$90k for a House in a Portuguese Castle

“I just found a house for 22k!”

The WhatsApp messages have been coming since Friday…

Video snippets, photos…screenshots of Google Maps so I can see where exactly he is…

I sent scout Eoin Bassett to Portugal to do a few things, namely get an update on our incredible Algarve opportunities. But I also told him to do some exploring.

So, he’s disappeared into the mountains near the Spanish border.

Eoin tells me the landscapes are crazy… “one minute it’s like Ireland with bracken and blackberries, the next you see grape vines and cactus…”

The above photo is a good example of a restored farmhouse, notice the pool. Eoin says you can buy old ruins for renovation here and a few acres of land for less than $150,000. He’s been bombarding me with live reporting via WhatsApp…

“I checked out a place with two houses and a couple of acres of land. There are two wells and—what’s really cool—an old Iron Age house in your field. Priced at €75,000 ($87,918). Like most properties I saw around here it’s negotiable. It’s really close to an incredible hilltop fortress town and there are loads of cool hikes, walks…you can go swimming in the river.”

In the hill towns Eoin’s been pounding the cobbles….

He sent me the photo below of a fully renovated house inside the castle walls of his favorite town. It’s priced at €78,000 ($91,435).

The owner of this two-bed castle home is Danish and Eoin reckons it would be worth trying an offer of $80,000 to $90,000.

“The finishes are nice. Downside of these homes is that they are pretty dark inside but the owner did a nice job of creating a bright kitchen with sky lights. You have to park outside the castle and walk in of course. It would make a fairly turnkey rental. A lot of the furniture is included, and it’s good stuff. Also, a brand-new wood-pellet stove,” says Eoin.

Yesterday, he was up early and out with a real estate agent looking at homes to renovate.

“The broker speaks perfect English and she’s a straight talker. A local gal who has to show her face around here, so she tells it like it is with these old houses. A lot of potential buyers would be daunted by the work, but if you have some imagination and a modest budget you could have something very cool.”

The cheapest home Eoin looked at was at an asking price of just €22,000 ($25,789).

“It’s small, and you only have a Juliet balcony, but because it’s small the renovation costs wouldn’t be too bad. Back of a beermat, I guess you spend another €25,000 to €30,000 ($29,306 to $35,167) and you have the perfect little bolthole in your eagle’s nest of a town. You can stroll the battlements just outside your house, pop down to the main square for a 76 cents coffee (that’s U.S.). You get your fresh bread in the bakery…your meat in the butchers…but frankly, everything is so cheap here I’d probably eat out all the time.”

Here’s a photo of the €22,000 house:

This house has an asking price of €22,000 ($25,789). It’s been on the market for a while and might be worth trying an offer of €15,000 to €16,000 ($17,583 to $18,755).

And here is a really short video Eoin sent to show the immediate location and the views:

Check out the views from this €22,000 ($25,789) house.

Here’s the last thing Eoin told me before he disappeared south in his rental car…

“Ronan, I need to talk to you properly and get your take. This town and region has an incredible lifestyle. The air is so pure, you can drink water out of the public fountains as you stroll the towns.

“In fact, they even have water fountains on the roadside when you’re out hiking. At 10 p.m. walking the streets there were kids out playing, an outdoor theater event going on, families hanging out…it’s just really safe, friendly and relaxed. And sooo cheap.

“It’s fairy-tale beautiful in this part of the world. And because of the pandemic more people are coming here.

“I found at least three homes for renovation I’m really excited about. One in town, one close to town, and another more rural.

“There could be a great opportunity here for anyone willing to figure things out. Seems like all the prices are negotiable and the Airbnb scene is undeveloped. There are rentals but from what I saw, they don’t have it figured out. To rent my place I had to do a bank transfer! Find the right property, something a bit special with outdoor space, get your marketing right, and who knows, you could own a home here that pays its own way.

“And for someone who wants to own some land, have a lot of fruit trees, a swimming pool, I found some killer properties in the valleys and on the mountainsides.

“The really exciting thing is the financing idea you talk about. Imagine, owning a turnkey hill top home that doubles as a rental and you pay just a couple of hundred bucks a month for it! Less than HOAs in most places.”

A 16th-century fountain famed for its health-giving waters. Note the renovation going on in the background. It’s apparently a restaurant or accommodation.

Within the next week I’ll bring you Eoin’s full report, naming the towns, with maps of exact locations, giving you his virtual property tours and—if you’re a RETA member—all the details you need to act on the opportunities he’s found.

Other than a brief drive through, I haven’t scouted this part of Portugal…

It’s a place my contacts in the Algarve and Lisbon rave about. And now, since getting these riveting reports from Eoin, I’ve decided to change my travel plans so I can put boots on the ground as soon as possible—aiming for September 4th to 7th.

This is exactly why I like to keep my schedule fluid. I’m expecting to find some of the most inexpensive real estate available, not just in Europe, but anywhere. With a truly compelling lifestyle opportunity to boot.

Is there a profit angle? Maybe…but only by putting in the work to create something special and unique. The play isn’t to compete with the inexpensive and poorly run local rentals. Your competition is Tuscan villas and rural Algarve hideaways. There’s an opportunity here to create your own distinctive mini destination.

For the right person, with a passion for remodeling and the imagination and creativity to make the most of this stunning setting, that’s not as hard as you’d think.

Another thing to consider when buying these old stone homes is that you are buying for a fraction of replacement costs. Eoin has sent me homes (admittedly in need of love) with pricing from $35 per square foot. This is astonishing for homes this close to a major capital city, in an incredibly safe and attractive rural setting.

Plus, you can buy with bank financing at rates that are deeply negative in real terms. Buying quality real estate with cheap fixed mortgage is the best hedge I know against inflation. You could borrow at rates of 0.9% or less. At a fixed rate, long-term, you’ll pay just a little bit more.

A bolthole, a retreat, and a money-maker all in one. I can’t wait to visit for myself…

Last year I bought an oceanfront condo on Portugal’s Silver Coast for €300,000 ($366,262). I moved in last April, before heading to Ireland in July. Now, almost two months after vacating my condo there and handing my keys to my rental manager, I have already collected more than €6,500 in rental income.

I own a condo on the Algarve too.

You might recall that in November I told you I had an offer of €410,000 accepted on a repossessed condo in one of the most prestigious communities in the Algarve.

I bought with no money down, and a monthly mortgage of €1,400. Now, after some renovations, I can charge €3,500 per week in August. And an identical unit is listed for sale at €830,000. Those are some savage paper gains.

And I’m looking now for something else on the Silver Coast. I have my eye on a few old farmsteads, old and overlooked, with tons of potential.

I’ll be back in Portugal at the end of this month.

Tomorrow Eoin is going to send in a report from a walled medieval city two hours from Lisbon by train. He’s making his way to the Algarve where, this Thursday or Friday, I expect to have a very special opportunity for RETA members…

Stay tuned.

Your Comments and Questions

Francis says: Hi. OK, I live in Rota, Spain and work for the U.S. Navy at the Naval Hospital. I am a U.S. citizen and have been here for 36 years. I plan to retire soon and would like to know if I must obtain residency to continue living here after I retire. I am getting mixed replies from local sources.

Ronan says: Hi Francis. That’s a situation I haven’t come across before. When it comes to residency, I would always err on the side of caution. In which case, I would certainly recommend applying.

In Spain, you can obtain permanent residency after having legally lived in the country for a period of five uninterrupted years. It sounds like you’ve already met those qualifications many times over. However, these same rules might not apply to your situation.

At the very least you’ll need to register to get a staying permit. I suggest getting in touch with the local consulate there for more information.

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Buenos Aires, Argentina
$120,000

In the bustling Almagro neighborhood of Buenos Aires, is this bright and airy one-bed, one-bath townhouse. There’s also a kitchen and bathroom, both with original porcelain tile floors, a living room, and a laundry room. The kitchen opens out to a beautiful patio area that is the perfect spot for a morning coffee. You’re close to subway and bus lines making getting around the city easy. You could keep this little city pad for yourself or rent it out to tourists… ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠

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