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narrowing down my search in northern Spain (Asturias/Cantabria?)

 
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hi all

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?

We'd love to hear from you...

 
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Location: South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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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.
 
Paul Ryan
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Thanks Steve - very informative!

 
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Hi Paul Ryan,

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.
 
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Hi Paul,

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.

Liam

 
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Location: Asturias, Spain
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Hello! Anyone in this thread still active? I've been living in Gijon, Asturias, for 4 years and am planning on buying land this year and start building a homestead.

Would be great to meet like minded people in Asturias.

 
Steve Farmer
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Floris Assies wrote:Hello! Anyone in this thread still active?



I'm still alive if that counts
 
Floris Assies
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Location: Asturias, Spain
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haha! sure! good for you! Thanks for replying. What is it you do in Tenerife? But different climate from where I am at
 
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Floris Assies wrote:Hello! Anyone in this thread still active? I've been living in Gijon, Asturias, for 4 years and am planning on buying land this year and start building a homestead.

Would be great to meet like minded people in Asturias.

Hi there Floris! Just saw your message is a few months old... We're a group of people looking to move to the Asturias/Cantabria region to start a self-sufficient homesteading community in the rural parts. Hoping you're still interested so we can keep in touch and get to know each other!

Here's the website if you want to get a better idea: https://www.homestead.community/

You can also join our telegram chat since we don't have time to check the forums very often... https://t.me/homesteadcommunity
 
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Location: Asturias, Spain
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Hi everyone,
just wanted to say hi! and connect with fellow Asturians/northern Spainers. We are a couple from Germany, living since recently in east Asturias, near Cangas de Onis, on a 3ha farmland, that we want to (re)design and farm sensibly in the upcoming years.

We are interested in connecting with other homesteaders and learning about their experiences here and are willing to give advice about our knowledge so far.
Getting into some kind of local Permaculture-gang would be awesome!

Here are some Asturias related blogs that we found quite useful:

https://thissimplelife954.com/tag/gardening-in-asturias/

https://forpeoplefornature.com/

Best and hasta luego,
Andreas
 
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Location: Cantabria, N Spain
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Hi all

We're based in Eastern Cantabria. Rather closer to the big cities of Santander & Bilbao than most places in the region so land prices are accordingly higher, but on the other hand we have easy access to the dubious benefits of civilisation.

Our site: Abrazo House

Robert
 
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Hello everyone,

We, my partner and I, bought a couple months ago a land near Grullos, Candamo, Asturias, it is approved to build a house, it at the edge of a small town in sort of a valley, we bought it before getting to know permaculture, so we dind not think it through as we have should, and now I am trying to know if I can use for the things needed to run a regenerative homestead.  We are not living there and have day jobs in Madrid at the time, but we are assesing that to change, whether it is in our land or some sort of intenational community or volunteering, the issue now is money and to take drastic decisions takes time.

I would like to get in contact with people in the same situation or someone who could bring insight anyhow, regulations, climate... if somebody is up to even visit and talk a bit.
And specially seed exchange. if you know any place to get quality  organic seeds somewhere not too far and where they have similar enviromental conditions would be great.
If you know any other forums and chats more active that may be appealing, please share I am having to find much activity of small initatives like this.

I like the kind of land and climate areas as Asturias and Cantabria has, so probably, if we enroll in something, we would try it to be there, because we like it and to get to know.

Have a nice one!
Óscar
 
Andreas Grindler
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Location: Asturias, Spain
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Hi Oscar,
welcome to Asturias!

We are on the other side in the east of Asturias, near Cangas de Onís and have been living in the area for a year now and observing our property and slowly getting to know other people and projects around. We are really happy and still in love with it. The beauty never ceases to surprise and impress us.

The microclimates and hardiness zones within the strip from the coast to Leon vary greatly and also depend on your altitude. We are also about 20km away from the coast on 234m above sea level and might have similiar conditions to yours. But it all really depends on your specific context and conditions, like previous use, soil compositions,....

What worked for us is that we changed our jobs and clients to be able to work from remote during Covid, so we could move to an appartment nearby, so we could camp on our land and study it in detail for almost a whole year.

At the moment I am working on a holistic, self-reliant and regenerative design and business ideas for the land as well and would be willing to share my insights with you, as well as get to know your project a little better. Occasionally I need to go to Oviedo or Gijon for administrative stuff, so could pay you a visit if you happen to be there.

We are just also getting into the whole building permissions and regulations topic for our buildings and trying to figure out how to go about it. It also depends highly on your local administration.

Another thing you could try is to check out the nearest wwoof hosts in your area: https://wwoof.es/hosts/search and connect with those guys.

So far we only found a small range of organic seeds at organic food stores. But often your local nursery might have them or can order them for you.

Here is an online nursery in Galicia: https://plantamus.com/

You could also try to these well known shops from France, Austria and Germany and have them delivered to Spain:
https://essembio.es/
https://www.graines-baumaux.fr/
https://shop.arche-noah.at/
https://www.reinsaat.at/shop/EN/

https://shop.sativa-organicseeds.com/
https://bingenheimersaatgut.de/  
https://www.dreschflegel-shop.de/

Don't have any experience with spanish organic seed suppliers yet.

Best, Andreas
 
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Location: Cantabria
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Hi! We recently bought a property in Cantabria ( around Lierganes) and are in a similar stage as you.
We have a house there but needs a lot of renovation and the land  is around 1ha meadow and 2ha forest, now we are looking to get an apartment nearby to start understanding the land better and do some small projects.
Would love to connect and help each other on this journey!
 
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