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Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

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Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:32 am

I know Brexit is leaving us with so may unanswered questions so far, but don't want to stop planning because we want to get to a cave house as soon as practical, and ideally before any slump in UK house prices.

Myself and my wife are aiming to move within 12-18 months. We have no financial ties in the UK other than selling and paying off a car (sale should cover loan), our tiny 2 up 2 down terrace house will not bring in much money when we sell up, but we are confident it will fetch enough for a reasonable cave house and leave us money to move with and change for some furniture and DIY. MY wife has a small local government pension and will be able to draw her UK state pension in 3 years. I am a long way off either pension, but so long as I can get a reasonable internet connection, I can make some kind of money as I am a freelance artist, digital illustrator, 3D modeller/designer, graphic designer, game designer. And if all else fails or if we need more cash for one-off purchases, I would look further into live-in carer work in the UK as I have 20 years experience in care and care management. So really, we want to know living costs for the 3 years until my wife starts drawing her state pension so we have a buffer zone.

So our questions at the moment are...

  • What are people's thoughts on getting a loan for a cave house, buying now and continue to live and earn in the UK so we have a head start when we do go? Using the cave as a holiday home while we carry out anything that needs to be done to it.
  • Do we know if the registering as a legal resident, having NIE, bank account etc is enough to satisfy the "time-limited implementation period that will start on 30 March 2019 and last until 31 December 2020. This means that all UK nationals lawfully residing in another EU Member State on 31 December 2020 will be covered by the citizens’ rights agreement reached in December." Or does this 'time-limited implementation period' require you to have the 5 year permanent residency status?
  • We have looked on many climate websites at historical date, the Baza/Huéscar area seems around 10c warmer, a lot dryer, and snow is every few years. What is the reality? (We live in north Derbyshire in the Peak District, its wet, windy and cold most of the time, and we have 5-10 days a year of seriously disruptive snow)
  • What is the internet connection like over there? thinking Baza/Huéscar area or further towards the coast.
  • Does anyone have satellite internet? and how expensive? how reliable? and how fast?
  • We are thinking owning a car there would be excessive, we have a good, new-ish car and an old cheap Toyota Aygo, thinking of taking the Aygo and having it for the 6 permitted months, then scrapping it or try and sell it down Benidorm or similar. what do other people do? take a car? buy a LHD? rent when required?
  • What is a sensible minimum budget for 2 adults in a small-medium sized cave house with food, utilities, taxes and internet etc?


Thanks for any help.

Also as a P.S., we will be in Benidorm (the quiet end) in October, does anyone have a cave house or live in/know an area with cave houses nearer to Benidorm so we can have a proper look? We were looking at a day in Huéscar but it would be around a 7hr round trip by car so its too far. Although we will be going to Huéscar for our next holiday as a proper reccy and will be looking for somewhere to stay then (March/April 2019). I need to know I can fir in cave houses as im quite tall, and need to know my wife wont feel too isolated as she isnt quite as reclusive as me Laughing
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:09 pm

We have decided to come up to Heuscar for a couple of days mid-way through our holiday so we can stay in a cave house and have a look around some properties.

Can people recommend the most trustworthy and reliable estate agents in Heuscar?
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Mariposa on Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:07 pm

Cuevas Spain in Huescar, run by Piet and Sandra have a good selection of properties, as does Spanish Inland Properties in Galera.

Another good agent is Nick at Rusticom, based in Baza.  

Look on their websites for an idea of what properties are available.

..........................................................................

Not many caves are mortgageable, especially if they need lots of work, so bear that in mind.

I have lived in Spain for over 16 years, so don't have any personal knowledge regarding your second question.  These things/regulations seem to change fairly often.

This area, Galera, Huescar, Castillejar, etc... is between 800m and 1000m above sea level, so the climate is very different to the majority of Spain.  In fact I don't think there is a town in the UK higher than 500m, so bear that in mind when you think about climate!

In the Huescar area most of us use Habland Satellite Internet.  You can google them for the services they offer, including a landline style telephone service.  Reliability can sometimes depend on the weather, where your antenna is located and the distance from their antenna.  If available to your property, you could use Telefonica - now Movistar, much like BT.  Reliable, but more expensive obviously!  You get what you pay for here!

If you live in this very rural part of Spain, having a car is really quite necessary, in my opinion.  Maybe you could ask if there is anyone here who lives without a car and find out how they manage?  Buses are few and far between here and there are no trains in this area.

As everyone lives their lives in a different way, it is very difficult to give you an idea of what your living costs could be here.  It might be better to ask what people here spend on utilities, etc... each month?

For example, I live on my own in a very efficient cave, with no on build and average out at around 250 - 300€ pcm for everything.  That is cave insurance, medical insurance, (I have a Spanish Medical Card too though) water, electric, gas, internet + internet TV and landline, food, car/petrol and sundries.  Like I said before, it depends on how you live!

I know some people that pay around 200€ each month just for their electric over the winter and others that pay around 1500€ for winter wood.  I pay 30 - 35€ each month for my electric all year and 80€ for a trailer of wood that lasts me all winter.

..............................................................................

Caves are often quite low inside, so viewing lots of caves is quite important. The on build areas are often high, but the cave rooms can be low, so you need to actually see them to be sure.  On build can also change the dynamics of a cave and make it far less efficient to run, so watch that too!!!

Hope this helps,

Caroline
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by miron on Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:13 pm

Hi! That's a lot of questions! It's great that you've decided to be here for a couple of days soon - you really need to try cave living before making a definite decision to buy one. I think they're great, but not everyone does! And if you arrange for one or two different estate agents to show you around you'll soon find that every cave is different. (And that some have much higher ceilings than others!)

Climate: in the main it's very hot during the summer months (tho generally much cooler at night) and chilly in winter (but warms up if the sun is shining, which it often does). When it rains, it can be very heavy (something to bear in mind when looking at the access road to a property).
Cost of living here? Depends a lot on yourselves but it is possible to live fairly cheaply here. Two of us managed for a year on 500€ a month while we paid off builders after reforming our cave, and we didn't have a car for 5 years. We got very fit walking the 30 minutes into Castilléjar (fortunately in Los Olivos we have a bar, small shop and once weekly doctor's surgery within 5 minutes walk), used the twice daily bus service that runs along the Huescar-Castilléjar-Baza road to get to the bus station in Baza, and the Thursday bus service to Huescar market. We relied on car-owning friends quite a bit too. It was okay, but we are only 10 minutes walk from a bus stop - not everyone is! We're a bit less strapped for cash now and can enjoy holidays and pay bills on time... I reckon life is better with a car - more convenient, plus there are so many lovely places to explore.

Internet: ask Metaldunk about that? Lots of cave houses have satellite internet.

Are you learning Spanish? It really helps once you're here!

Let us know how you get on!

miron

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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:54 pm

Firstly, thank you both for your replies. We have booked a night on the 25th and so far have viewings with one estate agent on the 26th. We will probably arrive around 13:00-14:00 on the 25th, so if anyone would be gracious enough to show us their cave house or any of the area, we would be very grateful.

Other general questions (we have lots of questions as you can imagine)

  • How do people transfer doctors notes/prescriptions etc?
  • What is like in the area for buying pet food?
  • @Metaldunk, do you have any advice or input on internet and satellite internet? This really is an important part of the move for me, if the home we choose doesn't have it, how easy, expensive and long of a process is it to get it? I wouldn't like to be without for more than a few months.
  • Are there public spaces or somewhere accessible or paid accessible where a good internet connection is available either paid or free? I would be able to get buy if there was somewhere to upload once a week or month.
  • There will be more questions!



Mariposa
Budget - Thanks for that, the fact that you can lower your outgoings even with a car is reassuring. Like I say, I can earn if I have the internet, but realistically that depends on many things, client/job availability, internet connection, my own input/time. So we need to know our buffer zone for outgoings, bearing in mind we have 2 large dogs and 2 cats (all 4 are old to elderly).

Climate/altitude - We live in the High Peak, and yes, its certainly not as high as Heuscar, but it is high, we are used to much worse and more erratic weather than most of the region and country,  but even being significantly closer to the equator, we are semi-prepared for the extra extremes in climate, at least in terms of knitted and crocheted blankets, and thick jumpers and cardies Smile but still summer/holiday clothes too. We currently live in a small terrace cottage with no boiler, spending our time in the small front room with a gas fire in winter, rather than heat an entire house with central heating, so the frame of mind of being more efficient is already ingrained.

Winter weather etc - What different things do people do? Wood? pellet burners? gas? lots and lots of woollens!

Car - We have a small, cheap to run (in the uk) and reliable Toyota Aygo, but I have read a lot about UK RHD cars being inadvisable due to insurance costs and practicality of driving on the wrong side of the car. What are yours/other peoples thoughts? LHD a must? take a cheap reliable car regardless of RHD?

miron
Estate Agents - Do you have any recommendations or suggestions for longer standing or well reputed estate agents or corredores?

Espanol - We are both (me and my wife) using a few half-decent language apps. and I have had a basic learn Spanish MP3 playing on a loop either to or from work on my 30 minute commute for the last 2 months, so the absolute basics are sinking in. But Yo no hablo Espanol muy bien would definitely be the most important phrase to me still for quite a while, and my spelling and grammar are non-existent Smile

Car - I do agree, a car would be very good for exploring the gorgeous scenery. I am a massive fan of photography, nature and wildlife. And the obvious bonus of being able to get around for shopping, sightseeing, and any appointments, trips etc. But we have no idea of the ongoing costs for a car, so any advide or personal experiences would be good to know. We are only looking at properties with parking or garage and at least reasonable access.
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:20 am

Mariposa wrote:Cuevas Spain in Huescar, run by Piet and Sandra have a good selection of properties, as does Spanish Inland Properties in Galera.

Another good agent is Nick at Rusticom, based in Baza.  

Look on their websites for an idea of what properties are available.
Caroline

We had already been in touch with Piet at Cuevas Spain and have booked in with him. I have looked at the other two websites before and will go back to them now, see if we can get an appointment with one of them too.

Thanks Mariposa
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Metaldunk on Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:36 am

Hi yes internet available about 8 Meg speed - but I'd ask a company most use here for any further info called Habland on info@habland.es

They are good at talking English for all queries
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:57 am

Metaldunk wrote:Hi yes internet available about 8 Meg speed - but I'd ask a company most use here for any further info called Habland on info@habland.es

They are good at talking English for all queries

Thanks Metaldunk. I will contact them for more information. I could work with 8mb connection.

Question Are there any public places in Huescar, Galera or Baza with internet connection that is reasonably fast?
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:40 pm

Updated questions:

  • How does post work to cavehouses on outskirts of town and villages, or up farm tracks in the hills?
  • What about Amazon etc, are there collection points where couriers can drop off?
  • Does anyone have any experience of repeat prescriptions when you move from UK to rural Spain?
  • Winter fuel, do you get this delivered? go and collect it from somewhere further away to save money?
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Mariposa on Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:34 pm

Rickious wrote:Updated questions:

  • How does post work to cavehouses on outskirts of town and villages, or up farm tracks in the hills?
  • What about Amazon etc, are there collection points where couriers can drop off?
  • Does anyone have any experience of repeat prescriptions when you move from UK to rural Spain?
  • Winter fuel, do you get this delivered? go and collect it from somewhere further away to save money?


Post all depends on where you buy.  You will understand when you come here.  If you live in, or on the outskirts of a town, you often need to pop into the Post Office in the morning to collect.  If you live a bit further out, some villages have post boxes for each property in a group area, or if you receive a lot of post, you can always ask if the post person will deliver to your property.

Courier deliveries used to come to my rural cave (I had very good access) and also get to me at my new edge of town cave.  I just tell the driver where I am, or meet them somewhere and then show them where I live.  You can also arrange to have your items delivered to a local business, just chat to them.  Again it all depends on where you buy.

You will probably need to have Private Medical Insurance when you live here, so you will need to sort prescriptions, etc., out with your medical insurance company/doctor.

Nearly everyone I know in this area gets their wood delivered, as it is usually free delivery.  Some collect in their vehicles, but this isn't very cost effective.

Your Estate Agent (Inmobiliaria in Spanish) could probably help you with a lot of your questions, when you view each property.

Caroline
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PM

Post by Cestrian on Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:06 pm

Rickious, sent you a PM, did you get it ?

Les
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Mariposa on Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:17 pm

.


Last edited by Mariposa on Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:21 pm

Cestrian wrote:Rickious,  sent you a PM,  did you get it ?

Les

Checking my PMs now! Will reply to other replies soon. Thank you all for the help and advice so far.
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by miron on Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:46 pm

Hi again!
Re. estate agents - we rented here for several months while we looked around for something that fitted our rather strict criteria (no immediate neighbours, max 30 minutes walk to bar and shop, some land for garden and fruit trees, etc). We saw lots of properties with both Spanish and foreign estate agents but in the end it was contact with local people that brought us to the cave we bought as it wasn't actually up for sale.
Re. fuel: we buy sacks of pellets for the pellet burner that keeps our kitchen cosy - last year we had a palletfull delivered because we got a good deal from a friend, they 'll last us this coming winter too. Otherwise, we heat the lounge with a woodburner and cook in it's oven, but don't buy wood. There's a lot of poplar groves in the area which get chopped down once the trunks are big enough to sell. If we know the owners we ask permission to take timber from what is left on the ground. I reckon we save a lot of money that way and it keeps us fit and strong!
When you are here, have a look around at the prices of fuel, food etc, to get an idea of the cost of living. There's no right or wrong answers to most of your questions, and amog those of us who have moved here from elsewhere you will find many different lifestyles.

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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:07 am

Thanks Miron. We had thought about renting initially and I do think its the best way to go as it would give us breathing room instead of doing everything in one move. Just need to find a cheap long-term rental that allows pets. We will be bringing little or nothing with us, possibly just what will fit in the pet transport and a small car.
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Mariposa on Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:33 am

Yes, renting for a while before you commit to move over here, really is the best way to understand the area and maybe find a nice place to live.

I had already spent several years living in Spain before I decided to buy a house.  I had also been visiting Spain most years since I was 15.  I didn't speak much Spanish for the first year or so, but you soon pick it up if you are prepared to put the time in!

If you find an efficient cave, you shouldn't need much heating.  Friends I know with pellet burners, spend a lot more on pellets and electricity to run it, so again, it depends on how you live, the efficiency of your cave and how much money you have to spend each month.

Living closer to the coast will mean you have shorter winters/longer warmer times, meaning there is less need to heat, but there are fewer caves near the coast and the purchase prices might be higher???

You should be able to find something to rent for around 250€ pcm.
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Re: Various questions to help us plan a permanent move.

Post by Rickious on Wed Oct 10, 2018 10:17 am

Thanks Mariposa.

Yes, I think renting for at least a while will give us breathing space to do things at a more sensible pace and make it more likely that things will go more smoothly.

We would have liked to move closer to the coast, but I like cave houses much more than I like the busier coaster towns. And if we end up near a nice lake, we get sun, water and a beach eitherway! sunny
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