Why move to the Costa del Sol this year?

Why move to the Costa del Sol this year? In our last post we gave you 7 reasons why expats love the Costa del Sol which we hope gave you a good idea of why it’s such a great place to live. In this post we wanted to expand the theme a little to say why now is the time to move over and stop dreaming about your life in the sun.

First and foremost we’d say that now is a great time to relocate to the Costa del Sol because the economy is finally improving and Spain is officially out of crisis. After five tough years you can see things really turning around with more people recruiting, restaurants, bars and shops busier and everyone feeling much more positive about the year to come. This is brilliant news whether you’re looking for a job, or want to launch your own company and the signs are that the economy will continue to improve for many years to come.

Property remains affordable but the market is rising, so this means that time is of the essence to relocate, find your feet and get ready to buy. We recommend renting long term first so you can get to know the area and find your perfect place before you take the plunge, so it’s a good idea to come over as soon as possible before you get priced out of the market.

The start of the year is normally the time to make changes and take action, so if your new year’s resolution was relocating to the Costa del Sol, start making it a reality and contact us to find an affordable long term rental property.

Plus this time of year is a good one to come as there are a lot of properties to rent long term, flights are still cheap and everything is quieter. If you leave it until closer to summer you will struggle to find something before September.

We look forward to making your dreams come true in 2016! Here’s some handy information about moving to Spain and what you need to know to point you in the right direction, if you want to know more please don’t hesitate to ask.

7 Reasons why expats love the Costa del Sol

7 Reasons why expats love the Costa del SolThe Costa del Sol offers one of the best climates, lifestyles and gastronomy in the world, within easy reach of Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, and we love living here. As long term rental specialists, it’s brilliant to be able to give people a chance to start a new life here, without too much commitment, and to see them thrive. To give you an insight into why we think it’s a great choice, we’ve listed our top 5 reasons to live on the Costa del Sol

This is an area with a huge amount of different nationalities living side by side with the Spanish who were lucky enough to be born here. The British in particular have been moving here in their thousands since the 1960s when Marbella became a favourite with the international jet set and package holidays made travelling abroad affordable.

So why is it that all these British “expats” choose to call the Costa del Sol home? Here are the main reasons we think it’s such an expat paradise –

  1. The weather is so different to the rain, grey and cold we’re used to in the UK and the wonderful quality of light, endless sunny days and blue skies lift our spirits and make us never want to return home.
  2. The cost of living is so much lower than the UK, especially if you live in the big cities. Costa del Sol long term rentals can be found from as low as 400€ per month, a fraction of the cost of renting somewhere like London or Manchester. Plus, petrol, alcohol and eating out are all much, much cheaper, so you can have a much better standard of life for much less.
  3. You can still find all the English favourites of tea, marmite, traditional biscuits and sweets in your local supermarket. If you’re looking for something unusual then Iceland will normally stock it, or you’re just a short trip away from Gibraltar and the big English supermarket there. Spanish food is amazing, but if you’re going to call somewhere home then it is nice to be able to buy your favourite foods, go to an English café for a fry up or fish and chips when you want to, and the Costa del Sol has everything you can want.
  4. Most people speak English and local Town Halls and service providers are set up to deal with English people who don’t speak Spanish. Whilst we always encourage people to try to learn the language, it is brilliant that the English speaking community is so well supported.
  5. There are loads of excellent international schools for expat families. This means you can keep your options open and allow your kids to follow the English curriculum or the international baccalaureate system, but still give them an amazing place to grow up and the chance to be bilingual.
  6. It’s easy to get back to the UK to see family and friends, or even to do business. With low cost airlines flying into Malaga and Gibraltar regularly, people even commute from Spain! The short distance and low price tag means that you don’t feel cut off or isolated and you’re sure to get plenty of visitors as everyone loves the Costa del Sol!!!!
  7. There’s a strong international community of like-minded individuals who welcome new arrivals with open arms and go out of their way to help them and make them feel at home.  You can find friends who speak your language and have similar interests and beliefs really easily by joining clubs, networking, taking Spanish lessons and getting involved in the expat community.

Now we’re not saying that moving to a foreign country is easy, but the Costa del Sol is one of the easiest places to relocate to if you want to make a change and give yourself a better standard of living. We can help you start the ball rolling by finding you an affordable Costa del Sol long term rental in an area which fits with what you want your new lifestyle to be. We’ve all made the move so we know the pitfalls and have even written this article on how to make life on the Costa del Sol work for you to make it even easier. Don’t wonder what if, take the plunge and try it out – you can always go back!

Hope to see you here in 2016, let us know how we can help.

Learn Spanish in 2016

Learn Spanish in 2016¡Feliz Año Nuevo! That’s Happy New Year from all the team at HomeRentalontheWeb, we hope you had a great Christmas and that 2016 is going to be a good one. What was your New Year’s Resolution? ¿Quieres aprender Español? (Do you want to learn Spanish?)

We think that if you are planning to relocate to Spain, or you’re renting long term on the Costa del Sol already, that you should be aiming to learn some Spanish this year. Whilst you can get by without it in international areas such as the Costa del Sol, you will be able to enjoy life here so much more with a good level of Spanish. Plus you’ll be able to navigate the bureaucracy and get set up with phone lines, electricity and water without help! The people that really make a life for themselves here tend to speak Spanish. It opens so many doors and allows you to integrate, have many more options for work and saves you money, as you don’t need to rely on private healthcare and international schools.

Now we know that believing that you can reach a high enough level to speak to the doctor or service providers is hard, but trust us, everyone can do it if they try and there are loads of great resources out there. Plus when you start and make an effort to speak to the locals, you will get a lovely response and it will inspire you to learn more.

We recommend starting with some of the free online language learning resources, there’s a great list of free Spanish classes here and the BBC has a very good mini-site with loads of good activities which are fun, as well as helping you learn. Head down to your local library and see what they have, audio courses like Michel Thomas are brilliant for building up vocab and confidence without too much boring grammar and there are more traditional courses out there too of course.

Once you are learning, whether it’s with classes, or at home with books and tapes you should look for opportunities to practice it and get used to speaking naturally. There is an excellent website called Meetup where you can join groups all over the world and “Meet up” with people doing all kinds of things. The Spanish ones are brilliant, as you can meet in a social and friendly atmosphere and put what you’re learning into practice. Trust me, this relaxed practice will really make a difference, as it will take the language out of the books, let you apply it, but without it being too scary.

If you are planning to move over to Spain with the family, why not hire a private teacher and learn together, it will help you prepare for the move, bring you together and give you a grounding in the basics. With a private teacher you can also ask them to prepare you for specific things such as registering kids for schools, so you’re ready to face it when you arrive.

If you’re already living in Spain, then group lessons are a good way to get to know people as well as improve your Spanish. You can supplement your classes by setting up a language exchange (intercambio) with someone Spanish, so you can help each other improve your language skills, whilst having fun and making friends. Ask in your local Town Hall foreigners’ department whether they have any spaces in their classes, these are normally the most affordable.

Try a few different methods and see what works for you. It’s a beautiful language with many similarities to English and no matter your age or ability, if you really put your mind to it you will be able to master it! Buena Suerte (good luck)!

Check out our useful Spanish phrases blog post and our other learning Spanish articles to get you started, it’s worth it for the amazing life you can lead here. Remember that we can help you to relocate to Spain and find your perfect long term rental on the Costa del Sol.

Beat the Winter Chill in your Long Term Rental

Beat the Winter Chill There are many advantages to renting long term on the Costa del Sol, a major one being that you don’t have to worry if something breaks. However, renters sometimes feel they can’t make changes to the property to make it feel like home, without realising how much you can change without painting the walls or doing anything structural. With the right know-how and a bit of inspiration you can actually do a lot to really put your mark on the place without doing anything permanent. One thing that people often complain about is feeling cold in their long term rental during the winter. Whilst it is true that not all Spanish houses are built for winter weather, with some tips and tricks from us, you can turn your marble-floored summer pad into the perfect winter snug.

  1. Talk to your landlord to discuss options – Often homeowners are happy to make improvements if you can handle the arrangements and make it easy and low cost for them. If you have an open fire which doesn’t work too well, but you’d like to use it, then check out the options for improving it. It could be that it just needs a good clean, or to have something fitted on the top to stop the wind blowing back into the chimney, or you could install a wood burner in the grate. There are some really affordable options and with a small amount of building work you can install a wood burner and make a real difference to the property. We have had tenants and owners share the cost of this to improve the property for both parties, and the difference in heat generated and the amount of fuel used is amazing.
  2. Winter-proof the property – Windows and doors in Spanish properties tend to be badly installed or of a lower standard than the UK, so drafts come in and there’s a lot of heat lost from these areas. There are a few options for improving things. One is a simple draft excluder for the doors, which works well and is very inexpensive. Another very effective option is to fit heavy curtains on a curtain pole which can be easily removed in the summer (check out Ikea in Malaga for affordable options). You will be amazed the difference it makes in both the heat lost and also the feeling in the property. Buy rugs for the living rooms and bedrooms, so you don’t have to put your feet on the cold marble. Fluffy or woollen throws and bed spreads are brilliant for the sofas and beds to make it look and feel cozy and cuddling up on the sofa under a fluffy throw is perfect for winter evenings.
  3. Explore heating options – There are a range of portable heaters which you can buy to warm up the property. We recommend the small oil fuelled radiators on wheels. These give a really nice ambient temperature and gently warm the room and because you can wheel them around, then just one or two will do. They also use a lot less electricity than the hot air heaters, so are much more economic and environmentally friendly. It doesn’t have to be complicated – even the old fashioned hot water bottles are great to make your bed cozy when you get in and electric blankets are also a good choice if you feel chilly at night.

If you feel the cold and want to have something prepared for the winter please let us know and we can give you a list of available properties which fit the bill. We have a wide selection of long term rental properties on the Costa del Sol, many of which have heating and double glazing. But remember the winter here doesn’t last for long and before you know it the spring will be here again and all thoughts of cold will be banished from the mind for many, many glorious months!!

Tips for making the most of Christmas on the Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol ChristmasIt’s official – Christmas is here and we’re feeling very festive, with mince pies aplenty in the office. Malaga’s amazing lights were lit at the end of November, all the other towns followed suit at the beginning of December and everything is looking gorgeous. How’s your town looking? We’d love to see pictures!!

When you’re an expat renting on the Costa del Sol, Christmas can feel a little odd. Whilst we’re not complaining, having a sunny Christmas can make you lose that festive feeling, and not having family around can be tough. Don’t worry though, you just need to follow our handy tips and you’ll have a brilliant time.

  • Go to Malaga, marvel at the lights, stock up on Christmas presents on Calle Larios and enjoy a drink and some tapas to rest those aching feet. A visit to see the Malaga lights is a must for a perfect Christmas on the Costa del Sol and sure to get you in the mood.
  • Stock up on your Christmas favourites from a local international supermarket, or take a trip into Gibraltar. Having these goodies around you will make it feel like Christmas no matter where you are.
  • Make sure you’re warm enough – Stock up with wood if you have an open fire, or invest in an oil fuelled radiator and some lovely scented festive candles to make it really cozy and special.
  • Arrange special events – Get together with friends and arrange to have little parties at different houses, a Christmas Eve cocktail party, or a Boxing Day buffet to bring together friends who are staying makes it feel really fun.
  • Check what’s on – The Town Hall often holds events and there are theatre productions such as Swan Lake, but these do not tend to be well publicised in English, so keep your eye on the Town Hall website and posters which should be going up any time now.
  • Take full advantage of the lovely weather – Go and walk along the beach, or collect pine cones and fire wood in the hills and stunning countryside around Marbella, have a game of golf, or arrange a champagne brunch or cocktails on the beach with friends, you’re on the Costa del Sol so why not!!

If you’re feeling chilly and you haven’t found the right long term rental property where you want to spend Christmas don’t panic, we can help you find somewhere warm and comfortable, that will be a great base all year round. Please let us know as soon as possible so we can make sure you’re in and settled in time for Christmas.

To stay or not to stay in Spain for Christmas – that is the question

Stay in Spain for Christmas If you are still in denial that Christmas is coming, it’s time to wake up and smell the mulled wine! We’re just eight weeks away from Christmas Day and so if you’re renting long term in Spain it’s time to make the decision on whether to stay here for the festive season, or make the annual exodus to friends and family elsewhere.

It’s a tricky decision if you’re settled here and have found your perfect long-term rental property, as you feel at home, love living in Spain and can probably already imagine the tree and the stockings by the fire. However think carefully, as Christmas can be lonely without friends or family around, so make sure that there will be enough people around, or that your loved ones are willing to travel over to the Costa del Sol to be with you.

There are loads of benefits of Christmas on the Costa del Sol, not least the weather, which is often good enough for a stroll along the beach after Christmas dinner. The Christmas lights in Malaga are a real highlight, the old towns are lovely to stroll around and do a little chilled out shopping and there are some lovely Christmas events organized by the Town Halls.

However, we want to be honest with you, it can be hard to get into the festive mood here in Spain, as it’s much more of a low key affair in general and let’s be honest, most people don’t associate Christmas cheer with a drink on the beach. Most expats living in Spain will probably head back home and the “traditional” Christmas events like the markets and carol services take place earlier in December to allow for this. So unless it’s your dream to escape the cold and dark in the UK, or you have a good group of friends around you, or the family is over, it can feel a little sad to be living abroad at this important time of the year, so if you’re not sure we’d recommend you head home.

Travelling from Malaga or Gibraltar to the UK is surprisingly affordable before Christmas and after New Year. Be warned though, travelling back to Spain between Christmas and New Year can be expensive, if you’re looking for the most affordable fares and don’t mind much about New Year’s Eve, then travelling on 31st December or 1st January is a real bargain!

Kids are at school until 23rd December, but then their holiday lasts until 7th January because of the Three Kings. Also bear in mind that here offices tend to be open right up to Christmas Eve and only have Christmas Day as a public holiday, going back to work on Boxing Day, so make sure you book holiday asap if you’re working.

We hope this post has helped you make the decision on whether you’ll be staying over Christmas or not, if you haven’t taken the plunge and moved over here yet, we have more great advice on life in Spain on our website, not to mention loads of great Costa del Sol long term rental properties.

If you want to stay, then in our next post we’ll be sharing our tips for making the most of Christmas on the Costa del Sol.

Costa del Sol Christmas Markets and Events

Costa del Sol Christmas Markets and Events Tis the season to get busy and there’s loads of festive fun to be had in November and December on the Costa del Sol. If it’s your first Christmas renting long term here, we’re sure you’ll enjoy it! Even if you’re not staying for Christmas itself, there are some lovely opportunities to get in the mood and do the Christmas shopping with markets and special events.

Here are just a few –

The Nutcracker Ballet Marbella Theatre 21st November 20.30- A lovely way to start thinking about Christmas is to enjoy the classic tale of the nutcracker, being performed by the Company Russian Classical Ballet More information

ADANA Xmas Fair – 22 November 2015 – Palacio de Congresos, Estepona from 10.30 to 16.00 – Fantastic day out with entertainment and lots of Christmassy stuff.  If you have a business on the Costa del Sol selling gifts then you can also book to have a stand. Enquiries to: events@adana.es or 697-289-922.

Discount Fair Marbella 3-5 December Palacio de Congresos Marbella 10.00-22.00 – Whilst not a Christmas themed event, this is a great place to get your gifts at amazing prices. With over 100 stands to look at and a huge range to choose from, you could get all the shopping done at once and there’s even a rest area, entertainment and a bar to rest those weary feet.

Peppa Pig Festival 12 & 13 December – Palacio de Congresos Marbella – An early Christmas present for the kiddies to experience the magic of Pepper and her friends and play with the characters for 4 unforgettable hours. Choose from a morning or afternoon session, and experience 10 different characters and 9 amazing activities. More information

Arboretum Winter Festival 20th December, Arboretum Marbella – This will be a winter festival outside in the beautiful setting of the edible gardens in Arboretum. There will be stalls, activities for children and the theme will be sustainable Christmas trees, with activities for making trees out of recycled materials. More information

To see what the Town Hall is planning in Marbella over the festive season in English, keep your eye on the Marbella Family Fun Christmas page where they translate the programme as soon as it becomes available.

If you’re looking for a Marbella long term rental for Christmas, please browse our selection of properties or get in touch with us to find out what we have available so you’re in and settled before this very special time of year.

Learning Spanish – Looking for a house

bigstock-Puzzle-Button-Do-you-speak-sp-79535224The Costa del Sol is one of the most amazing places to live and if you’re thinking of relocating we’d definitely encourage you to take the plunge. There’s so much to offer in terms of climate, lifestyle, sports, great food and more. We believe that you get the most out of living here by making an effort to learn the language and so we cover different useful vocabulary in our Learning Spanish blog posts.

When relocating to Spain, we would recommend that rather than buying straight away, that you start off by renting long term and then invest in a property of your own. This gives you time to be sure where you want to be and have checked out the lifestyle and all its pros and cons and know that you want the Costa del Sol to be your long term home.

We are long term rental experts and can help you find a great property on the Costa del Sol in English, so please don’t hesitate to ask. But if you want to shop around and see what Spanish rental agents have to offer, then here’s the vocabulary you need.

¿Tiene algo para alquilar? – Do you have anything to rent?

Necesito una casa con tres dormitorios. – I need a house with 3 bedrooms.

¿Cuánto es por mes? – How much is it per month?

¿Cuánto es la finanza? – How much is the deposit?

¿El contrato es de seis o once meses? – Is the contract for 6 or 11 months?

¿Es renovable? – Is it renewable?

Con piscina y jardín particular. – With private pool & garden.

Con piscina de comunidad. –  With community pool.   

Está completamente reformada. – It’s completely modernized.

Aparcamiento. – Parking.

Una casa de dos plantas. – A two story house.

doble acristalamiento – double glazing,      armarios empotrados – fitted wardrobes,   cocina amueblada – fitted kitchen,  casa adosada – terraced house,    finca – country house with land,      ático – penthouse,      sótano – basement,      ascensor – lift,   suelos de mármol – marble floors,     luminoso – light

With thanks to Spanish teacher, Translator and Interpreter Michelle Lewis for providing these very helpful terms. Contact her if you need any help with learning Spanish or dealing with the Spanish system. Email michellejlewis@hotmail.com or call 680 155 254.

Please browse our selection of Costa del Sol long term rentals on our website and let us find you the perfect place and explain all the terms and conditions in English. It can remove a lot of the stress from your property search!

Green Costa del Sol

bigstock-Spanish-Vineyards-Overlooking--300935The Costa del Sol is a wonderful place to live and rent long term for many reasons, one of them is the amount of green space and clean air. Did you know that Fuengirola has 350,000m2 of green space or that you can find many lovely parks tucked away in the heart of Marbella and all the towns in the area?

As well as the urban green spaces, stray just a few kilometres away from the coast and you will find yourself in beautiful countryside, with rolling hills, national parks and golf courses. The combination of all the amenities that you want with countryside on your doorstep is one of the best aspects of life here. There’s loads of ways you can enjoy the great outdoors, such as weekly hikes which are put on in Mijas Pueblo, Manilva and many places in between. You can join a riding club and do hacks through the mountains, grab your bike and go, birdwatch, or do a quad-biking trip. Keep your eye on social media and in the local media for news of events, associations and activities being arranged near you.

Renting long term in the countryside around the Costa del Sol is a great option if you want to be part of a small community, have peace, quiet and enjoy beautiful surroundings. It is also excellent value for money, being significantly cheaper than in the bigger towns. For example, just inland from Elviria up in the stunning hills is this Elviria three bedroom penthouse apartment. It is modern and constructed to the highest standard with stunning views for just 600€ per month. Or how about this stunning long term rental villa Mijas? It has 3 bedrooms and bathrooms, a private pool and spectacular country views, it’s close to the hikes around Mijas Pueblo, but within very easy access of Fuengirola and due to its more rural location it can be rented long term for just 800€ per month.

The Costa del Sol is also becoming greener in another sense of the word! Organic gardening is increasing in popularity and low food miles, organic or raw restaurants are popping up such as Km 0 in San Pedro. There are Transition groups in Marbella, Coin and Malaga to name a few, trying to make their communities more sustainable and an environmental charity called Arboretum creating a people’s forest behind Marbella’s bus station.

Next week Marbella is hosting an internationally recognized Permaculture Design Course at Arboretum Marbella, which will further enhance the area’s reputation as an environmentally friendly destination. It is certified by the British Permaculture Association, is carbon neutral and is flying over some really high profile speakers from the UK including Naresh Giangrande and Aranya. This is great news for Marbella and those living on the Costa del Sol. If you want to take part, there are a few places still available.

Working on the Costa del Sol

bigstock-Image-of-businessman-running-a-56868947Are you dreaming of relocating to the Costa del Sol, but are concerned by newspaper reports about high unemployment and don’t know if you’ll be able to find work? The great news is that things are most definitely looking up! Despite worries that the Greek debt crisis would negatively impact Spain, a recent study by Markit has revealed that Spain was actually the best performer of the Eurozone’s big four, leading the way out of recession with steady growth at around 0.4% per quarter. Read more

We’re seeing first hand that job offers are increasing all the time, especially in the real estate sector, where there is a lot of recruitment for sales staff, telemarketers and administrators to respond to the growing demand. Unlike before, the better real estate companies are offering a basic salary plus commission, so if you are comfortable with sales then this is a great opportunity to make an excellent living.

The recovery of the real estate sector sparks business in all areas of the Costa del Sol, although this takes a little longer to filter through. To see job opportunities we recommend reading the newspaper Sur in English online, as this has the best job section. You can also sign up to recruitment agencies such as Howard Bond Recruitment and look at job boards on websites such as Costa Women (link) and Think Spain.

International schools are also good employers and often look for qualified teachers, as there is a high turnover of staff travelling the world with their work. So if you’re a teacher wanting to travel, then make a list of all the schools in the area by searching and send CVs to them to see what they’ve got.

One interesting option for career opportunities is Gibraltar, a thriving economy which was largely unaffected by the global slow down. Banking, online gaming and financial services are very strong in Gibraltar and there are a lot of opportunities for customer service staff, IT and marketing amongst others. The salaries in Gibraltar are very competitive and what many people do is base themselves on the western Costa del Sol, such as Estepona, Manilva and Sotogrande and then commute into Gibraltar, leaving their cars on the Spanish side and cycling, walking or taking a moped into Gibraltar to avoid the boarder queues. There are a number of specialist recruitment companies for this area such as SRG who can help you to find the right position.

There are options out there, but you need to know that in Spain salaries are significantly lower than in the UK. However, when calculating things know that the rent and cost of living is a lot lower too, so many of our long term tenants report that they feel a lot richer living in the Costa del Sol, even when they take a salary reduction. For example, you could rent a three bedroom apartment in Calahonda for just 575€ per month, a fraction of the cost of rental in London and the South East of England!

Please contact us or browse our website for long term rental properties and we can let you know costs of living on the Costa del Sol, so you can make that dream an affordable reality.