Accommodation in Portugal
Expats moving to Portugal do not need to worry about finding suitable accommodation for themselves in the country. There is a wide range of housing options available – from downtown apartment blocks, to condominiums, to rustic farmhouses – and the price of accommodation in Portugal, relative to one's salary, is by all accounts very reasonable.
Renting property in Portugal
Upon relocating to the Iberian peninsula, most expats will probably look to rent property in Portugal. As it is such a massively popular holiday destination, short-term rentals are extremely easy to come by in Portugal (especially in the coastal areas). Long-term rentals are available, but aren't usually advertised nearly as well, so expats should ask around to find the best deals. Estate agents can be very helpful in this regard. Typically, long-term leases are signed on a one-year basis, and require one month's rent as deposit money.
The standard of accommodation in Portugal can vary hugely from area to area, and from building to building. Newer apartment blocks are modern, well-finished, and structurally sound; while older buildings, although beautifully rustic at times, can often have problems with their plumbing, electricity supply, etc. Newer buildings might have air conditioning (which expats moving to Portugal from colder climes will probably appreciate), while central heating is rare and largely unnecessary. Property in Portugal is generally quite spacious – particularly by British and northern European standards.
Most rental properties in Portugal will come furnished; however, if you're looking to rent a large house, it might be unfurnished. Shipping your existing furniture to Portugal is an option, but the costs can run quite high – it'll probably end up being more economical to simply buy the furniture you need once you've settled in the country, in which case there are plenty of good-quality furniture stores to be found (including modern superstores, such as IKEA, in the larger urban centres).
Home security is not a pressing issue in Portugal, although in highly touristic areas, minor break-ins can sometimes occur. Modern apartment blocks in Portugal are usually fitted with electronic access panels, deadlocks and shutters – and for the most part, expats report that they feel safe in their homes, and confident in the security of their possessions.
Buying property in Portugal
The process of buying property in Portugal is similar to that found in the UK and other European countries. Expats are advised to conduct thorough market research, and – if they don't speak Portuguese themselves – to hire someone who does, to guide them through the process of purchasing their dream home on the Iberian peninsula.