A Tale of Two Pisos

Written by Karrie
14-24 September 2017

Yes, for all of you Spanish speakers out there, “piso” does mean floor.  But here in España it also means apartment or flat.  Upon our arrival in Spain one of the first items on the agenda was for each couple to find a piso.  Finding an apartment in your native language can be tricky enough, so the language barrier made this task even more of a task.  E was already on it, discovering all of the best websites for our hunt.  We were searching sites that listed both private owner pisos for rent as well as apartments listed through brokers or “inmobilarias.”  The four of us looked at a few pisos together before and started making offers for ones we wanted. 

Couple A
Couple A found their piso online listed through a private owner who does not speak a word of English and apparently speaks some old-world dialect of Spanish that is untranslatable through Google Translate.  They loved the piso though so they decided to continue attempting to communicate through WhatsApp with the owner and some very rough conversation translations.   Out of nowhere, they receive a message a few days after seeing the apartment that it is theirs if they want it and they can get the keys the next day!  Yea!  One couple down and one to go in the piso hunt!  But wait…It is not smooth sailing for Couple A just yet.  Their new landlord occasionally sends them messages that translate roughly to, “I’m waiting for you at X location.  Where are you?” when no meeting had been arranged.  She is quickly losing patience for their American  non-mind-reading ways!  More posts to come regarding this sure-to-be genuine Spain experience in working with a landlord.

Couple B
Couple B found a piso they wanted through an inmobliaria, but since it was the San Mateo Festival basically all commerce had come to a halt and there was no way to get into their apartment before the time at the AirBnB ended.  So Couple B moved into a lovely guesthouse to continue the wait for their piso and to continue looking for one they may be able to move into sooner.  Just when they thought they would go crazy living out of suitcases for over two weeks and eating like inmates (lots of bread), a private owner returned their message that she was in town and would be able to show them her piso the next day.  Trying not to get their hopes up, Couple B went to see the piso, immediately fell in love with it, and were told that the landlord had to show it to everyone else who had demonstrated interest in it.  And so they wait…until their co-traveling friend had the idea to offer more money for rent.  Couple B did just that and within a few hours were told that the piso was theirs and they could move in the next day!  The landlord not only speaks very good English and went through the contract line-by-line translating it, she also drove Couple B to a store a little outside of the city center in order to buy sheets and pillows for the bed since they would be moving in on a Sunday and everything would be closed.  She may be the nicest landlord in the history of landlords!

Both couples are extremely happy to have permanent homes in Spain so that they can now begin actually living here instead of trying to find a place to live here.

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