Buying a house in the Costa del Sol: What is a Finca?

If you're buying a house in the Costa del Sol you might need to know what a Finca is. The Spanish name “Finca” applies to a certain type of real estate in a rural area, which is dedicated to agricultural production. These Fincas are usually located on a large piece of farming land with a manor house in the centre and surrounding sheds or stables.

The name Finca is common in Spain and some Latin American countries. One of the main characteristics of the Finca is that it is clearly delineated land to establish the ownership of a person or a group of people. If the Finca is very old, it may or may not officially appear in the titles of property.

Although Fincas were originally established for the production of agricultural or livestock elements (in which case they ofen contain large plots of land), many of these farms or ranches are simply recreational spaces and are used as vacation or weekend properties for people who live permanently in the city, and who seek the tranquillity of the rural environment from time to time. These farms usually dedicate much more space to the habitable constructions such as barns and equipment sheds and more modern Fincas can also have swimming pools, sports courts, etc. Quite often a traditional Finca may have been converted into an upmarket family property purely for recreational purposes.

Fincas are found not only on the Costa del Sol and throughout the Spanish mainland, but are also popular on the Balearics and the Canary Islands.

In the English language, a “Finca” has (especially within tourism) recently taken the meaning of a vacation home in the country. Although generically translated as “farm”, Finca can refer to both a large, luxurious country estate as well as a small rural property, both of which are often sought after by foreign buyers.

Why do people buy a “Finca”?

There are many reasons why Spanish and foreign buyers decide to buy a Finca. A Finca offers peace and quiet and a reprieve from the hustle and bustle along the coastal and city areas of Spain. People who like animals often prefer a Finca in order to have the space and the freedom to keep pets. Other people enjoy growing their own fruit and vegetables.

When considering whether to buy a Finca near the Costa del Sol, you may be someone who wants the best of both worlds: the energetic life of the city or coast when you feel like it and alternatively the quiet rustic peace away from it all in your own home comfort.

What to look out for when buying a Finca?

Since most Fincas are located off the busy areas, they are not well connected in terms of public transport. Owning a car to get around is therefore advisable.

Some of these rural properties are not connected to the city's main water or electricity supplies. Most of them do have their own well, but if you want to buy a Finca, you should make local enquiries about the domestic supply of water, electricity and telephone connection.

For any building that is already on the land, permission is usually granted to renovate it or build a new one in its place. On farm land with no buildings there may be restrictions on building, depending on how the local council has zoned it.

Fincas have been built since long before building restrictions and rules were created, and may therefore not have proper documentation. When looking into buying a Finca, you should ask for the official registration documents.

Why do people buy on the Costa del Sol?

The Costa del Sol combines sun, sea and scenery with beautiful mountains, lakes and rivers. While the holiday regions can sometimes be overcrowded with tourists (especially in summer), just off the coast you can find many areas with picturesque villages and towns. The Costa del Sol offers a variety of lifestyles like no other region in Europe.

If you are looking fro a Finca / Farm or rural property in the Costa del Sol, then talk to us about your needs, we have over 25 years of experience in the area and can help you make the right decisions when buying property in the Costa del Sol.