People often ask us how we ended up buying a property ‘in the middle of nowhere’ in Spain. Why would a young couple in their right minds leave two successful careers, a nice house and family and friends behind to embark on a journey full of uncertainty? No seriously, why?
For outsiders it sometimes feels as if the masia we bought is very secluded, and to some extend it is. But if you spend more time in the area and look around, you’ll notice that there are quite some people living in the Burga Valley and all necessities are well within reach. Look even closer and it’s in fact a fascinating region with lots and lots to offer in terms of nature, culture, history, gastronomy and more.
The first serious conversation
For quite some time we’ve had this dream to move to Spain at one point in our lives. To buy a small farm with a piece of land, to have some animals, a vegetable garden, and the opportunity to rent out part of the farm to share the experience with others and in same time generate some income to make the endeavor sustainable. We always assumed we had to be 60+ years of age before something like this would even be feasible. In May 2018 we spent a week of holidays on Malta, when we ended up talking about the subject again at the side of the pool. We talked about how nice it would be if we could realise our dream while still being ‘young’ instead of waiting until retirement. If we were to realise this dream earlier than 2040, what would we have to do to make it a reality? How much does a piece of land even cost in Spain? Can we live there full time? What are the possibilities to make a living on the Spanish campo? All these questions emerged at the side of that Maltese pool. That’s when we started looking up properties on Spanish real estate websites, just to get an idea of whether it would be feasible for us to buy something in the near future.
Funny enough, the very first result that came up was Mas de Muntaner. We immediately fell in love with the photos of the building and its surroundings. But as proper researchers, we continued our quest, and also searched for properties somewhat closer to Barcelona, as this was our original plan. But even after coming back from Malta, Mas de Muntaner lingered in our minds.
The first visit, lots of research and even more uncertainty
It turned summer and in July we said to each other, why not go there and take a look? At least then we know if it is as beautiful as it’s in the photos, and if we like the area at all. In August we therefore planned a short trip to the Tarragona region, and checked out a few properties in the area together with a real estate agent. The moment we entered the Muntaner estate, we fell in love with the view, which, in real live was even more breath taking than in the pictures! And the buildings, big and majestic, looked amazing. The weeks after our trip to Spain were hard. We had seen the property and we still liked it, but we also knew it would also be A LOT of work to renovate it. This was the moment we had to make a decision. Are we actually going to pursue our dream? Do we want this now? Can we afford it? How does it all work in Spain buying real estate, getting permissions etc. etc. At the end of August 2018 we decided to seriously move forward with the plans. This meant getting in touch with a real estate agent in The Netherlands to see if we could sell our house in Soesterberg for a price adequate enough to buy Mas de Muntaner and pay for the renovation. We also needed to contact an architect in the area to see if we would actually be allowed to renovate and live in the masia full time, and also run it as a business. There will be another article about the process of buying real estate in Spain, but let me say that there are quite a lot of steps involved and having an experienced lawyer by your side is essential for a smooth process.
Let’s do it!
A long story short, after another visit to Mas de Muntaner and many hours of planning, researching and doubting ourselves, we finally decided to make an offer for Mas de Muntaner in September of 2018. After a few months of negotiations, we agreed with the seller on the final price and conditions in March of 2019. In the meantime we’d already sold our Dutch house and were living on a holiday park in The Netherlands. On July 11th, we finally got the keys and deeds to Mas de Muntaner at the notary. The end of the purchase process marked the beginning of the rest of our lives, and what a journey it would become…