Questions to ask before moving to Marbella with your family
There are many questions to ask before moving to Marbella with your family, but here we look at three very important ones.
If you’ve decided to relocate to the Costa del Sol, these are exciting times for you and your family. But before you book those plane tickets and head off into the Spanish sunset, there are many things you need to think about before you’re ready to leave the UK.
Here are three important questions you should be asking yourself in preparation for the big family move to Spain.
Where are we going to live?
Looking for somewhere to live in a foreign country can be a daunting prospect if you don’t know the local business rules or any of the relevant property regulations. Luckily, there are many local estate agents and other organisations in Marbella who specialise in helping British families relocate to the Costa del Sol.
Finding your next family home can be an exciting task, especially since Marbella boasts a wealth of beautiful apartments, townhouses and villas that are available either for short/long-term rent, or for sale. Imaging your new lifestyle in a beachside mansion or sun-soaked city penthouse – of course it’s a hugely attractive prospect!
However, finding your dream property is just the beginning; don’t underestimate the importance of professional help to guide you through what could be a lengthy and laborious process before you’re ready to move in. You may need help with finding the best location, negotiating with landlords, solicitors and government agencies in a foreign language, and finding your way around all the contractual and administrative intricacies that go with a property purchase or rental agreement. This is no time to take chances; if you want your home move to go without a hitch, it’s best to get professional assistance.
Where will the children go to school?
If you have young children, even if they’re babies or toddlers now, you will need to think about their educational needs – nursey, kindergarten, primary and secondary school. Depending on the length of your Spanish stay, you may decide that it’s best to fully immerse the children in the local language and culture for maximum benefit, or you may prefer to keep their education British so they are not at a disadvantage on your return to Blighty.
Marbella is used to international educational requirements and has much to offer the expat community. There are many international schools in the local area that teach in English including the British School of Marbella (3-12 years) and International School Estepona (2-12 years) which follow the National Curriculum, and the Calpe School (2-9 years) which follows both Spanish and British National Curriculums. Laude San Pedro International School and Aloha College (3-18 years) both provide British-style schooling with the option of obtaining Spanish or British qualifications.
How can we integrate locally?
Living in a foreign country can be a great way to expand your cultural horizon, so make the most of this golden opportunity that you’ve been given.
Taking Spanish lessons should probably be your first priority – you won’t really ever be able to understand the national psyche if you can’t speak the language properly. But don’t worry if you’re not a natural linguist; these things take time. If you keep plugging away at improving your language skills, they will get better. Celebrate little milestones – ordering in a restaurant, asking for directions, making an official phone call, writing an important letter, chatting with the locals, watching a film without subtitles, reading a book…
If you’re feeling a little home sick or are struggling to make the transition to living in Spain, you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s a thriving British expat community in Marbella that will make you feel instantly at ease. Support networks are well established, with many social and business groups in the area, and even speciality grocery stores where you can find English tea bags, baked beans and Marmite!
Of course, there’s much more to Spain than Marbella’s expat community. It’s a beautiful and varied country, so why not make the most of the fact that you’re already there and go exploring? Visit Madrid and Barcelona, go skiing in the Pyrenees, admire the beauty and history of Seville, Granada, Salamanca, Bilbao… Once you start to discover Spain’s many charms and secrets, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
About your questions…Sorry – but we do not offer relocation advice on an individual basis through Spain Buddy. There are a number of relocation experts who are better placed to advise you on your new life in sunny Spain.
by Mike James
Mike James is a regular traveller and frequent visitor to Spain, having lived in Andalucia, Valencia & Murcia during his time. First-hand experience of life in Spain as well as a background in finance and property also gives him the opportunity to write for Panorama.es, Marbella’s longest running real estate agent.