Home Searching in Brazil: A 19th-Century Home on the Coast

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House Hunting in Brazil: A 19th-Century House on the Coast

This two story colonial house with courtyard and sea and mountain views is located in the historic colonial center of Paraty, one of the best preserved cities on Brazil's Costa Verde.

The 6,997-square-foot, four-bedroom home was built between 1860 and 1870 on land that once belonged to Pedro de Alcântara of Orléans-Bragança, second in line to the Brazilian imperial throne. But it was the middle of the 20th

With government approval, the property was restored by a previous owner in the 1970s, keeping the Portuguese colonial era in mind, Makansi said. River stone and double-fired ceramic tiles were used for the reconstruction, along with traditional colonial tiles and hardwoods from the Brazilian Atlantic forest, such as Peroba Rosa, Ipe and Angico.

Six colonial-style balconies were designed with wrought-iron filigree and hanging lamps, and 24 decorative pineapples made of ceramic and copper emphasize the exterior of the house. Striking geometric symbols on the outside reflect the Paraty tradition of decorating homes to pay tribute to the large community of Freemasons who lived in the area during the colonial days. Exotic doors with curved and pointed frames come from the former Portuguese colony in Macau.

"This restoration process brought back the original colonial features of Brazil," said Mr. Makansi. "All the furniture in the house is included in the asking price, and these pieces were all bought in antique stores and are reminiscent of the Brazilian colonial era."

The light blue painted front door opens to the living room with stone walls, 4.50 m high ceilings and heavy ceiling beams. The room features polished local stone floors and arched windows with decorative muntin bars and interior shutters painted blue. A large dining room with tall windows overlooking the courtyard is to the right, along with a kitchen with red and white lacquered hardwood cabinets and black granite countertops. Other rooms on the ground floor include a pantry, office, reading room, sewing room, fitness room, steam room, laundry and workshop.

Stone stairs with wooden railings lead from the living room to the second floor. Three bedrooms have en-suite bathrooms, built-in wooden wardrobes, a balcony with internal blinds and split air conditioning.

Large doors from the living room lead to the 1,615 square meter covered porch, which is set up for dining and relaxing. The pool is surrounded by São Tomé stones and a lawn and tropical plants.

The house stands on a corner lot of 0.2 hectares, surrounded by streets paved with large and uneven cobblestones called "pés-de-moleque". The center of Paraty is closed to car traffic, said Mr Makansi. The house is about a block from the Atlantic coast and has an eight-camera security system.

The coastal town of Paraty, with around 43,000 inhabitants, is roughly equidistant between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, about four hours each, and is known to tourists as a well-preserved former Portuguese colonial and Brazilian imperial center. It is located in a naturally green area that borders the Atlantic Ocean known as Costa Verde; In 2019, the city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its natural and cultural landscape. The historic center has retained much of its colonial architecture from the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Paraty is surrounded by numerous protected sections of the Atlantic Forest, such as the Serra da Bocaina National Park and the Cairuçu Environmental Protection Area. The nearest international airports are Rio de Janeiro-Galeao and Santos Dumont Airport, both about 240 km east of Paraty, and São Paulo-Guarulhos Airport, about 240 km west.

After a severe recession in 2015 and 2016 that dramatically hampered property sales and development activities, Brazil's property market began a period of slow recovery that gained momentum during the global coronavirus pandemic, said Danilo Igliori, chief economist at ZAP +, who claims the FipeZAP index, a major source of real estate information in Brazil.

"Even before the pandemic broke out, we saw an acceleration in the housing industry," said Igliori. "Now the pandemic is having an enormous positive impact on the housing markets."

According to the FipeZAP Index, the average home price in 50 monitored Brazilian cities in October was 7,799 reals per square meter ($ 129 per square foot), up 5.18 percent since the start of the year. From around 2016 until the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Brazil saw prices grow between 1 and -1 percent every year.

While the pandemic has sparked some of the same phenomena as elsewhere – buyers looking for bigger properties and moving from city centers to the suburbs or the countryside – Brazil's historically low interest rates are much of the stimulus for home sales amid the pandemic "Big booster" said Mr Igliori.

As a result, the value of the mortgage loan doubled from September 2019 to September 2021, he said. Now interest rates are rising again, and this maneuver, combined with soaring inflation, which has driven construction costs soaring, and negative forecasts by economists, could take the wind out of the sails of the Brazilian real estate market, Igliori said.

Nonetheless, foreign home buyers continue to benefit from Brazil's weak currency, said Renata Victorino, partner director at Bossa Nova Sotheby’s International Realty.

"With the real depreciating significantly against the dollar, buying a property in Brazil can be very attractive," she said. For this reason, along with the pandemic, "the prices of luxury offers have increased significantly and are not expected to fall".

Edmond van Wijngaarden, the chairman and founder of Exclusive Realty Brasil, said that prior to the pandemic, around 40 percent of second home buyers in prime locations were foreigners. "After the pandemic," he said, "only about 20 percent are foreign buyers, but total sales have skyrocketed as people try to move from the crowded city centers to the exclusive Brazilian coastal real estate markets."

Mr Wijngaarden said a 5,000-square-foot mansion on 10,000-square-foot lot in a top-gated community in one of the beach towns of southern Bahia could sell for about $ 1.5 million. For about $ 5 million, a buyer can buy a tropical yet modern 8,000-square-foot mansion on 100,000-square-foot lot with 300 feet of private beach, he said.

While foreigners visit and shop in big cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro for business reasons, there is also great interest in tourist areas like the beach areas of Rio de Janeiro, which include Angra dos Reis, Paraty and Búzios, said Ms Victorino.

International buyers have also shown interest in northeastern Brazil like Trancoso and the southern state of Bahía, as well as southern areas like Balneário de Camboriú, she said.

Mike Smith, the director of Brazil Beach House, based in Natal, said his firm was having a "rush year" for high-end beach house transactions across Brazil, particularly in the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Bahía and Rio. Grande do Norte.

"The buyers are 50 percent Brazilian and 50 percent international," he said, with the foreigners being "French, Americans, Canadians, Middle East, Hungarians, Chinese, Austrians and Swiss."

Many overseas buyers have a connection with Brazil, Van Wijngaarden said: "Either you are or have been the head of a Brazilian office for an international company and have fallen in love with the country, or you own a business in Brazil, or you are married." To one Brazilian."

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Brazil with a few exceptions, such as buying large tracts of land, Mr Smith said.

Notaries typically handle real estate transactions that can cost around 3 or 4 percent of the sale price but vary from state to state, said Izi Grinberg, an international manager at Bossa Nova Sotheby’s.

About half of Brazil Beach House's overseas clients hire a Brazilian lawyer; The fees range from about $ 2,000 to 5 percent of the transaction value, Smith said. While homes are typically listed in Brazilian reals, "buyers pay in foreign currency and the amount is then converted to Brazilian reals upon arrival," he said.

Closing costs are typically between 3 and 5 percent of the home sale price, depending on the state, said Mr. Grinberg

Portuguese; Brazilian real (1 real = 0.18)

The annual property tax on this home is 8,777 reals ($ 1,560), Makansi said.

Guilherme Makansi, Anglo Americana Imóveis, 011-55-11-3887-4555, angloamericana.com.br

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