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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

My Future is Already Planned.

I already have my next major project lined up, whether it will happen we have to wait and see but it is already planned.

Deborah's mother is from Spain and her parents bought an apartment there back in 1971 which is why we were able to afford to go to Spain this year. Accommodations were covered. Her mother also inherited a 50% share in a plot of land at around the same time. The other 50% was inherited by 7 or so cousins. This land is inland but near Alicante and was a weekend retreat for Deborah's grandparents and great grandparents. It is basically an improved "cave" cut into the side of a shallow terrace where grapes, olives and almonds were grown. When I say "improved" I mean the dirt walls were plastered over and the floor is tiled. There is no running water, bathroom or electricity at the location. It is very "rustic" shall we say?

The place has been neglected for 30 years, the doors are knocked down, the windows missing and the walls are graffiti covered. Much like some of the housing stock in Dayton!
The property has never been divided because 8 owners could never agree how to divide the land. Everyone wanted the "cave" for one reason or another except Deborah's mother. She always wanted to sell the whole plot. This year all the owners are in agreement to sell the whole plot because they are all around 70 or 80 years old and failure to do so will cause more people to be listed as inheritors of the land which I understand is quite common in Spain. Derelict houses can have dozens of owners. The process has begun to survey the parcel and record the property properly because it appears there are a few recording discrepancies. The official record shows 105000 square meters and the deeds show less. This is good news for the property owners but will take time and red tape to correct. If the records are correct this equates to about 26 acres of land. If anyone is interested in buying land in Spain, let us know.

I took some pictures;

This is the general area. The "cave" is in the center of the photo but you won't find it easily. Here is a close up.

Then there is the inside. It looks just like the rooms in the "Old Crack House" when we bought it only better!

So we have decided that if the land hasn't been sold in 5 years time that we will take a year off and fix up the property to make it look more attractive to a potential buyer AND write a book about the whole story and those associated with the land. So in essence we plan to go fix up an old cave in Spain for the hell of it!

This is mostly stone and plaster work as well as tilling some land. We have to replace a few doors and windows and fix a fireplace. All within the realm of my ability. The stone is already right on the property! There is a method to our madness though. By improving the appearance of the property it should sell for more money. This is in our best interests because ultimately Deborah and then Elizabeth become the benefactors of 50% of the site. If we write a book, the trip becomes a business trip regardless of how well or badly it does and if it does OK we may make enough money to buy the other 50% from the relatives which permits Elizabeth to inherit land owned by her great great grandfather and to make some choices when she grows up. If we don't and the land sells, Elizabeth can at least say she spent a year growing up on her ancestors land and have the memories her entire life.

So this means that I have 5 years to learn to speak Spanish. This is good thing because when I go shopping it looks like it may be mandatory in the U.S. very soon!


At 7/25/2008 12:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! That's something you don't hear about much. How much are you asking the plot (purely curious... not ready to pick up a place in Spain yet)? What kind of work will you do to fix it up?

At 7/26/2008 12:25 PM, Blogger kendra said...

*tries to guess what you would name your cave blog*

At 7/30/2008 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now that's rustic. I'd live in a cave too as it looks really hot and arid there. It would look awesome completely tiled!


At 8/01/2008 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turn it into an eclectic bed and breakfast, write the book...and retire.

At 8/04/2008 12:54 AM, Blogger Amanda Gray said...

The housing market in my area is full of run down houses that people didn't take care of and now they are foreclosures! I can definitely sympathize with your crack house stories!

At 8/04/2008 3:41 PM, Blogger Jarkko said...

Spain is a lovely place for a brick castle, one that is made of cardboard milk box shaped bricks.


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