Silver Coast +351 262 980 576   |  Algarve +351 915 150 617

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Pros and cons of buying a new build or an existing house

Pros and cons of buying a new build or an existing house

 Buying Property in Portugal 

Both options have advantages and disadvantages, which should be considered according to your needs and lifestyle…

Buying a house is always an important decision. Perhaps it's even one of the most important decisions in a person's life. We buy a house when we gain our financial independence, when we get married, when the family grows or when we decide to start a new life in a new city or country… buying a house is the fulfilment of a lifelong dream, in many cases.

Regardless of our motivation and the money we have available for the purchase, there are questions that are common to all buyers. And every buyer wants to make sure they make the right decision to secure their long-term investment.

One of the most frequent questions has to do with the choice between buying a house already built or choosing to buy a house “key-in-hand”.

If you’re in doubt, here are some tips to help you decide which option is the best for you: 

Purchase an existing house


  • PRICE: A new house can be more expensive than a used house. However, the cost greatly depends on its location and age.
  • LOCATION: In some locations such as city centres or historic villages, the new build option may simply not be possible. In these cases, you should bear in mind that you can change everything in a house, but never its location.
  • TIMING: If the house is ready to move in, you can settle there right after the deed. For some people, this is an important factor, especially if you have an urgent need to move or need immediate profitability from your investment by offering your property in the holiday home rental market, for example.
  • LESS BUREAUCRACY: Buying an existing house usually requires less paperwork both at a contract level and when requesting financing.


  • LEGAL GUARANTEES: Portuguese legislation only requires new constructions to have a 5-year guarantee.
  • MAINTENANCE COSTS: An older property, no matter how well maintained and built, will probably need maintenance sooner than a new build.
  • WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET: Some buyers are lucky enough to fall in love with a property exactly as it is. However, others may want to change a few things to meet their personal needs or customize a few details. In this case, be prepared to pay more.

To guarantee that resales fulfill our client’s expectations, Portugal Realty only sells existing houses that meet our highest standards of quality. All of our existing houses for sale are new or relatively new, have above average quality finishings and modern construction.

Buying a New Build property


  • CUSTOMIZATION: A new build property offers the possibility to choose the materials and finishes according to your taste and personal needs. From paint colours to tiles and cabinet doors, working directly with the building team will allow your future home to be built with your personal touch. In the case of new developments with various houses available, you can also choose the plot of land of your preference, design model, and location depending on sun exposure.
  • CONTROL: By accompanying the construction phase step by step, you'll have a detailed knowledge of the quality of the materials used.
  • ENERGY EFFICIENCY: New builds will meet new legislation requirements in regard to energy efficiency and environmental certifications. Modern construction techniques and technology also reduces the need for heating and cooling, thus saving money on comfort costs.
  • MODERN DESIGN: A new construction will have more contemporary materials and design, thus being more appealing to younger buyers that may be of interest in future resales.
  • NATURAL LIGHT: The modern design of new build properties also allows more natural light, with larger windows and open-plan living areas.
  • WARRANTY: Benefits also include a five-year construction guarantee, which is compulsory under Portuguese law. Also, a quality new build property rarely involves spending on repairs for many years to come.


  • MORE DELAYED PROCESS: For some buyers, the time it takes to build a new home may be a decisive factor to consider. On average, it can take up to 12 months to build a house after city council licensing.
  • BUREAUCRACY: This process may be more bureaucratic in terms of applying for licenses and complying with legal requirements. However, if you choose to build with a key-in-hand solution, an experienced realtor such as Portugal Realty will handle the entire process from start to finish.
  • DISTANCE: Some new builds tend to be located further away from town centres. If you prefer the hustle and bustle of a big city, with everything within walking distance, then finding a new build will probably be a more difficult task. But if a tranquil residential area is your cup of tea, then a new build may just be the perfect option and there are plenty of locations close to restaurants, shops, and beautiful beaches.

In both cases, if you buy with a trusted realtor there will be no budget overruns because the final amount to be paid is always the subject of a legal contract. On the other hand, there will also be no constraints in regard to financing as Portuguese banks are used to assessing and financing any type of mortgage.

With Portugal Realty's network of certified partners, you can count on legal and accounting support regardless of the type of property you prefer to buy. We will be by your side at each stage of the process so that you can have the most pleasant and hassle-free experience possible.

Contact us for more information on Portuguese property for sale or key-in-hand solutions in Portugal. We are new-build specialists in the Silver Coast of Portugal and also have various existing properties in this beautiful region as well as in Algarve Portugal.

Portugal Realty™ - Property for sale in Portugal


Silver Coast +351 262 980 576

Algarve +351 915 150 617

Antwerp +32 3 283 70 70

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