Irene, let me know what bank will give you a US mortgage on a Spanish property – I couldn’t find one. I would be interested in refinancing my Spanish mortgage in the US.
I have the same concern about the currency exchange, even though it would seem that the euro needs to be devalued in order for it to survive. Adding to this are ridiculous fees charged by banks in the US and Spain when transferring money from the US to Spain.
I don’t know anything about adhering to the tax/permit laws, but I have heard that it is no longer the ‘wild west’ in Barcelona, that they have tightened-up the vigilance on this. Also, with a government looking for any excuse at all to increase its treasury, I would adhere to the laws to avoid future penalties.
I agree with the others posting here – if this is considered an investment, it is probably not a good investment to make. It may turn out to be a black hole where all the money goes.
I am familiar with the neighborhoods where you are looking. If this for vacation only, that would be fine. Living there would be a different story – it is very loud and you will eventually get tired of all of the tourists. Please note that when searching for a place to purchase, you have to go back to that location at 1am to see if there are any loud nightclubs below. If there are, you will not be able to sleep until they close.
I did buy nearby – El Born borders on the west side of the park Ciutadella. I am 2 blocks beyond the park on the east side.