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The House

View of a village street. There are little lane houses on the right. The first house with the black door is the one I bought. the street goes on towards the horizon where fields, hills and the sky is visible. The photo is cut off on the left.

When I started looking for a house, I already had a checklist of important items, some of which I had added over the years of living in the village and were only really clear to me after I knew this place well.

– It needs to be on the sunny side of the tiny village. Which limits it down quite a bit.
– I really enjoy having a view at least from some windows (not just looking at other houses) Which narrows it down even more.
– It needs to be shabby enough to encourage renovations (some houses are somewhat redone, and it’s too good to redo, but it’s also ugly)
– It needs to be good enough to live in it while renovating. So time and money investment can be spread out over the years.
– It needs to fit my budget of 50.000€ so there are about 15.000€ left on the bank for renovations.
– Most renovations needed need to be the type that my partner and I can do ourselves to save money.
– The more outside space the better.

After looking at many houses over the years out of curiosity and the list in the back of my head the house I finally bought popped up.
By that time Covid had hit, and luckily during the first lockdown, the dog and I were stranded in Hamburg with my partner and the kids. After spending an unplanned long time together, the plan of staying mostly in this village slowly changed. When I returned all three houses next to each other were for sale. I took the one in the middle even though it was in the worst state, but it had a view to both sides, and that’s what really counted for me.
I bought it for 45.000€. People kept bugging me that I could have brought the price for the shabby place down, but honestly, it didn’t feel ok as this house I saw didn’t look like it belonged to rich people. Out of curiosity, I keep an eye on the places and prices, and I haven’t found anything that made me regret my choice.

Unfortunately, I had to basically throw everything out, as most things were cheap, old, broken with water damage, and a sticky, stinky film on them. The few things I kept just won’t lose the smell of mothballs and old people, so sooner or later, they need to go too. By now, only two wooden wardrobes (broken and with water damage), a bed frame, two sideboards that stink, and a bathroom mirror with lights remained. The mirror hung in the hallway, but we returned it to the bathroom. The bed had to be taken apart because it’s tiny, based on today’s standards.

I wish I could have kept and reused more. 🙁 That’s also why this is under the category of sustainability. We are trying, and we are failing. There are some very valid points why we shouldn’t renovate an old house in Spain. Some of which we are considerate of, some of which we aren’t aware of yet and others where we try to at least not be complete asshats about. For example, we almost always use the train to come here, and when we are here, we try to stay for a longer period of time so the whole travelling isn’t just a weekend trip.

Anyway, next to the many years of repairing and renovating…

Update November 2022: The house left and right were both sold and renovated. One is a holiday home now, and the other is “an investment”, I was told. O_O

Ever tried to renovate a house with little money and less time? Share your experiences with me!