Oh, beautiful Barcelona! As the popularity of the Catalan capital has risen in the past years, so have the prices of accommodation. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t affordable options out there. If you have just landed in Barcelona and plan on calling it home, here are a few things you should know.
When should you begin looking?
If you are planning to move to Barcelona, make sure you’ve settled in the city before you start searching or contacting people. You will need a home base first; plan to stay at a hostel, Airbnb or try Couchsurfing while you begin your hunt. It will be very important to have a phone set up with a local number and internet so you can contact agencies, flat owners or the people who are looking to share.
How should you start?
Firstly, you should let everyone know that you are looking for a new place. Tell your friends, friends of friends, co-workers, even strangers. The more people you tell, the higher your chances are of finding a room or apartment. Usually, an in through a friend or acquaintance works much better than any other method.
Where should you look?
Once you’ve announced to everyone that you’re on the apartment prowl, you can begin searching either:
There are a few websites that locals are using to post, and search for, flats or rooms. The most popular ones are:
Idealista is one of the most helpful as it’s the most used and has a great mobile app. You’ll even be able to draw your own map of where specifically you are looking. You can select your preferences and save that particular search. The best thing to do is sign up for notifications from the application. As soon as a flat or room matching your criteria becomes available, you’ll receive an alert straight to your phone. You really need to jump on it as soon as you see it because real estate here goes very quickly.
Luckily there is a plethora of Barcelona expat and accommodation/housing groups on Facebook. Join them all! You can even take the time to introduce yourself, your situation and what you’re seeking. There are also many groups set up for specific nationalities like “Italiani a Barcelona” or “Deutsche in Barcelona”. This could also be your in to finding the perfect place, and you’ll meet like-minded people who have been through this before. They may be able to offer their advice. And hopefully a home.
How much will you pay?
The price of a room in a shared flat can range from 350€-550€. Generally, a room like this would come fully furnished. A studio will cost you about 600€-800€, while a multiple-bedroom flat can go from anywhere between 800€-2000€. Everything depends on your budget and your luck!
If you manage to find a flat through a private owner, you’ll be very lucky. Usually, the fees that agencies charge can be hefty. You’ll be expected to pay a month’s rent, a deposit (usually equalling 2 months rent) and the agency fee (another 1 month’s rent equivalent).
Some words of advice
Always err on the side of caution. Don’t decide to live somewhere before having seen the place in person – there are some beautiful pictures out there of not-so-beautiful flats.
Never pay for anything until you have the keys to a place. There are scammers out there who take a “deposit” and disappear – don’t let yourself be fooled.
Be quick. The flats and rooms here are going like hot cakes so you need to send out messages of interest right away.
Don’t give up and stay positive.
Hopefully, you’ve gotten a better idea out of what to expect when searching for a home in Barcelona. If you’re looking to brush up on your Spanish, or even learn the basics, check out our Spanish classes.