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In Another, More Affordable Style

Updated: Feb 13, 2021

As the price comes dow, the number of compromises one has to make go up. It becomes a matter of weighing pros and cons. This place has some big cons, but I think the pros far exceed them.

395,000€, 4 bedroom plus, 2 separate units, pool, terraces, 10 minutes to the beach, just north of Portimão in Boavista.

The following photos and quoted information are reproduced without permission from the site Predimed the real estate company that carries the property and idealista. Here is the link for the Predimed listing, and here is the link for the idealista listing, where I saw it initially.

"House located 5 minutes from the center of Portimão (Algarve) in urbanization exclusively residential. In this plot with more than 1300m2 of land you will find this nice villa with a good heated pool, lawn areas, fruit trees, BBQ in the garden and BBQ on one of the terraces. It has 2 covered terraces and 1 at the top uncovered with wide open views, it also has an engine room with laundry in covered space. The villa is divided into a large T2 with living and dining room with fireplace, kitchen, 1 bathroom and 2 bedrooms en-suite with fitted wardrobes; 1 T1 with a lounge with kitchenette, 1 bathroom and 1 bedroom; 1 spacious studio with 1 bathroom: All with separate entrances, some with excellent terraces. Excellent to have a home with some profitability, come visit!"

The summary on idealista:


272 m² built


2 bathrooms

Land plot of 1,344 m²



Fitted wardrobes

Energy efficiency rating: E (ECI not indicated)

Swimming pool


Let's look at the cons first.

- Little privacy. The plot size is not bad given the type of house this is, but there is at least one neighbour very near by with a view of the pool - so much for skinny dipping. The rooftop patio offers some exterior privacy, so at least there's that.

- Bland, modernist style. In my opinion, modernist style only works when taken to the extreme, or when understated/minimalist. Houses like this one nod in that direction but make easy choices, resulting in a cookie cutter look that could exist anywhere.

- Very poor Energy Efficiency rating. E. Oof. Nuff said.

- No garage. Outside parking only.

Ah, but the pros...

- Kick-ass location. There may be some wiggle room with regards to where this place is exactly. Idealista shows you the neighbourhood on a Google Map, but I've noticed that sometimes this function is a little inaccurate. At any rate, the info we have suggests the property is somewhere near here: 37.152984, -8.548088.

(Map lifted from Algarve Real Estate, ARE, modified by me)

Apologies for the text on the map being blurry - my bad. I'll figure it out. At any rate, you can see the proximity to Portimão, the second largest city in the Algarve, so basically immediate access to all amenities and services. Next to the N125. Practically next door to Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve - Hospital de Portimão. 10ish minutes to a variety of beaches - from Praia da Rocha (busy, impressive) to Praia do Submarino (more isolated, small pocket beach). Half an hour to Lagos. Under an hour to Sagres. And, of course, just head north for rolling rural, village life.

- Two separate units. Having essentially two self-contained apartments in the same building is ideal for us, and I would imagine very convenient for almost anyone. Privacy for your guests, or a potential one customer rental.

- Pool and terraces. The pool looks good, if standard, and the terrace options are many, both shaded and sunny.

- Basement - On a small property like this one, it's good to have a space for storage and a workroom.

- Well maintained, good shape. The design may be bland, but it is competent and the property looks clean. Big question mark around the EE rating, though.

- Some room for gardens. It's hard to tell from the photos, but it looks like there is some workable space.

- Perhaps most importantly, the price. I may be new to this, but I have looked at many hundreds of listings in the last month (it would be interesting to actually know the number) and this one really stands out as value for money. $600,000 CDN for all that? And this is a pre-Corvid price as far as I can tell (more thoughts on the market, Corvid, and the near/future later).


Ultimately, this is a very good property at a very good price. The only thing that could improve its location is being closer to the beach, but that's true of all properties in the Algarve. If it was much closer, it certainly wouldn't be clocking in at under 400K. Perhaps the lack of privacy matters a little less if one is resigned to living in a suburb, Anything even remotely affordable in Vancouver is going to be on a residential street in a suburb where the houses are separated by 10 feet. The Energy Efficiency rating is definitely concerning - how competent can the finish actually be if the house leaks heat so badly? But the clincher for me is the combo of pool, terraces, and two kitchens. So good.

Time to rate this puppy, so I have to come up with a rating system for budget properties. Hm. How do I define budget vs luxury/dream properties? Let's make a fuzzy threshold at around 600K€. This may change. And let's make the rating system up to five... mm... ping pong paddles. Wow, both of my rating system symbols really suck. Have to work on that. In the meantime, this property rates 4.5 ping pong paddles.

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