Success stories – Mike and Lisa, Algarve.
Mike and Lisa are now enjoying the glorious weather and laid back lifestyle that Portugal offers from their new home in the Algarve. Mike tells us about how he found the process and how he made sure he avoided any pitfalls on the pathway to his perfect Portuguese pad.
Why did you choose to buy a property in Portugal?
It was the laid-back life style, availability of affordable properties and great weather. I am a semi-retried builder, by that I mean I don’t mind working in the UK in the summer but wanted to take some time out in a warmer climate for the winter months.
I chose the Algarve as it has lot to offer for all ages. I had thought of France but decided that it was too cold during the winter months.
How did you find the Portugal property buying process?
At first it was quite overwhelming as I had never bought a property abroad. I had also heard a few scare stories and was worried there would be difficulties with the language.
I found an English-speaking estate agent who understood what I was looking for. The agent was able to find a lot of properties which met my needs and within my budget.
I was not concerned about the condition of the property , being a builder so did not have a survey done. I did not need a mortgage to purchase the property in Portugal.
I did use the services of a English-speaking lawyer based in the Algarve. I had heard that debts can attached to properties in Portugal and can be passed on the the owner. The lawyer did all the legal work and searches and made sure that the property was clear of any debts. She also checked that I could make alterations the property in accordance with my plans.
I had talked to a currency firm quite early on who helped me transfer my sterling into euros at a good exchange rate.
It was all quite daunting at first as I wanted to make sure I avoided any pitfalls. Looking back the worry made me make sensible decisions and I ended up having some good advice and good people to help me.
What was the most stressful part of buying a property in Portugal?
Finding a good Lawyer.
Finding the right property.
Constantly questioning myself is it was a good idea to go for it and buy a property in Portugal (it was!).
What are your top tips for people looking to buy property in Portugal?
Speaking to reputable people in the industry and get proper and reliable advice. Find out as much as you can from independent sources and follow the advice! There are some great sources of information and this is where I found out about the best way to transfer my currency, found a Portuguese English-speaking lawyer and made my mind up to go for it.
Don’t make any rash decisions and give yourself plenty of time to think about your decisions.
Also if you want to make changes to a property find how if you will be likely to get the required permission before you commit. I had to pull out of one property because I would not have been able to make the alterations I wanted.