Pros and cons of relocating to Mallorca
A few things to consider when buying property and relocating to Mallorca - And about living on the island.
1. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - The Lifestyle.
The Mallorca lifestyle is the island's top selling point and the reason most people end up buying property and relocating to Mallorca. But don't be fooled into believing that the Mallorca you enjoyed for a fortnight on holiday in Alcudia will be the same all year round.
The things you enjoyed back on that family holiday in July you can always enjoy again in July, but Mallorca changes with the seasons and not only the weather but also the lifestyle shifts between summer and winter, with spring and autumn as the best time of year of all.
But it is true what they say about relocating to Mallorca: The lifestyle is great. Life happens outdoors for the most part, and consequently it is more social and friendly. It is also more local... people continue to shop in their local shops and visit the weekly market.
It can be an amazing adventure to relocate to Mallorca and the pros of life in Mallorca far outweigh the negatives. Two rules to successfully relocating to Mallorca is to try to get into the community and start to learn the language, or languages to be exact; as the island functions in both the local dialect, Mallorquin and in Castilian Spanish.
2. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Mediterranean climate.
Another key factor is Mallorca's gorgeous weather and mild Mediterranean climate. Spring blooms quite suddenly in March and temperatures move steadily upwards until soaring in July. By August you may well start dreaming of polar adventures and then towards the end of September, still warm, and now calmer, Mallorca hits a long and delightful autumn which can go on until mid November.
For a few short winter months there is startling humidity and once you start to feel the cold it doesn’t seem to shift. If you are planning on relocating to Mallorca, seriously consider putting in good heating, central heating ideally. It is cheap to run as you really won’t use it for more than 3 months or so, and my god will you look back and thank me!
3. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Nature.
Words cannot fully describe quite how stunning the island is, or at least I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. There is a uncanny magic to the natural beauty of Mallorca, something to do with the light and the unlikely combination of such extremely jagged rock faces and the sublime blue of the sea.
There is a fully fledged mountain range: The Serra de Tramontana, which spans the entire SE to NW coastline and boasts peaks over 1000m and a smaller range, the Llevant with a tamer mountain landscape on the east coast. The central plain makes up much of the island and is home to the Mallorca wine country with century old vineyards producing quite delicious local wines. And then the coast, with long golden beaches interspersed with rocky promontories and tiny hidden coves.
Bird watchers love it, cyclists love it, the sailing community rates it highly and millions of people chose to spend their holidays here every year, but relocating to Mallorca allows you to enjoy this magnificent landscape all year round.
4. Pros relocating to Mallorca - Real estate.
A 2006 report by the University of Navarra Business School, commissioned by Barclays Bank, observed that a mindboggling 65% of British people would choose Spain as their first choice of property destination while over 38% say it’s their only possible choice. And this was back in the crisis years when the risk of investing in Spain was much higher than it is today.
Buying a new home and relocating to Mallorca is a big move, but scores have done this already and you can easily speak to people about how they went about it and get their help. You are certainly not alone. There is also a good professional level of real estate companies operating in Mallorca, both local and internationally run, and able to provide you with a clear and expert service and ensure you buy the property you really want and get the best deal for your money.
One word of advice on buying real estate and relocating to Mallorca is to buy the house for you and your direct family, or whoever you live with. Do not buy a larger home with more bedrooms than you need unless you want to spend every July and August for the foreseeable future welcoming near strangers to your home for a free holiday.
5. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Good food.
Much like the old English cuisine, Mallorca, and much of Spain have enjoyed such a wealth of quality produce that there has been little to no need for invention or innovation in the culinary field. Traditional recipes and artisan foods have been passed down from generation to generation, and only recently have local chefs begun to experiment with the incredible raw materials the island has to offer. Organic Olive Oil, sea salt, tomatoes and olives are the stapple of the diet here and incorporating these into your cooking will make for a healthier and probably happier you.
Restaurants tend to falter in quality as the summer season nears but once you've done your relocating to Mallorca you will have loads of time to explore and critique the island's varied restaurants and eateries and find the ones you love best.
6. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Security.
Mallorca's island status is in itself a contributing factor to policing and general security. It just isn't as easy to make a run for it or get away with things here and consequently life in Mallorca is relatively crime free and safe. Anyone who has tried to scam their way to an easy life in Mallorca is soon unmasked and often booted out.
Unnecessary and frankly heart breaking, yet true; Mallorca is also rapidly becoming one of the only safe and secure islands left in the Mediterranean and the only place to remain unscarred by recent events. Not only does this give a huge boost to the property market but also makes it even more attractive as a holiday destination. If you buy a house and wish to let it as a holiday rental you will be fighting to keep it free for a couple of weeks for yourself, or alternatively, hand it over to a lettings agency in the summer and enjoy the wonderful other side of Mallorca in the low season.
7. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Airline connections.
Palma de Mallorca Airport was transformed from a small regional airport to an international hub which now sees over 20 million passengers flying in and out of Palma every year from hundreds of destinations worldwide. Regular direct flights run to most major European cities and if they don't fly direct you can get anywhere on the globe via a one hour national connection to Madrid or Barcelona.
What makes travelling from Mallorca so damn smooth is the incredibly short distance you will need to drive to get to the airport on this end. Even if you live in the most remote villa up in the wildest corner of the Tramontana Mountains, you can get to Palma Airport in an hour and hence be airborne within 2. Few holiday islands can boast such admirable connectivity.
8. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Cycling/Hiking/Sailing/Golf.
Thanks largely to its magnificent natural landscape and coastline, Mallorca is increasingly sought out as a cycling, sporting and hiking destination, and once you have relocated to Mallorca you are really missing out if you don’t at least go for a couple of walks up in the Tramontana.
Cyclists rate it also for its roads, both fairly safe and well maintained, and for the crazy loops they can ride up on in the hillier parts of the island. Ramblers and bird watchers simply love the north of Mallorca where rare migrating birds make pit stops on their way to and from Africa every year, and yachtsmen, fisherman and sailors take great pleasure in sailing in these waters.
Golf is also excelent and as there are around 13 gold courses spread all over the island, relocating to Mallorca will land you within easy reach of at least a few top end golf courses near your new home and the chance to enjoy the greens when everyone is back home, dreaming of their nect golf holiday to Mallorca.
Relocating to Mallorca is really about choosing a whole new life and lifestyle, and being able to enjoy some of these activities quite easily, on a weekend in May, makes me have to stop and pinch myself and realize how lucky we are to have moved here and to live in Mallorca.
9. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - International schools.
Often a contentious issue, education and how to school your children in Mallorca is one thing you really want to get right. It's all very well that you, an adult, want to embark on this adventure of relocating to Mallorca, but quite another thing to move the kids away from their home and into not only a new school, but a new school in another country and possibly in another language as well.
How to proceed will depend a little on the age of your children and on how serious you are about relocating to Mallorca, as in, is this a temporary move and are you planning on living in Mallorca all year round.
Most of the international schools in Mallorca are located in the south of the island. There are about 12 private schools now in and near Palma, and taking into account that north to south is a 45 minute drive, this isn’t really very far to go. The north of Mallorca is just about to open a new international school called MySchool which will be enrolling students in September 2016 from 3 years until 11 years old and following British curriculum in English.
Local Spanish schools operate bilingually in Spanish and Catalan with a sprinkling of English. There are now so many foreign children being schooled in local state schools all over the island that you are likely to find at least one English child per class and children do seem to be able to pick up and manage perfectly in both languages within a year of enrolment.
10. Pros of relocating to Mallorca - Peace and tranquility.
Silence, clear starry nights, sleepy villages, empty roads; these are some of the things you grow to love in Mallorca. Relocating to Mallorca gives you a chance to live in a fabulous place all the time, not just for a short week holiday once in a while. It also allows you to get the best of Mallorca, because the best is very often those times of year, between school holidays, when tourists are thin on the ground and the island is fully enjoyed by locals and semi locals like you and me.
1.Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Island Living.
I have honestly struggled to think of 10 things that could be considered negative about relocating to Mallorca. It isn´t that there aren’t any, of course there are, but it’s that most don’t really matter too much once you live here, you just learn to get on with it, and frankly relocating and living in Mallorca is really quite lovely on the whole, and the things which could or even should be annoying you pale in comparison to the multitude of advantages.
One of the main issues you may encounter is that you are on an island. Obvious I know, but its island status can sometimes become quite a handicap. You can't drive off for a start, not without putting your car on a ferry for about 8 hours to mainland Spain and consequently getting things here is lengthy and expensive. And relocating to Mallorca will mean just that. Thankfully flight connections are excellent and you can buy most things you need for your new home in Mallorca or order it online.
2. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Strict zoning laws.
Now this is a double edge sword and will affect you more or less depending on where in Mallorca you are relocating to and how much work you plan to do on your new house. The north of Mallorca where you will no doubt want to be has been very successful at enacting the zoning laws and re-categorizing much of the rural land and mountain side as protected no-build zone. If your idea is to relocated to the Mallorca countryside and construct a new build or even renovate an existing farmhouse, do look very carefully at the zone your property falls under.
This has effectively priced the area upwards making it far more expensive and yet ensuring that real estate in the area is not only highly valued and sought after but also extremely exclusive and hence a fine investment.
3. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Bureaucracy.
Prepare to be overwhelmed. The amount of paperwork needed to get even the simplest tasks done in Mallorca is frankly mindboggling. I have personally printed, signed and re scanned up to 8 different documents in order to receive a parcel I sent myself… with some extra clothes! And that was just the first part of the process, before paying the tax at the bank and rescanning said documents back to the mail office in Madrid. I even considered hoping on a plane and delivering the blasted documents myself.
So, relocating to Mallorca is going to require a certain zen-like level of patience. Get yourself a good, English speaking gestor, who will help you navigate the bilingual mind field of red tape that is Spanish bureaucracy and actually get things done.
The Mallorca foreign community can also be an invaluable help here, ask around and find out from those who have done the whole relocating to Mallorca thing already, you will find they are extremely helpful and willing to tell you about how best to proceed.
4. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Lack of ethnic food.
The food is good here, see 5. Pros of relocating to Mallorca, but it is not quite as varied as you may have come to like. Northern Europeans, by which I mean the British too, have a love of exotic food and ingredients, but here in Mallorca, the locals tends to be perfectly content to eat entirely traditional Mallorcan cuisine the whole time. This leaves us in a somewhat tricky position, because not only are there pitifully few Asian and exotic restaurants around, and what there is, isn't all that genuine, but there is also a marked lack of ingredients available to cook for yourself at home.
5. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - High unemployment.
There are no vibrant tech industries in Mallorca or really any industry other than tourism related and there is a very definite lack of professional growth opportunities. There is also a general lack of funding and you will have to make a concerted effort to find likeminded individuals living on the island.
You are best off working online or remotely for companies based abroad and you are probably going to have to be self-employed.
Scary I know, to step away from the cozy contours of employment and launch yourself into the risk filled abyss. But you have the benefit of world experience and can probably find a niche market to import from your home country.
6. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Learning Spanish and Catalan.
There are not one, but two languages spoken in Mallorca, Castellano (Spanish to you or I) and Mallorquin, (the island's Catalan dialect) and learning the basics of both is going to make relocating to Mallorca much easier and far more enjoyable. You can get by with neither of course, and employ a gestor to do your paperwork etc..., mix in British circles, shop in the English supermarket, go to the pub. Many do, and knowing that you can get by without does make relocating to Mallorca less daunting.
Having said this, you may find that even the most rudimentary knowledge of Spanish and Mallorquin is not only common courtesy but it also will take you a long way and isn’t really that difficult to learn. Start on a basic Spanish course before relocating to Mallorca and you will feel much more prepared when you arrive.
7. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Tacky holiday resorts in the south.
You've seen it all in the news I'm sure. We are talking Magaluf; half naked drunkards jumping from balconies. And you will have met the gaggles of hens celebrating on the plane into Palma. It is real and raw and it is very definitely there, all over the south of Mallorca, but that's it. Relocate to the northern coast of Mallorca and you will soon forget they even exist.
And it serves as a buffer too. Once you relocate to Mallorca and start to truly appreciate the magic of living here, you will come to appreciate the bad name the island has made for itself and enjoy the fact it keeps people from crowding in on your new patch of paradise. Let them think it’s tacky you will say… smiling to yourself.
8. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - The island is extremely damp.
A holiday in Mallorca in the mid summer is one thing and if it were always like that living in Mallorca would be bliss. However it isn't until you have experienced the chill of a November day that you know what living in Mallorca can be like and in all honestly you should try it before relocating to Mallorca. It’s not always cold obviously, but for a few cold winter months Mallorca becomes a sodden and damp place where no matter how many clothes you pile on, you still feel cold and no matter how many degrees it shows on the thermometer it feels glacial.
Most houses don't have central heating and the stone tiled floors do nothing to create that cozy winter indoor feel. Either restore and isolate your home well, or consider avoiding relocating to Mallorca permanently and make a plan for the winter months between November and February... or even March.
9. Cons of relocating to Mallorca - Antiquated.
Living in Mallorca can feel like time travel, backwards. There are things you just didn’t think existed anymore, but here, they are quite normal, like butane bottles to run the stove, which are delivered on Wednesdays between 8:45 and 9:15. Then there is the general lifestyle and mentality... which is also a little bit antiquated. There's the traditionalism and catholic religious festivals, all of which you may enjoy. On Sundays for example everything closes and midday is siesta time, when everything closes too. Fashions even reach the island a good few years later, and you will find yourself in the midst of a lindy hop and hipster beard revival several years after it went out of fashion at home.
10. Cons of relocating to Mallorca – Here no one cares who you are.
All foreigners are the same to the Mallorcans; funny northerners with odd eating habits, a penchant for leaving home and moving to Spain, and who smile a lot and say an inordinate amount of sorrys and thank yous for god only knows what. This has its pros and cons of course. You are generally left alone, never judged and largely welcomed into the community, if you wish to be, peculiarities and all. Don’t expect to be rated for who you were before however, as people generally aren’t interested and don’t try to pass yourself off as someone you are not either, as you will soon get discovered.
Relocating to Mallorca gives you a wonderful opportunity to start afresh, new home, new friends and new lifestyle.