What should I buy: penthouse or ground floor?

01 April 2020

By Martha L.
Director of Alanda Properties
1st of April 2020


Today April’s fool, I decided to write a brief post on the major differences between buying a ground floor and a penthouse in Spain.

Unlike in the United Kingdom, in Spain penthouses are considered the superior choice, the more expensive and prestigious option.

Penthouses have the following seven advantages over ground floors in Spain:

  • Security. Ground floor properties are easier to break in. Penthouses on the other hand tend to be more secure, safeguarded. Additionally, a little known fact is that Spain’s Criminal Code severely punishes thieves when they climb to steal. Those iron railings you see in the windows of ground floors are there for good reason, it is not just decoration.
  • Peace & silence. In a penthouse you don’t get to hear your upstairs neighbour walking all day long, let alone if they wear high heels. This is a major problem in older properties, especially with wooden floorings. The acoustic contamination of lower floors is significantly more acute than if you live in a quieter penthouse where you remain largely oblivious to street noises. And let us not talk about lifts. A ground floor will be permanently hearing the lift being called up and down all day long, whereas a penthouse won’t, because it is only used by the penthouse owner.
  • Accessibility. Unlike in the United Kingdom, almost every building in Spain has lifts. Moreover, in modern buildings, penthouse owners normally have a special key for the lift which grants them exclusive access to the penthouse.
  • Privacy. Whereas in the UK, ground floors tend to have their own private gardens, secluded by hedges, this does not apply in Spain. Anyone can have access your garden, encroaching on you. Moreover, in some gated communities, your green garden is in fact legally labelled as a communal area; meaning any neighbour has the right to come in! This means you cannot erect wooden fences or seal off your garden, because it is not really yours, and it is not really private, it belongs to the community of owners.
  • Sunshine and brightness. Ground floors normally have little to no sunshine exposure, being normally dark. Penthouses bask in sunlight almost all day long.
  • No mould growths. Ground floors in gated communities tend to be dank, as the water from top floor balconies trickles down on them, creating nasty humidity patches and mould growths which require continuous repainting of walls. Penthouses on the other hand, tend to be warmer as heat rises naturally and they are always blessed with more sunlight hours, especially if south-orientated.
  • Commanding views. Last but not least, is the obvious fact that penthouses have commanding views of its surroundings, whereas ground floors are entrenched, dark and normally lack any views.

For all the above reasons, buying a penthouse is the better option if you can afford it; at least in Spain.


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