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Camping, place to stay and meet other permies around Coimbra, Arganil or Gois in September

 
Posts: 8
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Hi all,

Hope you are well. Newbie to the community here...

Me and my partner, both 28, from England and Germany, have found a few pieces of land to view on the 20th/21st/22nd/23rd September around Coimbra, in particular, the Arganil and Gois area, with the plan to move there early next year. We are looking for campsites or places to stay, but can only mainly find big, fancy places to stay on Airbnb or Booking.com, which isn't really us. So wondering if anyone had any recommendations, or would be happy to make some friends, or know of any small, family run campsites that are part of the permies community that we can support, where we could pay like 10 euros a night to stay with them? We would much prefer this, than a huge campsite, and would prefer to have a night of socialising with fellow permies.

We are new to this, and have been on a couple of visits to narrow down our search to the Arganil or Gois area, but now going to view some pieces of land with the view to buy, so would be great to hear from any other permies in that area and maybe we could meet up when we come in September?

Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you

Much love x
 
Posts: 16
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Hi Martin,

I've recently found a new way to find permaculture communities. Searching workaway.info with a "permaculture" filter shows a number of hosts in Central Portugal. Even if you don't stay with these hosts, I'd bet they would have good contacts in the area.

Can I ask the size & price of the plots you're looking at, or how you've found them? I'm interested in making the move myself either later this year or next year.

Thanks,
Fil
 
Martin Hewell
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Hi Fil,

Excellent! Yes, I will give that a go. Thank you very much

We are looking at any land over 20,000m2 and must have 2 water sources, ideally stream, but the price all depends on location/water sources etc. The price usually ranges from 20,000 to 50,000 euros for us. We have found them either through putting up posters/adverts on noticeboards in the areas we want to move then people contact us, or contacting local estate agents and they contact us when something comes up that meets our criteria or the usual pureportugal/ERA/P.P.Property/GoRustico/IAD Portugal etc

To be honest, our best searches came from driving around and finding which area we want to be in, then you can easily say yes or no when you see something online. Then just going to the local estate agents, telling them your criteria and then they will get in touch with you when something comes up.

Where are you thinking of moving to? And when do you next go? Would be great to meet you!

Thank you

Martin & Maike x
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
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Good luck to you all. It is exciting, making that move. We settled just above Portugal in Galicia.  When you are settled we should all get together for an annual plant starter/seed swap event. Otherwise known as wine and tapas fiesta excuse.....
 
Fil Keller
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Martin & Maike,

I'm not entirely sure where I'll move to, but I do know where I'll be visiting next , which is the area between Coimbra and Serra de Estrela in Central Portugal. I expect to visit in September, although I haven't bought plane tickets yet. The area seems to be packed with people interested in permaculture, farming and sustainable lifestyles. Moreso than the coastal parts of Spain I've visited so far (although I can't comment on the northern coast).

Fil
 
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Hello Martin and Maike,

I am a bit surprised to see you are willing to pay up to 50.000 for two hectares. As far I know prices here for forest land are about 50 cents a square metre, double for farmland. Of course those prices are for land without any buildings. Even ruins raise the price of the land substantially, since usually its possible to renovate the ruin into a (legal) house. Myself, I payed a little over 1 euro (4500 including taxes for 4200 m2), but for me that was already a bargain, especcially since there were many mature fruit and olive trees, and a very good well that never runs dry (so far).

Maybe it would be smart not to tell the real estate agent that you would be willing to pay 2,5 times the market value. Also you might want to keep in mind that if you are paying too much, you will help drive prices up and that would make it more hard for locals to buy land (but usually they are the sellers).

I think you could get a nice bargain, if you buy a plot of burned land, two years ago almost the whole centre of Portugal was on fire, and still there are dead trees everywhere. The good thing of buying burned land, is that the risk of a new fire will be lower in the years to come, that gives you the time to plant fire resistant trees. If you buy land that didn't burn, then you should be aware of the risk of the next fire.

See you in september!

Good luck with everything.



 
Martin Hewell
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Hi Andreas,

I appreciate your advice and point, however, I think you have misunderstood. We are not willing to pay 50,000 for 2 hectares. I said 2 hectares is our minimum land size and 50,000 euros is our maximum we will look at (not buy at), with the view to negotiate down to a fair price for whichever land is in question. Our actual maximum is 35,000, if you would like to know. But that would have to meet ALL our criteria, and we would still negotiate. But of course would like it as cheap (and fair) as possible. And of course, I'm sure you know, the price of properties all depends on the type of land, location, what types and number of building/s are on the land, what water sources, views/neighbours/access, types of trees, plus other variables, factors and characteristics etc etc. So unless you know ones criteria, it is hard to say whether something is a bargain or not; or paying over the asking price, driving up land prices etc. For example, we found 20 hectares, 2 buildings, with a stream and waterfall, 3 water sources, south facing with sight hill, lovely selection of organic fruit trees etc for 10,000 euros. But the location is not ideal. So obviously, we wouldn't pay 35,000 or 50,000 for it. Our maximum is 35,000 only if it is way larger than 2 hectares and meets ALL our criteria. And our criteria is specific and unique to us. Just FYI, we are generally looking at properties at 20,000 (to negotiate) that has year a round stream, 2 other water sources, a large ruin/habitable building/s, 20,000m2+, within 5-10km to Gois/Arganil/Lousa, plus other criteria that we find important to us. Especially as our goal is not to just live off-grid, we have other factors to put into perspective, such as distance from Lisboa and Porto and Coimbra by moped, plus other things. Because if our goal was to just buy any piece of land and live off grid, of course it would be pretty easy to find land that is 20,000m2+ and under 5,000 Euros, and yes, within your quote of 50 cents per square metre etc. I understand your point, but it is redundant to quote land prices as not all pieces of land have the same characteristics. Plus, it all depends on ones criteria and preferences.

Good, I'm glad you could find what you want. And it would be very interesting and beneficial to chat to you about how you came about to find and buy your land. We look forward to chatting about it

We haven't told any estate agents our budget. We have just told them our criteria. I fully understand paying too much will drive prices up and would make it hard for locals to buy land. That is not our intention at all. We are being very aware of our impact and we have worked very had to save up our money to embark on such a venture, especially at our young age, so I can guarantee that we are not coming and splashing the cash for any piece of land that is 2 hectares. We are not trying to pay for land over the asking value and are fully aware of foreigner pricing; but I am sure there are many people on here, including yourself, that could give us plenty of tips and hints of what to do/not to do - so that we do not pay over the asking price. We are going to try our best to find land that is reasonably priced, fair for both parties and obviously do not want to pay over the value for land - that would be detrimental to both our bank balance and the local economy. However, the price of land has more variables and factors than just size of land, as I'm sure you are aware of. So please appreciate that we are not going to Portugal to flash money and throw it around; and buy any piece of 20,000m2 land for 50,000 euros. We are going to negotiate and pay a fair price for land that meets our criteria, just as you probably did.

Yes, we are going to view a couple of these type of properties that were affected by the fires in Gois the next time we visit. Ah, that is good to know. Thank you for your advice. What other advice can you give us? Especially for the process of purchasing? And during the legalities section? Are there any particular grey areas where buyers (particularly foreigners) get taken advantage of? Any advice would be much appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you in September.

Thank you!
 
Andreas Schäfer
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Hello Martin,

You are right, I misunderstood. I see now, you did your homework very well!

I am afraid I dont have too many tips or advise. Buying land in Portugal is quite easy, you just need a fiscal number, which you can obtain at the finanças office, it will cost just a few euros (I forgot, maybe 10 or 15 euros). A solicitor can help you for a reasonable fee, to do the legal work. They will ask the neigbours of the land you want to purchase, if they want to buy it, according to the local laws. Also, they will calculate the taxes and fees you have to pay. Since I bought only once a plot of land 3,5 years ago, I am not an expert on the topic. I made my purchase in cash (I am not a big fan of banks), but I think recently the law changed, so cash transactions above a few grand are illegal now (criminals use cash, so cash is criminal, or maybe its just to make us a bit more dependent on the very solid banking sector, lol).

I agree with you, the location, distance to a bigger town, is important. When I came here, I thought a bicycle would be enough, but I soon found its not that nice to cycle 15 km to the nearest town, to buy groceries. Me being used to the low countries, I found cycling in the hills here is especially in summer not always fun.

Another thing to consider is the climate. There are big differences locally. Personally I think I did a good job buying the plot in this area, since there is enough rainfall here, but not too much like further to the north. Temperatures are not too low in winter, and not too high in summer (this summer is colder than average so far, maximum temperatures averaging below 30 degrees) I am about 380 metre above sea level, in the winter it can get a few degrees below zero, but not too much, so lemon trees survive here. About every 100 metres higher, average temperatures drop by a degree celcius. If you want to live next to a stream, there is a big chance you will end up somewhere in the lowest part of a valley. In winter that means less sun hours, and more fog (some days you might not see the sun at all in the valley, with higher uphill sunny weather). Also, the water from the streams might be polluted, also the wells could be polluted by farming uphill. Many locals here love Monsanto products, they like bare ground around their grapes and olives, and pesticides are so convenient. My plot is almost in the top of a hill, so I think my water is pretty clean, since there is just some forest uphill. So if you want to live close to a stream, I would suggest to stay close to the Serra da Estrela, then you are not too low, the closer to the mountains, the cleaner the water will be.

Thats my advise I can think of, at the moment.

Take care!

 
Posts: 29
Location: Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal
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Hi all

I have this advise: Don't work with a real state agent, because the amount of money requested by them is very high. Make the business directly with the owners. Even better, if you have the help of other permies living in the area, and have gone through this whole process. Or ultimately a solicitor - such as Andreas Schäfer wrote.

All Good for All,
Paulo
 
Martin Hewell
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Hi guys,

Thank you very much for your advice. Much appreciated!

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for the campsites for our visit in September? Ideally not Airbnb or booking.com, as we are looking for any small, family run campsites that are part of the permies community that we can support, and even socialise with, where we could pay something like 10/20 euros a night to stay with them? We would much prefer this, than a huge campsite, and would prefer to have a night of socialising with fellow permies.

Thank you!
 
Paulo Barros
Posts: 29
Location: Arruda dos Vinhos, Portugal
4
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Hi all

Martin, you can take a look at "rede convergir": http://www.redeconvergir.net/
and at "permacultureglobal": https://permacultureglobal.org/

I Hope that helps

All good for all,
Paulo
 
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