The actual size of a property

In Spain, knowing the actual size of a property, apartment or house, is often an obstacle course. Foreign buyers are often lost between the feeling of observed square meters, real or useful, and the surface advertised by the seller or agency.

Differences between the built area and the usable area.

It is important to know the difference between these two concepts. The usable area (m2 usable): corresponds to the entire surface on which we can put our feet. Closed enclosures are included in this area, but are excluded from partitions or columns. If you don’t have an apartment plan or public writing document, it will be difficult to know accurately and it will be helpful to call an architect or measure it accurately. avoid unpleasant surprises
The constructed area (m2 built) includes all the square meters that are located on the perimeter of the house. With this in mind, we will count half the walls if they are shared with a neighbor, partitions, galleries, ventilation ducts, etc.

The great subtlety in Spain lies in the common elements.

We’re talking about area built with common elements. This measure is commonly used in advertising on real estate portals by most vendors and agencies. It is also used by experts sorted by banks (appraisers). It is also the one used by the cadastre. Therefore, it is easily verifiable. It is very different from the useful area as it also includes corridors and communal areas. Each house has a coefficient of participation in these common elements that appears in the cadastre and the public deed and that, in addition to the built area, constitutes the area built with common elements. The cadastre mentions this area but details it in two lines: housing area and common elements.

The puzzle of terraces and patios.

Most complaints from buyers and sellers are about how to measure patios and terraces. The most consistent thing on the seller’s side is to distinguish the surface of the house and the surface of the terrace or patio. According to the cadastre, covered terraces or balconies must be counted for half of your area. For example, a terrace of 20 square meters will be counted by 10 square meters. However, if the terrace is closed on 3 sides, the surface will be 100. This standard is used to calculate taxes and get record data, but it is confusing enough to explain the actual context of the apartment.