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Tips for Buying Propery in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal

By SavorLife

Tips-for-Buying-Propery-in-Matosinhos-(a-Porto-suburb),-Portugal

Popular Areas in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal for Expats

Any of the neighborhoods or communities along the metro lines both within the city of Porto and along lines going north or south as much as 45 minutes out. There are, of course, some expats that want to live out in more rural areas, but their numbers seem to be fewer.

Searching for a Property in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal

There is no MLS in Portugal. You need to search a wide variety of consolidating sites (idealista.com) and individual real estate firm sites (Re/Max, K-W, Lars Sonho, etc.) You also want to talk to people in cafes and shops. Many properties sell by word of mouth. We worked with a Re/Max agent in Matosinhos who is herself an expat and specializes in the special needs of expat buyers. Her name is Fabiola Verissimo. She was worth her weight in gold.

What Your Budget Will Buy You in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal

Currently (the market is changing fast), 150k will get you a smaller, older apartment in town. Usually 1-bedroom. A few 2-bedrooms at $200k and 3-bedrooms starting at $300k. Deals can be had on apartments that need updating. $1m will get you a nice ocean view and a good sized apartment. New & newer properties (less than 10 years old) are in high demand and get a higher relative price for smaller size. Elevator properties get a premium as do, of course, views.

Before You Buy a Property in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal

Understand what is and is not including in the price. It is common for sellers to take appliances, light fixtures, and much more with them if it is not listed in detail in the offer. Be patient. See many properties to understand the market. It's nearly impossible to do a market analysis of the asking price since historical sales are not easily known. When you find something you like, move quickly. No two sellers are alike. Some are highly motivated and will negotiate. Many will not budge. In Portugal you are basically buying the property "as is." Inspections are almost unheard of. Be prepared for unexpected expenses and repairs after closing.

Legal Assistance

Absolutely never buy a property without a good attorney that speaks your language. The family ties to ownership can be a problem with older properties. My husband & I were both full-time realtors in the USA before retiring to Portugal but quickly learned that everything works differently here and you are a fool if you do not take advice from local attorneys and agents. A good attorney will review all documents, the public records, and any HOA rules and make sure everything is translated for you. There are many potential pit falls to be avoided.

Costs Involved in Buying a Property

For our apartment, we paid the local property & transfer taxes at closing using our bank card. It came to about 4.7 of the purchase price. (The good news is annual property taxes are very low compared to USA.) Plus we paid 470 euros to the closing firm. Nothing to our buyers' agent. We hired an attorney that advised us throughout the search/purchase process as well as with our prior rental process negotiation and moving/visa needs for a lump fee of 2460 euros. It would be significantly less for just a single property purchase.

Foreign Property Ownership

None that I am aware of. The only unusual thing is if you want a mortgage. Most lenders require a mortgage to be paid off by age 70 (some a bit older) so it doesn't help most folks buying at retirement age. We did a cash purchase so everything went quickly from offer to closing in about 3 weeks.

5 Best Places to Buy Real Estate in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal

Buying as an investment is all about demand. There will always be demand for properties in the bigger cities and towns that have good public transportation and in buildings that have elevators (as most populations are aging.) Most properties here are apartments when you are looking within cities, In Portugal, I would consider all areas around Porto serviced by metro and/or trains. Even north to Braga or Prova de Varzim and south along the train line including Aveiro and Coimbra. The same in the Lisbon to Cascais area if you have a bigger budget.

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Steps in Buying Property in Matosinhos, Portugal (a suburb or Porto), Portugal

1. See a lot of properties. This takes time as there is no MLS and listing agents need to meet you & your agent at the property. 2. Write an offer with the agent representing you and negotiate with the sellers. 3. Meet and give the seller typically a 10% deposit with a promise to buy. Note that here checks are typically written directly to the seller - not held in escrow. Schedule closing. 4. Hold the closing (ours was at the listing firm's office.) where everything is signed and all money will change hands. For a cash deal, allow 2 hours. For a mortgage, allow a few hours. You will probably leave with the keys and have to get utilities connected the next day. ~ Obviously, when buying new property under construction, timing can be totally different. In that case you should always assume the completion date will be off by at least a couple months from what is promised. Often several months.

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