The New Game Of House Hunting

I am taking the plunge. I have the funds in place. The Spanish housing market is at its lowest in decades. House prices are below 50% of Back garden !!2008 and I’m fed up with the noisy neighbours across the road. The apartment I am in is not owned by me and is on the market, so you would think that I would be insecure in case a buyer appeared on the horizon, no chance, as there are so many properties on sale in Andalucia, Spain

New build front

I had a look at an adjoining house and apartment being sold separately, I liked the apartment but it is on the first floor and as an old crock I have to think of stairs. The house was fine but no outside area for me to play in. Then with my friends, David, construction expert and his wife Hilda, spending expert, we had a look at a ground floor flat opposite the church. But that was a no-no straightaway as I knew that it had flooded in about a metre of mud and water inΒ  2009. It also had no outside area for me to play in and I need that play pen for me.Ralph inside new build

The top three photographs are of a new build. No!!! Just cement and bricks. The word is about that there are documentation problems with the whole development so another no-no.

David Ralph Theresa outside house

Then I fell in love with Quirky, a little blue house that has everything wrong with it, but because of that we all loved it. The entrance salon quite normal leading to a Christ’s tomb bedroom and a passageway to the bottom Bedroom. No windowsof the stairs which operates as a kitchen. Climbing the near vertical stairs where every step was a different height and width, was a feat for an Everest climber to undertake. At the top is an animal pen….go on, say it. My bedroom!! …and a wooden floor onΒ  wooden beams to another two bedrooms, one of which you could see the sky through the roof. Back down the stairs to the kitchen and along a side passage where the kitchen sink was hidden, out through a side door, turn a corner where lay the bathroom at a different height from the rest of the ground Stairs all shapes and sizesfloor.

Still climbing. To the rear, a white painted patio with a wood fired BBQ and a well. Yes. a proper white walled wishing well and off to the left an enchanted garden, small, but full of trees and a cultivated area. I fell in love with the house then. *dreaming* the house is finished the builders have left. A sultry summer’s evening, coloured lights twinkling in the trees, soft music playing, a pleasant meal just finished, a young lady smiling at me. (Well, I can dream. Can’t I??) When she is not looking I throw another coin in the well (that’s about a thousand thrown in.) “I wish…I wish”. Then I hear a knocking at the front door. On opening the door there are 65 local Spaniards all claiming to own part of the house and they all want the same amount of money that I paid the man for it. *screeech!! dream ends*

David & Theresa outside

So to thwart any scenario such as that, I have immediately asked my Abogado/Lawyer to begin basic checks on ownership and outstanding issues with the property. I will not make an offer on the house until I know who the real owner is. There are so many pit falls in buying a village property so I have to do it properly, go through the right channels, collect the necessary documents. This will all take time. If all is in order then an architect and builders take over….another few months. What have I let myself in for !!!Β  It’s all because I love Quirky !!

91 Comments on “The New Game Of House Hunting

  1. funny you should love such a house as that. i would too.


    • Hello Teresa. It’s been a while since you last visited me in Spain. It’s nice to hear from you again. I have a lot of non-Spanish friends who love this style of Spanish architecture and every house of theirs I have visited has some form of character either original or added to create atmosphere, but at the same time have a touch of modernism, a balance well thought out. I just love Quirky and I hope to have the same delicate touch if I can buy it. Hugs. Ralph x


  2. It’s that outdoor garden play area, isn’t it? And you obviously appreciate the artistic ambiance and potential of Quirky. I hope everything works out for the two of you.


    • Oh, Sweet Rains. There is still a massive void in my heart to be filled by the woman of my dreams. Maybe I am hopefully going to buy Quirky as a nest for the two of us. But, yes, the play area outside is the clincher for me. πŸ˜€ Ralph x


  3. I love quirky homes. We seem to be drawn to them as moths to flames! At least it’s just our pocket book that gets a bit burned. No regrets – love our quirky abode. I hope that you will love yours too!

    Blessings ~ Wendy


    • Hello Wendy. Yes. I agree with you. The purchase price is very low. I hope to knock off some more, but the building work will add 3 times as much. I am pleased that you have your Quirky. I am living in a modern flat, all the rooms have no character just functional. Take care. Ralph x


  4. Dear Ralph,
    I like the blue, I looooooooooove the shutters, I loooooooooooooooooooooove the play area, though you didn’t show it. I’m giving you the hairy eyeball about the rest.
    ps i like the beams and the wood floor too, but windows are nice! (wait unless they leak, then i call the dry side of the bed)

    Love, e


    • Hi Elisa. Hilda borrowed my camera and went around the house but the owner’s family had locked the back door so she couldn’t get outside for some photos. I will try this week to get back in to take some shots of the garden. Seems like everyone so far likes Quirky. Great !!
      Take care. Your friend. Ralph x


  5. Quirky is good, different & unique – I like πŸ™‚
    Good luck with your adventures on house hunting!


    • Thanks RoSy. We all seem to like Quirky!! Still a lot more houses to see but they will have to be really outlandish to beat Quirky. Ralph x


    • I’ll shake hands on that Daydreamer. Yes. Quirky is good ! Take care. Ralph x


    • I know what you mean Yellow Cable. Quirky & Quirky…..sounds like a firm of lawyers. I have walked past that house pretty much every day for 8 years and have never seen anyone in there. I hope there will be soon. Ralph x


  6. That house sounds beautiful, I would love to move to Greece myself. I have never been to Spain though, so who knows what will happen. I hope the checks come back promptly


    • Hello Ella. I hope you are feeling better today πŸ˜€ I expect the house prices are very low in Greece as well. Maybe I will see you here in Spain one day. I have heard nothing from my Lawyer as yet. Hugs. Ralph x


  7. But, don’t get your hopes up, Ralph. You know what it can be like with things such as this..! There must be a good reason why it has been vacant for so long..!
    Oh, I’m such a ‘kill-joy’….


    • No. You are not a kill-joy Carolyn, just sensible as most women are. There are three houses together with Quirky in the middle. Many years ago all three used to be a large family home which became split up into three family units. The owner of Quirky lives in Ronda many miles away so the house is only used for the occasional family visit. Take care. Ralph x


    • I can understand your feelings Tina. πŸ˜€ I hope you will find your Quirky soon. Ralph x


  8. Quirky is the only way to go … and dream on – if that doesn’t work out,. there’ll be another Quirky just waiting for you


    • Is that a proposal Valerie πŸ˜‰ I am keeping positive and I don’t want another Quirky !!! πŸ˜€ Have fun. Ralph x


  9. I think Quirky has claimed you … love at first sight -:)


    • I know Daniela. I am a sad case. There is no cure. Ralph x 😦


  10. Wow. I won’t say much but needless to say the way you described the Spanish housing market; it just plain out scares me. Geez, Canadian housing scares me just with numbers, but I couldn’t fathom the idea of living in the kind of homes you were admiring and pointing out. I’m afraid for you, but I’m glad you are doing all the right things to avoid having those 65 local Spaniards coming to claim what’s theirs.
    Best of luck, Ralph πŸ™‚


    • Hello Nym. I suppose I am lucky being a first time buyer. I have heard of many people who want to return to their own countries but are trapped because they cannot sell their houses here in Spain. I like the older style of home and I have the funds to fix it up to the way I want it. If I can buy it I may open a new blog on how things are going with it. I am still waiting for a reply from my Lawyer and the owner is coming early tomorrow. Take care. Ralph x


  11. Good luck on your house hunting. Although enjoyable, I know it comes with its stress as well. πŸ™‚


    • Hi guys. Thank you so much for your concern. In fact I am not stressed at all……am I missing something?? I am enjoying the experience with the help of David and Hilda my friends. Hope you are having a great time on the road. Ralph x


      • We have houses built in the past, which has caused us some stress. So glad you are enjoying the experience. πŸ™‚


  12. Vewy vewy quite while you are hunting houses. That does not look like a house–it looks like a home.


    • Hi Meme. I am afraid I am an award free zone. BUT, I really do thank you for your very kind offer of an award. Can I take a hug instead ??? πŸ˜€ Ralph x


    • Thanks Sharechair. I need all the luck I can muster. Any complication so far has been eliminated. I saw the owner this morning, plus the whole family. We have come to an agreement on the price depending on the searches by my Lawyer, who is now at work on it. I have also seen the local builder/architect who will visit the house next week and will give me a quote. Nothing can be done until Monday as it is a Spanish Holiday till then. Take care. Ralph


  13. This is the first time I have attempted to add images to comments. So here is a part of Quirky’s back patio/garden
    BBQ area which needs work

    Patio area

    Looking over the well towards the back of the house


    • Hilda has volunteered to buy the furniture, drapes etc for my new home. I wonder why?? Thank you Artizenimages for pointing out a budget problem that I may face in the future πŸ˜‰
      Take care. Ralph x


  14. wonderful! oh and you are so smart to check out ownership, gosh, there could be a long line of them coming forward in the future! Let us know how the hunt progresses, and then the renovations begin, what fun, Ralph!! πŸ˜‰


    • Hi Roxie. Thank you so much for your lovely comment…..The initial contact checks are now under way and I’ll keep you informed on this post/comments. Maybe if you are in Spain you can see for yourself when I get settled in Quirky. I am being positive that all the checks will be okay. Hugs. Ralph x


  15. My question is out of the two of you, who is Quirky and who is Quirkier? She looks like a diamond in the rough. Really, really rough, but we all can’t be so easily found.


    • Ah, but, I am the quirkiest diamond cutter in these parts of Spain, Lori. I can see the glistening potential of the house. A sledgehammer here, a roofer there, before you know it either a pile of rubble on the ground or a mini-palace. I am aiming for the palace. Take care. Ralph x


  16. What a love story this is! I hope it works out for you, as it sounds like a beautiful villa, and a great project for you to be engrossed in (complete with the all important play pen!). Lovely… πŸ™‚


    • Hi Alarna, It seems to be so. From the street it looks nothing, but inside it has such a character and presence and with a bit of thought from myself, David my friend and the local builder I am sure that we will come up with a really lovely result….play pen out the back !! Have a lovely weekend Alarna. Take care. Ralph x


  17. I was going to answer your post as to why others follow your blogs…THIS is why I follow you Ralph, you have common-sense that most me oh no better not go there… ahem I follow because of Quirky, in reading your wonderful words, I “felt” a lover of old and dear, familial ties, kindness and honesty, a fellow humankind wanting only the peace and serenity owned in life. THAT is why …now to Quirky oh what character I am so glad you have the common-sense to get all the legalities checked and I pray you get this beauty for your very own! Oh I am so jealous! The opportunity to tackle Ms. Quirky from beginning to end would be a dream come true. )I have only done this to four properties of my own as general contractor. God Bless Ralph!


    • Hi Len. I have seen you around but we never spoke to each other before. Lori is having an awful time with her migraine and I have been trying to lift her spirits a little. Thank you for your kind and generous comment. I have both Spanish and English friends here in the village, in the building trade, who are finding work very hard to find during this recession. If I bought Quirky I would love to employ them all but I have to be realistic and go for a local quality company who know the ins and outs of the Town Hall Planning Dept, Electricity, Water etc. I should end up with top notch work done and the necessary paperwork to go with it. What I may do is get the company to do the major construction and friends to finish off, tiling, painting etc. Take care and have a nice weekend Len. Ralph xx


      • Sounds a wonderful plan, I am so excited for you! I have been lifting Lori in prayer she is a dear lady and I can’t bear to know of others suffering so I put their names in my prayer box and off I go. LOL God bless and please keep all updated on quirky!


      • Thanks for your prayers and I will add new posts and images when events happen. Still got to buy it yet !! Ralph x πŸ˜€


  18. P.S. Ralph I am looking for a “no awards” badge and Ms. Migraine” Lori said she thought you had one , if so would you mind sharing with me? thanks ~ Len W C


      • thank you so very much, you are a blessing dear sir. oh and by the way despite the spelling I am a Mrs. LOL very common mistake..I tell every one mom and dad wanted boy so they named me Leonard, but truthfully it’s Lenora, just shortened by a brother yrs ago. god bless you and again ty for your generousity!


    • Hi Daph, thanks for your lovely comment. Sorry I cannot play tag I am much to busy with what I have to do in real life and my blogs. Can you find someone else?? Take care. Ralph x


  19. Quirky all the way! I’ve always had a thing for cozy homes to live in. It will be a blast for you.
    How’s everything going so far? πŸ™‚


    • Hi Sarin. I have visited your blog a few times and I see you are still bananas !! πŸ˜‰ That is nice to hear that you like cosy homes as well. It will take a few months work to get Quirky the way I want it. My Lawyer is starting the legal checks on Monday as it a Spanish holiday this week. David and I are working on plans for the architect/builder to work on when I get the go from my Lawyer, otherwise a normal hot sunny day in Spain. Thanks for your visit. Take care. Ralph x


      • I’m sorry to disappoint you Ralph for all those times you visited my blog, I think you may want to come and visit again now πŸ˜‰ You’ve been tagged in the tagging game! But you’re under no obligation to play, but I insist!

        Oh, I’m glad to hear that! Hope the lawyer starts it off good and gives you the green signal soon! πŸ˜€ Ah, it’s getting chillier here! Winter’s on it’s way!


      • Sarin. I am never disappointed. You are very persistent that I play tag. I wish I could make you change your mind about tagging me. I have other responsibilities which are now taking up my time and I have to turn down the next comment for the same reason. I hope I am given the green light soon. Yes, winter is on it’s way. Thank you again for putting yourself out to visit. I hope you are having a fun weekend. Ralph x


      • So.. I never got a notification of this comment as well πŸ™‚

        Something is definitely wrong with wordpress!
        Ah well, it’s okay I understand! πŸ™‚ Have a great day, trying to figure out how to impress woman πŸ˜‰


    • Thank you so much TBT for your kind and generous offer but I’m afraid I have to decline as I have done many times before. I would love to accept the award but I do not have the time or inclination for all that goes with the award. Thank you again. Ralph


    • Thanks Silver. I have the architect/builder going to have a look at Quirky tomorrow. Take care. Ralph x


  20. I have just added a YouTube video on this post where David filmed Quirky while walking through the house. I still have had no response from my Lawyer yet giving me the go ahead to buy the house. Ralph


    • I like the new video! That does look like it could be cosy. I wish for you, all of the help to make it as it is needed to be, like you gave to me.

      kiss on cheek,


  21. Hi Elisa. That is really a kind thought Elisa. Thank you so much and a kiss on the cheek for you. Your friend. Ralph x


  22. absolutely love that you’re documenting your house! and I ahhhdore the name, Quirky, another fab post, Ralph! πŸ™‚
    all the best as you transition to your new home!


    • Hi Roxie. Thank you so much for your comment. I love to hear from you and, yes, I think Quirky will look really nice when finished. I have a great bunch of Spanish builders lined up and I will post changes as they happen…….not brick by brick !! Ralph x


  23. Do you think so Lisa. Maybe not as I may turn into a Diva or a Drama Queen !
    Ralph x

    UPDATE: My Lawyer is in touch with the owner of Quirky and the house is classed as…..wait for it!!……a FARM !!! Now where’s my tractor ??


  24. UPDATE. I am having to put everything on hold. My medical condition has forced my consultant at Ronda Hospital, Spain, to admit me on Monday or Tuesday next week for a whole week of tests. You, my long suffering friends, my peers, may have a week off from me trampling through your blogs, making ridiculous comments and creating general mayhem. You can have a holiday, relax, chill out. Read all about it here:


  25. I am very sad to say that my provisional offer of Quirky has been withdrawn. The builder’s quote is crazy. I have discussed this with my abogado/lawyer & my friend David. Therefore I have decided that with all the work, fittings & furniture the total cost will work out at almost twice the value of Quirky when finished. I have to be sensible and realistic.
    I have two ideas on other properties which will have to wait until I return home from hospital.
    I am really down over the loss of Quirky 😦


  26. How is the house hunting going? I am still debating as to whether I should buy some property on the Iberian peninsula as an investment, I think a profit probably will not be made in the south of Spain for property owned maybe in 5 years or so? Nice you are looking for a property to live in in the south — full of sun!


    • Thanks Frances for your comment. It’s a good time to buy as the prices are so low. I will be house hunting again shortly. Good luck. I hope you find some place that you are dreaming of. Hugs. Ralph x


  27. Ralph, I don’t know about Quirky, but you get more interesting comments on your blog posts than anyone I know. Pretty amazing. And people get so involved. You certainly know how to create online charisma. Way to go! Quirky – not so much the way to go, glad you are sensible. Older houses can be charming black holes. Enjoy your freedom. πŸ™‚


    • Hi Marsha. You must be psychic as I was considering writing an update here. How spooky is that, or is it destiny, fate or coincidence OR my cats told you !!
      Well, the news is that tonight I have bought the flat I am renting at the moment. It is a penthouse….. huh ! … top floor, 100sqm, 3 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, hallway, salon, utility room and balconies front and rear with lovely uninterrupted views of the mountains, river and rail track (I love to watch the trains go by). I got it for a knocked down price. Needs new doors, windows, electrics, parquet floor throughout, log burner, heater/aircon, and blog control centre.
      I needed to stop a never ending house hunt, get settled and warm before the winter really sets in. I have my friends, both foreign and Spanish around me, my cats are settled here and I love the views and my blogging friends.
      I am free !! Hugs Ralph x


      • Much better choice for you, I think. You don’t need a renovation. So are your foreign friends English now that you are living in Spain???? hahaha!


      • Hi Marsha. Well I have German, Norwegian, Irish, Scottish, English, Japanese, Argentinian, Brazilian, Australian, Dutch and Spanish friends πŸ™‚
        Oh! and 2 cats !! πŸ˜‰


  28. love that querky house, the inside, the outside, the road. All of it. But a lot of work, yes? and the music, sound like you’ve gone Mexico way, waiting for a gringo to come out from a corner with a gun πŸ˜‰


  29. I loved Quirky as well, but it ended up as a total refurbishment and the cost was astronomical compared to the final value of the house, so it became a no-no for me. Clint Eastwood was just out of shot on the video, his appearance fee was also too high πŸ˜‰ Take care. Ralph


  30. You added images to a comment, I see – I learn each day!

    I hope this went well. EXCITING, though scary…


    • Hi Noeleen. I think I will publish a post on how to put an image into comments in the near future. Here’s a rabbit for Daniel πŸ˜€

      The house hunting went well. If you read my latest post you will see that I have just received the title deeds of the apartment I am renting and now have bought. Big hug. Ralph xox πŸ˜€


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