We're starting the hunt to find a homestead in rural northern Spain. Asturias and Cantabria appeal. We _love_ Galicia but it's just too wet.
We'd like a temperate climate, green landscape with woods and rivers, mild winters and sunny but not droughty summers. Ideal: an old run down cottage to modernise, with an acre or so of land and preferably a bit of woodland (or at least publicly accessible woods nearby). Remote is good, dark night skies are important to us.
The climate and rainfall maps suggest the coast of Asturias and Cantabria is very wet and the mountains are very cold (in winter). So I'm hunting for a sweet-spot microclimate in between - somewhere far enough from the sea not to be too rainy (we're not beach people anyway) but not so high that it's under heavy snow all winter.
Any suggestions? The area is so big, the search seems daunting
Are you homesteading in northern Spain? how is it for you? what's a good inmobiliaria for casas/fincas rurales?
All the big Spanish banks own many properties that are available below what you will find in any inmobiliaria.
I've heard of people getting a further 50% off from what the bank advertises them at. The bank can't publish the price they are willing to go down to, because then they would have to admit on their books that the properties are only worth half what they have them down in their asset column for.
The bank will often fund you near 100% to buy one of their properties off them, even if you would not normally be eligible for a mortgage on any other property.
apart from banks you could try miparcela.com, tucasa.com, milanuncios.com, segundamano.es to get an idea of asking prices. Some of the banks advertise on these sites too.
My tip for prospective buyers of Spanish land is that in addition to the due diligence of consulting a lawyer, the most knowledgeable type of professional to advise you is an architect. Architects have a special place in the system of obtaining planning permission, and legalising illegal properties. They know a whole load of stuff that lawyers don't. Go to the town hall in the area that you want to buy and ask the technical engineer which architect you should use. The technical engineer is the guy who will have a big influence in saying yes or no to whatever you want to do, so use the architect he says you should use.
If you can buy an illegally built place that has stood without complaint for several years, you will get it below 50% of it's market value, and often be able to legalise it relatively cheaply and pay the fine in instalments over several years. Don't even think about building something new illegally - this only works for stuff that is already standing and was built when the town hall was more forgiving.
I've been looking at thinkspain.com and kyero.com a lot.
Aren't Asturias and Cantabria almost as wet as Galicia? If I were you I'd probably look for land along the North and West border of Leon and further down South and East if you wish. The precipitation map says there must be a strip of sweet spots for whichever average annual precipitation you wish. In theory.
You may also want to consider some parts of Teruel for a reasonable amount of rain and a more mountainous climate. It's not crowded at all, still Northern Spain-ish, far enough from the coast, not too hot in summer if you pick the right spot.
@ Steve Farmer
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. Priceless! I'll contact the aparejador asap if I'm seriously interested in a plot.
The things you regret on your deathbed are not the failures, but those things you wanted to do but didn't dare to manifest.
I have a place for rent or sale in Asturias, near the city of Oviedo. It is about 45 mins from the sea and 5 mins from a village with restauraunts/pubs/shop, 2 mins from a mini-pub. It has a small off grid stone cabin with an electric system. There is a spring on the land, connected to a standpipe. There are 2 arces of fertile land, fenced, with a super-fenced garden/orchard. The skies are dark, the nearest person lives 400m away, the 2nd nearest 800m. The woodland creatures are loud. Please send me a personal message if this interests you.
As a general comment on buying and building in Asturias, it is cheap but as Steve says, you have to be careful. Spanish paperwork and bureaucrats can be maddening but not corrupt (in my experience anyway).
The climate is excellent for growing, effectively the growing season is 9-10 months long, grass etc stops growing for dec-feb, except right at the sea.
As a downside, due to the poor economy, work is scarce for generating the essential small off farm income. English teaching work is fairly readily available but because of patchy timetables is more suited to living directly in a city, such as Gijon or Oviedo.