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Real Estate in Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Feb 06, 2023

Summary: Expats and retirees talk about real estate in Spain? How do you find a home in Spain? Should you buy or rent? What is the cost of housing?

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How do I find a place to live in Spain?

We asked expats how they chose their neighborhood and found a place to live. They answered:

"Finding a place to live in Spain is relatively easy. You can either browse online for rental listings, or you can visit the city and look for rental signs on local buildings. The best way to rent a place is from a reliable local estate agency who can show you around the city and help you find a suitable place that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. You can also ask around and search in local newspapers for advertisements. Additionally, you can stay in a hostel, guest house, or an Airbnb while you search for an apartment or house to rent," explained one expat living in Spain.

"We chose an apartment that is somewhat central, near Plaza Espana on Avenida Paralelo which is the border for the Sant Antoni, Poble Sec, and Fira/Montjuic neighborhoods. It is very convenient yet still far enough from the crowds of tourists, though it is still somewhat noisy. We have pets so that tended to shrink the list of available rentals, otherwise it is a very pet-friendly. We preferred a building with an elevator and/or a low floor because our dogs are elderly. Ours has both except our first floor apartment is actually 3 flights up. From the ground floor "planta 0" there is first the "entresuelo", then the "principal", and only then "primero." All buildings have at least a ground floor above which they start numbering. As air-conditioning addicts places so equipped are somewhat less common. Since our Spanish language skills are limited we found a local facilitator to assist us," said another person in Barcelona.

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We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Spain. If you're moving to Spain, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Spain.
Homelike RentalsFurnished Rentals in Spain from Homelike

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Spain. If you're moving to Spain, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Spain.
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What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Spain?

"A typical expat home or apartment in Spain is typically airy and bright, as many are built with large windows to take advantage of the Mediterranean climate. Interiors are often modern or contemporary in style, with white walls, tiled floors, and abundant natural light. Common features include balconies and terraces, as well as open floor plans with spacious bedrooms and living areas. Expat homes may also include amenities such as parking, private gardens, and pools, depending on the neighborhood," said another person in Spain.

"It is fairly common for many expats to want to live close to Ciutat Vella in the large area called Eixample which is just west of the old city. Most buildings here are from about a 100 years old or newer and are around 8 stories high, generally with elevators which can be very small. Many businesses will have someone who speaks English, which is less likely farther out," added another expat who made the move to Barcelona.

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Homelike Rentals

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Spain. If you're moving to Spain, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Spain.

SEARCH RENTALS

Homelike Rentals

We've partnered with Homelike, to connect expats and newcomers with temporary accommodations in Spain. If you're moving to Spain, rent a short-term, furnished apartment or home for the first few months from Homelike and take your time figuring out the best place to live in Spain.

SEARCH RENTALS

What is the average cost of housing in Spain?

If you are thinking about moving to Spain, cost of living in probably a key consideration. Expats commented about the cost of housing:

"The cost of housing in Spain varies depending on location, size, and quality of the property. In general, prices in Spain have been steadily increasing since the mid-2000s and are projected to continue to rise in the coming years. The average cost of housing in Spain is often higher than in other European countries, with the cost of living in the cities being considerably more expensive," said another person in Spain.

"It is cheaper here than many large cities in the US, yet choice ultimately depends on your budget and needs. Prices may be lower the farther you go from Ciutat Vella, plus you will still have metro access. You can get a good sized apartment with 2 or more bedrooms and at least one bathroom for between 1000-1500 euros per month. Utilities and internet/TV are generally cheaper too," added another expat who made the move to Barcelona.

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Should I buy or rent a home in Spain?

If you have not spent a lot of time in Spain, you should rent before even thinking about buying. We asked expats there about the buy vs. rent decision:

"Whether you decide to buy or rent a home in Spain depends on your personal needs, lifestyle and budget. Buying a home typically involves higher upfront costs and a long-term financial commitment, but gives you the freedom and security of owning property in Spain. Renting a home is generally more flexible, with lower upfront costs and the ability to move more easily, but you will not be able to build equity since you won't own the property. Consider what works best for you and familiarize yourself with the local market before making a decision," remarked another member in Spain.

"We rented an apartment. It was not difficult. We went to a rental agency, they showed us apartments and we chose the one we wanted. The agent gets a commission but that's the only way I know of to rent an apartment here in Salamanca," explained one expat living in Salamanca, Spain.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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