Step into the world of Spanish real estate as we sit down with Michelle, our Acquisition Manager who has been instrumental in curating our stunning collection of homes in the vibrant locations of Barcelona and Mallorca. With her incredible insights and expertise, Michelle unveils the secrets behind the captivating allure of buying in Barcelona. Join us as we delve into one of Europe's most sought-after destinations, exploring its unique nuances and why it’s a perfect August location.
Tell us about yourself
I'm Michelle, and I'm in charge of the acquisition of the Spanish market. I live on a plane between Barcelona and Mallorca but have my wardrobe in Barcelona for now. Currently, both of them are very hot - the opposite of my hometown in the very North of Sweden. Raised on skis in the winter and in a golf car during the (few) summer months. My family have always escaped during some of the cold winter months in Sweden to southern Europe and mostly Spain to our holiday home. Before moving to Spain I lived in Stockholm for some time, working with mostly Real Estate but also with E-commerce, PR and digital marketing. Now, I've been a part of August for over a year and a half, and I absolutely love it!
Tell us about your history with Barcelona
Barcelona has been an exciting and enriching part of my life. Before moving here I had only visited Barcelona once, so you can say I ‘bought the pig in a poke’ when I decided to move here. However, I've embraced the local community, making Barcelona feel like a welcoming and vibrant home.
Where would you typically find an August home in this location and why?
In a larger city, the location is obviously very important. In Barcelona we focus on buying in the heart of the city called l'Eixample. The area is divided into several smaller areas such as Dreta de l'eixample, L'Antiga de L'eixample. We have chosen this area very carefully for several reasons, this is where you get the best local cuisine, easy access to iconic landmarks such as Sagrada de Familia and uncover hidden gems known only to insiders, discovering the true spirit of this iconic city.
What do you love about Barcelona and these regions?
Barcelona and the surrounding region hold a special place in my heart for several reasons. The Mediterranean lifestyle, great cuisine, and the welcoming international community make it an exciting and diverse place to live.
One of the aspects I particularly enjoy about this area is its proximity to captivating day and weekend trips. Costa Brava, with its stunning coastal landscapes and beautiful beaches, is just a short drive away. Exploring the coast and picturesque towns like Tossa de Mar or Cadaqués is a refreshing escape from city life. And if you want some French food for lunch you can just take the car over the French border and be back before dinner.
The ability to experience both the lively energy of Barcelona and the tranquillity of nearby coastal and French destinations makes living here a dream.
When you're looking around a property in Barcelona, is there anything that you're keeping an eye out for? ...And is there anything that you're looking to avoid?
The first thing that catches my attention is the neighbourhood - I want a place that feels safe, friendly, and vibrant. Somewhere with a lively atmosphere and easy access to shops, cafes, and walking distance to some of the main attractions.
When you enter the door there must be something special, sometimes there is a special energy. Sometimes it's really easy to see the potential and other times it takes a lot of time in the apartment to really see if it can have potential or not, especially when we buy homes that need a full restoration.
In Barcelona, it's really hard to find apartments with lots of natural light because of the nature of the construction. A typical apartment in l'Eixample is often long and narrow and has only one or two windows per side and the rest (if they are any) are towards patios, which often aren't that bright. So whenever I come across an apartment with lots of natural light that's a big plus.
Space and layout are essential too. I'm looking for a property that flows well, with enough room to breathe and let the renovation team be creative with the layout and design. Functional spaces make all the difference. A well-maintained building, the apartment must be inviting, a place where I know our Homeowners will feel comfortable from day one.
Lastly, I keep an eye out for unique features and amenities that can add some excitement to the living experience.
Whether it's a cosy gallery, authentic vaulted ceilings, or charming doors and windows with nice details - those little extras can really make a house feel like home, which is always our goal at August.
I also get excited when I find properties with great potential for renovation. It's like discovering a hidden gem waiting to be transformed. Imagining the possibilities and adding the August touches to create a unique home is thrilling for me. The satisfaction of seeing the transformation unfold is a real journey!
Let's talk about the surroundings. There's always a tradeoff you need to make when buying in a big city, most of the time you will have either traffic or tourists and other "loud" places such as schools and late-night restaurants and bars. It takes a lot of "sound checking" and going back to the potential home several times, at different times during the day.
What about Barcelona in general makes it perfect for an August home?
It's a perfect blend of climate, culture, activities, and accessibility. Barcelona becomes an irresistible choice for creating a haven of tranquillity and joy for unforgettable vacations.
The Mediterranean lifestyle, with its sunny weather and coastal charm, creates a relaxing and inviting ambience perfect for unwinding and escaping the daily routine. Barcelona's rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere offer a lot of activities and experiences. From exploring historic landmarks and museums to indulging in the great local cuisine and participating in lively festivals, there's never a dull moment here.
Having the Costa Brava within easy reach adds to the allure of this location. The opportunity for quick getaways to picturesque coastal towns and beaches allows for a seamless balance between tranquil retreats and vibrant city life. Another advantage is the excellent transport connections, making it easily accessible from various parts of the world. Whether it's a short weekend escape or an extended vacation, reaching the home is convenient and hassle-free.
In addition to the attractions, the warmth and welcoming nature of the local community contribute to the feeling of belonging and comfort. This creates a true "home away from home" experience, where the homeowners can immerse themselves in the local culture and forge lasting connections.
What's your favourite August home to date, and why?
For me, it's our latest Premium Collection South of France home, why? - First, because I love the South of France, the sophisticated lifestyle and architecture. Beyond that, this home has so much Provençal charm and it's a perfect social home where you can invite people over to relax by the gorgeous pool area, a perfect spot for relaxation and sunbathing on warm days.
For Spain, I will say it's a competition between our first Signature Collection home in Mallorca and an upcoming Premium Collection property we’re hoping to secure, such incredible homes!!
Been inspired by Michelle’s recount of Barcelona? Speak to our expert Advisory team about our Spanish properties across the region and across our Collections.
Every August home showcases unique architecture, superior craftsmanship, and curated design. Explore these breathtaking living spaces, reflecting a blend of comfort, sophistication, and timeless elegance.