I returned to Tavira with a planned stay of two weeks with the main objective of exploring more about the house we had seen in February. I also wanted to see what other properties were on the market in case this house didn’t make the grade.
Tavira still lived up to our first impressions. Everyone was so friendly and there was a warm atmosphere everywhere generated by the locals. Even though I’m used to travelling alone in different countries with my previous work I felt exceptionally comfortable exploring and eating out alone in the many good restaurants.
I met an excellent architect with whom I shared my initial ideas of how the property could be transformed. I learned from her that unlike many other countries you can approach the local Camara (Council Chambers) in Portugal with a planning proposal before you purchase the property. This means you can know what is or isn’t possible before you go ahead and purchase. If approved you get a building licence which is valid for one year.
The length of time it takes to get a decision from the Camara varies a lot depending on the district but Tavira is good, committing to a decision and an answer within 20 working days.
Our architect suggested that she made a preliminary meeting with the Tavira planning office to discuss our ideas before putting in the formal proposal to reduce our financial outlay before we knew their thoughts. This was a good idea and we agreed for her to go ahead.
I’m extremely supportive of the East Algarve’s government policy which is to preserve the tradition and aesthetics of the area by not allowing any radical changes to old buildings or allow over development or high rise buildings. Not only does this preserve the beauty of the area but it also gives confidence to prospective buyers that the area will remain much the same.
Our architect couldn’t get an appointment until after the date I returned to Norway so I reluctantly left Tavira in mid-March with a plan to return the following month.