If you find your self looking for a new home or a holiday home in Portugal you should take all of the necessary precautions in evaluating the property as you would in your own country. It is advisable to have an inspection of the property you are interested in buying abroad just as you would in your own country.
A lot of the homes that you look at in Portugal are likely to be quite old. If you are looking at an older home and are interested in purchasing it you should ask a lot of questions if the home has been renovated. You will need to try to assess the quality of the work that was done as part of the renovation. It is not uncommon for buyers to ask to see copies bills for services done during the renovation. This is a good idea as you will be able to uncover if the renovation work was done by professional or by the owner of the property, who may or may not be a professional.
It is important to not be naïve and take the word of the seller in regards to if items are functional or not in the home. To avoid finding out too late that there are problems, you should investigate the electrical wiring, the plumbing, water, hot water boiler and heating system of the home. If the home you are interested in purchasing does not have electricity or water you will want to check the nearest connection point and then get a cost estimate of how much it will be to run the services to your potential new home. You may find that it is terribly expensive, particularly if the home is in a rural area. You may encounter properties with a well or septic tank, which should also be inspected before your purchase the home.
When evaluating older homes, keep your eyes open for cracked walls, rotten wood and damp or missing roof slates. Do not forget to look for termite damage as well. You may even want to come back after or during a heavy rain to search for leaks or areas where water may be seeping into the home. If you do think that there might be some problems you can call in a professional surveyor to give the home a full inspection for you.
You may be required to have a formal survey done as some foreign lenders request just that before approving a loan. Check with your surveyor to see what all they will be looking for. If they are not investigating something that you think needs looked at then you can pay them an extra fee for that service. If your potential property costs no more than150,000 Euros then you can expect the surveyor to charge 325 Euros for a valuation, 550 Euros for a homebuyer’s survey and 800 Euros for a full structural survey of the property.