The Oddly Appealing Fixer-upper that Started this Whole Thing
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
549,950€, 6 bedroom, 7 bathrooms, 3 separate units in the main house, cottage, pool, privacy, gardens and trees, terraces. Funky and unusual. Needs work but very liveable in the meantime.
The following photos are lifted without permission or authority from an idealista listing and a variety of real estate agencies. This property has the dubious distinction of being carried by more representatives than anything else I have seen. At this point, I can't tell if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I know that this listing has been around since at least early April and the price has remained the same. Side note: because so many agents represent this property, there are more photos of it available online than any other listing I'm aware of, around 150 at last count.
PPI - Portuguese Property Investments - Listing
ToGoFor Homes - I can't find the listing, but they are advertising on idealista.
Live In Holidays - This company doesn't appear to advertise this property with idealista anymore. Also, their website is down. Here's a story about them on the Portugal News. I will say that they have a very good photographer.
One very useful photo is the aerial shot below. In it, you can see the main dwellings, the pool, and get a sense of just how wooded the property is.
"Charming property located in a very quiet area, surrounded by gardens and pine forests. It has the main house with 3 apartments, with equipped kitchens, air conditioning, solar energy, sauna, slow wood burners, BBQ, heated pool, garage, a cottage with 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, garden and terraces, bore hole, stable, kennel and workshops. Ideal for a rental small business. At this point the property needs renovation but has a lot of potential."
474 m² built
Land plot of 8,360 m²
Second hand/needs renovating
Built in 1947
Energy efficiency rating: F (ECI not indicated)
This is a strange property. It's a little pocket (ish, at 2 acres) of privacy created by trees in the middle of a very cookie-cutter residential/rental development that appears to be owned by AlmaVerde. And when I say privacy, it offers completely that. Walking around the place on Google Street View affords absolutely no glimpse of any building, just a block-long forest grove. So you have this quirky, needs-work multi-building compound in the middle of a wood, that is itself in the middle of a housing development that's a combo of residences and rental units, that's itself in the middle of a large rural area that looks only a little agricultural. This is very unusual.
Both inside and out, this place reminds me of a Gulf Islands property built in the 70s, something that was once fairly high-end on Saltspring Island, say. It has that flavour. And while it definitely needs work, it's very liveable as is. That, and the availability of separate living units means one could live in one while renovating the other.
Let's look at the the pros first this time:
- Location - Ah, what the hell, I'm going to post the coordinates here: 37.095051, -8.792274
The problem is that most agencies are reticent about giving you the exact location of the property. Idealista provides a Google Map of only the neighbourhood of the property. I would argue, though, that providing an aerial view of the property makes it so easy to find that making this info explicit is acceptable. As you can see, this is about as central rural Western Algarve as you can get. Under 10 minutes to beaches (Praia dos Rebolos, Praia Das Cabanas Velhas), 6 minutes to Budens for regular amenities, closest small grocer is likely a 20 minute walk to the village of Barão de São Miguel or Almádena. 15 minutes to Lagos and all that it offers (lots), 20 minutes to Sagres. An hour to Faro Airport.
- Separate units - Main house with 3 apartments, at least 4 bedrooms, at least two kitchens, probably 5 bathrooms (seems excessive), and a cottage with 2 bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom. Ideal for housing a familty member/s and guests.
- Pool - Nice looking, if standard, swimming pool.
- Terraces - Very pleasant old-school terrace around the pool with shade options provided by the trees. Many other potential terrace locations.
- Gardens - Where established trees and plants meet massive potential for landscaping and fruits/vegetables.
- Bore hole - This place would take a lot of irrigating. A bore hole saves money.
- Style - At present, the style is a blend of dated 70s, basic drywall and traditional elements (e.g., wooden ceilings in some places). Personally, I would emphasize the traditional while renovating. It wouldn't be too difficult to give this place a comfy old-world feel while at the same time providing modern conveniences.
- Assorted features - Sauna, garage, office, various utility and storage spaces. Kennel space? Sure. Stable? Very limited space for horses. The mention of these suggest that the place is zoned for animals, so chickens? A couple goats? Lots of room for water features/fountains, a hot tub. Room for an outdoor kitchen.
- Internet - Internet is not mentioned, but would have to be available given the proximity to all those houses.
- Air conditioning - I would guess not central, and who knows how extensive?
- Solar energy - Who knows how major this is? Every little bit helps, though, as we consider the cons.
- Worst possible Energy Efficiency rating - Ooof.
- Needs a lot of work - This is a mix of pro as well. Much of the work is cosmetic - patching, painting, trim. Kitchens and bathrooms are major but can be knocked off over time. I see it as an opportunity to create some sweat equity. As it currently stands, this property has a lot that would turn off many potential buyers. There are many photos of rooms that are grotty/shabby enough to make someone looking for a ready-to-move-in-and-live-the-life place step back and shake their head. I suspect this is why the property is carried by so many agencies.
- The price - Well, this is also a mix of pro and con. Admittedly, I am very green in the world of real estate in general and Portuguese real estate in particular, but given how much work is needed the price feels high. On the other hand, the location and potential of the place have a lot to say here. If I was in a position to buy, I would snap this place up at, oh, 480,000€. Ish. Always keeping in mind that I am talking out of my butt. Using the idealista mortgage calculator, 480,000€ equates to 1,140€ a month at a fixed rate of 2% for 40 years. That's $1,747 CDN.
Location. Potential. Privacy. I really love this place. On the budget scale, another 4.5 ping pong paddles.