Build Progress

Bad Start

photo of the front of a dilapidated white ruin

It all seemed so sensible, we were nearing retirement age, and we had little in the way of savings or a pension, so why not move to a country and area we love, the Alentejo in Portugal, buy ruin, build a house, and live better and cheaper than we could in the UK!

We found a perfect spot, ten minutes from our Daughter and three of our grandchildren.

The land had water, fruit trees, and plenty of space for vegetables and chickens!

We snapped it up.

All was good until… it wasn’t..

A Bad Start

First, we took bad advice and started to build without a permit, which is OK if you keep within the rules (which are basically “It is OK if you rebuild exactly as it was”).

We did not know any better, we were not in the country, we employed a builder, and 50K later we discovered that the build was not legal!

Work had to stop, and we needed to get a Portuguese architect to draw up plans and get proper permission from the council for the changes.

It turned out the new roof was unsafe and would have to come down… so money not only lost, but extra cost added!

The plans took 6 months to get drawn (there was a lot to do, measure everything, get a topographical survey, research the original building, inspect the work already done etc).

It took about another year of going back and forth with the council to get the plans signed off.

The end result was much of the work done needed to be undone (at additional cost) and the plans altered significantly to meet the local regulations.

Forty Thousand Short

That would have been bad enough in itself, but at the same time, COVID hit and I was out of work for the best part of a year!

We decided that if I had no work, we might as well move anyway. So thats what we did.

We now rent a small cottage in a village of just 12 people, and we are loving every minute but……

We still want to build our house..

We have just had quotes to do the approved work and it has been a shock…. what we were told two years ago would cost 80K, is now going to cost between 180 and 200K!

What with the work I now have and the little we have saved, I can raise over the next year about 140,000€, but as you can see, that leaves us 40k short!

And that brings us to the topic of this blog…. how exactly can I raise an extra 40K?

I have some ideas about how I might do that, and in the next post, I will tell you about Jojo, our guide in the Amazon jungle, and how that relates to my plan to make money on the internet.

Stay tuned to see what works, what fails, and if we ever get to build and live in our dream Alentejo cottage..

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Catch you later


One thought on “Bad Start

  • Oh my! This is my worst nightmare! My partner and I have been looking at property in Croatia to retire but so many potential hurdles! Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and let the chips fall where they may! I am looking forward to hear the outcome! All the best 🤞


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