Buying an old property to reform, the latest trend!

November 8, 2020
property maintenance

Mallorca has long been not only a holiday destination but a place to invest in property. While many people look for a modern apartment with a management company where all their needs are catered for, there are many people who look for a passion project, a romantic house that needs a little TLC and can be renovated. The town of Sollér and the Island of Mallorca offer a rich architectural heritage which has been influenced over the years by a mix of French and Spanish styles. The main architectural styles are characterized by the Moorish influence in the Banys Arab baths or the modernism movement which is best characterized by the work of Joan Rubio y Bellver in Sollér. The architectural style on the island is fluid, it often borrows elements from more than one architectural style, be it Romanesque, baroque or a more neo classical element.

Type of Properties Available

When people think of renovating property on one of the Balearics Islands, they instantly drift towards the dream of purchasing a rundown Finca and slowly renovating it. Many of the native inhabitants still reside in traditional Finca. The traditional Finca style is revered by many across the globe, many of the worlds most celebrated architects hold the beautiful simplicity of this architectural approach in high regard. A Finca is in many ways connected to any other Finca by sharing some common characteristics all the while keeping a unique identity. A Finca is grounded by a main entrance hall and a south facing front door. More rooms are added to each of the Finca three sides to accommodate the needs of the builder of the Finca. The walls are thick and the windows small in order to keep out the heat. The Finca prides itself on being built out of locally sourced materials such as clay, and local rocks. The Finca unique style can be defined as prioritising the function of keeping out the heat over style but in many ways, it is a historic form of the modern minimalist movement. Many of the Finca are located in more out of the way areas which require having a car.

Alternatives to Fincas

For those looking for a lifestyle that allows them to reach everywhere by foot and be close to the ocean and an offer of excellent cafes and restaurants there are a choice of townhouses that can be found in many of the towns. Some of the most beautiful town houses can be found in the town of Sollér. The townhouses that can be found in the town of Sollér are heavily influenced by a French architectural style. The town of Sollér was at the heart and centre of the citrus boom in the 19th Century that made many Sollerics incredibly wealthy. The Sollerics who had visited the mainland and those French merchants who decided to settle in the town brought back Parisian architectural styles and architects to design opulent townhouses. The townhouses have a French baroque style characterised by a geometry and less elaborate decorative style in comparison to other European baroque styles.

Considerations when purchasing an old property

It can be incredibly rewarding buying an old property and restoring it to its former glory. There are a number of factors that contribute to a successful completion of a project like this. For those on a tighter budget it can often prove to be more affordable to buy and renovate an old property than it is to buy a plot of land and look for planning permission. Especially with the high demand for building land in Mallorca this may be a more manageable approach. When buying a property to renovate there will always be a certain degree of uncertainty as there will be some costs that can’t be accurately predicted. There will be some costs that cannot be established until the work of renovating the property has properly begun. One question that needs to be answered early on is if it is worth renovating the existing building or if it is worth it to demolish and rebuild the original building. Tearing down the building may not always be allowed so it is important to check the legislation in the town hall. It is recommended to have a professional look into any restrictions in the local area before singing the contracts to purchase. It is aloes important to know how the property or the land on which the property is situated is zoned. If the property you are interested in is in an Urban Zone you can make the assumption that it can be built on and have more scope to do as you wish. If the property is in a Rustic Area, it is highly likely that you will require a special license in order to complete the renovation work. There are two different types of licences that you will need to apply for which are dependent on the scale of the work you are trying to get done. The Obra Major license is a licence that is required for a new or very large restoration project while the Obra Menor is required for simple renovation work which is mostly cosmetic. If you need to apply for either of these licenses it is important to visit your local Town Hall.

One of the most important things to establish is to find out the structural integrity of the building as this will ultimately dictate whether or not you can get away with a simple remodel or if you need to tear it down and built it again. If the house is signed off by a structural engineer than you can carry out work that is purely aesthetic and decorative which will allow you to get the maximum value out of your property. There are 3 types of possible property surveys with the Buildings Survey being by far the most thorough and comprehensive. The survey may depend on the size of the property and conditions of the house in question take up to 1 day to complete. It includes a detailed breakdown of the condition of the property and the recommended work that needs to be completed. It is also incredibly important to have an audit carried out by an energy technician. He will be using his software be able to carry out an audit of the properties energy efficiency and be able to make tailor made recommendations on how to improve the energy rating of the property. This audit is then registered by the property owner at the Autonomous Community Administration Offices .

Why would you choose to renovate an old property?

A renovated property will ultimately have more character than a new build. It offers a distinct architectural style that is difficult to capture in a new build. The character of old stone walls, antique wooden beams and traditional shutters is difficult to recapture in a new build. If you are keen to leave a minimal impact and have sustainability in mind then renovating a property is ideal for you. It allows for the reuse and upcycling of certain materials. If you have carried out a survey then there will be no need for major hidden structural costs and in order to reduce any heating costs in the window, then triple glazed windows can be added. The Majority of Finca and houses in Mallorca are orientated to the south to obtain as much sunshine as possible. Depending on the vista and view from the house it may be decided to move the position of the windows to capture or frame more of the view. A land survey can provide more information on ideal positioning.

What draws people to Sollér?

For many Europeans the word Finca or the idea of a Finca époques a sea of positive emotions, they imagine a little house carved into the mountains, a view over the valley. They envisage a small house and plot surrounded by vineyards, orange and lemon trees and a little terrace. They envisage a lifestyle which includes peace and tranquillity in the valleys of the Island. Many of the original Finca in the valleys and in the mountains helped to shape the very history of the island. The orange and lemon trees in the valleys of Sollér are the agents of change which helped to catapult the Seaport town to the centre of the citrus trade in the 19th Century. The nature of the Finca are such that they can very easily be converted into being a luxury property due to their charm and picturesque view, but due to the wide range of Finca available it is still possible to find a Finca that is accessible for a wide range of budgets. Although all Finca share the same characteristics that bind them together, they are all unique, just as the dream each person has for the Finca they are looking to buy and renovate.

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