Real Estate Terminology Guide for Expats

Unless you are only in Spain for a few weeks (unlikely if you are reading this), or have an excess of money to give away to landlords who routinely double the price for non Spanish-speakers, you will likely be looking at real estate ads that are only in Spanish.

Real estate in Barcelona does not include a living room as a bedroom unless it is a studio or single-room, bedsit-style apartment.

The first floor is on the ground, although this can vary depending on the Real Estate agents clientele. If they are used to dealing with many English-speakers, the first floor is more likely to be the one above ground level. Note that the Spanish abbreviation for 1st is 1, followed by a small letter ´o´ in the place where the ´st´ usually sits.

Fully furnished apartments are not very common, although those designed specifically for short-term leases tend to be well-appointed. These are also much more expensive.

The main words to look for are dormitorios (bedrooms), piso (apartment) and casa (house). Here is an example of an apartment advertisement with a translation:

“Piso recien reformado, sin muebles, con cocina equipada totalmente, 3 habitaciones amplias, 8º con ascensor, porteria recien restaurada, muy tranquilo. Ideal familias.”

“Recently renovated apartment, unfurnished, with fully equipped kitchen, 3 generous bedrooms, 8th floor with elevator, recently restored lobby, very calm. Ideal for families.”

Alphabetized List of Terms

Abogado – lawyer or solicitor
Ascensor – elevator
Apostilla – an official stamp on the document which certifies the signature
Ayuntamiento – city or town hall
Ático – penthouse
Baño – bathroom
Bodega – winecellar
Contrato privado de compraventa – contract of sale
Comprador – buyer
Calefacción – heating
Calidad – quality
Campo – in the country
Casa – house
Cocina – kitchen
Comedor – dining room
Ciudad – town
Cuarto – room
Dormitorio – bedroom
Ducha – shower
Dúplex – maisonette
Escritura – Notarised deed of sale
Escalera – stairway
Finca – farm or townhouse
Gastos – fees or expenses
Granja – farm or farmhouse
Hipoteca – mortgagee
Honorarios – fees
Huerto – orchard
ITP – transfer tax payable when buying a re-sale property
IVA – VAT or GST (Goods and Services Tax)
Inmobiliaria – estate agent office
Impuesto – tax
Lavadero – utility room
Lujo – luxury
Metros – meters
Muebles – furniture
Nota simple – property registry information
Notario – notary who handles all the conveyance work for property sales
NIE – tax identification required by all foreign property owners in Spain
Primera copia – signed original of the escritura or a certified copy
Puerta – door
Piscina – swimming pool
Parcela – building plot
Piso – apartment, or floor of building
Pozo – well (of the water type)
Precio – price
Pueblo – village
Propiedad – property
Rústica – rural or agricultural
Reformada – modernised
Río – river
Salón – lounge
Se vende – for sale
Trastero – storage room
Urbanización – community development
Vendedor – seller
Ventana – window