Thursday, 28 July 2011

House hunting in Madrid

Hello! Is anybody still in Madrid this far into summer? I am, though you wouldn’t know it from my lack of posting (after summer resolution: to post more). All is very well indeed with me - busy, but in a good way :-) Have just come back from a week of work meetings in Coruña, where we were stuffed with empanada (a type of Galician savoury pasty), yummy scallops, octopus and plenty of chilled Albariño to wash it all down with. All of this made a somewhat tense week of meetings much more bearable! And was such a relief to get away from the heat of Madrid in summer.

And now that the worst of the working year is over for both David and I, we’re busy house hunting. Tired of our cute but short term place in the sticks of ‘Glamabanchel’, we are looking for somewhere more central, and what we’re finding is frankly horrible. So here’s my tongue in cheek guide to would-be Madrileño sellers on what NOT to do if you really want to sell that house online.

• Please tidy up. Just a little bit. Or at least, do not take a photo of the mess and upload it on Idealista.

• Do not call something a ‘loft’ (in the New York sense) when what you want to say is a freezing-in-winter-boiling-in-summer, attic-cum-laundry-room with a corrugated tin roof and a ceiling so low you can’t even stand up in it.

• A flat with a built-in adult bunk-bed in the living room is not a ‘duplex’ – and you can’t consider the square metre-age of said bunk-bed an addition to that of the apartment. E.g. 65m flat+4m of bunk beddage=69m. NO!

• If you are referring to your flat as ‘designer’ it probably isn’t, and no you can’t add a 10k premium to your pad just because you have an imitation Eames chair (that you are taking with you in any case). Meeeeowww.

• Do not try to throw in your granny’s brown 3x3m formica mueble as part of the deal – we don’t want it. Take it to the junk yard, or leave it on the street the assigned day of the month for the local council to pick it up.

• Do take wide-angle photos of the rooms and NOT close-ups of clusters of your porcelain miniatures or your bathroom shelf toiletries. The idea is to sell your house and not tell us what good taste in pottery you have!

In Madrid, with none of those annoying but enjoyable programmes like House Doctor, people seemed not to have cottoned on to all the usual tricks of making your home more saleable – painting in neutral colours, taking photos during the day, de-cluttering, freshly brewed coffee (ok, you can’t really show that in a photo). On the other hand, I am a sucker for taking on awful spaces and trying to make them habitable – and when yesterday we finally found a beautifully designed centrally located home at almost the right price, I turned up my nose, saying ‘but I want to make it pretty, I don’t want to buy it pretty’. There’s no pleasing some people.
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