Barcelona is the top-most visited city in Spain, famous for the architecture of Antoni Gaudí, football, great food and beaches galore – but what about actually moving to Barcelona?
We talk to British-born Kat Lovell, who moved to Barcelona in 2008 before marrying a local, becoming a mum and starting up a business in just 3 days.
She talked about moving to Barcelona with a job as an events manager, which was lucky as colleagues whizzed her around the city to complete the necessary bureaucracy.
She later got married, went through IVF and then set up a business, which she said was ‘easy’ when you have the right contacts & friend groups.
Kat Lovell loves relocation, because every time she takes a new client around Barcelona she gets to experience the joy of love at first sight all over again.
Through her business, Barcelona Lifestyle Solutions, Kat loves to take newcomers on a whizz through the city before offering:
(10:00) MumAbroad: On your website you offer a pre-arrival package, what does that include?
Kat: The pre arrival package is really tailored, it depends on what you’re doing and who you’re coming with. A lot of people will come over and do a rekkie before they decide to move, or they do it all in one go and want to know it all in two weeks. Both are valid, it just depends on your time or what situation you’re in.
What we offer is, when they come over, to jump in my car and go round the city as I show them all the different areas I think would work for them based on our chats. Everybody’s different, whether they are polo players, or like snooker, they like the mountain or the beach, we do this in-depth chat about their lives so the more I get to know them the easier it is to relocate them and get it right. We whiz around and I show a few properties within their budgets and schools if they have got kids. Normally their thinking does a 180; they think of Barcelona as a city but then when the see the outskirts maybe that’s where they want to live. They’re all very different.
I think having that experience and being able to ask questions on the fly while we’re in the car helps them get their bearings and understand what they want to get out of their lives here. That’s what we offer: a bit of clarity before they move.
Kat has been living in Barcelona for 12 years and has two children with her husband, a local. She arrived to work in events management, and said the trickiest part was when trying to buy a house as she ‘couldn’t contact the agent’. “We found our ideal place and it took ages just to be able to buy it,” Kat says. “I was trying desperately to make his commission, which I slashed in half at the end!”
Kat now helps will all relevant administration requirements (finding a NIE, buying houses, schools) as well as offering a departure service to help with deregistration for everything from your local gym to your local council. Kat speaks English, Spanish and Catalan and can help with all your relocating to Barcelona requirements.
(12:00) MumAbroad – what do you love about your work?
Kat: If I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it! I love that I get to be there for people at the exciting parts, when they turn up, walking along the beach and seeing the new architecture or the new culture, and they’re super excited. I’ve been here 12 years, but this job opens my eyes every week. I have that little buzz of when I moved here every week. I just like being there and helpful to people when they’re more vulnerable, maybe moving with kids for the first time, which is stressful with schools. I love to be able to help people feel more settled and reassure them it will all be OK and they’ll find what they need to be happy here.