I posted this on our Facebook page because it's a fun look at Portugal's incredible history, amazing people and unique geography.
It has been a while since our last post. It's been a bit busy, folks. Here's a few things that have been going on:
1) I (Jana) spent over five weeks back in the U.S. and have some thoughts about that trip which I'll share in a future post.
2) And then I had surgery on both my hands, which means typing (or pretty much anything else) has been on hold for a time. I'll be writing up a post on how that experience went which included an overnight stay at one of Porto's private hospitals. Meanwhile Harold has been been doing all the cooking and cleaning. ;-)
3) We had our Portuguese wills and powers of attorney drawn up. There are significant differences between the US and Portuguese versions of these legal docs and we will be discussing those in a post, as well as the procedure for making this magic happen.
4) We are currently in the process of setting up a Trust in the U.S. to handle what liquid assets are there as well as my intellectual property (I'm an author). Again, a post is definitely going to written about this process.
So much to write about. Hope you all have had a grand fall. It's definitely heading toward winter here.
Hi! Harold here. A recent personal experience has led to this blog post and it’s all about Portugal’s healthcare system. Let’s face it, there’s no better way to learn about something than doing it yourself. Let’s dig in…
Now that you’ve found your perfect new home, the next step is going to contract. This can be a challenging experience, but it is doable. Let’s dig into the process.
In Part Three of this series, it's time to dig into those often hard-to-decipher rental ads and discuss some of the differences you'll find between Portuguese apartments and houses compared to the U.S. Let’s dig in!
Wondering what it's like to wander around Portugal's capitol city and Sintra? Rick Steves gives us a fine tour, complete with lots of yummy food.
Though renting an apartment or house in Portugal has some similarities to the process in the U.S., there are significant differences as well. In America, the landlord typically specifies the rental amount and which deposits (security, rent pre-payment) they require. Usually there is not much room for negotiation. That's not necessarily the case here.
In an earlier series of posts we detailed what it took to rent our first apartment in Porto. We have now rented our second and with additional experience we felt we should lay out even more info for those who might navigate these unknown waters. This new series will discuss some of the unique particulars of renting an apartment or house here, translate the various Portuguese terms you'll find in rental ads, and share some tips and warnings about the process. Here we go!
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.
Last month I posted a video of a young couple (and their two wee sons) doing a quick tour of Lisbon. This time they're in Sintra and moving just as fast. A short train ride west of the capital, Sintra is filled with delightful castles, picturesque streets and the ruins of a Moorish castle. Travel, Eat, Repeat shows you some of the sites in this town while also sampling their fabulous food. Just be aware -- during tourist season this city is packed with visitors.
Harold is a former software engineer. Jana is an author. Together they're exploring their new life in Portugal.