Californians Dreaming and Living in Portugal

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Californians Dreaming and Living in Portugal
Reading time: 11 minutes
Published: 8th November 2021, 11:29am
Updated: 11th November 2021, 6:11pm

Californians are moving 5,500 miles away to beautiful Portugal. Does it seem strange to you? Well, if you haven’t been to Portugal, then you might wonder what all the fuss is about. 

Our opinion at Portugal Homes may be biased, but believe us when we say that if you visit Portugal you will for sure love it as much as we do!

Some wondered why celebrities such as Michael Fassbender, Scarlett Johansson, and John Malkovich are flocking to beautiful Portugal, purchasing homes in the heart of Lisbon. Or, more famously, when Madonna made the move from London to Lisbon, back in 2017- yet stayed for over 3 years living blissfully in historic Quinta do Relogio, a 6 million 18th century Moorish revival mansion in Sintra, Portugal. 

Portugal offers the Californian appeal with its laid-back attitude, sought-after for its sunny disposition, perfect for a beach destination fit for any beach bum, and surfer. Architecturally intriguing, filled with endless rich history in its cobblestone streets, museums, castles, palaces, churches, and to forget the look-a-like Golden Gate Bridge in “international orange”, with the Ponte 25 de Abril connecting Lisbon city to Lisbon South Bay.

It is understandable for a fellow Californian, to be looking elsewhere to live in- after all, the cost of living in California has dramatically increased over the years, in comparison to other American states. On average, a Californian spends  over $680,000 USD on a home versus in the rest of the United States, it averages about $290,000 USD.

As life in California has become more costly, with the rise of real estate prices, whether you are a celebrity or not, the prospects of life in Portugal are optimum! Purchasing homes in Portugal whether to invest, or relocate has been immensely popular for Americans, although the cost of living in Portugal has risen, in comparison with cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Portugal is still considerably affordable, and offers a great quality of life, with balance in mind between work life and personal. 

Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and 25th April Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal - The European California
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA | April 25th Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal - The European California

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Besides having been awarded 17th place on 2021’s FREOPP World Index of Health Care Innovation, Portugal has also become an upcoming technology-driven country, host of the Web Summit since 2016, the largest annual technology conference held in Lisbon. Over 104,000 attendees from 100+ countries, welcoming all levels, and sectors of the global high technology industry. The capital city of Portugal, Lisbon acquires every year a high traffic of entrepreneurs, tech talent, and savvy investors looking to branch into startups, making Lisbon the main startup hub. This year’s speaker lineup at the Web Summit included: The Facebook Whistleblower Frances Haugen, Assistant Coach of the Belgium National Team Thierry Henry, Chief Operating Officer  of Reddit Jen Wong, Apple Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, and Actress and Comedian Amy Poehler. For full line up speakers details of the 2021 Web Summit in Lisbon, see here.

A definitely great country for creative entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts, and digital nomads, as Portugal being one of the highest English-speaking countries in Europe, ranking at 7th place in the world, and having the archipelago of Madeira as Europe’s first digital nomad village. Especially since remote working has become an essential must during the pandemic, many are looking to relocate for better work opportunities, which makes Portugal a great place to relocate to, with a fairly low cost of living ranging between 1,000 to 1,500 per month. Expats consider Portugal to be one of the best countries to live and work in, awarded by Expat Insider 2021 providing great quality of life, and affordability. 


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Portugal offers co-working spaces opportunities for fellow creatives all over the country, in Lisbon there is Heden, Outsite, and Work Hub, which popular among digital nomads with flexible spaces for a wide variety of groups work, a collaborative workshops. There are creative neighbourhoods within Lisbon that are great for fellow designers to exchange ideas for possible co-design concepts; this is experienced in TODOS, a larger scale creative hub in east Lisbon. Over 62 independent creatives under one roof, services to offices, gallery and event areas, large spaces for filming, and more!  All creative space rentals are available at a daily rate, and booked directly through TODOS. In the parish of Alcantara in Lisbon, you can experience a more actively creative scenery at the LX Factory,  an industrial brick factory turned into a hip neighbourhood with loft developments, local artist shops and boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, pubs, and featuring one of the most quirky bookstore - the Livraria Ler Devagar.

The city of Porto, in the northern region of Portugal, has become a hotspot for designers, and artists; being a cool and hip city with the juxtaposition of traditional and modern. Historically beautiful in its architecture, and exuding ever-charming views by the river Douro; not a doubt that any creative mind will be thinking a million possibilities filled with pure inspiration. Porto is not only recognised for its port wine but affinity for the arts and crafts movements, featuring strong manufacturing, textile and fashion industry - Portuguese linens are known to be of premium craftsmanship and quality. Various co-working spaces are also available in the city of Porto, such as WOW, Porto i/o, and Selina Navis. The city of Porto truly inspires! 

Learn more about the beautiful, and artistic city of Porto, here.


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Living in Portugal | Porto, City Photography
Living in Portugal | Porto City Photography

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It will be a breeze for a Californian or anyone to settle down in Portugal; the essential is to remain open-minded, willing to immerse yourself in a new country, language and culture. Year after year, Portugal has been given a multitude of awards for our hospitality, quality of life, healthcare system, safe cities with low crime rates, and overall accessible housing market.

Now, Portugal is one of the most affluent countries to emigrate and reside in, especially for investment purposes. Thus, investors have the right to live, work, and study in the country and hold a visa-free travel within the Schengen area. 

Portugal Homes can guide you to your first real estate investment in Portugal with our Golden Visa programme; now is the best time ever! We offer exceptional property locations with huge recapitalisation and profitability-get in touch with us for further details. We are sure you will be living that “California dreaming” under the Portuguese sun!

Source: La Mag


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Buying Property in Portugal

Portugal Homes has very experienced and knowledgeable professionals working with some of the most established and reputable developers Portugal has to offer. Our vast experience allows us to guide you through the best investment choices.

Whether you want a holiday home or an investment property, we select the best units for your profile and take care of all the process from start to finish. Even after the sale! Our After Sales services assume the responsibility of furnishing your property at your taste, taking care of the property in your absence, managing the rentals if you wish to rent your property when you’re not in Portugal and so much more!

To learn more about the Portuguese Non-Habitual Resident Program and our After Sales services, please fill the form below.

The overall experience was great from follow up to After Sales. I would like to give special thanks to Mr. Simon, Ms. Francisca and Ms. Mariana.

Investor from UAE

Luísa is a very understandable person, she knew exactly what we were looking for and even showed us and gave us more choices to pick from. Very professional advice, hospitality and service.

Roshana (Zulfiqar) Mian | Hong Kong

My property advisor, Mathew McGurn, was truly excellent! His knowledge, professionalism and attention to details was much appreciated. He worked hard to not only find a property that fit all my requirements, he negotiated successfully with agents making sure my offer won over other buyers bidding for the same property. In addition, his communication skills, prompt response time and general help with my getting settled in Portugal went above and beyond the normal.

Investor from the USA

Dear Sérgio, thank you so much for arranging our 1º Esquerdo place. We love our place, and your attention to detail is very much appreciated. 

Tim Thronson - Investor from the USA

A full service, one stop opportunity. Very easy for us a foreigners. Ryan Dunn went above and beyond for us. We appreciate him and his work!

Jose Arias - Investor from the USA

Everyone I met with and spoke with has been extremely knowledgeable and professional. Dealing with native English speakers who understand things from my perspective was very reassuring. Finally, knowing that I had Matthew in my corner gave me the confidence to proceed with the process of buying an apartment in Lisbon. Thanks very much.

Investor from the USA