Can you sell a farm?

Have you ever fancied yourself as being a salesperson? Could you sell a small farm in Portugal?

I am about to begin an advertising campaign and of course am restricted to those places where travel to Portugal is permitted. I have a lot of faith in being able to sell to someone in one of the southern African nations but they are banned from coming here at present. We were unable to stop an ad when travel restrictions were imposed and it generated a fair bit of interest there. The internet agent we use gave us our buyer who had to withdraw due to covid restrictions after he returned home. Their ad is the same as my own site www.oldmcdonaldsolives.com which gives full details.

Travel throughout Portugal is now unrestricted and we have our eye on a bungalow in the Azores which we think will not remain on the market long. I need to retire sooner rather than later due to my heart operation. Old age does not help either.

The internet agency gets a fee of 2% of the sale price if they introduce the buyer, otherwise no charge. I am prepared to offer the same (by way of a gift for a favour done) to any TFF member who introduces the purchaser. To make sure you get your money, tell the person you introduce to let me know you introduced them. If you prefer you can contact me with their email address. Use your TFF name if you want to remain anonymous to me in the event you are not successful.
 
Bump.

Over €6000 up for grabs. It could be as easy as you mentioning to someone that you know of this nice place in Portugal where they could enjoy an easy life on little money. Max temperature so far this year is two days at 35.9º so not much over some places in Britain have experienced. Car tax about €30 this year with insurance €150 for any driver in a Renault Kangoo and all VAT reclaimed on its expenses, also on Water and Electric. No council tax equivalent. Beer 32c/330ml in cans or bottles. Wine ridiculously cheap. It goes on.......

Plenty of scope to produce as much of your own food as you want; horsey folks have no competition to a riding stable set up, and B&B could be a money spinner if people are inclined towards any of these things.

Think about it. Who do you know that could make you €6000+?
 
We have a minimum price which we will accept. Anyone asking to view is advised of that price prior to confirming the proposed date and time. We are not disclosing this minimum to all and sundry, but under present circumstances of volatility of travel arrangements consider it is only fair to a prospective purchaser before they travel. There is a general feeling that property prices may well increase in this area and if we do not sell in the near future would want to take advantage of any rise.

We could give you €6000 luck money, or you could make an offer of €6000 less than our minimum if you wanted to disclose you are a TFF member at the time of making the offer. So far as I am aware I do not personally know any member. I have had exchanges of personal messages with a few but I do not know them apart from two whose real names I now know. I would also know if a member uses their own name for signing in on the forum, but I claim to be honest and am prepared to pay as posted. If someone wants to be ultra-careful then do not tell me you are a TFF member until after you make the arrangements to view and I have disclosed the minimum price.

We had anticipated that we would receive a similar enquiry to yours when deciding to make the offer of a gift to someone introducing the buyer. The amount (actually it is 2% of the sale price so more than €6000) is the same as we would be paying to one place where we have an advert so the net amount to us is no different if the introduction came from that ad. We gain the offered amount if it is a buyer via one of the places where we have paid up front for the ad, but have also incurred a cost. We left the private offer only with TFF for July then spread the word about it to a number of people after the beginning of this month. Some of them have told further friends so it is now an open offer to an unknown number of people to find a buyer for us. It is a cheap way for us to advertise around the world.

There are a lot of immigrants from various countries in inland Central Portugal already and some are saying that folks they know in the cities are keen to get out. There are also certain countries where a lot of people are looking to move. South Africa was suggested to us by a neighbour who originates there and we have had considerable interest from a series of ads in the SA Farmers’ Weekly, ending with this week’s issue.

We are hopeful of obtaining more than our minimum because there is a lot of interest from people who, due to possible quarantine, are not keen to travel unless necessary. We have adverts in some countries where people are able to travel to Portugal and not need to quarantine when they return home - not Brazil because of the high infection rates there. We have limited ads in other countries, but ready to go with more if the air corridors are opened from more countries. As an example Denmark opened a couple of weeks ago and we are in discussion for an ad there. We placed one in Norway, which then imposed a return quarantine, but we are still receiving numerous “hits” and limited further enquiries. We have an ad ready to go in Germany and are only haggling over the (incorrect) imposition of VAT. Google translate is working overtime for me.
 
Travel problems throughout the world have prevented us from from any advertising since my last post, including cancelling the German ad I mentioned.

Hopefully things might improve soon and I note that current UK gov advice is that travelling overseas in connection with property (buy, sell, rent) is a valid reason. Perhaps those who do not like Brexit might prefer to move to a safe, warm country in the EU?
 
Why can you not just sell locally?
The simple answer is that there are no local buyers. Obviously “everyone” in the locality knows it is for sale and that I have had a heart operation. It often seems half of Portugal is for sale and there are vast tracts of land that are not used. Such land is cheap, but unproductive.

Rural Portugal can generally be considered to be similar to the Scottish crofting townships of the past. It is extremely rare (particularly in this general area) to find agricultural land with a good house on the land. Almost as rare to find the remains of a house from the past. Farm land was not lived upon. Our property is the only one which I know of that has what many rural dwellers in northern Europe would consider to be essential services of mains electricity and potable water – in this case mains water, something we have never previously enjoyed. The norm is for there to be small parcels of land outside villages and the landholder lives in one of the nearby villages. I know of an English person who bought one such village house (5yrs ago?) and not in good order, but with a newish roof, mains electricity, water and sewage for only €9,000.

Like many other places in the world, it is unusual for the local population to buy the more expensive properties. Very few will have the money. Also, as with elsewhere, there has been a tremendous influx to the cities from villages in the last two generations and it appears to be continuing. I would guess that I have seen several hundred tower blocks of flats constructed in Castelo Branco, with a corresponding large increase in the size of the city’s industrial estate. The people who have chosen to live an urban lifestyle do not move back out to rural areas. Some of them do work the small bits of land owned by their parents/in laws but they also hold day jobs in town and only work the land at weekends, often only a vegetable plot.

Given the low level of wages it is unlikely most folks would ever aspire to owning what we are offering for sale. The price is very low compared to a similar property in northern Europe, but we are not in northern Europe. Do a bit of research to find out what a similar property would be priced at in the UK. It would be just as difficult for an average wage earner there to buy those properties as it is for local people to buy this. True, as everywhere, there are highly paid occupations, but those people do not normally want to farm in their spare time.

The property is most suitable for someone’s early or semi retirement, and I set it up for a minimum of work being required. Being the size it is it will never make a high income directly from standard agriculture. It might if it had some intensive enterprise or a diversification stream, such as horse riding or overnight accommodation, but that would mean more work.

Alternatively a younger couple might see it as a first step towards a farming life. That approach can work. Our first property was a similar house to this and buildings with 9 acres of rough grazing. The most we have owned is a bit more than 3000 acres. I had a head start of some experience by having been brought up on father’s smallholding, al of 2 acres, so no bigger scale experience, but I did know a little.
 

bobk

Member
Location
stafford
The simple answer is that there are no local buyers. Obviously “everyone” in the locality knows it is for sale and that I have had a heart operation. It often seems half of Portugal is for sale and there are vast tracts of land that are not used. Such land is cheap, but unproductive.

Rural Portugal can generally be considered to be similar to the Scottish crofting townships of the past. It is extremely rare (particularly in this general area) to find agricultural land with a good house on the land. Almost as rare to find the remains of a house from the past. Farm land was not lived upon. Our property is the only one which I know of that has what many rural dwellers in northern Europe would consider to be essential services of mains electricity and potable water – in this case mains water, something we have never previously enjoyed. The norm is for there to be small parcels of land outside villages and the landholder lives in one of the nearby villages. I know of an English person who bought one such village house (5yrs ago?) and not in good order, but with a newish roof, mains electricity, water and sewage for only €9,000.

Like many other places in the world, it is unusual for the local population to buy the more expensive properties. Very few will have the money. Also, as with elsewhere, there has been a tremendous influx to the cities from villages in the last two generations and it appears to be continuing. I would guess that I have seen several hundred tower blocks of flats constructed in Castelo Branco, with a corresponding large increase in the size of the city’s industrial estate. The people who have chosen to live an urban lifestyle do not move back out to rural areas. Some of them do work the small bits of land owned by their parents/in laws but they also hold day jobs in town and only work the land at weekends, often only a vegetable plot.

Given the low level of wages it is unlikely most folks would ever aspire to owning what we are offering for sale. The price is very low compared to a similar property in northern Europe, but we are not in northern Europe. Do a bit of research to find out what a similar property would be priced at in the UK. It would be just as difficult for an average wage earner there to buy those properties as it is for local people to buy this. True, as everywhere, there are highly paid occupations, but those people do not normally want to farm in their spare time.

The property is most suitable for someone’s early or semi retirement, and I set it up for a minimum of work being required. Being the size it is it will never make a high income directly from standard agriculture. It might if it had some intensive enterprise or a diversification stream, such as horse riding or overnight accommodation, but that would mean more work.

Alternatively a younger couple might see it as a first step towards a farming life. That approach can work. Our first property was a similar house to this and buildings with 9 acres of rough grazing. The most we have owned is a bit more than 3000 acres. I had a head start of some experience by having been brought up on father’s smallholding, al of 2 acres, so no bigger scale experience, but I did know a little.
There's usually one reason a property doesn't sell .....
 
There's usually one reason a property doesn't sell .....
I am well aware of that!!

It has not been properly advertised due initially to my heart problem and then Covid restrictions. The planned advertising last summer did not go ahead. We accepted an offer from a New Zealand couple over a year ago, just before several adverts were due for publication and we cancelled them. They withdrew when they had travel problems after Covid hit. We discussed the valuation with 3 local estate agents before deciding our minimum price, so we did take local "professional" advice. We declined to use them because they all wanted exclusive long term rights to the sale.

If the house was in a village or town it might bring as much as we are asking for the whole place, but we think it is an integral part of the quinta and should be kept as such.
 

Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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