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Moving on up

We're giving up our current flat in Cartagena on the last day of this month and we've just found a new flat for the next academic year.

This is our new barrio
We went to ask at an estate agent on Friday afternoon, saw four flats and tootled off to think about it. On Saturday we went back into town, strolled around looking at "To Rent" signs and eventually returned to the same estate agent and signed on the dotted for the first flat we'd seen.

The standard system here is that you pay three times the monthly rent when you take on a flat through an agent. The agent gets a third as a "finders fee," the landlord gets two thirds - made up of a month's rent and a returnable deposit. The finders fee is always a bit of a wrench, giving away money for nothing, but that's the way it is unless you can find a private deal.

So, from September, we'll be right in the heart of the town - about 100 metres from the High Street with an underground garage space for the car as a part of the package. We're both looking forward to being within strolling distance of nice bars, theatres, exhibitions, parades etc. For me it's probably slightly less distance to work than from the current flat but for Maggie it's going to be a bus ride.

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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.
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The estate agent method is the most straightforward but also the most costly. The standard charging process…

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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.

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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