Abogado: Lawyer. There is no distinction in Spain between barristers and solicitors.
A dos aguas: V-shaped roof, normally tiled
Apartamento: Modern flat with open plan living area
Atico: Penthouse or thereabouts
A estrenar: Brand new or thereabouts. Probably finished
A reformar: A wreck
Azotea transitable: Flat roof
Alto estándar de calidades: Acceptable to good fixtures and fittings
Armarios empotrados: Built in wardrobes
Arras: The contract you sign that commits you to buying a property. At this point you'd pay a 10% deposit. Use a currency broker like the ever-dependable Currencies Direct if you are transferring money to SSpain from a non-Euro country. It'll save you a lot of money.
Aval: Bank guarantee; Spanish banks sometimes ask younger buyers for a guarantor who will back up their mortgage loan.
Buenas comunicaciones: On a main road
Buen estado: Needs superficial work such as plastering, etc
Bungalow: One storey, detached holiday cottage on a complex in a tourist resort.
Cargas: Debts of unpaid taxes attached to a property rather than its owner. The notary will inform you of any cargas when you buy a property. A property free of charges is 'libre de cargas'.
Casa Rural: Rural house or farmhouse. Often run down and without electricity or water and with an angry goat
Casa de campo: Two goats in the garden
Chalet: Can be anything from a Swiss-style home to a hideous concrete monstrosity with no roof. Assume the latter until you see the photos
Certificado energético: Silly EU energy certificate that you must have to sell a property
Certificado energético en trámite: Owners hasn't paid for the silly EU energy certificate (yet)
Communidad: Monthly community costs for maintenance, insurance, etc
Communidad de propietarios: The community of owners of a residential building, complex or condominium
Cocina americana: Breakfast bar
Cocina office: Open plan kitchen
Con posibilidad de garaje: No parking space. Owner's cousin knows a fellow who might have one
Duplex: Two-storey terraced house, normally on a development
Exterior: Has windows that face the street
En construción: About to be started
Escritura: The property deeds
Escritura pública de compraventa: The title deeds that prove that you have bought a property
EURIBOR: The Euro Interbank Offered Rate used as the base interest rate for Spanish mortgages (before the bank adds its own percentage)
Exclusivas zonas comunes: Posh communal areas so very high community costs
Extension: Illegal extension
Finca: Farm or rural land
Gran potencial de alquiler: Might be rentable
IBI or Impuesto Sobre Bienes Inmuebles: Annual property tax leveled by the local authorities. Calculated as a percentage of the Cadastral value of the land your property sits on
Impuesto sobre el patrimonio: Capital gains tax
Interior: Interior flat with windows facing a patio.
Lista para entrar a vivir: Liveable in
Liciéncia de explotación turística or Vivienda Vacacional: Has a tourist rental license
Liciencia de obra: Building license
Local: Commercial property
Loft: Property on a high floor with more than one window
Luminoso: Bright. Used to describe all properties with more than one window
Muy céntrica: Right in the middle of town/the resort. Expect noise
Muchas alternativas: Bizarre layout
Muchas posibilidades: Has potential but the agent can't quite work out how
Notario: Where you go to sign on the dotted line when you buy or sell a property. The notary's job is to make sure everyone understands what is in the contract (and that it is legal).
Opportunidad/Ocasión: Cheap for a good reason
Parcialmente amueblada: Owner is leaving you his unwanted furniture
Patio interior: Interior patio with half-dried clothes fallen from above all over it. Noise funnel. Good way to meet the neighbours.
Plaza de garaje: Parking spot in the building
Primera linea: Frontline (can refer to the building rather than your apartment)
Promoción: New build or off-plan development. Almost certainly unfinished
Posibilidades: A wreck
Piso: Bog standard flat
Piscina: Swimming pool
Piscina comunal: Shared swimming pool
Piscina climatizada: Heated pool
Preinstalación: Wires sticking out of the wall where you could install AC or heating
Reducido: Price has been reduced (but was probably overpriced to start with)
Rustica: Remote and abandoned
Semisotano: Basement property with a window
Señorial: Stately and going to cost you a fortune to maintain.
Sin amueblar: Unfurnished
Sobre plano: Off plan (Spanish law is very strict about how these are sold and how your money is protected)
Solar: Plot of land
Salón-cocina: Open plan kitchen and living room
Solana: Flat patch of roof
Tranquilo: If rural; remote. If urban: The quietest property in a noisy area
Triplex: Three-storey terraced house, normally on a development
Tendedero: Washing line
Ultima unidad: Last and worst property left on a development
Vestíbulo: Dressing room or large walk-in wardrobe
Vistas al mar: you can see the sea
Vistas hácia el mar: You can almost see the sea
Vistas laterales al mar: You can see the sea by leaning out of the window and craning your neck.
Vivienda Vacacional: Property with a tourist rental license
WC: Inexplicably small bathroom
Zonas comunes bien cuidadas: High community fees
Zona exclusiva: Posh barrio
Zona residencial: Not for tourists
For more information on the Gran Canaria property market, please visit our property section (relax, we're not estate agents).