Property in Spain | Different kinds of Spanish buildings

Different types of Spanish houses

Section for people wanting to buy, sell or rent property in Spain.

I have been told that a bungalow in Spain has 2-4 floors!! Is this correct?






Yes it is! Far from being a one-storey home as it is in England, a Spanish "bungalow" usually forms part of a modern terrace (or various terraces) of two, three or four-storey houses which all have their own front and back terraces, and then share larger gardens and swimming pools with their neighbours.

In your Spanish Estate Agent you will probably see photos and descriptions of the following types of property for sale (Se vende):

  • Se vende chalet: Chalet refers to a Spanish villa built on a piece of land ranging from 400 to 3000 squared metres. Chalets were almost one-storey houses until recent years, but increasingly the newer chalets have two or even three floors. Many have swimming pools in the garden, fruit orchads, shady areas... It is quite common for Spanish people to have a flat (piso) in the busy city or town where they live and work, and then to have a chalet in the country or on the coast, where they go for weekends and school holidays.

  • Se vende piso: A piso in Spain is a flat, generally set in urban areas. It is unusual for blocks of flats set in in the city centres to have a garden, but flats on the outskirts often have shared gardens, pools, playing areas, tennis courts etc.

  • Se vende apartamento: Spaniards use apartamento to describe small flats in tourist, coastal areas. Most blocks of apartments have shared gardens, pool and playing areas.

  • Se vende bungalow: see above

  • Se vende local: Premises, usually on the ground floor of blocks of apartments or flats, designed for a business, shop, restaurant, bar etc. Some blocks stiuplate what kind of business can be set up in locales if they form part of the block of flats, so make sure that the activity you want to undertake in the premises is allowed before you go ahead and buy the Spanish premises.

  • Se vende finca: Fincas are estates, usually quite large. Most of them consiste of an old house surrounded by land with olive, orange and lemon groves, wooded areas. The house often has an indoor patio, and a large terrace with vines to provide shade from the sun. Fincas are usually quite hard work, even if you enjoy working on the land.

  • Se vende terreno: A terreno is a plot of land. Make sure you are shown a document certifying what the land can be used for. Some people buy plots of land in Spain planning to build a house on it, and are dismayed when they find out after the sale, that the plot is part of an area which is "protected land" where any kind of development is forbidden.
Other useful links
Latest news on the property market in Spain Selection of news articles related to the real estate market here.
Mortgages in Spain, a brief introduction to the Spanish mortgage market, how it works and interest rates in Spain
Spanish banks, before applying for a mortgage, find out more about Spain's most popular banks and Spanish savings banks.
Property taxes in Spain, description of taxes involved in purchasing property and yearly property taxes in Spain.
Useful Spanish vocab for buying a house - you should learn at least the basic terms. Check out our pronunciation guide too.
Renting property in Spain - if you want to buy to rent, then read this section and our free notice board of property to rent in Spain.
Spanish lawyers - information on lawyers fees in Spain for property transactions
Houses for sale in Spain - take a look at the kind of houses available. Or check out our free Spain property for sale board.
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