And then what?
As you could read in my previous post, we just BOUGHT A HOUSE IN SPAIN! Oh Em Gee! So we gathered a team, did the search, found an amazing place in Vilamarxant (Valencia, Spain), made an offer, reached an agreement, completed the paperwork and....... went home. That's right, holiday time was over and we had to head home. No idea how exactly settlement periods work in Spain. Yes, we agreed on a date for the final signing of the deed, but (as it turned out) that was 'open to interpretation' and a 'guide only'. Awesome for planning purposes and OCD control freaks like myself. Not. Plus, let's not forget we're still in the middle of the corona pandemic. We had already anticipated that perhaps we couldn't make it back to Valencia whenever we wanted and had arranged a power of attorney through our lawyer; he could sign the paperwork in our absence.
The idea was to return in the autumn holidays, sign papers, get the keys, and spend a week in bliss (and mess, as the house was bought with the whole kit and kaboodle, 4 decades worth of 'stuff' from the previous owners). Obviously we couldn't travel as our flights got cancelled. A good thing in hindsight as the paperwork wasn't done in time. Spanish bureaucracy is slow at best of times, add in corona and it's snail speed.
Good to go!
Early November we received the good news from our lawyer that everything was good to go, and if we could hop on a plane within the next few days to sign the deeds to the property. BUT HOW?? We decided hubby would go. He speaks fluent Spanish (all paperwork was in Spanish) and lots had to be arranged (the property is nearly off the grid, and electricity/gas/solar/wifi/pool etc is not that straight forward). We knew that the elderly vendors were very keen to meet us to explain all the ins and outs. Plus, we needed to arrange a caretaker for the 3000 sqm land to avoid returning to a jungle. So hubby booked a flight, and got mentally prepared for the quarantine period upon return. You must know, that in Vilamarxant there hardly is any corona (8 confirmed cases in the entire village of 30.000), plus the property itself is in the middle of nowhere with nothing but orchards and squirrels. The plane was empty, the airport sterile; if you ask me, hubby was much better off than the rest of the family, left behind in corona epicentre downtown Haarlem. But man, was I jealous! A dream come true and I can't bloody go!
Hubby has been a star. Arranged for the deeds, milked everyone for information, got lovely old Luis to explain everything there was to know, became friends in the process (paella waiting for the whole family upon our return), arranged for water (comes from a well, not town water), arrange for electricity (usually solar), learnt about the pool (well water without chemicals that you replace every few weeks, and then use to flood the orchard) and had meetings with gardeners. The land was in perfect shape, albeit a little overgrown. Obviously we have to maintain this good record. And we wanted to trim a few trees a little. The house overlooks the mountains of Sierra Calderona, obviously we want to be able to see the sun go down behind the mountains. So the huge olive trees would need a hair cut. I know right, I am chopping down olive trees. Sacrilege in The Netherlands, but so plentiful in Spain. We've got tons. Just like orange trees, lemon, grapefruit, pomegranate, figs, almonds, you name it. Hubby collected his entire first day breakfast from the garden. How cool is that?
Then about the house itself. When we went looking for houses our main priority was the setting. As you spend a lot of time outdoors. Of course, I do like a nice house... but you can make something decent out of lots of places. We saw many houses. And some were like concrete huts, some decent, some with little space, some with lots of space, invariably tiny kitchens and shitty bathrooms, most with cool tiles and Spanish features. Most of these country homes are used as weekenders, so not an awful lot of attention to modern comforts or any decor styling really.
This house was different. I fell in love the moment I saw it. It was pink, it had a limestone facade, and it had terraces, the views and a pool. And an orchard with lots of fruit trees. Plenty of storage, and outbuildings to convert in something cool. It was private, yet not completely abandoned. In the middle of nowhere, yet within walking distance to town. I loved it. Yes, it had quirky features. Decades of enjoyment of many generations of the same family left it with undoubtedly many memories and lots of junk. But the bones were great. This house was loved. The bones were great, the finishes of good quality. The kitchen was big, 4 bedrooms in the main house and 2 (!) bathrooms. It had stone feature walls and a wooden fire burner. I was sold. This was the place for us. Luckily hubby felt the same.
A quirky hotel
The previous owners rock. They left the place as if it was a hotel. Towels on the bed, linen in neat little piles, and cava in the fridge. How cute! I had totally planned for sifting through full cupboards of crap but they had (luckily) emptied them, except for the ones in the living and dining, that are full of curiosities (I can write an entire blog about those and maybe I will!). Check out the video for a tour of the inside of the house by our real estate agent David, made during the pre inspection the day before we got the keys, below. Pay special attention at the quirky stuff that made us laugh!
Hubby spent a few productive days up there but we haven't been there since. Obviously. And I cannot wait. In my mind I have decorated every single room already and built pergolas over the pool. Anyway, in our absence the gardener has started working on opening up the view for us, and maintaining the garden. A few trees have to go for safety reasons, and others just need a winter chop.
We can now see the over the tree tops from the pool deck. See the before and afters here:
And from the terrace across the house we can view the mountains again:
Needless to say I have tons of ideas. I just need to get there! Fingers crossed it can happen soon. I will take you along on the journey!