Property Surveys

Are you “buying blind” in Portugal ? Have you thought about Property Surveys ?

More and more people are buying properties in central Portugal predominatly the rustic bargain, bank reposesion or doer-upper that people can put thier stamp on and make some profit when it comes time to sell.

I am sure that we all want to do that. On the other hand we don’t want to buy a money-pit, blow our budget on an unexpected problem or find that its just impossible to achieve what we want to achieve with a particular house.

It does not matter if your style is “Hippy Relaxed” BoHo Chique or Monochrome Perfection you will have to make a lot of compromises to achieve even an approximation of what you first wanted if those unexpected not originally noticed problems come out to haunt you.

You may think that I am blowing it out of proportion and that the problem can’t possibly be that bad. Lets take as an example a small job we were asked to do before the new owner moved in. “Replace a few roof tiles as there were a few small leaks in the upstairs bedrooms” As it was July it was difficult to access how much water had been coming in to the house as everything was dry. Just the stains on the walls and floors gave the game away.

Once up on the roof we noticed that the few gutters that were still in place were full of moss and the down pipes blocked. Due to massive sagging of the roof the tile slope had leveled out somewhat allowing the moss to grow in abundance and causing the rain water to tun back along the roof tiles and into the house. Many of the tiles because they were not now aligned properly were cracked from the weight of holding the roof tiles above.

It gets worse…

We removed a few roof tiles to replace an area of broken tiles only to find that the tile laths (the timber that the tiles are mounted on) was rotten like dust from years of wood worm infestation. We could also identify lots of wet rot and wood worm damage to the roof joists some of which had snapped. This wasn’t visible from the bedrooms as someone had fairly recently installed a boarded ceiling.  Estimated cost or replacement 9,000 Euros. Ouch!

Or what about the new bathroom in another house which was not plumbed in. The sewage just went under the house floor when the toilet or sink was used. cost 3,000 Euros. I could rattle on all day about this kind of thing but in the end buyers will want to save a few pennies at the risk of spending thousands of pounds. I can’t think of an other aspect of life where people take such risks.

A final note to finish on – Beware the newly done up house……

We have come across people with no prior building experience or qualifications who once rode the wave of “easy TV style renovation profit” do you remember all those programs with MDF and hot glue in the early 2,000s giving new looks to every day homes. These amateur property developers  are now installing car boot sale and E-Bay bought junk in newly painted “rustic houses” and making large profits here in Portugal. This is definitely  a recipe for disaster if you are the unfortunate who buys such a property.

If you are buying a property here in Portugal. The way to long-term happiness is to buy a sound property or at least to understand clearly what is wrong with it.

Talk to Castelo Construction about property appraisals before you sign on the dotted line.

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