Buying an Apartment in Valencia

The Valencia edition of “For 91 Days” wasn’t exactly compliant with our usual 91-day concept. Jürgen and I started this iteration of the blog in February of 2015, and finished in November. That’s more like 271 days. But we had an excuse! Valencia had long been our “home base,” and we finally decided to make it official by purchasing an apartment in the city center.

Five years of uninterrupted travel had been a lot of fun, but it was also exhausting. And after so long on the road, we came to understand that we needed a home. A place we could return to. Somewhere to keep our stuff. A real address. Not having a real address was a big deal! For years, we had the same debate every time we had to fill out any sort of official form: should we use our post-office box? My mom’s address? Should we just make something up?

So we bought a place in Valencia.

Hah! That makes it sound so easy. “Yeah, we bought an apartment. Just like that.” But trust me, it wasn’t easy. This was a taxing, hazard-filled journey, whose outcome was never a sure thing. We started looking in November of 2014, visiting dozens of apartments. Some of them were alright, many were terrible, and none were perfect. But as our search entered its fourth month, we spotted a promising listing; it was the right neighborhood, the right size, and the right price. We made an appointment immediately and, as soon as we stepped inside, we knew we had found our home.

We said “yes” that same day, but this is Spain and it still took another four months to complete the purchase. Getting a mortgage in Spain is an experience which I remember with nothing but fondness, joy, and sarcasm. And then, once we finally had the keys, we had to wait even longer — sure, our new apartment was nice, but we wanted to make it “ours.” So we renovated, removing walls, installing new floors, raising ceilings, ordering a new kitchen, and replacing the bathroom. Sounds like a ton of work, and it was, but we had an excellent team (RDA Técnicos) who were able to get everything finished in a single month.

The next few weeks were spent buying furniture. A lot of furniture. We didn’t own anything, and our new apartment was completely empty. This was a stressful process, and I’m not sure how Jürgen and I managed to avoid killing each other. Once, during the apex of what has become known as the “Bookshelf War,” I did catch him with a knife in his hand. (In fairness, I was holding nunchucks.)

But then, once everything was ready… once we were finally able to relax and enjoy the apartment into which we had poured so much time, money and effort… we were ready to leave again. It’s ridiculous, but we had been too long without traveling and were anxious to get back out there. Farewell, sweet home, we’re off to Curaçao! But we’ll be back soon enough.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Mark Hodder

    Glad you’ve settled here, guys. Best city in the world! I moved here from London 8 years ago. I now have Spanglish twins (Iris and Luca) and a career as a science fiction author. Life is busy but sweet. I don’t get to spend as much time exploring as I’d like (writing is a 24-hour occupation) but this is more HOME than any other place I’ve ever lived. You’ve made an excellent choice!All the bestMark

    1. Juergen Horn

      We agree too, best city in the world. You arrived shortly before we did. Let us know if you want grab a drink.

  2. Sam

    Great news, guys! My husband and I did almost exactly the same, buying an apartment in Berlin and then as soon as the renovations were complete, we left for 3 months! We spent this summer back home, and have also been making changes and dealing with a few apartment emergencies, but those will soon be behind us (hopefully!) and then we’ll leave again! Looks like you’ve got a nice place…would be nice to see some pictures to see how it looks now at least!

    1. Juergen Horn

      Hope nothing too bad happened with your apartment, since we are doing the same in a couple of weeks. Thank you for the congratulations and we are working on pictures as I write, we will publish them soon.

  3. Ian

    A fascinating read guys. My wife and myself are about to start the same journey. We have fallen in love with Valencia after around 10-12 visits, and finally decided that we should have an apartment. We have a week of apartment viewings from the 16th November, helped by an agent who can organise things for us, as our normal base is beautiful North Yorkshire in the UK. I don’t think we’ll be taking on a big renovation project, but we’ll find the right place, and then see what it needs!We’re looking in Marxalenes/Morvedre barrios, as we have a friend with an apartment there, and the area looked good to us. We would appreciate any advice you may have, and we’re looking forward to the search and becoming part of the city… at least for some of the year!Best wishes!!Ian and Sam – Harrogate, UK.

  4. Consuelo

    I’ve just returned to my birthplace after a lifetime in five other countries. I’ve brought my Londoner husband and we’ve built a house in L’Eliana, just outside Valencia. It’s bliss. After so long in London, I’m amazed at the skies…Bought your eBook. It’ll help me rediscover the city I left just after Uni and we’ll show it better to all our visiting friends. I’m glad you love it so.As our new home gets ready and the last crates get open, we’re planning our next trip, in the knowledge that our home already is in the best place in the world!We wish you happy traveling and an even better return!

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