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Graca in Lisbon

What do I need to know when buying property in Portugal?

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William Russell
William Russell
William Russell
William Russell

When we asked expats what advice they would give a foreigner before buying a property in Portugal, they said...

"When buying property in Portugal, it is important to know about the Portuguese tax system, as this will affect both the costs to purchase and the costs to maintain the property. In general, both foreign individuals and businesses will be liable to pay tax on capital gains from the sale of a property and on rental income produced from property rentals. It is also important to familiarise yourself with the local laws, particularly concerning the registration of property after purchase. Additionally, due to Portuguese laws on foreigners buying property, you may need to obtain a Portuguese tax identification number, or NIF, to make your purchase. Finally, due to the legal process involved in purchasing property in Portugal, it is strongly advised to consult a professional legal advisor to guide you through the process," said another in Portugal.

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"Last Fall, we looked in Cascais and other costal towns near Lisbon and in the Algarve. We did purchase a property. Since then, we learned a few things that may be helpful to you. 1. There is no MLS equivalent. Different companies have different sources of properties for sale. 2. Work with more than one real estate agent at the same time. 3. Make sure your agent is licensed. 4. If looking at other than new construction, check for mold and mildew build up, insulation adequacy, Heating and a/c availability. All new construction we looked at was well built and majority had a/c. 5. It doesn't hurt to make an offer, even if the real estate agent says the owner won't sell below list. One thing you might do is purchase health insurance for your trip. Your US health insurance most likely won't cover you. Something you need to check. We ended up buying GeoBlue (tied in with Blue Cross) for our stay in Portugal," explained one expat who made the move to Portugal.

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What do I need to know when buying property in Portugal?

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Graca in Lisbon

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