Barcelona is a popular tourist destination. It is also a great place to live in. With all those wonderful beaches, perfect climate and lots of interesting places to visit who would not want to live there. The city has been a point of interest for many people looking for temporary or permanent relocation opportunity, as well as for those looking to buy a house where they would spend holidays.
If you are interested in buying a house in Barcelona, start by defining the ideal house for you.
The house that suits your needs best
You have several options to choose from when buying a property in Barcelona. Learning about different house types is especially important for first-time buyers, as they might find it difficult to differentiate between styles, and when to choose one over the other.
First we have traditional homes. These are houses which usually have a small or large garden. You will find lots of houses like these in the suburbs. During the renovation of the city and reconstruction of the central area, lots of houses were replaced by buildings, because they provide more living space while occupying the same surface of the ground. Properties and city areas in the suburbs are usually much spacious, so there are lots of traditional houses on the market. This type of house is particularly suitable for families with children.
A duplex is a building with two apartments having two separate entrances. Unlike traditional home which may have two floors with one entrance, and it is usually a home of a single family, a duplex is a two-floor building or a house with two apartments side by side. They both have a separate entrance, suitable for two families living independently.
Multi-family building is a building with several independent families living in two to four units. It is still considered a house, even though some refer to it as a building. Occasionally, this type of house may be owned and shared by several cousins who all live independently but in the same property, they call a house.
Specific features you want your ideal home to have
Buying a house is a pretty big step. It is not an impulse purchase, so you will and should take a lot of time to consider how you want your ideal home to look like. There are many things to consider here because after all, you deserve to buy a house that fully matches your needs and wants. The list should be an extensive one because more details will help you both narrow down your choice and completely define your new home. No desire or need is irrelevant. Put everything down.
Things like neighborhood and size of the house are the first that come to everyone’s mind. However, other things are important as well, such as the layout of the interior, whether the bathroom and the kitchen are fully furnished, whether there is a terrace, a garage, etc. You can have preferences in terms of the number of floors, in terms of how the interior is designed (including the built-in window frames, doors, ceiling height, etc.). You might want to choose specific floor tiles because you have a baby that is about to start walking soon, so you need a surface that is not slippery. Perhaps natural light is very important to you and you could not even imagine living in a house that does not have enough natural light. Make a list of all the things you want your new house to have.
Of course, it is advisable that you do retain a certain level of flexibility with this list because sometimes it might be impossible to find a property that meets absolutely all the requirements on the list. Try prioritizing your desires, just in case you find a house that has everything you ever dream of having, but it does not have a garage for example. Would this be a deal-breaker for you? Checking your list of requirements and priorities will help you with making a decision.
Once you know how the ideal house or house of your dreams looks like, follow these tips to buy a house in Barcelona:
· Make sure you can afford it
Before placing the offer, make sure that the specific house is something you can really afford. Some people have to sell their current home to be able to afford the new one. However, until the old house is practically sold, you cannot be sure how much you can get for it, so you actually do not know your exact budget in advance. In order to avoid any unpleasant situations, make sure your budget fits the new house price.
· Find out more about the property
Although a house tour will probably be provided by a real estate agent, you can still find out more about the property from other sources. These include the internet (you can see previous ads for the house, photo, etc.), talking to neighbors, or talking to the previous homeowners. Be curious about the house, as after all, this is probably the biggest purchase in your life, and you want to know everything there is to know about it.
· Ask how far you can lower the price
Houses that are too long on the market may be properties where owners are willing to reduce the price. On the other hand, a house owner might need to sell the property quickly, so this could also be a situation where the owner will potentially consider lowering the price, especially if you are able to finalize the purchase quickly. Negotiating is a part of the real estate industry, and it is completely natural to expect the price to go down at least a bit.
· Take notes along the way
When buying a house in Barcelona, you will probably visit a couple of properties to see what you can expect. You will probably do this in several locations around the city. You might have to visit even a dozen of properties before you find the one you really like. It can get difficult to track everything and to remember every little detail about each property, which is why it is helpful to have the notes. You can either write it down or you could take photos if you have owner’s permission to do that. You could also sketch the layout of the house so that you can consult other family members later on before you make a final decision.
· Visit the property several times
Although you will have to visit several properties before you make a decision, once you have your mind set on a single property, make sure you schedule additional visit or visits. It is good to visit the property at different times of day, in the morning and in the evening as well. It is also good to choose different days so that you get the full picture on how it would be to live in that property.
· Check the expenses
Different houses have different home-related expenses. These can include electricity bill, joint fence repairs, etc. These might be hidden expenses, as some buyers neglect to think about them when they consider buying a house, but they can help when making a choice between two or three houses. These expenses are also additional burden each month, so even if you can afford buying a house, these recurring expenses might be too much for your monthly budget.
· New or used house
The choice depends on your preferences and on the budget you have. Used homes are usually in better locations, while newly built houses are in the new neighborhoods, which are not populated yet, so the neighborhood might seem abandoned.
· If you do not understand something, ask
When buying a house in Barcelona, you will have to face a lot of regulations, paperwork and other legal stuff, that might be something completely new and unfamiliar to you. Hiring a real estate agent in this situation is perfect, as you will get professional help and advice. A real estate agent is going to assist you with getting the best price and finding the house that matches your criteria as much as possible. However, if there is something you do not understand as the process of purchase moves on, make sure you ask. You do not want to end up signing the contract you do not understand. This also refers to the process of bank loan or mortgage, because you can encounter a lot of things that are not fully explained.
Additionally, if you are from abroad and planning to buy a house in Barcelona, you will probably have some additional questions to ask, even if you have the experience of buying a house. Language can be a barrier, so make sure you understand everything related to the process of property purchase.
· If you are sure, don’t wait too long
If you have found the home you want to buy, you should not wait for long. The situation on the real estate market is turbulent and changes all the time. The prices tend to fluctuate, depending on the situation on the market, based on the demand and supply. You should also have in mind that you may not be the only one who is interested in that house. Other buyers might be quicker in making a decision or they might even offer a better price, which can happen while you are waiting to make a decision. Acting quickly is especially important in high-demand areas in Barcelona, such as the center of the city and the area near the beach.
Finally, ask yourself a question “Can you really live there?”. The house is supposed to be your safe place, a home where you feel nice, where you can rest and relax. This is why it is important to have a list of priorities. We are all different and need different things to make us happy, and that is what a new house has to be for you. A place that makes you happy. Finding that special place might be a long and complex process, but it is something totally worth the effort. Also, remember that you always have help along the way, because a real estate agent is there to assist you every step of the way, to make the property purchase goes smoothly.