As a software engineer defining requirements is fundamental to describing what the finished goal ought to look like. The same applies to house hunting. Sure, you could take a shotgun approach and just look at a bunch of properties and hope that something appeals to you. I am guilty of that, and we have purchased a couple of houses that initially seemed perfect but after a few months lost their shine. This next house buying experience is going to be different. I am creating a list of everything that I want in a house. Included are the usual list like number of bedrooms, square footage and location. But I am also rating each potential property on how it complements my hobbies and interests.
I think the days of adrenaline-fueled sports are in my rearview mirror now so I have been thinking about what types of activities I can see myself doing in the next 10-20 years. Among the items on my list are building remote controlled sailboats and astrophotography. Of course, having a shop where I can build stuff is high on my list and I am sure that I could put something together no matter where we end up.
When taking pictures of the cosmos, darkness is right at the top of the list of import requirements. That is where resources like www.lightpollutionmap.info comes in handy. We live in the city and I do miss seeing the stars. Sure, we can see the brighter stars, but it is nothing like when we lived in the mountains 25 miles east of Seattle. Seeing the Milky Way or orbiting satellites by just looking up is something that I would like to be able to do again. I am sure there is a large telescope purchase in my future.
Access to a body of water is important too. I love paddling and want to be able to take my kayak out a few times a week. One thing I have found is that lakefront property is not a thing here in Spain. I have searched high and low for a nice lakefront house and I am convinced that there are maybe 10-12 houses in the country that embrace the freshwater waterfront lifestyle. It would be so nice to sit at the end of a dock and cast a line into the water. Both Kelli and I love to fish. Being on a lake would also be super convenient for sailing my remote-control sailboats.
Saltwater waterfront property is still rare, but it is easier to find. I thought I wanted to be on the coast to be able to watch big storms roll in from the Atlantic or cargo ships heading off to destinations unknown. I am trying to take a long-term view and think about climate change and rising sea levels. Ice packs are melting at an alarming rate. Siberia has had several consecutive days of 100+ degree temperatures this past week. It is not hard to see that all this water has to go somewhere, and I would prefer that my house stays high and dry. So, unless I find the perfect house that is 30-40 feet above sea level, I think an inland lake house will be our preference. Coincidentally, the light pollution map shows that most Spanish inland areas are darker than along the coast so that is a nice bonus.
Some other considerations would be a property that is large enough to have a garden. We have lived in this apartment for 2+ years and moving back to house would be nice. I like our neighbors but having a little more distance between us and them would be great.
High speed internet used to be at the top of my list but these days you can get a good connection everywhere. Fast internet is available even the areas that have not seen any infrastructure improvements in years. Satellite Internet providers have upped their game in recent years. When we lived in Snoqualmie, Washington our broadband internet was a 7MB/sec. At the time I thought that was pretty good as we had been making do with a 2MB before that. Satellite internet promises 40-50MB speeds and I think that should be more than enough for my needs. I will be sure to check out exactly how good it really is when we drive up to Galicia in a few weeks. I am a little bit concerned with latency issues, but we shall see.
Satellite Internet providers: