€280k Portuguese Golden Visa Property Options

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While most of the Portuguese golden visa investment options cost €500,000 or more, there are a few options that are a little cheaper. In particular, purchasing a property for €280,000 or more, which is typically a rural property in need of renovation.  

This isn’t actually the cheapest option–that’s a €250k donation to the Portuguese arts and culture sector–but it is the cheapest practical option for most people as most of us unfortunately don’t have a quarter of a million to donate. 

There are three different ways you could consider taking advantage of the €280k real estate option:

  • Investing in a hands-off commercial property scheme such as a hotel redevelopment program
  • Purchasing a property that you would either live in or use as a second home
  • Purchasing a property that you would use as a rental

Commercial Property: the €280k option

For those that want to obtain the golden visa in the most hands-off way possible, investing in commercial property can be very appealing. This typically involves buying a share, room, or apartment in a hotel or resort. That room or apartment is rented out for the majority of the year, allowing you to earn from your investment (and this amount is often paid upfront). Most schemes allow you to use it for 1-2 weeks of the year, giving you somewhere to stay when you visit Portugal every year or second year to meet your physical stay requirements. After 5-6 years once you are able to apply for Portuguese citizenship, there’s normally a buyback option where the investment company buys back your investment. 

As mentioned, this is ideal for those that want a hands-off investment that they don’t have to manage in the same way they would a property rental. It’s perfect for those that want Portuguese citizenship but aren’t necessarily interested in moving to Portugal right now – or ever. As per the golden visa requirements, you simply need to spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal (14 days every 2 years in practice). 

Read more about investing in a hotel for the golden visa

Buying a residential property for €280k

For those that are planning to move to Portugal for at least a good portion of the year, the €280k property option can be very appealing. This means buying an eligible property for €280,000 or more in order to obtain the golden visa. 

To qualify for the golden visa, a property typically has to cost €500,000 or more. However, there are some exceptions where it can cost less:

  • €400k if it’s in a low population density area 
  • €350k if the property is at least 30 years old or in a designated urban rehabilitation area 
  • €280k if the property meets the criteria for the €350k price and is also in a low-density area

In practice, this means purchasing a property that’s at least 30 years old and in a low-density area. That means a property that needs a least modernising, if not considerably more work. 

Another consideration for all properties, whether at the €500k, €350k, or €280k price point is the location. Prior to January 2022, properties purchased anywhere in Portugal could qualify for the golden visa. As of January 2022, however, residential properties purchased in places like Lisbon, Porto, and most of coastal Portugal (including most of the Algarve and Silver Coast) no longer qualify. 

Buying a rental property for €280k

Another option, closely related to buying a property that would be your main residence, is buying a property that would be rented out for some or all of the year. This is an ideal option for those that want to invest in Portugal’s short and long-term rental markets, and who want to own a property in Portugal. 

Deciding to become a landlord is a big undertaking and not something to be taken lightly. Even if you use a property management company, and you will most likely need to if you don’t live in Portugal, there is still a lot of admin to consider, taxes to be paid, and unforeseen costs to account for. 

The main difference between buying a 280k property that’s primarily for residential use and one that’ll be a rental is that you’ll need to look at the property from the perspective of a renter or tourist rather than yourself. For example, is the property in a desirable location? Is it close to amenities, such as a supermarket? Would someone staying here need a car and is that going to affect the attractiveness of the property? 

A recent ruling in Portugal also pulls into question the future of short-term touristic apartment rentals. With this in mind, is buying an apartment to rent out to tourists too risky a proposition? 

Conclusion

Whether it’s a main residence, a rental, or a commercial property such as a hotel, there are lots of ways that you could obtain the Portuguese golden visa at the €280,000 price point. The option that’s best for you will depend on whether you plan to spend the majority of the year in Portugal or simply want to invest without making a complete move just yet. 

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