To think about buying a property in Portugal?

(40 Posts)
NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 23-Jun-13 11:57:23

It's so frigging beautiful there....the properties are so cheap atm. I want one! DH is all surprised because I am not the adventurous type.

I would want us to have it for holidays and maybe retire there one day. I work from home (self employed) and at the moment am the main breadwinner so actually, if it weren't for two DC in full time education I would probably live there business can be done anywhere.

I fantasize about being self sustainable...growing stuff...eating our own fish and veg and I silly? I have only been to Portugal once and have no idea what the infrastructure is like! I did hear that healthcare isn't much cop.

garlicnutty Sun 23-Jun-13 17:03:06

I've just found this lovely blog entry about a visit to Tràs-os-Montes. If you don't read Spanish, just look at the pictures ... these were taken six months ago, but might as well have been 60 years!

GoodtoBetter Sun 23-Jun-13 17:03:46

love sintra too. and loved lisbon as a young free single 20 sthg. those were good times.

I don't know anything about Portugal specifically but before buying a holiday home I would think about

- if you really want to spend every (or almost every) holiday there for the next x years, because once you spend all that money you will feel like you should go there, even if you actually fancy going somewhere else

- are you prepared for the headache of maintenance? Houses, gardens and especially pools need looking after, so you either have to get there regularly to do this yourself or factor in the cost of paying someone else to do it for you. Either way you can pretty much guarantee that something will need attention every time you arrive there, so your holiday is not all holiday IYSWIM

- how you will feel if flight costs go up even more

- if you are going to rent it out, you will definitely need someone nearby to greet guests, clean, do basic looking after. So factor in this cost when considering rental income, could be 30% if a proper agency, cheaper if you find some friendly ex-pats prepared to do it.

- property may seem cheap but compare the cost of buying (and maintaining) for say, 10 years with going there and renting whichever place you fancy for the same holidays. If you aren't saving, is it worth the headache?

I don't want to seem negative, we have a holiday home that we love and don't regret buying but the fantasy isn't always matched by the reality smile.

GypsyFloss Sun 23-Jun-13 17:16:12

My reading of it is ok, I can write my shopping list and am generally ok in markets and restaurants provided the speaker is fairly slow and doesn't deviate from the what do you costs this much...type of conversation. We're off there in a few weeks, can't bloody wait smile

BestIsWest Sun 23-Jun-13 17:17:08

Agree that flights have gone up ridiculously. We're paying around £1400 for 4 too.We go most years to the Algarve or Cascais I don't think we've ever paid more than £900 for all of us before. Less flights too.

TimeofChange Sun 23-Jun-13 17:24:13

Neo: You may care about your holiday home dropping in value, if you have remortgaged your house here to pay for it, which is how many people do buy holiday homes.

If you are buying cash, then it doesn't matter, as long as you're not thinking of it as an investment to trade in in future years.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sun 23-Jun-13 17:32:53

We won't be remortgaging TimeofChange.

fussychica Sun 23-Jun-13 17:44:11

Having taken 2 years to sell a property abroad, and then for a significant loss I would say rent rather than buy anywhere in the Eurozone in the current economic climate. Many countries are cutting back on services, hiking up taxes and often making things less accessible for expats.
Although the low prices are tempting things may not have bottomed out yet.
Good luck whatever you decide.

fussychica Sun 23-Jun-13 17:45:58

oh and agree with everything Sleepwhenidie said.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 23-Jun-13 17:57:28


I fantasise about owning a home in Sintra often.

busyboysmum Sun 23-Jun-13 17:59:11

My parents had a villa there for 20 years, they sold it 2 years ago as my dad was ill unfortunately. When we asked the kids where they wanted to go on holiday now they could go anywhere they said Portugal! So we still go twice a year, if we could afford a holiday home there we would definitely buy one and I too would love to retire out there.

My parents used to go through Style Villas and rent out the property for a set sum of around £10,000 which covered all maintenance and bills. However that did mean that we only went out of season which suited us fine with young children.

We now go to a development called Oasis Parque near Alvor which has lovely well built 2 bed apartments for sale from £90,000.

YANBU in my humble opinion, Portugal is lovely. But I would definitely learn Portuguese if you can, even the basics is useful. I can speak it enough to get along but my accent is really good so often people think I can understand it better than I do so waffle on to me, with me just getting the gist and smiling and nodding a lot!

muddymary Sun 23-Jun-13 18:21:11

I lived in the north of Portugal for a few years and I loved it. I would happily have stayed there for longer if we could.

We rented so I can't comment on property but I found the healthcare there great - in fact a colleage who had her 2nd child in Portugal (after having her 1st in the UK) said she found ante and post natal healthcare in Portugal to be far far batter than in the uk.

I found the further north you go the harder it is to find people who speak english. I struggled to pick up the language but people where I lived really appreciated any attempts to speak portuguese and would really try to understand me (with out taking the mick) however bad my attempts were.

I loved the people there, loved the different cities, the nightlife, the food everything - I just love portugal! I'd move back to the north of Portugal in a heartbeat if I could!

melika Sun 23-Jun-13 18:50:42

Family went to Albufeira Christmas, did not care much for Portugese, they were not friendly at all. They don't know what a queue is, pushing and shoving. Sorry not impressed. I wouldn't commit to one place for a holiday or retire overseas.

BestIsWest Sun 23-Jun-13 19:02:24

Sorry, I have to disagree, I've found the Portuguese to be consistently lovely and friendly people. Last time I was in Lisbon I had a fairly serious accident and they were all fantastic and couldn't have done enough for us.

babybarrister Sun 23-Jun-13 19:22:06

One further piece of info from legal perspective - if it all goes wrong financially and you leave debts on Portugal please be absolutely clear that it is very very easy for these to be pursued and set off against any assets and property in the UK. I have seen a lot of ex pats think that their debts would would not follow them - they will!

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