For non-resident Spanish homeowners, the prospect of returning to Spain is tantalisingly close. It’s what everyone’s been waiting for and a few weeks in the sun, enjoying their Spanish property is long overdue. In this article we consider how you might make sure that your return goes to plan.
We can’t wait to see our foreign non-residents returning to Spain again. We know that some of you have been able to make it over here for various reasons, but for many people it’s been a long wait until finally being able to board that plane and return to your home in the sun.
Now, we don’t want to throw a damper on the prospect. Far from it. But there are some factors that you need to build in to your plans. Your property may have been in mothballs for more than a year but things have been happening here and it’s worthwhile going through our seven point health check, just to make sure everything goes to plan.
1. Check out your property
Check with neighbours or local people that you know, if your property looks OK. We’ve had some heavy rain over the past few months and it is beneficial to confirm that it is intact and damage free. If you have a key holder then there should be no problem with this and they should have been keeping you informed over the past months.
There might have been renovations pending that you have not yet been able to put into action. Perhaps you had plans prior to the virus that had to be put on hold. Now is the time to begin to put these into place and you might need to reconnect with any builders that you had prepped prior to March 2020.
Now is a time to look forward to making the most of your place and not just a case of addressing any problems that might have occurred in the meantime. A recognition of the value of outside space has grown recently and you might want to look at your property again to identify how you can make best use of this.
2. Check-in with your community of owners
If you are a member of a community of owners then you would be well-advised to confirm the current situation with them. Are there any new regulations that you need to be aware of surrounding your property and shared facilities? They can advise you of the local situation or any measures that still apply.
3. Bills and charges up to date
Hopefully, you have an online banking system. If so, you should take time to check through your statements to make sure that the following bills are up to date and have been paid:
- Utilities – electricity and water
- Community fees
- Insurances – home, health, life, car
- IBI (rates) and any other annual taxes
You should be aware that there have been changes to electricity tariffs recently. You might want to check these out when you are over and make sure that whatever plan you have in place is the one that best suits your pocket and circumstances.
4. Check-in with your bank
When you do arrive in Spain one of your first ports of call should be your bank. It is likely that during your stay away, the documentation they have to confirm your non-resident status has expired. You will need to go into a branch to rectify this and to renew your identity document or passport.
This is also a good time to ensure that you have every App and facility to enable you to do online banking. You will need to make an appointment and this is your opportunity to go through what you are using and clarify passwords and access. If nothing else, the past year has emphasised the need to be able to track your account and make transactions remotely. Now you can make sure that you have all you need at your finger tips.
5. Your garden
If you do have a significant outside area – whether it is patio or garden – you might need to enlist the help of a local gardener to get it back into shape. The bit of weeding you normally do may not be sufficient given the length of time they’ve had to grow!
6. Keeping connected
More than ever, we are aware of how vital it is to have the correct internet systems and means of keeping in contact with our nearest and dearest. If you didn’t have the internet in your property before, you may want to consider investing.
If you don’t, you will still want to ensure that you have a mobile phone line you can trust and that delivers what you want at a reasonable price when you’re in Spain. You may want to re-visit the current contracts that you have and even consider a change of provider to match your needs. It can be a little more complex when you are not here permanently and are looking for part-time solutions. This is where being part of a local forum can be useful for advice.
7. Expect changes
As you are raring to go and return to your property be aware that things may have changed. Although most local bars, shops and restaurants have survived the past months, others have unfortunately not. In some cases, fledgeling businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity to start afresh in new places. There is no doubt that many of your favourite facilities will be there and looking forward to your custom – it’s been a long haul – they can’t wait to see you back!