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Buying a House in Portugal

Relaxing in the algarve

Thinking of buying a house in Portugal? As home owners in Portugal this page draws upon our own experience and advice from Portugal Property Experts estate agents:

Portugal Property Experts- professional estate agents

Many people dream of buying a house in Portugal, a haven in the sun where you can get away from the cares of day-to-day life. A number of people have asked me for advice on this so here is Portugal Sport and Adventure's introduction to property and a free e-book explaining the buying process in Portugal!

There are many reasons why people fall in love with Portugal: the captivating sunshine and mild climate, the laid-back lifestyle, the excellent food and wine, the friendly people, the interesting culture and history and of course the opportunity to play sport and be outdoors all year round. All these make it a great holiday destination, somewhere that people want to visit over and over again.

A typical Portuguese cottage

But are these attractions enough to make you want to invest in the country? Well the popular UK TV show 'A Place in the Sun' recently announced that the Algarve was the world's best destination to buy property in the sun, beating off competition from Spain, France, Eastern Europe, Australia, the USA and other so called property hot-spots. The deciding factors were value for money, the practicalities of buying a house in Portugal and then enjoying your holiday home and the best potential for growth. The same programme named Portugal the third best place to make money from property. While another Channel 4 programme placed Portugal's silver coast in the top 10 best places to buy in Europe.

So if you are considering buying a house in Portugal and want to be sure that you're making a wise investment you should take the following factors into consideration; security, investment and growth, property prices, buying to let, the cost of living, settling in and other practicalities and find out about the buying process.

Security and Stability
Portugal is an economically and politically stable country with relatively low crime and you benefit from the ease and security of being within the European Union.

A long term investment
More and more people are choosing property as a safer investment than stocks and shares or as part of their pension plan. Property prices in Portugal have been rising steadily (and in some areas shooting up) in recent years so you should be able to enjoy your holiday home here confident in the knowledge that you've made a sound investment.

A short term investment
There are lots of areas of Portugal that are on the up and could offer good short-term returns for investors or property developers. Areas that may be worth looking at for buying off-plan or renovating include the Eastern or Western Algarve, the Alentejo coast, the silver coast between Lisbon and Porto, the green coast above Porto and the islands of Madeira.

Whether you are buying a house in Portugal as an investment or to live in always find an estate agent you can trust and do lots of research yourself to be sure you make an informed choice.

swimming pool
Property prices to suit all budgets
Property prices are lower in Portugal than in the UK but vary considerably around the country. The Algarve and Lisbon are the most expensive regions but are showing consistent growth, great rental incomes and are very popular with investors, holiday makers and residents. If you're interested in buying a coastal property in a less developed area you could try the western and eastern edges of the Algarve and up the western coast from the Alentejo in the south to Viana de Castelo in the North. These areas are fast growing in popularity but there are still a few bargains to be had. In general the further inland you go in Portugal the cheaper property becomes, this is great if you love peace and quiet and the traditional Portuguese way of life. However you should always balance the price of a property against the practicalities of living and travelling there.

Buying to Let
Many people buying a house in Portugal choose to offset the cost of the mortgage by letting it out to other holiday-makers. There is demand for holiday lets all year around with properties near the coast, golf courses or in Lisbon particularly popular. You can also buy apartments in complexes with a guaranteed rental agreement. You can advertise your property online or sign up with a local rental management company. There is a 15% tax on rental incomes and you should ask your estate agent or lawyer for advice on letting regulations.

Low cost of living
Whether you're planning to move here permanently or just visit regularly then you'll appreciate that the cost of living in Portugal is amongst the cheapest in the EU. Many older people choose to live here as not only do they enjoy the sunny climate but they find that their pension goes much further.

Infrastructure and Settling In
There are well-established ex-pat communities around Lisbon and the Algarve with amongst others large numbers of British, Irish, German and Dutch residents. Indeed over 20,000 Britons now own a house in Portugal. As a result as well as the Portuguese infrastructure you have access to services and amenities that cater specifically for international residents such as doctors, dentists, shops and good international schools. If you're planning to move here permanently and you don't speak Portuguese very well then these ex-pat communities can help you settle in and maybe find a job.

Convenience and Accessibility
Cheap, quick flights from many European countries make Portugal a convenient location for holiday homes- we have friends who regularly nip over from the UK and Ireland for a long weekend. After all what's the point of having a holiday home that you don't have the time or the money to enjoy?

The Buying Process
Buying a house in Portugal or indeed in any foreign country can be a daunting process- I speak from personal experience as I recently bought my first apartment in the Algarve! Just finding the right people for each job can feel like a nightmare. We're lucky that we live here so we hear who's good and who leaves a little to be desired and we've made lots of useful contacts. So we are happy to recommend
  • experienced Portuguese lawyers who speak good English.
  • banks and mortgage companies.
  • money exchange services- to make sure you get the best exchange rate when you transfer your money to Portugal.
  • management companies to promote and look after your rental property
  • surveyors, architects and builders.
  • furniture shops for different budgets- for individual pieces or complete packages.
  • interior decorators and decoration and curtain shops.
  • air conditioning and heating companies.
  • swimming pool companies- to build or maintain your pool and gardeners.
  • Sky TV installation companies.
Just drop us an email explaining what you are looking for and we'll point you in the right direction.

As the saying goes, knowledge is power and so to help your property purchase go smoothly and painlessly I've asked a well respected local estate agent to guide us through the buying process. Even if you're just considering buying a house in Portugal you should definitely read his impartial advice.

e-bookDownload his FREE e-guide to buying a house in Portugal now! Left click to open the file or right click to save it. This pdf file opens with Adobe reader which you can get here (a new window will open)

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Buying a House in Portugal photos copyright: Marmit, Luís Alves, Emre Nacigil

Free E-Book!

All you need to know about buying property in Portugal
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