Building a house in Portugal - US citizen. What I need a lawyer for?

I would appreciate an advice on the following:

  • I am working with Engel & Völkers - do realtors take care of deed and other documents or a separate lawyer is necessary?
  • what kind of legal work I need besides the promissory note and deed? Shall I pay for due diligence if the house is new and no debts or name besides mine will be associated with it?
  • Property Land Registry, Tax Registry, Habitation license - that is part of the deed, right?
  • can I set up utilities and arrange autopay through Portuguese / German /European bank?
  • an advice on - house insurance companies to ensure a NEW construction in Algarve
    and the last quastion; can I use online only bank like Activobank or N26 to transfer money to and later use for taxes and utilities?

Hey Olga,
The agency MUST provide clear information about outstanding debts or any pending claims on that asset. The promissory contact and must be made in PT and EN versions. Only the final deed will be made in PT only.
Regardless of the amount, get a bank to support you on that documentation. It’s easy, cheap and you won’t be tricked at any point. They have their own services for that.
As a secondary option, get a portugal mortgage broker from and they will assist you with that info.



I appreciate a detailed response. thank you. The asset does not yet exist, it a construction site, so due diligence is not necessary acc. to the realtor. I am planning to come to PT and get a NIF before the promissory and a bank for the dded. I don’t know which bank, as it must be connected with the US bank, according to Nomad experience. So, everything is in the air, for now. I will appreciate any suggestions on the above. Again, thank you,