The world discovered the Algarve somewhere in the 80’s, even before Portugal did. Since then, people from different countries have been relocating, looking for the sun, sea, great food and a slower pace of life.
Although the cost of living is pretty much the same as other European destinations, the Algarve is still a much sought after region, with an increasing interest, growing by the year.
The development of that south coast area has upped Algarve’s game and is now a force to be reckoned with in terms of expats choices. Top international schools, quality hospitals and an overall good quality of life are the main reasons why many decide in favour of the Algarve, either to live or to buy property. And there’s plenty of reasons for that choice, specially if you’re planning to invest in real estate land or houses, east to west along the coast.
Does property in the Algarve prove to be a good investment? Should I buy a house in the Algarve? What to consider before buying property? It’s a definite “yes” to the first two questions and a “keep reading” regarding the last one.
When considering the many reasons for buying in the Algarve, there a few of them that stand out:
• The real estate market is mature and still booming
• Prices are lower than other similar destinations
• There are no restrictions on foreign property ownership
• Climate, safety, infrastructure and healthcare, all in one big reason
These four points alone should be helpful in the decision-making process. But before you get into the specifics of your real estate investment – such as swimming pool, close to Faro airport or Ria Formosa, close to the beach, golf courses nearby - there are a few more details and important information, such as, the buying process.
1. Buy only from government-licensed agents, that should have an AMI licence. If not, don’t even start the conversation. Licensed agents must comply with official rules and are safe to negotiate. Avoid the freelance market and ask for a physical address to pay the real estate company a visit.
2. Hire a Portuguese licensed lawyer, preferably with experience in this market, to negotiate and take care of the necessary paper work.
3. Choose the right property, the one which is right for you. Are you more of a relax and chill kind of person or do you prefer the bubbly side of life? Do you look for a luxury villa with sea views, Quinta do Lago style or a more modest apartment only a few minutes’ drive from local amenities, close to the beach? Maintenance, security, privacy and, of course, the ability to pay for it are, generally, the main reasons to be considered.
4. Rule of thumb for property buying: location, location, location. Yes, you want to retire in the Algarve mountains or you want to buy a house in a forgotten area nobody goes but fell in love with, but should you? What do you look for? What kind of life or holidays do you expect? These are the kind of questions you should ask yourself. Because buying the right house for the right price can depend on your answers.
5. How much are you willing to invest? Some real estate agents might push you to overspend but make sure you set your price point. There are a lot of property for sale in the Algarve, you don´t need to rush into buying.
All this being said, what are the type of questions you should ask yourself before start looking:
• What type of property: house, villa, land, apartment?
• Number of bedrooms?
• Pool? Garden?
• Location: resort/condominium, by the beach, on a golf course proximity, east or west of the Algarve?
• New build or resale?
• Any other specific needs?
There are other costs included, such as taxes and maintenance, besides the cost of the buying process (hiring a lawyer and a notary by law).
Buying a house is not only a financial commitment but also an emotional one. Make sure you have the house of your dreams well drawn into your mind because, once you start perusing through the whole array of property for sale in the Algarve, be sure you’ll find it.