The Wealth Scene chats to Robert Webb, Marketing Manager of Bespoke Villas in The Madeira Islands and the unique lifestyle options available for overseas property buyers.
- Tell us about Bespoke Villas?
Bespoke Villas is a family business that started building residential villas in The Madeira Islands in 2001. Our initial market was for the local Madeiran population, then in 2005 we started building for foreign buyers who would see our completed and sold villas and made direct contact with us, asking for something similar as a family holiday home. At the time the English spoken in the company was very limited, however the projects undertaken were completed and the keys handed over to the delighted new property owners.
Over the next years our business grew and our villas took on a special form, they became the dream properties of our clients, every part of our construction was a reflection of the lifestyle they wished to achieve, the completed projects are full of personalised details and truly bespoke. Our unique brand of Bespoke Villas was born and today we are the leading company for bespoke projects in The Madeira Islands.
- For those who don’t know, where are The Madeira Islands?
Good question, the subtropical Madeira Islands are located 800 kms south west of the Algarve and 450 kms from the west African coast. Madeira is known as the Pearl of the Atlantic and is currently the world’s leading Island Destination. The Portuguese Island measures 60 kms by 30 kms and was born from volcanic activity, so the entire island is mountainous, very green and famed for its flower blooms. Over 65% of Madeira is a nature reserve with UNESCO World heritage status, hence the islands are ideal for the active.
- Tell us about a ‘Bespoke Villa’ project, what is involved?
All our projects are located along the sunny south coast of Madeira, normally around the Ponta do Sol area where the warmest winter in Europe is found, so we are working in the ideal climate.
The company currently owns 40+ building plots, once a client has selected the ideal plot with the right position, we work with the client on their project design. The design process takes time and there are many visits to the architects in order to complete the design. The right design will achieve the perfect pool shape, the right property orientation and the right number of rooms, it is going to be our clients dream property!
During the construction process, every part of the build is the taste and design of the client, the carpenter will build their right kitchen, the walk-into wardrobes and the staircase, we will order the interior materials for the client, in some cases these are specially imported. Right down to the taps, the tiles and the doors, our client has the choice, to create the villa and living experience they wish for.
- Tell us who is your typical client, where are they from?
We do have a client profile, although they come from all walks of life, they are either buying a holiday villa or want a permanent residence. We attract clients from all over the world including the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, China, France and the UAE amongst others! These days the main language of the company is English and we deal almost exclusively with foreign buyers. Often our client is a business owner attracted to Madeira and Portugal by the excellent personal tax incentives on offer, notably this offers a tax-free period of 10 years in retirement on pensions, royalties, interest and company dividends, this is a strong motivator to buy property in Madeira.
- Do Bespoke Villas offer the Portuguese Golden Visa, a second passport route?
We offer the ‘Golden Residence’ visa, this is an investment programme introduced by the Portuguese government for none EU citizens seeking EU Schengen Zone access, it involves a property purchase of 500,000€. After 5 years applicants can apply for a Portuguese passport. This is a growing part of our business enabling individuals and their direct family, global access with a dual nationality. As the world is getting smaller for some a second passport is an important part of their global travel and work requirements, it is also a quality security option for some who are born residents of a volatile area.
- So what else does Madeira have to offer?
One of the biggest attractions of Madeira is the safety, it is one of the safest places to live in the world and the streets of the capital Funchal, are safe to walk alone at any time of day or night. At the top of the list for many people is the sublime subtropical climate, with the island temperature rarely dropping below 18 degrees or topping 27 degrees, this gives an average temperature of 23 degrees, it is never really hot and for many offers the perfect environment to enjoy.
Unlike many other property destinations available, Madeira is an all-year island and the 1000+ plus excellent restaurants can be enjoyed year-round, there is also a good social calendar full of cultural events, such as the flower festival and the New Year firework celebrations which are the world’s largest New Year fireworks. Madeira is also an exceptionally beautiful and charming inland with a unique subtropical flora, where else in Europe grow bananas, kiwi fruit, mangos, passion fruit and Papaya? It’s a real paradise!
- How do you reach new clients?
Some just walk into our showroom in Ponta to Sol, unable to find the right property from the available market housing. However the majority of clients simply visit our website www.justmadeira.com and then download from the homepage ‘The Complete Madeira Buyers Guide’ it is a whopping 23 page guide of essential information, there is simply nothing like it available. We follow this by sending our Bespoke Villas brochure in the post, this is how it starts for all our clients. Then some will visit the Island, they will spend just one day with us, it is enough to see clearly the quality available in a Bespoke Villa.
- What is next for Bespoke Villas?
There is nowhere else in the world quite like the sub-tropical conditions found in Madeira, it offers the very best of Europe with many tropical luxuries, it is a blend that makes Madeira truly unique. With the Islands coming into vogue in recent years and with more people seeking the ideal property, we feel our future is bright, after all there is nothing quite like being handed the keys of your dream property and perfect lifestyle!
Thank you for your time today Robert and good luck for the future.
To find out more visit: www.justmadeira.com