Every once in a while, when we collected a day’s worth of visits, we go on our land hunt.
This weekend, we have made our way to the regions of El Pla de Santa Maria and for the fourth time to the south of Lleida.
After having a good breakfast early in the morning we left with the tank full of gasoline.
El Pla de Santa Maria
Around 10′ we met a nice old man called Pere. He showed us a property near El Pla de Santa Maria, Tarragona. It seemed promising at first: a well-sized and south-facing ruin to rebuild and enough land for our growies. However, we found that the highway is close enough to be dangerous for our cats and there’s a factory nearby which we have to research.
The next property we went to is located in the mountains, it took us a while to get up there from the main roads. We even saw a sign saying that the road will be blocked during rainfall. The last kilometer, we had to walk because the road was closed.
We knew already from the pictures of the ad that a small wooden house awaits us. In the end, we found that the wooden house is actually just a shack attached to a caravan. It would be sufficient for living there. But with no prospect of building a proper house on that property, we quickly discarded the idea of calling it our own. We didn’t even take pictures.
There was one more property in this area we planned to see. Problem with this one is, that it’s in fact so close to the main road that we ended up driving by without stopping.
Welcome back to the Lleida province
This region of the Lleida province keeps calling us over and over again. We have seen a lot of lands here already. It’s also the home of our favorite property which we haven’t completely given up on yet.
The countryside is pretty and the people are very nice. Somehow, the most interesting offers origin from there.
Our first appointment was with señor Mansilla and his brother, who act as real estate agents in that area. They have shown us some properties before which were not that interesting. But now that they know more about us and our preferences, they had some more interesting offers.
First, we went to a 3-hectare big property with a house and a horse. There, we met the current owner Paco, who still lives there with his daughter’s horse and a few chickens.
The house faces south and already has running water and two little solar panels. We could basically move in right away after cleaning it up. There is a second structure, ready to be converted into an Earthship-style home.
After that, the Mansilla brothers guided us to a huge property in the hills for a bargain price. Whopping 132 hectares in total and there was not enough time to even see everything! There are two old houses touching each other. The only problem is, that the second house belongs to another person. Would we buy the land, we’d still have to buy the second house from him.
The last one we went to see, although perfectly fine for the majority, was not that spectacular to us. It has got two houses, one of which got running water and electricity. Thing is, those two are not facing south and are tricky to convert into passive solar homes. We scratched it off our list.
Seeing all those properties is exhausting. We were so hungry and it was way past lunchtime. So we said goodbye to the two brothers and went to eat at Ca la Margarida. The food is really good there.
Before we started the main dish, we had some free bread which we ate with some olive oil that comes from this very region. It’s called Baró de l’Albi and we think it’s the best olive oil we’ve ever had tried. Unfortunately, the store where it’s sold was closed by the time we arrived. Next time we go there, we will definitely buy some.
Meeting more nice people
After lunch, we met with Inda and her brother. The two showed us the properties they had to offer. Unfortunately, none of them were to our liking. We started off with a very small property with a small house with stone walls. Problem is, that it’s not at all convertible to what we have in mind.
We then went to see a house without any space for gardening. Actually, it’s a workshop. While it has a lot of potential, it’s not what we have in mind and it was not easy explaining to them that it’s not what we want. They really want to sell it.
After explaining our plans to them in-depth, they brought us to one more piece of land. It has got around 3 hectares with lots of almond trees and a small house. It was very small, something around 20 square meters and serves more like a refuge than a home. Sorry Inda, but we won’t take this one either.
Having to tell them over and over again that it’s not going to work out made us feel a little bad. After all, they are taking the time to show us around in the hope of selling.
On multiple occasions, Inda mentioned that we can also rent one of their places. She even welcomed us in their home and invited us to have a drink.
But we still had to see two more places. Before we left, however, she suggested to cut some thyme from the property and take it home.
The last two lands were rather disappointing
Sometimes, the properties advertised on the internet seem better than they actually are. And you have to be there to see how they really are.
One of them was way too close to the main road and the construction was much smaller than it seemed in the pictures. To see the other one, we had to drive way up on a mountain. The land is rather big and it even has a house with a big water deposit. Problem is, that it’s very windy up there. We were sick of it after 15 minutes already.
We had a good time though
Despite it being exhausting at times, we enjoy the hunt. It’s a good way to get familiar with the region and meet people living in that area.
In the end, we left with one more good option in our pockets and a good feeling that we will surely find what we are looking for.