Its one of the first real dilemma’s you will face when viewing property to buy in Portugal.
New or old which will it be.
For sure both have their charms and positives and negatives but its what get you in the heart in the end. Here are a few of my thoughts based on working with many people in just your situation. Trying to decide what type of property to buy in central Portugal.
Old Property Pro’s
You can see how it sits on the land and in relation to its neighboring houses or scenery.
It is going to have lots of slightly warm charm
The interior will be welcomingly cool when you are viewing property in the summer months
You can check out the views from the windows
It will be ready to live in quickly
It won’t cost too much to renovate.
New build pros
We can have exactly what we want within the budget
This plot of land/location is unique
We can add up to the minute insulation, heating, bathroom facilities.
We can have the internal space that we can’t have in an existing home.
It will be designed to take advantage of the sun,view and our personal tastes
We can choose a style that we like and which will impress our friends.
Old property con’s
It will be damp
It won’t be insulated
You may have to extend it to give you the space you need.
The amount of work will always be bigger than you envisage
The windows may be in the wrong position or size for what you want
Is the roof ready to collapse?
New build com’s
The total cost. will it be manageable
Can we build what we want on our land
What about guarantees
You’re ready to choose a house in Portugal. Sounds straightforward enough and you have certainly watched the place in the sun, moving abroad TV programs showing all the various delights on offer. All you have to do now is draw up a short list and agree on the one that you want. Simple!.
If only it really was that simple.
When choosing a house in Portugal there are a few more angles that you need to cover if you want to own your ideal home in Portugal.
Your probably aware that there are potential problems and expenses if you buy an old run down property and a new property may break the budget completely.
So what about a newer property? Not an old ruin It will have larger rooms and windows that let more sunshine in. An established garden and everything will be ready to move into.
Yes you would certainly think so however here are a few things to consider first
Drainage and sewers
Damp and condensation
Structural non-conformations (potentially large structural problems)
No insulation and inadequate heating
You could say it’s a bit of a minefield and it can be for unwary or naive people who are on a tight time frame between returning home and choosing the right house.
That is why I can never understand people with no Portuguese construction e experience who buy a property blind instead of having a property appraisal done.
I will very briefly describe some of the potential problems regularly encountered from the brief list above. Electricity – 90% of a newer property that you look at will have underpowered electrical circuits, not enough sockets and be liable to tripping off the power if you have the TV, Dishwasher, and light on!!!
Drainage and sewers – Most newer property will have undersized drainage pipes that are also laid at such a low fall the drains will block easily. The cesspit will be covered over with a concrete slab and earth. Damp and condensation – Those telltale sooty marks along the edge of the ceiling are mold spores, not soot. Unfortunately! Woodworm – Untreated wooden roofs or built-in furniture may already be showing signs of infestation. Just how bad is it and can it be treated or will it have to be removed and replaced. Structural non-conformations (potentially large structural problems) – If the property was built on the cheap or extended by an unqualified idiot. There may not be the correct amount of reinforcing steel in the pillars and beams supporting the walls, roof and floors. It’s not a good time to find this out when you have already bought it. No insulation and inadequate heating – Insulating houses has been the law for some time but its installation wasn’t policed so builders and home owners opted to save a few bob and leave it out. Many people here believe the “Caxias do air” or cavity in the wall is insulation. It’s not it is just a gap between two cold walls.
Its raining cats and dogs today, grey skies, cold and miserable. One of those days when you have to motivate yourself to go out.
Although it is late November it is not cold enough to have the wood stove or central heating on until around 4 pm. (I live in a properly insulated and heated home)
I recently met a couple who have lived here in central Portugal just under three years the other day they both said they had never been so cold in their lives as their first year in Portugal this is something we hear often from people that we meet socially. So why is it so common?.
I believe that there is often a blindness or mental block (I don’t know what to call it) when it comes to home buyers thinking about, heating, cooling and ventilation.
It could be because most people have only visited Portugal in summer when it’s hot and sunny all day especially July and August up until the first half of September. Cold and Portugal just doesn’t seem to equate.
Take the Coimbra area where I live as an example. Coimbra, situated in central Portugal, enjoys a climate cooler than Lisbon and, is normally warmer than Porto. Temperatures here are mild with warm summers. The area within 10Km of the coast is mildest and as you head further east to locations like Arganil, Castanheira de Pera and Serta you get a little more rain than Coimbra.
One thing that is worth knowing if you are house hunting. Those villages strung out in lines along hillsides are built there for a reason. They are usually at low cloud level because the rely on the early morning fog/mist/rain to help water their crops. Old villages in Portugal are always located next to a natural water supply because that’s house people lived. Growing things on their land that the family could eat and sell.
Enough about the weather let’s take a look at why your home is so cold.
The average Portuguese home is as well protected from drafts as your home in the UK if you left the back door wide open all winter. Coupled with the fact that very few homes are insulated at all, have draughty single glazed windows and doors and a heating system that is totally inadequate.
The lack of insulation, dramatic daily temperature changes during the day, high humidity drafts poor heating systems it’s a recipe for months of misery.
We understand how to make an old house warm and a new house as warm as you would expect. Contact Kelvin by email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your problem.
In fact, annual precipitation amounts to 1,450 mm (57 inches) in Braga, and 1,100 millimetres (45 in) in Porto, while it drops to around 900 mm (35 in) in Coimbra, to 700 mm (27.5 in) in Lisbon, and to about 500 mm (20 in) in Algarve. The rainiest season is winter.
Winter, from December to February, is mild on the coast, even in the northern part, since the average temperature in January goes from 9 °C (48 °F) in Porto, to 11 °C (52 °F) in Lisbon, to 12 °C (53.5 °F) in Faro.
In winter, there are periods of good weather, because the Azores Anticyclone can move over the country even in this season, but there are also waves of bad weather, with rain and wind. Sometimes, gale force winds may blow from the ocean, especially in the north.
The position of the country, overlooking the ocean, provides good shelter from cold winds and night frosts, which in fact are very rare and not intense: the coldest records along the coast are around -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F).