Sunday, 23 August 2015
Entire villages in Spain are for sale - and they're going cheap! $230K - and that's negotiable.
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In Spain, Entire Villages Are Up For Sale - And They're Going Cheap

The abandoned village of O Penso, in northwest Spain, is for sale for about $230,000. The last resident died a decade ago. The village includes 100 acres with half a dozen houses, two sprawling farms with room for 70 cattle and a stand-alone bread-making kitchen. Lauren Frayer for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lauren Frayer for NPR
The abandoned village of O Penso, in northwest Spain, is for sale for about $230,000. The last resident died a decade ago. The village includes 100 acres with half a dozen houses, two sprawling farms with room for 70 cattle and a stand-alone bread-making kitchen.

The abandoned village of O Penso, in northwest Spain, is for sale for about $230,000. The last resident died a decade ago. The village includes 100 acres with half a dozen houses, two sprawling farms with room for 70 cattle and a stand-alone bread-making kitchen.

Lauren Frayer for NPR

Every August, Spain's countryside comes alive with fiestas.

A jolly trombone player prances through a crowd of revelers in Cantalejo, a small town about 1 1/2 hours' drive north of Madrid. But the hubbub is deceiving - because hardly anyone actually lives here. People come one week a year to party in the villages of their ancestors. During the other 51 weeks, towns like this are deserted.

"There was a time when this place was growing! But not anymore. This pueblo is dying," says Felix Sacristan, who's 55 and unemployed, living in his late grandfather's house. "The only ones left are the elderly. There are lots of abandoned homes."

It makes for cheap housing, he says.

Like much of Spain's central meseta table plateau, this land is dusty and the climate is severe. People joke it's like nine months of winter and three months of fiery hell.

"This land used to be for cereals, but it's difficult to grow anything else," Sacristan says. "And who wants to be a farmer these days now, anyway?"

In northern Europe, the Industrial Revolution pulled people to big cities centuries ago. But in Spain, that migration happened much later - in the mid-20th century. The first wave occurred after the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s; the second, after Spain's military dictatorship ended in the late 1970s.

Elderly residents gather in a dying village in the Sierra Francia region, northwest of Madrid. Lauren Frayer for

Now there's been a third exodus, amid the recent economic crisis. But it's not just on Spain's harsh central plans. Even villages in the country's most fertile northwest region, Galicia, are being depopulated. The lush Galician landscape once supported Spain's highest population density, and half of all Spanish villages - some 3,500 hamlets - are located there.

Now nearly half of these villages are abandoned.

Enter Mark Adkinson, a British-born real estate agent who scours the countryside for abandoned properties, and tries to match them up with foreign buyers.

"Some of the places I'm finding have been empty for 50 or 60 years," Adkinson says. "And my job is to try to find the descendants."

He drives around Galicia, dropping off leaflets at boarded-up old homes, asking owners if they'd like to sell. Adkinson unfurls a map annotated with hundreds of abandoned villages as he takes NPR on a visit to one of them.

Mark Adkinson, a Briton who lives in Spain, runs a real estate agency selling abandoned villages and other historic properties. Here Adkinson stands amid buildings for sale in the abandoned village of O Penso.Mark Adkinson, a Briton who lives in Spain, runs a real estate agency selling abandoned villages and other historic properties. Here Adkinson stands amid buildings for sale in the abandoned village of O Penso.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Down a track about a mile long, he arrives at the village of O Penso - which has "100 acres of land, a total of six houses, two barns and a big cattle barn that'll hold 70 cattle," he says.

The village, near Ortigueira, comes with free well water and a bakery with a stone hearth. Six miles away, green cliffs drop off onto white sand beaches - and some of Europe's best surfing.

The biggest of the village houses has hardwood floors and five bedrooms overlooking an orchard with peaches, figs, walnuts, apples and pears. At the bottom of the valley, there's a little river full of trout.

The asking price for the whole village: About $230,000 - negotiable. Smaller villages with less fertile land go for tens of thousands. Adkinson has one house for sale for $5,600.

Prospective buyers include British retirees, Adkinson says, and an Indian who has expressed interest in converting the hamlet into a yoga retreat center.

"There's also an American who already lives in Spain and wants to set up an English school here," he says. "I've got lots of buyers who want to go back to nature - and let's face it, there's nothing more natural than this."

O Penso's last resident died a decade ago - leaving the village uninhabited for the first time in perhaps 500 years.

In the surrounding area, "When you talk to the old people, tears come into their eyes," Adkinson says. "They say, 'Oh, there were a lot of kids, this place was alive!' They'd like to see these places picked up and turned around. They don't want them to die."

But many local Spaniards just don't want to live in villages anymore. They migrate to bigger cities for jobs, education, access to public transit and health care.

There are six abandoned houses in O Penso, a village for sale in northwest Spain.

There are six abandoned houses in O Penso, a village for sale in northwest Spain.

Back out on the paved road, at a tiny café, Maria Benedicta Fernandez meets with fellow retirees and reads the morning newspapers. She was among the last to leave the picturesque stone village where she was born. Only the four walls - no roof - remain of her ancestral family home. She prefers now to live in a rented apartment in a bigger town nearby, with a medical center.

"Everyone else left, too, or they've died, and the local school closed," Fernandez says. "There aren't enough children anymore."

Galicia's birth rate is 1.1 offspring per fertile woman - one of the lowest rates in all of Europe. The region is on track to lose a third of its population in the next 35 years.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, says Avelino Luis de Francisco Martinez, the mayor of Cortegada, a rural town in southern Galicia. An abandoned hamlet that's part of his town isn't for sale. He's giving it away.

"For free! Someone just has to promise to renovate the 12 ruined houses," he says. "They're beautiful - bucolic! Next to a river and an 18th century royal procession path."

The challenge? "We just need to find someone to live here in this century," he says.

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Posted on 08/23/2015 8:49 PM by Tiffany Olson
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Tuesday, 18 August 2015
Another Terrible Real Estate Photo: "Evidently this was built before the architect had quite mastered corners."
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Evidently this was built before the architect had quite mastered corners.
Book now available on Amazon
Follow on Twitter @BadRealtyPhotos
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Posted on 08/18/2015 9:51 AM by Tiffany Olson
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Thursday, 6 August 2015
There were 3,832 home closings reported for the month of July which is a 17.6% increase for the same period last year. Year-to-date closings for the Greater Nashville area are also up 13.1%.
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Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS Inc.
Middle Tennessee Home Sales
Stay Hot in July
 
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (August 6, 2015)  There were 3,832 home closings reported for the month of July, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®. This represents a 17.6 percent increase from the 3,258 closings reported for the same period last year. 

     Year-to-date closings for the Greater Nashville area are 21,038. That is an increase of 13.1 percent from the 18,594 closings reported through July 2014. 

     "The Greater Nashville area continues to reap the benefits of an active and healthy housing market," said GNAR President Cindy Stanton. "Last month we were a few units shy in the residential market alone of surpassing the total of units closed for all of July 2014." 
     A comparison of sales by category forJuly  is: 
 
July 2014
July 2015 
CLOSINGS
3,258
3,832
 Residential
 2,728
 3,224 
 Condominium
 352
 435 
 Multi-Family
 36
 23 
 Farm/Land/Lots
 142 
 150 
     There were 3,708 sales pending at the end of July, compared with 3,201 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 57 days.
 
     The median residential price for a single-family home during July was $234,900 and for a condominium it was $161,500. This compares with last year's median residential and condominium prices of $221,000 and $170,000, respectively.
 
     Inventory at the end of July was 13,728, down from 15,919 in July 2014. The current inventory of properties by category, compared to last year, is:
 
July 2014 
July 2015 
INVENTORY
15,919
13,728
  Residential
 10,407
 9,094
  Condominium
 1,141
 965
  Multi-Family
 156
 116
  Farm/Land/Lots
 4,215
 3,553
    "According to data from Realtor.com, Nashville has one of the lowest rates for days on market in the country," said Stanton. "That is in part due to the lower inventory of available properties, and part because we have such a high demand of buyers looking to make a move.
 
     "Today's Metro Nashville elections are critical for maintaining our healthy market. Managing Nashville's growth is a high priority with a direct impact on our housing industry. These new leaders will have a big responsibility in finding solutions on issues that affect current and future citizens, like transit and affordable housing."
 
     The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee's largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners.  REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.
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Posted on 08/06/2015 7:14 AM by Tiffany Olson
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Thursday, 6 August 2015
New POST & CO listing - 2,200 sq ft on a level acre in Spring Hill for $250K
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$249,977

* 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath on an acre, 2,205 square feet
* Some hardwoods, open floor plan with terrific natural light, fireplace
* Gourmet kitchen with island and stainless appliances
* Master suite with a separate shower and tub, double vanities, and a truly enormous closet
* Home features eat-in space in kitchen, formal dining room, and separate laundry room
* Breezeway to garage that will become everyone's favorite spot
* Rocking chair front porch and wood deck on back overlooking level yard
* Home is only seven years old - shows true pride of ownership

Offered by Post & Company Real Estate
Mike Post, Broker
http://www.postandcompany.com

http://www.showcasephotographers.com/sba/index.php?sbo=sh1508031
 

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Posted on 08/06/2015 7:12 AM by Tiffany Olson
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Saturday, 1 August 2015
New POST & CO listing in Pegram - huge log cabin on 2 acres for $289K
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3608 Sams Creek Rd, Pegram, TN

$289,977

* 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath, finished basement (could easily be 3-4 bedroom home)
* 3,170 square feet
* Peaceful and immaculate log home on nearly 2 acres
* Hardwoods, brand-new stainless appliances, open kitchen, soaring ceilings and stone fireplace
* Massive master suite and huge utility room
* NEW: HVAC (2012), gutters (2011), stain and [removed] (2014), water pump, doors and stairs, lower level bathroom (2014), refinished deck and new screens (2014), new lighting throughout ... >* Screened-in back deck and rocking chair front porch
* Finished basement that would make excellent in-law/teen suite or even rental option.
* Owners have spent $40-50K in last 5 years on home.
* Would be perfect for artist or musician buyer
* Convenient to Bellevue and Nashville
Offered by Post & Company Real Estate
Mike Post, Broker
http://www.postandcompany.com

http://www.showcasephotographers.com/sba/index.php?sbo=zh1507291
 

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Posted on 08/01/2015 7:15 AM by Tiffany Olson
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