It was time to create our must have and would like cave house list. Our aim to buy a cave house and eventually move to Spain was slowly becoming a reality. The list would help us to decide what we ideally wanted to get for our money. Sitting down with pen and paper and of course a bottle of wine (how all great plans are conceived) we came up with what we both wanted and would ideally like from our new home in Spain.
Our must have and would like cave house list …
What we decided we must have:
1. Less than 60,000 euros (including any renovation costs).
Quite simply this was what we could afford. This excluded costs associated with purchasing a property for which we budgeted an extra 10,000 euros.
2. A Cave House.
It was more than the novelty value of living in a cave, there were far more practical reasons. Firstly we could get more for less, you’re not paying for bricks and mortar as a cave comes with its own walls and ceilings – this means they tend to be less expensive than town homes, cojitos etc. Secondly, caves regulate the temperatures better (so we have been led to believe), they are meant to maintain a year round temperature of about 18 degrees. This means that they stay cool in the hot summers (no aircon and associated costs needed) and stay reasonably warm in the colder winters (fire/wood burning stove needed, but no need for central heating and associated costs).
3. Ready to move into or with minimal work needed.
We wanted to use it almost straight the way as a holiday home for both us and our family and friends. We also hoped that it could be rented out as a holiday let and thus generate enough income to cover its operating costs. We didn’t really want to be trying to coordinate with builders etc whilst out of the country and probably in another language.
4. Minimum of two bedrooms.
Pretty straightforward – we wanted family and friends to be able to visit and stay with us.
5. Enclosed area for dogs.
Whilst we planned to walk the dogs daily, they still needed somewhere to chill, wander and do their daily business. A balcony only or parking only property would not suffice.
6. Rural and Semi detached/Detached.
Not only were we looking for a rural area but we wanted a degree of privacy. We didn’t want complete isolation, a few neighbours would be nice but we certainly didn’t want to be surrounded by other homes.
7. Not an Expat Community.
What we didn’t want was to be in an Expat community or dominated area, whilst we hoped to meet up with our fellow countrymen, what we really wanted was to embrace Spain, her language and all she had to offer, not drink in an Expat bar and eat English food.
This really meant that we didn’t want to buy a blank canvas. The idea appealed in the future once we were settled, but if felt too much of a hurdle whilst we continued to work and live outside of Spain.
9. Connected Utilities.
We simply wanted o avoid reconnection costs or more expensive still having to have utilities connected to the property. Too much hassle and cost.
10. Internet Availability.
Now we are old enough to have lived quite successfully before the Internet but that didn’t mean we wanted to go back to that time. It’s amazing how much we take it for granted and were aware that there were some areas were internet connections were not available meaning you needed a more expensive satellite internet option.
11. Within an hour of an airport with cheap flights to/from the UK.
We wanted family and friends to be able to get too us easily and inexpensively and eventually for us to be able to afford to travel to the UK.
What we decided we would like:
1. Three or more bedrooms.
Some of our friends have children and more than 2 bedrooms would make life much simpler should they choose to visit.
2. Be able to walk/cycle to amenities.
To save time and money as well as reduce our environmental impact by not having to jump in a car every time we needed another bottle of Rioja !
Both for the dogs and to allow us to become more self-sufficient. We liked the idea of growing some of our own vegetables and having some chickens.
4. A separate annex/cave.
It’s lovely to see family and friends, but no matter how much they mean to you, they have an impact on your daily routine. What could be better than having them stay but not have to queue to go to the bathroom and even to be able to walk around naked ? A separate self-contained property would also allow for rental opportunities without having to have people in your main home when you were absent.
5. A Terrace.
Live in Spain without a terrace to allow you to eat outside and enjoy the weather ! Who wouldn’t want one ?
6. Partial/Fully Furnished.
This would keep our initial costs down and allow us to replace furniture at a more leisurely pace.
7. South Facing.
Various websites told us to get a south-facing property, however the more we chatted on forums and researched the less important it seemed to be.
8. Wood Burning Stoves.
More efficient and so cheaper than open fires. We would certainly need one or the other to heat a cave during the winter months.
9. Solar Power.
As with our hope of having some land, it was all about reducing our impact on the environment, making us less reliant as well as saving us money.
OK, I know they are not expensive but if one was there then so much the better.
With our must have and would like cave house list completed, we now had a clearer idea of what we wanted and it would certainly help us to shortlist properties for eventual viewing.
So … Who are one foot in the cave ?
We (Danny and Josie) have spent the last 10 years living and working in the Caribbean. In 2015 we decided we wanted to move closer to family and friends so bought a cave house in the Granada region of Andalucia, Spain. We moved there full time in January 2017. Now we write about our experiences of cave living and how we are adapting to life in Spain.
We also have a Facebook page full of pictures, experiences and information that we have found useful along the way. If its your thing, you can also follow us on Instagram 🙂
5 words related to this blog entry …
A List – Una Lista
A Pen and Paper – Un Boligrafo y Papel
To Renovate – Renovar
A Bedroom – Un Dormitorio
Family – La Familia