Buying a Property in Portugal - Our Specialists Can Help

Purchase a Property in Portugal

Updated on Wednesday 15th February 2023

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Legal-Services-in-Porto.jpgPortugal is quite appealing when it comes to purchasing a property. There is a wide variety of choices, from remote villages surrounded by fascinating landscapes, a place overlooking the ocean or in the vicinity of the rich vineyards, or cities bursting with culture and history. When considering buying a property in Portugal, the first recommended step generally consists of selecting an independent qualified lawyer; in this regard, our Portuguese lawyers are available with complete legal advice and assistance throughout the whole process, in order to help you make the proper decision and a safe investment. After identifying the desired property, our lawyers in Portugal are ready to represent you throughout the entire process, as well as give guiding advice at any point. 
 Quick Facts  
 Can expats buy properties in Portugal? Foreigners can purchase Portuguese properties as long as these are not state-owned. 

 Legislation for property purchase in Portugal

- Portuguese Civil Code,

- Portuguese Property Law 

 Types of properties you can buy as a foreigner

- houses,

- condominiums,

- villas,

- hotels,

- residencial properties,

- office spaces,

- land 

Property inspection before purchase   A professional inspector can be hired by the buyers for in-depth verification of a property before acquisition. 
Pre-sale agreement required   

A promissory contract is drafted with information about the real estate acquisition. 

 Documentation verification made by our law firm in Portugal

Our Portuguese lawyers can inspect and verify properties before purchase and detect if there are any legal problems. 

Content of a sale-purchase contract of a property 

- name of seller and buyer,

- type and description of property,

- history,

- price,

- terms for acquisition 

 Real estate tax in Portugal

Ranging from 0.3% to 0.8% , depending on the area where the property is located 

VAT for property purchase in Portugal 

23% rate, paid by the new owner 

 Can a lawyer in Portugal represent you with a power of attorney? Yes, a power of attorney allows us to represent clients from abroad when buying a property in Portugal. We can manage the legal aspects implicated. 
 Possibility to buy without visiting Portugal

Yes, our lawyers in Portugal can represent customers in front of the notary for purchasing a house.

 Residence permit issued for buying property in Portugal

Through Golden Visa Program 

 Citizenship application permitted

Not through investments 

 Buying a property in Portugal through mortgage

Foreigners can apply for credit loans that can cover around 90% of the property price on the market.

 Legal services offered for buying a property in Portugal

- verification of the documents from a legal point of view,

- complete verification of the property,

- representation for signing the sale-purchase agreement 


The sale agreement for a property in Portugal

The next step in the process would then be the sale and acquisition agreement, a promissory contract in Portugal, detailing the conditions involved in the transaction, as well as any related agreements regarding the transfer of property. Upon the sale agreement being signed and notarized, all parties involved will be legally bound to the completion of the transaction. The notary acts as an official representative of the state and will generally charge the buyer approximately 1-2% rate from the property price for the official certification of documents. In addition to this fee, you should be prepared to cover other costs involved in the notary supervision, the necessary documents for the procurement of a mortgage, for example, mentioning that our lawyers in Portugal will take care to inform you of in advance. 

What is the property tax in Portugal?

Afterward, the buyer will have to take care of the payment of the property tax (IMT) which may vary between 0% and 8% of the declared value of the property. For instance, if the property in Portugal is approximately EUR 570,000, the IMT will be imposed at an 8% rate. In dealing with this particular tax, the help of our attorneys in Portugal will make a great difference for you, due to the complexities involved in the system of calculation.The final deed is obtained at the time the entire property transaction is concluded. Let our Portuguese lawyers legally assist you when deciding on purchasing a property in Portugal.

Who can buy a property in Portugal?

Both local and foreigners can acquire properties in Portugal, without any particular restrictions in this sense, as long as these are not state-owned assets. More than that, foreign investors can apply for the Golden Visa scheme and purchase properties in Portugal, under different conditions which can be entirely explained by our team of lawyers in Portugal.

The Golden Visa in Portugal

The Golden Visa in Portugal scheme is a governmental program meant to attract as many investors as possible by allowing them to purchase properties in this country, under certain conditions. Below we have gathered the main requirements for obtaining the Golden Visa in Portugal:
  • the Golden Visa can be obtained by investors who purchase properties worth at least EUR 250,000.
  • the application for the Golden Visa permit might take up to 6 months from the date the investments were made.
  • the health insurance, the criminal record certificate, the valid passport and proof of the legal entry are among the needed documents for Golden Visas applications.
  • a Golden Visa can also be obtained if investments of approximately EUR 500,000 are made in small and medium companies in the country.
Legal advice and assistance are recommended for Golden Visa applications in Portugal, so do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our local attorneys in Portugal.

Mortgages for expats in Portugal

Foreigners living in Portugal and wanting to buy a property in this country can apply for a credit loan which can cover approximately 75% from the sale price. On the other hand, there is also the possibility for fiscal residents to obtain a credit loan that can cover around 90% of the sale price of the property, but a complete financial review is mandatory before making any step in this sense. It is important to know that banks or lenders cannot accept debts that jump over 35% of the monthly salary of a resident in Portugal. An estimated mortgage rate per month can be solicited to banks or other types of creditors, and many of them have cost estimators which can be helpful if you need to know how much money you can pay for buying a property in Portugal with the help of bank credit. In addition, you can also request the legal advice of our lawyers in Portugal and find out more about the conditions for obtaining a mortgage in Portugal as a foreign citizen. For instance, you can solicit support for drafting the needed documents, among which, the proof of incomes in Portugal, documents attesting the existing domicile, the pre-contract of the property you want to purchase, bank statements showing if there are any debts or mortgages involved.

Types of properties in Portugal

Both natural persons and entrepreneurs can choose from a wide range of properties for rent or purchase in Portugal, depending on the business needs they have. You might be interested in the following:
  1. Residential properties – villas, apartments, condominiums, resort properties, and townhouses can be found in Portugal. In most cases, foreigners choose villas or apartments found in residential areas, with gardens and pools, but not limited to these facilities. Buying a property in Lisbon is quite simple.
  2. Commercial properties refer to offices, hotels, shopping centers, and malls, to give some examples. The prices depend on the size, zones and facilities offered. You can talk to our agents if you are interested in Portugal property investment.
  3. Industrial properties include warehouses, manufacturing buildings, storage, and more. The classification of industrial properties is made based on facilities and zoning, and the prices are in accordance.
  4. Lands in Portugal might also be in the attention of foreign entrepreneurs. If they aren’t state-owned, lands in Portugal can be purchased by anyone. Developed or undeveloped lands can be purchased by investors in Portugal.
These are the most common types of properties available for purchase in Portugal. If you are interested in buying a property in Portugal as a foreigner, feel free to give us a call or an email and let our Portuguese lawyers tell you more and represent you from a legal point of view.

Opening a real estate company in Portugal

Portugal is open for business and attracts foreign investors interested in the real estate field in a large number each year, especially because the country offers huge opportunities in the tourism sector. Opening a company in the real estate sector in Portugal is quite advantageous because such a business can be established in most cities and regions in the country and can address both local and foreign clients. A real estate agency, for example, can deal with the purchase or rent of properties, whether residential or commercial. Another type of activity of a real estate company in Portugal can implicate the construction and development of properties. Such properties can then be sold to those interested in other types of businesses in Portugal. In matters of business registration in Portugal, the formalities are straightforward, the main aspect to pay extra attention to refers to the required licenses and permits. One of our lawyers in Portugal can help you with this matter. However, if a real estate company in Portugal is not in your attention, you can receive support for buying a property in Lisbon.

Buying property in Portugal as a foreigner

Some might consider that buying a property in a foreign country might be difficult, but things are quite the opposite. Buying a property in Lisbon, for example, is not complicated if you present the necessary documents, if you have a clear criminal record and if you pay the taxes imposed. In some cases, a Golden Visa might be a great option for non-EU entrepreneurs, if they purchase a property worth at least EUR 250,000. This is a beneficial investment programme implemented by the Portuguese authorities with the purpose of attracting as many entrepreneurs in the prolific real estate sector as possible. Interested in Portugal property investment? Please discuss all the legal aspects with one of our attorneys in Portugal.

Is buying a property in Portugal a great investment?

Yes, considering the key aspects of the real estate sector, Portugal property investment is extremely advantageous, considering the huge developments of the tourism sector. The tax incentives, gaining citizenship in Portugal after owning a property for at least 5 years, and enjoying the high standards of living in Portugal are benefits attentively measured by foreign entrepreneurs interested in purchasing a property in this country. The support of our property lawyers in Portugal will prove extremely helpful for buying a property in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. All the documents involved in a sale-purchase process of a property in Portugal enter the attention of our specialists who closely work with the authorities in charge of land and property registry. There are specific legal terms involved in the property purchase process in Portugal that can be entirely discussed with one of our specialists. 

Short facts about properties in Portugal

The most common question among Portuguese citizens or foreigners living in this country refers to whether to buy or rent a property in this country, considering the ups and downs of the real estate market in the past decade. Fortunately, the things have changed in a large percentage, and both locals and foreigners can purchase properties in Portugal at attractive prices and low-interest rates if these are acquired with the help of a mortgage loan. In many cases, buying a house in Portugal instead of renting one might be quite appealing and that because the monthly rates can be lower than the rental price. Also, foreigners can decide on buying lands and build houses in Portugal, or residential homes, if the business is involved. In any case, one should weigh both possibilities and choose in accordance with their needs or affairs in Portugal. You might also find interesting information about the real estate sector in Portugal:
  1. Approximately EUR 1,220 is the price per square meter for houses in Portugal.
  2. During 2018, Porto registered the highest property price increase, approximately 15.6% rate.
  3. Prices for houses in Portugal are expected to rise until 2020, not exceeding 8% over the current prices.
  4. The residency permit available for 5 years is granted to foreign citizens investing around EUR 500,000 in Portuguese properties.
  5. After a long economic crisis that hit Portugal’s real estate sector, the market recovered after 2014.

Finding a property in Portugal

The real estate market in Portugal is quite appealing to both local and foreign investors. From beautiful apartments to luxurious villas, foreigners can choose just the type of property they are interested in. There are several online platforms registered in the real estate sector from which you can choose if interested in purchasing a property in Lisbon. Also, a real estate agent can be an optimal solution if you are interested in buying a property in Portugal and need someone you can trust. Such specialists are registered with the Associacao de Mediadores Imobiliarios in Portugal. The same goes for our Portuguese lawyers who can be your partners at the time you decide on buying a property. Instead of dealing with the requirements for purchasing a house in Portugal, it would be best to receive the support of a specialized team of lawyers in Portugal who have experience in this field and who know the applicable legislation. This way, you can be protected against pitfalls and scams that might arise in the real estate sector.

Other legal aspects to consider when buying a property in Portugal

Besides the general rules mentioned in this article, it is important to note that the notary plays a major role in the acquisition of a property in Portugal. The verification with the Land Registry and the Inland Revenue is made at the point the property is about to be sold. This kind of verification is also made with real estate due diligence in order to see if the property can be legally sold and if there aren’t any legal problems.
Also, the sale and purchase contract enters the attention of the notary who will be a witness at the time both parties sign the agreement. One of our property lawyers in Portugal will oversee the entire procedure, so all the aspects related to the purchase of property respect the legislation. You can discuss all the terms for buying a property in Lisbon with one of our specialists who can give you legal advice.

Legal services for real estate transactions

Buying a property is always a good investment idea. Whether purchased for personal use or rent, the sale-purchase transaction must be supervised from the outset. Specialized legal advice can be provided for mortgage lenders, residential home buyers, commercial property buyers, brokerage houses, contractors, investment consortia, and many more.
Thus, potential litigation cases that can change the smooth running of the transaction and loss of money are eliminated from the start. And to give you an idea of how our property lawyers in Portugal can help you when you want to buy a property, let's take a look at the following:
  • Real estate due diligence - Checks every deed of the property to be purchased. At this stage, the seller must provide the entire history of the house or home, and then the lawyer will analyze in detail and report if there are hidden disputes.
  • Title and deed - Check the title and deed. Only after the lawyer agrees with him can the sale-purchase transaction take place.
  • Area analysis - It is recommended that a zonal analysis be done before purchasing a property. Here comes into discussion the average prices for properties in the area, crime rates, school rankings, property taxes, insurance.
  • General building inspection - Checking the structure, drainage, foundation, roof, flood zone verification, water, and septic inspection, among others.
These are just some of the goal-setting shareware that you can use. We mention that our property lawyers in Portugal work closely with experts in the field and with various authorities involved in the sale-purchase process. From this point of view and not only, we also recommend you to consider the legal help offered by property lawyers in Portugal.

Specialists recommend financial due diligence

In addition to the checks mentioned above, financial due diligence is also recommended before buying a home. This process involves several procedures, including:
  • It is checked if the property taxes to be bought have been paid on time or if there are delays and penalties.
  • Invoices and/or other documents will be required for recent home renovations.
  • Check for ongoing litigation or unregistered warranties of the workers of the property.
  • Information on existing service contracts is required, such as the layout of the building space and the management of the property.

Preparation of notary documents

Before signing the sale-purchase documents in front of the notary, the documents of the respective house are checked once again. This ensures that all the documents are in order that there are no missing papers, and that the transaction can take place without any problems.
We remind you that our property lawyers in Portugal are at your disposal with specialized help for the sale-purchase transaction, so you can be sure that there will be no legal problems.

It is essential to ask for legal advice in real estate

Without a doubt, the legal advice offered by a lawyer with experience in real estate is needed Those interested in investing in property in Portugal are often under pressure and therefore need legal advice and representation. It is much easier to rely on the services offered by one of our property lawyers in Portugal, instead of acting on your own and getting stuck with formalities that you are not familiar with. Rely on real estate legal advice offered by our team.

We can represent your interests

With the help of power of attorney, our lawyers can represent foreign nationals who want to buy a property in Portugal. Foreign investors interested in purchasing real estate in Portugal can confidently call on our team of lawyers because they can legally represent them and deal with the formalities involved.
As there are quite a few checks to be made in terms of specific documents and procedures, our lawyer knows what to do and can act on behalf of foreigners with the help of power of attorney. Thus, it is not necessary to travel to Portugal to deal with the sale-purchase transaction of a property. All you have to do is give us your documents, and then our specialists will take care of the formalities involved.

Choosing our attorneys for buying a property in Portugal

Our attorneys are well informed regarding the Portuguese legal system and can put their knowledge at your disposal, offering tips and advice at every step. Thus, our specialists will guide you regarding the applicable property taxes in Portugal. Whether you are looking for Portuguese properties through online services or relying on a real estate agent, acquiring property in Portugal is a rather straightforward process. Nevertheless, we recommend using the services of our lawyers in order to skip the worries about the language barrier or costs misunderstandings; moreover, our attorneys in Portugal can be helpful by ensuring that there are no hidden problems with the property, such as making certain there are no outstanding debts on the property.

What you need to consider when buying a property in the Azores

In addition to the general rules for purchasing a property, foreigners must consider other checks. For example, a property contract must be checked with the relevant institutions, such as the Portuguese Land Registry or Inland Revenue. Here, a real estate due diligence is a common procedure for property acquisitions because it will highlight any kind of problem that a simple buyer can overlook. If there are legal problems, these will be discovered immediately, and here, a real estate lawyer in Portugal can help you in this endeavor. Do not hesitate to ask as many details about real estate due diligence.

Who can buy property in the Azores?

Both foreigners and locals can purchase a property in the Azores, without hitting restrictions or other difficulties. Legislation in Portugal does not impose restrictions on foreigners wishing to buy property in the Azores, as long as they are not state-owned. We invite you to talk to our lawyers in Portugal and find out all the information on how to buy a house in the Azores.

Buying a property in Portugal after Brexit is a fast process

British citizens are not banned from real estate investment in Portugal or property investment in Lisbon after UK's exit from the European Union. Although some people may not be familiar with the rules of investing in Portugal after Brexit, things are quite simple when it comes to buying a property in this country. British people who want to take out a bank loan to buy a home in Portugal can do so by following these formalities:
  • Customers can choose fixed-rate mortgages with constant rates, for a period of no more than 30 years.
  • A deposit of at least 30% of the desired property price is required, and the bank will then offer the necessary loan.
  • Among the documents required to access a mortgage loan are proof of income, personal bank statements, documents of the property to be purchased, a valid passport, NIF tax number.
Some financial institutions may ask for a bank reference letter, and in the case of companies that want to purchase property investment in Algarve, another great destination for business, information about last year's tax returns might be needed.
Everything you need to know about buying a property in Portugal after Brexit can be found at our lawyers. We can offer you specialized legal help from the very beginning.

Golden Visa in Portugal for property investment  in Algarve

British citizens interested in property investment in Algarve can easily access Golden Visa in Portugal, the program for foreigners who want to invest in real estate and enjoy several benefits. Golden Visa Scheme for Portugal requires a minimum investment of EUR 350,000 in the purchase of a property. The amount depends on the area where the property is located.
Upon entering this program, candidates benefit from free movement in the Schengen area with the help of the Portuguese passport and even obtain citizenship in Portugal after 5 years. The program is advantageous, and UK citizens interested in property investment in Algarve can discuss more details with our lawyers.

FAQ about property purchase in Portugal

1. Can foreigners buy properties in Portugal?
Yes, it is quite easy to buy property as a foreigner in Portugal. You can enter the Golden Visa Programme if you are a foreign investor or you wish to purchase a house for retirement or for any other reasons. You can discuss the legal aspects of our Portuguese lawyers.
2. What does the sale agreement comprise?
The sale and purchase contract for a property in Portugal must comprise details about the buyer and the seller, information about the property, the price, and the conditions of the transaction. Such a contract can be verified by our specialists.
3. Is there a property tax in Portugal?
Yes, the property tax or the MIT ranges between 0% and 8% of the declared value of the property. Our legal advisors can tell you more.
4. What is the Golden Visa Scheme?
The Golden Visa Scheme in Portugal allows international investors to gain a residence permit by buying a property in Portugal, and particularly purchasing properties worth at least EUR 250,000. Also, investments of around EUR 500,000 in companies in Portugal can be made to enter the Golden Visa Scheme.
5. Can I apply for a credit loan for a property in Portugal?
Yes, foreign citizens interested in buying a property in Lisbon can apply for a loan that can cover about 75% of the total price of the property. Legal advice is offered by our Portuguese lawyers.
6. Can I ask for real estate due diligence in Portugal?
Of course, persons interested in buying a property in Lisbon, Portugal, can solicit the legal advice and support of our specialists. They can tell you more about the real estate due diligence process.
7. Do I need a legal advisor for buying a property in Portugal? 
It is recommended to ask for the services of a team of lawyers in Portugal. They can verify the sale contract and other documents related to the property you wish to acquire. Our team has experience in property purchase in Portugal.
8. How do I find a property for sale in Portugal?
Foreign citizens in Portugal can use the services of a real estate agent or access a wide range of online platforms established in the real estate sector. Better yet, you can address your inquiries to our team of lawyers in Portugal.
9. What are the prices per square meter for properties in Portugal?
Around EUR 1,220 is the price per square meter for houses in Portugal. The real estate market recovered from the economic crisis a decade ago.
10. What types of properties can I buy in Portugal?
Apartments, houses, condominiums, duplexes, and villas are available for sale in Portugal.
We cordially invite you to contact our law firm in Portugal to assist you in the process of buying or selling properties in Portugal.