6 tips that long term residents would give Tenerife newcomers if they could

Buying a property in Tenerife can be fraught…but mainly with the stress of not knowing what you’re doing – it’s not generally a regular occurrence for you to buy a property abroad.

If you do it right and use a lawyer, then buying your dream home Tenerife go through as smoothly as can be but that’s just the first step.

During the years that I have been selling property in Tenerife and lived here on a permanent basis, I’ve taken a few pointers from long term residents that, had they been able to advise the Tenerife newcomers in the first place, and it could have saved them a bit of heartache, money or embarrassment.

In an attempt to help others that are planning on coming to Tenerife for the longer term, I have made a note below…if you’re a long term resident or owner you’ll hopefully agree with some of these but hopefully you haven’t succumbed to them.

You ain’t seen nothin’ yet…

Back home you might be street smart, you might know all the tricks of the trade, but honestly, until you’ve come to Tenerife “You ain’t seen nothin…” Well, the truth isn’t as bad as that, but to be honest, there are still a number of con-artists about that will be happy to take you for a ride. Be it selling you something you don’t need or maybe selling you something that you do need but is poor quality, doesn’t work or doesn’t do the job you want it to, you just need to be careful.

It’s not that easy to get a job.

You come over here with your mind full of getting settled into your new home, painting that awful green wall, getting some new plant pots for your terrace and then to start looking for a job. The recession of the 200s is long gone but we still have a massive unemployment rate here in the Canary Islands, just be aware that it really isn’t that easy to find one. While we’re on the subject of jobs…if you do get a job, try to make sure that you get a proper contract as well.

Use a proper tradesman.

There are so many horror stories of people using handymen to do work on their new property. The thing is that so many people ask for advice from someone that they’ve only just met here and find out that “Tom, Dick or Harry” used to be a builder back home and he’s done a number of extensions…and guess what? he does all of the brickwork, electrical work, carpentry, tiling, bathroom and kitchen fitting – he’s registered with the tax office and everything, he just needs 50% up front and he’s away. You might think that a number of recommendations for a person means that they are reputable, it doesn’t always go that way, so try and see if you can go and see some of the builder’s completed work and speak to the actual happy customers that have paid money and had a job done correctly and for a fair price.

Get Involved.

You’re living Spain, it’s a foreign country, one of the first things you really ought to do is try to integrate with the locals – the people that were actually born here – the people whose country you have made your new home. OK, if you’re using your property as a holiday home you’re not going to get the same amount of available time to mix with the locals, but those that can, try and learn a bit of Spanish. Seriously, a little Spanish goes a long way. There are loads of free courses available online and also local schools and teachers here as well and it’s really not all that difficult. Why not go to your local Spanish run bar and see if you can mix with the locals there. Go to some of the fiestas that are put on by the local councils in and around the island…OK, yes, maybe there’ll be a bit of free booze and food – but don’t make that your only reason for going – try and get involved with the tradition…it’s all a bit of fun and it’ll mean a lot to the locals and who knows, you might make some new friends as well.

It’s not all sun, sea and sangria.

Even if you get all of the previous 4 points covered and don’t fall for the con-artists, the dodgy handyman, you find or maybe don’t need a job and your weekends are filled with Spanish lessons and fiestas you need to realise that living here for a while is actually just like living back home. It’s not all sun, sand and sangria. You’ve still got taxes to pay, you still have your weekly shopping to do, you still have to clean the windows…it’s not all a holiday and yes, those things still have to be done – but, I’ll tell you something – it’s a much better doing them here in Tenerife than back home…!!!

Don’t believe everything you hear.

We have a saying in the office “If something has been said twice, then it’s Tenerife law”…obviously it’s not, but there are people that just believe anything that they hear. Just the other day, a friend of mine told me that they had heard something, and it was quite a big something and when he told me, I laughed out loud. “NO…!!!” he said emphatically, “It’s come from a reputable source, a well-read man told me”…I told him that the “well-read man” must have got his information from a Christmas Cracker. There are loads of things that people say that just can’t be true when you really think about it, if you were back home you’d probably pass most of it off as a joke, so you probably need to think twice before you pass on information that you’ve “heard to be true” and end up being that “Well-read man or woman”. You want to know what my friend told me? …I’m not saying, just in case it’s true…