I thought it’s as good a time as any for the 6th update in this series as our family plans for our move to Granada, Spain.
If you’d like more background, you can see the evolution of our decision in these previous posts:
Part 1 – The Motivation
Part 2 – The Considerations
Part 3 – The Decision
Part 4 – The Commitment
Part 5 – The Application
What a difference a couple of months make. It seems our planning and effort has paid off handsomely. All major hurdles have been cleared at this point.
- Long-Term Visas – Applied for and approved! Exactly 8 weeks from submission.
- School Reservation (March) – We had the month of March to submit a “reservation” for our boys to attend public school in Granada, Spain. It entailed completing a form that identified the student, upcoming grade based on birth year, any special needs, and a listing of preferred schools.
I submitted the paperwork to our primary school’s secretary who informed me everything looked good and that our boys had a very good chance of ending up in our #1 choice (which will be about a 6-minute walk from our rental house).
I was relieved to hear this because there were rumblings that the grade year before ours is full and not accepting new students.
- Renting our Current House – The last couple of weeks have been busy vetting out property management companies to essentially be “on call” to our future tenants. We’ve also been prepping and listing our home on free rental listing sites.
I really didn’t want to use the management company to help secure a tenant since that would cost us about one month’s rent as a finder’s fee. So I was happy when I got an email a couple of hours after having listed our home on sites like Craigslist, Zillow, and Trulia requesting a showing the next day.
An out-of-town couple was coming in for the weekend and needed to secure a place before they left. Turns out they liked our house best and have submitted an application to sign a lease starting July 1. Yes!
- Quit job (last day: May 30)
- School Enrollment (first week in June) – some more paperwork that solidifies a spot for our boys in the local public school
- Sell car (early June)
- Spanish language self-guided crash course (month of June – primarily for the adults)
- Move out (end of June) – We’ll continue to purge and pack up our house. We plan to store those things that we envision needing when we return in 1-2 years time.
- Take off (June 30) – We’ll drive to my parent’s place that is near our departure airport, leave our remaining car with them and spend a week or so with all the grandkids on my side hanging out with their grandparents. Our flight departs June 30.
- Declined Visa. Moot point now that we have approved non-lucrative visas in hand.
- Utility Costs. Electricity costs in Spain are notoriously high and when it is the primary energy source to heat uninsulated, centuries old homes, the monthly bills can easily reach several hundred Euros per month.
The good news is I heard from the landlord that he will be installing a “biomass heater amongst other things” to help alleviate this. I’m not exactly sure what this is but if it means lower electric bills, we’re on board.
- Milk. My concern for lack of fresh milk remains, but I figure if this is the highest thing on my list, I’ll be OK. I think I’ll just have to quench my thirst with Riojas.
The bad news is we’re down about $6,500 invested in this trans-Atlantic adventure. The good news is this total includes one-way flights to Spain as well as a deposit and first month’s rent on our home there.
We seem to be beyond the biggest sunk costs associated with the needed paperwork and logistics of getting to our new destination. Once we arrive, we should be back to incurring “normal” living expenses.
Below is a quick table that shows the ‘bare-bones’ costs incurred by our family of 4 in applying and obtaining non-lucrative visas to Spain. You can find additional cost breakdowns in past preparation posts.
|Passport photos and renewals||$479.87|
|State Background Checks with Apostille||$44.00|
|Translation Services (DIY style)||Free|
|Visa application submission fees||$616.00|
The last time the wife and I were in Spain was over 10 years ago and we happened to spend quite a bit of time in Andalucía (southern Spain) including a few days in Granada.
Below is a snippet from my journal of that trip (dated September 9, 2003) when I was talking about our walk through the Albayzin (Albaicín) neighborhood where we ultimately will be living come July.
“We hiked back down to our hostel from atop the Alhambra hill, refreshed, grabbed a quick bocadillo and headed across town to the “church with the view“… It was difficult to surmise where we were in relation to the church because the streets were narrow and steep and there were tall houses all along the switchback cobbled streets. If I were to live in Granada, this is where I’d have my house.“
Lastly, I thought I’d include a little video interview I did with our boys so you can hear their thoughts on our upcoming adventure in their own words.