Even Better Commune Waiting to Happen - Bensafrim
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
This amazing property came to my attention because idealista sent me an email notifying me that the price of this place had just dropped by 510,000€, now listed at 850,000€. That's a savings of 38%, or about $772,300 CDN. 7 bedroom, 8 bathroom, 4 separate units, 760 m² built/95,000 m² plot, water supply, beautiful setting, 12 minute walk to the village of Bensafrim, 15 minute drive to the beaches of Lagos, slightly dated but well-appointed interiors. Just breath-taking. And to put it into perspective (so to speak), 95,000 m² equals 23.5 acres. Helluva chunk of land.
***Edit - July 03, 2020 - the price just popped up to 1,000,000€***
Also, interesting that we are back in Bensafrim. I'm liking this part of the Algarve more and more.
The idealista listing. Advertised by Mimosaproperties.
From the idealista listing:
"Magnificent farm in Bensafrim.
Located in a beautiful village 10 minutes from the city of Lagos and 5 minutes from the beautiful dam of Bravura.
Property with several apartments and beautiful infrastructures, stables, riding stables, warehouse and small lake. With arable and agricultural crops.
Comprising a generously sized housing, currently used for Local Accommodation, with four apartments with two bedrooms and an apartment with a bedroom and office. It has laundry and storage.
With a vast and extensive terrain, feasibility for construction of pool and exploration of other activities."
- 760 m² built
- 8 bathrooms
- Land plot of 95,000 m²
- Built in 1985
- Energy efficiency rating: C"
Naturally, I found this property on Google Maps and also checked it out on Street View. Because I'm still having second thoughts about posting the actual coordinates of a property when that exact location is not given in the listing (*sigh* - please see The Questionable Ethics of Using Science Fiction to Research Real Estate for more on this), I'm only going to include here Street View images of the property and maps with only a general indication of location. I will point out, though, that it took me about two minutes to find this place.
I love Google Maps. Very complicated feelings about Google, but love Google Maps. If I could get access to a full-res version without the watermarks, I would probably spend a goodly chunk of my spare time (ha!) taking screen grabs of land and water masses. It's art writ large. Take a really close look at an estuary some time.
At any rate, I like to see what a place looks like from the road. I like that it's not overly imposing. It's clearly a nice place, but not too fancy. If I lived there, I would have a lot of flowers along that low wall.
This is a very good location. One metric I like to consider - how close is the nearest store that sells at least basic staples (bread, milk, coffee)? In this case, 2 minutes by car and under 15 minutes by foot. That's how far it is to the Buy Low in my neighbourhood.
Goddamn, this is beautiful country. This is about a ten minute walk away:
Screen grab from a Photo Sphere by Gerhard Bechtold
According to Google Maps:
- 2 minutes by car to Bensafrim, a large village verging on a small town. At least one market, a post office, a pharmacy, some eating options. Information about the town as opposed to the municipality is thin.
- Less than 15 minutes to Lagos, with all that Lagos has to offer. 15 minutes to Lagos beaches and other great beaches, like Porto de Mos Beach, pictured here (image from Gerhard Bechtold).
- Very close to the N120. Close to the M535 and the A22.
- 10 minutes to the Barragem da Bravura, a dam that forms a reservoir with some good hiking.
- 10 minutes to Odiáxere.
To my mind, all of the above make this a very good location indeed. Close enough to the mountains to give the terrain a gentle rolling quality. A satisfying blend of imposed agricultural order and wildness. There are times when I look at images of this area that I am reminded of scenery in a Terry Gilliam or Peter Jackson film. Lagos and its conveniences are nearby, many beaches to choose from, the mountains are right next door. Nice place to live.
At 760 m² built, this property offers a lot of living space. Keep in mind that "built" area can include exterior terraces and other paved areas, with the distinction sometimes being made between built area and floor area, with "floor" meaning "interior." Looking at the photos, though, there isn't much in the way of exterior terraces (a drawback, imo) so that 760 m² number likely is almost all interior space. That's around 8,000 square feet, split over probably 3 dwellings - the main house and at least two smaller houses. How all this space is divided is confusing. I see only two smaller buildings that could be dwellings when I look at the satellite image of the property, but that's at odds with "several apartments." I guess the main house is also divided up? I don't know and it doesn't really matter. Suffice it to say that a minimum of 6 people and a maximum of quite a few more could easily live here. Let's have a look at an aerial shot:
The small grove of trees on the left must be the separate dwellings, because the short row of buildings at the upper right are clearly stables and storage. Okay, I have just spent half an hour going over the satellite image of this place and I can't tell where the property ends. Let's just say it's really big and there are a lot of buildings and gardens on it. It all looks great to me. I like that there are indications of boreholes even if they are not mentioned. I like that there are established areas of cultivation but there is also a huge fallow chunk; if you wanted to expand operations you easily could. Regarding the interiors, they are clean and finished, if a bit dated. As I'm learning as is often the case with these kinds of houses, rooms are on the small side with windows on the small side. One complaint I have about listings like this one (and this is usually the case) is that there is no attempt to group photos of interiors with particular dwellings. If I was advertising a place like this, each separate house would get a designation, with pics of the exterior and interior given that designation, e.g., Living Room House 2.
What's not to like? Lots of room inside, lots of established agricultural space, tons of undeveloped space. The very definition of privacy. Excellent location. Great value.