Welcome to This Is Spain
Since it was launched in 2002, the intention of ThisIsSpain.info has always been to give accurate information to those considering moving to Spain or those already here, particularly those still finding their way around.
Our specialist area of knowledge is the Costa Del Sol (in particular the Marbella/Fuengirola/Málaga area), the Costa Blanca (in particular the Torrevieja/Orihuela Costa and Benidorm areas) and the Canaries (Lanzarote). However, much of the information will be applicable to all of Spain. We also run ThisIsFuengirola.info and ThisIsBenidorm.info
To help those looking to purchase a property, we have recently launched a sister site Spain Property Web . Here you will find an extensive selection of property throughout Spain and information about heavy discounts on bank repossessions.
So, what is living in Spain really like for an expat?
That’s an interesting question but one thing that it definitely is NOT is a longer version of your annual two week holiday on a Benidorm or Marbella beach. It is exciting, frustrating, fun, too hot, too cold, too lonely, too busy, too quiet or too noisy. In short it can be all things to all people! Obviously, at this stage we have no idea whether you will enjoy or even survive the challenge of living in a foreign climate instead of just spending a week or two while spending your holidays in Spain.
What we do know is that your chances of success are increased massively if you have done your homework in advance. What do we mean by that?
Well, nowadays, there are many sites on the Internet where you can gain all kinds of information about emigration in general and about emigrating to Spain in particular. There are also several excellent books and you will find many references to two definitive guides.
There is David Searl’s “You and the Law in Spain” and Blevins Franks “Financial Guide to Living in Spain.” You will find details of the books elsewhere on this site but leaving for Spain without studying them in depth is a very dangerous start to your life abroad. Ensure though that you have the latest editions – information on inheritance tax in 2006 or the smoking laws in 2010 is worse than useless!
I have lived in Spain for many years and know the main expat areas well. Many trusted contributors have filled the gaps. So whether you are looking for information about Marbella golf or, indeed, Marbella accommodation I am sure we can help. If you are looking for details re Mallorca hotels or Menorca ferries I am sure we can supply the information you require. If you cannot find the information you need on Torrevieja tourism or Torremolinos trains, please contact us and I will try to get you specific information.
As you visit the different sections of this site you will find information about many aspects of Life in Spain. Spain has moved forward to a tremendous pace over the past thirty years and from the sleepy, agrarian state of just a few years ago a dynamic, post-industrialised society has developed. These changes have been seen most clearly on the Costas where you will now find a cosmopolitan lifestyle with prices not markedly different to Northern Europe for many products and services. This region is one that has seen a steady rise in tourism, followed by a rise in hotels, resorts and timeshares, which may actually provide a budget friendly means for accommodations for those wishing to explore the region.Spain-Holiday and Spain Rentals Direct have a tremendous selection of rental properties throughout the mainland and the islands.
I would be disingenuous if I claimed that every house purchase by a foreigner goes totally smoothly BUT almost all problems can be predicted and prevented. Too many people believe that the purchase process will be the same as that in the UK, Scandinavia or wherever. This is NOT correct. Sadly, many estate agents have taken advantage of this naivety and made a totally logical and valid process less transparent than necessary for their own gain. I do not care less what any “man and a mobile” says; you need independent advice. Nobody would dream of buying a home in Stockport or Stockholm without using a solicitor even when they would normally understand the system and the language. Amazingly when they buy their home in Marbella, too many decide they can do it alone or use the omnipresent, “bloke in the bar”. For that reason, I am pleased that Spanish professional Graham Hunt has agreed to offer all ThisIsSpain visitors a free copy of his E-book Buying Spanish Property and Living in Spain. The book has recently been updated and now it is given away at www.houses-for-sale-in-spain.net over a two week period. Feel free to sign up and ask questions based on the chapters that will come to you day by day. It has been found that a lot more people actually read all of the book like this. Updated in February 2013. If we can make the purchasing process more transparent for one buyer it will make our efforts worthwhile.
I am also absolutely delighted to confirm that ThisIsSpain has been able to secure the services of Perez Legal Group who will give an initial consultation at no cost to any visitor to this site who needs advice on any aspect of Spanish Law – be it Legal, Accounting or Taxation. To make contact with their team
simply email PLG direct and mention ThisIsSpain.
This site can only be of benefit if it is current and is constantly being updated. The speed with which Spain is changing means that there is always pressure to update it. If you see mistakes or omissions or you have information that you would like added, please feel free to contact us. We wish you every success with your new life. If there is anything we can do to help, please do not hesitate to ask. Mucha Suerte!