Over the next few pages, I will share my experiences on how to buy a property in Barcelona. I purchased a property from start to finish in five weeks. However, as you will see, although it is possible to buy within this time frame, it is better if you have at least 3 - 6 months to undertake a property purchase. You will find some useful tips about how to research the markets to find your ideal property. You will also learn how to tell if your property is a bargain, contacts for English-speaking services that can help you arrange both your mortgage and undertake the legal checks. Although I am a resident of Barcelona, much of the following information is useful for someone living abroad and looking to buy property in Barcelona. There will be different restrictions and rules however much of my experience I share with you here will still be useful for you.
I was only a few months away from the end of my five year rental contract when I realised I had to make a decision. Am I going to extend my rental contract or should I purchase a property in Barcelona?
This was my first property purchase in Barcelona and in fact in Spain. I heard of many reports both on the television and in newspapers that it was not a good time to buy property in Barcelona. However, after I had undertaken some research, I found that it could actually be a good time because of the uncertainty in the real estate market.
Many would-be buyers are deciding to hold out from purchasing a property until the uncertainty in the market has settled down. This means that there are lots of properties that are not being sold at this time and the owners of these properties are involved with a financial mortgage chain that means that they need to sell their properties quickly in order to move on. I realised that if I could find an attractive property from somebody who had to make a quick sale I could, in fact, get a good bargain.
First of all, I had to decide on the Barcelona area I wanted. I wanted ready access into Barcelona town centre, preferably within walking distance, but at the same time a location that would be quiet and free from busy roads that can be noisy. Also, since there was uncertainty in the market, I wanted to purchase a property that would not be too expensive. Therefore I needed to find the location that would fit all of these criteria.
The three areas in Barcelona that fit the bill in terms of ready access to the city centre and having areas that are quiet were Poblenou, Poble Sec and Les Corts.
Poblenou is about 10 to 15 minutes ride away from the heart of the city centre on the Metro system, it is within walking distance, but it would take about 30 minutes. It has good access to the beach and has a community atmosphere, so it was in for the running as a good location.
Sarria Sant Gervasi is North of the heart of the city centre and right next to the business Barrio Les Corts. It is quiet; however, there is not much in the way of a community atmosphere and few local shops in this area. The other main point was the property price per square meter in this area is some of the highest in Barcelona.
Poble Sec offers ready access to the town centre, has areas that are quiet with little traffic, but also has lots of small shops and a community feel to the area. It does not have a lot in the way of tourist attractions but only a 15 minute walk you are in the heart of the town centre. The prices per square metre in the Poble Sec are also some of the most competitive in Barcelona city. I, therefore, decided that I should concentrate my search for a property in Poble Sec.
To learn more about the types of neighbourhoods in Barcelona I recommend you visit the following link and then return to this page to follow the next link in this property buying guide. See our Barcelona neighbourhoods guide.
The next stage was to start finding different properties that were attractive to buy. Once you know the area you want to buy in it makes the property search a lot simpler and quicker.
In the next page I will explain some useful sources of information to use in your search for property in Barcelona including two useful online resources that can help you quickly identify attractive properties to buy.
If this is your first time purchase in Barcelona, or if you intend to purchase a property from overseas and you would like assistance in your own language we can recommend Barcelona Tax who can help you. They are a multilingual business of tax lawyers, accountants and advising specialists that can guide you through the entire process of buying a property in Barcelona. They currently can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and Catalan.
Fill in the form below, and it will be forwarded on to Barcelona Tax with your enquiry.
If you prefer to take care of your property purchase yourself, you might feel more confident if you have a good command of real estate vocabulary. Taking an immersion Spanish course, regular small-group lessons or private Spanish lessons might be a good idea.