The next day was a public holiday, so we thought that we might have a chance to ‘be tourists’ and visit some of the sites.  See a little more of the island – understand more of it’s history.  This wasn’t to be.  10am the mobile rang and it was our first estate agent (or realtor as they are called locally).  We hurriedly got up and left the hotel to meet with the local representative from Madeira Property Centre.  Wow this was an experience.

We had explained exactly what we were looking for – a refurbishment project with land attached.

The first property we saw was exactly what we asked for, but … not what we expected! The buildings were all but derelict and probably had to be pulled down.  Yes, it had land; but from the house, the land disappeared over the edge.  It was now that we realised that all property on Madeira is on a slope – after all Madeira is a volcanic island.  Price wise this property was within our budget.  One of the reasons we turned this property down was that the road to the property was a challenge – no off-road parking without breaking into the boundary wall and putting in an underground garage.  OK, we asked for a refurbishment project!

The next property we saw was in Ponto do Pargo – a fabulous property if you were looking for an investment or holiday property.  Ponto do Pargo is on the west of the island (about as far west as you can go), with views over the seas to the USA!

One of the things that was a surprise was that we were not handed any details about the properties, so to keep a record of each property we saw we took masses of photographs – external and internal.  This property was in a reasonably good state and with a little work you could move right in.  Great views!  This property overlooked the new golf course development.  The whole area is in great need of development and the new golf course dsigned by Nick Faldo will bring this in.  This property looks over this course, so the views are guaranteed; but the price (albeit within our budget) reflects this.  Although a fabulous property, it didn’t have the land that we were looking for with our new environment.

There are very few days, from our experience, where the skies aren’t this blue.

After having a drink with Martinho (Maderia Property Centre’s local representative) we wound our way back to the hotel in Funchal.  We started to talk about what we had seen.  There were two topics of conversation – the first was about our cars – we planned to bring at least one of them with us and having experienced some of the roads we had been on today, we wondered if the car would actually be narrow enough to get down the road!  More learning.  The second was about the properties we had seen.  We made a decision on the first and the decision was ‘no’.  For the second property we sketched out plans of how we could redevelop the house – the only reason we did not pursue the house was the lack of land that went with it.

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