A Spanish Moving Experience…
The other day I went to the doctor to follow up on the results of blood tests. He gave me this grave look and said, “You want the good news or bad news first?” I was always told to hear the negative news first so you can leave with a positive attitude.
“Ok Doc, give me the bad news.” He told me I had low Vitamin D.
Whew. I thought it was something more serious. What a relief. We proceeded to discuss the benefits of the vitamin. It seems, being inside teaching English all throughout the year may have contributed to the problem. The solution; a little more sun and a vial of concentrated Vitamin D.“Now give me the good news.”He replied: “Everything in your body is functioning like a fine-tuned Swiss watch.” He took out his prescription pad, and I mentioned it would be great if I could move to a sunny place or teach my classes outside. While he wrote the prescription, I said, “What if I moved to Malaga?” He looked up from the pad, and said, “You would be a whole lot healthier.” “Well then, I’ll move to Malaga.” I always liked the city. It was one of the first cities I visited in Europe. I loved the location, the weather was spectacular, and from what I remember there was a certain angelic radiance on everyone’s face.
He smiled and I said: “while you are at it Doc, can you give me a prescription for an apartment there?” He cracked up, rolled his eyes and told me if you have the opportunity to move, go ahead.
With that, I set out to find a place in Malaga.
Preparing to do this is important. There are plenty of questions to consider. For example, do you own furniture? You need a plan and that’s a good place to start.
Many of you might know, apartments in Spain are usually rented with furniture. I made the decision to store my furniture and look for a vacant apartment in Malaga (in some cases these apartments are cheaper). Finding storage space in Madrid is easy but expensive. You also need to calculate the space required for all the junk you acquired. (It’s amazing how many things one accumulates over a short period of time).
Finding a comfortable, reasonably priced apartment in Madrid is a nightmare. So too in Malaga. Prepare yourself to apply any and all techniques to secure a place. Contact all online apartment sites like Idealista, Piso.com, yaencontre, etc. Call on your friends and students in your current location and in your chosen location. You’d be surprised as to how many people in Madrid may know people in Malaga. Set up as many appointments as possible and get down there.
Plan to spend at least a couple of days to see places. I started my search in December. This was a big mistake. The holiday season is not the time to look. In fact, several real estate agents told me that March is the best time to look in Malaga. Anyway, I took the time to go twice for several days to no avail. I took in the sunshine but no apartment. The idea of getting a prescription from my doctor for an apartment is no joke. I was getting desperate. So desperate, during the following weeks while back in Madrid, I’d find apartments online, and if the photos looked good, I would call and make an offer to transfer the deposit. Of course this didn’t work. You have to be there.
I expanded my search and planned to be back in Malaga sometime in January. This time for a week. For this, Airbnb came in handy. I rented an apartment for a week in the center of the city.
Using the above methods and a service that represents the renter, I managed to get numerous appointments. With cash in hand, a trick I learned in Madrid, I set out.. Perseverance, charm, and a great deal of hustle, led me to a reasonably priced place in the middle of the city. Upon meeting the agent, I offered her cash and a file of documentation including contracts, bank accounts, and identification papers. This goes a long way to expediting the process. Funny thing is the cash was not necessary. She took my word that I wanted the place and all that was needed was a transfer to the owner’s bank to reserve the apartment.
Excited, ecstatic, elated? Yep! But it was anticlimactic. There was more work to be done. In order of priority, the first thing to do was to notify the storage company that I was moving. I moved the furniture from my previous apartment to this gigantic warehouse. As you might have determined I have a strong preference to furnish my own apartment. Two week notice was required which doesn’t make sense especially when you contract the new apartment on the first day of the month. They charge for the whole Month!
Next was to ask the present Internet provider to cancel the current service and transfer to new city. Good luck with that. More than likely you will have to contract new service in your chosen location. Hiring a van, and securing permission to allow you to go into a residential zone, in Madrid is yet another small but important detail. Finally notifying insurance, banks, and the supporting cast of government agencies of my new address can be a bureaucratic nightmare.
The above is some but not all of the things required for such a grand move. Each person’s circumstances will be different. Be patient, be cool and plan it well. It’s easy to get discouraged, however keep your eye on the prize. Keep your mojo!
Malaga is an enchanting, small manageable city with wonderful people, great food and a superior lifestyle. Just what the doctored ordered.
Any questions or advice needed for your move or if you would like private English lessons contact me on my profile.
American Native English and Business Teacher and Coach. Over ten years experience teaching Native and American Business English. I am also a writer and have 7 books which are self published. Two books are on the subject of teaching English. I offer classes at my house or at your domain depending on the distance.