A cave house had been my home for nearly five years and I can't imagine living in any other type of home! My cool cave can be found in the beautiful village of Galera in the Granada Province of Spain.I can almost guess what you are thinking - he lives in a dark, damp, smelly hole in the ground so why tell the world about it! WRONG, my unique rural property in Spain is a cave house, it has three bedrooms, is comfortable and very modern in all but appearance - imagine a whitewashed English country cottage.
Just to show you how modern a cave house can be, we have satellite TV, ADSL internet, telephone, mains electric, water and sewerage. The rooms are dry, many have large windows providing natural light and, importantly, in this extreme climate of hot dry summers and cold mid-winter nights my cave home keeps an even temperature all year round thanks to it's natural geothermal temperature control.
Because, like most others, my cave house is built into the side of a hill I have the most spectacular views stretching many miles to the Sagra Mountains and for three hundred days of the year I can watch the sun rise as I eat my breakfast.
Cave houses in some parts of Spain have been home to man for thousands of years. Their popularity has risen and fallen as the centuries passed, today demand is soaring. Many people, both Spanish and other nationalities, are looking for a different lifestyle and homes that are affordable and eco-friendly.
Most modernised cave houses consist of two parts, part cave built into the side of a hill and part conventional with rooms built onto the front. In this way you get the best of both worlds. As such, cave houses have light, airy living rooms to the front and cooler cave bedrooms further back. Almost everyone loves to sleep in the cave rooms, they are quiet, cool, dark and natural. Many people swear that their cave bedrooms have a calming effect, connecting with inherited memories from our earliest creation. This natural ambience produces a great nights sleep that should ensure improvements in both energy levels and health.
Compared to a conventional property cave houses have quite a few advantages:
o They are significantly cheaper. Cave houses are 20 to 40% cheaper than an equivalent bricks and mortar property. As examples, it is still possible to buy a three bedroom cave house, fully modernised for under 100,000€ and four bedrooms for 115,000€.
o Each cave home is unique in its design. Almost all the modernised cave homes have been rebuild from much older dwellings, originally hewn out by hand hundreds of ago, as a result no two caves homes are alike. There is no danger of ending up with a home exactly like that of your neighbours.
o Because the cave rooms are sunk into the rock they maintain roughly the same temperature summer and winter, between 13 and 18°C. There is absolutely no need for air conditioning in the summer and winter heating requirements are much lower.
o Recently renovated cave houses come with double block cavity insulated external walls, double glazed windows and extra roof insulation making them beautifully cool in the summer and cosily warm during those winter nights.
o They have a quaintness and charm rarely found in so called "modern properties", yet they have all the facilities you expect from a new home. Electricity, mains water, mains sewerage, telephone, satellite TV and broadband Internet are all available enabling you to have the best of both worlds.
o Low maintenance is another benefit. Because of their method of construction and that they are mostly on one level their maintenance costs can be minimal. I can easily sleep at night, close to nature and knowing my eco-home didn't cost the earth.
o They are very cheap to run. In addition to the saving on power for air conditioning and heating their rateable value is unbelievably low. Often between one and two hundred Euros a year!
So why not come and experience this unique lifestyle in an undiscovered area of Spain. Life doesn't get much better.
Written by: Les Edwards
About the author: Having lived in the Granada Province of Spain for five years, Les Edwards, has successfully developed a real estate business specialising in cave houses, eco homes and rural property. http://www.spanish-inland-properties.com