Success stories – Viv and Geoff, Lisbon.
Viv and Geoff started off their search looking for a coastal villa but eventually decided on a city pad in Lisbon! Researching the areas thoroughly and doing their homework regarding tax incentives on offer in Portugal helped lead them to their dream apartment and exciting new life.
Why did you choose to buy a property in Portugal?
Geoff and I had always dreamed of having a place in the sun and had always thought we would buy a villa in Spain for our retirement. We found out however that Portugal had a lot to offer us from a financial and tax point of view due to the Non-Habitual Residence tax scheme, so started to think about having a place in Portugal.
After a long weekend on holiday in Lisbon we fell in love with the city and surrounding area and returned on holiday four times that year.
When we retired we decided it was now or never, time to live the dream!
How did you find the Portugal property buying process?
We decided to use the need to look for a property in Portugal as a good excuse for as many holidays as possible! We considered a few places including Portugal’s silver coast, not to far from Lisbon, Cascais and Estoril. However on our viewing trips we always spent a few nights in Lisbon itself which made us realise how much we now enjoyed the vibrant life the city could offer .We found the public transport easy to use which allowed us to head up the silver coast or other places on day trips.
Once we had decided on the location, the buying process was fairly easy. Before even deciding on which of the three apartments in our shortlist we liked the most we met up with a recommended English-speaking Portuguese lawyer. After visiting her at her office and having a coffee we trusted her enough to give her power of attorney and eventually instruct her to deal with the legal side of the purchase.
The estate agent in Portugal that we used spoke perfect English and was also very helpful and able to answer the pages of questions we had!
As we had already sorted out our finances it only took around two months to buy our apartment, the process was quite simple for us as we left the complicated stuff to the professionals!
What was the most stressful part of buying a property in Portugal?
As we don’t speak much Portuguese I was concerned not only about the buying process itself, but also about all the things you have to deal with before and after you buy a property, such as Portuguese tax numbers and setting up utility connections and bills. It was quite daunting to start with.
Our Portuguese lawyer actually helped us not only with all the legal work but also with matters such as getting our fiscal number and our Non-habitual residence tax scheme application. She was invaluable.
What are your top tips for people looking to buy property in Portugal?
Make sure you do your research and find out what is you really want. We immediately thought we wanted a coastal villa but ended up with a beautiful city apartment in Lisbon which actually suits us perfectly.
Stay in the area you are buying. You can get a feel for what it would be like living there.
Don’t use the banks for the money transfers! I compared exchange rates between a currency company and my bank and ended up saving over £8000 by using a recommended currency firm!