What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?

There are a mix of houses, townhomes and apartments. Places closer to the center tend to be apartments, which are usually plenty bit, sometimes charming and often have those quirky European floor plans. Commutes vary from a few minutes to a half hour. Biking is safe, walking a pleasure and public transport good. Bigger places, sometimes with yards and swimming pools, tend to be near the American school in Pozuelo. Commutes are longer, I'd guess 20 to 40 minutes in a car and an hour by public transport. - Sep 2019

Housing is mostly apartments in the city (5-30 minute commute) and townhouses in the suburbs (20-40 minute commute). Housing is spacious for Europe with adequate storage. - Jun 2019

We live in the city - only a 10-minute walk from the US embassy. - Mar 2017

People either live in city apartments or in houses in the suburbs. I think the commute for those in the suburbs is around 30 minutes. We live in a nice city apartment. It's spacious, but old and not Renovated. We had many noise issues with the neighbors upstairs. We complained and luckily it got much better, but other embassy staff haven't had as much luck with accommodating neighbors. Other people have no noise problems. It's really just the luck of the draw. Spaniards don't take their shoes off inside, so it can drive you crazy if they walk around a lot on the hardwood floors. It can sound like constant hammering above your head and make you want to cry, no joke...especially when you have a baby that needs to sleep but can't. - Apr 2012

Live in a townhouse in Aravaca, which is very quiet. Downtown Madrid is noisy. - Nov 2011

Nice and decent sized aparments if you live in the city. Big and pretty house if you live in the suburbs. However, if you want to experience the real Madrid and want to avoid long commute times, it will be better to live in the city. - Oct 2011

Housing is great! We have 5 bedrooms and a pool. Most of the housing for families is about 30 minutes from the embassy (if there is no traffic) and near the American School of Madrid. Families with kids are spread around that general area and have either a stand-alone house or a town house. The ones I have seen either have a private pool or share one with a few neighbors. Singles or couples with no children usually have a big apartment downtown either within walking distance or a quick metro ride. If you leave before 8AM the commute can be about 30 minutes, but if you wait too long it can take an hour. Traffic is very bad in downtown Madrid. There are 3 circle routes around Madrid, and all on/off ramps are clogged for most of the morning and evening commutes. - Aug 2010

Housing varies greatly. Apartments in the city - small and often old. Single family or attached homes in the suburbs. Some have large yards but most embassy assigned homes have small to tiny yards. Radiator heating, a/c units in bedrooms. Housing can be beautiful or can really be a shoddy looking place. It's a surprise. - Feb 2009

Housing generally consists of apartments in city neighborhoods--anywhere from a 10-minute walk to 30-minute transit. Folks with kids often live in houses or duplexes in distant suburbs--40-minute drive I think. - Jan 2008

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