A companion post to Finding and Renting a flat in Madrid.
If you are looking for a flat chances are you have a headache already and you feel helpless. It is part of the journey that you must live through as you travel abroad to a new country. There are horror stories of others who felt as if they failed with finding a home. I am here to tell you that it is possible, but you must be persistent and have a glass of wine in hand to make it happen.
I personally went with an agency my first year in 2015. I arrived on Sept 10th with CIEE as my program aide. I was one of 200+ people who arrived for that orientation and was also battling those 200 people plus the additional Auxilares and students from ERASMUS and other colleges looking for spot. I took to the streets, blogs, Facebook groups searching for a room. I sent out 25 or so messages to posts that I saw. Out of those 25 or so I maybe had 5 responses, three of which happened to say that the room was filled. The additional two were for appointments to see the flat.
I was so eager to get to those places and to view them...well so were the other 15 people that got the same sort of message. Easy to say I didn't get the rooms. I was worn out, stressed, and over whelmed. I wanted to throw in the towel and move back to the states. Luckily my program that I had offered several nights of accommodation as I looked for a flat. I spoke with another guy about his luck in finding a spot to live. His luck was similar to mine but he had contacted an agency to help him find a room. I was desperate and took the name and number.
I met with the agency TLS.....red flag right here. Just go ahead and take my word and do not sign a lease with them! Other agencies are helpful and are worth the time and effort. I felt let down and taken advantage of with TLS and so did other friends who had rooms with them.
To sum up the year in short; I loved the location that I found my flat. I was in Atocha, a very Spanish neighborhood next to the Reina Sofia and Retiro. I had 5 additional flatmates, all Americans who signed on their own and we just happened to sign the same location. My rent was 475 euros and included all gastos and uses. My room consisted of new Ikea furniture and a twin bed and large closests. My room scored a large balcony with great views....I managed this because I was first to see the place and took it for myself. My kitchen, livingroom, and bathroom were average to basic. But they sufficed because I used my room as my space.
I will include a post regarding my entire first year at a later date.
My second year I chose to move flats, this time I took to Facebook and found a post about a flat in La Latina, a very old Spanish neighborhood which got me great bars and food along with Rastro a large street market that is every Sunday on my street. I met with one of the current flatmates who was looking for a new tenant for the room. We spoke in English and discussed similarities and what he was looking for and what I was seeking. After viewing the spot I was not so confident due to me seeing an additional 15 flats in the weeks prior.
I received the Whatsapp that I was chosen for the flat and I moved in that following week.
What it comes down to like I said is persistence and time. You will eventually find a spot for you to call home and to make it yours. But you must make the effort to find it.
My flat my first year.
My second year.
Dreamer. Lost in the moment.
Podunk Wyoming native, living and thriving in Madrid. Lover of Craft beer and art.