Updated: July 7, 2024


Guarda is a captivating city situated in Central Portugal, just 30 minutes to the west of the Spanish border and surrounded by the unique Serra da Estrela mountains, the highest mountain range in mainland Portugal.

If you are considering buying property in Guarda, you will be stunned by the location and the affordability of this part of Portugal, where you can enjoy a truly authentic Portuguese environment and an incredible gastronomy.

In this article, your guide to to buying property in Guarda Portugal, we’ll delve into this charming region of Portugal, providing you with key information and tips about the buying process to snap up property here.

Why should you buy property in Guarda?

guarda portugalGuarda is both a city and municipality in Central Portugal that boasts a high quality of life and where you can immerse yourself in an authentic Portuguese lifestyle. Local produce is at the forefront of the food scene here in Guarda, such as delicious local cheeses (try the queijo da Serra da Estrela) and choriço, made using traditional production methods. With a close community feel, Guarda is a very safe part of the country to live, where you’ll find the locals extremely friendly to expats.

Guarda is well connected to key Portuguese cities, such as Porto and Aveiro by the highways, and you can drive to Spain in less than an hour. Lisbon, the Portuguese capital, is also just over three hours away.

While tourists have traditionally visited the hotspot locations of Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, more tourists than ever before a looking off the beaten path to enjoy the peace and quiet of interior areas, wellness and spa centers in the midst of nature, and eco-tourism experiences, such as winemaking or cheesemaking.

With the stunning Serra da Estrela Mountain range and the abundance of beauty in the region, it is likely that interior areas of Portugal, such as Guarda, will see a boost in popularity in the future, opening up the potential for you to secure a nice return on your investment in the future.

Understanding the Real Estate Market in Guarda

Should you be looking to find your dream home in a calm part of Portugal, well known for its pure, clean air, you will be pleased to know that property prices here are very affordable.

The average asking price for property in Guarda stands at €689 per square meter. You will find a wide selection of residential properties in the market here.

Guarda property types range from modern apartments that retain traditional charm to spacious houses and country homes. You will also find land for sale at very affordable rates, plus equestrian properties and vineyards in the surrounding countryside.

Where to Find Properties for Sale in Guarda

If you are considering buying property in Guarda, consider the following areas:

  • Guarda city center: Guarda’s historic center conjures up an old-world charm with the Guarda Cathedral as its center point. The cathedral is a combination of Gothic and Manueline architectural styles and proves a fitting backdrop to the old-age charm of the city. Buying property here offers close proximity to shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
  • Surrounding villages: The countryside surrounding Guarda is dotted with quaint villages, providing the ultimate location for those seeking a slower, relaxed pace of life. Properties here offer incredible views of rolling hills, the Serra da Estrela mountain range, and the occasional vineyard. Almeida, Castelo Mendo, Linhares da Beira, Marialva, Trancoso, and Sortelha are each excellent choices and are frequently mentioned in discussions about the most beautiful villages in Portugal. Alvendre is also a top choice, just to the north of Guarda.
  • Serra da Estrela: For outdoor enthusiasts, investing in property near the Serra da Estrela Natural Park presents an excellent opportunity. From cozy cottages to spacious chalets, the properties here offer unparalleled access to hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities, making them ideal for nature lovers.

When choosing the right location for you, be sure to consider your needs and preferences. For example, do you want to be in the heart of nature or in the center of Guarda? Be sure to define your requirements before kickstarting your property search.

Aside from Guarda, you can check out some of the other best places to snap up Portuguese property in our article: What are the Best Places to Buy Real Estate in Portugal.

Steps to Purchase Property in Guarda

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Portugal making the process to acquire property quite straightforward. However, as with buying property in any country, you will need to ensure you are familiar with the buying process.

Below, we provide an easy six-step guide to buying property in Guarda.



Step 1: Secure financing for your property

Assess your finances, explore mortgage options from Portuguese banks, and understand associated costs such as taxes, legal fees, and property registration expenses.

Step 2: Find the perfect property

Set a budget and research the Portuguese real estate market, focusing on location, amenities, and rental potential. Seek guidance from real estate professionals like buyer's agents or real estate agents.

Step 3: Make an offer

Once you find a suitable property, negotiate an offer with the seller, potentially facilitated by a real estate professional. Consider having a buyer's agent representing your best interests during negotiations.

Step 4: Reservation Agreement and CPCV

After an offer is accepted, a Reservation Agreement may require a refundable fee. The Promissory Contract (CPCV) finalizes the promise of acquiring real estate between the two parties and includes a deposit to secure the transaction. We recommend that the signing of the CPCV is officially recognized and conducted in front of a Notary. 

Step 5: Signing the Escritura

The Escritura, or Final Deed, officially transfers property ownership. Signed before a Notary, it involves paying remaining balances and fees. After signing, the buyer becomes the official owner, concluding the process.


Take a look at our guide to buying property in the Portugal to kickstart your buying journey

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Requirements for a Successful Property Purchase

When buying property in Portugal, there are certain hoops that you will need to jump through. In this section, we will delve into the requirements you need for a successful property purchase.

GC-ICON-76Portuguese Tax Identification Number (NIF)

You will need to get a Portuguese Tax Number (NIF) for any major financial transactions in Portugal, including buying property. You can apply for the NIF number at your local tax office, but you can also get your NIF number online before even coming to Portugal. If you are a non-EU citizen, you must have a fiscal representative.

Portuguese bank account

When not mandatory, it is advisable to open a Portuguese bank account when investing in property in the Algarve to avoid additional charges during your transaction. There are many different Portuguese banks to cater to foreign investors, with more than fifteen banks providing mortgage options for foreigners.

Required documents for buying property in Coimbra

You will need to have the following documents when buying property in Coimbra.

  • Photo ID: A valid identification document used to confirm your identity.
  • Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda (CPCV): The agreement outlining the terms and conditions of a property purchase.
  • Energy Certificate: This document offers insights into a property’s energy efficiency and should be provided by the seller.
  • Imposto de Selo: Stamp duty, a tax mandated by the Tax Authority for property transactions.
  • Caderneta Predial: A document from the land registry containing details about a property, such as its location, boundaries, and registered owner.

How to Find Property in Guarda

The real estate market in Guarda is not as developed as in other parts of Portugal, such as Lisbon, Porto, or the Algarve, which can make it difficult to find your perfect home. Plus, the real estate market is fragmented, and there is no one place to find all the properties available to buyers. This is where seeking the expert assistance of a real estate professional in Portugal comes in. We also highly recommend working with a Portuguese real estate lawyer to assist you with the legalities of the purchase.

We know that each buyer will have different requirements, and therefore, it’s essential for you to clearly define your requirements and budget. Below we share some top tips for you to scout your ideal property.

GC-ICON-93Beginning your property search in Portugal

Beginning your property search involves several key steps:

  • Clarify your requirements: Start by outlining your specific needs and requirements. This could include location preferences, property size, budget constraints, desired amenities, and proximity to essential services such as schools, healthcare facilities, and transportation hubs.
  • Establish your budget: Determine a realistic budget for your property purchase. Consider whether you’ll require financing through a mortgage and, if so, begin exploring your options to secure a mortgage in Portgual. This step will help you refine your search and concentrate on properties that fall within your financial means.
  • Explore neighborhoods: Conduct extensive research on various neighborhoods to identify those that best suit your lifestyle and preferences. Look into factors such as the quality of local schools, availability of amenities, and the potential for future development or property value appreciation.

GC-ICON-93Seek expert guidance

Researching through property portals and real estate websites can only get you so far. While they are a good place to begin to get a flavor of the real estate market, consider engaging the services of a reputable real estate agent or buyer’s agent.

Experienced agents offer valuable local insights, exclusive listings that you will not find on property websites alone, and expert guidance throughout the property acquisition process. Keep in mind that while real estate agents represent the seller and will secure a higher commission for a higher sale, buyer’s agents prioritize the buyer’s interests, ensuring their interests are protected.

Make sure that you express your requirements and preferences clearly so that they can pinpoint properties for sale that align with your needs.

GC-ICON-93Property viewings

When you’ve shortlisted properties that are of interest to you, the next step is to schedule viewings. Should you work with a buyer’s agent or real estate agent, they will be able to set up these viewings on your behalf. Take note of the property’s condition, layout, and potential renovation needs.

Prepare questions in advance about the property, neighborhood, and developments, and it is worth talking to neighbors for their local insights and what it is like to live in the area. Visit the property both during the day and at night as a location can have a different feel depending on when you visit.

GC-ICON-93Conduct thorough due diligence

Performing due diligence is essential in all real estate transactions, as it helps uncover any legal concerns or possible hurdles that must be resolved before moving forward with the deal. Your real estate lawyer in Portugal will handle due diligence assessments on your behalf, which encompass examining both property-related matters and the seller’s situation, in that they are legally able to sell the property. Additionally, they will inform you about any existing debts associated with the property.

Taxes and fees

When buying property in Guarda, you will need to ensure you understand the legal processes and are up to speed with the taxes that you will need to pay. Property taxes in Portugal fall at the time of purchase and on an annual basis.

Below, we delve into the taxes you will need to pay upfront when buying the property and the taxes you will need to pay annually.

taxes iconTaxes to pay at the time of purchase

Below are the taxes that you will need to pay at the time of purchase.

IMT (Portugal Purchase Tax)

The first tax you’ll need to take into account is the Imposto Municipal Sobre as Transmissões Onerosas de Imóveis (IMT), or Municipal Tax on Onerous Transfers of Real Estate. This tax ranges from 0 to 10 percent. The 0 to 8 percent range is based on factors like the property’s price, location, type, and intended use (whether it is for primary residence or secondary housing). A fixed rate of 10 percent applies if the buyer is linked to territories with favorable tax schemes, known as blacklisted jurisdictions.

Stamp Duty

When purchasing property in Portugal, you will need to factor in Stamp Duty (Imposto do Selo), one of the country’s oldest taxes that is applied to various transactions. For property acquisitions, Stamp Duty is levied at a rate of 0.8 percent.

taxes iconTaxes to pay on an annual basis

Below we have listed some of the taxes you will need to pay annually.

IMI (Municipal Property Tax)

The Municipal Property Tax (Imposto Municipal sobre Imóveis) in Portugal is an annual obligation for property owners. The tax rates vary by municipality, with each local legislature determining its own rates. Typically, IMI rates range from 0.3 to 0.45 percent for urban properties (in certain situations, up to 5 percent) and up to 0.8 percent for rural properties.

IMI is calculated based on the property tax value (VPT), not the purchase price, which usually works out nicely for the buyer as the VPT is usually much lower than the market value.

AIMI (Portuguese Wealth tax)

AIMI (Additional to IMI) is a Portuguese Wealth tax that is required on properties valued at over €600,000. The tax rates are shown below.

  • For properties valued between €600,001 and €1 mil: 0.7 percent tax
  • For properties valued between €1 mil and €2 mil: 1 percent tax
  • For properties valued above €2 mil: 1.5 percent tax

taxes iconCapital Gains Tax

NHR taxIf you are looking to sell your property, you will need to consider Capital Gains Tax. This means that the profits that you make when you sell a property are liable to tax.

Non-residents selling property in Portugal are subject to a flat 28 percent tax rate on the entire gain. Portuguese residents, however, are taxed on gains from investments and real estate acquired only after 1 January 1989, with rates ranging from 14.5 percent to 48 percent based on income scales. When filing taxes, besides providing purchase details, invoices for property improvements must be included for the capital gains assessment.

Bear in mind that there can be exemptions to Capital Gains Tax. For example, if you are selling your primary residence in Portugal and reinvesting in Portuguese property within three years after the sale or two years before, then you will be exempt. Likewise, if the property was first occupied in your name before January 1989, or if you decide to reinvest the funds earned from the sale of your primary house in Portugal into a second primary residence in the EU then you will also be exempt.

Additional Costs Involved in Buying Property in Guarda

property-to-rent-in-albufeira-old-townIn addition to the agreed price of the property and the taxes and fees that you will need to consider, bear in mind that there will be additional costs. We have outlined these below.

Legal expenses: Expect legal fees ranging from €2000 to €5000, which may vary based on factors such as property type, price, purchase intricacies, and the level of experience of the lawyer.

Land Registry fee: There’s a Land Registry fee of €250 that needs to be accounted for.

Notary fees: Plan for notary fees amounting to around €500-€1,000.

Also, bear in mind mortgage costs should you be looking to secure assistance with financing your property purchase.

Is it worth buying property in Guarda?

For lovers of the great outdoors, those looking for a quiet spot, and those seeking a high quality of life, Guarda comes highly recommended. The city, with the towering Serra de Estrela mountain range close by, provides a unique lifestyle where you can easily get to Porto, Spain, and other key cities in Northern Portugal.

The affordability of real estate prices is another big pull factor, alongside the fact that Guarda is an incredibly safe city to live in. Portugal ranks in seventh position in the 2024 Global Peace Index, and Guarda is considered to be one of the safest parts of the country, where there remains a community feel and where locals go out of their way to point you in the right direction or to recommend a good restaurant for you to check out. The incredible gastronomy, focused on local produce and traditional production methods, is yet another reason why Guarda should certainly be on your radar.

As more tourists than ever before are looking outside the popular locations of Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, and as more wellness centers and eco-tourism ventures set up shop in the interior areas of Portugal, there is also high potential here for increased tourism in and around Guarda.

Goldcrest: How We Can Help You

Goldcrest is the first buyer’s agent in Portugal, based in Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve. We provide local insights and impartial advice on real estate investments and have helped hundreds of expats secure their dream home in Portugal. From scouting out the perfect property through to property acquisition and aftercare, we guide you throughout the entire process.

If you are looking to purchase property in Portugal, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of skilled experts is available to solve all your real estate doubts, offering insightful expertise and strategic advice.

Book a complimentary call to discuss your options with our team of experts today.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Buying Property in Guarda, Portugal

There are no restrictions on foreigners purchasing property in Portugal. You will need to have a Portuguese NIF (Tax Identification Number) and provide the required documents, such as proof of identification, the CPCV (Contrato Promessa de Compra e Venda), the Energy Certificate, Stamp Duty, and the Caderneta Predial (Land Registry document). It is also highly recommended to open a Portuguese bank account.

The property buying process in Guarda involves finding a suitable property, negotiating terms, signing a promissory contract, conducting due diligence, and signing the final deed in front of the Notary, where ownership of the property is transferred over.

When purchasing property in Guarda, you will need to consider Property Purchase Tax (IMT), Stamp Duty, notary and registration fees, legal fees, and annual property taxes, such as IMI (Municipal Property Tax).

Foreign buyers in Guarda face no restrictions when buying property in Guarda or elsewhere in Portugal.

Finding a trusted real estate agent in Guarda involves researching local agencies, checking reviews and credentials, and meeting agents in person. Look for professionals with local market knowledge and transparent communication and who have assisted expats in similar situations. Bear in mind that real estate agents work on behalf of the seller and will get a higher commission for a higher sale. Buyer’s agents will work solely on your behalf, ensuring your best interests are protected.

The best neighborhoods to buy property in Guarda depend on preferences and priorities. Popular areas include Guarda city center for amenities, Almeida for historic charm, and surrounding villages for tranquility and nature.

When inspecting a property in Guarda, consider location, condition, structural integrity, utilities, legal status, and potential for renovation or improvement. Hire a qualified surveyor for a thorough assessment. You will find many property types in and around Guarda, so be sure to carefully define what type of property you are looking to buy, whether it is a spacious country home or a smaller apartment in the heart of the city.

Hiring a lawyer for buying property in Guarda is advisable to navigate legal complexities, review contracts, ensure title deeds are clear, and handle any issues that may arise during the transaction.

Financing a property purchase in Guarda can be arranged through Portuguese banks or international lenders. There are more than fifteen banks in Portugal that provide lending options for foreigners.

Common pitfalls when buying property in Guarda include incomplete paperwork, unclear property titles, hidden defects, and legal disputes. Conduct thorough due diligence and seek professional advice to avoid complications.

Working with property valuation experts and surveyors will also help to ensure that you opt for the right property with high investment potential.

The property buying process in Guarda typically takes 1-4 months to complete, though this can vary based on factors like property type, financing, and legal requirements.

When it comes to buying a home in Guarda for expats, property registration procedures involve submitting documents to the Land Registry Office for official record-keeping and updating ownership details. Notaries handle the registration process during property transactions.

Yes, you can rent out your property in Guarda after purchase, although you will need to secure an Alojamento Local (AL) license if you are looking to rent out your property in the short term. Landlords must comply with rental laws, register rental agreements, and pay income tax on rental earnings.

Ongoing costs of owning property in Guarda include annual property taxes, condominium fees (if applicable), utility bills, insurance, maintenance, and income tax on rental earnings if renting out the property.

Guarda, Portugal, offers affordable property prices, an array of property types, and breathtaking scenery, making it attractive for investors seeking tranquility and natural beauty. However, its smaller size means limited amenities and economic opportunities compared with other bigger or better-known cities.

The average asking price for property in Guarda stands at €689 per square meter, making the city one of the most affordable in Portugal. You will find many different property types in and around Guarda, with more luxury properties obviously costing more.

There are more than fifteen banks that provide financing options for foreign buyers in Portugal, with fixed and variable rate mortgage options. The six step process is outlined below to get a mortgage to help you secure your dream home.

  • Obtain a mortgage quote.
  • Submit application forms.
  • Receive a formal mortgage offer.
  • Obtain a valuation report.
  • Arrange completion details.
  • Make payments (including all related fees, minimum deposit, tax office fees, and taxes) and sign the property and mortgage deeds.

The real estate market in Guarda is characterized by steady growth, affordability, and increasing interest from both domestic and international buyers. You will find many different property types, from spacious homes in the countryside to renovated modern apartments. The city’s historic charm, stunning landscapes, and potential for investment projects such as wellness centers, contribute to its growing appeal.

Buying property in Guarda offers benefits such as affordable real estate prices, a high quality of life, rich cultural heritage, and beautiful landscapes and river beaches.  You will find an array of property types from countryside villas to quaint townhouses.

Rent prices are 73 percent lower in Guarda than in Lisbon, restaurant prices are 19 percent lower, and groceries are 13 percent lower.

You will find a wide array of property types in Guarda and you should easily be able to find your dream home in this part of Portugal, whatever you are looking for. Property types include modern apartment, spacious villas, and historical homes. You will also find vineyards, equestrian properties, and land for sale in this part of Portugal.

Popular residential areas in Guarda offer amenities such as schools, healthcare facilities, shopping centers, parks, and public transportation. These services contribute to a high quality of life and convenience for residents.

Guarda is an excellent location to find your dream home. Retirees should consider healthcare access, cost of living, community amenities, and property maintenance needs when buying in Guarda, for example ensuring that their properties are well insulated. The city’s peaceful environment and affordable lifestyle make it an attractive retirement destination. The clean air and river beaches also are key attractions for retirees given their health benefits.