It was great to finally find the property we have been looking for. Everything was just there and we wanted to get started that very same day, though things were not so straight forward as we’ve initially thought. The buying process of a property with outdated documentation from the 1950’s can be nerve breaking…
March 18, 2020 – Portugal Goes on Lockdown
Just when we were about to celebrate the beginning of a new journey, everything went south with the Portuguese government announcing public services being shut down being only available upon scheduling. Well, in a place where public services in general are traditionally slow and heavily bureaucratic, things were not looking very exciting for the next steps.
in the Meanwhile…
Surprises and More Surprises
Prior to 1950’s there wasn’t a law requiring official licenses or permits to build houses in Portugal. The National Registrations Office still displays in many cases very outdated information about what a specific land has built on it. In our case, the property does not show up as having a house built on site, it is officially recognised as being a vine field.
According with the local office that provided assistance with our paperwork:
“don’t worry, situations like these are just normal. it happens all the time”.
3 Months Went By
After several weeks, on June 3rd we get a vacancy date to sign the paperwork! It was then scheduled to July 7th! We were instructed by the local legal office to process the payment a couple of hours before the signatures on the 7th, so we could make proof of payment upon signing the documentation, which we did as instructed.
Since we were paying a relatively high amount of money that it couldn’t be done via online banking at the moment, we had to do it in person at the bank.
On the 7th of July, one hour before our meeting to sign the ownership transfer documents, the very same legal office in charge sends an email full of typos-spam-like message, casually cancelling and postponing the signatures to an uncertain time in the future due arguing the weirdest reasons that we’ve ever heard of!
We’ve called immediately the lady to hear that apparently there are a few issues with the seller’s id. The man has different names in different official documents and his wedding bla bla bla… so we can’t sign the papers today. 😱 WHAT!?!!!
Summer, Autumn, Winter
After firing the legal office, calling hundreds of times the same person, receiving wrong documents once, twice and again, getting actively involved pushing over and over and over, the day of signing the papers finally came! It was the December 2nd 2020. We did it!
In our case the process of buying a house or a property in Portugal was daunting. We’ve learned that this kind of issues can even happen with experienced legal offices and real estate agents mediating the whole process. Sometimes these issues just happen and its reeeeally time and energy consuming.
Follow along our biggest DIY project yet. Feel free to share ideas, insights or just say hi anytime.