Asturias / Galicia. barn, house or just land?

Spanish Property Insight Forums Spanish Property Forums Property Questions & Answers Asturias / Galicia. barn, house or just land?

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    • #53974


      I’m new to this site and have been finding it very useful. I am considering buying somewhere in Asturias or Galicia soon’ish. I have been to Asturias on a surfing trip a year ago and feel in love with the beaches and countryside and think I will like Galicia as well. I am planning to travel in the area in a couple of months in a camper and will be spending a lot of time trying to find the area the suits me best.

      My questions are really regarding planning, I don’t care what I live in and can live in a van while I make anywhere habitable. What I do want is to be out of the way and independent so will need 1 to 2 acres for food growing etc. Not bothered about services to the property as can live off-grid.

      So do I…

      Buy a barn type building (I think the planning will be pain with this)
      Buy an old house (will I have less problems getting permission to renovate?)
      Buy some land (do I need permission to live in a wooden hut or Yurt?)

      Thanks for any help

    • #82965

      Your posting shows a romantic illusion about your trip to Spain. Most people visiting Spain feels that way in some form or another as Spain has that capacity to bewitch people. It inspired people like Hemingway to mention one.

      I, don’t know how old you are and what you expect from your life. If you change your mind/life style in future, it be very difficult to shift this type of a property irrespective of the state of the market, leaving the property unattended will only encourage vandalism/break ins etc.

      I, should think long and hard. Perhaps you should rent a place and see how you feel during the seasons.

    • #82981

      Do you like being wet….? In the last few weeks we have had rain almost every day (I can only think of one without..) and thunderstorms most afternoons…

      On a serious note, I can see problems with living in tent or yurt.
      One thing you really need to understand about the Spanish (or maybe Asturian) mentality is that if you life in a yurt or a tent or camper van they will decide this is because you cannot afford to live anywhere else, the same as if you wear scruffy clothes its because you can´t afford new ones… You may not care about this BUT it will make it a lot harder to be accepted into the village or area you buy in. You are also likely to be considered a “gitano” – a gyspy…a group of people that are deeply disliked and distrusted here..the majority of people here are extremely anti gitanos, who take the blame for a lot.

      Planning…there are several threads on here now re planning specifications here, mainly started by myself or Mortimm, have a search for them but it would be far easier and far cheaper to renovate a house than a barn..EVERYTHING here, from a new roof to painting the inside of the house is supposed to have a license, 4% paid to the local ayuntamiento. If major works are required and change of use is one of these, its more costly and time consuming..

      Don´t get me wrong, Asturias is great, the people are lovely and I would not want to be anywhere else..but it is not the most forward thinking area of Spain, there is a certain way things have to be done and it is impossible to change that.

      I agree with Shakeel (gosh twice in as many posting, what is happening!), you can´t afford to wear rose coloured glasses…its a big move so its a great idea of yours to travel around and spend time getting to know the areas. If you want any ideas about good places to look in Asturias, yell!

      Good luck,


      By the way, whats your Spanish like…although there are more and more English speakers looking to buy here every week, life is much easier with a decent amount of Spanish..or even Asturiano…

    • #82984

      Thanks for your reply’s they are very helpfull, I do tend to just jump into things!
      I am 35 and looking for a new home and a new way of life. As I said will be traveling in a camper starting in a couple of months and can go for as long as I want or find what I am looking for. My experience of the northern Spain was 10 days in September a couple of years ago surfing, I was so taken with the place but it was sunny everyday and the waves where great too.

      Your right I need to spend some time in the area and to see how they take to someone like me.

      Thanks again and have a great weekend


    • #82987

      Building upon what heatherpsk, wrote.

      Yes, the people in Asturias are lovely, very close, very traditional and stubborn. Drinking Cider & eating fabada has its limitation. Being a beach bum/drop out way of life has its sell by date. I have tried it and got bored very quickly despite of being close to nature and or with my creature comforts at hand.

      Yes, can travel around in your camper for as long as you like but laying your hat is very different story.

    • #82989


      I cant see that being a beach bum would ever become boring, but I’m sure I will find out. I will be spending the winters in the Alps as a snowboard instructor from December – May so I am only looking at 7 – 8 months down there.

    • #85796

      hello Marc, I have been to asturia / galicia 3 times now and am still looking for the right place, I want to open up and run a B & B or a couple of apartments with land.

      what do you think about pooling our recourses?

    • #85797

      Hi Dangerman,

      If looking to open up a B&B / Apartments and purchasing an older property, be aware that costs can be considerable.

      For example, to get change of use (i.e. the paying public will use the property), you will have to go through an architect (Collegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Asturias), whose fee will be calculated using scales provided by the Collegio.

      E.g If you wanted to restore a property of 500 sq. m of floor space and open it as a 2* Rural Hotel then expect architect fees of around 33000 Euros. This excludes other fees such as quantity surveyor, health & safety study, structural survey, electrical project and licenses.

      Change of use in Asturias, also requires conformance to the latest planning regs. This can also produce unexpected costs, as many properties have beams under the minimum size which can get costly to replace, especially if it means taking the whole roof off.

      This is the general approach, the one area I’m not sure if they take such a rigid view in terms of Building Regs, is if you were going to operate as a Case de Aldea.

      Given labour costs account for the ‘lion’s share’ of any budget; a lot of people who are renovating old buildings, strip off the roof, remove everything inside and insert an RSJ framework which everything is built upon. This gets rid of the slow unfolding of ‘surprises’ that pushes the budget up and up.

      If buying an older building, even if the property is less than 100 years, check the local town hall’s register of antiquity; as this can limit you.


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