A main concern for expat families relocating with kids is finding a good school in Spain.


, , ,

schoolA main concern for expat families relocating with kids is finding a good school in Spain. There are many different options to choose from: public, private, international and semi-private schools, It is a good idea to carefully evaluate a number of factors before making a choice – considering the child’s age, how long the stay in Spain is going to be, the budget, the main language they would prefer to have the subjects taught in and the curriculum that would best suit the child.
Each situation is can be different, but generally expats who only plan on staying for a short time or those with older aged children send their kids to an international school in Spain as it is easier and quicker for the child to find their feet. Education is compulsory in Spain for children between the ages of six and 16, and the school year typically extends from mid-September to the end of June.

Public schools in Spain
The standard of the state education system is supposed to be as good as the private system. It’s free for children to attend public schools in Spain. Parents normally need to pay for books and for fees incurred by extra-curricular activities. It is free for expats to send their children to state schools in Spain, as long as they have registered on the Empadronamiento or Padron, the municipal register, at their local town hall.

Documents required to enrol in a state school in Spain include:
•    Birth certificate
•    Parent’s marriage certificate (or document stating they are both legal guardians of child)
•    Passport or ID card
•    Papers issued by the Town Hall Education Department confirming a place at the school (to get these papers, a certificate proving residency is required from the Padron office)
•    SIP number of the child (issued in person by the Social Security office)
•    Medical Certificate including immunisation record (issued by Spanish paediatrician at the Centro Medico)
Children usually attend the state school in closest proximity to their house until secondary school, when the principle of catchment zones takes effect. In Spain, there is a noteworthy absence of a national rating system for evaluating individual schools and, as a result, word-of-mouth tends to be the best way to determine the standards of an institution. The primary teaching language of state schools in Spain is generally Spanish, or sometimes the co-official language of the region such as Valenciano in the Costa Blanca. Do not assume that teachers in the state system will speak English, as many will not, and those that do will have varying levels of proficiency. Expats report that public school teachers can be more severe and are likely to give less individual attention to each child. Furthermore, the community of pupils and their parents is generally not as sophisticated or as involved as within the private schools. State-schools in Spain tend to be best for expats with very young children who can easily overcome the language barrier and other challenges, and for expats who plan to live in Spain long-term.

Semi-private schools in Spain
Semi-private schools are former private schools subsidised by the Spanish government. Fees are low, and in some cases, non-existent. These schools are a good option for parents who would prefer smaller class sizes for their children, but the standard of each is dependent on the neighbourhood it is situated in. The rule of thumb seems to be that if the school is located in a prosperous area then it is more likely to meet expat standards. Some of these types of schools admit children from as young as one year old. The primary teaching language in these schools will also be Spanish or the regional co-official language, and the curriculum will be the Spanish state curriculum.

Private schools in Spain
Private schools in Spain are numerous, uphold various curricula and always have annual tuition fees. As in other destinations, these schools are assumed to have smaller class sizes, higher-quality facilities and a greater array of extra-curricular activities. Unless the private school is a bilingual school or an international school, the primary teaching language will be Spanish or the co-official language of the region. Demand can be high for the more prestigious private schools in Spain and, in order to enrol their children in one of these schools, expats will have to move fast and negotiate well. Education costs vary immensely, and it is best to consult with the school directly regarding tuition and curriculum.

International schools in Spain
International schools in Spain are private schools that teach an international curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or the curriculum of another country .Expats, especially those in Spain for the short-term, usually favour these schools because they allow their children to continue learning the curriculum from their home country in the language they are familiar with. Most urban centres in Spain have a healthy assortment of international schools, an overwhelming amount of which seem to be British. Keep in mind that these institutions can often be on the outskirts of a city, making for long commutes for the little ones. Additionally, these schools normally have high tuition costs, and expats should make sure their wages can cover the high annual fees required of them before they agree to move to Spain with their families. Admission procedures vary from one school to the next, so it is best to correspond with each school individually. In general, it is recommended that expats bring their child’s previous school year report card and their immunisation records to any interviews.
Don´t let this be another thing to worry you when thinking about moving to Spain. Let us help and advice you.

See below for a list of schools in the Javea area:

This is a Spanish National school for children aged from 3 years to 14 years. Some subjects are taught in Valenciano. The school is located in the Old town of Javea.

Spanish school located midway between Javea Port and Javea Old Town.

This school is half Spanish state school and half private. It is a Christian school for children from the ages of 3 years to 16 years.

A Spanish government run school for children aged from 3 years to 6 years.

This is a Spanish National school for children aged from 5 years to 14 years. Some subjects are taught in Valenciano. The school is located centrally in Javea Port.

Laude Lady Elizabeth School offers education for pupils from the ages of 3 years to 18+ years following the British National Curriculum

Xabia International College offers education to children from nursery at 3 years of age through to GCSE at 16 years and to A level at 18 based on the British National Curriculum




, , , , ,

real estate market spain analyseIt looks like we are going through cycles and they seem to last 8 years. 1999 – 2006/2007 was one and the corrective cycle seems to end now in 2005. But according to a lot of professionals we are closer to stabilization than we are to recuperation. The level of the water in the mortgage pond is still getting lower and lower and not much to fill it up. The recuperation will certainly not be very fast and not everybody will come out of the crisis the same way. There are some areas of Spain where we still see a lot of properties for sale, such as Comunidad Valenciana, Castilla-la Mancha, Murcia and Andalusia. Two thirds of the stock is located in that area (300.000 properties) and next year they will represent approximately 40% of the houses which are still for sale (240.000). In between Madrid and Barcelona we speak about maybe 10.000.



, , ,

Between January and June 2015 the fiscal authorities of Spain have collected more than 6.500 million, 20% more than during the same period last year. During the last three and agenica tributariaa half years more than 40.000 million have been collected an amazing but at the same time expected amount.  Tax fraud has been part of normal life for many, many years and one can imagine just how much money disappeared, money which would have been needed urgently to help the country grow. It came as a big surprise that the IRPF (income tax) should be reduced and instead of January next year, as announced, now already. People shake their head and say: “How can we afford it? We are in crisis!” With the reduction of the income tax Spaniards will save 1.500 million! Compared to the 6.500 million collected during the first 6 months of 2015 – no big deal. And kind of sounds like GOLD RUSH!




bank spanienNot only is it the time for many Spanish residents from all over Europe to downsize, no, also Spanish banks have downsized quite a bit during the last years. Currently Spanish banks work with 13.000 offices all over Spain, about the same amount they had 1970. The year 2014 saw 1.064 banks shutting down, during the last 13 years 5.400 bank employees lost their job and more than 5.000 automatic tellers have been removed.



, ,

10917284_681839845255277_6933690622337233411_nInheritance and beneficence are regulated by the same law. We distinguish between the national law and the law autonomous regions, “Comunidad”, apply and they are normally more favorable. Living in the “Comunidad” where the estate is located means you get treated according to local norms, should you live outside the national law will apply. You must be a resident for at least 3 years before the local norms will be applied. The same for Spaniards. An example of a property with a value of € 800.000 shows that the tax difference can be enormous: cheapest € 1586 and most expensive € 197.000. The high amount applies for non-residents and the European Court of Justice has taken action to change this inequity. Changes should be effective starting September 2015. Note that tax claim becomes time barred after four years and should you have paid too much in the past you can claim it back.



, , , , ,

When we lay out our garden or a greenzone we should consider that the southern position of Spain has very different requirements regarding nature as what we are used to in the northern hemisphere. The biggest problem is water supply. Ignoring this problem can cost us a lot of money but also has to do with respect towards the country and it’s water supply. Herewith underneath some gardenrules:

  • Should you have a garden project, please, plan to plant Mediterranean plants only, which use a minimum of water and which welcome the climate of the area. Avoid exotic plants which proliferate quickly and endanger indigenous vegetation.
  • Trees and shrubs need regular care and need to be pruned from time to time. Neglected plants can have damaging effects. They affect the vegetal system, can increase receptiveness for plagues and diseases, dry branches could fall down and cause damage, they could be the cause of a fire or the branches could get in touch with service installations.
  • When dealing with a garden project you shouldn’t forget to integrate an irrigation system. It should be efficient and sustainable and should it be necessary have access to different deposits. Besides the necessary functionality the system offers more advantages. It will allow you to lower your maintenance cost, it will reduce water usage to a minimum and will also reduce manual work.
  • Whenever necessary to plant close to buildings you should choose plants which will not cover up daylight and which don’t give too much shade. Take care so they don’t damage any infrastructure or roads. In order to avoid such damages we have to follow certain rules which regulate the minimum distance between plants and constructions or surrounding walls. Trees have to respect a distance of 2m and shrubs 0.5 m. Existing tree population or shrubs are subject to paragraph 7, item 7 of the civil code.




, , , , ,

Isn’t it annoying to always have doubts about how much taxes you will have to taxespay for your construction or extension project? This should help you to get a better idea: the calculation of taxes for a construction or extension is based on a percentage used on the good value of the total of the works. The Town Hall has issued mandatory norms which value the work per m2 and which determine the amount one has to pay. The calculation for a single family house e.g. is based on €595/m2, a swimming pool on € 270/m3 and € 297.50/m2 for terraces and porches. Complete list available at Town Hall. Generally you can use the following percentages: ICIO-tax 3.5% and taxation 2.1% on the real value of the works.



, , , ,

You decided to buy a property in Spain but are not sure yet if buying a house or buying an apartment is the right decision. We will try to help.

Pros and cons when buying an apartment:

  • apartementPreferably buy the apartment during August, as you want to get the feel of the place during high season, when the building is fully occupied and the pool area extremely used.
  • Inquire thoroughly regarding community fees.
  • Normally it depends on the m2 what your stake on community repair work will be.
  • Check connection possibilities to satellite TV and internet.
  • Check out parking possibilities.
  • Get reliable information regarding any legal issues of the building which might affect the owner.
  • Big plus, turn the key and leave…

Pros and cons when buying a house:

  • 08072 bungalow calpeGarden and swimming pool are nice to have, but don´t forget the additional cost they create.
  • Make sure the garden is easy maintenance and doesn´t use too much water. Grass area is nice to have, but Spain doesn´t get enough rain to maintain it.
  • Spain is a warm country but can get very cold during winter season, therefore check out heating possibilities and insulation.
  • Electricity is precious, 0,124107 €kWh.
  • If you want to insure the house, make sure you have adequate security systems.
  • Big plus, privacy…

Still don´t know what to buy? At the moment there are very interesting apartments, duplexes, penthouses and town houses for sale. You can still find good bargains. Should you be looking for a house and your budget is lower than € 300.000 you might want to take into account that the property market on that price level is drying out. There are still some good 2 bedroom ones left! Really good bargains are very hard to find should you look at buying a house with pool and 3 or more bedrooms close to the coast below 300.000 Euros.



, , ,

whatsappFacebook-owned cross-platform messaging application WhatsApp just achieved an amazing result by topping 700 million monthly active users, as well as 30 billion messages sent daily. Social and chat apps are clearly having an impact on mobile data usage. Nowadays it is instant or nothing. If I don’t react to a message immediately I don’t need to bother any longer. It has to be real-time even if people are thousands of miles away from us. The world is getting smaller and smaller, we are living closer and closer together and people who are not using messaging applications are being left out, they are no longer part of the game. How do you feel about that?



, , ,

house soldWhat a relief – but at the same time, OMG what do you do with those checks you got at the notary? The amount on them looks great, but will be reduced in no time by quite a bit depending on how you think cashing/transferring those checks. This is what you need to know:

  • Living outside the Euro zone, you should definitely work together with one of those currency companies. Check several as not all of them offer a good deal.
  • Travelling with cash limits you to € 10.000 per person.
  • Should you not want to travel with the check in your pocket you might decide to pay it into your bank account in Spain. Ask your bank how much they take if you bank it and then how much they take to transfer it to your account back home. Once you are told a % ask for the bank manager and negotiate it. Usually you will get a better deal.
  • Paying into your bank account could be for free if you invest money, starting at 100K.
  • Transferring the money to your account back home should be much cheaper or even for free if the banks you are dealing with use SEPA