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Everybody Needs an Ivo 

Clay and Jackie with Ivo in between, for a selfie.

Everybody Needs an Ivo 

It was almost a year ago that it occurred to us we might want to explore getting a place in Portugal. Curious about what a place in Portugal would actually look like, we reached out to our Airbnb host and asked them for a referral for a real estate agent. 

And that is how we found Ivo Moura, who has been an absolute godsend. He took us out to look at homes within a day of contacting him. Once he (and we) realized we were serious, he made an appointment for us with his banker so we could set up a Portuguese account. Knowing we needed to leave soon, he made arrangements for his people to apply for our NIFs (Portugal tax numbers used for everything we purchase, including a house). When we got to the questions outside of his area of expertise, he introduced us to Tiago Gomes, an immigration attorney (who has also been incredibly helpful). 

Interior of an empty livingroom looking out onto a terrace.
Our empty living room looking out onto our empty dining room.

He then did the regular real estate things, taking us around to look at houses and flats. We didn’t find what we were looking for in Porto, until we got to Lisbon. That’s when we were perusing Idealista (Portugal’s Realtor.com) and found a flat with a fantastic terrace in Vila Nova de Gaia (across the Douro River from Porto). Once Ivo ascertained it was available, we decided it was worth a day trip back to Porto to see it with our own eyes. We immediately fell in love with the place, but the asking price was too high. So we decided to take a break from house-hunting for awhile. 

A few months after arriving back in Reno, Ivo let us know the price had come down, and quite substantially. We asked him what the catch was, so he did the research and revisited the house to share videos with us. Turned out there was no catch – the home had just been listed too high, as the market was slowing down. Ivo helped us create a new offer from 5,000 miles away. It was accepted and that is how we bought a flat in Portugal. 

He’s Got a Guy

All of that is enough for a great experience, but Ivo didn’t stop there. While the sale went through in September 2023, we weren’t able to make it back to Portugal until March 2024 (our visas took longer than we expected). 

During that time, Ivo made arrangements to get our flat painted and cleaned. He met the people from the alarm and utilities companies to get everything set up correctly. He was even at our home to meet the people from Ikea as they delivered and assembled our guest room bed and office furniture. 

When we finally arrived in Porto, Ivo met us at our new home with our keys and beamed as we walked through and got to appreciate our new home in person. He then recommended Worten for the major (and minor) appliances we would need and dropped us off there.

Living in one place my whole life, I have a pretty good network of people to provide different services, and I was a little nervous about coming to a new country and not knowing anyone (or the language). But we lucked out and got an Ivo, who has a guy for everything. 

When we realized there was only one electrical outlet in the kitchen, he contacted an electrician for us. He also spoke with a local cleaning lady on our behalf. And now he’s hunting down a plumber to help with the too-slow water flow.

If you’ve ever had a tour guide negotiate with a restaurant on your behalf because you didn’t know the language, you can kind of appreciate how great this is. But this is so much bigger. 

If you decide to make a move like this, we highly recommend you find someone like Ivo. Though I suspect that could be difficult to do.

Jackie Shelton, APR, is a strategic communications veteran who, after 30 years still has a hard time focusing on one particular aspect, so she has stopped trying.

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