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June 22, 2009

Solar Energy - lowers cost of luxury for Silver Coast property

Eco-House with solar energy and beach views on the Obidos Lagoon

Bom Sucesso front view courtyard solar panels

An example of environmentally friendly home heating. Plus a case study for how the recent Portuguese legislation in support of solar energy has lowered the cost of luxury living in this four bedroom property on the Bom Sucesso beach. Image right shows front view of the courtyard and solar panels June 2009 - click any property images to enlarge

When the house was purchased by the current owner in 2005 it was neither warm nor energy efficient. The water heating was by gas. The cooking was by gas and electric, and the space heating in the winter was by solid fuel fireplaces and a wood burning stove. Lovely as a summer home but the heating was not ideal for winter use. Image below taken Christmas 2008 - Beach view from the living room window.

Bom Sucesso beach view from living room window

Utility Costs now down to Zero. Toasty warm in the winter.

one of the two Eco-Aire pellet burning stoves from Ecoforest

Initially the owner installed the pellet burners for space heating followed by the solar water heating, which instantly warmed the house and lowered the cost of hot water to an insignificant amount for the brief periods that the sun does not provide enough. Even those small costs are now covered by the photo-voltaic energy production.


The owner also contracted at the same time to install the photo-voltaic panels which, at the favourable rate paid to the owner for solar energy, will now produce more than enough revenue to pay all the utility bills, (gas, water and electricity) for the household and cover all (or most) of the cost of winter space heating.

As the implementation of legislation to allow selling the electricity to the national grid was delayed until 2008, the approval for the grid connection of the photo-voltaic system only took place in 2009 and the system was finally connected to the grid on 18th June 2009.

Bom Sucesso front view courtyard photovoltaic solar panels

The photovoltaic panels were instantly providing and selling more than 14 kwh to the grid daily in June, although that figure is estimated to reduce substantially in the winter months. Nevertheless it is conservatively estimated that an average of 9kwh per day should be achieved by the system over a full year based on the national weather data.

The hot water system (solar thermic) provides the owner with all the hot water needed in both winter and summer.

For occasional short periods in the winter months, if inclement weather lasts for more than a couple of days, the hot water tank stores 390 litres of hot water which is sufficient to tide the owner over any cooler periods. Reversion to electricity or gas for water heating in such periods can be automatic, but the periods are so short that the owner opted to control this cost further by manually switching over to gas only if and when necessary.

Bom Sucesso front view hedge and solar panels

Clean Pure and Plentiful Water.

Water is supplied to the house by both mains and bore hole. The owner has not needed to turn on the mains for more than a few hours during pump maintenance since purchasing the house. Water from the bore hole not only tastes nicer, and is filtered by activated charcoal for the house, but it is substantially cheaper than mains water.

The only water cost is the electricity to raise the water from below the ground, and the tiny standing charge on the idle mains water system. This means that water consumption for both garden and pool would not anyway be as costly as other properties in the region, but now in 2009 this cost is totally covered by the photo-voltaic energy production.

Pool heating.

Bom Sucesso front view solar water heating panels

The solar thermic system is pre-equipped with an automatic system to send the excess hot water energy to the swimming pool that the owner is planning on building. The solar thermic system produces far too much heat in the period March to November so the swimming pool season will certainly be lengthened. The plan is to either cover the pool with a purpose built retractable unit, or make the pool an indoor one. Either way with the probable addition of a heat exchange system the pool will be usable and much warmer all year round.

For space heating the owner has already installed 3 modern Ecoforest pellet burning stoves which provide push button heating where it is needed using fuel pellets made from forestry waste products. This makes the space heating both environmentally friendly, easy to use, and very economical.

Vigo pellet burning stove from Ecoforest

The owner opted for three separate pellet burning units, two Eco-Aire and one Vigo from Ecoforest, rather than one large central one with radiators as this gives much easier and greater flexibility over where and when heat is produced and how it is distributed.

sack of Ecoforest fuel pellets made from forestry waste products

The log burning fireplaces have been retained in the property for character but as the heat from the pellet burners is more than enough the fireplaces are only ever used for cosmetic purposes. Typically a log or fir-cone fire is lit on special occasions like Christmas when a few flames in the hearth provide additional good cheer. The fir-cones are often collected from the roadsides in the empty pellet sacks while the owner is out walking which means that collecting the fuel for the fire also helps to provide good healthy exercise.

The cost of Energy Self Sufficiency.

Bom Sucesso view on wintry day of choppy seas from living room window

In round figures the total capital cost of all the energy efficiency changes and additions detailed above was less than 30 thousand euros. As the revenue from the photo-voltaic panels should exceed 2 thousand euros per year, with space heating costs being around 700 for the pellets, and all the other utilities now reduced to around 1200, it is probable that the house will not only be energy self sufficient, but will show the owner a small and rising bonus.

With energy costs likely to rise in the longer term, and the amount paid by the grid contracted and legislated to rise proportionately, the capital investment should continue to be more than worthwhile. Image above taken Christmas 2008 - view on wintry day of choppy seas taken from living room window. Below the lagoon taken on a fine day over the same Christmas 2008 holiday period - click the images to enlarge.

Bom Sucesso beach Christmas 2008

All the above and a beach view can be yours if you wish. Just click on the link below to contact the owner for more details and see more of this:-

Eco-House with beach views on the Obidos Lagoon for sale.

June 18, 2009

GolfeOeste invests 200 thousand euros in Silver Coast for 2009

200 thousand euros is being invested in 2009 to promote golf in
the Oeste Region. Much of the funds will be used to promote golf
packages to foreign tour operators which will be sure to please
property investors on the resorts.

In a public-private partnership, including the Turismo do Oeste,
municipalities and businesses the target is to strengthen the
demand for golf in the region, which in 2008 attracted 90
thousand golf rounds. Sixty partners have joined the plan,
approved on 16th May in Óbidos, according to the chairman of
Turismo do Oeste, Antonio Carneiro.

In partnership with Turismo do Oeste are all the region's golf
courses, hotels, restaurants, the wine routes, travel agencies,
tourism, commerce and services. This is the third year of such
promotions and the budget has increased every year.

The promotion includes brochures, DVD, participation in events
and organization of educational visits, advertising in foreign
magazines and public relations work in major markets.

Antonio Carneiro also said that Turismo do Oeste is not
concerned that the current crisis will affect travel to golf
courses because it mainly attracts people with high purchasing
power. Suggesting a more than 10% increase this year he said,
"We finished 2008 with about 90 thousand rounds of golf and we
hope to end 2009 with 100 thousand." That number translates into
around half a million beds.

Most golf players are from Ireland, England, Holland, Germany
and the four countries of Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland
and Denmark). This latter region is a good bet for GolfeOeste
because each of those countries has thousands of golfers who
"are not suffering the economic crisis in the way that, for
example, England is."

Golfing tourists spend on average 300 to 600 euros per day in
the region,which has a positive impact on the local economy.
There are already six golf courses, and António Carneiro
believes that there is room for more and that the ideal would be
10 or 12 fields.

António Carneiro explained that expected new courses are
Sizandro Village (Praia Azul - Torres Vedras), Vimeiro, Paimogo
(Lourinhã), Falésia d´el Rey (Óbidos), S. Bernardino (Peniche)
and Rainha Golf and Spa (Caldas da Rainha).
The latter is delayed "due to financial reasons."

Antonio Carneiro explained that his "concern is to realize the
desire to be a destination for golf and residential," and to
stop being dependent on other golfing destinations such as

Also present at the ceremony was Vítor Costa, Director General
of the Turismo de Lisboa who stressed better coordination of the
whole region (Sesimbra to Fatima) where golf is particularly
important, with more than 20 fields.

"The região do Oeste has more potential for growth," said Vitor
Costa, adding that together with Turismo de Lisboa it also
combines the heritage sector the cities and religious tourism.

The SIXT Rent a Car - Portugal, car rental company,
established a strategic partnership with Turismo do Oeste. The
company also placed at the disposal of Golfoeste a new car,
particularly for the management of multiple visits to the
courses in the region and for the organization of tournaments.

Golfoeste has used the SIXT Rent a Car brand in all its
brochures, kits, bags and DVDs. Luis Garcia, Vice President of
Turismo do Oeste and coordinator of Golfoeste stated that SIXT
Rent a Car is a "partner of reference".

An agreement with the Marriott Hotel Praia D'el Rey, and the
Praia D'el Rey golf resort has already been established and
under implementation is an agreement with the Bom Sucesso Golf
and Design Resort

Article by David based on a report in Gazeta das Caldas

June 13, 2009

property investment and tourism on Silver Coast

From: "Anna Maria Braden"
Date: Sat, 13 Jun 2009 20:57:20 +0100

Dear David,

I've just found your blog and it's got me interested in the
Silver Coast as somewhere to invest some funds in property.
Leaving money in the bank here in the UK seems pointless, as
they are not giving us any kind of return - and with the way
they are printing money now, it will soon be worthless unless we
put it into something.

Is the housing market in Portugal suffering on account of the
recession and are there any good property bargains to be had?

Is a purchase on the Silver Coast likely to be a good investment
if the area develops tourism the way the Algarve did? What do
you think the likelihood is, and how soon do you think this will

Thanks for sharing your opinions, and best regards,


June 11, 2009

property hunting and Silver Coast winter rentals

From: Patricia O'Donnelly
Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:53:21 +0100

Hi David,

We are looking to visit the Silver Coast to view some properties
in September and perhaps stay for the winter, maybe stay for 6
months or so to see whether we like it there.

We have been searching for winter rental property and in Sao
Martinho we've seen on the web that longer term rentals start at
around 450 euros including the utilities.

Would you say that is the going rate locally? And is Sao
Martinho a good base for property hunting?

Thanks for your help.

Warm Regards,


June 7, 2009

Property exchanges Silver Coast Portugal / UK and elsewhere.

Property on the Silver Coast in exchange for property in other countries.
If you have property in another country that you wish to exchange for property on the Silver Coast in Portugal, I've created a section on the Portugal Silver Coast Property blog entitled "Property Exchanges" (see list of categories).

I'll be dividing it into sub sections as folk send offers for listing here. I have already created the "Silver Coast -> UK" section for Silver Coast property offered in exchange for homes in the UK.

The section entitled "UK -> Silver Coast" is currently empty, but is designed for folk moving from the UK to the Silver Coast, Portugal. Perhaps you would like to be the first to list your UK property there?

I've created those two sections to show how the idea will work. Equally of course you may have a property in another country anywhere in the world that you want to exchange for one on the Silver Coast, or vice versa. I'll create a new section whenever needed for such property offers that are posted here.

Contact me via the Email link at the top of the blog to list your property for exchange, and/or post a web link (URL) to your existing property sale or exchange advert if like most folk you already have one elsewhere on the web.
If you don't already have an advert on the web, you can place free classified ads on many web sites. This may be useful if you have property you want to sell at home before you invest in Portugal.

A good place to start advertising is u4it.com and there you can place an advert with pictures completely free of charge in return for a link to u4it.com. If you don't already have your own web site to make the link, then u4it.com will create a professional web advert for less than the price of a meal out.

Contact u4it

June 6, 2009

Villa-Apartment for exchange, short or long term rent, or sale on Silver Coast

Portugal rental property investment opportunity offered in exchange or part exchange for suitable UK property.

Property Silver Coast - Villa Apartment For Sale

This Villa-Apartment is located at Moinhos da Costa, an established very private and exclusive condominium resort with pools and tennis on a hill with spectacular views over the Obidos Lagoon and the beautiful beaches at Bom Sucesso and Foz do Arelho. Only five large villas comprising a total of 30 apartments share the facilities.

Most of the owners in this resort are Portuguese who use their villa-apartments in the summer, so the properties only rarely come up for sale. There are several foreign owners, at least two of which are English, who rent their apartments for tourism. The combination of a lower purchase cost than villas in the area, and good rental return, makes these villa-apartments an excellent investment.

Villa-apartment for exchange, part exchange, sale, short or long term rental.
Try before you buy at "Moinhos da Costa"

This closed and private condominium has a children's play area, a shared private swimming pool (7m x 13m), with an adjacent children's pool.

There are five large villa properties, each divided into six individual apartments, 2 per level, on 3 levels.

For more information on this Villa-Apartment for sale, short or long term rental, and/or exchange/swap visit the u4it.com advert at:-

Villa Apartment for sale, long term rental or exchange/swap - Obidos Lagoon, Silver Coast, Portugal

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