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A long and winding road

How I did, or did not, buy a house in Spain. The ongoing saga of one mans experiences on the path to purchase.

07 August 2009 @ 14:10

Here follows a list of stuff which I have found useful. It varies from the nice to know to the down right very, very important. I will be adding to it as I go along so keep coming back to check it out. Anything in the blog posts which is in bold type will be further explained, or a link to an explaination wil be placed, here. (the links are in blue).

If anybody spots any errors or omisions in this please do us all a favour and let me know so that I can change it.

Almacen - Literally warehouse. Often found as the description in the catastral register of the upper floor of a two floor cortijo. Beware this means that officialy you cannot use this as living space (see Vivienda), nor can you legally turn it into such. So forget those extra bedroom and bathrooms.

AUAN - Abusos Urbanisticos Almanzora No. Home owners organisation set up to fight for the rights of ´illegal´ property owners in the central Almanzora valley. If you live in the area, support them. Who knows, you could be next!

AULAN - Similar organisation to AUAN but covering the costal region, hence the L for Levante.

Ayuntamiento - Town Hall. The fountain of all knowledge. Start at the Oficina Technica.

Catastro - Land registry office. See Oficina Virtual del Catastro.

Catastral Reference - The official land regsitry code for any rustic plot of land or house within an urbanised area. For some reason (perhaps someone can let me know why) this register does not contain details on urban plots which seem to have a different coding system.

Cortijo - Farmhouse? Pile of stones? Why this differs from Finca I do not know.

Escritura - Title Deeds, these come in various forms, the one you come across when looking at property is usually stamped Copia Simple. Should contain correct plot sizes, catastral register reference, registro de propiedades reference. This is the document you sign when, if you are (un)lucky enough to get that far, you finally actually buy something. Should be sent, or delivered, to the registro after signing, until it is registered you do NOT legally own the property. Not to be confused with a Nota-Simple which is a short extract, see below.

Goolzoom - Website allowing you to mix and match, catastral information with old and new maps and satalite photos. If you know where a place is you can find it on the maps and photos, one click then gives you the catastral information.

Decreto 218 (2005) - Spanish law defining what information a seller must disclose to a potential buyer.

Finca - Generic word for house/place/property? See also Cortijo.

IDUFIR - Identificador unico de fincas registrales (Unique identifier of registered properties). Issued by the registro de la propiedades.

IBI - Land Tax, the equivalent of rates in the UK. Must be paid on ALL land not just land that´s built upon. Make sure that this is paid up to date on completion. Can be seen on the Nota Simple (see below). - Spanish property website.

improductivo - Land classification within a rustic plot. To be found on a catastral extract. Usually means that a building of some sort stood/stands on the spot. May possibly be legally reformed but must stay within the footprint of the original. - Spanish property website.

Nota Simple - Short extract of the registered title deeds. Held by the registro de propiedades in the local area. Will contain all relevant information about, and debts registered against, a property. This is the second piece of paper you should look at when investigating a property. Can be requested online via their website Costs 9 euros plus IVA per request. Do not get taken in by other sites offering this service for up to 25 euros per time. Another form of this is the Nota Explicativa which must be made available to you on request (see Decreto 218) by the seller or agent.

Oficina Virtual del Catastro - Website showing official land registry information. First port of call when investigation a property. Someone made an error when registering the site and in some browsers an invalid digital certificate warning may be shown. This can be safely ignored.

Registro de la Propiedades - Official property register. Your escritura will be send here after signing.

Rustico - Land registry classification. If your rustico plot does not contain a subparcela of class improductivo basically, forget it.

TLA Corp - Firm of Lawyers in (I believe) Alicante. Excellent website detailing the legal process of building/reforming a house in Spain.

Urbano - Land registry classification. This will only be found in and close to towns villages etc. A good place to start.

Vivienda - Literally house. Found in the catastral register description of a property. This is a good thing as it means you can actually live in it legally.

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