One of the questions we are asked most often by people looking to buy a Valencia Property is what sort of running costs are there? Of course, many costs depend on the property and its location; is it a flat or house, big or small and which town is it in? Others depend on your usage: do the kids ever turn the lights off, does the house require a lot of heating etc? Therefore today’s post won’t give you the definitive answers but it should give you an idea of what it will cost to run a Valencia Property. Just one thing though, many of these costs are not yours if the property is rented out.
The main cost which belongs to the owner of the property every year whether the property is rented out or not is the local council tax. Known as the IBI (Impuesto de Bienes Inmobiliarios) it varies according to size, location, benefits (Historical buildings have a discounted IBI) and if the rubbish collection is included or separate (Most towns have separate bills for rubbish collection but some still put the two together)
An apartment in Valencia may have an IBI as low as 100 Euros per year. A house in Serra on the Portacoeli estate or La Eliana may have an IBI of between 1000-2000 Euros per year depending on plot size but generally an IBI for a house on a standard plot of land will be between 400-700 Euros. In the city IBIs are generally around 300-500 Euros per year.
The largest single monthly cost is usually the electricity bill. Electric costs in Spain are comparatively high and renewable usage is low. The electricity bill varies from the start even if the flat is empty because a large part of the cost is the payment for the potential you contract. The higher the potential the higher the cost. Therefore when you buy a flat in Valencia you often find that the previous owner has a small potential contracted, especially if the property was empty before. This means that when you plug things in and start using them the electric goes off as there is not enough potential for all of your modern appliances.
A typical bill for an apartment in Valencia will be between 40-60 Euros per month. Higher usage during the summer for air conditioning for example or winter for heating might take it closer to 80 euros per month. try not to use Air Conditioning for heating as it is invariably the most expensive method. In a house there is more space to heat or cool and usually more appliances. Costs are more likely to be around the 60-80 Euros per month mark with hotter or colder months around the 100 Euros per month.
Newer properties have the obligation to have solar water heaters on the roof so you don’t have to pay for water heating which is useful. This can save quite a bit of money every month.
Gas or Oil
If your property has central heating then it is likely to be gas central heating in apartments and oil or gas in houses. Clients who have bought houses with oil based central heating report costs of around 700-900 Euros per year for oil costs. The deposit tank is usually in the garage or an outhouse along with the boiler.
Gas central heating tends to be cheaper as gas prices are quite reasonable in Spain. Many apartments just use gas for water heating and cooking and prices tend to be around the 25-35 Euros per month range. If you add in heating then this may rise to 50-70 Euros per month in the winter.
You may find though that in houses you are not connected up to the mains for gas and you use bottles. Bottles are around 14 Euros each at the moment and for cooking and water heating will last a few weeks each. You can pick them up at Petrol Stations or gas bottle deposits or have them delivered to your home. The larger bottles often used in central heating systems are priced around 62 Euros each at the moment. You usually have four of them in a heating system and they last a few months.
You would have thought that in a relatively dry country like Spain, or at least the southern half of Spain, then water costs would be high. This is not the case. Water costs are typically 20-30 Euros per month for an apartment. Prices are higher if you have a house and garden but most houses have two types of water supply. Firstly, they have the drinkable water supply and then there is the agricultural water for the garden and usually the pool. Agricultural water costs are really cheap. You can generally fill a pool for around 20-50 Euros depending on the size of it and the company that supplies it.
If you are in an apartment then you contribute to the community fund to run and upkeep the building. Even when you rent out this is usually the cost of the property owner unless otherwise agreed. If the building has a lift then the community costs can range from 30-50 Euros per month but usually around 30. Without a lift the community costs tend to be around 10-20 Euros per month. You will usually pay this quarterly by direct debit.
Houses don’t tend to have community fees but sometimes if they are on an estate with facilities or in a complex with shared pool or maybe tennis or padel court then you will pay a community fee. On one of our favourite estates, Portacoeli in Serra, the community fee pays not only for the facilities but also the 24 hour security and water rates.
Pool and Garden
If you have a house then it is likely to have a garden and pool. If you are no expert on gardens and pools you may want to get someone to look after it. Remember if renting out your tenants may not have the expertise to look after the garden and pool so it makes sense to have a gardener to look after it. Depending on the size of your garden and pool and the system used to keep the pool clean you might have to pay anything between 100-200 Euros per month. Renting out houses often includes a clause that the tenant is responsible for the upkeep of the garden and pool.
If you feel the need for an alarm system then you can contract one from as little as 20 Euros per month with the top systems costing between 30-50 Euros per month. Companies such as Securitas Direct supply systems requiring a safe word through a speaker/microphone system and they will inform the local police of any disturbance.
The most important of all of the costs these days perhaps. Internet is usually high speed and cable in the city with speeds up to 500mb/s. The costs vary as operators give opening offers with a year’s contract from as little as 19,90 Euros per month. Ongoing prices range from 30-40 Euros per month. Most of these packages will include a mobile phone or even two in the cost with free national calls, messaging and 5-10gb of data.
Outside the city speeds differ but most of the towns and villages around the city have cable now giving similar speeds to those in the city itself. On the estates many are now covered by Wimax systems such as those from Svint allowing download speeds of up to 20mb and uploads to 5mb. Prices of this service range from 18-44 Euros per month.
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