It is relatively easy to buy a property in Portugal. There are some points that are of extreme importance in order for the buying process to go smothly and without surprises.
- Use a local licensed estate agent who knows the market well and who can help you find the best property for you. Take your time looking at various properties, get to know the local house market.Buying a property is one of the biggest decisions one makes in life.
- Use an independent lawyer who will represent and help you with the buying process. When buying a property, it is best to choose a local lawyer - as well as helping you with the purchase it is likely that you will need him/her in the future for other matters relating to your property and, having a local lawyer with local knowledge and connections, makes things easier.
- Always consider having a survey carrying out on the property you want to buy. This will enable you to know what you are buying and avoid unpleasent surprises in the future. There are many surveyors in the Algarve who can provide this service for you.
After all the due dilligence has been done by your lawyer, the next step is to sign a promissory contract when the buyer is usually expected to pay a deposit of ten per cent of the agreed sales price. In the promissory contract, a completion date is agreed. With the signing of the title deed, the buyer has to pay the balance of the agreed sales price. The buyer's lawyer will then lodge a copy of the title deed with the land registry office and tax office and, thereby registering the change of ownership.
Purchase costs and taxes:
The maximum costs and taxes to be paid in the purchase of a property in Tavira is around nine per cent of the agreed sales price. This would include the transfer tax, lawyer fee, stamp duty, notary fee, survey and property registration.
- Transfer tax (IMT): this is often the bigest expense a buyer will have when purchasing a property in the Algarve. The IMT tax is calculated as a percentage of the agreed sales price and if the property is purchased for main residence or second residence. The percentile ranges from zero to six per cent on a sliding scale, depending on the property price. This tax, has to be paid before signing the title deed.
- Lawyer fee: this is normally one per cent (plus VAT) of the agreed sales price.
- Stamp duty: 0,8 per cent of the agreed sales price.
- Survey: expect to pay between 400 and 1000 euros, depending on the size of the property.
- Notary fee: expect to pay around 400 euros.
- Property registration: expect to pay around 400 euros.
After the purchase of the property, the buyer will have to pay municipal tax every year. This is calculated on the property valuation given by the tax office and, for property in Tavira presently, the rate is between 0,4 and 0,7 per cent.