6 steps of becoming a home owner in the Algarve
1 - The research stage
When you decide to start to look for a property abroad, 9 times out of 10 you are sitting at home thousands of miles away from the country you want to purchase in. Before you get out the laptop and start searching the myriad of internet sites offering you dream home after dream home, there are a few basic bits you need to sort out first.
Work out your BUDGET. Yes, it seems obvious, but you would be surprised at how many clients we speak to who don’t really have a clue of what their maximum budget is. As well as working out the final figure also think about whether you are going to be a CASH PURCHASER or if will you need FINANCE. From our experience if you are looking for a MORTGAGE to help fund your purchase the best time to START looking into this is NOW. Banks in Portugal are leading to non-residents and the rates are fairly attractive, however the process does take a little time and once you have found the property of your dreams you don’t want to loose it while you are waiting for the paperwork on your finance to come through.
Know what the BUYING COSTS are. In Portugal the buying costs are relative to the price that you purchase the property for. For example if you buy a property at €275,000 your buying costs will be an extra 6.9% on top of the purchase price, if your purchase is over 2 million then the costs will be 8.1% on top. This % figure covers everything that you will pay:
- Lawyer fees
- Transfer tax - IMT
- Land registration
- Stamp duty
- Notary fees
2 - The home hunting stage
This always starts out as the FUN BIT, but can turn into a nightmare if you are not careful. There are hundreds, probably thousands of real estate agencies in Portugal, all with fantastic properties for sale.
The market in Portugal is generally a "non-exclusive" one. This means that you can potentially see the SAME PROPERTY advertised with MANY different AGENTS. Remember, you are looking for a property abroad, things aren’t the same as if you were buying at home. Some agencies will keep sold properties on their books for months, even years after they have actually sold, some agencies add higher commissions on top of the price which causes varying range of prices and confusion for clients, some have up to date photos while others keep pictures which are years old - it won’t be long before you are getting confused with which property you have looked at and which ones you haven’t.
The easiest way to avoid this? LET US do the leg WORK FOR YOU - but WHY choose us?
Estate agents typically receive a bad press and, in some cases, justifiably so. At Portugal Property Hub we aim, and are proud, to be different. We are committed to providing HONEST, STRAIGHT FORWARD advice and to deliver an exceptional standard of service that we can be proud of each and every time.
If you don't have the extra hours in the day to scroll through property after property, portal after portal, website after website you need to engage a LOCAL PROPERTY EXPERT to source properties on your behalf. We are local, we love property and we are experts in our field. Let us do the hard work for you. Let us know what you are looking for we will do the leg work of finding the right options so you can focus on researching all the other fantastic things about buying a property in Portugal - which beach you'll try out first, which golf course looks the best for your game or where the tastiest Dourada is served.
We have spent, collectively, over 50 years learning about property in Portugal so you don’t have to. Not only will WE FIND the BEST PROPERTIES for your requirements but we are here to ANSWER all of your QUESTIONS before you even book a plane ticket. We can SAVE YOU TIME, STRESS and MONEY by ensuring you only see the properties on our website and portal adverts which are for sale right now.
3 - The viewing stage
Unlike viewing properties at home, when you are buying abroad you get to enjoy spending more time in the country you will ultimately end up owning in - what more could you wish for! However, you need to make sure that the time you spend with your real estate agent is TIME WELL SPENT.
Make sure that you go armed with questions to ask - if you haven’t already asked these prior to your trip. Here are some questions you should ask your agent when viewing every property:
- How long has the property been on the market?
- How many viewings have there been?
- Have any offers been made?
- Why are they selling?
- What are the neighbours like?
- How long is the walk to …. beach/restaurant/shops etc
- Is there anything you think I should know about the property?
4 - The negotiation stage
When we've found you the right property, it's time to put in an OFFER. Even for seasoned property buyers, this part can be NERVE-WRACKING.
If the seller bites your hand off when you offer the asking price, you'll wonder if you should have pitched lower. But go in too low and you risk losing the home to another interested party, or even insulting the current owner - in short, negotiating is a delicate affair.
Listen to GUIDANCE from your estate agent - they know the vendors and have seen what other properties in the area have sold for, let them guide you ON WHERE TO START negotiations. After all that is a huge part of our job.
5 - The buying process
If your offer gets the GREEN LIGHT then the wheels will be set in motion. We will ask you to send a RESERVATION FEE of €6,000 to your lawyer. They will hold this money for you while they start the due diligence on the property. The reservation fees shows your intent to the vendor to purchase the property and allows us to take the property off the market so that no other parties can view and/or make offers on it. The reservation fee is 100% refundable and is not a legally binding contract - more of a gentleman’s agreement to set things moving.
Once your lawyer has completed DUE DILIGENCE on the property they will give you a report and if you are happy to move onto the next stage you will then sign the PROMISSORY CONTRACT. Here you will pay, normally, 30% less reservation fee. This is the first time you will sign a legally binding contract - if you pull out at this stage you will loose all the money you have put into the property, if the vendor pulls out at this stage they pay you your money back, plus the same amount out of their own pocket. DEEDS are normally scheduled a month or so later where the rest of the money is paid and you become the new owner of the property.
6 - The make-it-a-home stage
It’s yours :) All that STRESS now EVAPORATES but remember that you still need to get all your belongings SHIPPED OVER and MOVED IN - we know the best in the business for this so make sure you ask us for our recommendations.
Once all your furniture and worldly belongings have been shipped over, unpacked and found their new home remember to pose for that new home PHOTO so you can keep the moment saved for prosperity.
When you are finally able to sit down and survey your property with a drink in hand take five minutes out from starting the next list of things you want to do to the property and soak it all in under the beautiful Algarve sun.
Make sure you check out our website - www.portugalpropertyhub.com It is jam packed with all the information you need to buy a property in Portugal as well as fantastic properties we have waiting for their new owners to move in.