REAL ESTATE – MARBELLA – Which living space should be considered when buying a house in Spain?

REAL ESTATE – MARBELLA – Which living space should be considered when buying a house in Spain?

Which living space should be considered when buying a house?

Knowing the exact surface of a home is a key issue. Surely you have wondered more than once how the surface of a home is measured or why there is such a difference between useful and built meters.

As we know that it is a confusing topic, we wanted to prepare an article so that you can solve all the doubts that may arise.

Various types of surface

There are several types of surface and several ways to calculate them according to the applicable regulations in each case.

As for housing, it is important to know the surface of this, since it is necessary for its sale, rent, cadastre, reforms … In addition, it is also important to write reports or certificates, such as habitability and energy efficiency, valuations real estate or appraisals, appraisals, etc.

To obtain the surface, a “survey of a plane” must be carried out as faithful as possible to reality. That is, measure with appropriate tools (normally a tape measure and a laser meter will be sufficient) and record the measurements on a plane.

Once the survey is obtained, it is time to compute the surface obtained according to its use and the regulations.

There are basically two:

  • Useful surface: it is the one that measures the house without taking into account the walls and pillars and other non-expendable elements
  • Constructed area: that measured by the entire house, including all its perimeter walls. That is, everything that remains within the contour of a house.

It must be taken into account that there is no single regulation defining how these surfaces are computed. So it depends on your purpose:

Cadastral Purpose

Regarding cadastral data, the surface is always computed as built.

Constructed surface is understood as the surface included within the outer line of the perimeter walls or walls of a building, deducting the patios of lights and the like. In other words, the surface occupied by the walls, pillars, balconies, terraces, porches, etc. also counts, which are not taken into account in the useful surface.

We will never see the useful area in a cadastral file. This is a frequent mistake that I meet with clients, whether they are to process a certificate of habitability, an energy certificate, or when they go to buy or sell their property. They count as a useful area that appears in the cadastre (which is built) and then when I calculate the useful area, they are surprised because it is substantially less …

Another issue to take into account is that, in the cadastral file, the total built surface appears first, that is, the surface of the house plus the corresponding surface of the common areas of the building. Then at the bottom if it appears broken down.

To give an example, you can find a flat that, in the cadastre, has 100 m2 of constructed area. Then you look below in the breakdown and there are 85 m2 of housing and 15 m2 of common areas. Later, when you calculate the useful surface, it can go to 70 useful m2 perfectly. This is the surprise of the client when a priori he thinks that he has a house of 100 m2 and then you tell him that the useful surface, which will appear in the habitability certificate, is 30% lower, in this example case.

Then it must be taken into account that, if the house has a balcony or terrace, it is computed in the constructed area that the cadastre marks, either 50% or 100% depending on whether it is closed or not.

So, be careful with the area that you find in the cadastral file. Keep this in mind so you don’t have scares later.

Purpose Habitability

This is the case of the surface that is used in the certificate of habitability and the energy efficiency certificate.

For this purpose, the interior useful surface is taken into account, which, in short, is the surface comprising the perimeter defined by the internal face of the enclosures of each living space and provided that it has a free height greater than 1.90 m.

If you really want to know the useful surface, the one that you are really going to use while in the house, you have to look at the surface that appears on the occupancy certificate.

Therefore, the surface that you will usually and easily find is the built one. And since this is so, it is normal to see in the advertisements of the real estate portals that they use the built surface (sometimes without saying that it is built) because it is the most accessible, easy to obtain and, obviously, the largest.

As a trick, you can subtract between 10 and 20% from this built surface to obtain an approximation of the useful surface, before a technician can confirm it or you can remove it from the occupancy certificate.

But then, in practice, the one that interests you is the useful surface, since with it you will be able to know if the furniture fits or not.

If you have doubts, I always recommend that you discuss it with a specialized expert in the sector. As the ads say: if you have any doubts, ask your Personal Real Estate Agent 

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