Perhaps you have recently been on holiday to Mallorca and, like many others, have fallen in love with this beautiful Mediterranean island?
Sipping drinks on the beach in summer can make Mallorca seem like heaven when compared to colder climes – but there is far more to consider when planning to move, live, and work here all-year-round.
Here are our top 10 tips for moving to Mallorca.
Why consider Mallorca?
Let’s start with the good stuff. ‘The Sunday Times’ of London declared the Mallorcan capital to be the best place to live in the world. And the island’s natural beauty, pleasant climate, transport links, infrastructure and international communities make it an obvious choice. It’s not a hard sell.
If you still need convincing, just take a look at our feature about Why Mallorca is the number 1 place to live in the world.
Often titled ‘The California of Europe’ Mallorca has so much to offer those seeking a new life in the sun… […] Why Mallorca is Number 1
The largest of the Balearic Islands has a lot to offer to those who are considering buying a home on Mallorca, here are our top 50 reasons to own a home on the Mediterranean island. […] Top 50 reasons to own a home on Mallorca
1. Plan and prepare for your new life
Relocating to a new country can be the start of an exciting chapter in your life – but if you are poorly prepared you could soon be left feeling out on a limb and longing to return home.
If you can, talk to people who have made the move, and if you plan to work, make sure there is a demand for your skills or services. If you can’t find a few friendly locals to chat to there are various organisations aimed at helping fellow expats, plus online forums which are useful for asking specific questions. As well as making sure you are financially prepared, it is important to make sure that you have a good chance of fitting in.
Mallorca is a very different experience for residents; don’t be fooled into thinking that it is as easy as being a tourist! Our extensive guides should help you find a lot of the basic information you need to help you decide if Mallorca is the right choice for you.
It’s no use finding the perfect location if you are unprepared for the pitfalls of relocation. Mandy Van Zuydam finds out what it takes to make a successful new start in Mallorca. […] Relocation to Mallorca
2. Choosing your location to live on Mallorca
The first step in the relocation process is deciding to take the plunge. As a new home and the cost of setting up again entail substantial investment, it goes without saying that a little “homework” is paramount. Veterans will tell you not to base your decision on one great holiday, but explore different areas and visit at different times of the year.
Even though it is only a small island, the various regions of Mallorca are very different. It is not just a question of which is the prettiest, most desirable, or most authentic location. Some parts of the island are lively during peak season but virtually close down in the winter months. Some areas cater for international residents’ needs better than others. The www.abc-mallorca.com place guides are a good starting point to research which area would suit you best.
Thinking of moving to mallorca? Here you will find out where are the best regions and towns to live on the island and why they may be interesting for you. […] Mallorca’s Best Areas to Live
3. Getting a job or starting your own business
If you have a family to take care of it is important to ensure that you are financially prepared. Finding a job on Mallorca is probably not as straightforward as it is in your own country, and salaries are typically much lower than northern European countries.
Work tends to focus around tourism, property, and agriculture. Great if you are a chef or a plumber, not so great if you have a more specialist skill. If you do need to re-train to find a job on Mallorca it is better to do it before you arrive. You should also take into account the different employment laws and working hours. Take a look at the abc-mallorca.com guide to finding a job on Mallorca for more information.
Job hunting is not quite the same in Mallorca as other places. What can you do to find a job? Here is your complete guide to finding work on the Balearic island. […] Finding a job in Mallorca
Many expats find it more practical to set up a business on Mallorca. If you intend doing this it is important to take advice and create as detailed a business plan as possible. And don’t be surprised if you see locals roll their eyes if you say you plan to open a bar – even this is nowhere as easy and straightforward as it seems.
A foreigners’ guide to setting up a business in Mallorca […] Setting up a Business in Mallorca
4. Learn the language and culture
It is a very good idea to learn Spanish before you arrive on Mallorca. Most expat residents will tell you that at some point or another you will need Spanish language skills or a very patient friend who does speak Spanish. The other thing to bear in mind is that Catalan or ‘mallorquí’ is widely spoken as the first language by locals and is actually the official language. This means that you cannot apply for certain jobs unless you speak Catalan. It can also mean that if you plan on using local schools, your children may also be taught in Catalan.
Once you arrive on Mallorca it is a very good idea to build friendships with locals and continue practising your language skills – it will greatly enhance your experience of living on Mallorca.
The culture of Mallorca is also likely to be different to what you are used to at home. It is possible to discuss this at length but, in short, expect that you will need to be patient. Things take time here and don’t always go to plan. Some shops and businesses have random trading hours. Deliveries don’t arrive when they should. Many things need to be shipped from the mainland, and behaviour that may be normal on a beach holiday is frowned upon elsewhere.
5. Finding a home on Mallorca
Once you have decided where to live, you will need to begin house hunting. The easiest way to start is by finding a good real estate agent who understands your needs. Most people begin searching for property online, but it is worth considering that real estate works slightly differently on Mallorca and the right agent will not only help you find a home but can provide the expertise to assist you with local knowledge, red tape, legal issues, utilities and much more.
Visit the abcMallorca Property Portal to find a full listing of properties for sale and to rent on Mallorca.
Finding the right agent
There are many reputable real estate agents to choose from on Mallorca and it is worth noting that many property sellers and renters use more than one. Exclusive contracts are less frequent – this means that a good agent will be just as active on behalf of a buyer as they are a seller.
If you find a good agent that you like, in the area you are interested in, don’t be shy about asking for exactly the kind of property that you want. Sometimes, if they do not have the right property on their listing, they will search for a suitable property for you.
A good real estate agent can be your passport to a whole range of experts and local services and will usually be happy to recommend their favourite lawyers, builders, movers and decorators. Some even provide a whole range of services including renovation or repairs. If you are new to the island and have few or no contacts this can be an invaluable help at the start.
Renting a home on Mallorca
Don’t rush into a purchase unless you are absolutely sure. Many newcomers to the island do not realise that it can take years to sell a property, so you need to be 100% sure! Renting is a great option. Expect to pay two months’ deposit upfront. Leases tend to run for 11 months, renewable. In the winter months it is possible to do shorter rental contracts of 3 to 6 months.
An experienced multilingual team covering Swedish, English, Spanish and German to ensure the best possible service for renting a home on Mallorca. […] Rent a Home Mallorca
Buying a home on Mallorca
Buying a home on Mallorca may be different from in your home country. It is a good idea to make sure you have a lawyer who can take you through the purchase procedure. It is normal to make a 10% downpayment once you have successfully made an offer on a home. This is known as an option contract. It is worth noting that you may lose this deposit if you fail to complete the sale, so it is worth making sure that you understand the terms and conditions before committing to this. Your real estate agent will normally work in conjunction with your lawyer to help you understand all the necessary details.
A professional real estate agency offering services to those interested in buying, selling or renting property on Mallorca as well as construction and project management for reform and new builds. […] Von Poll Real Estate Agency
Since 1946, Gutbier Immobilien S.L. continue to bring quality to the luxury property market on Mallorca, finding you your perfect home. […] Gutbier Immobilien S.L.
Based in Palma and Molinar, the real estate experts at Buy a Home Mallorca can guide you through the entire process of property purchase, sales and rental. […] Buy a Home Mallorca
A luxury financing and premium lifestyle servicing firm, Lionsgate Capital makes life better for high net-worth clients on Mallorca and beyond. […] Lionsgate Capital – your mortgage experts in Mallorca
6. Finding legal advice on Mallorca
There are three different kinds of legal advisors on Mallorca. Lawyers here do much the same as they do in other countries. One of the first things you will need help with is registering for an NIE number. This is effectively a tax number and there are many transactions (such as buying a house or a car) for which you will require an NIE number. A lawyer can help you with this, or you can do it yourself.
A ‘gestoría’ is a facility from old times, when not many Spanish people could read or write. They can represent clients in front of authorities and settle all official matters. A ‘gestoría’ performs functions similar to accountants in other countries, such as tax consultancy, bookkeeping and personal accounting. They can also act as your representative with the civil services. This saves endless queuing and confusion.
Many lawyers will offer ‘gestor’ as well as legal services.
A ‘notario’ is similar to a notary in other countries, but has much more responsibility. Once you become more familiar with Spain you may find that there are more things you wish do directly with a ‘notario’ – but they exist mostly to ensure that things are done legally rather than to advise.
7. Financial planning on Mallorca
If you plan on living on Mallorca long-term it is a good idea to sort out your financial planning. You will need to choose a Spanish bank and ensure that your pension, tax, and savings are all handled as well as possible.
Banca March has been supporting people and businesses in Mallorca to manage their money and achieve financial success for more than 90 years. […] Banca March
Benefits are not as generous as many other European countries so it is important to take this into account if you plan on relying on them. You will also need insurance and possibly health cover so finding a reputable advisor, who understands your specific situation, is important to ensure your long-term security.
Blevins Franks Mallorca specialises in giving advice for tax-driven, wealth management investments. […] Blevins Franks Tax & Wealth Management Specialists
Whatever your insurance needs and concerns, you’ll find an unrivalled source of unpressured advice and solid cover at Seippel & Seippel, in Santa Ponsa. […] Seippel & Seippel – solid protection
8. Choosing a school on Mallorca
If you have a young family choosing the right school is very important. Good international schools are available here, but they tend to be located in the southwest and Palma areas. See the abc-mallorca.com guide to international schools for more information.
If you opt for a local school it is a good idea to do your homework. Even state schools often require some level of fees and there is a lot of paperwork to complete every year in order to register your child. It is also worth considering which languages are taught, as some schools teach mostly in Catalan.
All-round quality education for your child. Here is your complete guide to the best International schools on Mallorca. […] International Schools on Mallorca
Making the decision on where to send your kid/s to school is a big one so here is helpful background information to schools in Mallorca. […] Education in Mallorca
9. Healthcare on Mallorca
One of the many attractions of Mallorca is the excellent level of healthcare. If you are planning on relying on state-assisted healthcare in the long-term you will need to apply for a medical card.
If you are planning on private healthcare there is an excellent range of specialist clinics and private hospitals to choose from. Some private consultants also operate at the larger general hospitals, some which have private rooms.
The abcMallorca guide covers every aspect of Health and Wellness on Mallorca – from the best spas to retreats, to the most highly recommended medical specialists on the island. Read online now! […] Complete Health & Wellness Guide to Mallorca 2015
10. Making friends and living on Mallorca
We have saved the best for last. Once you have done all the practical things you need to do, it is time to enjoy the best that Mallorca has to offer. You will find that making friends is easy. Expats are generally very helpful towards each other and there are many groups, events, and networks to join and help you integrate into Mallorcan culture.
Why not subscribe to the abcMallorca newsletter so that you can keep up-to-date with the latest events taking place on the island?
We hope you found this guide to Moving to Mallorca useful and that you have many memorable experiences on Mallorca as a result of our recommendations.
Please let us know if you have any feedback or ideas about this article – if so please send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.