Buying Land and Building a House in Spain – Part 1 of 2

MiMove on 2021-02-11

Are you thinking of buying land and building your own house in Spain? If so, you have come to the right place! This week’s blog theme is about just that and this week we touch on what applies when buying land in the beloved country of Spain. In part 2, next week, we will go into more depth on how to proceed when building a house from scratch.

What should you know before buying land for building a house in Spain?

Control of the allowed use of the site

The first thing you need to know is that the value of a land plot depends on whether it allows for construction or not.

You need to go to the town hall in the municipality where you want to build your house and request a certificate of urban development. This is to ensure that the land you have set your eyes on is developable land. Request the certificate, which in Spanish is called Certificado de Aprovechamiento Urbanístico.

Cantabria, Spain

Verification of ownership and status of land fees

At the property register, you should ask for the document Nota Simple to ensure that everything is in order and that the land (or property) has no unpaid fees such as mortgages, old bills or anything similar.

In Spain, it sometimes happens that new land- or homeowners have to pay the previous owner’s debts if they have not been careful to look it up beforehand. (This can also happen when buying a car or other vehicle.) It is always better to double-check than getting unpleasant surprises.

Plot amongst the green

To consider before constructing on developable land

Orientation and views

Planning how you want your own house from scratch is exciting for most people. How and where you want your house is of course an individual matter of taste.

One should take a moment to consider the orientation options. Is the plot open on all sides or is it attached to some type of construction? Regardless, one should keep in mind that orientation to the south, southeast or southwest gets more sunlight than north.

Think about in which position you want the bedrooms, the living room, the terrace and possibly the pool. You may want the garage to be in the north where less sunlight reaches and maybe also the kitchen which gets hot anyways when you cook. Remember that it gets very hot in Spain, especially between June and September. If you live at an altitude, it can get very cold and even snow in the winter.

If you plan to have animals such as chickens and goats, you should think about where it would be best for them to have their sheds and pastures.

Sunset in Spain

The slope and shape of the terrain

In general, the flatter the terrain, the easier it is to build on. You can also level the ground on your own if the ground is uneven or sloping too much.

The slopes and properties of the site are evaluated through a topographical study, which is done before the construction project begins.

Type of soil

Through a geotechnical investigation, the foundation and possible construction obsticles that could possibly make it difficult to build a house are analyzed.

It is extremely necessary to do this type of survey because it is impossible to estimate the depth of the soil layer on which the house is to be built is with only a visual survey.

Get to know the soil

Access to the yard

Depending on how and where the plot is located, there are better and worse ways to get into it. It should be easy to enter but not too obvious for those who are not authorised or welcome. Do you want to be able to easily park and drive in and out of the plot? Do you have large or small vehicles?

Is fencing needed or can you make use of trees and bushes to create natural border lines? Are there nearby neighbors to consider? There is a lot to think about when it comes to both when you carry out the house’s construction work and when it comes to living a practical everyday life.

Type of urbanization – private or attached to the municipal council

Before we buy land, we want to know what type of urbanization it is so that we cover the right type of, if any, expenses. Is the land individually divided or is it part of a common urbanization?

Life in the countryside

Utilities – electricity, gas, water, telecommunications, sewerage, etc.

It is of course very necessary to check if electricity, water, gas, internet and other services are available and if the connections reach the site. If not, it is essential to contact all the companies involved and pay any costs for installation, name change and other things that these services may entail.

Special restrictions for the purchase of land

It is increasingly common than we might think that certain land and its vegetation are protected and therefore must not be touched. In these cases, a special adaptation or limitation is required when planning the construction of the new home. Find out from the authorities before cutting down, even if only, a single tree.

We hope this information has given you some insight! If you want to hire someone to help you ensuring the conditions of your desired land plot, there are several companies for it. It is best if you find a local company that deals with construction projects and inspections. In Spanish, you ask (or search online) for an empresa de Construcción e Ingeniería.

Much of the information prior to writing this article we have received from Site & Field, an international construction and engineering company. When you buy via MiMove, you get direct contact with professional estate agents who can help you with everything practical around buying property that you might need. We at MiMove also have collaborations with real estate agencies, architects and law firms that can all help. You can also contact us at MiMove on for guidance and further information.

On the way to the new land


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