Calling everyone in Asturias

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    • #54574

      Hello to you all.

      I am moving to Asturias early next year. The hope is to buy a few acres with an old barn. I sold a previous homestead in 2007 and need a new challenge, abroad.

      Originally, I was going to Extremadura where a “lifestyle consultant” was going to help me but have changed to Asturias and am handling matters alone.

      I am an eco-activist and live a rather simple life. So long as the barn provides shelter then I may not develop it much. My grandfather lived in a barn when his house fell down so it’s nothing new for my family.

      I have a variety of questions and requests. I hope everyone can provide the answers.

      Thank you.


      1) What are the annual taxes or rates that I will have to pay?

      2) Will I need planning permission to renovate a barn?

      3) Would I be able to live on my property without a recognised home being on it?

      4) Can anyone recommend a good solicitor in Oviedo (or other large town in Asturias) who can also speak English? My small amount of Mexican Spanish is not enough to understand everything.

      5) On buying a property, what fees am I going to pay?

      6) How did people get their NIE? Police station, one of those Internet companies, other? Can you get one before deciding on a property or is a proof of potential purchse necessary?

      6) Are there any pitfalls? Things to watch out for. Other peoples’ mistakes that I can learn from?

      7) I wouldn’t mind meeting other like-minded people in Asturias so if anyone would like a visit then let me know.

      8) I am looking for cheap accommodation until I find a place of my own. Electricity and hot water not required. Wood stove only needed for warmth. Also, if there is anyone needing a wwoofer or other helper then I am ready, willing and able to work for food and accommodation.

    • #88584

      Hi and welcome.
      You could maybe contact this guy for starters who had similar aspirations to you
      Annual property rates and taxes depend on the catastral value of your property, not usually onerous.
      You require permisisons and licences for EVERYTHING (technically!).
      If you were to buy something that wasn’t a vivienda eg something classed as a nave or apero, then you might be able to get away with living in it permanently, but on the other hand, you might not, so it would be a bit of a risk.
      Allow 10% on top of the agreed price for fees on buying.

    • #88587

      Thanks for the link to the thread.

      God, it sounds like where I was in County Kerry. No wonder Kerry and Asturias are Celtic brothers.

      I’m Norman Irish. No obstinate Celtic blood in me!

      Looks like a conformist village house for me and separate farmland.


    • #88666

      Hi James,

      I can recommend a good lawyer who speaks English, but will need to get his number as I no longer have it. I think he is in Oviedo or nearby. We used him to buy our house, he is probably expensive though as we found him through a surveyor called Clive, who was expensive!

      NIE : You have to go to the “foreigners office” in Oviedo, its off from the Plaza de España, and queue or ring for an appointment and turn up. Its not hard so don’t pay someone else to do it for you, you can get it when you get here but need one to buy a pay the taxes!!!

      Heh, whats a wwoofer…?

      I can recommend a good website for properties/land out here…

      Pitfalls…depends what your ideas of life out here are really, seem to be a lot of people that I have spoken to who seem to think they can move here and “live the dream” whatever that maybe and seem to put on the rose coloured specs and forget about real life! Don’t fall into that trap…

      Also they seem to forget/not realise that it rains and snows seems to have rained every day since mid October and we had 10cm Sunday…it is cold here in the winter, Electricity and oil prices are higher than they were, so is food etc you can live cheaply but theres no really cheap supermarket own brand stuff for example.

      People here are lovely but conservative, especially in the villages where everyone is probably related..not sure what they would make of a barn dweller!!

      Lots of paperwork/red tape needed for everything…get any offical docs certified in the UK (birth cert etc)

      Not sure how/if you would get health care if not working…

      Eco is not a word very recognised in Asturias yet either…we wanted a ground source heat pump…gave up trying (cos we would still be banging head on brick wall) and are now stuck with oil…

      Sure there´s loads more to say but…

      Why Asturias…

      Good luck,


    • #88670

      Just to add to Heather’s comment …. “NIE : You have to go to the “foreigners office” in Oviedo, its off from the Plaza de España, and queue or ring for an appointment and turn up. Its not hard so don’t pay someone else to do it for you, you can get it when you get here but need one to buy a pay the taxes!!!

      If your spanish isn’t good enough to make an appointment, get down the Oviedo office early but make sure that you check in with the desk just outside the NIE office in the waiting area (I think it’s on the 1st floor). This will allow them to allocate you a free slot … if there’s one. They’ll call you in, take your details (passport etc) and it’s sufficient to put on your application that you need an NIE to buy a property and open a bank account. They then give you a form, that you take to the bank (one just down the road), pay your money, take the form back and hand to the desk in the waiting area, and some time later the stamped NIE certificate will appear. Should take you half a day.

      Allow 10-12% of purchase price to cover purchase tax, notario, land registry costs etc.

      Annual taxes / charges will be
      IBI (regional community charge equivalent)
      Income tax
      Wealth Tax (if it reappears, currently suspended)
      Water, sewage, garbage collection (payable to town hall)

      Oh ….. and banking costs are higher than the UK.

      Generally, the Asturian people are very careful to follow the law/regulations …. some of which may seem very petty or unjust, when first coming from the UK. I gnore or flout them at your peril, because you WILL be denounced by anyone with a voice. It makes things bureaucratic and tortuous but its all part of the charm and has preserved nature and the landscape.

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