April 5th, 2016 Posted in Global Real Estate | No Comments »
Buying Property in Portugal
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the realestateexpedition.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to A Dawn Journal. This article originally published on the above website on Nov 13, 2010.
When you want to move away from the snow and the cold, there are many places you can go. You can go to the Southern United States, but it is crowded down there and many are choosing to go to countries that area a bit more exotic. You can go to tropical countries, but these are often unstable and not the best place to live. This leaves Europe, and if you are going to live anywhere in Europe, you should really give Portugal some consideration.
Portugal is a country on the Iberian Peninsula and it is the westernmost country in all of Europe, bordered on the one side by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the other side by Spain.
Portugal is considered to be a developed country and one of the best in the world to live in. It is has the 19th highest quality of life according to the The Economist Intelligence Unit, it is the 13th most peaceful country in the world and the eighth most globalized. It is a member of the European Union, as well as the Latin Union, the OECD, NATO and the United Nations.
Portugal is very popular among those in northern Europe for the main fact that it has a very warm climate. The climate of Portugal is a Mediterranean climate, and it is one of the warmest countries in all of Europe. The average temperature of Portugal is 13 degrees in the north, and 18 degrees Celsius in the south.
When you are thinking of moving to Portugal, there are several areas where you can choose to live based on the diverse landscape of the country. Portugal is split in half by The Tagus, which is the main river of the country. The northern part of the country has many mountains and plateaus with river valleys, while the south is made up of mostly rolling hills, rivers and plains. The south is warmer, but drier, than the north.
You can live on the coast as well, with great vistas of the Atlantic Ocean that will delight you as you relax on your deck and stare out at the ocean.
Of course, you may not want to live out in the countryside, or in the mountains, you may want to be where the action is, right in the cities. The three largest cities in Portugal are:
1. Lisbon: This is the capital city of Portugal and the largest city in the country with a population of about 564,000. It is the 12th largest city in the European Union and nearly three million live in the area around the city. The city features many great museums, restaurants, parks and historical attractions.
2. Porto: This is the second largest city in Portugal with about 220,000 people in the city and 1.1 million people around it. It sits on the coast and is well-known for the wine that comes from the region around it. Again, there are many great attractions in this city that will make any visitor feel at home.
3. Vila Nova de Gaia is the third largest city in the country with a population of 178,255 in the city and 288,749 around the city. It also sits along the ocean and is well-known for the caves around the region where wine is stored and aged.
When you are buying property within the country of Portugal, the first thing you need to do is begin the real estate purchase process by executing the initial contract, which is called the Contrato de Promessa de Compra e Venda. The contract will be drawn up by the notary at the time the contract is signed, executed and you will be called upon to put down a deposit on the home that you are planning on buying. Typically in Portugal this will amount to roughly 10 to 12 percent of the total purchase price. If for whatever reason the person selling the home decides not to go through with the sale, then you will get your deposit back if the contract has not been signed. If you decide to walk away, you will typically lose the deposit that you paid, and if the contract is signed, you will lose the value you paid between 10 to 15 percent. If the seller walks away after the contract is signed, they need to pay back twice the deposit.
If you are going to buy property within Portugal, you also need to get a Fiscal Number from the Tax Office, which is required for foreigners who want to buy property. All you have to do is complete a simple form and submit it, and it will typically be processed immediately.
From the point that the initial contract is signed, to when the final contract and deed is signed, the time it takes is usually only about three to four weeks.
The last thing you have to do when you are purchasing a home in Portugal, after the final contract has been signed, is to pay the Imposto Municipal Sobre, which is a tax imposed on real estate transactions. You also have to register the deed at the Land Registry Office.
One of the great things about Portugal is the fact that as a foreigner, there are no added restrictions in place to you buying property. The rules and regulations you have to follower are typically the same rules and regulations that everyone within Portugal has to follow.
Portugal is an amazing country that is safe, warm and full of history. If you want to live anywhere in Europe, then this is the country you should think about thanks to its amazing landscape, friendly people and unique culture that will make you feel at home almost immediately. All you have to do is find the home that you want for the price you can afford and make the sale a happen.