5 Tips for How to Buy Your Dream Home in Portugal

Many people decide to move to Portugal from other countries each year. The immigration population in the country is estimated to be about 752,252. People move to Portugal from various countries, such as the UK, Brazil, and France.

Portugal is home to a mild climate, charming cities, and a beautiful coastline. If you’re thinking about making this country your new home, you might have some questions about the Portugal real estate market. It can sometimes be overwhelming to purchase real estate in a foreign country.

This guide will discuss our top five tips for purchasing real estate in Portugal. Find your dream home, whether it’s a permanent residence or vacation home, with our guidance.

1. Partner With an Experienced Real Estate Agent

Finding a reputable real estate agent is the first step if you want to move to Portugal. A local agent will have expert knowledge of the neighborhood and city you’re interested in. Some of the other things a real estate agent can assist you with include:

  • Show you exclusive properties before they get listed
  • Take you on tours of various communities
  • Explain the buying process
  • Talk about up-front and ongoing fees

Real estate agents in Portugal can also assist you with other aspects of moving to a foreign country, usually free of charge. This can include:

  • Helping you connect your utilities
  • Opening a bank account
  • Connecting you with a solicitor

One thing you need to confirm before partnering with an agent is that they’re officially registered. All real estate agents need to be registered with the Associaco de Mediadores Imobiliarios. They should also have a license number that confirms their registration.

You can verify an agent’s credentials by contacting the Instituto da Construção e do Imobiliario. This agency is responsible for the realty and construction organizations in Portugal. If an agent is unwilling to give you their license number or can’t be verified by the above agency, you should find another person to work with.

2. Do Your Research

While an estate agent can help you with finding neighborhoods you like, you should do your research before you decide to move to Portugal. One of the easiest ways to discover what area you want to move to is to think about the places you like to visit when you travel to Portugal. Popular cities to live in Portugal are:

  • Lisbon
  • Porto
  • Braga
  • Coimbra
  • Aveiro

The area you move to depends on your lifestyle and needs. You might want to consider certain areas if you want to be close to a lively nightlife scene and lots of entertainment options. Other areas of Portugal might be more appealing if you’re looking for a laid-back and quiet lifestyle.

Keep an open mind when looking at real estate in Portugal. There are many types of properties to choose from, including apartments, townhouses, or villas. Let your estate agent know your preferences and wish list so they can help you find the ideal Portugal real estate property.

3. Learn About the Legal Process

There are several steps involved in the legal side of purchasing a property in Portugal. A reputable solicitor can assist you with this process. You want to ensure you meet all legal requirements when purchasing a property.

Financing Options

There are a few different ways you can pay for your property in Portugal. This includes mortgages from:

  • Private lenders
  • International banks
  • Portuguese banks

Compare the different options from each one to find a financing solution that best fits your needs.

Fees and Taxes

Property owners will need to pay different fees and taxes when purchasing property in Portugal. Some of these include:

  • Notary fees
  • Property transfer fees
  • Stamp duty

These amounts can sometimes add up to around 10% of your property’s value. You’ll want to budget ahead of time for these costs.

4. Educate Yourself on the Buying Process

The buying process for Portuguese properties is different than purchasing a house in your home country. Expat Portugal has many guides on the buying process. It typically breaks down into a few steps.

Reservation Agreement

You can sign a reservation agreement to take the property you want to buy off the market. You’ll also need to make a small payment to secure the property. This money can be deducted from your deposit or returned to you.

Promissory Contract

The promissory contract outlines a few different things about the property sale. Some of the items in this contract can include:

  • Payment schedule
  • Property price
  • Contingencies and conditions

You’ll also pay a deposit or down payment at this step in the process. This amount is usually around 10% of the price of the property.

Due Diligence

Your solicitor will perform “due diligence” on the property. Some of the tasks they’ll conduct are:

  • Property search
  • Title search
  • Review of licenses and permits

The goal of this step is to ensure there are no liabilities or legal issues.

Completion and Registration

Completion includes signing the final contract. You’ll also pay the remaining balance on the property’s purchase price and any fees or taxes.

Your property will need to be registered with the Land Registry upon completion. This step transfers ownership to you from the previous owner.

5. Go to Property Viewings

It might be tempting to let your real estate agent attend property viewings on your behalf. However, it’s never a great idea to purchase a property sight unseen.

For property viewings, arrange your visits to Portugal before you move. You’ll be able to get a good feel for the neighborhood and the property by seeing it in person.

Get Help Exploring the Portugal Real Estate Market

Portugal real estate can be intimidating if you don’t have experience purchasing property in a foreign country. That’s why finding an experienced real estate agent is an important first step. Take the time to learn the laws of the country so you don’t encounter any hiccups in the purchasing process.

Expats Portugal is the leading online community of people who move and travel to Portugal. Get helpful tips on moving, traveling, and more, all on our website. Register for a free account with us today.

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