It must be some 14 years ago, that I lost my heart in Portugal while backpacking through this amazing country. Before we had spent almost two months in Spain. Portugal was quite something else regarding the friendliness and openheartedness of the people. Back then I was this angry kid, just in my twenties and apparently in need of some friendly kindness, I guess. I remember being in great awe with those Medieval fortresses on the top of almost every hill. This was a special country, that much was obvious.
I returned several times in the years to come, to fall in love again and again with the peacefulness and simplicity, the language, the beautiful nature, the coffee that whips your ass…and what not. Here I could find home, so I dreamt even back then. This idea got stuck in my head, never to leave again; starting a new life in Portugal. Away from the craziness of the ratrace, the pressure to do more, want more, living for material wealth, thus creating more stress, more worries. Instead we would live a simple life close to nature, according to our ideals on a level of environmental and personal health.
So 8 years went by, years of traveling around the world and working on a cozy home for our family with two kids in Belgium. In the summer of 2016 we went back to Portugal with a mission: ‘find land to build our dreams’.
I had done my research on the internet, looking for different terrains, houses, areas, so we visited several places in Central Portugal, but in fact, we hit jackpot at our second visit already. A delightful feeling came to me, when I was guided a tour on the domain. It was exactly as I had imagined it! Downside: the price was above our price range.
Our prerequisites were: water on site, a big flat surface(which is quite hard to find) on which life could be relatively easy. Imagine working the land by hand on terraces, not for me, thanks! We wanted a river or lake and shops close by, but still a bit secluded. Even better in an area with some touristic interest.
Well, this piece of land had it all. Through a blog of some English folks we found ourselves a very reliable lawyer, Isilda Braz. In the moth of August all courthouses and lawyers take their yearly relieve, so we had to be patient before starting any negotiations. With the risk of losing the land to another buyer, we waited for every legal part to be checked up. Better safe than sorry, ain’t it.
In Portugal most properties aren’t registered completely correct in the land registry, since earlier days people would report less areal in order to pay less taxes. That’s how a huge discrepancy came to be between the real size of a property and the one indicated on paper. We had everything updated and checked by the notary as well. Luckily my feeling was correct that we were dealing with the most decent people.
Soon before our return home, we agreed on a price on the phone, opened a Portuguese bank account, registered a fiscal number at the resident’s registration desk. I have to admit, this was the first encounter with bureaucracy and unfriendly people. I guess, that’s an international given.
All further paperwork was dealt with by our lawyer and two weeks later we signed the contract at home, send back, done! Easy shmeasy…in the end.
One of our conditions was that a borehole would be made, that gives enough water to supply our whole project. You can read more about our project here.
Mission ‘find land to build your dreams’ accomplished!