Buying A Home In Portugal
With it’s sunkissed climate, stunning scenery, outstanding quality of life, and amazing affordability, it’s hardly surprising that foreigners are flocking to Portugal in the search for their next home. Not to mention, Portugal has Europe’s most attractive citizenship-by-investment program, the Golden Visa, that makes it easy for non EU citizens to become Portuguese residents by buying a home in Portugal.
If you’ve ever dreamt about living and buying a home in Portugal, this guide is designed to help you reach goals.
Why Buy Property in Portugal?
Home to one of the hottest property markets in the region, Portugal has seen considerable economic prosperity in recent years. Investors can take comfort in knowing that with steady demand they can expect a substantial return on that investment. Here are a number of other reasons why you should consider buying a home in Portugal.
1. Portugal is a popular vacation destination.
The Algarve is home to stunning coastlines and some of the most beautiful beaches and golf courses in Europe. In Porto, you’ll find incredible wineries and plenty of historic and artistic areas, while Lisbon is a melting pot of vibrant Portuguese history, culture and cuisine. In short, Portugal offers something for everyone. In 2019, over 24 million tourists visited this beautiful nation, providing a surge in demand for short-term rentals and a great opportunity for property investors.
2. Portugal offers an attractive Golden Visa program.
Portugal’s Golden Visa Program allows foreign residents a direct pathway to citizenship by purchasing a property in Portugal. The program has been hugely popular with foreign investors, with over €5 billion directly invested in the country as of January 2020. Investors are flocking to take advantage of Portugal’s amazing quality of life, affordability, and healthy economy as well as the opportunity to travel freely in the Schengen Area, work and study anywhere in the EU and take advantage of the multitude of benefits Portuguese residency and citizenship provides. Not only that, but your immediate family is eligible for the program through the family reunion stream.
To learn more about the Golden Visa, continue reading here.
3. Portugal has low tax rates, especially for foreign residents.
Portugal offers substantial tax benefits for foreigners under Portugal’s Non-Habitual Resident tax regime (NHR). The NHR tax regime provides tax exemptions on almost all foreign sources of income, a fixed 20% taxation for a period of 10 consecutive years for Portuguese sources of income derived from eligible skilled professions, tax exemption for gifts or inheritance to direct family members, and no wealth tax.
Under the regime skilled professions such as engineers, artists, doctors, teachers and investors (amongst many others) are considered high cultural and economic worth are given generous tax exemptions under the regime as an incentive to attract the top talent to Portugal.
To learn more about the NHR tax regime, read here.
4. Portugal’s growing tech scene.
If you’re moving to Portugal for business, take a look at Lisbon and Porto’s bustling commercial areas and a startup landscape rich with opportunities. Lisbon, in particular, has connections to many large companies, including the likes Amazon and Google, which have recently moved into the area. Not only do these companies and startups offer substantial opportunities for employment, but they’re also attracting great talent from around the region, meaning that individuals working in tech industries can find immense opportunities to network and grow their businesses.
Steps to Buying a Property in Portugal
Not sure how to get started with buying a home in Portugal? Follow these key steps to find your dream property.
1. Ask yourself some important questions.
Before you start looking at property in Portugal, it’s important that you get a better idea of what you want and need. Take a minute to sit down and consider what your priorities are – what are your must-haves? These requirements will be different among buyers but to start off with you should ask yourself the following questions:
What are you primarily buying the property for?
Holiday home, retirement home, family home, investment property to be rented out or sold for profit, mixed-use.
What type of property are you looking for?
City apartment, villa, townhouse, coastal, urban or rural property or resort living.
What extra activities do you see yourself doing?
Golf trips, family get-togethers, beach holidays, surfing, hiking, working, sightseeing.
What are your non-negotiables?
Good schools, close to golf courses, easy access to airports, near hospitals and health services.
2. Choose your area.
Portugal is full of varied landscapes, from peaceful countryside living, charming seaside towns, stress-free resort developments or busy urban hotspots, the choice is yours. Do some research and choose the area where you’d like to purchase a property. You might take a look at:
This beautiful city is a major economic hub in Portugal, making it the perfect location for people who are interested in starting a business or looking for a job in the area. while it’s a gorgeous area to move into, however, property prices in Lisbon have risen in recent years, which means a property there may be a more expensive investment.
The Algarve is a gorgeous vacation destination, perfect for both people looking for investment properties and individuals seeking a home near the beach. The Algarve is one of the most popular beach destinations in Europe, attracting many travelers every year.
In Cascais, you’ll find a more relaxed atmosphere alongside plenty of economic opportunities. As a result, this area is ideal for people who are looking for less expense than Lisbon, but still want to be close to the economic action throughout Portugal.
Not only does Porto offer a rich cultural heritage, it’s a bustling city center with plenty of action and activity. In this area, you’ll find ideal investment properties as well as plenty of places to live.
3. Property Search
The easiest way to start your property search is by browsing available properties online. Alternatively, if you ve a good idea of what you’re looking for, shoot us an enquiry and one of our team will send you a curated list of properties that match your personal preferences. You may wish to include:
- Your approximate budget.
- Property type you are interested in – apartment, townhouse, villa, luxury home.
- The number of bedrooms you are after.
- Interested in the countryside, seaside or inner city.
- Are you looking for an investment property, permanent residence, holiday home or golden visa?
Once you have shortlisted some properties of interest we recommend you get a first hand feel for the country and join us on a property tour. However, if you are unable to visit Portugal we offer a number of ways for clients to view properties with us, from phone, email, boardroom meetings, video conferences and video tours. The choice is yours!
4. The Buying Process
After finding your dream piece of real estate in Portugal, our team can help you with signing contracts, completing due diligence and eventually transferring the property into your name. Property transactions in Portugal are relatively straightforward and follow 3 easy steps: Reservation, Promissory, and Deeds.
Step 1 – Reservation
At this stage you have not entered into a contract to purchase, rather, you are merely reserving the property so your representative can conduct proper searches and due diligence inspections.
Step 2 – Promissory
When you are satisfied with the outcome of the due diligence inspections, you will enter into a promissory contract with the seller and pay a deposit. The promissory contract will detail the terms and conditions of the purchase.
Step 3 – Public Deed
Once payment of the balance of the property is made your lawyer will register the Public Deed at the Land Registry. Congratulations, you are now the owner of real estate in Portugal.
How we can help.
Purchasing property in Portugal can provide a wealth of opportunities for business and leisure. At Real Estate Portugal, we offer a complete service to buyers, regardless of whether you’re interested in the Golden Visa, NHR, retirement home, investment or a sun-soaked holiday home.