Moving to the Canary Islands
Fuerteventura, one of the less populated and quieter of the Canary Islands has become an increasingly popular destination for both UK and Irish families, determined to leave their dull and dismal climate and live the rest of their lives in Fuerteventura?s perpetual Springtime.
Packing up everything and moving to an isolated desert-like strip of land, off the Western Sahara Desert might seem like an insane gamble but countless English and Irish families do it every year. What they find here is a healthier, happier, warmer and infinitely brighter way of life. Most never look back.
What most families do is rent out their property back home and use the income to pay for their short-term accommodation or mortgage payments in Fuerteventura.
This is where you?ll find the best beaches on the archipelago - miles and miles of white sandy beach, with pristine turquoise waters that remain warm all year long - even in the middle of winter. Fuerteventura is also known for its dramatic desert-like landscape.
Initially, the island attracted mainly wind and wave surfers because of the excellent conditions. Nowadays however, it?s become a profitable investment location and much sought after place to live.
Making the move
Buying a new home
If you don?t speak the language this will probably be your first concern, but rest assured all the estate agents on the island speak English - a lot of them are actually English.
The whole process is relatively straightforward, not dissimilar from the UK. There are however, a few differences, for example, in Spain, debts belong to the property, not the owner, so your lawyer needs to make sure that the property has no outstanding debts, like mortgages etc.
He?ll also need to ascertain: that the seller actually owns the property legally; that the property is free of tenants or illegal occupants; that?s there?s no co-owners; and that all the taxes and community fees are paid up to date.
Setting up your own business
The easiest (and fastest) way to get set up is to use an ?Assessoria?.
Taking the car
Even if you love it more than your wife, taking it with you is just not very practical (the car that is!).
Apart from having to book the tickets from Cadiz 6 months in advance, the paperwork is way too complicated and just takes too much time.
It?s normally cheaper to just get the plane and then just buy a car on the island.
On Fuerteventura, new cars are generally a lot cheaper then in the UK. For a second hand car you?ll usually pay more than you?d pay for the same vehicle back home.
If it?s a second hand car, you?ll need to transfer the ownership into your own name. You can do this in the ?trafico? office in Puerto del Rosario, the island?s capital. Alternatively, you can get an assesoria or gestor to do it for you.
If you plan on staying on the island, it?s a good idea to change your license to a Spanish one. If you?ve become a resident and are still using your British licence, the police can fine you.
The transfer can be done in the ?trafico? office in Puerto del Rosario. You?ll need your British license, 4 passport type photos, your passport, and money to cover the transfer fee.
Initially, island life takes a bit of getting used to. But once you get used to the slow pace of life, the healthy outdoors lifestyle, the endless sunny days and the perpetually warm air and sea temperatures, going back to dark and cold England will seem like even more of a challenge than coming here in the first place!
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