Finding the perfect land is like looking for a diamond in the rough!

Image of a landscape with question mark pins all over the place.

Oh boy, what have we gotten into? It’s been two years now and we still have not found the right place. We have come close to getting the perfect land once but in the end, it was not meant to be.

Nobody said that it’s going to be an easy task. And we know that. It’s not a race and we don’t have to rush into things and there are many criteria we cannot sell short.

It’s gotta be right.

The land of our dreams can’t just be any plot. We want to live self-sufficient and the land needs to be able to provide us with all we need. We don’t need access to public utilities such as water and electricity. At the same time, we need space to grow our own food. And we should be able to receive the sun all year long.

Cities are therefore not really an option. Plots are small, and often in the shadow of bigger buildings. It’s also noisy and polluted. However, everything is would be well connected there: schools, hospitals, supermarkets – all are nearby.

Location

Supermarkets are not a necessity, after all, we want to buy less and grow more. If there are no supermarkets around, most likely a farmers market can be found.

Schools and a hospital should be close though! We need to think about our future. We want to have kids one day and it shouldn’t take them hour-long bus rides to get to school. And should there be an emergency, every minute counts.

At the same time, we want to live more remote. We appreciate nature and tranquility. The further we are from the main roads, the better. Our cats will have a much safer life.

Ideally, we don’t want to move too far away from Barcelona either, so our families can still visit. My family still has to take the plane to come to Spain. But as long as we still live close to an airport it should be okay. We think that up to a 2 hours drive is still within the acceptable range.

Orientation

Every single day, the sun keeps on giving. It is up to us to accept the gift. We need our future home to be facing to the south where the sun is. In addition, there should not be anything blocking the sun either. This will be very important during winter, when it’s colder, even here in Spain.

The idea is quite simple. In winter, the lower sun will shine into our home. The sunshine will warm our floor and thick walls, which then overnight slowly give back the heat. This principle we want to utilise is thermal mass. Kinda like a cast iron skillet stays hot way longer than a light steel pan.

In summer, we will block most of the sun and use natural methods of air conditioning the house.

Type of land

Like in many other countries, here in Spain, plots are distinguished between the following categories. Let’s break down the types and see which suits best our needs.

Suelo urbano

Plots that are connected to an asphalted road as well as water and electricity. In general, those types of land are well established, meaning that the city does not need to perform further constructions. A house can already be present.

Suelo urbanizable

Land for development that is not under specific protection such as agricultural use, of historical value, forestry or cultural value.

Suelo no-urbanizable

This includes land that is under specific protection as mentioned above. In general, they are not developable but it is still possible to build on it legally in connection to agricultural use on large plots.

For the house we envision, we most likely go the route of buying a plot that is no-urbanizable. Simply because it fulfills most of our criteria. Regulations are different from region to region but can be permitted to build a house a certain size, somewhere between 0.5 – 1.5 % of the total area of the plot.

We also learned about a legal loophole of being able to legalize a housing. But some conditions need to be met before purchasing the land.

This loophole might not exist in every region though but discovered one region that allows for it. We are already in contact with a man who did this kind of legalization for a living.

What’s on and around the land

This is mostly a list of nice to haves than absolute musts. But the more we can check, the more perfect the land would be.

Should we fall in love with a non-developable, we might need to already have some sort of construction on it.

Apart from this, we hope to find neighbours that are not spraying their crops with synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Better yet, neighbours that use permaculture techniques.

Having a well, a river, a pond or a lake on the land would be a great bonus! Any kind of trees that bear fruit or grape vines are welcomed. Main roads should be as far as possible for the sake of our cats.

Of course we also appreciate a beautiful country side. We often drive into the region of Tarragona. There, close to Mont Serrat, you can see far far into the distance. I like to dream about the beauty of seeing the rain or the sun setting at the horizon.

We won’t give up

I am convinced that if we keep looking, we will find the perfect land. It’s already out there somewhere, waiting for us.

In the meantime we use the chance to prepare ourselves, gain knowledge and save money.

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