Well Its been a while since my last post and a lot has happened since then: –
- We visited Madrid with Niall
- We saw a number of properties and fell for one ‘Off Grid’
- We returned to England for 2 weeks
- We started Spanish lessons
Of these I will deal with Madrid and our England visit in separate posts.
So where are we now in our Español adventure? Its now November and the weather is turning chilly (20C during the night!) but our rental cave is keeping us fairly warm.
In relation to property hunting its been a bit of a roller-coaster. Since our initial offer on cave one fell through and we were beaten to cave two we have seen around a further 15 caves/houses. Of these we fell in love with a property near the town of Caniles, about 30 miles south of were we are now. The property was an old cave which required some work to suit us but came with 2.5 hectares (around 7 acres) of land planted with olives, fruit trees and Esparto (Mediterranean grass) which was ideal for our plans of a small-holding. It was not connected to the electricity grid or water supply, instead relying on a generator and well. Our plans were to install solar power and a wind turbine to become as self sufficient as possible – our dream! After putting in a reasonable offer we awaited the results and unfortunately on returning from England we were told that there was a problem. On consulting their accountant the Spanish owners realised that they would need to pay 30% Capital Gains Tax on 90% of the price and therefore wanted to raise the price by €30,000! With the costs of putting in solar and renovation costs, this put it out of our price. Another one bites the dust!
So far: –
- Cave one – undervalued according to council requiring additional €10,000
- Cave two – beaten to offer by 2 days
- Cave three – owners unaware of their tax obligation therefore price raised by €30,000
But we are not disillusioned – well not much.
We now have another cave we are interested in but the English owners are away so just awaiting their return – less land but usable, Solar power but needs improving, isolated but not remote (10 minutes from Castillejar) and a second cave project!
In other matters we have started free Spanish classes twice a week in Castillejar, its hard but fun and Suzi is doing really well. I, whilst not doing as well, am on a par with some English that have been here three years. Our teacher, Inma, is lovely but strict.
Suzi has restarted her business and opened a Postal Box in Baza for deliveries from around the world.
Our friend Brian is returning to the UK for good due to family issues, although he is keeping his cave and will visit. This has resulted in us buying one of his cars – an old Peugeot 206, and inheriting one of his dogs – Archie, who looks like Scooby Doo. We are in the process of building up a friendship between Ken and Archie, no mean feat!
There is now snow on the Sierra Nevada mountain range that we can see in the distance, and as the weather gets cooler and there is more rain, the nearer Sierra Baza range will also become snow-capped, hopefully for Christmas or Navidad in Español. Talking of which the shops are starting to get Christmas goods in! Christmas starts in Spain on 8th December and lasts until 7th January. Exciting! Suzi is planning a trip to the UK in December but I think I will stay here.