• Marie Bateson


You'd think that as your completely stereotypical nuclear family - mum, dad, 2.5 kids (girl, boy, dog) - we'd choose a completely stereotypical house for our first home. Perhaps a semi-detached in a nice, established suburb with a little green lawn and a shared community pool.

Naaahhhh. Why make life easy for ourselves?! We've chosen a bizarre property, to say the least. Initially, I was set on this gorgeous crumbling farmhouse with 3000m2 of land because that's a manageable property for a young family who aren't actually farmers. Fortunately, the owner wouldn't budge on the price, so I reluctantly crossed it off the list.

We've seen the property we're in the process of buying precisely once. For about 20 minutes. It wasn't that it was that insanely beautiful and perfect that we just KNEW, far from it. I think it was more like those relationships that suddenly spark due to the timing being right. We were so ready to buy when we viewed this property.

  1. It checks the boxes for us for the following reasons:

  2. It's within budget.

  3. It's in an up and coming area of town which will soon be connected to the centre of Valencia by the metro.

  4. It has a pool.

  5. It has a manageable garden.

  6. It has enough space for all those faraway family members to come and stay without having to camp out on the living room sofa.

However, the reason it won me over is that it's actually two houses, connected by a courtyard with in-ground pool. On top of that, in front of the main house is a decently sized patio garden. I'll show you the layout via a very blurry screenshot of the floor plan that I then doodled all over. Helpful, I'm sure.

Photo source

The reason two houses was so appealing is that I have a real hankering to renovate a house so that it caters to our needs more than an 'off the shelf' house would. However, I also don't fancy spending another couple of years in a small apartment while we wait for the renovations to complete. Not to mention, covering a mortgage payment AND rent each month would be unpleasant, to say the least.

This property has smaller house at the back that is ready to move in right now. Despite the red kitchen, it's modern and a good size for our family - mostly because it has a humongous playroom located just off the kitchen. The courtyard has some broken tiles and the primary feature of the pool is currently a dead pigeon, but we'll make it work.

The main house needs a complete renovation. At the moment, there is no plumbing, no electricity, and not many walls, but it has the space and it has the potential and I cannot WAIT to make it ours. We'll see how excited I am once the project starts and all the myriad prohibitively expensive flaws start to appear.

At any rate, regardless of what the houses look like now, one thing is for certain. I will grow bougainvillea across every possible surface. This is the plant that just screams 'Mediterranean' to me, and our first home is going to feature it prominently. That stunning colour should make all other peculiarities and flaws forgivable. Aside from the dead pigeon. That has to go.

Photo source

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