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Building a house in Portugal from the Netherlands

Mark and Machteld from the Netherlands first visited Portugal when their children were still young while visiting Mark’s parents in their holiday home in northern Portugal. However, it was only after coming to the Silver Coast for the first time, five years ago, that they really fell in love with Portugal.

“A lot of people told us we were crazy, especially because we were doing this during the pandemic period… But for us, it felt right”, recalls Machteld.

From dream to reality…

Mark and Machteld found Immo Portugal through a magazine advert in Belgium, at the start of the pandemic in 2020. That random advert led them to make the call and schedule a meeting in Immo Portugal’s office in Antwerp.

Mark had always dreamt of owning a home abroad for his retirement. Was it too soon? He and his wife believe you’re never too young to do anything, and on that first meeting with Tim Demeyer, Sales Director at Immo Portugal, they decided to go ahead.

“If you buy a property outside your home country, you need to have the confidence and trust that everything will go well. And that starts with the people on the opposite side of that table. Tim spoke about the whole process, what needed to be done, and gave us the trust to work with Immo Portugal”, explains Mark.

When they were able to travel to Portugal, the property tour was guided by Ana, from Immo Portugal’s office in São Martinho do Porto, who showed them a selection of properties on their shortlist. Ana also helped Mark and Machteld navigate the differences between buying a new-build property in the Netherlands and Portugal.

The process of building a home away from home

“Because we were overseeing the construction from a distance, every month we received a report with pictures of what had been done the previous month. Halfway through the process, we had to decide on finishings such as tiles…”, explains Mark, adding that their project manager, Luis Cardoso from the Leisure Launch Group, was always available to clarify doubts and answer questions throughout the process.

“The confidence we had at the beginning was continuously delivered. (...) It feels like home, and that tells us that we have made the right decision”.

Thanks to Immo Portugal, their dream of having a holiday home abroad was not only possible but simple. Today, they are enjoying their new villa on the Silver Coast and the authentic Portuguese lifestyle, which has captivated their hearts…

Falling in love with Silver Coast Portugal

For Mark and Machteld, choosing the Silver Coast was the easy part, as they immediately fell in love with the region, especially the authenticity of its people and the natural landscape... A mix of woodlands and beaches perfect for walking and bike riding! Not surprisingly, the villa they bought from Immo Portugal is in the village of Pataias, just north of Nazaré.

“Our house is 5 km from the Atlantic Ocean. We can go to the beach, the forest, we can even go up into the mountains close by…. It’s amazing”, guarantees Mark. However, Mark believes it was not just about the property or location: “It was the trust and confidence that we felt through Tim and his team that helped us decide to buy!”

“When we started looking for property, we saw every town between Foz do Arelho and São Martinho do Porto. It was when we ended up in Pataias that we fell in love. The property is in a residential area of an authentic Portuguese small town and amongst Portuguese natives”, explains Mark. “I’m a bit of an early bird, so every morning I mingle amongst the locals, and have my espresso before the bakery opens at 8 o'clock. It's everything to us!”.

“It’s the entire atmosphere, the way the Portuguese people approach life in a relaxed way. Even simple things like going out for lunch or dinner. The quality of life here is absolutely fabulous, and I always feel relaxed when I’m here”, guarantees Mark.

“In Pataias, it’s very quiet, but when I want to go to Nazaré, which I also like, it’s very close. I like that balance!”, adds Machteld, who also loves the beauty of beaches such as São Pedro de Moel and Vale Furado.

Sunset in Sao Pedro de Moel
Sunset in Sao Pedro de Moel

The 'Simple Life Home Buyer' experience

To maximise their investment, and have their holiday home taken care of when they are away from Portugal, Mark and Machteld chose SCH Solutions — one of the companies that are a part of the Simple Life Home Buyer pack and belong to the same group as Immo Portugal — to rent and manage their villa.

“Initially we didn’t plan on renting, but I’d rather have some activity in the house than have it empty. From having professional photographs to promote our property, or allowing us, as the owners, to have control over the agenda, to taking care of everything with the local authorities… Working with SCH was a seamless process”, guarantees Mark.


Watch Mark and Machteld’s full interview on Portugal The Simple Life Podcast:

Property “Villa Rainha” sold by Immo Portugal

Property Management & Holiday Home Rentals by SCH Solutions

If you're interested in buying a home in Portugal, visit Immo Portugal's website to see properties for sale!


Portugal The Simple Life is sponsored by a network of Portuguese companies that specialise in supporting families to transition to a simple life in Portugal. Please contact us if there is anything we can assist you with: Leisure Launch Group, Immo Portugal, Portugal Accounting, Portugal Interiors, Portugal Realty, Presprop Portugal Construction, SCH Holiday Homes and SCH Property Management & Rentals.


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