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potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Old Jul 29th 2020, 4:01 pm
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Default potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

OK, so each is tiny

It's basically a one-room house with a garden opposite which contains what is currently a storeroom, but could presumably be extended a bit to make another (even more diminutive!) house.

As I understand it, there are added costs involved in the purchase (two sets of IMI, registro and escrituras), but after that no extra costs? Both properties are on the same water and electricity meters.

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Old Jul 29th 2020, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Originally Posted by suiko View Post
OK, so each is tiny

It's basically a one-room house with a garden opposite which contains what is currently a storeroom, but could presumably be extended a bit to make another (even more diminutive!) house.

As I understand it, there are added costs involved in the purchase (two sets of IMI, registro and escrituras), but after that no extra costs? Both properties are on the same water and electricity meters.
I've seen some properties like that. Did you look at some while you were out there?
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Old Jul 29th 2020, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Just a couple, yes. There aren't many that are in my price range that aren't either ruins or in a remote village with 8 inhabitants (and probably both!)
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 8:39 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Are you sure that it's registered as two houses ? When you say 'storeroom' that doesn't give the impression that it was once a house. Or that it can be re-built into one ( if that was your intention? ) These very old crumbling properties can be a bit of a nightmare They may be owned by several family members ,who all need to sign the agreement ( My YD's first apartment was owned by 27 people ) You may even find that the 'garden' is owned by someone else.. Advice... tread very carefully.. Don't do it long distance ..be here
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 9:03 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

No, it's owned by a foreigner, so I presume any such issues will have been sorted out in the past.

I don't think the "storeroom" was ever a house. Is it likely to be difficult to make it into one by building an extension?
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 9:10 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Originally Posted by suiko View Post
No, it's owned by a foreigner, so I presume any such issues will have been sorted out in the past.

I don't think the "storeroom" was ever a house. Is it likely to be difficult to make it into one by building an extension?
Make sure you get a good lawyer who will make sure you know anything linked to the property and can give you good advice.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 9:31 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Originally Posted by suiko View Post
No, it's owned by a foreigner, so I presume any such issues will have been sorted out in the past.

I don't think the "storeroom" was ever a house. Is it likely to be difficult to make it into one by building an extension?
Never assume and it's often the foreigners who get ripped off. Check the deeds, use a lawyer etc.
You might not even be able to build depending on council regulation, so check with them also before buying.
Just to add that we're in a crisis and the market is full of properties that will be reduced, so don't by something that will cause problems.

Last edited by Moses2013; Jul 30th 2020 at 9:45 am.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 10:15 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Thanks. Who would one check with as regards building regulations? Obviously will need a lawyer - anyone know any good ones in Tavira area?
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 10:25 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Originally Posted by suiko View Post
Thanks. Who would one check with as regards building regulations? Obviously will need a lawyer - anyone know any good ones in Tavira area?
You would need to check with Town Hall regarding regulations. In any case, it's always best to get everything in writing and this doesn't automatically mean you'll get it approved until you actually submit a project.

Last edited by Moses2013; Jul 30th 2020 at 10:29 am.
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Old Jul 30th 2020, 10:27 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Lawyer: I used Marissa from Rui Horta in Tavira. She was very thorough. We have made use of her services for buying a piece of land (8 owners) and a house (owned by a British couple).
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Old Jul 31st 2020, 10:26 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Is it likely that there will be restrictions on building a small (one-storey) extension, based on personal experiences? I contacted the Camara Municipal, but haven't heard back so far.

I imagine the storeroom is probably not currently categorised as habitable - might a change of status be difficult?
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Old Jul 31st 2020, 11:35 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Originally Posted by suiko View Post
Is it likely that there will be restrictions on building a small (one-storey) extension, based on personal experiences? I contacted the Camara Municipal, but haven't heard back so far.

I imagine the storeroom is probably not currently categorised as habitable - might a change of status be difficult?
The answer to both will depend on the particular Camara and their interpretation of the rules. However, in my experience, they are disinclined to anwer hypothetical questions.... so if there is nothing that immediately prevents change, be prepared to be told "submit a proroject and we'll let you know". However, at this time of year, prepare not to hear anything for another month...

Do any of the properties currently have a habitation license?
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Old Jul 31st 2020, 11:47 am
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Yeah, I figured as much!

One building is currently used as a house, so does have this status. The other I PRESUME doesn't, as it has only been used as a storeroom and is really too small to be a feasible as a house (maybe 3 x 2 m?). It does have electricity and water though, on the same meters as the main house. I've asked the agent about this building's registro predial status.
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Old Jul 31st 2020, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

Originally Posted by suiko View Post
Yeah, I figured as much!

One building is currently used as a house, so does have this status. The other I PRESUME doesn't, as it has only been used as a storeroom and is really too small to be a feasible as a house (maybe 3 x 2 m?). It does have electricity and water though, on the same meters as the main house. I've asked the agent about this building's registro predial status.
Be aware that part of the planning process can enforce "new" rules that were not in place when the original house was built..... and these include minimum sizes and heights for rooms, etc. as well as anything deemed necessary for safety. This can seem overly restrictive - for example, my Camara insisted on a mechanically unnecessary pillar to support an external cantilever staircase, which would have impacted access to a ground-floor doorway. My architect had to submit a revised plan to get around this (ker-ching!). Then the stairway itself had to have an external handrail of OTT dimensions (or preferably a side-wall that would impact the loading on the staircase itself. The terrace had to have railings or a solid screen at least 120cm high on all sides... so either armoured glass or no view! I did suggest we gave up on the idea of a terrace and just used a ladder to get onto the flat roof to get around the restrictions........ There was also a requirement to change both the sewage and water supply to the existing building in order to extend it.

Honestly, unless you have a lot of time, money to "invest" and are prepared to accept frustration, I'd walk away, unless the place is something extraordinary. Certainly don't accept anything said by the agent at face value.... their job is to sell the place.

Last edited by macliam; Jul 31st 2020 at 12:20 pm.
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Old Jul 31st 2020, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: potential issues with buying a house that is actually two houses?

I doesn't matter what YOU think, you need to get and understand a copy/copies of whatever the official listings are for the article/s. If you think it's a habitation-house and the listing says differently then stop wasting your, and everybody else's, time by pretending it habitation.

If it's not "habitation" then.............................................. .................it is not habitation.
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