Tag Archives: house hunting

An evening drive

An evening drive

When we were house hunting, we had been ga-ga over a very remote house, but our low-ball offer was refused, and that is what led us to buy our current casa. Every day, as we are cooking in our kitchen, or enjoying the terraces, or waking up and looking out over the mountains in the distance, we say: “Aren’t you so glad we bought this one?” But today we decided to take a drive out to the other house, to look at it with different eyes. The eyes of owners of a wonderful spanish house, instead of the eyes of two crazy Americans who thought that buying a fixer-upper in the middle of no where would be a good idea.

We drove all the way out there and kept saying, “Oh my gosh, this is far from town!” The hamlet seemed sad and had just a few inhabited houses. The rest are vacant. Some were closed up and look like the owners haven’t been around in a while. There weren’t any people around. It was pretty quiet — not even barking dogs.

The countryside is beautiful out there, but seeing how kind of sad and dreary it was just confirmed that buying our reformed 300 year old casa on the edge of town was the best decision for us. After taking it all in, there wasn’t much to do, and Curt wasn’t feeling like walking among the houses, so we started to make our way out of the hamlet. We did pass by some grapes along the narrow road beside a house that had chained up gates, so I rolled down the window and let a few “fall in my lap.”

Grapes from Los Utreras

Grapes from Los Utreras

After this excursion, we went back to Albox and stopped at the Lidl. We wanted to go back to the beach before leaving Spain and were looking for an umbrella to shield us from the sun. It turns out that we hit the jackpot at this Lidl because not only did we find our beach umbrella, but also a shower rack that we had been looking for. Lidl is a grocery store, but in the center of the store they sell all sorts or random things like shoes, toasters, toys, etc. We picked up a few other food items while we were there. One thing I was so curious about was this melon. We had been seeing it in all the stores, but I had no idea what it would be like inside. It’s called Piel de Sapo, which means, literally, skin of toad. I guess the skin does really look like a toad’s skin!

Piel de Sapo melon

Piel de Sapo melon.
Similar to our Honeydew melon.


The Five Little Casas

The Five Little Casas

This first little casa was tooo bland…

Grandpa's house

…but it had awesome views of almond groves!


The second little casa was tooo small…

…but again this one had a great view!

…and a playful gatita…

…and another handsome gato!


This third little cave casa had an awkward layout…

… and standing up in the shower would be impossible!


The fourth little casa was what brought us to this area, but it needed work…

… and apparently more work…

…and yet again, we LOVED the views…

We did make a low-ball offer which the owner did not accept. So that little casa was not meant to be.


BUT the fifth little casa was big…

… and renovated…

and had amazing outside space!

This fifth casa seemed just right! Maybe our house hunt was over…



The Dream of the Vuelta

The Dream of the Vuelta

Travel back in time to June 2011…

La Vuelta

Seeing this cycling race in person has been a dream of my boyfriend’s.

I, on the other hand, didn’t even know it existed. I know about “the Tour” because honestly, who doesn’t? But this is what prompted him to ask me if I had ever considered looking at overseas properties in Spain. My father’s family is originally from Extremadura, which is in the western part of Spain (near Portugal) but other than knowing that bit of geography I was clueless.

A bit of internet property searching and I was right on board with the idea of Spain. I’m a native Floridian. Give me the heat – the hotter the better – so the obvious choice was Andalucia in the south of Spain, known for its 300 days a year of sunshine!

Luckily there were quite a few properties for sale, but we had a reasonable budget (not like those House Hunters International people who are buying vacation homes for half a mil!) and we had to seriously think about what kind of renovations we were willing to do, how much it would cost to furnish the place, and where EXACTLY we wanted to be.

We found a couple of interesting places and I managed to contact a real estate agent in Spain. All that was left to do was plan the trip over!!