Was It Worth It ?

I thought it might be nice to give you a rough idea of how much I paid in total in buying and finishing off the renovations of my apartment and how it has effected my electricity bill.

My blogging area with air conditioner/heater above the clock. Get off my chair Samantha !!
My blogging area with air conditioner/heater above the clock. Get off my chair Samantha !!

Purchase price: €50,000

The total for upgrading of this top floor 2 bedroom 100 sq metre apartment, new double glazed doors and windows, new wood floor throughout, A/C unit, electrics & plumbing, solar water heater, new extension, log burner, painting, new furniture drapes lights etc, legal fees, taxes : €51,000


Grand total


US$ 136,000

£ 84,600


Wood floor. Lovely and warm compared to the cold tiles before
Wood floor. Lovely and warm compared to the cold tiles before

Samantha loves the morning sun on the breakfast bar in the extension

Samantha loves the view
Samantha loves the view out back


Next to her is the controller for the solar panel

75.7 deg C. Poached Ralph in the shower !! I have not used the electric heater element in the water storage tank at all this year. Free hot water.
75.7 deg C at 11am today. Poached Ralph in the shower !! I have not used the electric heater element in the water storage tank at all for months. Free hot water !!

My electric bill has been reduced by well over 2/3.

Last year’s.

Same time last year. This bill was paid every two months.
Same time last year. This bill was paid every two months.

And this year’s

A heck of a lot less. This year bills are paid monthly
A heck of a lot less. This year bills are paid monthly


I think my decision to buy, renovate and refurnish was worth the upheaval and expense

Have you reduced your bills by legal means ??


Ralph xox 🙂


75 Comments on “Was It Worth It ?

  1. Thank you for sharing the cost of your place and the upgrade. It is really good to know. I always like to find way to reduce electric bill legal way but I have not put solar into a good use yet (that is quite expensive and not sure it works well here).


    • Thank you for your lovely comment YC 😀 Here in Andalucia we get well over 300 days of sun a year so a solar water heater was on the top of my list. There is talk that the Spanish Government wants to tax any house with solar ….. just talk for many years. The panel cost €1050. Installation of plumbing and electrics I don’t know as it was mixed in with the general labour bill. Good luck with your solar. Ralph xox 😀


  2. Hi Ralph, congrats to the newly renovated apartment. It looks very cosy and esthetic. Yes, the sun is for free. We never heat water during the months May-October plus on all the other sunny days in the other 6 months. Good night. (It’s 3:30 in the morning here. ) Heila


    • Hi Heila 😀 Good morning. I hope you had a good night’s sleep. I have the winter yet to come but I am learning how to use the solar to its maximum by showering, washing up etc at lunchtime which gives the panel tank the afternoon to heat up and stay hot overnight. There is enough hot water for a bath which my old extracted electric immersion tank could not give me. Ralph xox 😀


      • Exactly, I also do all the things requiring hot water as early as possible, so that new water can heat up and then we’ll have hot water even the next morning. 🙂 Heila


  3. I think your renovations were well worth the cost; in fact I am not sure you can call it a cost, the amount seems so small compared to ‘costs’ here. I double glazed our house and put in solar water heating panels. I am not sure I have recovered my costs yet because in this part of the world the sun don’t shine as much as I would like it to. 😦 Do you pay water rates or a monthly water bill?


    • Good morning Gallivanta. 😀 Yes the apartment has a water meter but has not been read yet and I have been here 18 months. I pay the town hall about €11pm for water, waste water, garbage collection (every night), etc. which is a lot cheaper than when I lived in the UK.
      I don’t know how long it would take to recover the costs. I am not worried as I am now warm and cosy. I hate the cold especially cold feet !! Ralph xox 😀


      • You get garbage collection every night!!!!! Wow.
        I hate being cold too which is why I went ahead with double glazing and heat pumps and bother the cost. When the solar water panels were installed I think we were told it would take 9 years to recoup the costs. Coming up to 7 years now, so…..I should start feeling rich soon 😀 Solar panels are absurdly expensive here. Quite ridiculous.


      • Yes. The collection is every night around 1am. I suppose they do it for health reasons.
        Keeping warm is a priority as we age and if we can keep the bills down in the following years it is worth the initial outlay 😀


    • So true Ren, my friend 😀 I am, indeed I am happy and satisfied. I have not found anything that I wish I hadn’t done….so far 😉 I hope all your family are okay at home. Ralph xox 😀


  4. Looks fabulous and cozy. If Samantha is happy, then it was worth it. 8)
    I cut costs by never washing my car or taking a shower or washing clothes. Once a month, I do get in the shower with all my clothes on. 😉


    • Hi Katie 😀 I hope today is shower day…..whew !! 😉
      Well the cats have not complained and clawed me to bits yet as they have plenty of warm spots.
      You could cut costs even more by taking the car, pets, family, alligator into the shower with you. Come here and you can shower all day……less gator 😉 Ralph xox 😀


  5. Lovely apartment, for a moment I thought you were doing a visa commercial, showing your wares and cost, I was waiting for…..PRICELESS! 🙂


    • Good morning Debby 😀 Your comment is priceless….thank you. I tried not to use my credit card. Cash or bank transfers only. Cash was so useful in the smaller stores for discounts which ranged from €5 to €250 when buying furniture, drapes, paintings from a local artist etc. Ralph xox 😀


  6. Holy moly guacamole!
    But – it looks nice & you have a great view!
    And – bonus on lower electric bills 🙂
    So- it was so worth it!
    xx Saludos y Abrazos xx


    • Hey RoSy 😀 Always my bestest commenter !! Yes. It was worth it. Big hug. Ralph xox 😀


  7. It appears that it was all worth it, Ralph! Your place looks beautiful and Samantha loves the views. I love the views! It must feel good to have it all done. Enjoy it! Amy xox


    • Hi Amy 😀 It’s another lovely sunny day but a lot cooler 19 deg C which is cold compared to the high 30’s we had for months here. The cats are curled up sunbathing on the breakfast bar. It’s 10:45am and they are max warm at the moment.
      Yes. All done. It’s just nice not to have any more dust and noise. Ralph xoxox 😀


  8. Your apartment looks wonderful, Ralph. What a view! This is very interesting and helpful info, because my husband and I are getting ready to renovate an apartment that we just bought in France.


    • Hi Julie 😀
      I wish you all the best with your renovations. Unless you are doing it yourself I suggest you employ a local quality builder. It may cost more but at the end of the day the work should be finished quicker and the quality of work should be higher. He will also know where deals can be made and should employ good tradesmen. That’s what I did and I am happy with the outcome. Good luck. Ralph xox 😀


      • Thanks, Ralph. We have done just that. 🙂 Hope you’re having a fun-filled weekend. – Julie


      • Yes thank you !! With your lovely comments how can it be any different ? 😀


  9. It looks like it was well worth it, already from the electricity bill. Well let’s face it you cannot get a 2 bedroom apartment, so nice and new for that price in London…. might be a broom cupboard. Your flat is so beautiful and cosy , money well worth invested.


    • Good morning Ute 😀 Yippee ….. the weekend !! Yes. London is sooooo expensive and the bills are so high. I couldn’t live there and have a reasonable quality of life. Have a lovely weekend my friend. Ralph xox 😀


  10. looks great so it is worth every Euro, purpose of earning money and saving money is so we can use money to make us happy isn’t it? so you have a better home, happier cats, saving energy and new furniture and fittings. Good all round, I say!


    • Hello my Croatian friend 😀 You have a beautiful house and garden. And your view is fantastic !! If I wasn’t so medically screwed up I would have bought a place with land to do up but I had to be practical and bought a flat. If some day I become house bound I would rather live on the top floor with a view than at ground level with no view. So the penthouse won. Good all round for both of us…. yes !!! Ralph xox 😀


  11. it looks like it is a beautiful place and well worth it financially. like you, i do not like to be cold. had ‘energy auditors’ come in last year and seal up all air leaks in old cracks of my old tiny cottage. adjusted by furnace, etc., helped a lot with heating bills. this year, insulate the crawlspace. who knows what excitement is ahead for next year!?


    • Wow Beth !! 😀 “Energy Auditors” sounds an expensive name. I hope they have now made you nice and cosy and that you are preparing yourself for next year’s excitement in your crawlspace …..are you having a party in there ? Ralph xox 😀


  12. Hi Ralph your renovation was it worth for sure and you are so lucky to have that kind of view, gorgeous! For to reduce the bills we wait very late with to open the central heating and we only put it when we are at home. The wash dryer we only use when it’s raining, so I guess we might have reduced something 🙂 !


    • Hi Shiro 😀 I think that you must have reduced something. Keep warm, okay ??
      The thin wood balcony doors, which I had replaced, had cracks a Boeing 747 could fly through …..even the draught came in and said it was too cold and went out again as it was that bad 😉 Ralph xox 😀


      • Yes I will keep me warm ! Ooh that ‘s a pity Ralph and I’m sorry for you, hope you will fix it, wish you a warm embrace from Italy, Sérachshirò 🙂 !


      • Everything was fixed by installing new doors and windows Shiro. 😀 Big hug. xox


  13. It looks lovely and sounds like it was a great decision. With these decisions, I believe worth can only be measured by the one writing the checks and living the experience. 🙂


  14. I found a sweet way to reduce my bills Ralph! I got me a sugar daddy. It’s a sweet deal, maybe you should look into it. 🙂


    • 😆 Fantastic comment Celeste …. soooo funny !! Has he got a sister……….preferably one that doesn’t talk too much and likes sugary things …. like me !! 😉 xox


  15. You only live once, Ralph. Of course it was worth it. 🙂 Looks really great, and very comfy. Your cat obviously thinks so too. 🙂


    • Thanks for your lovely comment Sylvia. Yes. It’s lovely and quiet especially as all the workmen have gone 😀 Ralph xox 😀


  16. Definitely worth it, MFR. Your home is beautiful, comfortable, and amazingly proficient. We put solar panels on our home, and installed a new furnace/air conditioner as well, and it has cut the bills to almost nothing. Your home looks perfectly finished, and lovely to enjoy. 🙂


    • Hi MVBFM 😀 Then we have done pretty much the same. It’s definitely worth it in the end. Ralph xox 😀


  17. Whatever it cost, it was worth it … the floor, the view, the warmth and the cheapness of it!
    May the sun never go down !!!!


    • Thanks Vesta 😀 I love your comment…….can the sun go down at night please ? 😉 Ralph xox 😀


  18. Thank you for your invitation into your home,
    very cozy and what a view from your window… 🙂

    Value is a strange thing such a little weird – the value is always in the eyes of the observer – some wouldn’t even give 10 dollars for an authentic picture painted by Vincent van Gogh… 🙂 🙂


    • Hi Drake 😀 Glad you enjoyed the visit.
      I am one of those who would quite happily burn Picasso paintings. There was a crazy auction recently where some idiot bought a different trashy painting for millions. Ralph 😀


    • Hi Mary 😀 I was talking to friend who live in another village. They have a solar panel and their bills have been reduced about the same as mine. Happy Tuesday ! Ralph xox 😀


  19. Beautiful job and well worth the cost! Best of luck to you and give Samantha a scratch behind the ear for me.


  20. Dear friend Ralph,

    Well, my (cheap) er, frugal husband goes around turning off all the lights! Sometimes he gets carried away and will turn of a light in the room where I’m sitting!



    • Hi Nancy 😀 Can you see this on your screen ? I would hate to think that your computer being turned off is next 😉 Ralph xox 😀


      • Dear friend Ralph,

        Yep, I can see the screen fine. I’ve learned that I get on the computer when dear Mr. Ken is not home.

        P.S. Don’t tell him, but I also turn the heat way up when he’s not home so I’m comfortable. I make sure to turn it down before he comes home though. 🙂


  21. Legal fees tax man: too expensive. Savings as a result of renovation AWESOME. I would love to save too…thanks. I need some solar panels right now!!!


    • Hi Liz 😀 Sounds like you have ideas or maybe plans …for the solar panels ….. not me 😉 Ralph xox 😀


  22. It’s some kind of strange tradition to put tiles in the whole apartment in Spain, isn’t it? My man also had that idea (since they are much easier to clean), but I said a definite “no”! There’s nothing as cosy and warm as a real wooden floor! (Now he’s happy he listened to me. Yup, you must always listen to your girl;) )
    I adore your view!!


    • Hi Julita 😀 I totally agree with you, wooden floors in the winter are fabulous …. no more cold feet 😀 On the other hand I have a slight problem …. no girl !! I’ll just have to listen to my design consultant then 😉 Ralph xox 😀


      • Yes. A splendid rest of the night to you, and a marvelous dawn to greet you. I can just imagine the aurific glow filtering through your windows there, beautiful light of dawn spooned onto those warm wooden floors. A feline delight. Cheers,

        Autumn Jade


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