Welcome to pacheco & asociados


Here you will find answers to many problems that expats may come across when embarking themselves in building or buying a place in the sun. These solutions and explanations shown here are the result of more than 25 years of experience working as an architect in Spain. These articles have been published previously in one of the best newspapers for expats in Spain, "Costa Blanca News".

 

If you have a particular problem which is not covered here, do not hesitate to send me an email and I will try to respond as soon as possible... and free of charge, of course.


CATEGORIES


Important real estate facts you should know about.

When you are buying a house and the seller mentions the area of that house do you know if it is a net area or is it a total gross area and what are the differences?

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Installing surveillance cameras? Don’t make these errors

After the implementation of the so called Omnibus Law in Spain, any company or individual can install a security camera system without having to comply with the requirements demanded by the Ministry of the Interior. Thus, many communities of neighbours may choose to install the CCTV cameras themselves. But the results are not always as expected. 

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The biggest increase in the price of housing in a decade.

The price of housing grew by 4.7% in 2016 and adds three consecutive years to the rise, according to data published Wednesday by INE. The most pronounced price increases were in the communities of Madrid (+ 8.6%), Catalonia (+ 7%) and the Balearic Islands (+ 6.2%). I believe that there is no bubble, but a price recovery after the 'brick bubble' punctured in 2007. The lack of new housing supply and the scarcity of land are the two major concerns in the sector in the face of future increases in price. 

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Proposed solutions to a more healthy and sustainable home.

1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have cancer throughout their lives in Spain.

 

As a prelude to World Cancer Day, this February the 4th, SEOM presents the Cancer Figures in Spain 2017.  Tobacco, alcohol, obesity and sedentary habits increase the risk of cancer and are responsible for a third of , and this is supposed to be a reasonably healthy country……Mediterranean diet etc.

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What are the costs of purchasing a home? (Part 1)

Many clients do ask me about the cost of construction  and being an architect it is a forthcoming question, nonetheless every now and again I do get ask for other costs associated to the actual purchase of a house, in which case I have to do a little research to find out.

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What are the costs of purchasing a home? (Final Part)

Following my last article on the costs that have to be taken into account when purchasing a home in Spain, see here a quick reminder of what it was specified last week. Please see below a guideline. 

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What are the costs of purchasing a home in Spain? (Final Part)

Following my last article on the costs that have to be taken into account when purchasing a home in Spain, see here a quick reminder of what it was specified last week. Please see below a guideline. 

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5 reasons why 2017 will be the definitive recovery of the real estate market in Spain.

Although I have been blowing my own trumpets since a year ago writing about the end of recession for the real estate market, a new BBVA bank report has officially declare that 2017 will be the definitive recovery for the real estate market. 

 

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Ozone pollution in Spain, how it affects us.

This article points out how it affects Spain ozone pollution, how it is formed and what citizens can do to combat it.

 

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Property valuations increases by 13%

You will remember and I you don’t I am here to refresh your mind that as long ago as April of this year I wrote an article called “The price of housing is soaring in Barcelona and Madrid”. In this article I did warn of the next property rise especially on the large cities of Barcelona and Madrid a prelude for the rest of Spain to follow.

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Gas or electricity?

One of the questions we are frequently asked when designing a new house or rehabilitating an existing one is whether to opt for gas or electricity in the kitchen.

To see what is more economic if electric ceramic and induction hobs, or gas cookers, should be taken into account not only the time and energy saved in gas supply or electricity but also the fixed rates of each supply that must be paid to the company.

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Why house prices will continue to rise in the coming months?

The average price of housing rose 7.5% between January and June, according to the latest data from the Association of Registrars, and everything points to maintain this positive trend until the end of the year due to the good tone ON residential demand, with next sales increased to 16%. This improvement is based on several factors, according to the BBVA Bank Research Group:

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What can an architect do for me? (Final Part)

We did look at the advantages of engaging an architect when you want to build or renovate a property in Spain and also how you can obtain value for money.

Also and on how an architect can inject imagination into your project and provide peace of mind by dealing with all the necessary paperwork specially in a bureaucratic country such as Spain.

 

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Why should we protect coastal sand dunes? (Part 1)

Without dunes beaches will disappear. It is as simple as that.

 

In Spain the sand dunes have been mistreated during a long time, nevertheless now the Spanish authorities have realized of their importance and are trying to do something to improve them.

 

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What is the minimum, legal size for a dwelling in Spain? (Final Part)

On my last article I did explained the different regulations which emanated from the many Spanish regional communities on the minimum standards accepted for a minimum size house and how we still use in some regions a law from 1944 such as the Murcia region.

 

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The impact of a swimming pool in your home.

Did you know that a pool may double the selling price of a home in Spain?

 

Reading through various websites I was struck by a remarkable fact; a simple pool can double the price of a home in Spain.

 

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Ways to prevent a break-in while on holiday. (Part 1)

Apart from what is lost and the damage caused, personal feelings also come into play. To find out that total strangers may have been in your home going through your personal belongings may leave a strange sense of vulnerability and helplessness and of course the incident will spoil your well deserved holiday in Spain.

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Ways to prevent a break-in while on holiday. (Final Part)

On my last article we were looking at the different ways of protecting your property not only your holiday home but also your home back in UK while on vacation.

 

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Amigos for ever?

Because I am a member of the British Institute of British architects (RIBA) …brag, brag, I receive a free copy of its monthly the RIBA magazine.

 

In this monthly copy there is an article which distraught me a lot so I wanted to share it with you. It is about the consequences of providing free professional advice to a friend just to show that we architects must always be on our guard.

 

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Can you put a value on your house?

Easy.

 

Consult similar offer in internet portals, analyse the profile of the potential buyer and assess the general state of the property. These are the key elements to put the right price on your home. 

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The Spanish Cadastral Office is catching up on you.

The Spanish Cadastral Office is scanning the whole of the Coast looking for new builds, renovations or changes of use of buildings that were previously invisible to them. 

 

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All you should know about video surveillance in communities of owners. (Final part)

It is legal to place video surveillance cameras in a workplace?

Article 20 of the Spanish Workers' Statute empowers the employer to take "any action it deems most appropriate to watch and monitor or verify compliance by the worker of their obligations and work duties

 

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Spain is the EU country where most people live in apartments.

Eurostat spends a good amount of money in producing statistics about almost any activity within the EC and offers very valuable information about the construction industry. This time it has produced an array of figures about where the European likes to live.

 

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Be among the first to pay less property tax this year.

You may pay less property tax this year 

 

Local councils offer discounts from January 2016 of up to 20% in the IBI of homes and offices that use less energy. That is the news.

 

The Ministry of Finance has devised an energy reduction law on Property Tax (IBI) which offers discounts of up to 20% for households (and offices) more efficient on energy saving. 

 

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If you are going to buy a home in Spain….

Buying a home in Spain

Buying a home can be one of the most important economic decisions in our lives. An investment that will require more or less effort according to the type of house, location, status and the savings that we already dispose of. In any case, given the importance of the operation, we should remember a few things to consider before signing the loan and even if we are already mortgaged.

  

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Sima Otoño 2015. El salón inmobiliario español por antonomasia.

El gran salón inmobiliario tiene lugar del 23 al 25 de Octubre. El próximo año 2016 (a la vuelta de la esquina) se llevará a cabo del 5 al 8 de mayo, que como todo el mundo sabe se llama el SimaExpo y normalmente tiene lugar en Madrid.

 

En este artículo voy a tratar de analizar las estadísticas que comienzan a emanar estos días de la feria, para ver si nos va a dar una idea de tendencias generales en el tipo de viviendas, público tipo que compra, etc.

 

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The ideal Home Show in Spain.

There is an Ideal Home Show in Spain too (or similar) which takes place from 23rd to 25th of October. Next year 2016 (just around the corner) will take place from the 5th to the 8th of May which it is called the SimaExpo and normally takes place in Madrid.

 

In this article I will try to analyse the statistics which are beginning to emanate these days from the show, to see if it will give us some insight as to the general tendencies on type of dwellings, public etc.

 

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The ideal home for the Brits.

Following my last article I have immersed myself in this study by RE / MAX Europe to fish out some more valuable info and this below is what I have found.

 

It must have a garden and a pool; with a large dressing room; with garage for at least three vehicles; with home cinema; heliport ... as it is mentioned in a traditional Spanish lottery advertising campaign "We do not have cheap dreams" or maybe yes? 

 

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How much does it cost you to keep your empty property in Spain? (Part 1)

Let me apologies first for bringing up this impertinent issue. I know this is not the appropriate time to ask this socially incorrect question.

 

But if you include taxes, services supplies and insurance, the bills could soar up to over 2,000 Euros a year for a house of 80 square meters. But if you include taxes, services supplies and insurance, the bills could soar up to over 2,000 Euros a year for a house of 80 square meters.


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How much does it cost you to keep your empty property in Spain? (Final Part)

Well, to continue with this rather thorny issue from last article where we were doing an estimation of expenses attach to an empty property in Spain could be alarming if you have never rolled up you sleeves and got down to do a few sums.


In our last article we mentioned taxes and other fixed expenses, this week we can take a look at the community of owners' expenses and other domestic payments.

 

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Prefabricated houses: advantages and disadvantages (Part 1)

Nowadays there are many firms with glossy catalogues on prefab houses boasting that once they are bought they are ready to move in and prices are more affordable than those of a conventional home. How true are these statements?

 

Nowadays there are many firms with glossy catalogues on prefab houses boasting that once they are bought they are ready to move in and prices are more affordable than those of a conventional home. How true are these statements?


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New law on solar panels cells, how does it affect us? (Part 1) 

What the new decree says on electric energy consumption. 

This new law reduces the chances of consumers at home to produce their own electricity from a renewable sources. The Government has finally approved the decree law regulating the consumption of electricity in Spain. Any consumer who wants to produce their own electricity at home with a solar panel must be aware of it. Several specialists have confirmed what they had forecast and pointed exactly to the stagnation of the renewable energy sector in this country. 

 

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Five tips to reduce your mortgage.

The reduction of the price of money is creating more and better opportunities for a mortgage is to be signed today, or if we want to improve the existing conditions of an existing one. In this regard, banks are launching new offers with lower interests, meaning reductions in monthly instalments. But there are other ways to pay less for a home loan: a closer relationship with the bank and to opt for loans for properties sold by banks can add extra advantages to tip the balance your way. Here are some of the tips which may help you to lower mortgage costs.

 

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Money returns to Spain .... again? (Part 1)

 

Yes it has happened again, British property developers are beginning to ask architects for brand new developments.

 

Well that should be the usual procedure one might have thought. Well, not really, for nearly eight years I have not heard of any new developments on the Coast been sought after by property developers.  


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Carrying out a reform. Tips to avoid conflicts with the neighbours | Final part

Last week we were looking at the different building works that any owner or tenant could carry out within a block of flats or urbanization.


If we understand that there is no "universal rule", other than the legal framework that must follow the by laws of each city hall. However, when the property is within a housing condominium, blocks of flat or any other urbanization governed by the "Horizontal Law" and the internal bylaws should also respected.


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Economy trend on Construction

Most reader may know about the College of Architects in Spain but few may know about the Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE).

 

The CSCAE is the organization that brings together and represents all the architects of Spain since its founding in 1931.

 

Well, there is a similar body in Europe called the Architects' Council of Europe; again a body that represents all European architects and this body.

 

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How to get an additional discount when purchasing a home | Final part

Last week we discussed ways in obtaining important reductions when buying a home in Spain.

 

While, we disclosed information whereby you may obtain a reduction of between 5% to 30% in the value of a house, if you have ready cash available; you have direct access to funding or if you are a subtle negotiator, this week we will rolled up our sleeves with items such as direct negotiations with the seller or ways of obtaining transcendental info from the local Cadastral Office.

 

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How to get an additional discount when purchasing a home in Spain | Part 1

The end of the tax incentives for the purchase of a property and the VAT increase from 4% to 10%, in 2013 has levied the acquisition of new properties and increased the difficulty of buying a dwelling.


However, in a Spanish saturated market with thousands of empty houses, the urgent need to sell by many owners (due to lack of liquidity or debts) makes it easier for the purchaser to negotiate if you cash is available or has direct access to funds.


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How to change the ownership of a house

We were having a drink together with the building workers as one of the property that we had designed and managed was finally completed and ready to be handed over.

 

The client, a young vivacious business Expat spitted out after the first glass of wine if I knew how much it will cost to add a new co-owner to the house deeds. Apparently he just met the love of his life (three month ago) and wanted to incorporate this person as co-owner of the property.

 

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Relationship between height and price of property

A first floor gets dirty is and can be very noisy and a sixth floor?

 

What will happen if the lift breaks down...it is painfully hard to climb eight storeys, especially for older people, or young couples with children or when loaded with the weekly shopping. Obviously is not the same living on the ground floor or in eighth floor, having a private courtyard or having to live with the noise from the lift machine room on the top floor of a building.

 

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How much does it cost to build a house in Spain | Final part

To proceed with last week article on the costs of materials and labour involve in building a house in Spain, this week we will provide a break down of all prices entailed  in that activity.

 

Let me say however that the prices made available here will varied depending on the need and personal circumstances of the suppliers and contractor employed, so please view these prices as a guide only and not as an exact bill of quantities.

 

I have to say however, that I have performed a complete measurement of all items required to build a typical house as described below, so although it is intended to be used as a guide the work has been done professionally and accurately.

 

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How much does it cost to build a house in Spain | Part 1

I have been asked this question pretty often and apart from answering (discourteously, I must say) with another question such as how long is a piece of string? This week we will try to provide a reasonable accurate answer to this question by analysing the cost of construction of a typical house.


The reason I decided to write this week’s article on this subject is because it has come to my attention the report published by the world wide consultancy EC Harris.


According to them, to construct a building from design stage to the finished building, including site acquisition, materials and labour, is in Spain 40% cheaper than in most EC countries, as recently released by the property consultancy EC Harris.


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The ins and outs of the ten years guarantee for buildings

We are aware of the disproportionate growth in building construction in Spain during the 1980’s and 90’s which led to a notable decline in the quality of the buildings and proportionally a decline in the protection of buyers.


For this reason, “La ley de Ordenación de la Edificación” (LOE from now on) Law 38/1999 of November 5th , 1999  that came into force on May 6th , 2000, had a great repercussion on the Spanish construction industry.


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How to make a claim on housing construction faults | Final part

Once a home is purchased, defects may appear when least expected. If they are slight defects perceived at the time of possession, it is advisable to inform the property developer or the builder immediately and in writing.

 

The duties and responsibilities of persons or companies involved in the construction of a property are regulated by the Ley de Ordenación de la Edifcación (LOE) Building Management Law in Spanish, This law, which came into force on 6th of May of 2000, protects the interests of home buyers in a very direct and determinant way.

  

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How to make a claim on housing construction faults | Part 2

 We were looking last week at different aspects of how to make a claim when you have discovered that your dream house may have some faults which have not shown previously in the final construction inspection.

 

Let me add incidentally that it is quite normal to find that the water pipes might have been correct at the final site inspection but after a few weeks of use is now leaking under the sink, or that a new crack has appear above the entrance door lintel for example.

  

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How to make a claim on housing construction faults | Part 1

The dream of home ownership in Spain could be of a fragile nature. Your dream may burst up right in front of your face with a simple humidity stain, a crack in the wall or may just fill you with uncertainty if a door does not shut properly. The thought of structural fault or workmanship of a building could collapse all illusions you had on your property, especially when the house is brand new.


Always in writing!!


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Common areas in buildings: The centre of discord

Zonas comunes de edificios

 I suppose that for an expat who just bought a nice apartment near the beach may be astonish to find out that a community owner may entail some thorny business. Ignorance of the rules and regulations governing these areas can cause frequent disputes.


He or she may come home one day to find that someone has installed clotheslines right in the middle of the very nice internal patio. The communal roofs have been converted into private terraces, gardens transformed into football pitches etc.


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Can I split my house in two?

This question is normally brought up by my clients. Well, circumstances do change from one day to the next. It could be an irreconcilable breakage of marriage, teenagers leaving the bird's nest, bereavement of family members or simply the need to make an additional income.

 

Is it advisable to split a dwelling?

The purpose of dividing a house or apartment can be varied, but the owner's decision must always weigh the costs and construction management that will need to be faced, and the time that the work and all paper work will take.

 

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Quick guid on how to buy a property

I don`t know you, but when I first bought my flat I was immersed into a sea of paper work, fees and administration problems which I didn´t expect.

 

I thought it would be handy to design a quick little guide to buy a property which you can keep in your pocket and every now and then you can take a quick look so that you don't lose track of what you are suppose to be doing through the process.

 

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Buy or rent? The five question test

After last week euphoric article, where I almost incited you to buy a property based on the uninterrupted increases in property prices I think that this week I will try my best to be more poised and equanimous... informatively speaking of course.

 

Spaniards has always been prone to buying housing. There is a firm believe that rent means little less than "throwing money" away. In general, it is thought that owning a home provides security and stability to a family, but with the advent of this (past)? crisis this statement may no longer be true. This may explain why many families today contemplate renting a home as an alternative to applying for a mortgage.

 

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Buy your property now or wait?

The one million dollar question I suppose it will be: Shall I buy my property now or wait. Well, according to the Bankinter group, the price adjustment is over and 2015 will be the year of price stabilization prior to the rally and the return of new developments.

 

Next year the demand for housing will exceed the figure of 400,000 homes and prices will raise an average of 4% in selective locations. During the 2015 the prices will finally more expensive by 2%. This is the analysis from Bankinter in its semi-annual housing market.

 

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Money returns to Spain... again? | Part 1

Yes it has happened again, British property developers are beginning to ask architects for brand new developments.


Well that should be the usual procedure one might have thought. Well, not really, for nearly eight years I have not heard of any new developments on the Coast been sought after by property developers. 

It seems that money returns to Spain...again.


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How to buy a property in Spain if you earn less than 1000 € | Part 1

 

Nearly half of Spanish workforce have a salary of around 1,000 Euros, after tax and Social Security deductions, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) provided by the last Wage Structure Survey.

 

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How to buy a property in Spain if you earn less than 1000 € | Final Part

Last week we did explain that nearly half of Spanish workforce have a salary of around 1,000 Euros, after tax and Social Security deductions, according to data released by the National Statistics Institute (INE) provided by the last Wage Structure Survey.

 

We also drew a parallel with the number of expats pensioners and part time employees that also may be getting similar incomes and for whatever circumstances they may wish to buy a property here in Spain.

  

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Carrying out a reform. Tips to avoid conflicts with the neighbours | Part 1

As an architect I am very often the target of angry adjacent neighbours of any of my rehabilitation jobs regarding noise, dust and dirt from our building works and sometime we are threaten as to the legality of the works being carried out.


My first suggestion on what to do when confronted with an angry neighbour will be: be polite, do not lose your temper even if you are shouted at, insulted or offended. Obviously if you feel that the angry neighbour transgresses the line of civic behaviour firmly state that you will not talk in such conditions and suggest a different time to discuss matter. I normally leave my business card and leave.


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