Sixteen days before my wife and I leave Tavira. I have to find a place for us to live in before Oct 17th.
Moradia means house; strictly speaking, we are looking for an apartamento.
But I like the word Moradia better; it sounds a little more permanent, less transient.
I may want to live in a flat in Tavira, nothing fancy, mind you, in town, where I can walk around and get what I want easily, since I will not have a car.
It is hard to find rental listings here; actually thus far I have not found a single place that advertises that it’s For Rent with a sign hanging outside a window or balcony. Everything is listed as For Sale. To get an idea of the prices, you can go here.
As you can see, the prices are fairly steep. Moreover, these are mostly listings of apartment in the condo complexes that are being built like mad around here, not quite as bad as in the Western Algarve, but still an eyesore in some cases.
There is a real estate bubble going on in Portugal right now, after a long period when nothing moved. According to a local newspaper, “the Left Bloc argues that Golden Visas are a source of corruption, money laundering, tax evasion and generalised criminal activity, while also being discriminatory to those who have money as opposed to those who don’t.”
Well, be that as it may, buying a house now is not the goal.
Instead, we want to rent for, say, a year, and maybe wait for this bubble to collapse. Since values are rising nicely on our place in FLA, it makes senses to do so — unless of course it doesn’t, and we get permanently priced out.
I definitely do not want to rent a place that is on some remote hill that is more suitable for mountain goats and where I am drenched every time I go back home, as is the case now, despite the salutary benefits of walking.
I might want to live on a cobblestone street that is not overly frequented by tourists; a place that is not above a bar or restaurant; a place that has several rooms and a nice balcony or two; a place where the ceilings are high in the old school way that I liked in Nice or our old flat in Cairo; a place where I can put up a simple wooden desk and write.
But how does one find such a place?
Sometimes fortune smiles on the adventurous. Sometimes you can strike up a conversation with someone, who might turn out unexpectedly to have something to suitable offer.
That happened yesterday — once I found a mutually intelligible language with a local, which was French — and today at 11am, we are going to visit a flat that appears to have potential, but also many obvious drawbacks.
This is a place that is likely to need much work. I am okay with that, providing the rent is dirt cheap, and the rental per month I heard quoted is just that, and the negative factors are not overwhelming.
It is early as I type this, 6:04 am to be exact. I hear a rooster crowing in the distance, a sound that for some reason I find immensely pleasing. This bird is a feathered muezzin, reminding me to keep whatever happens today in perspective.
I will post pictures of this place later on today or perhaps tomorrow.
If it shows promise, we shall discuss it with my cousin this evening over dinner. Karen and her husband rent out properties here, so will no doubt provide us with sensible advice in that regard.
Let’s see what happens.