David Rowat – Background

David is extremely well known in the Portuguese property market. He has been at the forefront of progressive development within the sector since 2004, when he arrived in Portugal. Prior to this he spent his early career within the banking and finance industry in the UK. During his time in Portugal he has helped thousands of clients realise their dream of purchasing property in Portugal, either as an investment or a holiday home. From the green coast of Porto, the silver coast of Nazaré, the blue coast of Lisbon and down to the popular destination of the Algarve, David has advised, recommended, and matched endless homes to their new owners. Not only does he have the knowledge and expertise of every part of the real estate sector, he is also a firm believer in having a team and working ethos that provides an exceptional service conducted in a friendly, collaborative manner. We asked him to give us his views on OliveHomes.com and what makes him tick. 

What made you start OliveHomes.com?

Having been employed in the industry since 2004 I've become addicted to the pleasures it generates. When I worked in the bank, it always felt that however hard you worked, the end result was either unhappiness or, at best, satisfaction. I knew when I arrived in Portugal I wanted a role that absorbed the sun, that appreciated these lands and gave me immense positivity. After an initial period of teaching English (sorry for those with a Bristolian accent!), I was approached to work in Real Estate. From that moment I knew it was what I wanted to do. After several years working for an international firm I knew the time was right to make my mark on the industry and became self-employed in 2008. OliveHomes.com is a culmination of the vast experience I've accumulated over the years. The company will give tremendous service to clients and provide cheerful memories for staff. To sum it all up, I started Olivehomes.com to see achievement, results and complete happiness for all. 

Why do you recommend Portugal as a place to buy/invest? 

Portugal has been a long-established destination for overseas investment. Its climate is sublime with bearable hot summers and warm winters. Rainfall comes from time to time and the evenings can become chilly in winter. This combination keeps the country green and fresh. Other attributes such as the people, the culture, its peaceful history and quality of life give us all reasons to want to live here; be it all year or for holidays. These considerations fulfill most people's criteria as a place to own a property. From an economical perspective, Portugal has been an extremely safe place to invest and has avoided the property downturn experienced in the early 2010's. It has not been subject to a boom/bust property market. The rental market (both short term and long term) is strong and provides a sufficient income even in moments of depression. Against this foundation of stability, the country has seen a continual increase in prices due to demand from every part of the globe as well as clients taking advantage of government backed schemes such as the Golden Visa (residence through ownership) and the Non-Habitual Residence Scheme (tax beneficial incentives). New construction is limited as planning laws restrict over-development and many developers are small scale - building one development at a time. All things considered it is my opinion that Portugal is unique. It's a paradise for lifestyle and a soundly justified investment decision. 

Where would you recommend I buy?

This totally depends on your requirements. Should you wish to engulf yourself in the Portuguese way of living then I would be suggesting Lisbon, Porto or the Silver Coast. If you want an element of Portuguese but, at the same time, want to enjoy some home comforts then maybe the Algarve is where you want to be. It also depends if you consider your purchase to be a holiday home or an investment. Often, I have clients saying it’s a holiday home which will only be used for seven days a year. In this case I prefer to consider it as an investment. Such a low usage means it must make money – in terms of capital appreciation and rental income. In terms of lifestyle, Portugal is extremely diverse. Geographically you can have sand spit beaches (with estuaries), beaches lined by sand dunes and alternatively cliffs/rock pillars. Personally, I have travelled throughout Portugal so being able to spend fifteen minutes talking to clients I can often pinpoint where is best for them. That’s the beauty of this place – many common positive attributes but uniqueness from within. There is diversity to finetune lifestyle and achieve investment criteria.

What considerations should I have when I want to purchase a property?

Once you have a location agreed (and we do agree it’s location, location and location) then you will want to have a clear idea of the qualities the actual property will provide. Is it a villa or apartment? If apartment then top floor or ground floor? Are you thinking of renting it? Orientation to the sun? Balcony/terrace? Open plan or separate kitchen? Privacy in the garden or terrace? Underfloor heating? Will I buy off-plan? Maybe I will entertain some refurbishment? Clients should plan ahead and think which items are essential and which items would be nice to have. It’s important to be flexible as many clients do not always purchase what they originally planned. However, it is important to start with a wish list and work from there. Remember also there are costs related to the purchase so always budget an additional 10%. It’s rarely that high but always better to be prepared. We always work on the basis of listening to you and topping up your knowledge with any other crucial information. We like you to compare and contrast various options to help you on your journey of discovery.

Why should I choose OliveHomes.com?

There is a huge selection of agencies in Portugal. Small operators and large. Usually the largest ones are franchised and will only wish to sell you in one area rather than be open to travelling further afield. OliveHomes.com will work with other agencies if we do not have what you are looking for on our website. In effect we are the only door you would need to come through. You can leave the rest to us. What stands us apart from other agencies is our desire to give you the best experience and service. We want this to be a fantastic time with a wonderful conclusion. You will have worked hard to build up a nest egg which you have decided to invest in Portugal. We will ensure all the ancillary services are provided and will introduce you to selected businesses who can help you from start to finish. At all times we will be responsible for ensuring the process runs smoothly. Phone calls, messages, emails – we will be there to respond immediately or as soon as we can. I personally know the power one sale can have. It leads to referrals and recommendations. In time this grows the business organically. Nothing will be too much trouble. You can place your trust in our company to deliver.

Anything else you would like to add?

Yes, just give us a try. See if we are different. See if our training, market knowledge and product knowledge outstrips anyone else in the market place. I’d like to think you will be pleasantly surprised. For those clients who have already bought through us I’d like to, once again, thank them for choosing us. We appreciate it and we are extremely grateful. I am always available to meet or speak to clients. It is an owner-managed business – hands on. We take everything personally and to heart. Lastly, I would say that Portugal is a perfect country to own abroad. The list of positives is almost endless. I have worked and lived in many different countries and whilst I am British by birth I now feel Portugal is my home. I still enjoy travelling but when I land back in Portugal it is always contentment I feel. Portugal will welcome you, embrace you, and give you freedom, vitality and an unmatched quality of life. Even if you don’t choose us to help you in your property search then I wish you success and happiness.