building our eco friendly home in Spain

2. The cost of building a house in Spain

So what does it all cost? The cost of building a house in Spain has to be cheaper than buying one. Is it really as simple as, just finding a piece of land where we

So what does it all cost?

The cost of building a house in Spain has to be cheaper than buying one.

Is it really as simple as, just finding a piece of land where we want to live, get some used transport containers, some creative doodling, hours of building what we designed … et voila ….. a house within our budget?  Let’s run some quick numbers. If we could buy a plot of land for about €40.000 and get a mortgage for about €60.000 we should be able to sell our current apartment and have the same mortgage as we have now and still have money to spare for a swimming pool!

A plot of land

Where do we want to live? Well there is a nice urbanisation where friends of ours live with lots of empty plots so ….. we’ll start there.  It’s about 20 minutes from Seville, Spain. The only issue is that not all plots have signs with telephone numbers to call and no-one knows who the owners are.  Therefore we asked at the gate of the urbanisation. The kind security guard pointed us to the office and the people at the office pointed us to someone who lives inside the urbanisation. She  showed us around from the cheaper plots (€40.000) to the more expensive plots (€100.000+).    And yes, of course the cheaper plots aren’t that well orientated or laid out as the more expensive ones.  But could we make it work for our needs ?

I.W.O.F.I.

She also mentioned something about having to pay sometimes 21% “IVA” (VAT) and sometimes 8% some other tax.  That’s quite a difference so let’s put that on the list “items worthy of further investigation”.  Trust me, you really need to keep track of all the questions that arise during everything you investigate or else you simply will forget important issues.

Looking for more land

There are various websites with houses and land in Spain we used to search a plot of land;  idealista.com / fotocasa.es / milanuncios.com.   We didn’t only look at this location, we also did search for other alternatives with more or less the same distance to work (Seville) and secondary school.

A house

While looking for a cheap way to build our home we saw loads of tv series and searched the internet.  We settled on reusing shipping containers which we could probably buy and repurpose for about €15.000 per 40 ft. container.  Each container is about 12 meters long and 2.44 wide.  So 4 containers would be enough.  Two containers opened up would give us  for daytime activities (kitchen, living, dining) and two for bathrooms and bedrooms.  All this for about €60.000.  I guess it’s time to look for an architect that can do all the paper work and licences and all those other shenanigans.

Architects

According to my early theory, we needed to find someone that can take care of all the paperwork and let us know what else we need to budget for.  What are the other costs, the hidden ones that we don’t know yet.  Because it can’t be right that we can build a house on a plot of land for the same amount as our current apartment.  The architect can also check our designs and adjust where needed.  We can then build it – et voila – a house is born.

architects

I started visiting or perhaps even “interviewing” architects.  I would meet them for a cup of coffee and ask them if my numbers were right and generally  asking them loads of questions that were on my mind.  The general consensus was that my numbers were a wee bit lower than they thought were achievable. They would supply me their costs but there were other costs that they didn’t have any control over.  So… who can give me a complete list of costs?  I’m sorry but I’m not starting this adventure if I don’t know what the total costs are.  I need to know if we can afford building our house in Spain!

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