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11/28/05

Cavehomes, investment or caution???

Regular readers to this weblog will know that all the information is one persons own opinion and any advice given here is a guide for those who choose to use it or modify it according to there own sitiuation - nothing is set in stone. I have chosen to write on a subject that will probably make state agents very happy aswell as present cave owners, remember though it is only an opinion!
Cavehomes investment or caution Part 1
My own view is that any cave home is an investment - but time is running out. Let me start by saying that a French neighbour of ours bought his cave 20 years ago for the equivilent of 550 euros, now reformed and a big beast of some 14 rooms he could expect to sell for 140k plus if he chose to do so. My own cave has risen in value by 600% in 15 months but my situation is quite unique, people always say we bought the last bargain in Andalucia. As a very very rough price guide you can expect to pay between 65 - 95k euros for a three bedroom maybe nine room cave suitable for a family home, this all depends heavily on location/views/access and state.
I have seen some large unreformed caves for 100k+ so it looks like the time is now if you still want to pick up a bargain. 5 years ago the locals could not get rid of their caves simply because no-one knew what they were or the potential they had. The Spanish didnt buy them due to the reputation caves had of poverty and gypsy communities so over the last few decades caves became abandoned as the inhabitants moved to the nearby villages and were left to decay - hence so many unreformed caves.
Reading other expat forums relating particularly to the property market on the costas, all you will hear is "price crash" and "property bubble". Truth be told the housing market on the costas is saturated and they are still building more so no doubt prices will begin to decline in some shape or form. Caves however I believe are different and I honestly think they have developed over a very short period of time ther own "mini property market"
The Andalucian cave dwellings have been around for hundreds of years but still remain a fresh and very new concept, how can this be? Mainly due the amount of "brits" catching onto the idea and taking advantage of the property market in the UK, using their equity and expendable income to buy abroad something that is cheap, different and is a potential investment. Obviously the problem here is though that the prices go up accordingly and with caves doubling in price in some cases in under a year the market has to settle at some point - but not yet.
A cave is both a unique and natural property and there are only so many left, you cant build caves like villas/flats or apartments so when they eventualy run out thats it and sellers will command higher prices as a result. Now before anyone starts saying NO NO YOUR WRONG! I am aware and have looked into myself digging a cave from scratch so yes they can be built or rather dug if people or investors so wish. With a strict local government and various preservation orders though what I am saying is that it will never ever become even marginaly like the coast.
A price crash on the coast or in Spain in general will not effect the cave market. Expats all over the costas are trying to sell and are finding it very very difficult. Indeed some cave owners are trying to sell and are finding it difficult too but only because the customer base isnt there yet. Caves still have the stereo-typical image of being damp holes in the ground and it will take time for the cave home "client base" to increase but increase it will and so will prices. How do you value a cave? Two identicle Barrat homes in the UK could sell for £20000 apart, it would depend on decor/conservatory/garden etc etc. But each cave is unique with absolutley no two the same is there a "cap" for which a cave cannot be sold any higher?? At the present growth rate and such a low potential buyer rate who knows? INVESTMENT? make up your own mind but I would say definatly Yes.
Part 2 next....Caution, and lots of it required

3 comments:

DCveR said...

The whole concept, the amount of work required to make the improvements, the feeling of living in our own "hole" so to speak. All this makes it hard for me to believe someone who buys a cave and does all the remodeling will ever be willing to sell the place.
Buying a cave house seems like getting a tattoo or getting married: people who don't think of it as "for life" should be aware that reversing the situation will leave "scars". Of course this is only my view on it, and I didn't buy one.

cave renovator said...

Hello mate, an interesting comment! I certainly wont be selling my place thats for sure too much work has gone into it although another project may be on the cards soon...

As usual some great photos on that twilight zone of yours. Glad you enjoyed your holiday. CR

Chris said...

Hello caveman, sorry it took me a while to visit yr website again, I've been pretty busy for the past weeks... Well, you know how it is, moving to another country creates tons of new responsibilities that have to be dealt with! Lately, I am slowly feeling more like an inhabitant and less like a tourist though...

To answer your question: My internet provider is TV por Cable, costs 13 euro a month for a 512 connection... It was basically my only option... My house is almost on top of Sacromonte and we have no phone connection or TV reception. To compensate my landlord installed cable TV in our house... I figured it was best to use this existing cable and pay a little extra for cable internet... It's pretty reliable and fast enough.

One more thing: I don't know if I told you this last time, but I am a freelance journalist. Your cave interests me, also because I am surrounded by caves on Sacromonte myself... Would you mind if I come over one day and do a little interview? I tried to do this on Sacromonte already, but my Spanish is definitely not good enough yet to seriously interview people... The fact that you sold everthing in Britain just to renovate a cave over here, makes the story even better! Let me know if you are interested... My email is chris.f.wind@gmail.com... Good luck with all your 'cave activities'!