Buying a Property in Portugal | Guide to Buying a Home in Portugal


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Buying a home in Portugal.



A guide to buying a home in France: The buying stages, mortgages, finance and legal costs.

Buying a Portuguese property.


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Portugal is a top tourist destination and a firm favourite with the British. Portugal boasts a spectacular Atlantic coastline, first class resorts and fantastic leisure facilities.

Foreign nationals have the right to buy property in portugal without restrictions.

  The buying process in Portugal.

Making an offer.
Property purchase in Portugal is a regulated process. Once you’ve found the right property you’ll need to make a formal offer through the selling agent.

Once a price has been agreed both buyer and seller sign a preliminary contract, usually a Contrato de Promess de Compra e Vende. This document will stipulate all terms and conditions pertaining to the property transaction.

Instructing a solicitor.
A Government official (Notary) is responsible for the legalities of the purchase itself and acts on behalf of both the buyer and seller. Most purchasers feel it essential to instruct an English-speaking solicitor to act solely on their behalf to oversee the whole process.

You will have to apply for a fiscal number, (numero fiscal de contribuente), the equivalent of a UK national insurance number, from the local tax office. Your solicitor can arrange this for you.

Exchange of contracts.
Once all conditions as set out in the original contract have been met, the final deed is drawn up and signed by both parties at a public notary office. You must pay a transfer tax called IMT (Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissão Onerosa de Imóveis) before the purchase goes ahead.

The notary will witness the signing of the final deed and the title is registered at the local land registry office, and at the local tax office.


  Mortgages & finance.

Most of us will need to raise some finance to complete the purchase of our Portuguese home. Nowadays both international lenders and local banks are willing to consider mortgage applications from foreign nationals hoping to buy a home in Portugal.

Lending criteria.
Mortgages for property in Portugal are normally available for up to 80 percent of the purchase price. This generally means you’ll need to find a 20 percent deposit and be able to prove your income. Self certification mortgages in Portugal are not normally available.

Lending criteria & rates vary between mortgage companies so it’s worth contacting an overseas mortgage broker for advice.

Mortgage term.
Mortgages in Portugal are available over 5-30 years and lenders will not normally take into account rental income when calculating borrowing limits.


  Cost of buying in Portugal.

Compared to other countries, property transaction costs in Portugal are low. You should set aside around 9-11% on top of the property price for fees.

Summary of costs.

Buying costs.


Mortgage fee (including valuation)

1% - 2%



Property Transfer Tax

0% - 6%



Notary & Land Registry Fee




Solicitor's Legal fees

1% - 2%



Total cost budget



Selling costs.


Agent's commission

3% - 5%



Total cost budget



Legal costs for buying property in Portugal.
The Portuguese Notary fee is normally around 1% which also covers stamp duty. The Legal fees depend on the loan amount and purchase price, it is wise to budget 1.5% - 2%. Solicitor fees will be in addition to the notary's fee.

Property transfer tax in Portugal.
IMT tax (Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissão Onerosa de Imóveiss) is calculated either on the value of the property or is determined by a new tax level based on type of property and status of buyer. It is worth talking to your solicitor to establish exactly what your liability will be.

Portuguese estate agent’s fees.
Like the UK the buyer does not have to pay estate agent fees when buying a property in Portugal, but laws of property disclosure may not be as strict as they are here. It is worth noting that the agent acts on behalf of the seller and is paid from commission once the property has been sold. In Portugal if you sell the property you will need to pay estate agents fees.

   Buying in Spain >>


   Buying in France >>


   Buying in Italy >>


Guide to buying in Spain
The buying process explained, mortgages, finance & costs.


Guide to buying in France
The process for buying in France is well regulated and understood.


Guide to buying in Italy
The steps to buying a home in Italy from offer through to completion.




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