Are you considering buying a new home in sunny Portugal?

Moving into a foreign country in order to give your life a fresh new start? Or have you at least thought about getting a ‘secondary’ home, so to speak? A place where you can stay while on holiday, without having to rent old cabins or stay at hotels with lousy service and questionable quality? If you are either thinking about getting a home away from home or even actually relocating your home and life to a different country, the decision needs some serious consideration.

However, a perfect destination that offers all you might possibly desire is Portugal and the following article aims to prove you just that.
Actually, you are probably wondering: ‘From all the possible destinations, why Portugal?’ The most important question one needs to answer himself when in the process of buying a house in a foreign country is this: Does the place manage to combine both peace/quiet and the image of a great holiday getaway. In the case of Portugal – yes it does. It definitely does.

Nowadays, more and more people tend to permanently move to Portugal. For example, it is among the top three countries, along with France and Spain, chosen by Britons as a permanent home. However, not only them, but also people from all over the Old Continent and even the USA tend to move there. The main reason for that is because Portugal is actually pretty safe to live in.

It’s crime rate is really low and Lisbon was even voted the European Union’s safest capital. Also, the Portuguese are known for their hospitality and good manners, which is a very important factor. After all, who would like to live amongst gloomy and ill-behaving people?

Also, Portugal is famous for its picturesque nature and endless landscapes. Both mountains and vineyards in the north as well as marvelous sandy beaches on the southern shores if you are more into sun bathing. As a matter of fact, the southern coast of Algarve has been one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations.

However, recently, the shores north of Lisbon, the ones of the Atlantic, on the Silver Coast, have been attracting more and more potential buyers, since they are away from the hubbub of the south, but still at the seaside and offer marvelous scenery as well. Plus, the retreats over there are at reasonable prices.

However, there are some legal matters you need to get sorted in case you would like to buy a property in Portugal. The most important thing you need to know is that basically anybody can buy property over there.

Non-residents have to appoint a Fiscal Representative and get a Fiscal Number from a local tax office. That number is present in all paperwork related to property purchasing. Bear in mind that if you are married, both you and your spouse must get a Fiscal Number. Otherwise the Tax Department will not accept any payment of the transfer tax.

The costs on buying a property in Portugal vary and are a constant subject to change. However, the average prices are as follows:

IVA (VAT): all new properties have a tax of 20%  (normally, it is included in the price, however, make sure you check).
Imposto de Selo (Stamp Duty): It is 0.8% of the purchase price.
Property Registration Fee: The purchase needs to be registered with the Conservatória do Registo Predial (Property Registry Office) in the area where the property is located, as well as at the Repartição de Finanças (Tax Office). Costs are the following:

-Registration of purchase: fixed, €250

-Registration of mortgage: fixed, €250

Land Registry Fee: These are 0.5% of the purchase price

Imposto Municipal Sobre Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis or IMT, for short (Municipal Transfer Tax): It is a purchase tax, which the purchaser pays when the property changes its owner.

IMT varies from 0.2% to 0.8%. It depends on the nature of the property.

Legal Fees: Solicitors usually charge 1% to 2% of the purchase price (plus VAT).

Estate Agent’s Fees: Paid by the vendor

Fiscal representation: The fees which companies tend to charge are an initial and an annual one and are approximately €250 each
There are quite a few difficulties a potential buyer can encounter when purchasing a home in Portugal. However, the number of these difficulties could be reduced to a bare minimum if one hires a legal adviser to help him out. Advogado is the Portuguese equivalent of a lawyer or a solicitor. They can always be held responsible for their advices and actions as they are strictly scrutinized from the Ordem dos Advogados (the Portuguese Bar). Make sure the advogado you hire is a professional one and obtain his cédula number (registered number).
Portugal has something for everybody. Whether it is a villa on the beaches of Algarve or an apartment in Lisbon, you will easily find what you look for. Also, once you settle there you will easily find a job which will put an end to all your worries so that you can gladly enjoy your new life in beautiful Portugal.
In a nutshell, this fabulous country in the Iberian Peninsula has something for everybody and is destined to be your new favourite home away from home!

 

  • Dear Ross

    Just read your info on puchasing property.
    You made a mistake as IMT varies from 0,2%-0,8%
    This should be I.M.I.
    Also this: Advogado is the Portuguese equivalent of a lawyer or a solicitor is not correct.
    Advogado is lawyer and Solicitador(a) is solicitor.

    Regards

    Robert Snapper