Expat Exchange
Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain
Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain
Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain

Real Estate in Spain

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Nov 27, 2021

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?

William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance
William Russell Health Insurance

How do I find a place to live in Spain?

Live in Spain? Answer this Question

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

"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," explained one person living in Barcelona, Spain.

"I first rented in Casco Antiguo, scenic old town. I was glad I did, as the noise and vibration of the twice hourly tram travelling though a tunnel nearby my place, led me to move to another area in Casco Antiguo, just near the heart of the action. I suggest you go to the place you are considering at various times of day to check out things like noise, neighbors and neighborhood, etc," said another expat in Altea.

"A friend helped me look through the area where I am living and make some calls to rental agents. I like this area, and have a great apartment that is walking distance to the city but very modern and comfortable. There were several zones that I liked, but after viewing a large number of apartments throughout the city, I only found one that was a good price and well-appointed," remarked another member in Valencia.

"I found an excellent mooring for my boat on the Mar Menor free of charge, then looked for a house with in 4-5 mins walk, heaven," explained one expat living in Los Alcazares, Spain.

"Looked through a bunch of apartments mostly near the center. Asked around a bit at work as well. Found a flat in a good, central party area. It is small but I don't mind and I live with great people. A co-worker of mine found a place a week later 10 min away from me. for only 100euro more he gets a huge room, huge 2 story apartment with 2 balconies," said another person in Madrid.

"We had 4 or 5 important requirements and at the time there were very few properties that met all of them without requiring some sort of reformation or other but eventually we found the ideal place for us. Luckily, it was within our budget," added another expat who made the move to Jerez de la Frontera.

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.
SEARCH RENTALS

What is a typical expat home or apartment like in Spain?

Live in Spain? Answer this Question

"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," remarked another member in Barcelona.

"In Casco Antiguo, the old whitewashed buildings are joined together, often with more than one floor. The apartments or "pisos" range from studios to very large, multi-storied places. Mine is a spacious 3 bedroom with a full galley style kitchen, and the washing machine is in its own room, as opposed to its typical placement in the kitchen. I am pleased to have air conditioning during the hot, humid summer. I was surprised to learn that air con is not very common. Glad I asked for it," explained one expat living in Altea, Spain.

"I have been very happy here in my apartment. The housing market is quite dynamic, and you can find apartments very quickly... and I chose to use a rental agent because I wanted the assurances to be legally recognized. I had heard horror stories about renting without a rental agent, and was not going to go through that stress, even though a rental agent is more expensive. I think that apartments are very common expat options for living in Valencia," said another person in Valencia.

"Two bed terrace house with double garage 300m from the sea. Most expats look for 2-3 bed apartments or detached/semi-detached houses. I advise when doing business go to Spanish companies and keep away from British companies in Spain whatever you are buying," added another expat who made the move to Los Alcazares.

"I currently own. Most ex-pat friends rent small apartments or country rustic houses," explained one foreigner living in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

"We live in a two storey house about 15 mins walk from the centre of town. Expats in Jerez do not live all in one area, most of them probably don't know of any other expats living here or exactly how many that do actually live here. There are people living in apartments in the centre and others living in country houses on the outskirts," said another in Jerez de la Frontera.

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?

Live in Spain? Answer this Question

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

"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," said another expat in Barcelona.

"My rent is 400 Euros per month, plus about 40 for electricity and 5 for water. My mortgage in the Central Coast of California was $4000, granted for a larger house, but an equivalent size home on the edge of the Altea with land, would still be far cheaper than my home in California," remarked another member in Altea.

"I come from the Atlanta, Georgia, USA, area, and housing costs there are significant, although many of the homes are detached, not apartments. I am paying a very reasonable rent for a 2-bedroom apartment with a garage. The typical range for a good apartment in a modern building is between 400 and 600 Euros, and you pay much more for much less space in the older and more trendy parts of town," explained one expat living in Valencia, Spain.

"Lower, though prices have risen they are not as high as the U.K. around 150- 300,000€," said another person in Los Alcazares.

"Way lower, I am paying 400 euro for my small place in the center and my friend is paying 500euro for his huge place near me. His apartment would probably run for about 1000euro or more in DC," added another expat who made the move to Madrid.

"Average 2 bed unfurnished apt would run you 700€ mo plus first mo, last mo and deposit," explained one foreigner living in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Should I buy or rent a home in Spain?

Live in Spain? Answer this Question

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:

"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.

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.

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Spain GuideSpain Guide
Learn what members have to say about living in Spain.

Spain Forum Spain Forum
Talk with other digital nomads and expats in Spain on our Spain forum - meet people, get advice and help others.

Spain Index Spain Index
An index of all of our site's Spain information.

Contribute to Spain Network Contribute
Help others in Spain by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Spain.

Expat Healthcare Advice in SpainHealthcare & Health Insurance in Spain

Expats in Spain offer advice about healthcare, hospital visits, emergency rooms visits, finding a doctor and buying health insurance in Spain.

Expat Talk about Healthcare Advice in SpainMembers Talk about Healthcare & Health Insurance in Spain

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Best Places to Live in Spain Best Places to Live in Spain

Expats in Spain have a lot of opinions as to the best places to live in Spain. It all comes down to preferences, resources and where you are in life.

Real Estate in SpainReal Estate in Spain

Real estate listings in popular cities and towns in Spain.

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Advice for people renting and buying real estate in Spain.

Pros Cons of Living in SpainPros & Cons of Living in Spain

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