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Flat hunting

We saw nine flats today. Alright, as two were on the same landing maybe we "really" saw eight but the range was incredible. From modern, double glazed, furnished at Ikea to a place where the louvred grill in the kitchen gave a good view into the tiny bathroom. Most were a bit seedy with Oxfam furniture and a vaguely unpleasant odour. Only one had aircon and none had any form of fixed heating.
Just as in the UK flat hunting is a tedious process. There are basically two ways. Wander the streets and look for signs attached to the balcony and ring the owner direct. Or go to an Estate Agent and ask what they have. There are classified ads in papers too but usually the number of properties listed is small.
We started with the Estate Agent route. It's an expensive option because as well as the month's deposit and the month's rent that everyone asks for in Spain the agent also charges a month's worth of rent for matching you and the property. Most of the properties we saw cost around 550€ per month so we're going to have to stump up around 1650€ when we sign on the dotted.
We did see one house but, as Spaniards have "traditionally" lived in flats and as flats hugely outnumber houses, particularly in towns, that's what we saw. The one in the picture is the current favourite.


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Looking for a flat

Finding a house to rent in Spain is usually a pretty straightforward process. When I say house I really mean flat because, although it's not impossible to find houses in the middle of a town or city, by far the most usual style of dwelling for urban Spaniards is the flat.
I need to qualify this a bit further. It's easy to find a place if you are willing to pay an estate agent. The other options involve walking around random streets looking for to rent signs with your mobile phone to hand. We've only ever done it a couple of times and it has not produced good results.
The internet has made it a slightly less fraught process to find an individual renter and the place that Maggie rented in Ciudad Rodrigo came that way. Even then it takes ages to sift through the various websites usually to find that nobody answers your email or phone call except for the estate agents.
The estate agent method is the most straightforward but also the most costly. The standard charging process…

Where am I?

When I wrote the last post on this blog - Looking for a flat - I should really have written it on the Life in Culebrón blog because that's where I am at the moment.

In fact, apart from working in Cartagena it looks as though my links with the place are about to be cut. I am in the process of signing up for a flat in La Unión and the logic of naming the blogs must mean that the active ones are the places where I have a kettle. La Unión and El Culebrón.

There is a tab at the top of the page to navigate there or this is the link

Casting off

School term is over in Spain. It's summer. Nearly everyone from Cartagena is at the beach. The town is quiet and we are done, at least till the new academic year when I'll be back to do a bit more English teaching.

We've cleared everything from the flat. We've carted our belongings up the road to Culebrón. We've handed over the keys of the flat. So goodbye to town life for a while and goodbye to Cartagena till I get back there in hot and sticky September.

In the meanwhile you can follow our adventures (sic) at Life in Culebrón