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Things To Consider Before Buying A Home In Portugal

With the historically low-interest rates the country is currently witnessing, many people find that buying a house in Portugal is actually cheaper than renting one, especially when you think long term. In fact, around three-quarters of the nation’s population (both expatriates and locals) own their homes. To ensure that your future home in Portugal is a sound investment, there are a few things you need to consider prior to purchase. 

Here are some of the most important points you need to check off your list before you sign that dotted line.

Figure the Finances Out

After setting a reasonable budget for your new home, you need to figure out how you’ll pay for it. When it comes to financing your property, there are three main options to consider. First is the one-off, cash payment option which involves paying the entire price of the house in one go.

Another way to pay for your Portuguese dream house is by getting a mortgage —either from a local Portuguese bank or from one at home. Many homeowners prefer taking out a mortgage loan and using the property itself as collateral simply because they can’t afford to pay such a large amount of money in one fell swoop, but if you have the cash at hand, paying for your home upfront can save you a lot of hassle in the future.

If the previous owner left an outstanding mortgage on the house, you can subrogate the mortgage by changing the original debtor’s name to yours and becoming the new mortgage payer. As the new proprietor, this will give you all the ownership rights and responsibilities. The one tricky thing about this option is that you have to request it from the same bank or lender that the mortgage already exists with.

Another downside to mortgage subrogation is that it comes with fixed terms and conditions. This means that if the original mortgage’s specifications do not meet your needs, then subjugating the existing mortgage is probably not a good idea. On the other hand, if you choose to subjugate a mortgage, you’ll be saving yourself the costs of a new one.

Invest In a Plumbing Inspection

Buying a new home requires a big investment, which is why it’s imperative that you thoroughly inspect the physical condition of the house before buying it. A basic, pre-purchase inspection will cover all the superficial plumbing aspects in detail like the sewer layout and the current state of the plumbing inside and outside the property but it won’t include a deep examination of the drains or the hot water system.

Because plumbing issues are usually the hardest and most expensive to fix, you’ll want to make sure that your potential future Portuguese house is thoroughly examined by a professional plumber. To avoid any unpleasant surprises after you move into your new home, find a plumber who can give you the highest quality service possible. An experienced contractor will examine the water heating system and check around the taps and under the sinks for signs of water damage, they’ll also look for weird gurgling sounds that can point to blocked drains, giving you a thorough report that will help you make a well-informed decision.

Make Sure That the House is Pest-Free

Most of the signs of infestations and underlying conditions that make a home vulnerable to pests are invisible to the untrained eye and what’s worse is that they can cause severe damage to the foundation and structure of the house in the long run. This is why you need to make sure that pest inspection is included in the contract before making a down payment on a house.

The pest inspection is separate from the home inspection and it’s performed by a licensed professional who’s specifically trained to perform pest inspections for real estate transactions in Portugal. Besides the obvious signs of infestations such as fungus and dry rot, a pest inspector will also examine the hidden areas where pests are likely to lurk, providing you with a detailed report for the existing and expected future damage.

Buying a house can be a real headache for many prospective home buyers, but with these things in mind, you can ensure that your investment is a sound one. One last word to the wise; before buying a home in Portugal, you need to be fully aware of the legal requirements, transaction costs, capital gains tax, and other fees associated with purchasing a house there. So if you’re not familiar with the country’s real estate law, don’t hesitate to consult with a reliable real estate agent before you seal the deal.

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Things To Consider Before Buying A Home In Portugal

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