Finding Homes in Portugal – I Cook The World Diary Post 2

#blog February 21, 2018
homes in portugal



Thanks for dropping by for the next part of our story, finding potential Homes in Portugal.  Check out moving to Portugal if you missed part 1 and you can catch up on how we made our decision to move to Portugal and change our little family’s lives forever.

This week we have been doing some more packing as it’s now only 25 days until we move the kids over to the new place in Portugal… Scary stuff!

Logan – our 5-year-old is excited about the move but perhaps a little confused, this week she asked me if we can take the garden with us to the new house, and that’s not the funniest thing I’ve heard her say over the last few months. It must be so hard to understand; however, I know they will adjust pretty fast, probably much faster than the grown-ups.

Now back to last week’s discussion, we fell in love with Portugal in an instant.  The next challenge was finding a home.

I think we must defenitely hold an unofficial world record for the couple who have visited the Rightmove Overseas website the most times ever, that’s a fact! We searched for months and months and months.

We knew what we wanted from the property, it either needed to be big with lots of scope for work to be done or small with some outbuildings we could convert.  We wanted a big garden as Kevin loves gardening and we definitely wanted space for a pool, that was our top priority.

In total it took 3 visits to Portugal to find our dream house.  We hadn’t really pinned down an exact region, so we used the viewings as a chance to have a look at all the different areas. We spent a whole day driving around with two madmen (aka estate agents) all over the country roads of the central region near Castelo Branco.

We kinda liked one house on the first visit but it really was overpriced so we just kept on looking.  After the second visit, we felt like giving up a little as we had seen so many places and there was nothing even close to what we wanted, either too small or too expensive or far too remote.

I know we sound really fussy, but we wanted a forever home that could be perfect.  We wanted remote but not so far away that we would struggle for schools and shops, we wanted good weather, somewhere very quiet with a beautiful view, somewhere we would have space for family visiting and an office for my work and a studios for my videography and of course a huge kitchen or at least space for one (every food blogger needs one).  Okay, maybe we are a little fussy!

So we went off home after the second visit with the thought of leaving it for a little while and putting the whole thing on the back burner.

Of course, our little Rightmove Overseas addiction couldn’t stop itself from popping up.  I had always done my searches online by defining 4-5 bedrooms on the search filter so it totally escaped me that the perfect 10 bedroom place had been there the whole time. But as fate might have it, one day I forgot to specify the number of bedrooms and up it popped, a 10 bedroom house advertised for half the price of some of the places we had been shown already with 3 bedrooms.

We studied the photos for days and days, it seemed too good to be true and after a few emails back and forward to the estate agent (it happened to be the same one we seen on the first visit) we decided to take the trip once more.


Income Report August 2017


It’s a couple of hours drive from the airport to the Castelo Branco area, so we arranged another few viewings along the way to see if we preferred any other locations we hadn’t discovered yet. We really felt the Castelo Branco region was our first choice, it was far enough away from airports to not have too many tourists, but still all the required amenities of the main city nearby. When we arrived, we went straight to the estate agents, we were to meet at their office to see if they could show us any other properties we might like, they knew we were looking for a cheap house to buy in Portugal so had been keeping us in mind for some of the properties they had available. We were really excited to see the house we had come there for to show much interest in anything else, but, we humoured them by seeming interested.
This time we followed them in our rental car to the house, it felt like the 20-minute journey took forever. As we drove through the winding roads in the mountains with the suspense of when are we going to stop. Around every corner, we were expecting to see this house. The views were breath-taking, and that was very near the top of our list of wants!
Eventually, the car in front stopped and we saw the house high up above us on the right, as we looked over to the left we had the most stunning view of the valley and a small village, it couldn’t have been in a more perfect location. I was praying the house would be just as perfect. I really didn’t want to look at any more Homes in Portugal.
We got out the car and just looked at each other in awe, we had a steep climb up a rough drive to get to the house. Straight away my builder husband was seeing issues with the property, and I was dying inside because I was totally in love with it without even going inside. However, when they did unlock the door and we stepped inside, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

homes in portugal


An overwhelmingly large hallway looked like It never ended, it felt so grand I immediately could picture the kids running along playing hide and seek. The first floor was in surprisingly good condition considering this was a 10-bedroom house for a price we couldn’t even buy a garage for in the UK.
There was 5 large bedrooms a huge dining and living area and a pretty big kitchen with the perfect space for a pantry next to it. All really good so far, though I was really not sure what Kevin was thinking at all. Next, they took us to the upstairs part of the house and it was another huge hallway same as downstairs but this part of the house was unfinished, which was perfect, a blank canvas for Kevin to go to work on. The most important thing was there was plenty space for an office and studio for creating the Food Blog and Food Videos.

homes in portugal

We then headed out to the garden which was more of a neglected hillside, but I could certainly see the potential, but did Kevin? I really couldn’t figure out what he was thinking.
Then we walked down to the front of the house, so they could show us the basement… wow, a storage area the whole size of the house above. At this point a knew what Kevin was thinking, this was his dream, a large workshop area, a garden big enough for a pool and to grow vegetables, and a wine cellar. This was the point I knew if he was on the fence before he would now be totally convinced.


homes in portugal

The estate agents left us to have a good walk around and we headed back inside, I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe with anticipation of what he was going to say now we had a minute alone. I was so worried he wasn’t going to like it. I just acted cool, and like I wasn’t too bothered and said, “what do you think?” (I didn’t want him to know how much I loved it because I didn’t want him just to say what I wanted to hear) but he answered with… “I love it!”

YES!!! Super Happy Lady!


Check out our future posts on the progress with house renovations, business and anything else family life abroad might bring.  Or, if you are just here for the food check out my Valentines dinner this year Braised Short Rib it really was one of the best meals I’ve served up.  I really hope I can find quality meat like this when we move.


Author:Nicola Turner

I Cook The World - I Feed The World. Doing what I love so I can help others.

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