One of the curiosities of Portuguese rental law is that your landlord can ask you to vacate your apartment if they need it for a close relative (mother, father, sister, brother, that kind of close.) Since our landlord indicated he was interested in our apartment for his sister, we began to hunt for a new home. This didn't bother us as we had been thinking of moving at the end of our two-year lease (would have been August 2019) so this was just a few months' early. Also, we wanted a bit more space as the current 850 square foot just didn't give us enough elbow room.
We decided to work with a realtor (Aida Vaz from ReMax Oceanus) who came highly recommended by fellow expats. Despite going through zillions of rental ads--I admit to be incredibly picky--we ended up viewing only one apartment. It was out of our initial price range but magnificent in all regards. The only thing it was lacking was a veranda and that would have just been icing on the top.
The new space had a big enough kitchen we both could work in there at once, all new appliances, tons and tons of storage, two larger bedrooms so we could also use them as offices and a huge living room with windows on four sides. Did I mention the garden at the front of the property (we can't see the road from our building) with two hundred year old trees? (See image above).
Yeah, we were done. We signed the lease on April 1, moved the small stuff ourselves (argh) and had movers come for the big stuff on the 8th. Finally things have settled down enough for us to post on the blog and our next series will be an in-depth look at this move. Because like anything in this country, you always learn new stuff.
Oh, and our cat loves the place. And that, I suspect, is the ultimate thumbs up (if she had them) on this move.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.