Streetwise Spanish To Help You Find The Ideal Place To Live

Published on 6/8/2010 in Learning Spanish

If you’re moving to Spain for a while, the most important part of the process is of course, finding a nice place to live. Whether you are looking for a place to rent or buy, the following Streetwise Spanish phrases are sure to come-in very handy and they’ll help to ensure you find the perfect place to enjoy the fabulous Spanish way of life!

Se alquilaVale, you’ve found un agente de la propiedad inmobiliaria and you want to ask for information about their properties. This first phrase will do the job nicely:

Hola, me gustaría que me diese información sobre los pisos/las casas en venta/alquiler – I would like to be given information about flats/houses for sale/rent.

You will probably be asked: ¿Qué busca usted? or: ¿Busca usted algo en particular?

Reply with the type of property you want, por ejemplo:

Estaba buscando un piso/ático/una casa con al menos dos/tres habitaciones una de ellas de matrimonio, y con terraza o balcón – I was looking for a flat/studio/house with at least two/three bedrooms, one a double-room and with a terrace or a balcony

Other key words you can include here are: A estrenar – brand new, amueblado – furnished, con un ascensor – with a lift and I make a point of always asking this if the flat is on the fourth floor or higher and bien situado – well situated. You may also see this as bien comunicado in some agencies.  
If you do see a place you like and you want a brochure, just say:

¿Puede darme un folleto informativo?

What can be confusing for non-native speakers is that there are two words used for deposit: Una entrada and Una fianza. Examples as always help best:

¿Cuánto es la fianza del alquiler y cuál es la duración del contrato? – How much is the deposit for the rent and how long is the duration of the contract?

Para firmar las escrituras de la casa, es necesario dar una entrada del 20% y tener un aval bancario – To sign the deeds of the house, it is necessary to pay a 20% deposit and to have a bank guarantee.

Couple of other useful phrases there: un aval bancario, a bank guarantee and las escrituras, the deeds. And here’s one or two more practical phrases you’re sure to come across: 
Soleados y amplios – Sunny and spacious. You’ll see this even if the property is a tiny studio where a hamster would feel claustrophobic! 
Tiene humedades – It has damp, watch out if you see or hear this! 
Calefacción general – If the property is an apartment, watch out for this. It means the entire building only has one boiler that cannot be controlled by the tenants who will share the cost of the heating bill. Better is to check the property has calefacción individual, so the heating remains under your control and you only pay for what you use. 
Finally, another Spanish word that may cause confusion. When it comes to making payments for your new home, you may well read this on the agreement:

Se puede pagar por transferencia bancaria o solamente mediante talón 
I’m betting you’ve got most of that Spanish phrase easily translated until you reached talón, which is the Spanish word for heel. Here comes the confusion! What does this mean, to pay by heel? It actually means to pay by check so that’s another canny Streetwise Spanish phrase to tuck into your growing vocabulary. 

Written by: P. Christian

About the author:

Barcelona-based writer Peter Christian is the author of the brand-new book "Streetwise Spanish". To discover how you can add an authentic flourish to your spoken Spanish along with practical insights into Hispanic culture, click here now

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John Walter Critchley said:
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 @ 9:39 PM

Very handy seeing that we are thinking of looking at long term rental options for 2011,the streetwise spanish will come in handy.
Regards Walter

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