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Apartment or villa: Which property in Portugal is best for you?

Do you want to buy a property in Portugal? Whether you are looking for an investment opportunity, a holiday home or want to start a new life in Portugal, investing in Portuguese property is always a good idea. However, some families hesitate when the time comes to choose between a villa and an apartment. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, but by reflecting on your lifestyle, expectations and budget, the decision may actually be quite simple!

Buying property in Portugal

Since there are no restrictions for foreigners who want to buy a property in Portugal, this is an ideal country to invest in. After 5 years of owning Portuguese real estate, you can even become a Portuguese citizen.

In the past few years, the Portuguese economy has shown signs of strong economic recovery and the tourism sector has continuously grown, so the housing market has good prospects. In addition, the current Covid-19 crisis will ensure that the demand for modern quality real estate in prime locations will increase, making it an ideal time to invest in Portugal.

Investing in real estate and the choices you have to make can be quite daunting. Especially in foreign countries, where different rules often apply. That is why it is important to be adequately advised by professional real estate specialists with experience helping foreign buyers.

Buying a villa in Portugal

When you think of real estate in Portugal, you probably picture a beautiful white villa with a private pool in the garden. That, of course, is the dream! Fortunately, Portugal has a wide range of such villas, often located in quiet surroundings or very close to the sea.

Of course, everything has its pros and cons, even a dream home! To make sure you make the best decision possible, the first step is to evaluate your budget and lifestyle, and only then the advantages of buying a villa or an apartment in Portugal.

What are the advantages of buying a villa?

A big advantage of buying a villa is the land you get with it. As recent years have showed, the value of land in Portugal will only increase, as the supply of available land becomes smaller and smaller.

An additional advantage of the land you get with a villa is the garden you can have at your disposal. A garden can ensure that you experience increased well-being, as it has been proven that people are happier in a green environment.

In addition, a detached house with its own garden can provide a heightened sense of privacy. Basically, you can do whatever you want without anyone being bothered by it. For example, you will not be able to cause a nuisance to neighbours who live above, below or next to you, as is the case with an apartment.

Villas in Portugal are mostly available in rural areas or outside big city centres, which means that you will be able to enjoy complete tranquillity. After a long day at work, imagine relaxing in a pleasant environment and being able to reconnect with nature every day.

For large families looking for a new home, a villa is also an ideal option because of ythe possibility of greater surface areas and multiple rooms. Children living in apartments have fewer opportunities to play outside. The importance of nature for our well-being can be a good reason to choose a villa.

It is also a good choice in terms of investment. You will, in fact, have the freedom to upgrade the villa through renovations without having to take too many restrictions into account. Whether you then rent out or sell the renovated villa, there is a good chance that your investment will pay off.

What are the disadvantages of buying a villa?

The biggest disadvantage to villas is that they require a higher budget. A contemporary villa can quickly become more expensive than an apartment.

When you buy a villa, you are the sole owner responsible for all maintenance costs of the house, the garden and possibly the swimming pool. It can also be a lot of work to maintain a villa with a garden. Of course, you can hire someone to do this, but it will cost you extra. If you take care of the maintenance yourself, it will also cost you time that you would probably rather spend on something else in sunny Portugal.

Living in a more remote area can also lead to you becoming more isolated from society. Before buying a villa, it is best to take a look at what the area has to offer. For example, is there a supermarket or a school nearby or do you have to drive several kilometres to get there? Especially for families with small children, the proximity factor may be an important one.

Buying an apartment in Portugal

At first glance, it may seem more appealing to buy a villa than an apartment given the many advantages. However, an apartment also offer a lot of perks that a villa does not.

Portuguese apartments come in all shapes and sizes. In the city or by the sea, a penthouse or a small studio... there are plenty of choices for budgets small or large!

What are the advantages of buying an apartment?

Unless you have a luxury penthouse in mind, apartments are often more affordable than villas. If you're a first-time investor, buying an apartment can be more accessible.

Thanks to the smaller surface area of an apartment, you will also have to pay fewer energy costs than with a villa. On top of that, apartments are often more compact and adjacent to other apartments, so there will be less heat loss.

One of the disadvantages of a villa - high maintenance - is an advantage of apartments. Usually, you don't have to spend a lot of time maintaining an apartment. On the one hand, because it is often a smaller area and on the other because apartment homeowners share costs for the maintenance of gardens and/or swimming pools.

Also, apartments tend to be closer to city centres where there is a larger offer of commerce and schools. This can be an advantage over rural villas. Apartments located on the coast also tend to have many shopping and dining options nearby. An added advantage here is that you can enjoy sea views if your budget allows.

What are the disadvantages of buying an apartment?

The biggest disadvantage to an apartment is that you don't buy land with it. Therefore, you may miss the connection with nature. Of course, you can solve this by living close to a park or choosing an apartment with a countryside or sea view.

However, nowadays, there are more and more apartment complexes where you have access to a shared garden with a swimming pool. This could provide an intermediate solution for those on a smaller budget who want to enjoy the outdoors and be surrounded by nature.

Although apartments also have maintenance costs, the advantage is that these are usually shared by all the residents of the building. So you will have to spend less time on maintenance yourself. However, since you do not live alone, it is also possible that unexpected costs are incurred due to, for example, damage by fellow residents.

As you can see, choosing between an apartment or a villa in Portugal does not have to be a complicated process. However, if you still have doubts you can count on the support of companies specialized in supporting foreign families to find the right house for your needs and lifestyle.


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