"I have seen cases where there were houses for sale with debts that genuinely not even the owners knew about it. That happens because Spanish people buy property without lawyers. I have seen cases where people buy a property and don’t know that the sellers have carried out illegal work on the house and there’s a file opened in the Council against it, so what it is supposed to be a flat ready for occupation actually turns into a 1 year work long negotiation with architect drawings, licences, works, etc. I have even seen lawyers authorize purchases without the right documentation under the promise that it will come very shortly, and the clients losing the money. Most buyers need a mortgage. If that is the case, please make sure you know that you can get that money before you commit, or put a clause that you can pull out if you don’t get the finances in place. I have seen people paying a deposit, and then the bank rejects the application at the last minute..., or changes the terms and conditions for higher interest. No compensation is given for putting the client in such situations." (HN, Dec 2008)
"Madrid is a relatively small city – easy to get around and with a wide variety of museums, exhibitions etc – on a par with any other major European city. It is rather more “Spanish” - less international – than Barcelona – but as with every other Spanish city the weather is wonderful and the food and wine a delight. Many places of interest are within a day’s visit – Toledo, Aranjuez, Segovia, Salamanca to name but a few. The mountains are easily accessible – for skiing in the winter. Basically as Madrid is the geographical centre of the country it is a relatively short journey to just about anywhere ! There are also flights from Madrid (including low-cost) to just about everywhere. Disadvantages ? Perhaps the lack of English – but fortunately Spanish is an easy language to learn ! Driving is a skill that many Spaniards have not yet learned – you do need to be careful on the roads ! There is little serious crime, but pick-pockets abound – you should hang on to your wallet/bag at all times – especially when in the centre or on the metro or a bus." (YS, Dec 2008)
"Plan your spending with care. Your money should be spent on the essentials that will last you for many years. A well made quality sofa is a wise investment. Normally I suggest a solid fabric as opposed to a print so that you do not tire of it and you can easily change the look by changing the covers of the decorative cushions you put on it.The same can be said for a good bed and mattress. It is worth spending the necessary money to assure long-lasting good quality" (DK, Oct 2012)
"I think that Barcelona is extremely family friendly. Spaniards love children and they are welcome everywhere. We have the beach and the mountains nearby, there are many children’s activities including cultural activities such as children’s opera, it’s easy to get around and it is not a very big city like London or Paris." (BCP, Feb 2011)
Interior Designer Graham Collins talks about buying and creating the prefect home in Barcelona.