This couple bought a rundown farmhouse in Portugal. Here’s what happened next
By Tamara Hardingham-Gill, CNN
9 minute read
9:31 AM EDT, Thu July 20, 2023
Big project: Alan Andrew, originally from Pennsylvania, and his Belgian husband Vincent Proost relocated to Portugal after purchasing an abandoned farmhouse in the region of Alentejo.
Huge move: The couple, who have been married since 2011, were originally looking for a holiday home, but changed their minds after came across the crumbling farmhouse located in the rural village of Figueira e Barros.
Massive undertaking: "It suddenly became a project," says Proost. "And I was like, 'Okay, let's move.' And then we did. We built the house from scratch just before the pandemic, which was quite an adventure."
Beyond repair: They purchased the property in the summer of 2019. The original farmhouse was demolished soon after.
Slow process: "The build was supposed to last a year," says Proost, pictured with Andrew, left, and one of their dogs. "We just finished, which is almost three years. So it was a bit longer than originally planned."
Final finish: The couple's new home, named Casa Baio, has its own pool, five bedrooms, along with a barn turned pool house.
Expansive land: Their land encompasses 175 acres and includes around 1,500 olive trees.
Modern farmhouse: "It's very well insulated," says Andrew. "In the old traditional houses, the windows are tiny because of the weather and now because of technology, we're able to put in bigger windows."
Traditional elements: They tried to incorporate local materials, including handmade terracotta tiles, along with floor tiles made from local marble, into the structure.
Rural location: Their new home has spectacular views over Portugal's Alentejo region.