles and that is never so, knowing the pit falls is always best.
 

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If you rent rather than buy, you will not be stuck in a house that you don,t like. Housing in Spain will get cheaper , so there is little economic sense in buying now. If you enjoy traveling then access to efficient public transport would be high on my list of essential services. If you don,t already have one, look around for a financial advisor / accountant, who is regulated under UK laws, who can advise you on what or where to invest you proceeds from the sale of your.french house. Be patient and good luck.
 
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