FAQ’s about buying a property in Portugal
We get asked a lot of the same questions from potential buyers all the time. Here you can find some of the most common questions.
Q - Can US citizens buy property In Portugal? Can British buy property In Portugal?
A – In summary, yes. There are no restrictions to nationalities that can buy property in Portugal. The Portuguese Government actually encourages it, through schemes such as Golden Visa.
Q - Do I need a lawyer when buying a property?
A – We advise you to get one. An independent lawyer will check all documentation and is familiar with property dealings in Portugal. It is money very well spent.
Q - What costs can I expect when buying a property?
A – Generally we advise buyers to expect about 7- 10% of the cost of the property for costs.
Here is an example based on a house priced at 90,000 euros (second home).
Stamp duty – €720
Transmission tax – €900
Lawyer – €1,000
Deeds – €1,500
Total – €4,120
The lawyer cost depends how much work they need to do so this is just an estimate based on a straightforward purchase.
There are a lot of other things to consider e.g. if this is a main residence or second home and how the land is registered, so the following article gives you more detail – What taxes do you have to pay for buying a property in Portugal? – Portuguese Dream
Q - What annual expenses do I need to think about?
A – Council tax is the only tax that you pay annually… it varies depending on the property you buy. Can be as low as 60€ per year, with more expensive properties with swimming pool around the 400€/year. The more expensive properties on the coast, with swimming pool can reach 1,200€ per year or more. You can make the payment as one, which is due in May each year or choose to pay in instalments, normally no more than 4 instalments.
Q - Roughly how much should I be expecting to pay out per month?
A – It really depends on your consumption of course. Average costs we would say are: Electricity 60€ + mains water 25€ + gas 35€ + internet/satellite tv services average of 50€ but could be less could be more… It depends on the package.. Total: 170€ per month
These costs are based on a normal household of 3-4 people. If you have a swimming pool, air conditioning, source of heating or solar panels etc., there will be variation in these costs.
It is also commonly believed that electricity is more expensive in Portugal. In reality when you compare the cost per kWh, the cost is identical to the UK. It just happens that people will be using more of it.
Q - Which towns or cities should I be looking at to get familiar with the area?
A – There are so many towns and villages in the Central region, but here are a few districts/councils to start you off:
- Castelo Branco
- Vila de Rei
- Castelo Branco
- Figueiró dos Vinhos
- Castanheira de Pêra
- Pedrógão Grande
- Caldas da Rainha
- Ferreira do Zêzere
Q - I don’t want to live by the sea but would like to visit occasionally. How far is the coast?
A – It depends where you are based and how far inland you are, but you can normally reach the coast within 45mins – 1.5hrs. An alternative option is one of the local river beaches which can be just as nice as the beaches at the coast e.g. https://www.praiadasrocas.com/
Q - Which is the closest airport?
A – Most towns and villages in Central Portugal are around 1-2hrs away from Lisbon or Porto airports depending how far in land you go. If you find a central area like Sertã, you can fly into either of the airports which are both around 2hrs away. This gives you a lot of flexible options if you travel a lot to stay in your holiday home or if friends and family are coming to visit.
Q - What services are provided to the house?
A – Unless you are looking at a ruin or a renovation project, all houses in good condition are connected to mains electricity, water and sewage. Especially more modern properties. In some cases there will be solar panels to heat water or to run the swimming pool pump etc. More rural properties may have a septic tank.
Q - Is mains gas available?
A – Mains gas is generally not available in the central region, except on the coastal towns and cities. Most homes have gas hobs in the kitchen and gas boilers to heat the water. The gas is supplied by the bottle which can easily be delivered to your home and swapped out for a new one when needed.
Q - Will there be a phone line in the house?
A – Normally we find that many older houses don’t have phone lines installed. But there’s usually a telephone pole nearby where the line can be taken from, so this is not difficult or expensive to arrange. Newer houses will have the phone line in the house and sockets, you will just need to arrange the connection with the supplier.
Q - What is the Internet connection like
A – Internet speeds in Central Portugal are surprisingly good and fast. You can get up to 500mb fibre connections even in remote villages. But this really does depend on the location and is best checked with the local supplier to confirm the exact speed and type of connection available. There is a choice between Vodafone, MEO and NOS who all have more details of packages available on their websites. If fibre is not available 4G connections can be an alternative option. This is the option a lot of locals go for.
Q - Can I grow crops or trees on my land?
A – Most of the land in the central region is very fertile and has been used for many years to grow crops, fruit trees, olive trees, grape vines etc. Each property will be different, but it is likely to have good quality soil.
Q - A lot of water is needed to keep grass and any trees etc. alive in the summer. Is there an alternative to using mains water since you are charged for how much you use?
A – Every house connected to mains water has a water meter which monitors how much you are using. So, if you have another source of water it is better to use this as it will be free. Many properties have a bore hole or a well with a water tank on the land which can be used for irrigation.