what to consider buying a property in portugal

uying a property in Portugal or any other country, is the decision of a lifetime. And there are many things you need to pay attention to when deciding to buy a property.

The price, location, orientation and size of the house, of course, remain the main factors. But with the events in the last 2-3 years people started to change their priorities and other aspects gained much more importance.

Also keep in mind that all these articles are written and represent my own experience. After buying our apartment in Algarve Portugal we learned some things that it would have been better to know in advance.

The real estate agent

The most important thing when buying a property in Portugal is the real estate agent because he can make or brake your deal with the seller.

If you want to learn more about how we lost our initial apartment we wanted to buy because of the real estate agent that was involved at that time, watch these videos about how we bought our apartment.

My main advice would be to get a buyers agent. A buyers agent is a realtor that works for you. It’s person that doesn’t seek to sell you one of the houses he has on his portfolio, but looks for a specific property, starting from the wish list you provide.

We didn’t had a buyers agent, we didn’t even know that such thing existed. If you are looking for a good recommendation, send me an email and I will put you in contact with a really good one!

The outdoor spaces

Ever since the pandemic, people started to realize the importance of the outdoor spaces in the vicinity of their home. Portugal is a country where you live mostly outdoor, but it’s not enough now to live near a park or 10 minutes from a beach.

The terraces of a house or apartment are true living spaces, more important than the living room or the kitchen. Really, now you live more on the balcony than in your own living room. At least we do!

If you didn’t think of yourself as a house with a garden owner, maybe coming to Portugal, you might consider making a change. A lot of people are diching the posh city life for a house country with a large garden. Or maybe you prefer a resort.

In any case, the outside spaces are now maybe more important that the layout of the house. Or at least just as important. It is worth it to pay extra for a house situated in the middle of a green space (yard, resort, near the sea), and maybe not so much allocating that budget for a new kitchen or new furniture.

When buying  a property, think also about your future needs, not just the present.

The luminosity

You will soon experience on your own skin the famous “Portugal light”.

It is a light cherished by artists that inspired so many beautiful art pieces. But for the ones not used to the brightness, it’s going to be a hassle. One of the first lessons you learn in Portugal is that you cannot survive here without a hat, sunglasses and SPF.

Sunglasses are a must even when is cloudy outside, because the luminosity is just as bright. And some (if not all) of this wonderful light, you want it in your house. So make sure the house is oriented in a way you have this covered.

algarve portugal

The light in Portugal is amazing, but very powerful

things to consider when moving to Portugal

Pinheiros Altos Golf Course in winter time

Energy efficiency

Another reason for pay attention at the orientation of the house is that the sun is going to help you save a lot of money on energy.  The more sun you have that warms your house, the less you will be paying.

As you might well know, the energy in Portugal is very expensive and not only that, you consume a lot of electricity (or gas) because the houses in Portugal are not insulated.

Unless you are buying a brand new constructed one, you must check for insulation and request from the real estate agent the Energy Certificate. This is a document a seller must have before putting the house on sale (by law). So do ask the document and don’t neglect the importance of a house well insulated.

Not retired? Don’t neglect this! We did…

Are you going to work? You absolutely need a dedicated space for that! I didn’t want to have an office in my new home, because I literally wanted to work from the couch. And I did, like about 8 months. This until I started having severe chest and back pains. That severe that I thought is something wrong with my heart. Or that is something wrong with the mattress.

But now, it was all from the fact that a couch doesn’t allow you to have the right position when working hours and hours at the computer. So don’t neglect that or you might have health issues later.

And don’t forget that if you are working remote, you need an area with good internet! But this is a story for another article.

Learn more in this dedicated video on the subject.


Read this next! – Where to stay in winter in Portugal – Pedras del Rei

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