We first visited Lagos in the Summer of 1996, a family holiday with our two Sons, Dan and Brad along with Tracey's parents, Gerald and Christina .
After two weeks of beautiful sunshine and warm balmy evenings, our time came to leave. Such was the draw of that holiday, on the morning that we left, we drove up the Avenida dos Descobrimentos to watch the amazing sunrise with just dreams and not much conviction the topic of conversation was ''one day we will live here'' never for one moment did we believe it would happen.
After returning to Lagos for several more family holidays, in 2005 and after a great deal of hard work we found ourselves in the fortunate position of being able to release some equity from our house in the UK and consider purchasing a second home.
After two more sun drenched weeks and numerous visits to every Real Estate in Lagos we arrived home despondent, because it appeared that our budget would not stretch to our expectations.
Ever the optimists, we continued our search via the web and it was on one such occasion that we chanced upon a building plot, just a few hundred yards away from the villa that we had just rented.
By late September we were back in Lagos, this time with our eyes set firmly on the land. After meeting the agent and having several meetings with the owner, we agreed a price. On a whistle-stop tour after meeting the agent, Susana, we could appoint a lawyer, sign a promissory contract and hold an initial meeting with an architect, who the current owner of the land had commissioned to draw the plans. In one short week we had taken the plunge, we were now land owners! little did we know that what lay ahead would test us to the limit.
After a number of setbacks, plans being rejected and re submitted on three separate occasions, eventually approval was made, and we were ready for the project to begin.
A year later we were the very proud owners of our villa in Calicas, Lagos and couldn’t believe it was ours.
We decided to offer the villa for rent through a local agency and very quickly learnt the good, the bad and the indifferent of property management. We decided that one day, this is what we wanted to do and ultimately this was now our new aim in life.
Our backgrounds, both of which are entirely customer/people orientated, myself being a Police Inspector and Tracey a Bank manager, provided us with the necessary skills and professionalism to establish our own company and in 2012, we both decided the time was right and we made the move to Portugal.
Over the last 5 years, we have built a very successful property management and rentals company looking after both apartments and villas, predominately in and around Lagos, but also in Praia Da Luz, Alvor and Ferragudo.
In 2016, we branched into sales, incorporating real estate and rebranded the company name, from Algarve Estate Management, to Algarve Retreats, Property Management, Rentals and Sales.
Through recommendations and working very closely with our owners, we have built long and lasting relationships on the back of our ethos and work ethic of honesty and complete transparency in all we do.