First of all, when buying a house or other real estate in Portugal, you need to know what sort of property you’re looking for. Is it low maintenance? High maintenance? Do you want a garden? Do you want a bit more land? So it depends on the size of the property. If you’re looking to live in the city center or close to the city center, the properties tend to be smaller because there’s no space. There are a lot of people who want to live in the city or close to the city, so the properties there tend to be smaller.
If you move out of the city center like I am, in Cascais, about 30 kilometers (about 18 miles) away from Lisbon, it used to be an old fishing village, so the houses have gardens and pools. If you go inland to the Alentejo area, there are a lot of farms and agricultural land. Do you want a small property in the city center in the middle of the buzz and museums and theaters and shopping centers or you want a taste of the rural life? So we have a bit of everything in Portugal.
Real estate has been booming in Portugal. We came with a new law a couple of years ago called the Golden Visa Law. Under this law, if you purchase a property over €500,000 (US $558,300) in Portugal, you get the right to have a Golden Visa so you can enter in and out of Europe as many times as you like. For instance, Asians, Indians, and Russians are dying for these visas, which has created a lot of interest in the real estate market in Portugal. So when there’s a lot of interest in the real estate market, there’s a lot of competition between real estate companies, and real estate companies have to improve their service.
There is a study survey for every single region of Portugal which will tell you how much is the selling price per square meter of construction and how much it costs the price of square meter of land. With this information, you know exactly how much a particular property is worth in the market. And then you just have to compare it with the purchase price or the price that the person is asking for, so there’s not this difference and potentially overpaying. A seller can try to price their property above market, but if a buyer is interested, he or she can just Google the area and search for price per square meter of that region and it tells you exactly not to pay between this amount and that amount, not over, not under; this is the right price to pay. And then you just have to confront the seller and try to get the right deal.