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Driving from Santander  

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Posts: 33
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(@wayneb)
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We have booked our ferry and if all things go well we should be coming over early October.

Has anyone got some good advice on places to stop and get fuel in Spain etc?
We are planning coming down to Vilar Formoso through Palencia following the sat nav. But happy to make small detours etc.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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Plan A for us is to get the ferry on 2 October, drive to our new home, fly back on 13 October, self-isolate for two weeks 🤨, then get the house packed up into the lorry and on its way over, before we fly back to Portugal permanently with the cats at the end of October.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Plan A will still be doable - not too sure what Plan B is! Still, I've no control over that so trying not to stress about it, got too much going on in my head as it is 😊 

 

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(@traceyjmo65)
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@wosiebeegs we're going to be on the ferry 2nd Oct too! From Portsmouth. Don't have a new home yet, staying with daughter who already lives there. Leaving our stuff in storage here until we find storage or a home there.

Good luck!

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(@itexpert7)
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@traceyjmo65

Hi Tracey,

How did the drive to Portugal (Algarve?) go? Any border checks or questions?

How was the ferry with Corona, any facilities working?
We will drive in 2 weeks.

Kind Regards,
Michael.

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(@traceyjmo65)
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Hi Michael

The trip to Portugal went well other than a rough ferry crossing due to Storm Alex! Safety regs on board were quite good. Everyone in masks except in cabins and when eating drinking. There were also fewer passengers so spacing was fine. Food and drink was available and so were the movies ☺

We travelled through Spain via Santiago de Compostela and into Portugal at Tui/Valenca. No border control at all. 

Wishing you well for your trip. Let us know how you get on.

Regards 

Tracey

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(@itexpert7)
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@traceyjmo65

Hi Tracey, thank you!
No border checks coming into Spain from England?

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(@traceyjmo65)
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@itexpert7 No. Just showed passports from inside car and drove straight out of ferry port unhindered.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@traceyjmo65 oops I got the date wrong. We're booked on the Portsmouth to Bilbao ferry on 7 October, not 2nd, we complete on our house on 2 October - see my brain is all muddled around! That's a shame, we could have met up on the ferry.

How lovely that you can stay with your daughter, presumably you'll want to eventually settle somewhere near where she lives then?

Good luck to you too.

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(@traceyjmo65)
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@wosiebeegs 😄did wonder as you're going to Bilbao but thought perhaps you were going from Plymouth. It would have been lovely to meet on ferry but who knows perhaps we'll get to meet one day in Portugal ☺

Our daughter is near Ponte da Lima in North so yes we'd like to be within half hour of her.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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How lovely, bet you're looking forward to being close to your daughter again.

We're moving to Santarem, just outside Cartaxo, so further south than you, about two thirds of the way down the country, not too far from Lisbon. Can't wait to be there 😊 

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs   You are not far at all from where I am relocating to - Almeirim de Fazendas!     The escritura date is 8 October. Removals are going sometime ahead of us in person, with that arranged through Britannia and the date for loading on the haulage truck is 5 October.   Then its a case of being here in quite bare surroundings until we are ready to leave in person. Thinking of driving down there to avoid COVID risk on a plane and keeping personal contact to a minimum. Advice welcome of that topic - including, like others, buying petrol on the way down and avoiding indoor kiosks.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@tams that's really quite close to us! We're driving down firstly and leaving the car there, so will be in an empty house for four nights or so - we'll have a blow up bed, camping chairs and essentials in the car. We fly back to the UK on 13 Oct (all being well, our flights keep getting cancelled!), we'll have to self-isolate for two weeks, but that'll be valuable time to finish packing up the house. Removals happen two weeks later and we'll fly back to Lisbon, with our cats, a couple of days later. So we'll be in an empty house in the UK for a couple of nights and then again in Portugal for a few days before the furniture arrives. It still feels unreal to be honest.

Driving down would be a good way of limiting your time in an empty house 🙂 

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs  Yes it does all seem unreal.  Well, our removals were on Monday this week and our plants and household items are due to be arriving today, at any time. Seeing them unloaded 1200 miles away will seem surreal based on how empty the garden and the indoors are here since then.  Its another six weeks probably till we leave personally, as the latest time to claim EU and NHR registry at the local town hall - but we have to solve the issue of driving down there and being fully prepared for it. Also the problem of switching to left hand drive once arriving and the costs involved. However, flying, based on personal risk assessment just seems too risky. Would rather arrived shattered from a long drive, but with none (preferably) or very minimal interaction with anyone than be subject to a train, an airport, the plane itself, then another train once in Portugal.  I do hope your flight has gone well and you have a safe journey back  - and then am equally safe and successful quarantine.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@tams We've done our driving bit, arrived at our new house on Friday last week. Our ferry was delayed by about three hours, but other than that it was pretty good to be honest. The ferry company sent us a form that we filled in before we left and handed that in when they did a temperature test before we got off the boat and showed our passports from the car at the Spanish customs when we were off the boat.

The drive was fine and once we were out of Bilboa it was all straight forward, even though some of it was in the dark. We stopped once for petrol just outside Salamanca, which was a pay at the pump, there was no border check when we crossed into Portugal (it didn't even look like there was a border). We drove for about five hours and stayed overnight in a gorgeous hotel in Guarda.

The tolls were pretty easy, we only had one in Spain, got a ticket at one end and paid by card at the other end. We registered our card for the Portuguese tolls, which gives us 30 days on toll roads, had to look out for foreigners tolls or something similar, can't remember the exact wording now, but it was sign posted on the road we used.

We finished off the drive on Friday, did have to stop for petrol again, which was a go indoors to pay, and arrived at the house around mid-day. The agents had put up a banner and opened a bottle of something fizzy to welcome us and the previous owners had got lunch for us all. A very different experience there than here!

The flight home was very quiet, no more than a third full if that, just hope the one back on 29 October is as quiet, that's when we go for good with our cats. Now we've just got to finish packing up our house ready for it all to be picked up on 26 October.

It must be very strange to be living in your house at the moment, I hope these last weeks pass quickly for you and you have a safe journey. I would say doing the drive in one go without stopping somewhere overnight is very doable, long, as you say, but if you can get into your new house then I'd say go for it 🙂 

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs  I am so glad it went well for you 😊  Your experience of the drive is fairly encouraging. Good luck for the final (one way) return journey 👍 

We are doing the drive as a total isolation project. Hopefully we can find pay at the pump petrol stations readily enough and will probably make sure we keep enough petrol in the tank to keep looking for one if we come across one where it is necessary to pay inside. We have asked for our EU/NHR applications in Almeirim to be arranged for the first week of December - which is the last window for applications to be processed before the transition period ends and pulls up the drawbridge. So its important that we time everything to get there in good time for this, but at the same time not too early as to risk too much time for another variable to crop up and scupper it. There is not time on our hands afterwards.    

Its a tense time, especially because the escritura has been postponed twice since September. The first time because the owners needed more time to move out, and the second time scheduled on 8 October, it had to be postponed again - this time because the agent who was handling the sale unfortunately tested positive for COVID.  There is now a waiting list of people that are on her books and waiting for completion of their purchases. So the delay continues into another week.

Obviously we wish the agent well, but following a shall we say, "frank exchange" about what is now another two week delay (and counting) we are pledged to have something arranged for the coming week. In the meantime the owners have been good enough to let our removal proceed and start buying furniture and appliances etc.   So my Portuguese friend and her other half who are out there representing us at the moment, have had plenty to do since they arrived in the first week of October!

 

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@tams We are so looking forward to being back there, it's getting closer, but still so much to do here too 🙂

Really sorry to hear that your escritura has had to be postponed, as you say you obviously wish the agent well, but honestly timing couldn't be worse! I shall keep my fingers crossed that it happens this coming week for you. That's kind of the owners to let you get furniture and stuff in the property.

I hadn't realised that the NHR status application had that short of a time limit on it, to be honest I've not even really looked at that yet, I should probably do some research on it before we head off again. We don't have internet access in our Portuguese home yet and it looks like the best we'll get is ADSL as we're quite remote - gonna miss the fast fibre we've got here!

It's stressful isn't it, most days we feel like we've taken one step forward and then three or four back because something else crops up.

Good luck with it all, keep me updated as and when you can and I shall look out for a goods news message that the deed has finally be done and that you will shortly be on your way.

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs        As long as you have a place of abode before the end of the year you qualify for NHR Proof of a lease or loan for rental accommodation up to 12 months is fine and qualifies, in addition to proof of deed of a property if purchasing. First of all as soon as you arrive you register for residency at the local town hall as a“Cidadão Europeu”. Its supposed to be straightforward and not expensive. You just need your Passport, your EHIC card (health insurance) and notice of your address - though you don't need proof of residency at that address.   We have an advisor working for LVP Advogadas who is going to schedule us at the local town hall for the first week of December - which is the latest time for EU residency applications for those of us from the UK before the transition period finishes at the end of the month/year.    We are pushing all out to get the escritura done this week and then leaving as much time to get the property as we need it to be for when we all arrive. This includes getting a catio put up to secure 3 cats that are coming with us. One is an outdoor cat who will need extra entertainment while he settles in the catio - but we are not going to just let him out on arrival!

Yes, its very stressful for sure! We must continue to keep each other updated on how things are going and keep up with the mutual support network!

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Posted by: @wosiebeegs

...I hadn't realised that the NHR status application had that short of a time limit on it, to be honest I've not even really looked at that yet, I should probably do some research on it before we head off again.

I may be mistaken but I sense a little confusion about the issue in these posts.

Just in case, firstly NHR is open to all comers regardless of nationality and therefore Brexit has no bearing on eligibility or timing of application for UK citizens, and secondly, you have until March 31st following the year in which you become tax resident in Portugal to make the application.

 

 

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 Tams
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@x-camone   It could have been made clearer that I was taking EU residency and NHR application together based on those of us discussing it making permanent moves to Portugal and therefore looking to tie both requirements in together. And which are heavily influenced by Brexit. It is true though that NHR in isolation can be applied for up to 31 March next year - and on the basis that it is open to all of different nationalities.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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Thanks @tams and @x-camone I thought I'd seen somewhere that we have until the end of March next year for the NHR status, so that's at least one thing that can wait!

We've been registered at our local town for residency, so the first thing to do is apply for our Portuguese residency as everything else seems to hinge on having it. I think we've got all the paperwork needed for that, fingers crossed!

@tams Hope you get some good news soon on the house deed. And good luck with the drive down with three cats, I wish we'd done that now to be honest. When we left Portsmouth on the ferry it felt quite poignant, especially as we were both born and brought up in Portsmouth. Still - too late now 🙂 

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs  Though the dream is Portugal, the moment of finally leaving the UK home is one I am not looking forward to at all. I can very much imagine how you feel about Portsmouth in that respect.

Good to hear you have been registered as well😊 

There is still nothing confirmed about the house deed, so the treading water for official purchase continues. At least new kitchen and bathroom suites, tiles and furniture have been arranged c/o a local Almeirim company. So its not as if we are completely treading water in that respect.

My Portuguese friend and her other half are coming back to the UK to collect the cats. Her two are awaiting their passports, having had the rabies and other updated vaccine jabs. Mine has had the rabies jab and passport was completed in just a couple of days, which was good. He needs his updated booster jabs over the next 3 weeks. After this time, in late November, they will fly all the cats out with them back to Portugal, while my friend and I strive to maintain a shielding vigil within the confines of the car on the way down. The thinking is for them to book a flight just ahead of us leaving in the car so that (hopefully|) we arrive all in one piece shortly after to be reunited with our cat. A lot of apprehension about all this, but we have some time to hopefully fine tune the arrangements so we all know what we are doing!

It means that once we all arrive we will have to keep a distancing theme. In this respect they are in a separate house annex, so we will be meeting up in the garden in the fresh air at the usual specified distances.  

I do hope, like everyone, that there are just a few months left of this till its all finally over - and life in Portugal can become just as it should be intended and we can get out and about meeting people and not to have to keep looking backwards anymore.

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@tams

Such an adventure getting everything ready then finally making the trip and then getting all settled here. It is like watching a movie on TV sometimes. There is so much planning and so much anticipation. I hope that you all have a safe trip and everything works out as it should. When you actually get here and everyone is reunited, it's time to settle in. I hope that you are as blessed with neighbors and friends as we have been. We feel like we are at home here and we don't want to be anywhere else. COVID restrictions were not even considered when we started our move but the lockdown and restrictions have overshadowed our first full year here in our new house. I am praying it will all be resolved in the next 6 months or so. The year 2020 has been a big mess of canceled plans and isolation. I am looking forward to 2021 as a brand new beginning for the world and especially for Portugal. There is a lot of recovery needed for the economy. 

Again, best wishes for a safe trip for all.

@peggyL

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 Tams
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@peggyl Thanks for your kind wishes

A lockdown has been announced in Santarem from 30th October. The long delayed escritura is scheduled with a notary in Santarem! So if it is not arranged very quickly for next week it means there is no chance of completing the purchase of our property till, at he very earliest, the second week of November. Meanwhile we can't do anything about EU and NHR registration till this happens. Time is running out for this and the anxiety levels are fast going up and up. We have to get a booking in the town hall of Almeirim by the first week of December, and based on still having no idea when the escritura will finally (ever!) get re-scheduled I am starting to wonder for the first time if i am destined not to meet the Brexit transition deadline and ultimately be left facing trying to qualify as a resident as a "third country" applicant. Which will be so much harder. Feeling very gloomy about things at the moment 😌 

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@tams

The lockdown is for 30 Oct through November 2. It is meant to keep people from congregating, having parties or going to visit relatives for the holiday weekend. You should be able to schedule your meetings for the first week of November the 3rd-6th. About the BREXIT issues, I have heard that BREXIT is delayed again. I could be wrong but I would check that out. Peggy

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 Tams
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@peggyl Thanks - the problem is that the bank/notary have put us on a waiting list for scheduling escritura's and each time we ask how much longer it will be, they say the same thing that it won't be much longer, but then nothing happens. This has been going on for 3 weeks already and time is not on our side. If we could schedule it ourselves we would obviously have done so already, but its out of our hands - especially because of the pandemic. We wonder if we are also being put down the list because we are not nationals and they are giving preference to local house purchase escritura's. Brexit being delayed would be a godsend, but there is nothing in the news about it and this cabal of a so called "government" are hell bent on the transition period ending at the close of 2020

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 Tams
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Anyway, our plants and possessions already received their residency passes in the new home. Yes, a house we have full of our own possessions, but do not yet "officially" own and where the money has not yet been handed across. Crazy times...

We have even been allowed to take caring ownership of the resident little dog!

All these pictures c/o my Portuguese friend, Susana, who is out there waiting on the escritura completion on our behalf

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@tams

I am sorry to hear that I was mistaken about BREXIT. I apologize if I got the hopes of anyone up again. The news is so very repetitive that I listen with half an ear and sometimes I hear incorrectly. I should check the facts before I repeat anything. It is very heartbreaking that you are being delayed and I can imagine the stress. Poor kitty doesn't understand. I will be thinking of you all as you struggle with bureaucracy on top of the usual stresses with packing and moving. 

@peggyL

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 Tams
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@peggyl its fine, don't worry. I know your intentions were kind 🙂   I tuned out from the news as far back as last Spring and focussed on the fact that I had (at that time) nine months to think about how i might escape Brexit. That is how the concept of Portugal came about due to Susana finding life difficult in the UK and missing her family back in Almeirim. So by the summer we got together and began plotting the house search. The great advantage being of course that she knows her own stomping ground and when the search came up for the place we have (nearly!_ bought she immediately suggested that was the one for all us. Having her deal with the agent in the local tongue and handle the bureaucracy has been a godsend and the fact that we are having these problems even with her help makes me wonder how things would seem if we didn't have her help as native among us!

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@tams I'm really sorry to hear there are further delays for you, I'd really hoped you would be sorted this week. It does seem like your timeframe is still very doable to be honest, but I can imagine how stressed you are feeling.

While I wish @peggyl was right, I don't think Brexit can be delayed now, the government had their chance to extend the transition period and, sadly, decided not to.

I've been feeling quite wobbly myself today must admit, living in a house that's full of boxes and just about everything packed is quite unsettling (for the cats too!) but now I'm worrying about all the stuff to get sorted once we arrive - it's never ending! Chin up @tams, am sending you lots of positive vibes and hugs.

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@wosiebeegs Thanks, that is sweet of you xx   I can well imagine the trepidation rising in you, literally right before you leave for the final time. Plus also the cats and how they pick up on changes.

Our cat was not actually owned by us till the other week, but the owner at the last minute agreed that we could take him. He had been staying with us and not going back home to his owner. I was resigned we were going to have to leave him behind  and worried about his future - but now he has his cat passport and will complete his jabs over the next two/three weeks. Which leads up to when we are *supposed* to leave.... Just hope that this does finally resolve asap. If you look at the pics I just posted, it gives you comfort that the unpacking is a therapeutic part. At least for those of us who send our stuff ...but then are still stuck here in Blighty. Talk about doing this back to front!

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@tams yeah, you really have done it back to front haven't you 😀 I love it! And you've basically gained a cat and a dog too, wonderful additions, the cat obviously preferred you to his owner and will love his new life in Portugal. Your new house looks lovely and great that it's going to be ready to move into - very soon!

We gained a horse! When we visited back in March we jokingly asked if the horse was staying and were told no it wasn't. But when we went out a few weeks ago and took possession of the house the horse was still there. Turns out the previous owner let a friend of his keep his horse in the field, we met the horse's owner and his son (who translated) and said we didn't mind the horse staying, so we have a horse living in our field that we have no responsibility for. She's very sweet and I've started calling her Maria (for no good reason) and trying to befriend her with carrots. My husband will be running round after her with a wheelbarrow and shovel for any little leavings he may find to put on the compost!

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@wosiebeegs

I hope you have video on your phone! The sight of your husband chasing the horse with a wheelbarrow and shovel will cheer us all up. ;-D

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@peggyl I will certainly do that when the opportunity arises! 🙂

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@wosiebeegs We are all going to have some amazing stories to tell when all this is over, and, hopefully, this pandemic is finally history. Choosing to relocate to another country during a pandemic and Brexit is utter madness - but this type of opportunity has to be taken in the moment because there is no second chance to take.

 How lovely to have a horse! Classic riding country also - so what an unexpected opportunity. Carrots tonight on the dinner table by any chance!? Ha ha! They will be filling his every dream on nights to come 🤗 

So you went out there, presumably as part of a search and get to know the area, just as all the lockdowns were taking place! By the summer there was no chance of us doing that - and the whole process to date has been conducted from the UK, but as stated above, with the help of Susana (and also her parents in Almeirim). They viewed the property for us back in July and it was pretty much an instant decision. The CPCV and initial deposit was done in good time by late August - and it was supposed to be just another couple of weeks before the property was ours. Little did we know though....

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About 90% of the UK garden has been taken to Portugal, and is presently sitting in a plethora of pots around the house. annex and the new garden!

The palms we took out have quickly shrugged off their initial confusion and have cottoned on to the fact that summer lasts much longer where they have emerged from the darkness of the removal truck. A couple of them are now bursting out of their pots. They had palm weevil treatment last weekend c/o Susana's parents and some planting is going to be done by them this weekend.  This is one of the biggest palms awaiting planting - they will have fun getting that out of its pot and into the ground!

Here is Susana, eating one of our fast ripened figs from the little shrub that was in our garden here in the UK

We also sent a couple of olive trees to add to the existing ones in the Portuguese organic vegetable areas. There is land adjacent to the property that has up to 30 olive trees we could buy when out there and would constitute a substantial yield of olive oil to help integrate us to the local area - but the budget will have to be assessed before that decision can be made.

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@tams Our removal company won't take plants, we managed to get some out with us in the car, but there's a couple of big ones in the back garden we'd really like to take and are hoping to smuggle into a wardrobe box without the removal men knowing 😀 

Your palm looks amazing, as do the figs, there'll be lots more of them to come in the future. And yes, lots of heavy lifting for Susana's parents, hope they're strong!

When we left last week the neighbour was picking our olives to get them pressed, so hopefully when we get back on Thursday we'll have some of our own olive oil. Goodness, I can't believe I'm even writing that, it seems so remote from the London life we live now.

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@wosiebeegs   We used Britannia - they were fantastic and asked no questions when they did the assessment tour to find out what we needed to take. They calculated we could take up to at least 50 plants and all our palms etc - based on the relatively limited amount of furniture we took, It was expensive for sure, but based on their service and the fact that everything is out there, intact and was delivered in just 4 days - we think it was well worth it 😊 

I reckon you would get away with putting those big plants in a wardrobe - based on them being secured in there and then the wardrobe itself very well bound up. They are hardly going to unpick all the packing holding it in place and will be wanting to load up as quickly as possible, so will just think it is simply an extra heavy made wardrobe. (Its all in the wood quality)... 😉 

 Britannia arrived shortly before 9am on removals day and they were all done by lunchtime. Much faster than i expected and it went so much better than anticipated. I had been stressed out about the removals, so that was something to celebrate that evening - having gone so well 😊 

Oooh - that olive pressing of your neighbours is something to look forward to! What a great way to get straight into local Portuguese life! x

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@tams

I love the tile walls, your new home is beautiful, We put in new fig trees and we had 23 figs this year,

@peggyL

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Whoops, slip of the finger. We did not have 23 figs, we only had 3 figs. That's what I get for typing so fast.

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 Tams
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@peggyl Lovely! I am really looking forward to nature's bounty in Portugal

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@tams It seems neverending at the moment and even more so for you, especially as you were on top of it all at the end of August. 

We'd originally planned on a five day visit in late-March to view a few areas and see a few houses (including the one we've bought) but when it became apparent that that wasn't going to happen, changed our plans and went mid-March and saw only the one house (the one we've bought), we were there for literally 36 hours! It was quite bewildering to be honest, the town was completely shut up, hardly anyone around, the house was a whole lot more house than we thought and of course the pandemic was really just starting and we had no idea of the course of it. So we came home not really any the wiser. Managed to get a visit out again in early July and things were much improved although still fairly quiet, but we were more prepared for what the house would be like at least. We signed a power of attorney so that we didn't need to be there to sign anything. Came home, put in our offer and here we are.

How any of us have made it this far in this year is beyond me. There have been many times when we've taken a step forward and four or five back. We had huge issues with the money side of it, as the on-line bank I was using decided to do a compliance check on us just before we were completing and froze my account. More than happy that they were being diligent, but honestly it took five or six weeks for our money to be released and there's no way of speaking to anyone - that was a nightmare and racked the stress levels way too high. Luckily we managed to borrow and scrape enough together to still complete and the account was unlocked only just over a week ago!

So it sounds like you've yet to see your new house, did you manage a video tour of it? That must be strange and a whole new experience when you get there (which will be soon).

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 Tams
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(@tams)
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@wosiebeegs Oh my days!  That compliance check backfired in a terrible way! I am so glad you managed to salvage it 😮 

The real estate agency did a video tour of the property and the garden back in July - though because the owners were there it was not possible to get any footage inside the actual house. There was just limited footage of the annex facilities- which Susana, her boyfriend and little family will be living in. At present they are making it good for them while they/we wait for the escritura..   

Pictures were available online of the rooms in the main house, but again due to confidentiality clauses we could only get selected partial views of the rooms. So yes, much of the purchase was done a bit blind - but based on the visit by Susana's parents who gave it a big thumbs -up and also her enthusiasm for what a good neighbourhood it is etc we decided to seize the moment. I am now certain that has proved to be a good decision based on the numerous video calls we have had between Portugal and the UK over the past 3 weeks since they flew out from Gatwick.

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@tams Yes, it was a horrible few weeks I can tell you, after a few days we knew we would get access to our money again at some stage, but some people have waited months, so we didn't know how long it would be. Thankfully it's resolved and we can at least buy what we need for our new home now!

You really haven't seen much of your new home have you?! That'll be really exciting when you get over there, lots of exploring to do indoors 😊. At least you had people you trust giving it the thumbs up and the encouraging video calls must have put your mind at rest a little too. It looks lovely in the photos you sent.

Just a quick thought, does anyone involved in the escritura need to move across municipality boundaries? If not, from my reading of the lockdown rules, there shouldn't be a problem and if there is, they can get a declaration:

"Workers are able to circulate between municipalities during this time only with "a declaration from the employer that attests that they are in the performance of their professional activities". Citizens can only move outside their municipality of residence, "for health reasons or other reasons of imperative urgency"."

So maybe it can all go ahead as planned.

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs The lockdown shouldn't actually be too much of a problem now that I know it is across the Halloween weekend - and an escritura wouldn't be carried out over a weekend anyway. Tomorrow, Susana is calling the bank who are (supposed) to be arranging the notary meeting for the escritura and we are listening in on a skype call - so that she can translate for us and we can put our pennyworth in as well. The central message is that we have asked our legal rep in Lisbon to step in to get this done without further delay and we trust that *might* be enough to shake them into action and get it arranged this week. The proof is in the pudding of course - so we shall see what happens tomorrow.

Meantime, today Susana's dad has begun planting our palm trees - so we just keep pressing on anyway! 😊 

 

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@tams Fingers crossed for today, hopefully you'll make some headway.

Your palms are going to love their new found freedom, well done to Susana's dad!

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs Thanks. Our legal adviser from LVP Advogadas has e-mailed us back this morning to say he is going to speak to the notary himself about our escritura deed. He confirmed that if the escritura did end up in the second or third week of November there was still time to complete EU and NHR applications before the end of December. So that helps a bit to know.

I think its because its all been pushed into something of a "lastminute.com" situation that quiet hysteria has bubbled up!

We opened a SMART currency account and used our online services with our high street bank to fulfil sterling>euro contracts. Despite the escritura delays, it has proved an excellent, safe and efficient way of avoiding the volatile pound fluctuations due to Brexit and the government handling of the pandemic.

We opened it in July for a three month contract once we knew we were on the purchase process trail and it is ironic that the property is still not sold all this time later but when the money left the SMART account three weeks back on the basis that the escritura was supposed to be on 8 October. Having already been postponed from 6 September.

Its quite some experience and learning process for sure!

Good luck with your final leaving preparations this week x

 

 

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@tams Sounds like you have a bit of wiggle room, which must have put your mind at rest somewhat. It doesn't take much for the stress levels to rise, seeing as they're probably already quite high anyway. We were coping with it quite well until the money situation arose!

I've not heard of a SMART account, will have a look into that. The exchange rate is a very sensitive thing isn't it?! Up and down all over the place - although mostly down it seems.

Thanks @tams, the lorry is mostly all packed up, few last minute boxes and bits and pieces to be taken in the morning. Getting the house cleaned on Wednesday so that we can take some photos of it and then put it on the rental market, still a lot to do tomorrow and Wednesday. Neither of us is sleeping terribly well, although hubbie a lot worse than me, so we're pretty shattered. I keep thinking 'why are we doing this', then I look at photos of the house and think, 'aah yes, that's why'!

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs   Links to SMART currency exchange. e-mail info@smartcurrencyexchange.com

Website: smartcurrencyexchange.com

You have a simple registration process and then you are assigned a "personal trader" who is effectively your account manager and will set up contracts for you if you want to send regular payments from the UK or have, maybe for example, some savings which you want to have on a forward contract for a future purchase in Portugal. This means that you are guaranteed the spot rate at the time you book it and are immune to the volatile exchange rate (which as you suggest is mostly down!)

If someone who is a bit of an admitted technophobe (lol!) can understand it - then anyone can 😊  They are also very friendly and not pushy at all and will explain anything if you don't understand it.

Ah yes, sleep! Well I manage some even with newly adopted Tedros Tuk-Tuk sleeping on top of me most nights, bless him! We will have to see how I am once I get within the range of leaving that you are. But hopefully the same 🙂 

Keep looking at pics of the house - that sure is the way to remind you what it is all about 👍 

 

 

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@tams Thanks for all the info, will have a look into that at some point, seems like a pretty good service.

Any news?

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 Tams
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@wosiebeegs  As agreed with you, I won't take this thread off topics any further after this post - but here are some pics of the latest happening at the house and the annex:

Susana step-dad creating an extra doorway in the annex

Susana creating her indoor planting garden in the annex

 

 

 

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@wosiebeegs

Which one was your online bank?

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@itexpert7 It was Revolut, on the face of it they offer a great service for exchanging sterling into euros, or any currency to any currency come to that! But I've lost faith in them now of course so am unlikely to use them again.

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@wosiebeegs
Ah I see, that mobileonly "bank".
I use Transferwise for years, biggest I've transferred is £70k, no problems. First transfer free:
https://transferwise.com/invite/u/michaelk1834

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@itexpert7 I had Transferwise on my radar, but paying the Revolut premium fee meant there was no transfer fee, so to get the money we needed into our Portuguese account to complete, it was a little cheaper than Transferwise. Big mistake, we had to transfer the money from our Lloyds account in the end and it ended up costing us £2/3,000 more because of it. I like that you can speak to Transferwise on the phone too, and in fact they were really helpful because they said that I probably would have go to through the compliance process but it would only take two or three days providing I had all the correct paperwork. The timing was very tight so I decided not to take the risk. Going forward when I need to transfer any money I will probably use Transferwise.

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@wosiebeegs
I'm using Transferwise for years, pay my freelancers in India and Philippines with it every month, and done big transfers £70k when the euro was cheap. Absolutely no problem. Their rates are very cheap, I haven't found any cheaper ones.
They are also very fast, from the 2nd transfer, I can convert and send money to India in 3 minutes!

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@itexpert7 That's a great recommendation for Transferwise. They did come out slightly better than Revolut on converting smaller amounts, but for the larger sums paying the Revolut £72 premium fee worked out better or at least it should have 😏

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(@goodmorningportugal)
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@wosiebeegs interesting. I've enjoyed the ease and efficiency of Revolut. Perhaps best as a day-to-day service, rather than for managing big transfers?

 

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@goodmorningportugal yes quite possibly, I could only transfer £25,000 a day from our UK account so I guess transferring the same amount for a few days on the trot just triggered a check. It was scary times though. Trouble is, once bitten twice shy (what a strange expression that is!) so I've lost my trust in them. Glad to hear there are people who haven't had any problems with them.

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@wosiebeegs
You could transfer more than £25k!
With Barclays the automatic limit is £50k per transfer, and you can do 2 a day or so. I have transferred £70k in 2 shots the same day. But for bigger transfers, you just have to call them (I did not need to call them).
They definitely have a way for big transfers, what happens when you buy a £1m house?

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(@wosiebeegs)
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@itexpert7 I can only transfer £25,000 a day on-line with Lloyds, although £100,000 a day in a branch. If you need to send any more you have to pay for a telegraphic transfer I think.

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@itexpert7

You plan ahead. I don't know anyone who sets out to buy a 1m euro house without planning. We set our budget then added 20% and got it transferred as soon as possible so we would be ready. It required more than 1 transfer but we have a good transfer representative who took care of everything.

@peggyL

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@wosiebeegs glad it worked it OK ... in the end!

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@goodmorningportugal Thanks and yes, we were too 😊

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@wosiebeegs, @goodmorningportugal, @itexpert7

We used a transfer service once and that was to move the bulk of the money that we needed to sign the deeds on the house. Until then.... and now since the house deed is signed we use a simpler and free method of exchanging money. We have a credit card with our account back home in the U.S. Our credit card with Charles Schwab has no fee for using the ATM machine to withdraw money even here in Portugal. Plus we get that day's exchange rate, no added fees, no jacked up exchange rate. We can take out as much as 800 euros a day. Whenever we are around a good secure ATM,(multibanco machine)  such as at ANY bank, we withdraw euros and then deposit them into our Portuguese bank account. It has become a habit and we seem to always be around a safe multibanco machine several times a week. This way we keep plenty of euros in our Portuguese account and it doesn't cost us anything in fees or added exchange rate punishment.  Our retirement is automatically deposited into the Schwab account in the U.S. and we get the euros out here for our living expenses. 

Just a thought in case anyone is paying inflated exchange rates or a lot of fees.

@peggyL  (AKA prosecco peggy)

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@peggyl

Hi Peggy, the VISA/Mastercard exchange rate has added fees in it (not bad ones). It's 1-2% further than the "fixing rate" the official exchange rate for the date. If in doubt, consult the xe.com website (left tab, "Live market rates") that shows the live and also historical rates.
Transferwise will give you a better rate. Just look at your credit card statement and compare with the history of xe.com

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(@peggyl)
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@itexpert7

Our Schwab card has no fees and no added exchange  rate. We get that day's rate, no fees. Believe me, we keep a close eye on the statements.

 

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(@itexpert7)
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@peggyl
Yes, it's that day's rate and no fees. Agreed. Just compare the rate with the xe.com rate 🙂

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@itexpert7

Thanks for the information.

peggy

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Posts: 179
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(@peggyl)
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Portugal is going to be so Blessed by the diverse population coming to blend here in our melting pot. I wish you all safe travels and a wonderful new life here.

@peggyL

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Posts: 33
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(@wayneb)
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Best of luck all! Getting excited finishing the last packing and dump runs. Only three sleeps to go.

can’t wait to see our besties and the lovely village near Porto de Mos!

might even get to Nazerè to watch some surfers defying the odds this year!!

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@wayneb

We have been to Nazerè and it is beautiful We were not there at surf time and we would love to go back. Still, a beautiful pace even if they are not surfing. Late Sept. through March they have large waves but I have heard that the championship surf days are not released until very close to the time because the weather is so unpredictable. We could be there in 2 hours by train so as long as we are packed and ready to head out, we could do it. Excited to get out of the house really.

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