In this article, we are going to look at the factors to consider when deciding where to live in Malaga. It will also give you an insight into the process I take you through when you use my relocation or personal property finder services.
The process can be applied to searching for a property to rent or to buy. The importance placed on each factor will vary depending on your own personal situation. No two relocations nor property searches are the same.
Firstly, let’s consider searching for a permanent (rather than holiday) property.
It goes without saying that the most important factor when deciding where to live in Malaga, and anywhere else in the world, is: Location. Location. Location.
However, other factors influence the suitability of the ideal location. These include:
- Seasonal variations
- Accessibility and available infrastructure
Let’s look at each of these factors before getting back to the actual search process.
Seasonal variations. (ie. the weather and the influx of tourists)
As we are only talking about factors to consider when deciding where to live in Malaga, as, in the Malaga province, we do not need to worry too much about the weather variations. If you were considering other regions of Spain it would be a different matter.
However, do not make the mistake of believing that it is always sunny in Spain. Believe it or not, despite the South of the country generally having the warmest climate and the best all year round average temperatures, the wettest place in Spain is actually in Grazalema, a village located in the northeastern part of the province of Cádiz, in southern Spain.
In the more mountainous regions, the winters can be colder and harsher than on the coast. Temperatures can easily vary by 5 to 10º within a relatively short distance. Many properties are not built to cater for these temperature changes. Keep this in mind when considering both places to live and properties to rent.
On the contrary, it is also worthwhile remembering that two weeks in Spain, in the heat and the sunshine, can be very enjoyable and relaxing when on holiday. However, is this what you are looking for on a daily basis?
(Read more about the Spanish climate here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Spain)
The influx of tourists, however, is a very important consideration when deciding where to live in the Malaga province. Certain areas more than double in size at certain times of the years. Other areas are extremely quiet when tourist levels are low. Think about how this could affect your daily life.
Are you happy to live in a ghost town in the winter and then not be able to get to your local supermarket, without sitting in heavy traffic, in the busy summer months?
This is where insider knowledge can be invaluable. There is often a reason why there is an over-supply of properties in certain areas. Ensure you visit places several times and at different times of the day and, if possible, at different times of the year, before making a final decision.
Where is your nearest airport? How frequent are the flights to your preferred destinations? It goes without saying that, once you have moved to Spain, there will be an influx of visitors. Not only that, if you need to return back to your home country at short notice, it is comforting to know how easy it is.
Without wanting to sound morbid, we need to consider the age and health of our family and friends. Moving away is exciting, but bad news from back home can have a drastic impact on this excitement and the happiness of your family. Knowing you can easily pop back, if necessary, at a short notice, gives many people peace of mind.
If one of you travels frequently for work, proximity to the airport is very important. As a guideline, I would suggest not more than an hour’s drive or a short train ride away. Commuting can eat into your day and eventually wear you down. You are not moving here for that.
Will you want to have a car when you move or are you happy to rely on public transport? How reliable are the local transport services? Only one bus an hour into town may seem a novelty at first but is that really enough for your needs?
Where are your local amenities? Is there anything within walking distance? If you have children, how easy is it to reach schools and after school activities? What about food shopping?
There are so many factors to throw into this equation. Don’t get too bogged down with it but ensure you know your priorities. Make a list of what is a “must have” and what is a “like to have” when considering different areas and different properties.
If you have children of school age, one of the first decisions is whether to enrol your children in a Spanish state school or a private international school. The availability of state schools and international schools in Spain varies by region. Hence, it is advisable to carefully research the schools in the area you plan to make your new home before you plan your move to Spain.
The region of Málaga is one of the most popular destinations for people, of all nationalities, relocating to Spain. Thanks to its excellent transportation network, it offers affordable accessibility to most parts of the world on most days of the week. Famous for its wonderful climate and outdoor Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, the Málaga region is a favourite amongst families looking for a new life abroad. Read this great post “A to Z Reasons to live in Malaga”
Due to the cosmopolitan nature of this part of Spain, there is a wide range of education options available to children of all ages and all nationalities.
There are many International Schools in Malaga to choose from. Some of these International Schools follow the British System but are not regulated by OFSTED. They are monitored and regulated by the Junta de Andalucía Consejería de Educación (Junta de Andalucía Education Department).
All British Schools in Spain are inspected by the local authorities before being issued with a licence to operate as a school for foreigners. The Curriculum is monitored by the British Council who ensures that the correct curriculum is followed and that teachers have the correct UK recognised qualifications.
An official B.O.J.A. (Boletin official de la Junta de Andalucía) is issued by the Junta de Andalucía once the school has been approved. This licence should be clearly displayed within the school.
There are many towns offering education at International Schools in Malaga and a high percentage of them in the Marbella area and consequently fees in this area tend to be higher, however higher fees are not a reflection of higher standards.
If you have decided that you would rather send your children to one of the state Schools in Malaga rather than a private or international school, you may wish to check out the Junta de Andalucía’s website. It provides a concise list of state schools in Malaga and all provinces of Andalucía.
Although only in Spanish, the website is relatively self-explanatory. By inputting the post code or the village/town where you are planning to move to, you can see the schools in that area.See the Junta de Andalucía list of education centres: (http://www.juntadeandalucia.es/educacion/vscripts/centros/)
Please note than in Malaga, the state school timetable for lessons is generally from 9am until 2pm. In most schools, there is a canteen option (*Comedor) at extra cost, extra-curricula activities (*Actividades Extrascolares), at extra cost and an early morning drop off option(*Aula Matinal) at extra cost.
NOTE: It is important to check these details as they will influence not only your daily life but also the location of your new home. A 30 minute school run, four times a day, soon eats into your precious free time!
Consider what you can afford. Property prices vary greatly, not only in each area of Spain but also within neighbouring villages and towns. Have a look online to see what average prices are in the areas you are considering.
I encourage people to set a comfortable budget and then to see what they are able to achieve within that budget. You may be amazed by the difference in prices within short geographical areas. Again, this is where the knowledge of a local property finder or relocation adviser can be invaluable.
If you are renting, I advise you to set a monthly budget to cover both rent and education fees. In some areas, you will be able to afford private education and rent within your budget. I am often shocked at people planning to spend up to €2500 per month on a rental property yet are unwilling to pay for their children’s education (when deemed necessary due to age and language ability). Private education is often a lot cheaper in Spain compared to the UK.
Have a look at portals such as: www.kyero.com , www.thinkspain.com , www.pisos.com, www.fotocasa.com , www.tucasa.com, www.idealista.com, This will give you an idea of the type of property you can hope to rent within your budget in each of the areas. Be warned though that may properties will not be available to rent, they are used to encourage you to contact the agencies. This is where the use of somebody like us will save you a lot of time.
The above factors are just a few of those that should be considered before renting or purchasing a property in the Malaga region, or any other part of Spain. The initial search can start as a process of elimination. It is often easier to delete possible locations off a long list than to set out in search of the ideal location at the outset. With my guidance the process, be it relocating on a permanent basis, or purchasing a property for part time and/or holiday living, will be a lot easier and more enjoyable.
For more details of how you can benefit from our services:
CLICK HERE for relocation packages including rental search.
and HERE for property purchase and property finder services.
If you are considering moving to Spain, particularly with children please note that my book, Moving to Spain with Children by Lisa Sadleir, is now available for purchase. In the book we expand on the factors considered here and discuss many more issues that should be considered before and during a planned move to Spain. CLICK HERE to preview the contents on Amazon.
I look forward to helping you move to Malaga very soon.