About Our Relocation from China to Spain!
In 2017, my wife and I decided to relocate from Shenzhen, China to Andalusia, Spain. My wife being Hong Kong-born, and myself being Danish, having lived in Hong Kong and China for the last 31 years, so the move from what we were very familiar with, was not a decision we made lightly.
We had visited Andalusia a couple of times to see whether we would like to live in Southern Spain, and we found the climate, food, the people, and lifestyle to our liking. Having made the decision to move to Andalusia, we searched the internet for companies which could assist us with the process of relocation.
After a thorough search, we settled on “Move to Malaga” run by Lisa Sadleir and Louise Brace, who have both lived in the Malaga area for years and who know the area inside out. We contacted Lisa to find out how the process would work. After the initial email contact, Lisa arranged a Skype video call, in order to find out more about my wife and I, as well as what we would be looking for, i.e. moving to Southern Spain permanently, or just living here for some months of the year, whether we were looking to rent a place to live in or whether to purchase our own property? If we were looking to purchase a property, what would we want the property to include.’
After some correspondence back and forth where our requirements were narrowing and focusing on what we were looking for. Lisa then started to send various suggestions of properties in the Malaga area. We also looked at various property sites, to see what was available.
Having narrowed the search down to a couple of locations, my wife and I booked our “exploration” flight from Asia to Andalusia. The day after we arrived Lisa and Louise came to our hotel for a quick chat before we started to look at properties. And off we went!
Lisa and Louise had arranged local property agents to show a number of available properties. The first day we saw about 6 or 7 different properties in the Alhaurin el Grande/Coin area, one of which immediately caught our attention. The second day we saw another couple of properties, with a different property agent, one of these properties was outstanding, but a bit remote.
Having seen about 10 different properties in different locations we decided to select one of the properties we had seen on the first day. It was a brand-new house, sort of a blank canvass, which we could finish to our liking. The garden was unfinished, the kitchen was not installed, and some upgrades were required to the bathrooms, but we actually preferred this, as it would allow us to put our touch on the finished product.
Having settled on this particular property, Lisa and Louise helped negotiate a price that we were happy with and then it was over to their recommended lawyers to get the paperwork started to complete the purchase of the property. This process proceeded effortlessly.
Since I am an EU citizen, but my wife is not, the lawyers will also handle our residency registration. Again this is proceeding smoothly. I had originally planned to spend a larger amount of money in order to qualify for the Golden Visa residency route, however thanks to Lisa’s advise and knowledge I opted for the Residency In Spain as non-EU Spouse of an EU Resident route.
As new citizens to Spain we also needed to arrange medical insurance coverage, Lisa and Louise handed us over to an excellent insurance broker, who can handle all types of insurance, i.e. medical, house, car, and other insurances which might be required.
Apart from handling insurances, this person is also a certified accountant, and he will be handling our tax matters, as well as company formation. He also arranged the various registrations required for new Spanish citizens, such as electronic registration, social security registration, etc.. This whole process was effortless, since he handled all the paperwork, and will be doing it going forward.
Having gotten all the “legal” paperwork done, it was now time to turn our attention onto more practical property matters!
Since Southern Spain can be rather cold in the winter months, we decided early on to install floor heating and cooling. We asked Lisa and Louise whether they could recommend any person or company who could handle this for us. Since the floor in the house was already laid, this would be a major renovation project, as the existing floor would have to be removed, under floor heating/cooling to be installed, and a new floor installed.
Lisa and Louise recommended Roger, Roger handles all matters related to the installation of underfloor heating/cooling. Roger, in turn, introduced Enrique, who handles general construction and renovation. Both Roger and Enrique have given us excellent guidance and recommendations as to what is practical and what should be required under Spanish regulations. The renovations of the house are now nearing completion, and everything is looking very good. And we will be very nice and warm during the coming winter months.
Since we also needed to have the garden done, we were introduced to the landscape designer to us, and the garden is now proceeding as well.
We also decided to install an alarm system on the property. Louise recommended an installer who has come up with a very comprehensive security package for us, which will leave us feeling very secure when we are in the house, as well as when we are outside the house.
Due to all the renovations, garden design, alarm installation etc. we will only move into our property by the end of June. Consequently, we needed a place to call “home” for about 6 weeks, Lisa and Louise came through big time on this as well. Recommending a holiday home company in Alhaurin el Grande! Here we found a wonderful small Finca just outside town, which we can highly recommend to others whom might be staying short term in Alhaurin el Grande.
When you purchase a property in Spain you also need to register with the local town hall, in our case Alhaurin el Grande, Louise arranged this and went with us to the town hall to assist with the necessary paperwork and Spanish if required. This registration is called Alta de Padron, and you need this certificate for residency registration if you purchase a car, and possibly other matters as well.
Tomorrow Louise will go with us to arrange Internet/TV/and Phone connections, purchase a car, and other practical matters.
With all of the above in mind, we can only say that our property purchase and relocation from China to Spain has been made very easy, by the expert guidance and advice we have received from Lisa and Louise. We would not have been able to get everything done as smoothly without Lisa and Louise.
We cannot say THANK YOU enough, to Lisa and Louise for all the efforts and help to make our Spanish property purchase and relocation to Southern Spain smooth and effortless. We highly recommend anybody looking to purchase property and relocate to Southern Spain to contact Lisa and Louise, to ensure the move goes smoothly.
Both of them are on 24-7 and available with advice and guidance from the smallest to the biggest issues, from which restaurants are worth visiting, to where to buy a dog, to where they think the living conditions would suit you, to which properties to see and ultimately purchase or rent. Their network of contracts is second to none, we cannot stress enough, the importance of being able to tap into this network of contacts to facility smooth execution of any relocation to Southern Spain.