Algarve Real Estate
Algarve real estate
offers something for everyone, in my
opinion. That is to say, there are expensive, super-expensive and - if you
know where to look - very affordable properties to
It all really depends on what you're after.
There's no doubt that Algarve real estate prices have
been inflated somewhat by (among other factors) the UK's
10-year property boom. Lots of Brits, including yours truly,
seem keen to make the move to sunny Algarve. Which has
meant that some of the more popular areas of Algarve are,
shall we say, 'exclusively priced'.
People I know who moved here several years ago are
relieved that they got into the Algarve real estate market
before prices 'took off'.
Of course, compared to parts of the now-infamous Spanish
market, Algarve property is still held in high regard. No
local-authority-inspired land-grabs here, you'll be pleased
... But it still pays to do your homework, when you're
buying (or beginning to think of buying) any property
abroad. And, unless you intend to buy a beach-front
property, you'll need to get out and about in the Algarve (which
is hardly a chore, since it's so beautiful).
It's always best to think about large and expensive
purchases without the aid of rose-tinted spectacles, so
here's a short reality check before we proceed further...
Algarve Real Estate - Pros and Cons
Let's deal with the advantages first -
Algarve is a
The weather is benign, with lovely hot summers and kind
Living costs are still reasonable, although
I'm told that things were cheaper only a few years ago
of life is best described as 'laid-back' (if you discount
the road behaviour)
But the Algarve does make a lasting impression on
tourists, as witnessed by the pages on this website that
have been contributed by enthusiastic Algarve visitors.
While, on the downside -
It's generally accepted that bureaucracy can be unnecessarily
frustrating (though they're trying to change that)
there's an element of culture shock involved in moving to
any new country, especially one with a 'tricky' language like
Partly counterbalancing that last item is the fact that
many parts of the Algarve are welcoming for English
speakers. And, in most areas, you can get by pretty well with a smattering of the
Of course, as with any unfamiliar activity, it helps if
you have the right mixture of knowledgeable professionals on
your side, to guide you when you're unsure.
In my eyes, the 'pros' comfortably outweigh the 'cons' -
which is why I now live here!
Which brings us, I suppose, to a consideration of the
types of Algarve real estate from which you might select...
Algarve Real Estate - Choices
Whether close to the sea or a little inland, Algarve villas
are a popular draw for those who want seclusion and privacy.
Set in ample, landscaped grounds, a well-constructed villa
could offer considerable appreciation in value. Generally, a
pool is a must, while such mod-cons as hot tubs, jacuzzis,
gyms and even the occasional cinema are not unknown.
Unashamedly the luxury end of the market, Algarve villas
can nevertheless throw up unexpected bargains, depending on
size, condition and location.
Generally located fairly close to coastline or beach, an
apartment in an Algarve condominium is likely to prove a
good long-term investment. Whether for full-time occupation,
permanent living or for holiday rental purposes, condominium
apartments are a favourite sort of Algarve real estate.
Offering the space and comfort of many equivalent villas,
Algarve townhouses can offer great locations, some
sense of immediate community and, usually, 'all mod-cons'.
Tending to be somewhat cheaper than detached villas, they
can be a great compromise solution if you'd like the villa
lifestyle, but don't want to stretch the budget.
Algarve apartments provided some of my own fondest vacation
memories, so I didn't exclude them from our searches when we
looked to relocate here. The choice is amazing, from
beachside to secluded and calm. And some are agreeably
There are still lots of ruined buildings standing
on untended land that can be transformed into a home of your
dreams. Some of the bureaucracy, complicated rules and
involvement may prove tricky, so this is one area where you
definitely require Algarve real estate expertise on which
you can call.
If you're a dab hand at renovation, or even just fancy being
the project manager on your own site, then there are plenty
of choices on offer in Algarve. From virtual shells of
buildings to a slightly faded edifice that needs some loving
attention to bring it back to its saleable best, there's
likely a project to suit your ambition...
It's not always possible to purchase a plot of
land and then obtain permission to build on it so, again,
this is an area where you need expert advice. No good buying
that parcel of Algarve with the heart-stopping views if
you'll never be able to put your dream home on it!
Which brings us to the thorny subject of...
If you're keen to own some Algarve real estate
but don't intend to live here all year round, then a time
share might be just the thing. Like me, you've probably
heard or read horror stories about time share purchases that
have gone somewhat 'pear-shaped', so it's yet another
instance where it's vital that you employ the right sort of
expertise to ensure you're protected.
How To Find Your Dream Algarve Real Estate
I was pleased, recently, to meet a very different
kind of Algarve real estate agent, in the person of Elly van
Elly, as athletics fans will know, was for many years not
only Dutch national champion but also holder of the
women's world record at running 3000-metres. Her record was broken only in 2001, and
had stood for some 12 years! (Nev and I are long-time
athletics fans so, although we'd never seen Elly compete
'live', we'd often seen her on TV. Something of an event,
then, to meet her in person).
During her career, Elly had frequently used the
Algarve as a warm-weather training location. Like many regular
visitors, she soon began to think of living here
permanently, and eventually bought some land with a view to
building a future home.
She had also been forming an interest in dealing in real
estate, and had set up a company in Holland with husband
and former coach, Theo Kersten. So, it was a natural
progression, after retiring from competitive athletics and
moving here full time, to take an interest in Algarve real
Rather than follow the usual template, though, Elly
chose to work from home, and to concentrate on offering
clients a real personal touch. She and her small team
operate from a 'summer house' office premises in the grounds of her
home that has breathtaking views down to the
Algarve coast. (I told you she was different!)
I had imagined that Elly's real estate enterprise would
concentrate mainly on east and maybe some of central Algarve, but soon
learned how wrong I was!
In fact, she handles properties not only all over the
Algarve, but also across virtually the whole of Portugal!
This can, of course, mean a lot of travel, but Elly and Theo
have their schedule planning 'down to a T'. (I guess all
that application and single-mindedness has transferred from
her athletics career to her new one...)
Elly's approach to real estate business is as
idiosyncratic as her office. Rather than offer merely what
she has already listed, she's happy to take a client's
Algarve real estate 'wish list' and seek to turn that into a
With a finger firmly on the pulse of what's happening in
the Algarve property market, and an intimate knowledge of
the purchase process as it affects buyers from outside
Portugal (having of course been that route herself), Elly is
uniquely placed to help you find just the item of Algarve
real estate that will suit you.
Why not put her to the test? Just let her know what
you're looking for (even if it's just some suggestions to
get your own decision processes moving) and she'll soon let
you know whether there's anything suitable, either immediate
Read about our own Algarve
property purchase adventure here. We wish we'd known
about Elly and her way of working back when we started
looking hard at Algarve real estate!
Plus, you can read here my ever-so-slightly tongue-in-cheek
consideration of the steps involved in buying Algarve
I'll be updating this page regularly, so stay up-to-date
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