The beginner’s guide to buying property in Portugal

Portugal is quickly becoming a hot spot for those looking to pack up and seek out the leisurely lifestyle of sunny beaches, warm weather and napping in the afternoon on the patio. I know this because I recently attended a stag weekend in Lagos and met a huge number of ex-pats living in the Algarve and golfing in the sun. However, buying property abroad can be a daunting prospect, so here’s a quick beginner’s guide to buying property in Portugal to get you started:


Consider carefully where you want to live

When it comes to purchasing a home in Portugal you need to decide whether you prefer the busy life, near a tourist area such as the Algarve, or if you’d prefer a quieter scene – perhaps on the Azores islands, away from it all? It’s important that you visit the country a couple of times before settling on a property and that you view this too.


Ensure you have the right to reside

It’s important that if you intend on working in Portugal you ensure you have a ‘right to reside’ in place. This means you can live and work in the country and your family will also be entitled to live there with you.


Seek advice from an expert

It’s safe to say if you’re reading this post you don’t know what’s in store when it comes to buying a property in Portugal and this is why as soon as you’ve clicked off this blog you start looking for experts to advise you. There are numerous property agents in the country, who speak fluent English – or are British – that can assist you with the buying process. Buying property in another country requires knowledge and understanding of the legal implications, the rules and regulations and the fees that can be charged. Get these details in order before you start your property search.

Ensure your legal advisor checks the following:

  • That there are no outstanding charges on the property
  • That the property has planning permission and necessary licenses
  • That the title deed is correct and the property is owned by the person selling it

In the past, new developments in Europe have left property buyers out of pocket when they have fallen through at the last minute, so it’s important you do your homework before signing anything and handing money over. As well as your property expert a reputable lawyer is essential when negotiating.


Property taxes

According to Portugal Property, ‘if you do not spend 183 days per year or more’ in the country the property you are purchasing will not be considered your primary address. Immovable property tax (IMI) will, however, still have to be paid though and the rates range from 0.2% to 0.8%. There is also property purchase tax (IMT) to pay which varies depending on the value of the home you are buying and the type. You will also need to pay stamp duty as well as Capital Gains tax; take a look at this blog for more information.

When purchasing property in a foreign country it’s important you do your research, are confident you know what is involved and have enough money to cover those last minute charges or fees that might occur.


Featured Image: The original uploader was Husond at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Leoboudv using CommonsHelper., CC BY-SA 3.0,


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