So we finally to an offer on the house at the end of August, and I’m sitting here today waiting for the valuer to arrive – bit nervous as you always are when someone else is coming to inspect your home.
While we’ve been selling the house we haven’t been sitting on our laurels though. We have found a solicitor in Baza to use when we go out there – usually a minor and simple thing in the UK, but really important when looking to move to another country. They are a firm that specialise in rural properties in Andalucia and are bi-lingual. Yes, we’ve been learning Spanish since the start of the year, but as you get older these things take longer to learn, so although we’ve done pretty well, I don’t think we’re quite at the stage where we can do something as important as buying a house with our level of vocab! We’ve found the bank we want to open an account with, been in touch with several companies to look at the best rates for moving our money to Spain (and the difference in rates is pretty amazing!), and planned out different ways that we could earn money.
We search property sites weekly looking for possible properties, although we said from the start that we’re not going to try and buy a house from here – we need to be there. So, where to live once we move there while we’re looking for a house to buy? The offer we had on the house was a little on the low side, so there’s not much money to play with, and we may need to be able to move around different regions of Spain while we’re looking for a house. That pointed to just one solution – buy a tent to live in, which we’ve done. It’s a good one mind, as we might be in it for a few months!
Looking at properties, it’s really important to decide what you want, and look at them with your head not your heart. We made a list of things it must have – 2 bedrooms, a legal well, preferably solar already installed, and at least 1 acre of fertile land. Anything else we had saved outside of those parameters had to be removed from our list of favourites, even if there were cute houses. In a lot of ways, the search is being driven by the land – after all, the whole idea is to live off the land for the best part.
You Tube has also been a good source of info about organic farming, building chicken coops etc etc, so we’ve used the time we’ve been waiting to sell the house to learn as much as possible. We’ve never kept animals before (except pets) so didn’t know anything about keeping chickens – birthday presents have been books on faming and animal husbandry this year!
And we’ve been selling our stuff! Ebay, gumtree, open house sales etc. And we’ve given quite a lot of stuff to the kids – you get to the point where £100 isn’t actually going to make that much of a difference, so rather than giving stuff away really cheaply to just get rid of it to strangers, we decided we would rather help the family out. The house is looking a bit empty!
So that plan is to put the few things we do need in Spain into storage, and we’ve found a chap to bring it out to us in his van once we’ve got a house. We looked at professional removal companies, and for just the few bits we need out there, we were getting quotes for £3500! Sod that! ‘Dave’ lives in Murcia – has a van and a trailer, and charges £100 per cubic meter – perfect. He will collect it from storage and bring it to our door, which I feel much happier with than these road trains that the big companies utilise.
I have to give 3 months notice in my job, and Rog works on the agency for driving. I’m hoping that my employers let me off early, but we have a plan to move in with mother in law while I’m working my notice, so we can live cheaply and save those last few crucial pennies from earnings. So if the valuation goes ok today, we should be out of this house by the end of November, and on the boat to Spain in January.
I wouldn’t say our parents are happy about it, more resigned to it now, which I find quite sad, but it is what it is. Everyone else thinks what we’re doing is fabulous (if a bit mad!).
Hopefully my next blog will be at the point where we have no ties – no mortgage, no jobs and the ferry booked!