Renovating a property in Spain: what you need to know

Many people dream of buying a property in Spain before renovating and restoring it into a stunning home or holiday villa. Whether you've always loved the thought of moving to the rural Spanish countryside or you'd like a holiday spot on the Costa del Sol, there are a huge range of options.

But if this is a new idea for you and you've never done something like it before, there are lots of things that you need to know about property in Spain and how should go about attempting to renovate homes here. Read on for advice tips and guidance so you can avoid pitfalls and enjoy a successful project. 


It's a commitment

With only a limited number of new plots of land available for building, it can seem like an excellent idea to renovate an older Spanish home or villa. However, an important thing to know about renovating a property in Spain is that it's a not a project that you can take on casually. While it might seem like an idyllic idea, it can also be highly complicated and at times even frustrating. Whether you are looking at homes in the countryside or you would prefer to do up a town or city property, there are lots of legal issues to overcome.


Get planning permission

The first thing to be aware of is that land in Spain is placed into two distinct categories with different rules over what you are able to do to anything on that land. The two categories are 'urban' and 'rustic'. Urban land is considered to be available for development. Rustic land is generally rural land in the countryside where there is no specific legal right to build. On this sort of land you have to gain permission and justify any works that have to take place.

If this wasn't already complicated enough, you also have to deal with the fact that the different regions of Spain all have their own rules and regulations regarding what you can and can't do to property. Even if your renovations don't affect the structure of the property at all, it can still be prudent to gain legal permission 


Work with a solicitor you trust

With this in mind it is absolutely essential that you work with a solicitor that you can trust. There can be a lot of paperwork to deal when you are trying to get everything done, and it can take a serious amount of time to get anything sorted out.


Decide on what you are trying to create

It's essential that you decide early exactly what you are planning to do. If you are completely renovating the property you can clearly go in any direction you like, but remember that you may not want to lose the current aesthetic of the building. Many people have designed homes with contemporary and modern interiors which simply don't blend well with the style of their country house.


Hire professional builders with experience in the region

To do a great job it's best to work with builders and craftsmen who have a good understanding of the region. If you have never lived in Spain before (or this particular part of Spain) there can be certain aspects of the lifestyle that aren't immediately obvious. If you try to do it yourself you might find that you have a property that is absolutely perfect for the summer, but a nightmare to live in during the winter. Working with professional local builders will give you a stronger insight into living here.

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