We happen to think that Spain is a brilliant country to have a holiday home or permanent residence in. Of course, we would say that! However tinted our spectacles might be, we are not blind to the difficulties there can be in home ownership here too.
Many of these will be similar to the problems you might have encountered in your home country. However, when you are dealing with people in a different language and a different culture, hiccups and setbacks can seem so much worse.
We have compiled our top five list of gripes about Spain:
- Bureaucracy We know that bureaucracy is perhaps top of your list of complaints. Tussling with funcionarios to get your NIE, residencia, padron or SIP is an ongoing frustration for many who buy property here
- Unexplained and unexpected taxes. Understanding the tax rules in another country isn’t for the fainthearted. We hear from our customers that too often they feel there is a lack of warning about what they can expect when it comes to property taxes
- Confusions about driving laws and licences. From what to do at roundabouts to changing your driving licence or selling a car. Vehicles of every description seem to cause difficulties and confusion when it comes to getting the facts straight
- Services can cause you grief; electricity, gas, water and telephone companies come in for criticism in equal measure. It’s not that they’re all bad, just that language barriers and differing expectations of practice can create problems.
- Banks they had to come in somewhere. They still are a great source of irritation through unexpected charges, embargoes and unfamiliar practices. Again, once you are used to their methods of working they probably don’t differ a great deal from what you’re used to already. It’s the unknown!
So, that’s our list. But what’s on yours? At Easy Spain we already have services to help you with some of these problems. We have translators who can help ease you through the bureaucracy, experts in Spanish driving law and licences and professionals who are used to dealing with the services and can demystify what goes on there.
But what else do you need? We would like to hear from you about any particular issues that you are struggling with or services you feel you could benefit from. As we work with a range of local providers we might not be able to find a solution to your problem ourselves but we know someone who can.
In the meantime, just to balance the books a little, we’ve compiled another list – what expats enjoy most about Spain:
- Of course, in top position it had to be the weather .The sun shines on most days and although it may be cold in winter, having the sunshine makes a terrific difference to your mood. Most expats find there is a lot more that they can do outdoors.
- The food might be different but most expats say they enjoy the markets and availability of seafood, fish and the healthiness of the Mediterranean diet. Of course, that doesn’t stop them dabbling in their own shops and restaurants on occasions!
- The cost of living might have increased in Spain in recent years but it is still a very affordable place to be. The cost of food and drink are usually lower and it is possible to dine out on a menu del dia nearly every day of the week for the same cost as your weekly supermarket shopping
- The heat in summer and adherence to the tradition of siesta can cause frustration on occasions, but generally those buying property in Spain appreciate the more relaxed and slower lifestyle to what they feel they have left behind them
- This might come as a surprise but we have found that our clients often praise the health service here in Spain. The hospitals are incredibly clean, methodically explore every possibility and demonstrate unrivalled professionalism.
Do you agree? Both lists have been compiled in our office from the discussions, complaints and compliments we have heard. We do hope that you will take the time to let us know if you agree with our lists and exactly how EasySpain can help you.