After much searching, cold-calling, viewing, confusion, and disappointments, we found what we hope will become our new home! Our requirements (in order of importance) for finding a suitable piso were as follows:
1. Good neighborhood (Eixample)
3. Dos habitaciones (two rooms)
4. At least 50 square meters
5. Amueblado (furnished)
6. Good landlord
7. Convenient to work
8. Bright, sunny, with tall ceilings and hopefully a terraza
9. Not too expensive
So….our search led us to two suitable candidates. The first is located in one of the most upscale parts of Eixample. It’s close to shopping, convenient to work, furnished, super bright and sunny, etc. It basically fulfills all of our requirements. It’s everything we want and more!
But…did we choose this one? An emphatic NO!!!! Why you ask? Perhaps because this move has finally driven us to the brink of insanity. Perhaps we like a good challenge. Or perhaps something in our hearts is so powerful and inspiring as to overwhelm the senses of the mind and to inspire us once again to forsake that which is familiar and comfortable for something new. After all, isn’t that the whole purpose of moving to Barcelona?
Just what does this place look like then? Allow us to take you on a journey! The piso is located in the heart of one of the oldest parts of Barcelona…El Borne! Is it close to work? No. Is it furnished? No. Does it have tall ceilings? No. So let’s move on to the “Yes” questions…
Is it in a good neighborhood? Yes. It is in a very safe and prosperous neighborhood in the heart of Barce. The beach is only a few blocks away. The Picasso museum is two blocks away. The fresh market is literally in our backyard. Passeig de Borne is two blocks (good news for Lauren b/c there are least two H&M’s, shoe shops, etc etc).
Does it have character? Yes! The building itself is believed to be somewhere in the vicinity of 250+ years old! The original stone floor oozes character (and probably water), and the original brickwork can be seen running the perimeter of the interior wall on the ground floor. Did I just say ground floor? Does that mean that this piso has more than one floor? YES!! It is absolutely huge by Barcelona standards. It’s two stories for a grand total of 77.69 meters squared!
Currently, the flat is being rented by a very nice Dutch couple. They are currently running an art gallery out of the ground floor and living upstairs…tre chic! Thanks is owed to Mabel for finding this place through her “Dutch connection.” Once again, the power of networking has shown itself to be very helpful! We’ve met with the landlord and will be signing an interim contract by week’s end. I say interim because the current occupants will not be vacating until December 16th…I feel like that date is important for another reason though…oh yes, the birth of our niece! Until that time, Mabel has graciously consented to allowing us to stay in her place. Now it’s just a matter of paperwork and some money (I’m getting good at paperwork) and the piso will be ours!
Note: If you’re ever planning on moving to Spain, save wisely. Typically, to rent a flat, the landlord often requires two months deposit and up to three months of “aval bancario.” The aval bancario is basically a bank guarantee in the event that if the tenant skips town before the cessasion of the lease, they will forfeit three months’ rent!
Without further ado, please see pics of our new place! Make sure you stretch your neck first as most of the videos I took were sideways!