I know I've left you guys hanging. I didn't mean to keep you in suspense over our apartment hunt this long--trust me! But the last few days have been a whirlwind with Christmas celebrations and the holidays that followed Christmas. In case you didn't know, Spanish people take their holidays very seriously. As I mentioned in last week's post, last Friday (the day before Christmas Eve), everything was closed in anticipation of the upcoming holidays and Monday (the day after Christmas) was also a holiday. By Tuesday, many people still had not returned to work. Thus, this week really began on Wednesday. On Wednesday, the Professor and I saw 2 more apartments which brings us to a grand total of 6 contenders. Except that as soon as we walked into three of them, we had already ruled them out. Of the ones we ruled out, one was in bad shape and smelled like chicken, the other had a living room so small they should have just called it a hallway, the other had a kitchen with only two burners, no counter space for food preparation, and no oven. The other three were decent enough to merit serious consideration.
Before I tell you about the apartments we were considering, I feel I have to mention a few things about what it's like to apartment hunt in Barcelona. If you live in New York, you probably wouldn't be fazed by how expensive apartments are here nor how small apartments tend to be. The biggest apartment we've seen was 70 square meters (or ~754 square feet). A decent, two bedroom apartment, at 60 square meters can run you anywhere from 600-900 Euro a month depending on where it is. This is around 836-1,254 U.S dollars. Size and price aside, there are many other weird and charming things about Barcelona apartments which would not be weird OR charming at all if you've lived in Europe before. If you're European, you are more than likely accustomed to not having a bathtub in the bathroom. Showers are much more space efficient! You've also probably had a washing machine but no dryer in your apartment. Furthermore, the washing machine would be in the kitchen, in the bathroom, or outside on the balcony. As a European, you are also probably not surprised that many apartments don't have elevators--even though they're 8 stories high! Fortunately, the Professor and I are from a big city where rent prices are insanely high and we've both lived outside the U.S. for long periods of time, so we weren't too shocked by what we found here.
Now, back to the apartments we considered. The first one (pictured above) had amazing views of the city, hard-wood floors throughout, an elevator, and a renovated kitchen and bathroom. The downside: the bedrooms were TINY, the building was noisy, and there was barely any natural light. So we ruled it out.
The second one we considered, I don't have pictures of. My camera had run out of batteries by the time we saw it! It was beautiful. It had original, Spanish tile throughout, a renovated kitchen, and balconies overlooking the city. The downside: it was not really close to the Professor's job, it was pricey (750 Euros!), and it was on the fifth floor with no elevator. We ruled it out.
The last apartment we considered had stayed in our minds since the first time we saw it. It's small (only 60 square meters), but it's in a great area and really close to the Professor's job. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom and the whole apartment has been totally renovated. It has walnut colored, hardwood floors throughout, a brand new kitchen with stainless steel appliances, and a brand new bathroom. The only downside is that it's on the third floor with no elevator. Still, we knew it was for us as soon as we saw it. Something about it just felt right. So yesterday we met with the agent and signed the lease! Here are some pictures:
Our living room:
The second bedroom, called appropriately in Spanish, "el cuarto individual":
Views of our street from the living/dining room:
Hallelujah! We are homeless no longer!