It´s all gone wrong, I want to go home


We have a great few weeks and the solicitor is really good, apparently in Portugal, once the sale is agreed you don´t have much dealings with the agent. But we are still no nearer to actually seeing a copy of the habitation licenses. But not to panic, it will be very quick once all is in place.

After all the agent knows that we have only a maximum of 8 weeks to sign and move in.

So we have a great time visiting places. My daughter and granddaughter spend a week with us and friends come over for a long weekend. Everything is perfect until we get the call from our lawyer.

The licenses have still not come through and she has chased up the local planning, architect and the camara. She has arranged a meeting for us and the architect and the sellers as she has some serious concerns.

The meeting does not go well. Apparently the habitation licenses are not in place and never will be. We have just lost the house of our dreams.

But we are so pleased that we used a reputable solicitor as this could´ve dragged on for months, we are so pissed off at the estate agent that told us everything was in place, it was just a case of waiting for the forms.

I am also really pissed off with ourselves, how could we have been so naive, this is not the first time we have bought abroad, hell for 5 years I wrote a blog and had a face book group giving tips to people buying properties and yet for some reason we believed this agent without seeing the proof.

We don´t have any more dealings with this particular agent, we don´t even get a proper apology.

We are now nearing the end of our 2 month rental, luckily the owner agrees we can have another month but then she will be returning and moving in herself!

My mind is going into overdrive, we are going to be homeless in Portugal in 6 weeks, we have no houses to view, we have no idea where we are going to go or what we are going to do, we know nobody here and I feel so homesick for France, I really want to go home, back to our beautiful little village, back to my friends, back to everything that is familiar.

Even the weather has started to change and we are freezing at night, still lovely during the day but we are so cold at night.

This is not what I signed up for when we decided to move to Portugal, but we know that glitches happen, that at some point it will work out that today is just a bad day and things will get better and the sun will shine again in the morning.

We go back to our original search which is more inland, but now I have a taste for the coast……..

Top tips

  1. Always use a reputable solicitor
  2. Always make sure that the property has a habitation license
  3. Don´t take somebody´s word for important issues
  4. Constantly chase things up

We are Jenny and John, currently living in Portugal and renovating an old manor house, which should be finished soon and open for holiday lets. We also manage a website for accommodation and information on Portugal at portugalholidays4u.com

16 comments on “It´s all gone wrong, I want to go home

  1. Oh dear – first set back, but you’ll recover as you have all along. The concept of habitation licenses is probably alien to most of us, it would be helpful if you can find time to explain it in more detail.
    Good luck, chin up etc


  2. Yes, habitation licences sound a bit alien to me too. I’m sure this is only a setback but I can imagine how disastrous it seems at the moment. The weather will improve, the right house will appear, and we all look forward to hearing about it. You just don’t know how much you fuel our dreams.


  3. Sorry about the loss of your house. You’ve been wised up with the experience and I’m sure there will be a house out there for you. We bought in South Africa and lived there for several years Always tales and experiences to learn and tell. Ours was definitely an African experience. Sending best wishes for you finding your perfect Portuguese home.


  4. Just a bump in the road, it wasn’t meant to be. You’ll find something else that will be much better for you. Good luck!!


  5. I feel your pain. We are supposedly 5 weeks from our renovation, being completed and it is way off.
    Coming from England, very organised, always on time and a previous job in project management, I have been tearing my hair out.
    Women, are not seen as people to discuss business with. Even now, nobody calls me by my name, only my husband.
    I have seen nice sides and difficult sides of being a foreigner here. Luckily my husband speaks fluent, and I am learning.
    Some days are better than others, but long term hopefully you will find your dream place and enjoy the journey.
    Stay positive. I know easier said than done .


    • thak you and I do hope your renovation finishes soon with out any problems. Luckily we have met some wonderful people here, fingers crossed it will stay that way (not including estate agents lol )


  6. Ellen A.

    So many of us are in your corner – positive thoughts and prayers coming your way – we know you two will find an amazing ruin to restore once again. It’s who you are. It’s what you do. And the world is better for it.


  7. I hope this gets sorted soon. You were very lucky you didn’t hand your money over. A similar thing happened to friends of ours here in France and they lost everything ! Good luck xx


  8. Oh that is such a shame for your friends, but we would never hand money over without the say so of a good solicitor in portugal or Spain and a good notaire in france, love your french blog, sorry i didn´t find it when i was in france x


  9. Wondering who the estate agent was? I take it you got your deposit back?


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