The 6 biggest mistakes Brazilians make when buying property in Portugal

11 de April, 2019

The 6 biggest mistakes Brazilians make when buying property in Portugal

Reading: 7 min

Choosing a property is a great challenge for those arriving in a new country. We monitor daily the problems Brazilians face with adapting to the major differences in the Portuguese real estate market. See the main mistakes made by Brazilians when buying property in Portugal and prevent yourself.

Brazilians’ mistakes when buying property in Portugal: how to avoid them

1. Beware of sellers

A recent example was of a couple who, despite specialists and doctors in their field of specialization, understand absolutely nothing about real estate. Even paying a fortune, they chose a totally inadequate house, representing a risk to the family’s health, with exposure of the small child to extreme cold, humidity and mold.

Salespeople are salespeople anywhere in the world. The couple was the victim of some tricks:

  • Visits during the summer to disguise the thermal discomfort;
  • Painting to cover up the mold problem;
  • Contract with fines, guarantees and heavy advances to arrest the tenant;
  • False arguments in relation to the doubts presented, taking advantage of the inexperience of Brazilians.

Believing in the owner’s lip is only the first of the 6 biggest mistakes of Brazilians when buying property in Portugal, we see the others below.

Portuguese real estate market: see how to invest.

2. Inspection of documents and contracts

You can’t just believe the word to make a decision in real estate. These are very relevant values and important impacts on the quality of life to leave to chance.

The couple who went into a cold one, for example, even questioned the humidity, getting a false and rehearsed answer that they shouldn’t worry, there was only humidity because the house was open during the painting and everything would resolve when it was finished.

Cash in advance without adequate documentation

Lying about moisture problems is not as serious as document fraud. The unprepared buyer advances money without requiring documentation or signing a proper contract and has no one to turn to when he discovers a problem, such as the lack of a housing permit or a serious constructive problem, losing any money in advance.


There are also cases of embezzlement when the fraudster receives cash signals from a sale for only weeks after the buyer finds out that, for example, the property is from a complicated inheritance or has a lifelong tenant or simply who has received money is not the current owner.

Why buy real estate in Portugal? See reasons to bet in the country.

3. Construction problems

Our neighbor has been dealing with chronic problems of infiltration, noise and wind in the rooms of his apartment for decades. Our construction, which is glued to your building, will provide a brand new wall, with quality and well insulated materials, ultimately covering all the holes in your exterior wall.

We’re not talking about a simple problem to solve. It’s not just passing a dough on the wall, painting a ceiling or changing a tile. The neighboring building needed to redo all the masonry. It wouldn’t be cheap or fast, and therefore it never had the unanimous agreement of the condominium members.

Structural problems due to lack of supervision

This is a common problem in Portugal. Until recently, the government granted building permits for projects without evaluating the construction standard, generating a stock of buildings that do not reach the minimum of comfort appropriate for human use.

The solution always involves a great deal of expense and agreement from the entire condominium, which never comes about unanimously. These are properties that are condemned to be increasingly degraded and devalued.

The danger is that Brazilians won’t notice these structural problems – the problematic wall of the neighboring building, for example, was covered with asbestos tile. And end up buying an apartment with a superficial renovation that makes it even cute, but with structural problems.

Buying properties with defects or vices that are not apparent and difficult to solve, especially in relation to thermal comfort, sound, sun exposure, positioning, machinery and inadequate equipment, is one of the major errors of Brazilians when buying property in Portugal that has no idea of the minimum construction standard appropriate.

The finish deceives

Another important issue is that the finish in Portugal is on average much better than the most luxurious building in Brazil. It is very easy for a Brazilian to visit a property, to think that he is buying the highest standard and then discover that it was only an average construction, running the risk of paying more than the fair.

Did you know that it is possible to finance property in Portugal? Learn how to do it.

mistakes of Brazilians buying property in portugal

4. Disregard the reputation of the location

It’s a postcard vision. On the right side, the century-old Luís I Bridge, in front of the Serra do Pilar Monastery, below the little boats taking tourists for excursions on the Douro River. No expatriate would refuse to buy a house in such a privileged location.

The Portuguese, on the other hand, already twists his nose – without forgetting that it is a public that represents almost 90% of the acquisitions. That little piece of paradise has a terrible reputation. Ten years ago walking around there was unthinkable. There was a risk of being robbed. Today that story has changed, but there are still problems.

Choosing a location that is rejected by the Portuguese buyer may seem attractive to a first-time visitor, but it is inadvisable. The unaware of the history of the place will pay dearly for the view and then suffer with the bad reputation, having many problems to rent or sell the property.

The fame of the place can compromise the location…

Portugal is full of history, which is for the good and bad of a location. The fame of a place takes a long time to change and you run the risk of buying cats for hares. It’s important to know who exactly lived in that place 100 years ago. The best streets, used by wealthy families, were not chosen by chance. They carry advantages of surroundings, access, size, sun exposure and landscapes that the untrained eye can sometimes not detect.

Are you determined to make that investment? See a step-by-step guide to buying property in Portugal.

5. Do a simple price search

On the internet the new and renovated properties look the same, but the renovated house has no guarantee and is more prone to problems in electrical and hydraulic installation, structure and insulation. The new property, on the other hand, has 5 years of warranty and almost never gives problem.

Those who don’t know, find it reasonable that the two properties have the same price – and usually they try to sell like this, but the most logical thing is that the construction from scratch is worth more and sell faster.

Beware of apartments on the ground floor

Another important point of assessment is the position. Portugal has the custom of making apartments on the ground floor (ground floor in Portugal). The new customer, especially the Brazilian who comes with cats and dogs, is excited because it has a low price and some garden space, but in reality is a property rejected by most of the Portuguese due to exposure to noise and, therefore, should naturally embed a discount.

A common mistake of Brazilians when buying property in Portugal is to do a simple and fast price search on the internet, without taking into consideration the details of location, position and construction pattern. I’ve seen Brazilians buy lousy properties just because they’re bigger, with reduced prices per square meter.

They even end up paying a high price to keep the monkeys, leaving the filet for those who understand what are the decisive aspects of pricing as position of the floor, sun exposure or construction pattern.

6. Strategy “in Brazil it’s like this”

The biggest request of Brazilians is to have a beachfront property, the supersumption of the location in any Brazilian coastal city. Already in Portugal the beach property is not always the preferred, because it can bring intense cold wind and lack of access to transport. The most valued region of Porto, for example, is not by the sea.

Using the strategy “in Brazil it’s like this” to make real estate decisions in Portugal is one of the classic mistakes of lack of adaptation. Only after a while suffering from the cold and with the difficulty of getting to and from home, the Brazilian realizes the problem. And it will not be the Portuguese who will buy this property.

Renovating old houses may not be a good idea…

Even the popular technique of buying an old and cheap little house and renovating it to sell at a profit, much used in the United States, has no viability in Portugal. Well located houses are expensive, so forget about low investment. Generally, they have low liquidity because they are not accessible to the majority of the population.

In the same way, the Brazilian arrives with the fixed idea of using the same business model that he had in Brazil, without any adaptation. I receive weekly requests to buy land for allotment, which are simply not a product that the Portuguese has interest, because the licensing for construction is expensive and time consuming.

The lack of adaptation to local customs is one of the biggest and most common mistakes of Brazilians when buying property in Portugal. Come with an open mind, understand the local customs and do the best business adapted to the Portuguese reality.

To make a high investment and buy property in Portugal safely, the best advice is to make the whole process accompanied by a lawyer and real estate consultant. We trust and recommend Atlantic Bridge to follow your process and make the best deal. Make a simulation without commitments and avoid mistakes when buying your property.

Article published on the Euro Tips website: https://www.eurodicas.com.br/erros-dos-brasileiros-ao-comprar-imovel-em-portugal/

Author: Marcio Fenelon
Real Estate Investment



Atlantic Bridge

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