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Permaculture in Spain

Posts: 29
Location: Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain
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Looking for permies in Madrid, or anywhere in Spain. Any advice on land buying or house buying in the area/country would be greatly appreciated! We're looking for a house with a little piece of land to start with (I have world dominating plans that require more land, however, about 1000 m2 is all I can talk my husband into at the moment. Give it time.) My thoughts are that it should have a well, be ideally on a hillside that backs up to a protected park area (for foraging, and security that pesticide runoff will not be watering our plants), and have a house with what I call "old bones", a.k.a. anything older with real materials we'd be able to fix on our own, such a stone, clay tile, etc. Any and all thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated :)
Posts: 28
Location: Barcelona
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Hi Kathryn,

Are you using idealista.com for research? (Edited to add A in idealista.com!)

I'm an American 8yrs in Barcelona looking often at land in Catalunya or Cantabria. My husband isn't so keen either, but it's possible to find some surprisingly large properties for sale at affordable prices near Madrid- or of course a hectare and a house as you've described. There's a search feature that's price per square meter which can show you some huge places cheaply if you think it might win him over. It can be used for comparables to bargain down, too. (I found about 40 land plots doing regional searches last month that were 100,000 sq m or larger for less than 150,000 euros. I find house+garden harder to research. Semi-detached houses and common area community gardens tend to be marked by the agents, which wastes time if you're looking for something all your own. Do tell if you make inroads.)

I tend to assume that listings without pictures may have burned last fire season. You can sort by developed/building or non-building land. I find it frustrating how often good farm land has been zoned not to be built on, but you may have luck. Ask about high tension wire easements (if you care) and whether other owners own land or road easements within the outer boundary of the place you want. You might be surprised how many plots actually look like unfinished jigsaw puzzles once you factor in other people's rights to cross.

You'll likely want an attorney when you make your purchase to be sure the land actually belongs to the person offering it to you and to see that any buildings you buy were built/renovated legally. Heads up that pines are protected and felling them can get you into trouble. Renovations can require permits, too, so tread lightly. I think you can assume about a 10% tax to Spanish gov't at time of purchase plus fees for title transfer, etc. Remember to budget for these.

Go meet the neighbors if at all possible before you commit. It's awkward, but you may find they tell you things someone else should have- or that they're so hostile you rethink the deal. Feeling people out about squatters and theft in the area feels yucky, but this IS Spain. Perhaps don't lead with those...;)

I haven't bought a place in Spain yet (I did buy and sell one in Seattle), and I don't claim to be an expert, but asking questions along these lines may help you out.

Good luck!
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