Descriptive Terms In Real Estate Ads – Even More Definitions

If you are buying or selling a Spanish property, the chances are good you struggle with the meaning of descriptive real estate terms. Here are explanations and definitions for more terms.

“Living Room” & “Family Room”

When a home has both a living room and a family room, we know which is which. It used to be that when an ad mentioned a family room, we could assume it also had a living room. Now some builders are building houses with something akin to the first use of “Great Room” above and calling it the “Family Room” on the floor plan. Thus houses and their terminology seem to be evolving. I suppose in the new builder speak we should just think of the room as an informal family living room.

“Patio” & “Terrace”

Both are outdoor living areas paved with something like slate or brick. A patio is level with the ground around it. A terrace has adjoining areas of ground which are higher, or lower, or perhaps both.


As with the above, a solarium is an outdoor living area. With most properties in Spain being flat roofed, the solarium normally refers to the upper most part of a property. For a villa it would be the roof and for an apartment you would be looking for a “penthouse” apartment to benefit from a solarium.

“Jack and Jill Bath”

A bathroom with two doors into it. It is frequently situated between two bedrooms with doors to each. Sometimes the doors are into a bedroom and into a hallway.

“Seafront” vs. “Sea View”

Seafront property actually has a common boundary with (frontage on) the water, but bear in mind Spanish Law is very strict on properties built within a certain distance of the sea (some may be illegal build so check with a suitably qualified Spanish lawyer if in doubt).  Sometimes the property line actually goes into the water (again check with a Spanish lawyer). Sea view just means sea can be seen from the property. Sometimes there is a beautiful view. Sometimes it means the sea can be seen from one upstairs window when the leaves are off the trees! Also, many times a new structure might block the view at some time in the future unless there is a protective covenant or something to prevent it. Many properties are sold in Spain with a “sea view” – and it is there, you just need binoculars to see it ! Be careful if buying “off plan” and have not visited the area !

If you can get the verbiage down, you’ll be way ahead in the real estate game. Look for future articles on this subject or visit our website to read more articles.