What's going on here? Who is this guy?
Welcome to "Why Move to the Algarve?" a website that attempts to answer that very question.
My name is Justus Hayes. I'm a 53 year old guy, scenic painter by trade (although currently unemployed, as so many people are, due to the virus), husband of one, father of two, son of three. Family guy. I've taken over the daily duties with our two boys (Alex, 13; Rowan, 11) as we are very fortunate in that my wife Lisa is still working.
I have been to Portugal and the Algarve twice, the second time for two weeks with Lisa in 2005. We visited Lisbon and Lagos almost exclusively (a day trip to Sintra was in there); the previous visit was at age 18 with a couple of buddies, also Lisbon and Lagos. While I enjoyed the first trip there a lot, the second time with Lisa really sealed the deal. Our time together in Portugal is a high point in my life, and our time in Lagos was the pinnacle of that high point. To coin a phrase, we just fell in love with the place. In fact, Alex was conceived in Portugal; probably in Lisbon but possibly Lagos.
It is our dream to one day move to the Algarve with our family. This includes taking my Mom along with us, ideally. We are in absolutely no position to do this at present, and I don't see that situation changing any time soon (excepting a fortuitous lottery win, perhaps). I feel in my heart, though, in some almost spooky way that one day this will come to pass. In the meantime, I'm building this website in an attempt to answer all the questions I have (or anyone else might have) about what moving to the Algarve would entail. The practicalities, the pragmatics, the paperwork, the finances, the taxes, the infrastructure, the culture, the geography, etc. Also, of course, the question of why the Algarve is so appealing. The more I research, the more I realize this region has to offer. In a way, this website is an exercise in creative visualization, with extensive research providing all those necessary details that make the visualization more realistic.
You will find here sections that attempt to answer the above questions, links to helpful resources, as well as examples of real estate listings that have caught my eye for one reason or another. In some cases because it is a dream property for our family, in others a perhaps more realistic option, in still others properties that wouldn't suit us at all but would appeal to a different kind of buyer. I will try to feature properties that have a certain quirkiness or unusual appeal, places that are unique or at least uniquely affordable given what they offer. I really enjoy sifting through the listings, researching the area, trying to find that magical place that provides all the comforts at a convenient location at a reasonable price.
It's the case that nobody is flying to Portugal and buying property now. Nobody is flying anywhere, really. This won't last forever, though. One day things will get back to "normal" and properties will start moving again. I would imagine that those with the means to buy will find some very good deals indeed. Hell, there are amazing deals currently. Please compare what $1,000,000 will get you in Vancouver or Toronto with what it gets you in the Algarve, especially if you are willing to live some small distance from the ocean. A one bedroom condo in Vancouver starts around $350,000. For around twice that, you can buy a detached 3 bedroom house with a pool, terrace and garden only 10 or 15 minutes from the beach. Granted, Vancouver has ridiculously high housing prices, but still. As time goes by, I will probably be making comparisons with other markets in Canada is well.