+351 910 066 171 info@movetocascais.com
Avenida Aida 295, bloco 8 esq 224, 2765-187 Estoril, Portugal

The best place to live in Portugal with family

I moved with my family to Portugal from Turkey two years ago. It wasn’t easy at all to take this decision, but we wanted to escape the political crisis that was making our country no longer safe for our children and my wife. We had heard that living in Portugal is the right choice for a family, is safe, studying here is not so expensive, and there is a strong community for expats. I didn’t think about all doubts I had in my mind at that moment, I just decided to jump on this adventure.

The best place to live in Portugal with family

How to Move to Portugal for Non-EU Citizens

Finding a way to move to Portugal for non-EU citizens is really complicated. I found that obtaining a Golden Visa is the fastest way to get a residency permit.
I thought it was perfect for us, but I discovered that in order to have it, you have to invest an amount of money that we didn’t have at that time. There were other ways for us to legally stay in the country, such as creating a start-up or a business, studying, or working in the country, but the procedures seemed long, and I did not understand if we could register at university or how we could find work.

How to Move to Portugal for Non-EU Citizens

What Are Highly Qualified Professionals Work in Portugal?

I was giving up when I found a post on the expat Facebook community about a professional consulting agency based in Cascais with many positive reviews in the comments. Many people had the same problem and doubts as me, and they found their solution with MoveToCascais.

I decided to contact them and thanks to a specialist consultancy we found out the answer to our problems. I discovered that my job, I am an engineer, is recognized as a highly qualified professional work, and because of that, I can ask for a special Visa that allows me and my family to enter Portugal for work purposes and to establish there.

I needed to present a promise of work or a signed contract with national companies in order to ask for it. So after I easily found a job and presented the contract with all other requested documents, MoveToCascais managed our living in Portugal.

Is Better to live in Cascais or in Lisbon With Children?

I had many doubts about where to live in Portugal. Was it better to live in Cascais or in Lisbon? I thought Cascais was just a small fisherman’s village, far away from the urban center like Lisbon, and what characterizes it, such as the choice between different restaurants, the possibility to see many museums, and enjoying the nightlife.

I was worried about the distance from my workplace in Lisbon and Cascais, that I would need a car to go daily, having to struggle with traffic, petrol prices, and especially being away from my wife for any needs.

I had seen very good international schools in both Cascais and Lisbon, so I was most concerned about private life. Would my children have been able to integrate into the community not speaking Portuguese? Would the local community have welcomed us? And if they were sick, would the health insurance have covered us, or would it have drained my bank account?

MoveToCascais helped us once again by answering some of my questions, others were answered once I lived in Cascais.

Is Better to live in Cascais or in Lisbon With Children?

Cascais Is a Good Place to Live With Family

We decided to live in Cascais because we realized that Lisbon would only give us more nightlife than what we were looking for at the time. In fact, I wouldn’t need a car to go to work because of the excellent transport links between the two cities. I would rather take an hour daily by train that runs along the ocean than spend my days in the traffic of a big city.

My wife had found the solution to the problem of remoteness and also of aggregation. She soon found a job as a language teacher and started to hang out with her local colleagues or expats like herself, with whom she became friends. We were welcomed into the community and created a group of friends ready to help each other in case of need.

The language difference was not an obstacle, my children studied in an international school where several languages were spoken and where they quickly learned Portuguese, for us, it also wasn’t difficult because many in Portugal speak good English. We started online courses for the basics and then improved with time through practice with our friends.

Cascais turned out to be a calm and safe city for a family, and after the first year, we were ready for our first big buy – an apartment.

We were looking for an apartment near Marina and found the perfect one. It was a two-bedroom apartment with a view of the ocean. We loved it!

The process of buying was very smooth. We worked with a real estate agent Viktoria, who helped us find the right place. We also had a lawyer who handled all of the paperwork. We are very happy with our purchase!

And again, thanks to the guys from MoveToCascais that managed to organize all this process.

So, my conclusion is very simple – if you want to move to a safe and welcoming country – Portugal is definitely the choice! And if you want this process to be as easy as possible – get professional help, and the guys from MoveToCascais are certainly the ones who can provide it!

Is Better to live in Cascais or in Lisbon With Children?

While working on my book “How to Move to Paradise”, and just talking to clients every day, I constantly hear the same question: why is Portugal the best option for your investments? And indeed, investment programs for immigrants are not uncommon these days, so why exactly Golden Visa Portugal?

I’ll be honest, a year and a half ago, when I first got to this amazing country, I was skeptical about such a question. Buying property somewhere else in the country just to get residency? It seemed that the risks did not correspond to the possible advantages, however, now I understand that we are talking about one of the most reliable and fastest-growing real estate markets in Europe, so it is not only a great opportunity to get a residence permit but also a great way to preserve and increase their capital.
Why I bought a house in Portugal

Why I bought a house in Portugal

– My move started in 2017 when I decided to make a change in my life. I had been living in St. Petersburg since I was born: I graduated from school, and university, and opened my first business here. There were many projects, but the most successful one was a small chain of grocery stores around the city. Two still exist today: both on Vosstaniya Street. I love my hometown very much, but there has always been one important problem here. In Russia, it’s almost impossible to realize yourself honestly. You always stop at the ceiling of your possibilities and without proper connections you simply can’t develop further.

Then I decided to make a radical change. Over the years, my husband and I had managed to save a decent amount of money and decided to try and move to another country. Mark, my husband, is from Brazil himself, so of course, that was the first place we went.

As it turned out, that was a big mistake. The conditions for doing business are even worse than in Russia; we had problems even at the stage of registering an IE. The only nice thing was the low housing prices. We bought a small apartment on the outskirts of Fortaleza. To be honest, I already knew then that it was unlikely to be a profitable investment, but given that we sometimes visit my husband’s parents to have our apartment here seemed like a good idea.

After the first year of unsuccessful attempts to start something worthwhile in Brazil, it was clear that we would not get far. There was only one problem: where to go next. The decision came by itself and after stopping for a week in Russia with my family, we went on a little trip through Europe, with a final point in Portugal, which has always gone hand in hand with Brazil, so there should have been no problem with the adaptation.

Portugal turned out to be exactly the place we had been looking for so long. Great climate, the ocean in direct reach, nice people, and the best environment for starting a business in all of Western Europe. When we returned to Brazil, we decided to find an opportunity to move to Portugal.
oceanfront house

Oceanfront House

Valeria looked at seven or eight properties, but she liked this house in Portugal at first sight. The price was amazing for such a property – 550,000 euros for a villa by the ocean.

The house was in an area of Lisbon, literally 300 meters from the coastline. Everything was in perfect condition: on the first floor a living room, bathroom, kitchen, and guest bedroom; on the first floor three bedrooms, another bathroom, and a balcony with a wonderful view over the surroundings. The three-bedroom house is in good condition and just a few kilometers from the beach. The house is close to several beaches, including the small peninsula of Peniche, where she took surfing lessons. In the other direction are vineyards and castle villages. The price was right, so she didn’t haggle – many similar properties cost between 630,000 and 800,000 euros near the coast.

Affordable mortgages in Portugal

Available mortgages in Portugal

Often in conversations with people coming to developing countries, there is a discussion about the need to either pay for the house in full when you buy it or take out a loan secured by another property. In countries like Ecuador, Panama, Mexico, and Thailand, mortgages are rare. Interest rates are high if you can get a loan at all, and you usually have to make a weighted payment in five to seven years.

This is not the case when buying property in Portugal. Valeria was able to put in a 20 percent down payment and receive a long-term interest rate of 1.95 percent for 25 or 30 years. That, in the end, is less than the long-term inflation rate. To get that rate, you have to have a life insurance policy. Anyone can get one – it’s easy and not very expensive.

The real estate agent that MoveToCascais gave me was a miracle! She was the one who found the offer. They also provided me with a Russian-speaking lawyer who made sure everything was in order and who expedited the paperwork. It was not difficult to cover all the transaction costs: a few thousand euros and I already own this beautiful house.

Utility costs in Portugal

Cost of utilities in Portugal

The agent also set her up with a plumber and a cleaner, both of which were very reasonable.

– The average full-time wage in the area is about 1,000 euros a month, so the cost of household services is a pleasant surprise. The painting crew is going to paint the entire interior of a house in two days for 500 euros. The plumber was here for half an hour and only took 15 euros for the job. The people here are much more responsive than I expected.

Portugal golden visa residence permit program

Getting a residence permit through Portugal’s golden visa program

As I wrote above, Valeria received a residence permit in Portugal under the golden visa investment program. Let’s talk more about this opportunity.

The golden visa in Portugal has existed since 2012 and was created to give non-EU citizens the right to obtain a residence permit in exchange for a 6-year investment in real estate. The Golden Visa program has not only helped people live and work in the area but has done wonders for the local economy. Almost six billion euros are said to have been invested in Portugal since the scheme was launched.

The Portugal Golden Visa is one of the most popular citizenship programs for investment in Europe and the world because Portugal is a safe country to live in with an affordable quality of life and good health thanks to its relatively affordable real estate prices (some of the lowest among all EU capitals).

The Portugal Golden Visa program was launched by the government to grant residency status to all real estate investors and eligible families wishing to invest in Portugal. This is done by investing in real estate and is available to any citizen outside of the EU.

The Portuguese Golden Visa program is a program that is available to all citizens outside of the EU.

After obtaining a residence permit with a gold visa, you will be eligible to:

  • reside in Portugal for the duration of your visa,
  • work, live and study in Portugal,
  • travel visa-free in the 26 countries of the Schengen Agreement of the European Union,
  • get Portuguese citizenship after 5 years with the same right as any Portuguese and European Union citizen, the right to family reunification in Portugal and the European Union.

Portuguese Gold Card holders receive a temporary residence permit in Portugal for two years, renewable for another two years. At the end of the 5th year, gold card holders can apply for permanent residency or Portuguese citizenship if all other requirements of the law are met.

Valeria was easily able to make a 20% down payment and pay closing costs, even though she bought an apartment in Brazil last year.

what now?

What about now?

I emailed Valerie again while the pandemic was going on and found out that she had sold the house when she decided to open her own business in Portugal.

– I put the house up for sale two months ago, and within three weeks we found a wonderful Portuguese couple who agreed to take it in. It was a good deal: they sold it for €650,000. With the money I made, I bought a studio in Lisbon which is now being renovated.

I am so glad that I decided to move two years ago. Portugal is a wonderful country and despite all the challenges of the pandemic, I was finally able to fulfill myself here. The whole move was a success, thanks a lot to the guys from MoveToCascais, many thanks to them.

New life in Portugal in 2022

Friends, this concludes our story. I learned a very important lesson from Valeria’s case – don’t stop halfway. Even if you’ve already tried and it didn’t end up the way you planned, it’s always worth trying again.

My own experience moving house is the best proof of that. Think about it: moving to a foreign country, taking my whole family with me and all during quarantine… Of course, I had my doubts, but I am happy that I did not give up and that I found my new home here in Portugal.

If you too want to change your life for the better and have been thinking about moving for a long time, now is the best time to make the first step. We are happy to help you at any stage of legalization in Portugal: from arranging NIF Portugal to advising on obtaining a residence permit and even citizenship! Remember, the main thing is your motivation, and all the details of the immigration process should be left to professionals. We are waiting for you in Portugal!