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Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

September 30, 2022
Portugal truly deserves more recognition. Though it's one of the smaller countries in Europe, it remains one of the most impactful, most influential, and overall, it's a dang good destination. With so much to offer, Portugal ought to be as famous as France, Italy, and Spain. People should be flocking here for their vacation, touring the major cities, and more. And if you're looking for a new home, consider getting one here. Buying property in Portugal isn't even that impossible to do. It's a pretty complex process, sure, but you can always get help from this real estate guide.

Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

Can a Non-Resident Buy A Property in Portugal?

Just like in many other European countries, foreigners barely face any restrictions when buying property in Portugal. Whether you're a non-resident looking for a vacation home or you're an expat who just moved to Lisbon, Porto, or any other major city in the country, you're allowed to own real estate here. Residents even share the same rights to Portugal's real state as citizens have. And for non-residents, all they need is to get a Fiscal Identification Number ('NIF'), the country's tax number, and they can purchase any place they want. It's as easy as that!

What Should You Look For in a Property?

Before anything else, you need to choose the right property in Portugal. Since you're investing thousands, if not millions of your hard-earned money here, it's only natural that this place meets your specific criteria. And even beyond that, there are many things to look for in a property. There are the floor plan and layout, the working utilities, and the overall security of the place. If you're moving in with a young child, is the property babyproof enough that they'll be safe no matter what? And what are the nearby facilities? Are there convenience stores nearby? These are what you need to look into before laying down any money.

Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

What Are The Costs of Buying Property in Portugal?

Buying real estate in Portugal is an expensive endeavor and it's not just because of the final price of the property. The process comes with a lot of costs, some of which you have to pay on top of the property value. All in all, these costs include the property transfer tax (Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissoes or 'IMT'), stamp duty, notary fees, land registry fees, your real estate agent's fees, and a few mortgage costs to boot. With so much to pay, it's important that you prepare a huge budget even before you take out a mortgage loan to help finance your purchase.

How Do You Make an Offer to Buy Property in Portugal?

As a buyer, you have to approach the seller and offer up a price that you're willing to pay for their property in Portugal. But how can you come up with a figure? Well, more often than not, when an owner puts their real estate in Portugal for sale, they've already set an initial asking price for it. Your best bet is to base your offer from there and not stray too far. Why? Because they got that asking price from the result of a valuation they conducted prior to putting the property on the market. This means that the price they initially set is close, if not equal to the true value of the property.

Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

How Do You Get Mortgage in Portugal?

Now, let's talk about getting a mortgage in Portugal. Since buying a property here will likely cost you millions, your best bet to afford all that is to take out a loan. Fortunately, the process is pretty straightforward. You go to a local bank (or any other financial institution), submit an application and the required documents, pay the necessary costs, they'll conduct a valuation, and you'll wait for their approval. The documents you'll need for this application include your valid ID (a valid passport will do), proof of residency (if applicable), proof of income, your most recent bank statements, and documents relating to the property you plan to purchase.

How Do You Set Up the Sale & Purchase Contract?

Once you've got the mortgage and you're ready to move forward with the purchase, it's time for the notary to draw up the Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda, or the promissory contract. This is the sale & purchase contract that will officially bind both you and the seller to the purchase. You'd do well to be involved in this process so that you can include terms and conditions that will allow you to exit the agreement in light of certain situations. This is important because once you sign this contract, there's no going back!

Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

What Are The Different Types of Ownership Structures in Portugal?

Before finalizing your purchase of a real estate in Portugal, you have to determine what ownership structure you'll apply to it first. There's the full ownership structure, for instance, which reserves all the rights of the property to the listed owner. Co-ownership, on the other hand, divides the rights equally to all the listed owners on the title deed. There's also the surface right, an ownership structure that allows another person to make use of the property owned by someone else. And when the term of that surface right ends, the legal owner can acquire whatever was built or left on their property.

What Are The Legal Issues in Buying Properties in Portugal?

There are many legal issues that surround real estate in Portugal that you have to be mindful of. Especially as the buyer. For one thing, you need to do your due diligence. This is where you, as the buyer, conduct surveys and investigations to find out the current state of the property. This also includes going to the land registry and finding out if the seller is, in fact, the listed owner of the place. Then there's the promissory contract. Once you've signed it, you'll have to pay a 10% to 30% deposit and follow through with the purchase until the end. If not, you risk facing legal and financial consequences.

Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

How Long is The Process of Buying Property in Portugal?

In a nutshell, the length of time it will take for you to buy property in Portugal depends on how prepared you are. Though there are also other factors that are beyond your control, your preparation is the only one that you can ensure yourself. Gathering up all the documents beforehand, doing your due diligence, and getting that mortgage early can guarantee that the process will go as quickly as possible. If you're 100% at the start of it all, it might just take you only two to three months to finish everything. But that also depends on how prepared the seller is too.

How Do You Search Properties For Sale in Portugal?

Now that you know a lot about buying real estate in Portugal, it's time to take the first step. And you know what that is, right? It's choosing a property to purchase! Luckily, you can look for one online! Portugal's most popular property listing websites feature some of the best available real estates on the market right now. They're in great locations, include lots of top-notch amenities, and more. As a foreigner, you'll want to look at websites like OLX and Idealista. These platforms specifically cater to international buyers too! They even come in the English language as well!

What are The Best Tips for Buying Property in Portugal?

Let's end this real estate guide with a few helpful tips. Firstly, try your best to view the property yourself. If you're not in Portugal right now, then free up some time in your schedule, hop on a plane, and go to the place that you want to buy. Only by seeing it in person and with your very own eyes can you determine if it's worth all that money and effort. Secondly, set up a local bank account too. Though it's not a requirement, it'll be easier for you to deal with the finances and pay the necessary costs if you have one.

Buying Property in Portugal: Our Real Estate Guide

Buying property in Portugal might just be the best investment you'll make in your life. But before you do, you need to make sure you know what you're doing. Learn all the basics of the process through this real estate guide.

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Lagos, Portugal
On request
4 bedrooms3 bathrooms8-8