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Buying property in Portugal

How to find property for sale in Portugal?

The easiest way to find property in Portugal is to contact an experienced local real estate agent (imobiliaria); although you can find some cases of private sales, it is rare.

All real estate agents need to be registered with the government and display a licence number (Associacao de Mediadores Imobiliarios). You can find out whether your agent is registered by contacting the Instituto da Construcao e do Imobiliario.

Real estate agents in Portugal work on behalf of the seller on a commission basis, so while you won’t need to pay estate agent fees when buying a property in Portugal.

When considering purchasing a property in Portugal, you’ll need to have a Personal Fiscal Number (Numero fiscal de contribuinte), which you can obtain from the local tax office. If you choose to open a bank account, you’ll be automatically assigned a Personal Fiscal Number. While you don’t necessarily need to open a bank account, it can be useful when transferring money and making regular payments during the home buying process.

How can I finance a house purchase in Portugal?

If you have cash to buy your Portuguese home – either through existing funds or a remortgage of your UK home you are in a very strong position and your ofer isn likely to be taken very seriously .  If not, you will need to consider your borrowing optionsavailable to you . This expertise can be provided by a local bank or independent mortage broker .

Non-residents are permitted to take Portuguese mortgages against Portuguese property. 

You’ll need at least a 20% deposit, although some banks require up to 35%. As in the UK, the bigger cash deposit you have, the easier you will find it to secure a loan at a lower interest rate. Portuguese mortgages tend to be on a capital and interest (repayment method) only , unlike the Uk,  where interest only options are available if a repayment vehicle is in place to reapy the loan at the end of the mortgage term. 

The following checks are carried out on any property prior to completion of the purchase . 

  • Certidao de Teor: this shows if there are outstanding mortgages on the property, and if it is registered in the owner’s name
  • Caderneta Predial: this sets out the size of the property, its location and boundaries. Any unregistered buildings or extensions will show up when comparing these documents to the actual property
  • IMI statement: this confirms all the rates bills are up to date
  • IMT statement: that the real estate transfer tax is paid over to the tax authorities on the sale
  • Fiche tecnica de habitacao: houses built or altered since 31 December 2003 will have documents which confirm the builder, materials used and supplier
  • Identification and tax number documents of both parties: if you are new to Portugal and have not yet opened a bank account, your lawyer will help you obtain a fiscal number at the tax office

Help for Buyers


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