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To sell up and move to Spain ?

(518 Posts)
MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 04:50:57

Hi MN’s!

I’ve nc! So in a nutshell.. I’ve got two DC (sons) 8yrs and 10yrs. DH is 13 years older than me. (I’m mid thirties he’s late 40s)

He works in financial sales and I’m a small business owner (pet care/boarding).

We have a home in a lovely place on the outskirts of London. BUT we are struggling to live!

My DH has unfortunately been out of work/made redundant SO many times! We’ve been together 13 years and it seems every 2/3 years he is out of work.

A couple of years ago he had to ‘leave’ instead of being pushed and was out of work nearly a whole year! This has put us in such a bad financial situation.

We now pay the mortgage and the bills but we have hardly anything to live on. The mortgage and outgoings are huge.

Credit cards maxed out. I’m in touch with debt companies etc only so much can be done!

Life is a hamster wheel and borrowing from Peter to pay Paul etc..

AIBU to sell up and move to Spain? We attended Spanish lessons (myself, DH, DC) but stopped a couple of years ago! So we are no way fluent!

I have no money nor does DH but we have money in our home. After selling our home we could have enough to buy a three bed apartment in Southern Spain (ideally Calahonda area).

DH is saying he’ll have to stay here and rent a room outskirts of London to work his job in the city etc.

I could get rid of my debts and this misarable life but I will also have burnt all bridges to ever be able to come back.

My youngest is 8 and a young sweet 8. He’d be happy and make friends anywhere. But my eldest is 10 going on Kevin the Teenager! I’d have to put them through Spanish state school (also thinking of doing Cambridge p/t home school modules) if he hated it then he’ll hate me!!

Pros - I’d have the debts and financial burdens weighing me down gone. I’d be living in a sunny climate.
I am qualified in beauty industry, massage, animal pet training care..

Cons- what if it all goes wrong?

I’ve wanted to move to Southern Spain since 2013. I love it there. I fully appreciate living there is different to a holiday.

Only other option is to sell this house and rent there for a year (?)

Are kids that are about to turn 9 and 11 too old to be put in a Spanish state school?

I cannot go on like this 😑 too over drawn too broke. Don’t know how I’ll afford food for this week!

The thought of selling up and being able to buy a spacious penthouse in Spain has never been so tempting.

Ps. I have experience in beauty, make up, massage in case you wondered what I’d do over there. Also a very experienced animal carer.

* also Brexit is a factor but as it stands I know I can still go there ...

Please give me some advice (shake some sense into me!) thank you! X

weaseley Sun 14-Apr-19 04:57:07

A friend of mine did just this and her children are thriving in Spanish school. They were 8 and 9 when they went. They were fluent within a year. She teaches conversational English in a college and husband commutes back to London.

DH and I upped sticks and moved to another country (I don't want to say where, but English speaking) and it's been amazing. Three years in, I'd never move back. We took the decision for similar reasons to yours actually, and we've been way better off financially, but DH is in a job that doesn't exist in the same way in the UK. I don't have to work, but do bits and pieces when interesting projects come my way (artist). Our children love it here. We miss people, but internet calling has meant I can chat on the phone for a couple of hours a day to friends in the UK if I want to. People here have been extremely welcoming and friendly and it's brought us closer as a family.

I read horror stories on here all the time and I believe them, but it isn't always that way.

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 05:03:52

Weasley - thank you so much for your reply!
And your friends and your own choices to move sounds amazing! Very inspirational to hear from people that have actually gone ahead and done it! Thank you again

aquashiv Sun 14-Apr-19 05:44:10

Could you rent your house out here and rent there?

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 05:47:26

Aqua- I could but my home needs SO much work doing to it! Nice area nice enough home but cluttered and dogs have ruined it,, I could make it nice but would need time and money ..ahhh what to do!

PBobs Sun 14-Apr-19 05:56:10

We left the UK 7 years ago when we realised we couldn't have the lifestyle we wanted even though we had worked hard all our lives. Never looked back and never going back. Pregnant with our first child and planning a move to a different Med country when baby is school age. Cannot wait. My only concern is what would your income be? How would you fund daily life in Spain? I assume there are Brits in the South of Spain? Would they be interested in a kenneling/pet service?

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:02:48

PBobs that sounds amazing and thank you for your reply!

I really don’t know what I’d do. I’d have to take my two rescue doggies with me too. I’d love to take care of other dogs as a tiny bit of income but that doesn’t happen over night. I’d choose calahonda as it’s very ‘english’ and I’d be willing to work in the golf clubs, restaurants, etc!

Lightsabre Sun 14-Apr-19 06:19:21

It sounds tricky if you don't have money 'up front' to prepare. It's also a big risk if it doesn't work out. But... I would be tempted by a new start too and time is ticking on for your eldest re; settling at school. How will your partner be able to afford to keep accommodation in the U.K. if you are broke? How much equity will you have left over once you've paid fees, solicitors in both countries, removal expenses, travel to Look for a new home/schools, new furnishings etc? Health care may change when we Brexit and you may need to pay health insurance as a family in Spain. These are all things to sit down and really work out in great detail.

In the meantime have you contacted Stepchange re; debts or asked your mortgage provider for a mortgage break? Also look on the ex pat boards here and on other forums for real life experience.

Buddywoo Sun 14-Apr-19 06:25:28

I lived there for 15 years and came back a year ago for various reasons but not because I was unhappy in Spain.

A word of caution. Spain is no longer cheap. In fact we find the overall cost of living here cheaper.

You will need some money behind you. There are many unexpected costs and it is very cold in winter. Fuel is very expensive.

Unless you speak fluent spanish it will be very difficult to find work. There are many well educated spanish people unemployed.

The spanish state schools are excellent.

You will also need money for private health care for the whole family.

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:28:51

Lights- thank you!

I’m in touch with Step Change! They tell me I have to be in touch with all my creditors and won’t do on my behalf (big headache and mess)

Re my DH he’d have to just rent a room in London to work. They’ll be no money left.
If we sold and bought somewhere in S Spain it could be an investment but such a risk

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:34:21

Buddywoo- Thank you for your reply.
I don’t have any money to have behind me as I’m in a dire financial situation right now. Working non stop. We don’t qualify for help etc not that I ever expected government help.

This is why I ask if it’s beneficial to start again in Spain.. I could own a place .. as it stands now I can’t afford food. Thank you for your message ! I appreciate all responses x

Wavey123 Sun 14-Apr-19 06:39:08

What does your husband think of this? From his daily life point of view he would lose his family and his home and be living in a room, if he has problems finding long term work in London, could he not come with you?

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:43:26

Wavey- he’s the one saying this idea as he says there’s no jobs in Gibraltar ( ?)
He knows it’s not ideal but also has finally admitted our current situation is less than ideal and very miserable

IStillMissBlockbuster Sun 14-Apr-19 06:45:29


SimonJT Sun 14-Apr-19 06:48:40

My family moved to the UK when I was eight, I didn’t speak a word of English but I was fairly fluent within a year. So I imagine your children would be similar. As a 31 year old there are still a lot of words I don’t know which is sometimes problematic at work.

This week I learned the word serrated, I just thought calling it a teeth knife was okay as no one ever corrected me!

Would you not be more secure if you moved to a cheaper area of the UK?

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:48:50

Istillmissblockbuster- ?

Ivegotthree Sun 14-Apr-19 06:49:24

Sounds like madness to me. You have no job plans. No money. You'll be uprooting your children who will become outsiders.

If you want to downsize and free up some cash go somewhere cheaper eg Lincolnshire.

I honestly think this plan sounds mad. Sorry. Your problems will follow you.

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:53:06

Simon - I have looked into that but if I was to throw in the towel along with H then I’d want to buy somewhere where I’ve always dreamt of going (not always as simple as that I understand)
Btw your English is amazing! Are you from a warm climate and how do you find England

sevenyears Sun 14-Apr-19 06:55:30

I don’t know why you would do that with your husband staying in London.

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Sun 14-Apr-19 06:56:55

OP were were in a similar position 6 years ago. Huge debts, high bills, no spare cash, and nursery fees on top! Our house was too small for our 3 dc but we couldn't afford a bigger place and my credit rating was wrecked. We decided to sell our house and repay debts. We kept a few thousand in the bank as a small 5 per cent deposit for a new house. We moved away from London to a cheaper part of England and rented a house for 2 years. During that 2 years we worked on rebuilding our credit rating and applied for better paid jobs. We've now bought a lovely house and the dc are thriving in this area. You could also think about using some of the house sale money to get qualifications in a new career. Maximising your earning potential is the best way to deal with debt or it'll be back to square one as soon as an unexpected house repair is needed. Good luck

MijasMaddie Sun 14-Apr-19 06:57:11

Ive- I know it sounds complete madness! But how I’m living now is kind of mad? Lovely area near London but no money. Working around the clock.. to pay mortgage and bills. I have no money here only debts but could be mortgage free in Spain . Thank you for recommending Lincolnshire. Originally I’m from Cambs and know the areas well

SimonJT Sun 14-Apr-19 07:03:04

Mijas, I’m from Gwadar in Pakistan, so it’s fairly warm.

Bambamrubblesmum Sun 14-Apr-19 07:06:16

When you have sold your house and cleared the debts how much will you have left for a place in Spain?

Forgiven Sun 14-Apr-19 07:06:37

But you could be mortgage-free by moving to a cheaper area of the UK without incurring the huge costs of an international move, the need for private health insurance, and putting your children into a foreign school system without the language to make that easy for them. Your job prospects in Spain would also be limited without good Spanish.

araiwa Sun 14-Apr-19 07:09:51

Do you have an eu passport?

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