Over the past few years, more and more people have bought properties in Portugal. This begs the question: can foreigners buy property in Portugal? And, if they can, do they have to be a resident to do so.
According to Camille Ramiere who runs buyers agency Bloom Spaces, “yes, you can buy property in Portugal as a foreigner.”
Ramiere also points out that there are no restrictions on residents (people legally living in Portugal) and non-residents (people who legally live somewhere else) buying property here.
However, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. Firstly, owning a property in Portugal doesn’t mean that you’re automatically a resident in Portugal or that you can spend more time in Portugal than those that don’t own property. Many Brits found this out post Brexit when, despite owning property in Portugal, they were unable to spend more than the Schengen Visa rules allowed (90 days in every 180 days).
(The golden visa can create exceptions to this rule as you can obtain residency through purchasing a property in Portugal.)
Another thing to be aware of is mortgages. Residents can typically borrow more than non-residents, so if you’re thinking about getting a mortgage to buy a property in Portugal, you should check how much you’ll be able to borrow before putting an offer in. If you’re resident in Portugal (you legally live in Portugal) and you want to get a mortgage in Portugal, you will typically need a deposit or downpayment of between 10% and 20%. If you’re a non-resident (you legally live outside of Portugal) and you want to get a mortgage, you will normally need a deposit of around 30%, although sometimes it can be slightly lower.
Finally, it’s important to think ahead to when you might sell your property as the rules around capital gains are different for residents and non-residents and those that live in the EU and those that don’t.