Accommodation in Zaragoza
Accommodation for expats in Zaragoza is much cheaper than in the bigger cities of Spain (and, indeed, elsewhere in Europe). Flats are often small though and finding a house is almost impossible unless one lives in a small village or satellite town 10 or 15 minutes’ drive from Zaragoza.
Due to the current economic crisis, prices of flats have dropped, however the market has turned around.
Renting a flat in Zaragoza
As far as renting goes, it has become much easier to find good quality accommodation because people are unable to sell. Rent can be negotiated, and flats are available furnished or unfurnished.
Places can be found by word-of-mouth, on websites or via estate agents. Contracts for rented apartments are for up to five years, and an owner can only get rid of tenants if they want to sell the property or live in it themselves (as long as one pays the rent on time).
Rent will often include a parking space and a large walk-in storage cupboard in the basement of the building. Water and charges for the building (cleaning, repairs, communal areas and minimal heating) have to usually be paid separately, so it's important to be clear about that when signing the contract. It’s normal to pay two month's rent as a deposit when signing the contract (which is done in the presence of the owner and a gestor/estate agent), and if using an estate agent, one may be required to pay a month’s rent to them as well as a non-returnable fee.
Some flats have access to a communal swimming pool, children’s play area or an activities hall as well.
Renting a house in Zaragoza
If looking to rent a house, most are found outside of Zaragoza at a similar cost to the price of renting a flat in the city, but living in a property in a peripheral village comes with certain disadvantages. One will have to do a lot of driving, and likely live a more isolated lifestyle. Furthermore, bus services to these villages and small towns can be infrequent and stops are made fairly early, so it’s not recommended to live there if aspiring to enjoy Zaragoza’s nightlife. However, if one is prepared to live outside of the city, there’s rarely any traffic jams, and one can rent or buy a good-sized house, which may even have gardens, for the same price as a flat in the city.