Algarve property expert advises would-be expats to adhere to a ‘step by step approach’

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Britons are one of the strongest source markets for real estate in the Algarve’s beachfront resort of Vale do Lobo. British expats move to the Algarve for the prospect of good weather, great amenities and a lifestyle change.

British expats looking to buy a property in the Algarve may wonder how to start their search.

The days of jetting off for a look around whenever a suitable property comes on the market are long gone.

The Covid pandemic and travel restrictions may have made the prospect of relocating to southern Europe slightly more complicated, but it’s far from impossible.

Pedro Reimão, Executive Board Member at beachfront resort Vale do Lobo said: “It’s a very step by step approach.”

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The luxury resort in the Algarve has more than doubled its sales of properties last year, proving would-be expats were still actively looking during the height of the pandemic.

Pedro had plenty of practical advice for would-be expats who are looking for a property overseas.

He said: “First research, then contact someone to help and finally visit.

“Hopefully”, this approach would lead to “selecting and negotiating a deal”.

Pedro explained: “It’s very easy to get basic information remotely when looking for a property, there is a lot of information online.

“Then the next step is to contact someone to help out, someone who understands exactly what you are looking for, to prepare things ahead.

“Then it always involves visiting. No one is going to buy a property without visiting.

“The key is to prepare the visit in advance to be able to check an adequate number of properties that fit the criteria.”

This “step by step” approach may not be the quickest, but it will provide the best chance for would-be expats to find exactly what they want.

Pedro said: “The length of time it takes varies tremendously.

“We have cases of almost instant sales, because people fall in love with the first property they see and they want that one specifically.

“But the most frequent cases, the process can take up to one year.”

Properties at Vale do Lobo are luxury offerings and making a decision may take longer when expats are looking at “above €2.5million for a plot with a standalone villa”.

Pedro realised it was “a lot of money, of course”, but Vale do Lobo also had apartments in the resale market which can be bought for around €500,000.

“It’s not the typical cheap offer you may get in other destinations in southern Europe.”

He also advised prospective buyers to not move straight away.

He said: “Bridge the gap between your existing life, still active and still working intensively in your own country with a second home that you can use increasingly to adapt to the country and to build your own network.

Make it gradual instead of a big bang, one shock, push the button approach.”

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