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Looking for advice on buying a property in (Northern) Spain

 
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Location: the Netherlands, Zone8b
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Hi there,

We're a family with two young children(2 and 5 y.o.), currently living in the Netherlands. We are seriously considering moving to Spain. We wanted to move there, so we can finally start our own permaculture project/campsite. The idea is to get +5 ha of land where we can build our own passive house, and using permaculture for the landscape design, creating our own little paradise that we could also share with like minded people by making a small/quiet campsite on the same spot. We like to do things for the local community as well, maybe something for the local school, or maybe provide work during the season for locals doing for small jobs around the site. This August we are going to North Spain to visit some friends, but it would be great to meet other permies, that have done similar projects, and that like to share their experiences with us.


Hope to hear from you.

Jurriaan

 
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Location: Scotland
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Hi
We will be back in Norther Spain with our caravan in August, on a project similar to what you are looking to create.
There are quite a few projects in the area, most private but all forming a small community of off-grid and permie follk.

We have not bought ourselves so I cant comment on that side of things but maybe knowing there are many others who share dreams of a similar nature (as we do).

Good luck in your search and maybe one day we may meet.
 
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Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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If anyone wants to visit our place in the Ribeira Sacra region of Galicia (zone 9 ish) pls purple moosage!
 
Jurriaan Holland
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Hi Mandy and Woody, and all other readers

Thank you for your replies. We are currently in Calafell visiting friends. Still want to visit permaculture projects in the region. Mandy we will dedicate a separate trip to just visit Galicia and when we do, I will definitely send a pm. If anyone in this region has time and is willing to show their permaculture project that would be great. We will be here until the 17th of August. And we would love to hear your stories.
For now I’m going back trying to restore the compacted and dead on our friends garden. Two nights ago we had a storm and it was so sad to see the amount of water that just ran of the hillside taking most of the topsoil with it.
If anyone knows a good place where I can get composting worms here in Northern Spain, please let me know. So far I only found one place on Amazon Spain and I think they are on holiday.

Hope to see some of you here in Spain.

Grt Jurriaan
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
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I get mine shipped from the UK. Several good companies supply tiger worms.
 
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Hi Jurriaan,

I'd love to do something similar (build a small house, create a personal permaculture paradise, camping/renting out huts for extra income) so I'm busy researching the topic. A concern is that permits and regulations in Spain are complicated, and will prevent me from doing most of what I'd like to do. So I was wondering how is progress on your project? Have you gained any knowledge on the subject that could be useful to share with others planning to do the same?
 
Jurriaan Holland
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Hi Liam and all others,

Sorry for some reason I didn’t get notified. Few years later now, and we are currently in Spain. We sold all our belongings in Holland and are now looking for properties while also exploring a bit more of Spain and the rest of Europe while traveling with our motorhome. I’ve heard from several people that it’s indeed hard to do the thing ‘we’ would like to do. So for a self build you need both an architect and constructional specialist to sign off the building. Some places allow you to have up to 5 campers/vans at your property as long as you live there too.
Some places are also really restrictive with regards to keeping animals, guess that’s also depending on how close your neighbors are. So we’re currently still searching for land in the north east region. So if anyone is reading this and thinks we could be interested please feel free to drop us a line. Still looking for about 1-5ha close enough to a nice community where we could become a part off. Enjoy your Sunday!

4No.mads (insta) to follow our journey looking for a place to live.

Jurriaan
 
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Jurriaan Holland wrote:Hi Liam and all others,

Sorry for some reason I didn’t get notified. Few years later now, and we are currently in Spain. We sold all our belongings in Holland and are now looking for properties while also exploring a bit more of Spain and the rest of Europe while traveling with our motorhome. I’ve heard from several people that it’s indeed hard to do the thing ‘we’ would like to do. So for a self build you need both an architect and constructional specialist to sign off the building. Some places allow you to have up to 5 campers/vans at your property as long as you live there too.
Some places are also really restrictive with regards to keeping animals, guess that’s also depending on how close your neighbors are. So we’re currently still searching for land in the north east region. So if anyone is reading this and thinks we could be interested please feel free to drop us a line. Still looking for about 1-5ha close enough to a nice community where we could become a part off. Enjoy your Sunday!

4No.mads (insta) to follow our journey looking for a place to live.

Jurriaan



Hello all,

We, my partner and I, are in the same situation that  Jurriann was 2 years ago, I am thinking about selling my house or even rent it and try starting off with little money, I do have a 3500 sqr meter land (almost  at the edge of a small town near to Grullos, on kind of a valley so to say Asturias. I did buy it before getting to know permaculture, was though for vacational retreat, but definetely I would like to start a project there, if regulations allow me to . I am assesing wether I enroll in a intentional community, volunteering, or some sort, to get to learn, I've grown in the city and do not have the skills for agriculture yet, almost only what I read and watch. So in that matter I am in an earlier stage than you, we are working in Madrid and thinking about next steps while saving up a little bit, we do have a mortgage and we are seriously thinking about renting the plance instead of buying.

Coming back to regulations, this is so far all I know and it has come from Asturias: Spain is a federal country, a lot of the regulations are set by the Comunidad Autónoma (as state for US) ,always complying the higher mandates of the national law. Also the municipalities regulations differ, however the Comunidad Autonóma has probably establish some land for one or various uses, that may or not may be accurate with the reality of the land. My land is part of a rural poblational nucleus, it is considered for "agriculture" for the Catastro https://www.sedecatastro.gob.es/. The catastro has some information about the land, but has no effective connection to the new laws, land assignments... from municipalities  and the legal obligation would always be ruled by municipalty and state laws.

Other side of approaching could be looking for a place that you like in Northern Spain, people and culture differes a lot in different areas, even within a small radius, in Asturias looking for the land, we search a lot, and tried to have a conversation with people from around, and there were a lot of differents, towns were people didn't want to be disturbed and would not find ideal newcomers, some others were people exhaustic for newcomers that give life to rural areas, they are very much in need for it!! As you tell you are already getting to know Spain, its areas and cultures, so that is great. As I stated earlier, the  when looking for a new land, try to get in contact with the municipality (Ayuntamiento) to asses things like the constructable area, possible uses that you are going to maybe explore, try to clarify this before. It is a pain in the neck, since if you move on and start looking somewhere else, a lot can change.
The problem here (or at least what I've experience) is that the land where they allow you to, apart from that, ask for a document called "Nota Simple" at " Oficiina del Registro de la propiedad", you sure want to ask for it before buying as well, it certifies that it is register and how, Description, if there is debt over the land, and the owner.
There may be alternatives to live in a land where you are not allow to build, mobile home, off-grid.. if you want to connect to the grid, the problem that I have is until I don't have a house built or a farm, I cannot get water!! electricity is not a problem, but water is not allowed unless temporarly for construction works. What I am trying to say, is that depending on laws, the land classifacation, or region, even the energy supply companies, thing may differ a lot from one place to another. The prices are quite higher for the land where home constructions are allowed.

Another option is a established or in development project, check the internet, I am starting to get to know some forums as this one, and sites like this: https://www.ic.org/directory/

I don't know what was your experience, please share, if you have visited some land to buy, but I've felt there were a lot of people trying to buy land and the seller may not give you that much time to get everything in check before it has been sold to someone else, this may do it as a stragety, but was common when looking to buy. As I see it (from my error), if you lose one opportunity another one may pop up in the future. In my town in particular, talking to the neighbours, is that people is getting old and not using the land for anything, but they don't want to sell, only a couple of lands were for sale and probably some still are.

I have aquired a very small mobile home to be able to stay at my land, I could not build even a shed bigger than 6m2 according to the Ayuntamiento, and the mobile home I have not asked, there are controversy about every "mobile house", I don't think they would say anything unless a neigbour complains, I did manage to set a place where is not to see a lot, and bought a renovated very classy one, so that is less likely for the neighbours not to like it.

I am even looking at the possibilty to buy some bigger cheap (not home approved) land closeby to use for forestry, bee keeping, maybe animals, etc. Whenever I get to know if they let me plant trees as I'd like and for example chickens and bee-keeping, this would me abandon the idea of buying some more land close by. As I said, there are thing for sale, but a lot of land is being unused, hopefully they keep selling in the future. A lot of people from other places are buying for vacation and homeworking, so we will see..

Please share the more exact places that you have visited or considered.

And as you can see, we are in another stage, but are thinking about doing something and may want to get involved somehow and at least keep sharing experiencies.

Have a nice one!!!

Oscar
 


 
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