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Protect yourself from the sun

This month the British Association of Dermatologists are working hard to raise awareness of skin cancer and how to look after your skin in the sun. We’ve been inspired by Sun Awareness Week and the hot and sunny weather to share some tips on how to protect yourself from the sun. Many thanks to the British Association of Dermatologists for all the useful information – find out more here

Sun damage explained

A tan is actually a sign that the skin has been damaged and is trying to protect itself. We need to protect ourselves against UVA and UVB radiation from the sun, by using good quality sunscreen and limiting our sun exposure. You should use a minimum of SPF 30, plus sunscreen with high protection against UVA radiation, apply generously and reapply when required. 

Sun burn significantly increases your risk of developing skin cancer and also prematurely ages the skin. Those most at risk of developing skin cancer are people with pale skin who are prone to burning, those who have suffered severe sunburn, those with a high number of moles and a family history of melanoma.

How to protect against sun damage

It’s easy to protect yourself against sun damage and reduce your risk of skin cancer, but many of us living in Spain seek out the sun and stay in it for much too long.

Protect yourself with clothing such as light shirts or trousers, wear a hat and use sunglasses with high UV protection.

Seek out shade, particularly between 11am and 3pm.

Use a high protection SPF sunscreen which also blocks UVA rays, put it on 15 minutes before going into the sun and apply every 2 hours.

Signs of skin cancer

You should check yourself regularly to make sure skin cancer is caught early. Look out for –

  • Scabs or sores that won’t heal
  • Scaly or crusty patch of skin which is red or inflamed
  • Flesh coloured lump that won’t go away
  • A lump on the skin which is getting bigger and could be scabby
  • A growth with a pearly rim surrounding a central crater

Those of us who have relocated to the Costa del Sol and are renting long term, have often moved here for the sunshine and tend to spend more time in the sun. This can make you more at risk of skin cancer. If you spot any of these signs, or changes in moles or your skin in general, go and see your doctor as soon as possible. The sooner it is diagnosed the easier it is to treat.

Find out more about the sun awareness campaign and download leaflets and guides on the British Association of Dermatologists website. 

Relocating to the Costa del Sol in 2019

Relocating to the Costa del Sol in 2019

If your New Year’s resolution was to leave behind the cold and rain in the UK, Ireland, Germany or Scandinavia and start a better life in Spain, we can help you make it happen.

If Brexit is holding you back, we’ve been receiving reassurances from both Spain, Gibraltar and the UK that expats living in Spain will be protected. In October, Spain’s minister for Foreign Affairs visited Málaga and reassured British people resident in Spain that the Brexit process will not affect us at all. The Chief Minister of Gibraltar is prepared to make a deal with Spain if there’s a no-deal to ensure that those working in Gibraltar but living in Spain will not face any issues. The recommendations are to make sure you are properly registered and follow all the legal processes correctly, to ensure that your rights are fully protected and that you won’t face any issues after March. Here is some information on relocating to Spain and what you will need to do to register and start off your wonderful new life the right way.

The first step in making your dream a reality is to think about job options and how you’ll earn enough to have a great life here in Spain. As an English speaker, Gibraltar offers a lot of great employment opportunities, with competitive salaries and no concerns with language. There are also many expat companies looking for English speaking employees, or freelancers, so while it’s beneficial to speak Spanish and a good level of language will increase your opportunities, it is not essential. Many people come to Spain to set up their own business, whether it be a bar, restaurant, B&B, or company which provides services for foreign residents. If you’re dreaming of working for yourself, you’ll be pleased to hear that there have been improvements to the system to make it easier and cheaper to become self-employed. Many people also come to the Costa del Sol as digital nomads, continuing their job remotely and flying  back occasionally for meetings and this is another excellent option. Read our article on the Benefits of living abroad and how to make it happen for more information.

Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do for a job, the next step is to find a place to live! Renting long term is the most sensible choice when you first arrive. It is significantly cheaper than renting a holiday let or staying in a hotel, and gives you the real experience of living in the Costa del Sol. There’s much less commitment than buying, so you can try a few different long term rental properties in different areas before you take the plunge and buy.  

We are Costa del Sol long term rental specialists and have been helping people relocate to this stunning area for more than a decade. We can support you with choosing the right area, as well as the right property, guide you through the process of signing contracts and ensuring safeguards are in place to protect your tenant’s rights. Our Helpline means you can ring our office and report any problems with the property to us. We can then talk to the landlord and get the issue resolved on your behalf.

Using HomeRentalontheWeb reduces the stress of renting long term, as well as giving you access to lots of fantastic long term rental properties. Read our tenants FAQs to answer your questions, or get in touch with us to discuss your long term rental needs. You can also browse a selection of our properties online by clicking on your preferred area on the map.

Best of luck with the move – we’re here to help!

What kind of expat are you?

What kind of expat are you

Many people dream of living in a hot and sunny climate, but few people actually make it happen. We find it takes a certain type of person to start a new life under sunnier skies. Ideally, you should love adventure, change and making new friends. You should be flexible, dynamic and prepared to try new things, learn a new language, be positive, resourceful and always ready for a challenge. If you fit this profile, you should be able to survive the challenges of expat life and really thrive, creating a great new life for you and your family.

As expats ourselves, who have all lived and worked on the Costa del Sol for many years, we were interested to see the results of the Expat Insider survey, which identified 6 types of expats. The most common across all their expat hotspots was the “Go-Getter”, someone who found a job or started a business and pursued their career in the new country. 

Following swiftly behind is what they call The Optimizer – those people who move for a better quality of life. I would say that most people moving to the Costa del Sol would fit into this category, although then they might become a “go-getter” to ensure they can stay for the long term. The quality of life that you can experience here, no matter your age is really a huge benefit. We see all kinds of people move over here, from youngsters looking for adventure and working in the bars and clubs in Marbella and Puerto Banus, young families wanting a wonderful place to bring up their children and help them become bilingual, to retirees wanting to live well for less, stay active and enjoy the sun. There’s something on the Costa del Sol for everyone, including “The Explorer”, someone who is looking for an adventure and a challenge.

The category which 10% of the respondents identified with is “The Foreign Assignee”, where they get sent abroad by their company. You may not think this applies much to the holiday area of the Costa del Sol, but you’d be wrong. This is most common for international companies based in Gibraltar. Most people working in Gibraltar actually live on the Western Costa del Sol, or Cadiz province, as rents are much lower and the quality of life is much better. We find most of our long-term rental clients who work in Gibraltar choose Manilva and Sotogrande to live and then commute from there. 

Last but not least, are two categories which are quite similar in their motivation – The Romantic (12%) where people join their partner back in their home country, and the Travelling Spouse (8%) where the family follows the main bread-winner and sets up a new life abroad. The Costa del Sol is very well set up for these movers, with excellent international education options, where kids can study UK, German, French or Swedish curriculums, or even do the IB to keep their options open, while enjoying an amazing quality of life. Find out more about education on the Costa del Sol  

Whatever profile you fit into, there’s something for you here on the Costa del Sol. There’s also a well developed long-term rental market which can give you a comfortable, affordable, yet flexible base to start your new adventure. Compared to a holiday rental or hotel, they offer you excellent value for money and a home-from-home where you can settle, explore the area and decide what’s best for you in the long term. Many expats will try a few long-term rentals in different areas before they make a decision to buy, to keep their options open while they settle into jobs and the kids settle into schools. This flexibility combined with value, makes renting long-term the perfect solution for all 6 types of expats and we can advise you on the best location and property to suit your individual needs. Contact us and let us help you find your perfect base for expat life on the Costa del Sol.    

Benefits of living abroad and how to make it happen

Benefits of living abroad and how to make it happen

We are having a spectacular autumn here on the Costa del Sol with hardly any rain, blue skies and temperatures in the mid to high 20s. If you’re sitting at home in the rain and cold and you’d rather be here, why not make it happen and relocate? To help you take the plunge here are some great reasons to live here.

Living on the Costa del Sol

As long-term residents of the Costa del Sol, we really believe it offers the best life because of the weather, food, sports, amazing coastline and good connections to the rest of Europe. Read our 5 reasons to live on the Costa del Sol

According to Work the World living abroad can actually make you smarter! It has been shown to awaken creativity, improve communication skills, increase earning potential by improving your understanding of cultural needs and building great contacts around the world. If you can learn the language it will improve your cognitive skills and living abroad also enhances your self-awareness, one of the most recognised traits linked to success.

Living in Spain with your family is amazing, as the kids get to enjoy the great outdoors, be in a much more family friendly environment and learn another language. Get them into a Spanish school early enough and they can become bilingual – it’s the best gift you can give them. Being bilingual has a positive effect on the brain, gives you an educational advantage, offers more options for employment when they are older and helps you to learn other languages easily. It’s brilliant all round! Find out more about the benefits of being bilingual

If that weren’t enough, people living in Spain and enjoying the delicious Mediterranean diet improves your health, reduces the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Working on the Costa del Sol

There are lots of ways to live and work on the Costa del Sol, here are some of the most common:

If you have a job where you work remotely, why not follow the lead of thousands of others and live here, while continuing to work with your existing clients back home. The low cost of living and the regular low cost flights means that you can save money by living here and “commute” when necessary to go to a meeting or event for less than the cost of a train fare!!

Alternatively, you can follow your dreams and set up your own business along with thousands of expats who do it each year. Check out our advice for living and working on the Costa del Sol in 2017 if you have a great business idea and an entrepreneurial spirit.

If you’d rather work for someone else, start looking for jobs by contacting recruitment agencies in the area and read the local newspapers Sur in English and Euroweekly News to see the latest job ads. This year we have seen a lot more jobs being advertised as the economy improves and confidence grows, so don’t get fixated by the unemployment figures, good candidates are definitely in demand.

How to make the dream a reality?

If all this sounds good, and you want to give living in Spain a try, the first thing to do is to start your job search, or research into starting a business in Spain, so you know where your income will come from.

Then you need to find yourself a long-term rental in the right area for your work and family life. Consider how often you need to travel and therefore how close you want to be to the airport. Think about whether you want things within walking distance, or you don’t mind driving places, and whether you want to be in the town or in the country. Also look into schools and decide if you want to send kids to an international school, or a Spanish state school. If you are looking at an international school, proximity to your chosen school can be the leading factor in your search.

Once you’ve decided where you want to live, talk to us about long term rental properties and average costs. The great news is that rent is a lot cheaper here than in the UK, so your money will go a long way. If you contact us with your chosen area and your requirements. we can give you a list of the right properties in that area and potentially suggest other areas with similar characteristics to give you some more options.

There’s loads of useful information on our website about life in Spain to help you decide if it’s right for you and take the decisions about schools, healthcare etc. If you have any questions which aren’t answered there don’t hesitate to ask us, we love helping people to relocated to the Costa del Sol!

Making the most of your new life in Spain

Making the most of your new life in SpainLiving in a foreign country is very different from simply being here on holiday and so relocating to Spain can take some getting used to, even if you know it well as a tourist. We believe that living on the Costa del Sol makes you happier, healthier and gives you a wonderful quality of life, but would never underestimate the challenges of relocating. You have to get to grips with the language, bureaucracy and slight culture shock, but when you do, the rewards more than make up for it.

We were really pleased to read a great article in the Telegraph with seven things to do if you want to live like a local and wanted to share it with you to help you to settle in. The author’s great tips include; learning the language and not being afraid to use it, trying to frequent Spanish bars and restaurants rather than heading to expat havens, relaxing your ideas on timekeeping, sharing food and embracing the siesta. All great advice and definitely stuff to take note of to really make the most of your new life here in Spain.

Website Trip Savvy also lists 10 Spanish customs and traditions to enjoy here including going for tapas the Spanish way, experiencing flamenco and bullfighting, eating late, partying and visiting your local fiesta. You may not want to try everything on the list, but it’s good to know and decide what to experience to really understand this wonderful place.

The great thing about life on the Costa del Sol is that you can pick and choose the best bits of the Spanish life and culture and experience them, but not be restricted by them. You can choose to use English service providers, doctors and schools if your Spanish isn’t so good, or take the plunge and go through the Spanish system.

It’s all available here, so it’s up to you on whether you want to bring up your children bilingual, or put them into an international school system which is easy to transport to other parts of the world. The key is choice and trying your best with integration, so you can enjoy the rich, glorious culture of the place you now call home.     

Starting by renting long term on the Costa del Sol and choose a rental company with native English speakers such as HomeRentalontheWeb. This gives you flexibility to try different areas and find out what works for you, and get help, advice and support from people who speak your language. We all know what you’re going though, as we’ve all relocated to Spain and know the challenges, as well as the rewards and we’re on your side to help you through it, as well as find you a fantastic long term rental property.

Here’s some useful information on relocating to Spain please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Andalucia is a great place to work

Andalucia is a great place to work

Relocating to the Costa del Sol is a dream for many, and Andalucia is the third most popular place for those from abroad to work in Spain. Living and working on the Costa del Sol offers amazing lifestyle benefits for expats such as great climate, more relaxed way of life, access to amazing sports facilities and a brilliant family life. According to a report from the Ministry of Employment and Social Security released in August, at the end of July there were 189,802 non-Spanish workers paying into the system, a nearly 5% increase compared to last year.

The increase is no surprise, as the economic outlook continues to improve in Spain, the real estate market is starting to really boom again and this is driving employment and positivity in many different fields. There has been a marked increase of job opportunities being advertised, particularly in the real estate and hospitality sectors. If you’re interested in checking out job opportunities and researching into working on the Costa del Sol, read our article about working on the Costa del Sol, where we have links to papers which have good job sections, forums and recruitment agencies to make things easier.

However, be prepared for a shock when you look at salaries, they could be a lot lower than you’re used to at home. Don’t just look at the salary figures though, work out what your living costs will be and then see what you will have in your pocket at the end of the month, you may be surprised just how well off you feel, even taking a drop in salary. It’s also amazing what a great life you can have here and spend very little; this is definitely not just a numbers game!

We are passionate believers in the quality of life on the Costa del Sol and help thousands of people each year to relocate by offering them affordable long term rental properties and plenty of advice and on the ground expertise. We have all lived here for a long time and so have probably been through what you’re going through and we love it here. Check out our 7 reasons why expats love the Costa del Sol we hope it will inspire you to take the plunge.

It’s a good idea to try before you buy and rent long term before putting a foot on the property ladder. This enables you to try a few different areas and be flexible enough to chop and change if job opportunities or schools take you to a new area. With long term rentals starting at just 400€ per month here and the rental market in the UK being so strong, you can probably rent out your current property and rake in a tidy profit compared to renting here. This not only gives you some income, it also makes the move less daunting, as you still have a property back home and can always go back if your situation changes.

We have lots of great information about living in Spain on our website, including the vital things to know about healthcare, education and learning the language, so please have a browse. If you like the sound of life here, get in touch with us and find out how we can help make it happen!

Using the Spanish Health System

bigstock-Closeup-portrait-of-a-woman-ho-95914568If you’re living on the Costa del Sol, then you will need access to medical care. Although it’s a very healthy place to live, and life expectancies are long, you need to feel protected should you, or your family fall ill.

The Spanish National Health system is generally very good, with excellent reputation for specialists and we’re lucky to have a wonderful hospital on the Costa del Sol. There are many local health centres which you can join depending on where you live.

You need to get a NIE number and a social security number, then register on the padron in your local Town Hall. This “padron” shows officially where you live and enables you to register for both schools and your local doctor’s surgery.

As long as you, or one member of your family is working and paying their Social Security payments you are all entitled to healthcare. If you aren’t both working, then one of you needs to be a “beneficiario” on the other’s card. Some Doctor’s surgeries will allow you to register as a dependent in the surgery itself, others will ask you to go to your nearest social security office to do it. Here is an excellent guide to getting healthcare in Spain which goes into much more details about the different ways to register and the ins and outs of the system.

Once you’re registered you can make an appointment in person at the surgery, but we recommend using the website of Salud Responde  which allows you to do loads of things from home including making an appointment, choosing a doctor, changing contact details and downloading forms. There is also a mobile phone App of the same name, which enables people to book appointments with their doctors and health centres, which has seen a lot of traffic in 2015, as more people use mobile devices.

The main problem for foreigners is ensuring their level of Spanish is up to visiting the doctor, as it can be tough to explain what’s wrong and understand complicated diagnosis or instructions on what to do. Some doctor’s surgeries in the most popular expat areas and the Costa del Sol hospital have volunteer translators on hand to help you, but it’s best to be prepared to speak Spanish if you can.

There are lots of ways that you can learn Spanish. One great resource is Notes in Spanish, where they do regular audio recordings about different topics to help you hear the vocabulary and be able to pronounce it properly as well as understand it in a spoken setting. They have a podcast all about illnesses and doctors with both phrases and vocabulary that will help you to deal with visiting the doctor.

If this is too daunting for you, then there are loads of options for private health cover including the biggest players such as Sanitas (like Bupa). Shop around, as prices vary hugely and it depends on what you need as to which service is right for you.

One popular option here on the Costa del Sol is Helicopteros Sanitarios, which is a middle option as it is a home doctor’s service, where they will come to your home to treat you, as well as having some clinics where you can pop in for an appointment. They also have ambulances and helicopters which can take you to a national health hospital quickly, treat you on the way and help you on arrival to the hospital, briefing the doctors before handing you over to their care. In an area with few ambulances and big distances between hospitals this can be a good option and is a lot cheaper than the more comprehensive health insurances.

For more information on living on the Costa del Sol, the benefits of renting long term here, or advice on where to live please browse our site. We’re here to help you find the best long term rental property and make yourself at home here, so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Improved flight routes to Gibraltar for 2016

Improved flight routes to Gibraltar for 2016Great news for anyone living on the Western Costa del Sol and using Gibraltar airport – both Monarch and EasyJet have announced new routes starting this summer.

Monarch will be running flights from London Gatwick to Gibraltar four times a week from May 1st, with a mix of early morning and afternoon departures. This adds to Monarch’s flights into Gibraltar, from Luton, Manchester and Birmingham.

EasyJet are also starting a new service which will connect Manchester and Gibraltar from 3rd July. It will run twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, with pricing starting from under £40 one way. This adds to EasyJet’s existing flights from Gatwick and Bristol into Gibraltar.

These new routes show the increasing importance of Gibraltar and its capabilities to handle more passengers since the new terminal was completed in 2012. In addition to Monarch and EasyJet, British Airways runs a route from London Heathrow to Gibraltar and you can also fly to Tangier and Cassablanca with Royal Air Maroc Express.

For anyone living from Estepona to Sotogrande, Gibraltar is a much easier airport to use than Malaga, not simply because of the distance to travel, but also because the airport is much smaller so it is much easier and quicker to get through. Travelling through Gibraltar is very low stress, with less walking and queuing, the only downside is some flights struggle to land due to high winds and a short runway, so there are some delays because of this.

Bus connections are not as good as from Malaga, but there are buses from La Linea to most parts of the coast. There are buses leaving La Linea for Estepona at 6.45, 8.30, 8.50, 10.00, 12.15, 14.30, 16.30, 18.30, 19.00 and 20.00 Monday to Saturday. It takes 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Estepona, going through San Roque and Sabinillas, amongst other destinations on route.

If you’re being picked up, or collecting friends and family, you can park in La Linea and walk across, to avoid taking the car over the border. It’s an easy five minute walk across from the airport to Spain.

For more information on living on the Costa del Sol or advice on where to live please browse our site. We’re here to help you find the best long term rental property and make yourself at home here so please don’t hesitate to ask.

Why move to the Costa del Sol this year?

Why move to the Costa del Sol this year? In our last post we gave you 7 reasons why expats love the Costa del Sol which we hope gave you a good idea of why it’s such a great place to live. In this post we wanted to expand the theme a little to say why now is the time to move over and stop dreaming about your life in the sun.

First and foremost we’d say that now is a great time to relocate to the Costa del Sol because the economy is finally improving and Spain is officially out of crisis. After five tough years you can see things really turning around with more people recruiting, restaurants, bars and shops busier and everyone feeling much more positive about the year to come. This is brilliant news whether you’re looking for a job, or want to launch your own company and the signs are that the economy will continue to improve for many years to come.

Property remains affordable but the market is rising, so this means that time is of the essence to relocate, find your feet and get ready to buy. We recommend renting long term first so you can get to know the area and find your perfect place before you take the plunge, so it’s a good idea to come over as soon as possible before you get priced out of the market.

The start of the year is normally the time to make changes and take action, so if your new year’s resolution was relocating to the Costa del Sol, start making it a reality and contact us to find an affordable long term rental property.

Plus this time of year is a good one to come as there are a lot of properties to rent long term, flights are still cheap and everything is quieter. If you leave it until closer to summer you will struggle to find something before September.

We look forward to making your dreams come true in 2016! Here’s some handy information about moving to Spain and what you need to know to point you in the right direction, if you want to know more please don’t hesitate to ask.

7 Reasons why expats love the Costa del Sol

7 Reasons why expats love the Costa del SolThe Costa del Sol offers one of the best climates, lifestyles and gastronomy in the world, within easy reach of Europe, the UK and Scandinavia, and we love living here. As long term rental specialists, it’s brilliant to be able to give people a chance to start a new life here, without too much commitment, and to see them thrive. To give you an insight into why we think it’s a great choice, we’ve listed our top 5 reasons to live on the Costa del Sol

This is an area with a huge amount of different nationalities living side by side with the Spanish who were lucky enough to be born here. The British in particular have been moving here in their thousands since the 1960s when Marbella became a favourite with the international jet set and package holidays made travelling abroad affordable.

So why is it that all these British “expats” choose to call the Costa del Sol home? Here are the main reasons we think it’s such an expat paradise –

  1. The weather is so different to the rain, grey and cold we’re used to in the UK and the wonderful quality of light, endless sunny days and blue skies lift our spirits and make us never want to return home.
  2. The cost of living is so much lower than the UK, especially if you live in the big cities. Costa del Sol long term rentals can be found from as low as 400€ per month, a fraction of the cost of renting somewhere like London or Manchester. Plus, petrol, alcohol and eating out are all much, much cheaper, so you can have a much better standard of life for much less.
  3. You can still find all the English favourites of tea, marmite, traditional biscuits and sweets in your local supermarket. If you’re looking for something unusual then Iceland will normally stock it, or you’re just a short trip away from Gibraltar and the big English supermarket there. Spanish food is amazing, but if you’re going to call somewhere home then it is nice to be able to buy your favourite foods, go to an English café for a fry up or fish and chips when you want to, and the Costa del Sol has everything you can want.
  4. Most people speak English and local Town Halls and service providers are set up to deal with English people who don’t speak Spanish. Whilst we always encourage people to try to learn the language, it is brilliant that the English speaking community is so well supported.
  5. There are loads of excellent international schools for expat families. This means you can keep your options open and allow your kids to follow the English curriculum or the international baccalaureate system, but still give them an amazing place to grow up and the chance to be bilingual.
  6. It’s easy to get back to the UK to see family and friends, or even to do business. With low cost airlines flying into Malaga and Gibraltar regularly, people even commute from Spain! The short distance and low price tag means that you don’t feel cut off or isolated and you’re sure to get plenty of visitors as everyone loves the Costa del Sol!!!!
  7. There’s a strong international community of like-minded individuals who welcome new arrivals with open arms and go out of their way to help them and make them feel at home.  You can find friends who speak your language and have similar interests and beliefs really easily by joining clubs, networking, taking Spanish lessons and getting involved in the expat community.

Now we’re not saying that moving to a foreign country is easy, but the Costa del Sol is one of the easiest places to relocate to if you want to make a change and give yourself a better standard of living. We can help you start the ball rolling by finding you an affordable Costa del Sol long term rental in an area which fits with what you want your new lifestyle to be. We’ve all made the move so we know the pitfalls and have even written this article on how to make life on the Costa del Sol work for you to make it even easier. Don’t wonder what if, take the plunge and try it out – you can always go back!

Hope to see you here in 2016, let us know how we can help.