Buying a property in a foreign country can sometimes be overwhelming, below you will find most frequently asked questions about the procedures of purchasing real estate in Portugal.
We are interested in buying a property in the Algarve; where do we start?
The first step is making contact with a well-established, government-licensed Real Estate Agent such as Prime Properties. We will discuss your requirements and provide you with information on properties that suit your criteria. This includes:
property type - villa, apartment, townhouse;
number of bedrooms/bathrooms
specific locations - countryside, by the sea
From this point you will decide which properties you wish to view in further detail.
Why should I choose to deal with a government-licensed agent?
A licensed agent can guide you through the entire home-buying process and make the experience much easier and convenient for you.
We can use our knowledge, experience and vast portfolio to help you find the perfect property, a task that would be much more difficult if you were trying to do it alone. We are also on hand to answer any questions you have, allowing you to purchase with confidence and without any doubts.
How do we know the property has clear title and all the documents for the property are in order?
As part of your legal representative's duties it is up to them to undertake a complete search on the property. They make sure the property is fully registered, that it hold all necessary licenses, and that it's free of any debts or mortgages.
We have looked at a number of properties and have finally decided on the home we wish to buy. Where do we go from here?
Once you've finally decided which property you want don't run the risk of losing out to someone else - especially if this is the home of your dreams! Tell us that you want to proceed with the purchase and we'll make it happen.
How much will the owner accept for this property?
This is a very frequently asked question. The honest answer is we don't know. We are only acting as the mediator. We don't own the properties and therefore cannot make that decision on behalf of the owners. What we can do is advise you whether we agree with the asking price and if it is a realistic price under the market conditions. We can also show you similar properties at a similar price for you to compare. Please remember that making an offer on a property does not commit you to anything - so why not try it!
To complete a successful purchase, am I best using a legal representative in my own country, or one in Portugal?
If your representative in your own country has offices or liaises with lawyers in Portugal, then they will be satisfactory. Otherwise, we'd advise you to instruct a lawyer local to the Algarve. We can provide you with contact details of a number of lawyers or, alternatively, you can source one independently.
What are the annual running costs of a property?
This is a very open-ended question. It very much depends on the following factors:
Property Type - Villa, Apartment, Townhouse, Farmhouse etc. Obviously, running a 4-bedroom villa is going to be more expensive than a 2-bedroom apartment or townhouse.
Usage - The amount of time the property is occupied either by yourself, friends, family or if the property is rented out. Consumption of electricity, water, gas, telephone and any other utilities are important factors.
Other expenses for the property - For example, tax, condominium fees, management charges, pool cleaning, gardening and maid service. In addition, the type of heating, irrigation and any satellite systems will influence annual running costs.
The bottom line is that there is no definitive answer to this question. Prime Properties suggests obtaining amounts for each service from the current owner and use that to work out the average yearly running cost.