Living in Spain today can be viewed as less expensive when compared to living in other countries because of the exchange rate of the euro, but Spain has a become more expensive country in which to live since the 1970s and the 1980s.
If you are looking for a cheaper place to live in Spain, it is best to avoid the major Spanish cities. Major cities in Spain are highly modern and boast historical architecture as well as contain designer facilities placed high on the world's current market value. To live in the major cities, you can expect to pay quite a premium.
Beach or Coastal
The popularity of Spain's coastal areas is quite high. With the sun, sea and sangria, there are thousands of tourist hot spots along the Spanish coasts, which have increased the area's market prices over the past 40 years. Coastal or beach properties are also high in value.
The best bargains in Spain can be found inland. If you search inland from the coastal areas approximately an hour or so, property prices drop considerably. In mid-2009, you could easily find a deal on a five- or six-bedroom country house with land. In Ontinyent, an exclusive popular modern town approximately an hour and a half inland from Benidorm, you could rent a five- to six-bedroom country house from around 400 euros a month, which is about 365 British pounds or 450 U.S. dollars on average. You can buy the same property for less than 200,000 euros.
What to Watch Out For
There is more to finding the cheapest place to live in Spain. It is best to look at the whole picture. An area may be really cheap, but remember to calculate how long it will take you to drive to the nearest main town or hospital; fuel costs can alter your expenses by a lot.
Looking carefully, you may find that in certain areas of Spain, some basic living costs and needs are cheaper than others within the same area. This is due to the fuel price increase and higher delivery costs of certain products. The price of cigarettes, fuel and produce doubled in the few years leading up to 2009 but still remain cheaper in Spain than in other countries.
If you really want to save your pennies and find a cheaper and lovely place to live in Spain, steer clear of the highly populated expat areas. Most inland Spanish towns offer everything you need to enjoy a great life, and you can still visit the beaches for the day with an hour's drive. Inland Spain also boasts many mountain rivers and lakes to relax in.
- J. Burdett