the Valley of the Wind & the perfect seaside house at a dead end… Part One
(please note this was supposed to be posted on Monday, August 29th)
After three weeks of squatting on the property we were going to buy,
perhaps it is time for an update:
Astrid and her family arrived a week ago,
and have been thoroughly searching
every and any available property that fits their needs,
(and found that many don’t, won’t, and can’t)
and have found two or three that might.
Our favorite so far: the Valley of the Wind.
4 hectares of property with several small ponds,
a small house set into a hillside, (with municipal power & water),
surrounded by cork oaks, rose and blackberry bushes,
with a small garden aside a hay field, that tumbles down into a valley.
Across the road that divides the property evenly,
a wooded hillside, mostly pines, mostly shaded.
5 kilometers from Aljezur (schools, shops, etc.)
and about 9 or 10 kilometers from the beaches
(not ideal, but bike-able, if you make a day of it).
The sound of the wind whooshing through the valley was enchanting,
the best feature, in my opinion.
Otherwise, they are considering a property in Aljezur,
not sure the size, or other details quite yet,
that would be run more as a guest house or cafe,
that would be walkable to all amenities offered in Aljezur,
and half the distance to the beach.
I suppose there is still the smallest chance they will decide to live here,
5.48 hectares, 600 meters from the beach,
and a short bike ride from three more beaches
and a quaint little town…
honestly, the best “campsite” we’ve ever stayed at.
We like it here, and would love to make it our home.
But the decision is not ours,
since we cannot afford this property
(and all the needed renovations) by ourselves.
Who knows if they will make a decision
during their three week camping trip to the area,
or where they might choose to live. Or when.
Otherwise Petra and her boyfriend, the other family
moving from Villach, Austria to here, will be arriving in October,
and so they might be the ones to pick a property when they arrive.
So where does that leave us?
Well, we have been searching for properties as well,
since our reality is that we need a home, here,
before the stormy season hits and before our visas run out,
so within the next month.
A friend here, Cornelius, showed us a place he had wanted to buy:
about 10 hectares, nestled into the National Park land,
with ocean views, a short hike (less than 500 meters) along trails to the beach,
with a beautiful large house, ready to move into (municipal power & water)
and an outdoor bread oven and a few fig trees.
Stunning. Perfect even. On a dead end.
Literally, the property is at the end of a pebble road.
And unfortunately, metaphorically,
in that the property isn’t technically for sale.
Although uninhabited for over five years,
two brothers own the property and disagree about selling it.
Rumors from neighbors indicate that soon it may come up for sale,
and possibly a reasonable price (around 200,000€),
but so far these are just rumors, and without Astrid and Petra involved,
even this rumored price is three times our personal budget.
But the house is ideal, and we have been visiting it often.
And so far haven’t found any similar for sale,
except one on about half the land, but with a house in upper class condition,
500 meters from Samoquiera, a nearby beach, for 295,000€.
Maybe someone’s dream home, or retirement home,
but not our style and even more out of our price range.
We have been in contact with the owner of the Ziegen property,
(see the post: música das cabras) but haven’t yet determined the price.
We love the community here, we love the beach and the ocean views,
and at 2.3 hectares, recently fertilized by the goats, perfect for our farming needs.
Since the ruin would need to be entirely rebuilt, a well dug,
and other improvements needed, the property could only be about half our budget.
So maybe Tiago, the owner, will come through with a fair offer.
And then we would really get to work rebuilding before wintertime.
And finally, there is a small wooden house
I had found on the internet before we left Austria.
It is in a village a bit north of here, in São Teotónio,
out of the Algarve and into the next district actually, Beja.
It is a small 1.17 hectare property near a steam, 69,000€,
with a huge garden, lots of trees, and an adorable little house,
with a wood stove, and appears to be ready to move in to.
We plan to visit it this week to see the property and investigate the neighborhood.
It is 9 kilometers to the beach, and 8 km from Odemira,
a larger town with a train station, connecting us back to the world.
And after reading through all I have just written,
it appears to be our best chance, given our present situation.
By no means our favorite choice,
but a compromise we can live with,
if all goes well.
In all honesty, I had found a perfect farm property months ago,
that would have suited all our needs, for an incredibly low price: 65,000€
5.3 hectares, along a river, with a solar-powered house with an adorable covered patio.
It was in Odemira, so even further from the beach, but connected to more of Portugal.
In the time taken by others to come to agreement with this property, it had sold.
I was heartbroken, but over time felt that there were other places to search out,
and whoever bought that place wouldn’t be in the market for buying our new home,
wherever it would be.
We are still searching, but hope to be settled somewhere soon.