In 2012 with retirement on the horizon, I think 48 years of work is enough for anyone, my wife (Nadia) and I (Fred) decided to look into retiring abroad, as my wife is Brasilian by birth and her first language being Portugese we decided it would make life easier if we looked at Brasil, Portugal, and possibly Spain, as they say if you speak portugese you can understand Spanish. Anyway, after a few holidays in all three countries we decided that Portugal would be the preferred option, a short flight away from the UK, house prices are affordable coming from the London area, cost of living is cheaper than the UK and up until recently (post Brexit vote) the exchange rate to the euro was good; let’s hope it recovers (€1.12 to the pound at the time of writing)… thanks Boris !
So after I had a health scare in 2015 we decided it was the right time to make the move, the next thing was to decide on an area to look for a house.
We quickly discounted the Algarve as being way too expensive for the type of property we wanted, and looking further North/West, to the Silver Coast, seemed a better option. We spent a few weeks creating a shortlist of properties and areas we wanted to look at, and notified the estate agents we would be coming out to Portugal to have a week of viewing. Although Nadia speaks Portuguese most if not all of the estate agents speak fairly good English which was a bonus to myself.
After pouring over photographs of the area we decided on an area around an hour from Lisbon, as Nadia was intending to work in or around that area, (not that it worked out but more about that later) the house we bought is situated in between Óbidos and Caldas Da Rainha.
One of the agents, Cesar Rosa, contacted us in the UK and asked us what we were looking for, budget etc and said he would arrange all our viewings, even though the houses we wanted to see were with different agencies, which is quite common in Portugal. So the visit was booked and we were picked up by Cezar on the first day of our viewing trip, he had arranged for us to see 3 or 4 properties each day for the 4 days we were there and believe me, that was enough! After 4 days all the houses merged into one and I could not remember the details of one of them; good job I had taken plenty of photos and Nadia had taken written notes. To cut a long story short we whittled the list down to 2 possibilities and Cesar arranged a meeting with the owners; the first owner would not come down in price so that left us with one and it´s a buyers market.
After a meeting and a bit of bargaining with the owners we made an offer that was accepted and all was happy, we arranged to pay them a deposit on our return to the UK.
We found in the network of computers connected between themselves (i.e. Internet) lots of information, but scattered and some out of date. So, we thought it would be nice to put in a blog what we gathered in experience and life here, so that someone else can benefit when thinking on moving, or on having a life here in Portugal, on the Silver Coast, lovely place, nice people, gorgeous weather.
We hope you enjoy and can get something that is helpful.
Nadia, Fred, Sandy & Carlota (well… Carlota is another story… )
Sandy on his way to Portugal (are we there yet, and now ?)