Apartment hunting is probably one of the most stressful activities in the world. In fact, the anxiety cause by the fact that you don’t know where you’re going to live for the next chapter of your live or how much you will end up spending during the move can be exhausting. So we decided to create a little guide to perhaps simplify your move to Barcelona.
1. GIVE YOURSELF ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD
Before you arrive to the city, you should try to find a place where you can possibly stay for a couple of weeks. The market of properties moves very fast in Barcelona and it’s not the easiest one to get into. Of course, it’s possible that you will find an apartment in less than a week but you can never predict the future.
The best option would be to find an alternative to the typical hotel room, because these can be very expensive and are not the best place to store your stuff while you are looking for an apartment. Moreover, the landlords appreciate when you can visit the places in person. In fact, choosing your future house without visiting it first is quite risky. It might be a scam or the photo they used is old and not updated. Here you can find a list of useful websites:
2. RESEARCH, RESEARCH AND RESEARCH
Research is going to be an essential part of your apartment hunting. Many people enter this search with a certain idea of what they are going to find, but most times it’s the wrong impression. This happens a lot to people who change countries. You come to Barcelona believing that you are going to find the same market of properties than back home.
So you can have a more realistic version of the reality, just know that the majority of places haven’t been updated since the 1970s/80s or if they have, they might be a little bit more expensive. This is why I strongly recommend seeing as many places as possible in and around your budget so that you can get a feel for what’s is good and what is a rip off.
Another option is to talk to other expats in the city or at least the locals. They might know of someone who is renting an apartment and they usually are more flexible with the prices.
So, maybe you won’t be able to afford a place with a brand new kitchen and spacious rooftop terrace, but you might be able to afford to live walking distance from the Mediterranean Sea.
3. SPANISH NUMBER AND INTERNET CONNECTION
Like we have mentioned before, the houses kind of disappear in a matter of a few hours. So, being connected is a must. And know that having internet connection is not enough. Some landlords don’t answers to the messages you post on the websites or to their emails. Also they might use WhatsApp to message you and that requires internet connection. This means that you need a Spanish phone number. Why Spanish? Because people don’t want to pay extra just to speak to you and they have twenty more people waiting to see the place as well.
So, moral of this story, landlords don’t accommodate to your necessities, you accommodate to them. The less trouble they have, the better chance you have. You also should know that in order to by a simple pre-paid sim card you need to have NIE or your passport on you. And you can buy it in one of the telecommunication companies’ store only!
Get an internet connection and a Spanish phone number: they rarely respond to the emails or to foreigner phone number. But to have a Spanish phone you might need a NIE or a passport.
4. THE HUNT STARTS: Websites
We are going to leave here the main websites where you can find a house or at least a room in a shared house. This part totally depends on your situation: student or worker, alone or with someone else, house or room, etc.
- BADI APP
- FACEBOOK GROUPS – just search on Facebook for different groups of people that are either posting about a room or are looking for one.
5. THE SPANISH BARRIER
The best advice that we could ever give you when talking about finding a house here in Barcelona is either know how to speak the language or get someone to do the speaking for you. In our Vocabulary section, you can find a list of useful words to know when you are looking for a place but it might happen that the landlord blows you off just because you didn’t speak in Spanish.
6. YOUR PREFERENCES
Finally, we leave you if a list of preferences that you choose consider when looking for a place here in Barcelona, the market here is slightly different from most common markets and a little bit harder to crack. So, to choose the perfect house/room, you need to consider:
7. THE FUN PART: FURNISHING THE PLACE
Some rooms and apartments, come unfurnished, and that might be unfortunate or your dream situation. Either way, when moving into a new city, you might need to buy some essential big pieces and we are going to give you some options on how to do this.