We may have news – good news!
We have a buyer for our house in Cyprus. Well, we have him on one condition and that one condition has proved to be a bit of a hurdle. It is a long story but to complete on the house we need to provide clear title deeds with no conditions. When we purchased the house we knew that we would need to give a corner of our land to the Pyrgos Council when and if (and it is a huge if) they decide to build a road down the side of our property. Our corner, as pictured and includes a huge fig tree and two fir trees, would become a 1/4 of a cul-de-sac. Fine. This road is very unlikely to be built but it needs to be recorded that if at such time…. etc etc etc. It has been a nightmare to sort out, what we thought was an easy process has turned out to be a little wrong and that is putting it mildly.
We had two options. 1. To build the 1/4 of the cul-de-sac ourselves or pay the local council an over the top amount of money so they have the funds to do it when and if. We asked our local Pyrgos council to accept the cash, which had been agreed by the main planning office, and they refused. This is not the norm so we have been told, as local councils will accept these offers as a matter of principle and because the main planning office has given their blessing. So why did they refuse us? Who knows, it’s all a secret.
We decided to go to plan B and look into building the cul-de-sac ourselves. Fine .. no problem at all and it would cost us less money. However, just before we went ahead we were told that the service companies would need to be consulted to where their pipes should be laid in our corner of the cul-de-sac. That is where it all fell apart. As the road has not been built, and the design of the proposed road keeps changing, the service companies (sewerage and electricity) would not be able to agree to where we should lay their pipes in this ‘may never be used’ cul-de-sac. Stalemate.
So, back to the next council meeting a month later to ask again for their help. The answer came back, yet again, no. We were at a loss. Why were they refusing us when it is apparently normal practise? This is when the sale should have fell through but as the maybe buyers really want our lovely home, at its rock bottom price, they are hanging on. We tried the council a third and last time but I added a begging letter with our request. The answer came back yes. At last we can move forward.
Yes, a move forward but Cypriot style… very slowly or “siga siga”. What should have taken a day has now gone into its second week because everyone is on holiday (Cyprus shuts down in August) but we are at the last hurdle and have been informed by our local Mukhtar that all is well and it is now being sorted. Our buyer is pleased and all systems are go – well almost – we still need the confirmation from the council in writing, and pay over a wadge of money. But, we must now begin to make our plans so as not be be left high and dry when we do receive the said letter. Notice I said ‘when’!
So we have to assume we have sold. What do we do know?
Our first consideration is where do we live for the six months that it will take to reform our cave in Spain. Do we rent in Spain? It is an option but we both believe that renting is dead money. Do we rent in the UK? Same thing applies with the additional costs of going backwards and forwards from the UK to Spain, hiring cars and accommodation every time I need to go over to speak to builders or architects.
Do we buy a caravan and park it on our land next to the cave? We would be on site which would make our lives so much easier. However, John will need to continue to work and with his ‘office’ and two large dogs, a caravan no matter how large, would not work for 6 months. A week or two yes! Our next thought was to buy a ready reformed cave to move into and then, when the time comes to move into our new home, we will have a property to rent out as a holiday home. There are beautiful reformed caves for €40,000 – €50,000 to be had. This option is our favourite. It will provide us with an income for relatively little money and money that would be invested in property rather than sitting in a bank. Here is just one example of the caves in the area.
This particular cave is finished to a high standard and is on the market for a little more but with a bit of negotiation you just never know. I really like this particular cave, it would look great with the right interior design, and I cannot wait to see it.
Another property is two in one. The first is a well appointed 3 bed cave ready to move in to (white building) with a second cave to the left (brown building) that needs a reform. All for around €40,000! You just cannot go wrong.
The area we are moving to, Cuevas de Luna (Caves of the Moon), is close to several conservation areas, Baza, Castril and of course the Sierra Nevada, and many popular and beautiful lakes, Negratin being within minutes drive of our area. With a little interior design we should have little problem in renting and, if family and friends want to come over, we will have somewhere for them to stay. Win win.
As I have said our buyers are in a hurry to move in to our home which makes it necessary for our ‘moving forward’ plans to be organised and ready to put into action at a moments notice. We need to view properties in Spain, so that if I find the perfect cave, we can begin the process of buying as soon as our house in Cyprus is safely off the market. That should happen in a week or two and then in and around October, we need to be out – only weeks away. So, I am flying to Spain on the 5 September to view 24 caves in the area ranging from ‘no work to be done’ to ‘little TLC needed’. By this time the house should be firmly secured in the sale.
I am very excited and freely admit to being totally scared. It is a new chapter in our lives and one that is, in the main, new to us. Caves and Spain. Saying that we have lived in Cyprus for 12 years now and Spain is very similar to Cyprus in the way things work so we are not going with our eyes closed. It is all very different to the UK, that we know.
Now we have made the decision to buy another property in Spain to move into, it makes the next consideration an easy one. What to take with us? We have a 5 bed house here in Cyprus. A 5 bed house will not go into a small 3 bed cave especially when most of the cave furniture will be built in. Seating and beds will all be concrete/brick based. However, now we are looking for a further property (or maybe two if the prices are right) we can afford to take everything with us to help furnish it/them. But that then leads to the problem of how to store some of our personal items and items we need for our own cave. Answer – buy a container. We can use our own container, instead of renting, to ship over and then have that container delivered to our cave. We will have the storage for now and for when we move in. It will be very useful, of that I am sure. I have a knack of filling empty spaces so my husband tells me!
The other huge consideration for us is our two rescue dogs.
Until very recently, for animals to fly from Cyprus to Spain, it entailed 2 flights. This has been a huge issue for us. Charlie (golden colour) would be OK – he would get over the ordeal quickly but we don’t think Barney (white and golden) would. He was seriously abused as a pup and was not expected to survive. Although now he is absolutely great and a wonderful placid pet within the safety of his own environment, due to his bad start in life, he has a few major issues. He has suffered two hip operations which have left him unable to walk too far and he is a nervous wreck of a dog. He is absolutely fine when there is no-one around or nothing unusual about. When I say unusual I mean a parked car that is not normally parked in our road or a child’s voice which can be heard in the distant garden or a man half a mile up the road walking towards us. He goes into major panic mode and drags us all the way home. Being a 38 kilo dog with a powerful front end, you don’t really have a choice, trust me.
So, Barney would be a problem with two flights. He would suffer, of that I am sure. However, good news. Cobalt have just announced that they are to start transporting animals on its flights. Hooray. This means that both dogs have to endure one flight from Larnaca to Madrid. The only downside is that they will have a 5 hour car journey from Madrid to the cave. That we can manage, as they will be with us and we can stop regularly on route, so it should not be as bad as it sounds. I am really pleased about this news from Cobalt. It has happened at just the right time for us. It makes the uprooting of our boys much easier and puts our minds more at ease.
So…. We have not yet completed on the house sale, I’ve booked flights to Spain to look for a second or possibly third property, I’ve reserved a container and organised how we are going to move our goods and pets over to Spain. All I need now is money!! Anyone willing to help out?