The road to the Portuguese citizenship
For your real estate investment to be eligible for the Portuguese Golden Visa, you may buy a property which is worth more than 500.000€ or a property for the amount of 350.000€ if it is older than 30 years or located in a rehabilitation area in Portugal. The required amounts do not include the taxes to be paid.
1. Get your budget straight: First of all, you have to work out how much you can reasonably spend on purchasing your new Portuguese property.
2. Type of property and location: Decide what type of property you want and where, whether that’s a new construction or a used home, free or protected, by the sea or in a town center. Choose the one that is best suited to your needs and personal situation.
3. Visit the property, chat with the neighbors and find out everything you can. When you go to visit your potential new house, be sure to take notes about everything, taking photos of anything and everything. Take measurements and consider the room layout, which direction the property faces, how much light comes in, the ventilation in the bathroom and kitchen, the state of the wiring and how energy efficient it is, how noisy it is and the amenities available in the neighborhood.
4. Make and offer.
5. Sign the promissory note (contrato de promessa de compra e venda). This is the first contract to sign and it acts a sort of preliminary safeguard for the buyer’s and seller’s rights. It means paying a 10% deposit on the house, and with this you take on all the rights and responsibilities of a buyer. If you as the buyer later decide not to go through with the transaction, you will lose this down payment. If the seller is the one who cancels the sale, though, they will have to return the deposit to you.
6. Pay the transaction costs and taxes. The main expenses when buying a home in Portugal are the IMT Property Transfer tax between 4 up to 8% and Stamp Duty with a tax rate of 0,8%, not to mention the notary costs, the payment to register the transaction with the Property Register.
7. Sign the public deed. The signing of the deed must be done in front of a notary with both the buyer and seller present. Ensure that the deed contains a description of the property along with any outstanding mortgages or charges on the house, the sale price and the payment method, and all taxes and expenses related to the sale. You should also take this opportunity to check that all the documents are present and correct, like the Energy Performance Certificate, insurance if applicable, and invoices for the latest tax and community cost payments.
8. Change the name on the energy, water and gas bills. Inform the energy companies and any other service providers that you are the new owner and will be paying the bills from now on.
9. Keep all the documents. Put them somewhere safe. You’ll need them again one day when you come to sell or rent the house.
10. Get the keys and start moving in to your brand new home.
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