Approximately 50,000 British nationals now permanently reside in Portugal and many more have chosen to buy a second home in the country. Portugal ranks among the top three countries chosen by us Brits, along with France and Spain.
Portugal is very safe and, in particular, safer than Britain. It has an exceptionally low crime rate: Lisbon was judged the safest capital in the EU in a survey by the UN and Gallup (London was judged the most dangerous).
The choice of landscapes is endless; from mountains and vineyards in the north to sandy beaches on the southern shores of the Algarve. For years this southern coast has been one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations and is the place of choice for most British second homes. However, the shores of the Atlantic, north of Lisbon on the ‘Silver Coast’, are now attracting an enormous amount of attention amongst buyers looking for more rural retreats away from the tourist hubs of the Algarve – at more realistic prices.
Portugal has many enchanting religious festivals, pilgrimages, carnivals and fairs. In fact, given Portuguese friendliness, you will find yourself part of these festivals as you are carried along by the warmth and enthusiasm of the crowds – sometimes literally!
Most people are also attracted by the relaxed and unstressed way of life in Portugal and the culinary delights are legendary… and affordable. Overall, there are countless reasons that have influenced people’s decision to buy property in Portugal.
Anyone can buy property in Portugal. However it is important to note that non-residents need to appoint a Fiscal Representative and obtain a Fiscal Number or Número Fiscal de Contribuinte from the local tax office. This number is used on all documents relating to the purchase of the property. Also important is that married couples should both obtain a Fiscal Number or the Tax Department will not accept payment of the transfer tax or Imposto Municipal sobre Transmissões.
Here is a brief list of what you may expect in the way of purchase costs. Please be aware that these costs have changed dramatically over the last few years and you need to make sure exactly what they are when you buy. At time of writing they are as follows:
There are many pitfalls that a prospective buyer can encounter when buying a home in Portugal. There are also ways in which a legal advisor can structure the purchase so that it is beneficial to the buyer, so getting a lawyer or advogad involved in your property purchase in Portugal is a must.
An advogado is the equivalent of a lawyer, barrister or solicitor in the UK. They can be held responsible for their actions and advice and are subject to strict scrutiny from the Portuguese Bar (Ordem dos Advogados). Make sure to check that your lawyer is qualified, and to obtain their registered number (cédula number).