The Portugal Diaries #6

Our second full week in Portugal saw BattleDad heading to Paris for work to be on his clients site. I hadn’t expected him to be in Paris until the week after but he had to go both weeks which was a bit of a pain. So, while getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road, BattleKid and I took it easy at my parent’s place.

We visited Gran Plaza for some shopping where we discovered a Tiger ride. BattleKid loved it and it is much better value than the other kids rides they have there.portugal diaries 6

I also finally got word that our decking was finished so we could access our home. On the Wednesday I collected the keys and my Mum and I got stuck into cleaning it and getting it ready for our belongings arriving from the UK on the Friday.

You are probably all wondering what our new place is like. Well, we haven’t rented a house, mainly because long-term rentals are very, very hard to come by, especially in the Algarve. Most rentals are short-term, and during the summer months, so landlords can capitalise on the busy summer months. You can’t blame them. There are also larger taxes placed on landlords who do long-term rentals so it is more tax efficient for landlords to capitalise on the summer months only. Which is not great news if you are moving to Portugal and want to rent a house/apartment.

Having found this out, we knew our options were limited. We can’t get a mortgage yet until we build up our credit rating here in Portugal and we couldn’t afford to buy something outright either, not for a few years. So, we decided to buy a static holiday home and have sited it on a very nice holiday park only 10 minutes’ drive from my parents. We figured that a lot of people in the UK live in a caravan or static while they build their house, so why couldn’t we! The only difference is we will be living mostly outdoors, hence needing a deck built, and it will be for 2-3 years while we save enough money to buy outright.

This option also gives us a chance to decide if Portugal is really right for our family. If not, we can move on and have the option of keeping the home, and either letting family use it as a holiday base, or renting it out to cover the annual ground rent. It probably sounds mad to some of you, but it gives us the flexibility to settle in, decide if this is where we want our forever home, and it’ll always be ours. We will have no mortgage once our house in Wales has sold (we currently waiting on an exchange date from our solicitors), our monthly outgoings will be next to nothing, our ground rent is paid annually, so we are sorted until January, and we will be saving a huge amount of money each month. After 2-3 years, and adding our savings from our house sale to what we save in the meantime, we will hopefully be able to buy a nice villa (with a pool!) outright and remain mortgage free.

As well as providing a better, outdoor life for BattleKid, and having access to better education than the UK, our other main reason for moving to Portugal was to press reset on our financial lives. Portugal is a country that is cheaper to live in and to be able to be mortgage free in a few years’ time with a nice villa to show for our efforts will be amazing. The big red reset button has been well and truly pressed. Another advantage is if we don’t like Portugal for some strange reason, we will have substantial savings behind us to move on, either back to Ireland or the UK, and even there, be mortgage free with a holiday home in the sun.

So, this is what our new home and decking looks like.portugal diaries 6 portugal diaries 6

portugal diaries 6

It has two bedrooms which is enough for the three of us. The garden has fencing all round to keep it secure for BattleDog and has ample room for both him and the boy to run around in. We still have some gardening work to do to get rid of the sandy gravel and stones but that’s coming soon.

Our holiday park is located outside a small village and has an almost rural setting. We have a pool on site, a bar/restaurant and a children’s playground. It is only 10 minutes to my parents and only 15 to Tavira itself so we are not far from anywhere. The only thing is you NEED a car to be able to get anywhere. Hence my worry about the Land Rover, which remained in Faro for the whole two weeks BattleDad was away in Paris!

So there you have it. A bit unconventional, but it will do us for the moment and is only temporary. Do you think we’re mad yet?

To be continued…

Cath x

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