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holidays in Portugal

Tips for second home buyers

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Tips for second home buyers

You have planned your trip and you have been dreaming for a long time for a place in the sun. Portugal offers unique conditions to make this dream come true. So you're in the car rolling along and you see it, your dream home. Set between pine trees, hillside down along a stretch of beach, or within easy walking distance of your favorite eatery, village centre or golf course. Whatever captured your attention, it's started you thinking this is it, I want a holiday home.

The rational in us always come second to our emotions, and only after a while you realize that you may not be able to afford the house of your dreams. While you're making a wish list of features to share with your real estate agent, Landlordsway is the right one for hundreds of reasons but I will not enter in to details right now,  check it twice, literally, to make sure that the options you have in mind make practical sense money wise.

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Tip 1 – A Big Yard - It's natural to want your first holiday home to be stunning villa, spacious inside and even bigger on the outside. Kids love big yards and you have your pets to accommodate as well. A large and cared garden gives enormous glamour to any house and is a special spot where you can enjoy an occasional barbecue with friends and family.

The big problem with big yards is its maintenance. The turf you see in the gardening magazines that look like lush outdoor carpets are hard work and expensive to keep up. They aren't kid or pet-friendly, either. If you do invest the time and disposable income maintaining a large plot and well developed landscape, you shouldn’t expect to recoup all that money or effort you put in when you sell.

A personal note – When looking for potential homes, I recommend for you to look for a rectangular and leveled plot. They are easier to maintain your lawn and fit a wider resale market.

Tip 2 - Home Cinema. A Cinema room is becoming increasingly popular in today's real estate market and you are probably thinking about this feature when you are looking for your holiday home.

Normally we spend about four hours in front of the TV every day. It is tempting to invest in a villa that has a space dedicated to making the home cinema experience more pleasurable. The problem is that the residential mindset of a few years ago is giving way to a more eco-friendly. On the holiday market bigger doesn’t always mean better, and you may be sitting on that extra square footage for a while when you try to sell it.

A personal note Home cinemas are also increasingly expensive and you better off investing in solar panels or triple-glaze windows.

Tip 3 - A fire place – Who doesn’t love a roaring fire for the holidays, but what do you do with dead space the rest of the year? A fireplace can also be a dangerous feature if you don't get it professionally cleaned regularly, and it's a big air polluter, too. You cannot forget that Portugal offer 300 days of sunshine and we never have the cold temperatures of northern European countries and rarely snow’s in the coastal areas

A personal note – invest in a good air con system that does heating and cooling, its less polluter and will give more value on the resale market. If you use your house more in the summer periods you will thank me for that.

Tip 4 – Stainless steel appliances - the popularity of stainless may simply be a flash in the pan. Often, these deceptively enticing elements are in the kitchen. As popular as these refinements are today, in a very few years, they'll be replaced by other latest, must-have styles. Worse, last year's "in" thing looks dated and drab once it goes out of fashion.

A personal note – To maintain a timeless kitchen independently of the style you choose being modern, classic, rustic or informal, integral appliances seam to do wonders, not only visually, as you will have wider harmony in the kitchen layout, but also financially as you may opt for less expensive equipment, especially if you are going to use only a couple of month in a year.

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The Aladdin's Cave

When a friend offered to show me the famous Chiado district in Lisbon, I had no idea what to expect.  As we wandered down the steep streets and up again, looking in shop windows as we passed, I halted in my tracks.  Peering through the glazed entrance doors to the shop, I realised that I had stumbled upon a veritable Aladdin's cave, and in more ways than one! 

We went in, down a shallow step, into a showroom cum shop, of not very large proportions.  Hanging from every available place on the ceiling, like stalactites, were lanterns, for that is what they really are.  Every available section on the walls also was decorated with the most exquisitely beautiful lamps that I have ever seen together in one place.

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I experienced, in that moment, a feeling, which now I am becoming accustomed to when in Portugal:  Some things never change . . .

The older gentleman, quietly sitting at his desk reading a newspaper, was 21st Century.  Put him in the garb of any of the previous centuries, then the scene would remain unchanged, except for he.  His vivacious daughter burst in on the scene, and I could see from her face that she was taking in my dumbfoundment with amusement.  With her perfect English, she allowed me to stammer out my wonder at what I was looking at.  Sensing my interest, she started talking, and what she had to say was truly amazing.

I left with a lamp, (one of several, the balance made to order), as security against never returning!  I have bought various of their lanterns for my house, and each one has a story.

I visited the shop very recently, (for another lamp!).  Obviously the younger generation are at the helm, but things are pretty much unchanged for that.  I asked the lady if she would be prepared to lay aside a little time to tell me about her business, and how the family have been making these lanterns, by hand, in the same premises, since 1810.  I felt it was a story that needed to be told, but where to start, I wondered.  When she told me that every lantern has a name, that being given to it according to the King or Queen, here in Portugal, or around the world, for whom it was commissioned, I knew I had my answer.

I shall go back to the shop, and let her tell the story, lantern by lantern.....

Store: Casa Maciel, 63, r. da Misericordia, 65, Lisbon.

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