I’ve moved flats quite a few times, and have now settled in a small but comfortable flat that ticks just about all the boxes for me (except that I don’t own it!). One advantage of having lived in various places is that I was able to work out what mattered most to me. It’s hard to find the perfect place, but since it will be your home it’s important to know what you really need to be comfortable. Here are the features I look for.
Many flats in Barcelona are in old, cramped buildings with very little natural light. I’ve lived in this type of place and found it just too depressing. Natural light is important for your well-being, and as I spend a lot of time working on the computer it’s also kinder on my eyes.
Although I’m near a main road, my flat is at the back of the building and therefore shielded from traffic noise. I’ve become used to a certain amount of noise when it’s summer and I have the windows open, but I couldn’t live in a district where there was a lot of nightlife or noise going on.
I like living fairly centrally, so that I am within easy walking distance of a lot of amenities. Anonymous suburbs aren’t right for me, as I’m a city person. I like to be somewhere that has a lot of character, and doesn’t involve a long trip home after a night out.
It isn’t that easy to find in a city, but I like to have at least a small private outdoor space. Even a balcony is pleasant, offering an opportunity to sit outside and not feel enclosed. However, I’m lucky enough to have a terrace – and my cats love it as well!
After living on the fourth floor of an old building with no lift, I swore never again would I live anywhere without a lift. I don’t mind walking, but carrying heavy shopping or furniture up several flights of stairs is not fun at all!
My flat is near just about everything I need, which is quite important to me. Shops, cinemas and everything else I might need are within walking distance or a short bus ride. Plus if I fancy going further afield, there are great transport links close by.
I wouldn’t even consider living anywhere that didn’t accept animals. It wasn’t easy to find a flat that did, but my pets are part of my family. So a pet-friendly home is a must!
Obviously you can’t get everything you want for the price that you want, but everyone has a budget. When I was looking, some of the flats I saw were ridiculously overpriced. A flat has to be affordable, but even if I had a higher income I would still try to get the best value for my money.
What about you – what are your priorities in a home, and what would you be prepared to compromise on?
Top Photo Credit: Ronaldo F Cabuhat
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