Finding a home on your own in Madrid is a fairly simple process, although it can take a while to find an apartment that suits your taste and budget. You can enlist a real-estate agency to assist in your search, but conducting your own search may be more fruitful and considerably less expensive.
All of the national daily newspapers are published in Madrid, so their classified sections include local housing listings. The national newspapers run about €1.20 and include:
- El País (online housing search page: http://inmobiliaria.elpais.com/)
- ABC (online housing search page: http://www.tusanuncios.com/clasificados/inmobiliaria)
- El Mundo (online housing search page: http://sv.elmundo.es/sv/home.html?a=VV29c6a011fff4b4bd3db12d0f473c6ec0a&t=1253826432)
- La Vanguardia (online housing search page: http://inmo.clasificados.es/)
- La Razon (online housing search page)
Now that the newspapers have online listings, the amount of listings published in the print newspapers is limited, so save your euros and use the Web sites.
Online searches are by far the best way to find housing on your own. Searches can be tailored to suit your needs, by allowing you to specify type of housing, number of rooms, size, neighborhood and cost. The best Web sites specialized in Spanish housing searches are http://www.idealista.com (scroll to the bottom of the home page to switch from Spanish to English) and http://www.fotocasa.es (click on the drop down box on the left-hand corner of the home page to switch from Spanish to English).
Real Estate Agents
Using a real estate agent is not necessary and quite costly. Real estate agencies in Spain charge a month’s rent for their services. This means that if you rent an apartment shown by an agency, you’ll have to pay a month’s deposit, your first month’s rent and the agency fee. There are lots of apartment owners who advertise online and in the newspaper, so it’s much more economically recommendable to deal directly with the owner and save yourself the extra cost.
The cost of the agency’s services is excessive when you take into consideration that the real estate agent does nothing more than meet you in front of the building to show you the property in question and organizes the paperwork if you decide to rent the apartment.
However, if you are in a situation that requires you to work with an agency, there are several from which to choose. A popular chain of real estate agencies in Spain is Tecnocasa (http://www.tecnocasa.es/). You’ll find a Tecnocasa office in almost every Madrid neighborhood. Each office only shows housing in its particular area, so it’s best to pick the neighborhoods that interest you and visit their corresponding Tecnocasa offices.
If you are worried that language might be a barrier, try working with the following agencies:
- American Service Organization – an established sales and rental real estate agent working with new arrivals in Madrid.
Tel: +34 915 483 046
Fax: +34 915 426 046
- Estate One – Commercial and residential real estate agents working with Spaniards and foreigners.
Web site: http://www.estateone.biz/
Tel: +34 653 393 602