Living In Mallorca

Relocating to Mallorca


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Frustrating day – Bureaocracy

Yesterday was a frustrating day all round. So much so that when we had a big thunder storm at bedtime I couldn’t be bothered to look (and I love storms).

Bureaocracy is frustrating, annoying, time consuming and just a downright pain!

From the Spanish side they want proof that we can afford to live in their country. Fair enough, shame the UK doesn’t do the same. All they want is a letter from your bank confirming that you have xxx amount going into your account each month. That is where the problem starts. I have my salary paid into Barclays, my husband has his pension paid into Santander.

So I write to both banks asking for confirmation. No reply.

In the end I phone Barclays (which costs a bomb on Pay As You Go – which we are on until we get our NIE) to be put on hold while they find out and then to be told that they can’t do it unless the third party get my authorisation and they write to Barclays requesting the information. Ok another trip to Magaluf then!

So if that is Barclays then I guess Santander will be the same so I ask our advisor if just the one letter from Barclays will suffice. After all my salary will cover both of us as the Spanish immigration office don’t expect you to have too much each month just sufficient that you can survive.

I am told yes I can cover both of us. Good! No not really. Actually they will need to see our marriage certificate to ensure we are married. That’s ok I’ve got it with me. No. Actually they need a plurilingual marriage certificate so they can understand what is written on it!

So where do I get that?

From the General Register Office in the UK.

Now I have researched my family tree so I am used to ordering certificates online. Not so easy, you can’t find anything about a plurilingual certificate! So I emailed them. “You will get a reply from someone within 5 working days” says the automated reply!!

So as I silently SCREAM I continue to juggle organising things and dealing with work which has been problematic in itself this week.

I wonder why I get headaches…


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Weather in Mallorca

I have read about the winds that come from the mountains but never experienced them before.

It was an interesting night. Yesterday was a lovely day, the sun was shining and the temperatures were pretty good for this time of the year. Then late evening I could hear a rushing sound outside and the rain on the roof.

Looking outside the trees were all bending and blowing toward the sea and I guessed that the wind coming from inland was rushing down from the mountains.

It was strange because it would come and go. One minute you would hear the gushing and then silence as it dropped. This continued throughout the night and I awoke a couple of times to hear the wind.

Then this morning it has gone. The roads are still wet from when it rained but there is no wind.

That was interesting and somewhat different to the winds that you get in the UK. I think it is the noise that makes it different but also makes it exciting.

What next I wonder?


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Second Viewing

We went for a second viewing of a house today. It looked bigger today as Carles opened the windows and the sunshine illuminated the rooms.

We looked at it properly this time, trying light switches, cupboard doors, taps and showers and yes there were quite a few bits that needed some care. I suppose after long term renting all it needs is a bit of TLC. Now that is a new word we taught Carles 😉

After visualising where our own items could go and how we would get round certain things we decided to put in an offer. Carles didn’t think that the owner would accept our first offer but he told me to slow down. I said we wanted to be in somewhere by March and he said we still had plenty of time.

He explained just how quick sales go through in Spain and told me to wait a bit longer. He said that we had at least another couple of weeks in which he was going to contact the owners of the first house that we loved to see if their circumstances had changed and he would also phone round a few people to see if anything else was coming on.

He also added that they had no one else ready to view the house that we had seen today so there was no rush to put in an offer. In fact he wasn’t going to put in an offer on our behalf just yet.

It seems so strange to have an estate agent refusing to put in an offer and telling you to wait. You think they would snatch your arm off but no – he wants to make sure we get the right house for us!

That is just so sweet.


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Commitment Nerves?

Woke up this morning feeling a little strange…

We spent the weekend talking about the house we saw on Friday. We took a drive around the area again. I got out and had a walk and everything felt good. We are booked to view it a second time tomorrow and we intend, if we feel the same, to put in an offer.

So why do I feel scared! Well nervous really – scared is too strong a word.

I remember 4 months ago when we first sold our house in the UK getting those ‘what if’ moments. You know that time when the little voice in your head says what if this happens or that happens or what if this doesn’t happen or that doesn’t happen! Those niggly little doubts that creep in when the future is unknown.

I guess it is because by purchasing a house and spending all that we have we are making the ultimate commitment. We want to get it right.

But what is right?

I guess when you are younger making life changing decisions is less scary. After all you have all those years ahead of you and you tend to have the confidence of youth. The future is not so scary as there is so much more of it ahead of you, you have the years ahead to rectify any mistakes you may make.

But when you have reached retirement age or, like me, you only have a few more working years ahead, the future – and any mistakes you make – get that much more serious.

But I feel the doubts and the early morning fears receding as I write my blog. By writing my thoughts I allow myself to know what is going on in the depths of my mind. Perhaps not always a good thing!

I hope that my ramblings allow others that are going through, or thinking of going through, the same circumstances to realise that they are not alone. That doubts and fears are a normal reaction to life changing decisions and that in some ways it is a more sensible way of being than by rushing headlong in without questioning the outcome of your actions.

Already I can read back over my blog and realise just how far we have travelled in these four months. In another four months who knows what we will have achieved.

I guess looking toward the future is quite a scary business. The unknown is just that – the unknown – and maybe that is what makes life so scary, exciting, interesting and unpredictable. Life would be pretty boring if we knew exactly what would happen wouldn’t it?


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House hunting is giving me a headache

House hunting is giving me a headache! Just what is compromise and how far do you go?

Nearly 8 weeks of scouring properties online and going with estate agents looking at some of the strangest, the grottiest and some of the most fabulous of places has left me feeling totally confused.

If I had another 20,000 or so then there would be no problem but we don’t. We are living on one pension and my wage so we can not afford to get a mortgage. So where does that leave us?

Unfortunately one of the first properties that we saw we fell in love with. It was in the right location, laid out exactly how we liked it and had the wow factor. The problem is that the owners would not budge from their asking price. “They have to sell” said the agent. Next he said “they have someone interested but they may not get a mortgage”.

We cannot afford to wait another 2 or 3 months. For a start that will bring us into the holiday season when rental prices are sky high and also our furniture is in storage and that will cost us another £600 or so!

We always say we will know it when we see it. Well the properties we saw yesterday have thrown us – well one anyway. The first would have cost us too much to put a kitchen in and get an electrician but the second one….

The problem with the second one is the location. It is not an area we would have normally picked and the road is tucked in between a couple of what I initially thought were hotels but am told are residential apartment blocks. It is not anywhere near our friends (unless by car) but it is within walking distance of the supermarket, the beach (a long walk), the port (another long walk) and is only a few minutes walk from the view of the mountains.

The property itself has been long term rented but is now up for sale and is the type of ‘look’ that we go for. The interior is bigger than the house we left in the UK but it is mid terrace and therefore the car would have to be out on the road. Mind you that is something the Spanish are used to doing.

Walking into the house felt ‘comfortable’ and I liked the layout (even the quirky shower room under the stairs). Note I said liked and not loved!

I think we could make it into a lovely house with a bit of tlc but my headache is caused by a fear of making the wrong decision.

We lived in our house in the UK for 29 years. I do not want to move again. So will this compromise make us happy?

We can’t afford to wait, there are no houses coming on the market and I don’t want to make the wrong decision.

I think we need to walk passed it again, to take another look inside and be realistic. We do not have a bottomless pit of money and we need to make a decision relatively quickly. I need to go on gut feeling and not think about it so much…


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Kitchens, DIY and Shopping

We have always done it ourselves. Normally the cost made it prohibitive to get someone in to do it for us, plus it has always been more satisfying to know that we did it. Our kitchen that we put in our old house was just how we wanted it and I often joked that I had got our kitchen in a Corsa! Flat packs can be marvellous.

But again the learning process here in Mallorca makes me wonder where on earth do we begin!

As anyone who knows anything about buying in Spain or France quite often houses are sold without a kitchen fitted especially in new build houses.

On Friday we are going to view what on paper looks to be a lovely house. It has been reduced considerably and now falls within our price range but it is a new build. So what do we do if it needs a kitchen fitted?

There is no popping down the road to B & Q and picking up some flat packs! There is an Ikea on the island but how do we order items! My last visit to Ikea in the UK was to buy wardrobes and if I remember correctly it entailed finding an assistant, picking the items, going down to the storeroom type floor and putting them on a trolley, queuing up to pay and wheeling them to our car.

How on earth do you do that in Spanish!!

Once again all the years of learning the language did not equip me with dealing with shop assistants and DIY. After all I know el horno is oven but how do you ask for a fan assisted one!


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NIE, Residencia and all that stuff

After a week of seeming to get nowhere and our growing concern that the UK car insurance will run out next month we were starting to panic.

First one day I had doubts and fears and then the next day Mick did. Something had to be done!

I only have admiration for those who manage to organise everything themselves when relocating to Spain but I admit that I am not the most confident of people. Having to find my way around the maze of forms, government offices and legal requirements scared the life out of me. But I tried. I searched for gestorias and companies that would help you with all these things and numerous emails were sent off and a few did actually reply saying they could help. But then ‘nothing’! Further emails were left unanswered, phone calls with no reply. I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall, I felt like giving up. Everyone seemed to have disappeared.

But I don’t give up! There had to be a solution, but what?

Now we have been here 6 weeks and in that time we have been picking up the local free newspaper from the supermarket ‘The Euro Weekly News’. I have made a point of cutting out the ads that we may need at some point so I scoured through them again.

One ad that I had seen but I had dismissed was a company that would take away all your worries and lead you through all the red tape and legal work and do it all for you. The reason I had dismissed it before is because we are living in the north of the island and the company is based in the south, Magaluf to be exact.

I looked at this ad again. Becky is Spanish born of an English mother and Spanish father. She has lived here all her life and started her company 5 years ago when she decided that people needed help with all the paperwork and dealings with government and other officials.

Well 40 minutes by car – that’s not too far when you are desperate. So I picked up the phone.

Becky answered and after I explained our situation she said “we won’t disappear”. So an appointment was booked for the next morning.

Becky and her staff are lovely, friendly and put our minds totally at rest. Mallorcasolutions. have come to our rescue, at a price of course but far less than it would have cost us to give up!

In the 3 hours that Becky spent going through everything with us it has been decided that they will do the following for us or accompany us whenever we are required to be present:

1) NIE admin without us having to be present
2) Pay local charges associated with NIE
3) Tax office registration
4) S1 pensioners number with me as a dependant
5) Health cards
6) Health card local charge
7) Town Hall registration
8) Residencia
9) Residencia local lcharge
10) Change of our driving licences to Spanish licences
11) Driving licence local charge

They are also at the end of the phone should we have any queries about anything. Plus they answer emails!

My list of items that we needed help with is just the tip of the iceberg of the help that they can give you. They are fully trained, experienced and are willing to give any advice that you need.

Now after the let downs that we have had with regard to help over the past weeks I have to admit to wondering whether they would actually deliver all that they promise or whether we would be let down again – and I will update as and when items are ticked off my list but on emailing Becky last night with a quick query I got a replying 8.30 in the evening!

Fingers crossed and I will keep you updated.

Ps. With regard to my initial fear about the car insurance. Well once we have our NIE we will be able to get Spanish car insurance.