Buying a property in the Algarve can be a very straight forward process providing you are well equipped with the right information and advice. It is recommended that the first step to take when deciding to buy a property in the Algarve is to employ a solicitor or Lawyer from the Algarve region to give you advice and help to register you in the Portuguese tax system as a resident or non-resident.
When you have found your perfect property, your solicitor will need to check the paperwork of the property to check the legality of the property. All Real estate agents are required to have the property paperwork on file and most honest agents will be able to tell you the legality of each property. However, it is important that your solicitor double checks this so you are fully aware of what you are purchasing.
We would recommend that you also employ a surveyor to carry out a detailed survey on the property. this is not required by law in Portugal but it is highly recommended as Real Estate Agents are not qualified to give you advice on the structure of a building and often provide information they have been given directly by the owner of the property.
more detailed information can be found on the Portuguese government website http://www.livinginportugal.com/en/moving-to-portugal/buying-a-house/
The process begins when you make an offer on a property, once this offer is agreed both the purchaser’s solicitor and the vendors solicitor are informed of the purchase agreement. The buyer’s solicitor will then be required to draw up what is known as the Contracto Promessa de Compra e Venda / Promissory Contract which will detail all the terms and conditions of the purchase. Upon signing of the promissory contract a deposit of between 10%-30% should be paid by the purchaser to the vendor.
The promissory contract is a legally binding contract in which the purchaser promises to purchase and the vendor promises to sell. Should the purchaser decide to break the contract for any condition not stated in the contract he will forfeit his deposit. Should the vendor decide to break the contract for any condition not stated in the contract he will be required to return the deposit in double to the purchaser.
The purchase is completed in front of a Notary in what is called Escritura de Compra e Venda also known as final deed. The notary records the purchase in their official books and once again checks the paperwork of the property. You will then be given an original of the Escritura which your solicitor usually holds on to unless you require it yourself. The Notary will also register the property with the land registry in the new owner’s name.
Another good source of information regarding tax advantages and Golden visa application in the Blevins Franks website https://www.blevinsfranks.com/where-we-are/portugal
Expats in portugal worried about Brexit? Portugal’s foreign minister Augusto Santos Silva said his country will remain open regardless of the Brexit outcome. Find the article here https://www.politico.eu/article/portugal-to-welcome-brits-even-without-brexit-deal-contingency/