Townhouse living

As an expat the lure of the Mediterranean sea is a huge factor when selecting your place in the sun. Isn’t that what a move to Mallorca is all about? But consider this, while a port town can be idyllic in the spring, summer and even autumn months, it can change dramatically in winter. After November 1st, it’s more ghost town than port town.

If you’re planning a permanent home, why not consider the pueblo as your base here on the island? Normally just a short car ride to the beach, or even a bus, it’s not such a hardship. And who says you can’t have a pool on the roof of your townhouse?

Oh yes, these townhouses offer more space than you think. Of course there are tiny bijou pads but many, spread over three floors with a courtyard and casita at the back, have vast roof terraces that can house a splash pool at the very least.

Townhouse living is unique. They are joined together in one glorious terrace or even blocks. You might hear muffled noises and stomping from your neighbours and there is a sense of crowdedness you won’t get in a villa in the port or on a finca in the countryside. Indeed, obtrusive behavior is not just about everyday noise. Passersby (tourists especially) like to see how people live. They like to look in. There are varying degrees of nosiness but some brazen onlookers will stand in your porch, nose pressed to the glass, to have a good look. Others will squint and crane their necks only to be met with their own reflection in the window.

But this is nothing to get too het up about. What you do have is a sense of community that you don’t get elsewhere. You may step out the front door, directly onto the road but just across it, your elderly neighbour will greet you with a friendly wave. A walk to the local bakers will take 10 minutes rather than two simply because there are too many people to say Hola to. If you have children, a pop to shops is never complete without a daily lollipop from the butcher or cherry tasting from the market seller. Within a couple of weeks your local shopkeepers will know not just your name but your husband/wife’s and each of your children. They will know where you are from and will fall over themselves to teach you a little Spanish.

As a city dweller, a house in the countryside is not something I go for. A Townhouse is the perfect compromise, all the bustle of town but nothing overbearing. What’s more, these old townhouses offer character and a lifestyle that is unique to Mallorca and island living. Everything is just outside the front door, the children are looked out for, I can nip to the shops, the gym, the hardware store, the supermarket, the school and be back in 10 minutes. Yes, there may be a few negatives of living in an ‘out-of-shape’ townhouse but these are nothing that a renovation can’t change. Bringing a grand old dame up to date, making use of all the space, the quirky nooks and crannies, can give you the perfect pueblo pad.

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