As thrilled as I am to be entering that oh-so-adult phase of home ownership at the ripe old age of 40, I have to admit I'm also somewhat dejected at the thought of saying goodbye to our beautiful beach views.
We've lived in Patacona since we arrived in Valencia. When I first checked out the city in April of 2016, I only saw the Malvarrosa beach area. I didn't even realise there was another city beach in Valencia. I wasn't impressed with Malvarrosa and decided I'd rather be in the city itself. But then a gorgeous apartment came up in Patacona and when I flew over to view it in the summer of 2016, I fell in love with both the apartment and Patacona beach. It has a whole different vibe from Malvarrosa.
The apartment was completely unsuitable for a family with two young children. It was on the 8th floor and had a bloody hot tub on the roof terrace that screamed "80s bachelor pad" and "drowning hazard". Nevertheless, in we moved and, despite having heart palpitations every time our then two-year-old son wandered out of sight on the terrace, we were very content there.
Unfortunately, the owner of the flat decided to sell up and we couldn't bring ourselves to plonk down a ton of cash on an apartment that really wasn't a great family home. Someone snapped up the apartment incredibly quickly and we were once again on the hunt for a home. We decided we weren't ready to leave Patacona yet and moved into our current apartment in October of 2017.
This apartment also has a lovely big roof terrace, though without the hot tub drowning hazard. We walk out of our apartment complex, cross the road, and we're on the beach. Our local is a beach bar, or as they call them in Valencia, chiringuito. But, the views from our terrace are hands-down my favourite part of living here.
Our apartment roof terrace is pretty dated. It has white floor tiles that never look clean, blue railings that block the stunning view, and a hodge-podge of furniture left by the owner. If we owned this place, I'd completely re-do it. I'd probably go for classic furniture a bit like the set below, upholstered in blue to match the expanse of sea and sky.
I'm not sure what I'd do about the white floor tiles. They ALWAYS look dirty. Does anyone have any recommendations as to flooring that looks perpetually clean, is easy to actually keep clean, can withstand children and a dog and isn't too dark and dull? Please let me know via the contact form if so!
Despite my reluctance to leave these views of blue, the time has come for us to buy. We're planning on staying in Valencia for the foreseeable future and so pouring money down that rental drain doesn't make sense. Our mortgage payment each month will be about half of what we currently pay in rent. That makes a big difference.
We dithered for a while about whether we really should buy a house or not, mainly because we knew it would mean we'd have to leave Patacona. Patacona doesn't have houses with gardens - it has small apartments. It does have a small selection of semi-detached houses but, despite having a lot of square footage, they are spread over four floors which is a nightmare with kids and they only have tiny terraces rather than gardens.
It took us a while to come to terms with the fact that we'd have to leave our beloved beach if we wanted a house with a garden and pool. Actually, I'm still not sure we've come to terms with it. Prior to the lockdown, I wanted to be able to get into town quickly using public transport - that was one of the reasons we chose the area in which we're buying. However, post-lockdown, fast access to a crowded city centre has fallen a little lower on my list of must-haves, whereas having a large natural space on my doorstep has been an absolute god-send.
We won't be saying goodbye to Patacona beach anytime soon - it's only 20 minutes away from our new home. But we will be saying goodbye to these views. I plan to spend the last few weeks making the most of our terrace and soaking up all that blue. If that means day-drinking, so be it, I'll take one for the team.
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