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How to Move to Marbella and Create Your Dream Life in Spain

Moving abroad is the ultimate adventure and an experience that appeals to many people. But once you’ve made the decision in terms of location, what comes next? Marbella is one of the leading destinations for expats, with stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and an enviable climate.

If you’re ready to create your dream life in Marbella, here are some steps you should take to make the move go smoothly and as stress-free as possible. 

Sort Out Your Finances

Finances play a key role in the lifestyle you can afford to enjoy, so budgeting should be your first port of call. According to Numbeo, life in Marbella is considerably cheaper than major cities in the UK, such as London. For example, dining out comes in at nearly 24% cheaper and groceries are over 37% cheaper. 

Before you make the big move and relocate, it’s a good idea to run the numbers just to ensure that your budget will stretch to meet the quality of life you currently have. You want to ensure you have enough disposable income to be comfortable but also enjoy your new life abroad, from exploring the area to ordering that plate of paella at a beachfront restaurant for a true experience of the area. 

Find Your Ideal Home in Marbella

The next step is finding a property you can settle into, whether you’re moving alone, with a partner or as a family. There’s a wide variety of beautiful properties to choose from in Marbella, from luxury villas and beachfront properties to modern apartments surrounded by a hive of activity. Local estate agents are your best port of call when you’re looking for a property, as they’ll be able to help you find the right property for your budget, in a location you love. 

Nueva Andalucia has a wide range of property styles and accessible prices, making it a sought-after area that’s peaceful yet still has a great selection of amenities. It’s known as the Golf Valley for its brilliant variety of golf villas and courses. Los Naranjos is also renowned for its private villas, vast green spaces and relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. It’s perfect if you want that classic Andalusian style or a more contemporary villa home. 

Or maybe you’re looking for those classic white-sand beaches and trendy restaurants, in which case Elviria is the perfect spot. It’s popular with families, particularly expats, and is increasingly in demand because of its close proximity to beaches, golf courses and international schools.

Prepare to Buy a Property in Marbella

If you’re looking to buy, local real estate agency, Panorama, recommend seeking a qualified lawyer to assist your purchase before you start the search. “Once you have made a decision to purchase property here, even though you may not have found that special property yet, establishing a relationship [with a solicitor] while you are in Marbella can be immensely useful if you start negotiating a purchase”.

You must have legal representation to buy on the Costa del Sol. The first step of the purchase will be a Reservation Contract which gives you the right to reserve a property for a set period of time, and gives your lawyer time to complete the due diligence process on your behalf. A deposit of €3,000 to €6,000 is usually required to take a property off the market while the due diligence is being completed, and this will be held by your lawyer, although for high-end properties, this can be much larger.

Get Your Visa to Live in Spain

The process for getting a visa has changed and Britain is now treated as a “third” country when it comes to moving to a destination in the EU. For those moving now, you can move to Spain without committing to a residency by applying for a temporary visa, also known as a Tarjeta de Residencia, which allows you to stay in Spain for longer than 90 days. 

To apply for this, you need to make an appointment with the Spanish Consulate in London or at an immigration office in Spain, within 30 days of your arrival. However, the latter is far more stressful, so it’s wise to sort it out beforehand. Temporary visas can enable you to stay in Spain from three months to five years, depending on the circumstances of your application, and you can apply for a permanent residence visa after this time if you decide you want to stay.

Learn Spanish in Marbella

Marbella has a huge expat community, and English is widely spoken, so it’s possible to get by without learning any Spanish. But the sooner you can get to grips with the language, the easier your integration into the local community will be. Locals will respect your efforts to learn the basics and when it comes to sorting out utilities or going grocery shopping, having a good knowledge of conversational Spanish can really help. It will also help you make friends within the community more quickly and make the process of settling into your exciting new life abroad much easier. It’s particularly useful if you’re moving with children, as it can help them integrate quicker if they attend a state school. 

Find a Job in Marbella

Many of the people looking to move to Marbella are doing so for a lifestyle shift, and this might be to enjoy your retirement in the sunshine or you may be looking for a new job. If your move involves the latter, it will help enormously if you can arrange employment quickly, or even before you arrive. 

According to InterNations, a relocation service, there are various business opportunities for expats, with the service sector accounting for the majority of Marbella’s job market, followed by trade, real estate, construction and agriculture. Online job sites are a great way to find opportunities and current listings for vacancies that can be useful.

Ready to Make the Move?

Marbella offers a brilliant quality of life and it’s no wonder why so many people choose to relocate here every year. From the beautiful properties and golden beaches to fantastic culture and amenities, Marbella offers something for everyone, from retirees and professionals to families. Starting a new life abroad is the dream for so many people and following these steps could make it a reality. 

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