Fixing Up An Old Spanish House

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Fixing Up An Old Spanish House Credit: Shutterstock

Most people would have reservations about a fixer-upper a sold Spanish builds are notoriously unstable, but there are advantages to buying a traditional Spanish house.

One good reason to invest in a crumbly property over here is that the planning permission is easy to ascertain and a total of 20% of the total size of the house can be added on in the renovation process. Do that every couple of years and you could keep adding on until you have a mansion.

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Another good reason is that it is easier to get a grant for old houses. Bad news is that they are more susceptible to damage whether it be from time, weather or earth quakes. There is even a council plan in place to aid in the restoration of old houses. To apply go to the regional council’s website and look for the section ‘subvenciones’ in the property section then fill out the document. It may be wise to get an architectural engineer on to that one.

In many cases the land that an old house is built up on is worth more than the house it self. Figures from the INE value a typical 2 hectare plot of land that has got planning permission due to a ruin or similar edifice occupying the space at around €20,000. If a plot is deemed ‘rustic’ then halve this figure as the procedures to get planning permission from scratch are much more difficult.

Changing rustic land tour ban land is a problem that many suffer as there area number of factors to consider, each dealing with a different aspect of the law. For example, if the land is protected under the Red ZEPA then it will be especially difficult as this means that there are endangered wild life or plants in the area that must not bedisturbed.


Whilst planning laws state that the house must retain many of its original external and structural features such as depth, window size, door size etc. pretty much anything can happen on the inside. The most important thing that must remain is the roof as without one, a house is basically considered a pile of rubble.

Of course when we talk about a home we talk about comfort and style at the end of the day. So regardless of all of the hassle, make an old house a  home with an abundance of character as one day someone else might choose to pick up the pieces and continue its journey.





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