House inspections in Madeira

house on a cliff Madeira

It seems that some of you are more interested in buying houses than buying land. I was only involved in house buying for a very short time, but there are still a few things I remember that I would like to share with you. Of course, there are many things to look out for when buying a property, especially if it is old. A question that comes up regularly is “Who is going to check the house for problems?”

Recently I gathered some information about home inspections in Madeira and also talked to some people who were in the process of getting their house inspected. Where we are from, before buying a home, we get it checked out to identify any possible problems. To do this, you can ask an architect or house inspector as you might know it from the US or the UK. But it seems that there is no such thing on our favorite island! At least I’ve heard people asking around because they were desperate to find someone to do this after hearing some horror stories from people who bought houses that turned out to be ruins after just a few months.

Who is inspecting houses in Madeira?

Well, saying that there is no home inspection service in Madeira is not true, as there are ways to get your house inspected. Which options do you have as a buyer?

House inspection services at banks

If you work with a bank (if you need a loan for example), the bank will employ one of its real estate appraisers to look at the house. This assessor will take a quick look at it as these people are typically not really experts in the field. They will estimate the value, but it isn’t their job to find all the possible future problems. Of course there may be really good ones as well, but that’s what I heard.

Have an engineer check the house

You could try hiring an engineer to inspect the house. For this I would recommend that you maybe ask your future neighbor for a contact, as good engineers are usually known on the island. In any case, the engineer will give you a certified assessment that will cost you up to 500 euros. Most people I talked to said that this is the only right solution, they would always go to an engineer for that.

Constructors do inspections as well

The other option is to find an experienced constructor who is usually also a well-known person on the island – and your future neighbors probably know him or her (in Madeira you can always get the best information by asking the locals). The advantage here is that the builder gives you a detailed assessment of the house along with a proposal and a cost estimate for the renovation or repair. The contract with the contractor can either only be concluded for the assessment (which will cost around 100 euros) or also for the renovation. In the latter case, the builder should deduct the cost of the assessment from the cost of renovating the house and do so for free.

Ask a specialiced company to do the job

The third option is to directly go to a company that offers surveys. I’ve heard that they have people working at a RICS (royal institution of chartered surveyors) approved member in Madeira. The company is called Villa Surveyors and one person I talked to used their services and was happy with their work. (Btw you can get really good information in the Madeira facebook groups 🙂 ).

In case you are buying a house make sure to have it checked for problems before buying. I cannot tell you how or which way to do this as I have never bought a house in Madeira and have therefore not had any contact with anyone regarding house inspections. But I think how you get the house inspected doesn’t really matter as long as you trust the person who does it! Peace out, Hana.


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