We've seen everything from hideous ruins to brand new apartments right in the middle of Alcala; we've visited the nearby villages and seen houses there; we've followed cars out into the wilds to look at incomplete dreams in the middle of nowhere.
We've been close to buying a couple of them - there was one I was very fond of but it needed repairs and improvements beyond our budget and another that was up such a steep hill that my children nearly cried when I got them to walk up and have a look. And forget being able to park the car anywhere near!
We've seen cave houses in Granada, beautiful houses in the middle of nowhere, properties with huge gardens, swimming pools and fruit trees. None of them managed to offer enough of what we wanted even though offered more of what we didn't. We fell for a house very near Granada and had high hopes that as it was a repossession, the bank would be glad to accept our highest offer - which was short of the asking price but within the range that banks everywhere else were accepting - but they didn't. That was the one that got away and which would have been a lovely home for us, notwithstanding that we would have had to up-sticks and leave my beloved Alcala la Real to do it.
We've seen wrecks and ruins and hideously furnished and awkwardly-planned and downright ridiculous houses. We've seen beautifully restored and lovingly cared-for houses.
And now we've seen the one we want to be ours.
We went to see it on Friday last week and by Saturday had put in an offer. On Sunday, the owners came back with what they would accept and by Monday, we'd agreed to go ahead. We signed all the papers to get things going on Wednesday. FR can't even remember what the house is like inside but he's happy with the outside, the fact that there's plenty of land and a ruin in the garden.
In truth, I have had my eye on the house since we first arrived here but it was outside our price range. I've watched it fall in price over the past two years but even when it began to get closer to our budget, I didn't want to look until I could afford to fall in love with it. So, when it dropped again after Christmas, it was time to follow my gut feeling that 'this was it'. My guts have a lot of feeling at times.
Don't uncross those fingers just yet, because I'm not sure I shall believe it until the keys are in my hand. Please keep sending positive energy to ensure all goes through smoothly.
This photograph is taken from the Estate Agent's site, Undiscovered Spain, whose owner, Derryl Philpot has been not just a great help over the last few years, but great fun to be with : it's just a peek at the outside. There is another property joined on at the back, so it's not quite as huge as it looks (though bigger than you can see here...) I shall take some of my own photos to share next time we go and look. And then hopefully soon after that, photos with us living in it! Keep calm and watch this space....