Brazil: A One-Off Deal in My Favorite Beach Town

On my beat, scouting the world for property values, I sometimes come across strong, one-off opportunities to buy a piece of real estate at a substantial discount because the seller needs cash fast. These special situations (I call them “Flash Alerts”) have limited inventory.

Let me give you an example.

Brazil’s economy is on the up. Particularly in the Northeast, along miles of white-sand beach. Charming beach towns dot the coast around Fortaleza city. Of these, Cumbuco is my favorite. And you could have recently bagged a lot in Cumbuco, in a gated community just back from the beach, for $30,500.

You see, the Spanish owners were in a bind. Because of the situation at home in Spain, they moved to Brazil to set up a business. They are building a restaurant. And they need money to finish it. That’s why they were willing to do a deal like this for a quick sale.

West of Fortaleza, the wide beaches stretch to the horizon. You can drive for hours along the sand. You are only interrupted where little rivers meet the ocean (and a local with a makeshift ferry can pull you across). Charming fishing villages with cobblestoned streets and well-kept town centers sit just off the beach.

In little Cumbuco, the pace of life is slow…but funky, active and energetic. Blooming flowers crawl over freshly painted exteriors. For a playground, the kids have miles of beach and a soccer ball. The beach is also mum and dad’s office…where they repair fishing nets and touch up the paint on their fishing boats.

For neighbors, the fishermen’s homes have Italian restaurants, a German grill, a trendy kite surfing shop and beach bars where bronzed adventurers come to enjoy caipirinhas at sunset to the soft melodies of chill-out tracks.

If you are looking for a beach house, this is a place that should be on your shortlist. It’s perfect for a second home or as a retirement location. This is the type of pristine beach town I’d expect to find way off the beaten track. But it’s only 30 minutes from downtown Fortaleza with her shiny boardwalk. (Fortaleza is a First-World city of 3 million people. It gets more domestic tourists than anywhere else in Brazil…and tourist numbers are growing.)

On the western edge of the village of Cumbuco, you’ll find a charming gated beach community. That’s where you will find these lots. Here, you are five minutes by beach buggy (that’s the easiest way to get around) from the center of the village. You are also close to a new five-star resort…where you could pay over $400 a night for a room. You can pamper yourself in their spa.

Large, luxury houses are complete or under construction in this community. The landscaping is top-class. Amenities include a pool, tennis courts, soccer field and clubhouse. The community sits alongside the beach so you have direct beach access.

Each time I have visited Cumbuco since my first visit just over three years ago, I am greeted by new parks, squares, trendy beachfront bars, kite surfing shops and posadas. But Cumbuco is still a charming little town with a laid-back feel. Development within the village is tightly controlled: There will be no intrusive high-rises.

A lot here for $30,500 was a killer deal. And well below mainstream market value. Just because the sellers needed a quick, quiet sale. This type of opportunity happens more often than you think. In fact, it happens most months. And I tell members of Real Estate Trend Alert about the best “Flash Alerts” that cross my path.

P.S. Ronan comes to us from Pathfinder, IL’s preferred real estate advertiser.

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