Manifesting A Home
Clay and I both believe in The Secret and manifestation. In fact, I manifested Clay into my life, but that’s a different story. Manifestation, however, is also very relevant to the rest of this story.
When we realized we had to stay longer in Lisbon waiting for Clay’s medical appointments, I spent some time looking at Porto real estate websites. I found a place we both loved, so we decided to contact Ivo Moura, our real estate agent in Porto, to make arrangements to look at that flat, as well as others he recommended. We took the three-hour train ride there and met him so he could take us to set up our NIF (Portugal’s National Tax Identification Number) and then to the bank to open a Portuguese bank account. We then went to the first few places on his list.
While they were nice, our overall impression was “this is fine.” They all would have worked, but they weren’t it. Then he took us to the place I’d requested to see, and it took all of a minute for us to know it really and truly was it. It’s the only flat on the ninth floor; it has a terrace on three sides and it has amazing views. It was love at first sight, but with a major hurdle. The asking price was €319,000, which was quite a bit more expensive than similar flats in similar neighborhoods we were looking at.
We spent most of dinner and the train ride back to Lisbon trying to figure out how to make it work, but it was unworkable. We let Ivo know we were giving up on that dream and started looking at other places online. Unfortunately, everything on our must-have list quickly became that place. It must have a terrace (not just a balcony). It must have an amazing view. It must be near public transportation, etc.
We figured we would just go back to Porto in late 2023 and live in an Airbnb while we hunted for our dream flat. That was not a well thought-out plan, as after we returned home to Reno, our immigration attorney informed us that we would have to have a Portugal address before he could file the paperwork for our visas. This meant flying back to Porto much earlier than we’d anticipated, so we made arrangements to go back in early August.
In late June, Ivo sent us a list of links to check out to help him plan for our visit. The very first listing was our dream house. Still available, but now at €290,000. What? We immediately contacted him to find out what was wrong with it. He did the research and went over to get video for us.
He told us there was nothing wrong with it except it had been priced too high before and, as the market was slowing, it was sitting still with minimal bites. We asked him if the seller would take €280,000 (about $315,000). He suggested offering €275,000, so we told him to go ahead.
This was a Friday and he said he’d get back to us on Saturday. When we didn’t hear from him, we started re-managing our expectations. Then, on Sunday, we were at Soak getting pedicures, both on our phones, when we got a WhatsApp notification. We looked at each other and then hurriedly logged in to see Ivo’s words, “I spoke with the seller.”
And then nothing, for what felt like five minutes but was probably only two. Then more words, “She won’t go below €280.” I quickly wrote back, “Will she take €280?” And then we saw the magic word, “Yes.”
We told him to move forward with an offer and now you probably know where this story is going. We are in the process of buying our dream flat in our dream city. It’s about 2,100 square feet, including the terrace, four bedrooms (one of which will be our office), two bathrooms, a lift and no carpet. Of course, since our must have list was based on it, it has everything we wanted. And did I mention the fantastic view of the Atlantic Ocean?
Once we knew it was going to for real be a deal, we canceled our August flights to Porto and let our immigration attorney know we had an address. This is obviously much earlier than he had planned and visa appointments with the Portuguese consulate in San Francisco are not easy to come by, so we still don’t have a firm moving date.
We’ll keep manifesting and we’ll let you know when we know more. We also thought it would be fun to share the visa process with you, so we’ll do that in a future post.