Freya & Steve, Gratidão Consulting

Freya Steven Local Hero Viseu

Hello! We are Steven Barich (US) and Freya van Dien (NL), quinta owners, artists, educators, environmentalists and proponents of the “good life” living in Portugal. In 2021 we started our consulting services for people and groups looking for property in various municipalities in the Beira Alta region. We provide Property Assessment and general services for Purchasing Rural Property including related Translation Services.

What we offer as consultants:
Our services are focused on assessing the constructed—or potential for construction—and natural/environmental aspects of a property, taking into consideration the skills and budget the potential buyer can put in to bring it to the desired result. Besides that we also can assist in most aspects of the purchasing process.

 

 

 

Skills, knowledge and added value we bring:

  • Fluent in Portuguese, English, Dutch and some French and German
  • Understanding of off-grid utilities such as: solar and hydro power, septic systems and potable water supply
  • Experience with renovating old buildings
  • Understanding of property registration paperwork: articles (Predials) and land rights
  • Local laws regarding building possibilities, zoning, utility independence, etc.
  • In depth knowledge of the Dão valley and regional developments with regards to land use and business development
  • An extensive network of professionals and citizens in the region
  • Understanding of bureaucracy related to property paperwork

 

Property consulting process:

  1. Initial conversation – getting to know your ideas and possibilities
  2. Site visit to look at:
    – existing facilities (buildings and utilities),
    – infrastructure (roads, access, terraces et.),
    – terrain management ( incl. exposure to elements)
    – presence and drainage of water and humidity (climate zoning)
    – existing soil and vegetation
    – adjacent land(s) and region perspective/assessment
    – fire safety
  3. Written assessment of the site and questions we deem important to resolve.

 

Additional services:

  • Translation and interpreter work
  • Communication related to property research and development – talking to municipalities, realtors, neighbours etc.
  • Referrals to solicitors, lawyers, contractors, etc.

 

About us:
In recent years, as quinta (smallholding) owners since 2013, managing an activities and tourism business alongside environmental awareness and regeneration projects, we have been frequently solicited for advice and guidance related to our experiences in this lifestyle. The increase in requests for knowledge sharing and the positive experiences we have had in our early modes of consultancy gave us motivation to offer our services officially (and through Pure Portugal).

The consulting services and the knowledge we offer stem from our experience of living on a 3.5 hectare off-grid quinta (smallholding) since 2013. The quinta is called Moinhos do Dão – Eco Quinta and is an old millers farm on the banks of the Dão river. Here we have been busy with running an eco-tourism business, Artist-in-Residence, hosting volunteers and interns as well as organising activities such as guided hikes through the Dão valley and small-scale nature conservation. Over the last 9 years, we have gained experience as to ‘what it takes’ to own and maintain an off-grid quinta, and run a legal business in this part of Portugal. We have been living at Moinhos do Dão for more than 10 years now and have quite an extensive network in and knowledge of the Beira Alta region.

Our approach to Consulting:
People from different parts of the world move to Central Portugal because of its beautiful nature, affordable property prices, climate and Mediterranean lifestyle…just to name a few reasons. These are all qualities we value as well. As consultants, we aim to help prospective buyers to understand what a property might require beyond the purchase, in terms of upgrades, maintenance, bureaucracy, safety, long term habitation and the developments in the surrounding area. We will take a close look at the potential, and the challenges, that someone who is new to a region, cannot foresee. We desire to provide an honest, no-nonsense overview of any prospective property via an in-person visit and a follow-up analysis with pros and cons based on our own experience and views, as well as addressing what questions or issues the buyer may have.

Why we choose to do this work.
The Dão valley and the Beira Alta region have become our home and we feel committed to an integrated and sustainable development of the region. Helping people with finding and building a new home here is one way we can do that. We aim to offer our clients a greater understanding and appreciation for what the region has to offer, and to assist them in making the smoothest transition when choosing to live here.

If you are interested in working with us pls contact us per email, Whatsapp or telephone.
Email: info@gratidãoconsulting.com
Tel: +351 933956630 (Freya)

REVIEWS

“In addition to being all around generous, friendly and interesting people, Steven and Freya’s help and experience in Portugal has proven to be invaluable to us as US and UK expats. We fell in love with the way of life in northern Portugal but have little experience navigating the social nuances and pace of business. We’ve found the people of Portugal to be very friendly, accommodating, and eager to try to communicate in English, but there are times when speaking Portuguese is necessary. With the combination of fluency in Portuguese, the experience of successfully buying and running a property, integrating into Portuguese way of life, and doing so in a manner that respects the native people and respects the environment, Steven and Frey were exactly who we needed to consult and guide us through the process.”  Wes & Cleandra

“I was delighted with the job you did for us. I feel you carried out the translations with extreme professionalism…If in the future we hear of anyone that is in need of a translator, I and my wife Lynn wouldn’t hesitate to put your name forward given the wonderful experience of watching you handle the task for us. Because of your translation we are now happy to move forward towards moving into our new home. Many thanks for your service.” Richard & Lynn

“When we got the information about properties in this region from Freya and Steven we could apply this immediately. It helped us a lot in our search for the perfect property. Especially the licence needed and the Portuguese way of doing things.”Janneke and Frank, January 2022. www.starbase18.com

“Freya and Steven helped us assess a property we fell in love with in the area of Tondela. We’ve asked Freya and Steven’s to help decide on the purchase of the plot. They took all the time to walk the property with us, talk to the neighbours and the owner’s agent and have finally delivered a report consisting of a comprehensive evaluation of the plot. The report has helped us to see the property as it is, it’s values, but also the challenges and risks associated with it. Based on that report, we’ve decided to keep looking. I’m very grateful for their input. It helped us look at the property in a sober, down to earth perspective, rather than being swept away after a dream. They have eye for detail, good knowledge of local regulations, take their work seriously and are friendly, calm and honest people.” Amir Grosman