Foire Aux Questions

Dans notre foire aux questions vous trouvez des questions posées fréquemment concernant l’achat d’un bien au Portugal.

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You don’t need a permission to make small changes inside the house as long as its structure is maintained. You do however need permission for all other construction work and new build. The builder you hire for the work can help you with that. Constructions using wood is generally easier to get approved. Building in metal and concrete comes with specific safety and architectural requirements.

If an illegal construction work is spotted by a fiscal agent, the fines start at € 500,- and can go up until € 200.000,00

We offer our Home Key clients free building advice and we help you finding the right contacts for builders, engineers, architects, and electricians.

If you can build on the piece of land you are buying depends on several factors. We advise you to go to a lawyer and the council where the property is located (Junta de Freguesia).

Factors that can influence the building permission:

  1. Type of land: residential, agricultural, commercial, nature, industrial
  2. Size of the land
  3. Existing buildings
  4. Project planning in the area


Any house in Portugal that is being commercially advertised for sale (or rent) has to have an Energy Performance Certificate. The objective is to reduce energy costs, improve insulation and preserve the environment. Rating goes from A+ (excellent) to G (lowest efficiency grade). The seller is responsible for obtaining the certificate before the sale.


If your land is fenced, there is no doubt about what belongs to the property. For unfenced land, the boundaries can be indicated with small landmarks, like rivers, roads, stonewalls, upright placed stones. You can check the boundaries at the following website:


We can understand that you see a big blank space between the moment of finding your dream property and the moment you actually are in your new home drinking a nice vinho tinto. We give you a step by step overview of what you need to do after you agreed on the purchasing price with the seller.

If you purchase via a real estate agent, they can guide you through the process. They will act as a bridge between the seller, notary and you. Still then, we advise you to do the following.

  1. Hire a lawyer
    If you hire your own lawyer, this person will help you through the entire process, check all paperwork and let you know if something is not right.
  2. Get your finances sorted
    You need to prepare to pay a 10% down payment of the purchase price when signing the promissory contract. If you arranged a mortgage in your country of residence for this purchase, the bank needs to see the promissory contract to make the money available to you. The rest of the payment is due at the day of the escritura (signing the actual purchase contract).
  3. Get a fiscal number (NIF). This number is a personal tax identification number of Portugal and is needed to buy a property. You can obtain this number in the tax office (Financas) in any city of Portugal. You need to bring your passports/ID card, address details, and a bank statement of the country of residence.
  4. Send your personal details to the real estate agent/lawyer/solicitor that will handle the purchasing process. In order to make the contracts they will need:
  •  Copy of your ID/Passport
  • Marital status (If married they need the same details from your spouse)
  • Portuguese fiscal number
  • Address in country of residence
  1. Open a Portuguese bank account (the real estate agent or lawyer can help you with this)
  2. After the escritura is done, you will be left with the key to your new home!
    To connect electric (EDP) and water you need to go to the offices and set up an account. Again, the real estate agent or lawyer can assist you with this.

We made a list for you of the expenses involved when buying in Portugal. Please keep in mind that laws and rates are subject to change over time. Always ask us for a detailed quotation of all costs involved before starting the buying process to know exactly what to expect.

  • Transmission Tax (IMT)

For urban construction this is 1% of the purchase value (until € 92,000) and any value above that is charged with 2%. Rural land is charged with 5% of the purchase value. Industrial building are charged with 6,5% of the purchase value.

Example: when you buy a house of € 90,000 the IMT will be 1%: € 900

When you buy a piece of land of € 25,000 the IMT will be 5%: € 1,250

If you buy a mixed property (both with registered house and land) the notary will assign a value to the house and the land and charge the accompanying taxes.

  • Stamp Tax (Imposto de selo)

This tax is 0,08% of the purchase value.

  • Registrations

Your property need to be registered on your name after the deed. Costs of this registration will vary for urban articles and rural articles. Costs per article are between: € 100 and € 300,-

  • Purchase Assistance Package

In all cases it is advised to ask a lawyer to help you with your property purchase. Ask her to find out if there is a mortgage on the property, if there are any issues with registration/owners, unpaid property taxes, illegal buildings, etc. Make sure the lawyer speaks and writes in good English so she can translate the contracts and all other important documents for you. If you hire the expert team of Home Key Portugal we can offer you full assistance for € 850,-

  • Solicitor / Notary Costs

The solicitor / notary assembles all paper work and makes the promissory contract (if needed) and final purchase contract. She executes the official process of signing the deed with the seller and buyer. These costs are € 500,- – € 600



It is very important to show interest in learning the Portuguese language. Everybody would like to greet his neighbor good morning (bom dia) or ask if he is doing ok (tudo bem) and order a coffee (um café por favor). It helps if you take some lessons to learn the basics of the language in preparation of your property purchase. There are a few teachers that offer Portuguese lessons via Skype. But the best results you will get by being in Portugal and take a course here with fellow students. Via Home Key Portugal you can attend a 10-class Portuguese beginners course in the area of Castelo Branco. During these lessons you will learn the basics of the language including standard daily chats, grammar, and the food & culture of Portugal. Contact us for more details and registering for the classes via:


Social life is very important to the people of the villages in rural Portugal. Most of the villages have an association (associação) where they come together every weekend and drink a vinho or play card games. You can become a member of this association by paying a small fee (like 8 euros a year for example) It depends on the size of the village but they normally organize lunches, parties and walks during the year.

You can also go to the local café every day for your morning coffee or afternoon drink and you will meet more people. If you reach out to them, they can become a great friend who is always ready and willing to help you with whatever you need.

If you are not here with the intention of building a social life, that is fine. The Portuguese are generally very respectful and they will soon understand that you appreciate your privacy.