For sale direct from the owners!
Why this house will suit the most perceptive buyers…
If you have spotted this lovely home and opened this description, you will have realised that this is not the standard architect designed ‘house on the hill’. Many of which have fantastic views, but are difficult to reach, over exposed to the elements and expensive to heat and cool, especially if being used all year round.
This substantial Cortijo is, in contrast, an outlier that has looked to thousand year old Arabesque Mediterranean design traditions, used traditional and reclaimed materials and blended them into a three level site, with mature vegetation to combine wind and sun protection, external view and internal privacy choice, as well as a wide range of outside sun/shade sitting, al fresco shaded eating and both bathing and sporting facilities.
The current owner, who has emigrated to Peru for family reasons, has lived, worked and travelled in nearly all the Arab League States, and has seen how well traditional Levantine design concepts work in practice—especially when combined with modern materials.
The house is thus likely to suit various categories of niche purchaser, with emphasis on satisfying the two key questions of our troubled times…
1. How comfortable and safe will it be as accelerating climate change makes the whole Mediterranean hotter and drier, but paradoxically creates a more frequent incidence of localised extreme microclimates with enhanced flood and fire risk?
2. When, not if, the next health pandemic arrives, will it enable an extended family group to isolate effectively and live comfortably with the space and ability to engage, with pleasure, in a wide variety of leisure and sporting pastimes?
The current owner believes that the answer to both questions is positive and the reasons for this rest on these key factors.
♦ Location – within walking distance of the desirable hill village of Bedar, is 400m above sea level, with diverse facilities and 30 minutes’ drive to the coast, but only 15mins to the Coastal motorway.
♦ Orientation – the accommodation of the house is arranged so that the reception rooms, balconies and kitchen are at the upper entrance level, with sea, mountain and village views. The 6 bed, 4 bath accommodation is divided into three suites each with their own entrance onto a traditional internal Patio Andaluz, with floral decoration, a working fountain and both sitting and eating/drinking areas. The upper floor is protected from the cold winter north wind at its rear façade and receives morning, noon and afternoon sun in its various open and closed spaces. In contrast the sleeping areas on the lower floor receive limited sun, or cold wind as windows are all protected by balconies, walls or vegetation.
♦ Construction – the house is now over 25 years old and long before it became fashionable, all the outside walls are twin skin with fibreglass insulation and the roof cavities are either exposed high beam, with good air flow or enclosed with fibreglass insulation. The rooms are spacious 25m2 plus for reception rooms and 15m2 plus for bedrooms, and most living spaces have ceilings of 1.75m or higher. Almost all also have cross ventilation windows arranged to facilitate air flow, particularly in summer when a cooling sea breeze normally starts about 5PM, and then persists at least until after dark.
♦ Security – the house was designed so that it would be difficult to break into, with outside boundaries protected by metal gates or sturdy stone walls, most outside doors are reinforced with metal inner plates combined with double locks and all windows/balconies are secured with traditional metal rejas.
♦ Isolation and vegetation – when the design was planned, it was expected that it would take about 25 years to create a mild micro climate, by preserving almost all the existing mature trees. These include three mature algarobba and one antique olive at the entry level and planting Spanish conifer along the west boundary tarmac road to the village plus specially imported Australian arid zone evergreen trees to the south around the tennis court and a giant jasmine hedge both on top of and down the east retaining wall. This all helps to create a secluded garden next to two of the bedroom suites. This configuration is designed to create fire breaks and plays an important role in making the house cooler in summer and warmer in winter than its neighbour’s, even though they receive the same cooling breeze. The house is set back over 7m to any outside gate from an external door and thus no close visitor conversation is required until a visitor is identified, and any appropriate protective equipment put on. Both main entrances also have off road spaces to leave deliveries and allow the deliverer to leave before recovery.
In summary, if mitigating climate change and improving future isolation security are potential purchaser concerns taking a 25-year view, the vendor believes the house will satisfy most practical concerns.
The Vendor also recognises that the house is unusual and is only likely to attract those niche buyers, who can relate to its concept, but apart from climate change mitigation and enhanced isolation security, also thinks, that the following buyer profiles may find it responsive to their needs.
Northern European extended three, or even four generation families who plan to come for extended periods by road using the motorway which links directly to the French Autoroute system.
UK retirees wanting to establish their status before the Brexit transition runs out, who wish both to acquire a house they can live in comfortably year round but also invite family and friends with space for separate groups to come and go with their own accommodation entrances, and access to parking in three off road areas above and below the house. The three suites configuration, around a lower Patio has been found to facilitate this, with intermingled common use of the spacious reception rooms above.
A more detailed description of the property follows:
The charming property is an intriguing hybrid, with the outward appearance of a large local farmhouse, the inside space and style of a compact North European country house, and the contour hugging, traditional Mediterranean climate friendly, layout & configuration that optimizes comfort from sun, shade and wind conditions.
♦ It comprises 657M2 gross constructed area (528M2 net) before considering a 5m X 10m pool and a full-size tennis court. The accommodation provides 4 reception rooms plus a farmhouse kitchen and terrace on the upper entry level, 6 bedrooms & 4 bathrooms around a lower patio, and two more bathrooms in the pool, changing annex. This patio is planted, shaded and furnished under the arches in the Cordobes style derived from the Arab concept of a Patio being the meeting place for the residents, with separate units of living accommodation, accessed by separate doors leading off the patio. The sea breeze is channelled into the patio, and thence into the accommodation, where all rooms have cross ventilation, and little or no direct sun impact on windows—most of which are shielded. Two 5 meter open ceilings in the upper level and high ceilings throughout give a feeling of space and enhance cooling.
♦ The house has been placed into an established fertile green valley and the present owner/builder, of 25 years has surrounded the property with a variety of mature trees and shrubs, some of which flower and all act to wind shield and cool, as the altitude of 400M above the Mojacar Coast creates a sea breeze most afternoons and evenings in the summer.
♦ The Dining room has a large open fire, and is laid for a family group of six in the photo, but the main table can be extended to sit ten or twelve on one table, with an additional small table often used for 2/3 children. This room leads into an open terrace with 270 degree views, of Mojacar down to the sea, the Bedar village, and the tree covered hills behind. The terrace is presently arranged with a breakfast table for four which catches the morning sun and a main meal table for eight, angled to be sheltered from the direct midday sun; the two tables can also be combined for informal alfresco meals, and with a small table added at the far end, sit 12.
♦ The three other reception rooms are linked and create generous space for around 15 people in a traditional fireside drawing room, a spacious high ceilinged ‘glassed in’ terrace with ceiling fan and marble bar, plus a snug complete with a Chesterfield & an antique wood-burning stove.
♦ The six bedrooms are grouped into three suites of two, and each suite has a separate door to the Patio Cordobes. The largest suite has two bed/bath pairs totalling over 50 M2 has eastward shaded views over a vine covered area and a fragrant hedge. The second family suite has a large bedroom, walk in cupboard, and artist’s porch, with a Jacuzzi bathroom shared with a smaller bedroom suitable for two children. The third guest suite with two double bed and a spacious bathroom is under the Dining room with private lower patio access and separate stairs to the Dining room, Kitchen & Terrace.
♦ A much-used feature of the property’s lower level is the pool area, with covered barbecue & changing annex. This zone catches the afternoon sun, reflected from the front of the main part of the house and gives a wide selection of sunbathing or shaded areas which are all invisible from the road with trees or shrubs. The established flower/shrub garden from the lower parking to the patio entrance also shelters the steps down to the full-sized Tennis Court; this is surrounded on two sides by walls/fences and two by arid zone trees.
♦ Given that Bedar has over 330 fine, warm days in most years, eating outside is a key aspect of the potential of the property and the secret to comfort and convenience is availability of venues that suit temperature, sun, and wind conditions. This property has four built in Al-Fresco options…
− The Barbecue area next to the pool with a plancha, a traditional wood grille and a sink with hot water; the marble table seats 6 for family use and trestle tables with sunshades can extend capacity to over 20.
− The antique wooden table under the vine in the east garden seats six comfortably with ample room for four more in a second table. The area catches the sea breeze up the dry river bed at the east side of the property, is shaded by the vine and substantially out of most direct sun after midday, because of the alignment of the building.
− The lower Patio has a cushioned seat at one end in semi shade, and this combined with a rectangular table provide tapas/drinks room for 6/8 people. It has been found to be particularly suited to light post tennis refreshment in the early evening, with the sea breeze and traditional fountain both augmenting the fresh, cooling sensation.
− A stone table with antique tiles for 6 plus is located in the upper entrance close to both the main door and the back door of the kitchen. This catches the midday/afternoon sun in the winter, whilst being protected from the wind. The whole courtyard can be lit up, so it is also suitable for summer evening meals, with close proximity to the kitchen that facilitates the creation and serving of elaborate dishes.
♦ Bedar village is only 15 mins easy tarmac road walk away and so visits to any of the four bar restaurants need not involve driver abstention. The Village is also well equipped with other amenities such as, two food shops, Baker, Bank/ATM, Hairdresser, Pharmacy, Tobacconist and a Clinic. Bedar gives easy access (less than 30minutes drive) to the numerous beaches of Mojacar Playa and Vera, together with their ancient town centres, the traditional, albeit more modern Andalusian villages of Los Gallardos and Turre, complete with several golf courses in the vicinity. The port of Garucha has a famous fishing industry and a flourishing Marina to provide a good variety of amenities.