Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Finding a Place to Live in the BCN

For any of you moving to Barcelona or looking for a new place to live, the one website you should bookmark is Loquo.  I'd venture to guess it's how ninety-percent of the people find a room here (Think Craig's List for Spain). It's free and updated continuously, giving you an idea of the prices and what to expect in return.

If you haven't arrived yet, you might want to post something about what you're looking for and see the responses you get. Now, you'll be dealing with a complete stranger so any monetary transactions probably wouldn't be a good idea, but as I said in a previous post, most people here aren't shady and pretty transparent so if someone's agreed to hold a room, chances are there'll be one.

Now, if your personal trust isn't that high, you can do what I did which was rent a room through the TEFL course your taking (if that's the case) or through an agency. Chances are you'll be paying quite a bit more than the going rate for the month, but there is a price for peace of mind I think.

If you're thinking of renting your own flat, be warned: it's not cheap nor easy. The deposits required can range from anywhere from three to six months, plus an agency fee and other add-ons. They'll generally want to see some proof you can pay which will mean a work contract and pay stubs from the previous year. The cost and papers is the reason why almost everyone I know shares for at least the first five years.

Which means more than likely you'll go that route. Like I said. Loquo is the main resource for finding a room, but there's also Idealista, and a few other websites, although they tend to cater to the more Spanish crowd. The process can be quite hectic arranging times to meet and going through the interview process but just remember this is your space, so don't feel rushed to pick a place just because your tired of looking.

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