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To think about buying a property in Portugal?

(82 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.

Sleepwhenidie Sun 23-Jun-13 17:08:22

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!

somebodythatiusedtoknow Sat 08-Nov-14 12:49:07

Reviving this thread as I'm interested in the same too. Looking at Vale do Lobo (where we have been a lot) or Quinta do Lago. Any views?

Mushypeasandchipstogo Sat 08-Nov-14 18:14:14

Glad that you are reviving this thread. We are looking at small towns in the Algarve where flat and house prices seem to be an absolute bargain . Been going there for years and found most of the Portugese lovely and prices to eat out very reasonable. The only thing I would say is last time we went there the places was swamped by obese and heavily tattooed British and Irish people complaining that they didn't like the Portugese food!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 08-Nov-14 18:17:36

Bear in mind that if the UK leaves the EU this may have a significant impact on ease of travel/right to live in Portugal etc...

Mushypeasandchipstogo Sat 08-Nov-14 18:21:29

I don't think that the UK will ever leave the EU but yep air fares are bound to go up.

faitaccompli Sat 08-Nov-14 20:55:23

I have had a small apartment in the Algarve for 8 years now. I do go there for most holidays - and friends use it a lot as well. Everyone who uses it always goes back as they fall in love with it. I use it as a base for exploring other areas of POrtugal - this year we spent 3 days in Lisbon - next year will probably go to Porto and may be Seville. The restaurants where we are serve excellent food at reasonable prices. If you buy local produce, the food is inexpensive - and even if you buy UK type food, it is not that bad.

The Portuguese people are lovely and very welcoming of the British. Or that is my experience of them over the 8 years I have been going there.

My property is worth about the same as when I purchased it due to interest rate changes.

somebodythatiusedtoknow Sat 08-Nov-14 21:38:51

We do really love it there too. Tavira is beautiful too.

I know it's much more expensive than local supermarkets but I'm a sucker for Apolonia - just like Waitrose! That makes me sounds a bit of a sad middle class version of Brits Abroad.

I'm told by my man in the know that if the UK left the EU, the pound is more likely to go down in value which obviously wouldn't be great for ongoing expenses if you earn in Sterling but would be positive for converting back the property's value at least if you were to sell.

faitaccompli Sat 08-Nov-14 21:52:52

We used to visit the waterfall at Tavira - which was fabulous (imagine a huge natural pool, with a waterfall, surrounded by vegetation, rocks - all natural - in the middle of nowhere. But the fire a few years ago blocked the pool and it became stagnant, the walkways that had been built were also burnt and have not yet been rebuilt which is a great shame.

PurpleAlert Sun 09-Nov-14 14:45:44

We bought a house in the western Algarve in 2010 and it is the best thing we have ever invested in. I can't say I have found that eating out is terribly expensive but I do know that Vale de Lobo is one of those more exclusive resorts that tend to be more pricy.

We have a three bed two bath place right next to the beach. ( we bought it for £180k) We decided against a place with a pool as we knew that the maintenance would be expensive. We found a lady who does cleaning and property management in the village and she comes in once a fortnight to sweep up leaves and open the windows for a bit of air. She also cleans when we are about to visit. Maintenance is €20 a month and cleaning €27 per time with a little more if she does the laundry.

Shopping can be very reasonable of you know where to look. I do most of my shopping at the Aldi in Lagos and it costs about half as much as the big supermarkets down the road.

We live quite near to Southend airport and can get to our place in less than 6 hours door to door- even quicker now we have found a great car hire company that works out much cheaper in high season and doesn't keep you waiting for ages like Gold car do ( avoid- they are beyond awful!)

We have always found the Portuguese to be very welcoming and friendly- absolutely love it there. Beautiful beaches and the weather is just perfect. Both this summer and last I was out there for 5 weeks and didn't have a drop of rain either holiday.

Misssss Sun 09-Nov-14 14:51:27

My dp lives in in the mountains near Seia. It's gorgeous place, friendly people and the property is peanuts. Like everyone has said it's important to learn Portuguese. I find the supermarkets cheaper than the uk ones. Bills are significantly cheaper. The flights are expensive though, I guess Lisbon and faro flights are a little cheaper but research this first.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 09-Nov-14 15:07:24

I have lived in the algarve for 11 years, and initially bought an apartment as an investment while we were still in the UK so am happy to answer any questions

I also work in rentals/property management and used to work in an estate agents

I think the market has bottomed out and is starting a slow climb back up, so now wouldn't be a bad time for anyone thinking of buying here

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