How do you increase your capital without losing the quality of life? A question that any entrepreneur or investor these days, one way or another, has to ask. The answer, it would seem, lies on the surface: there is always something to be sacrificed. In this endless race for success, we always lose the most valuable resource – time. But we can go a different way.
Today we will tell you the story of Alexei, an investor and entrepreneur from Moscow who was able not only to realize his capital by investing in real estate in Portugal but also to achieve more – to start a new, happy life.
First steps. Opening a business and first investments in Moscow real estate
– I first decided I wanted to move back in 2005. At that time my partner and I had already managed to open our first successful business, a local chain of stores in the north of Moscow. Everything was so good that we had already decided to expand and were actively looking for premises for new outlets. But suddenly it turned out that there was simply no room for us in the city. In addition, our old landlords suddenly decided that they did not want to continue the contract either. Needless to say, it wasn’t about us at all. In any case, I managed to make some good money and invaluable experience, but the residue remained, of course.
In 2010, there was a turning point for Alexei, which will define much more than just making money in the future. With the understanding that investing in a business in Russia was not the most reliable venture, he decided to try his hand in a new area – investing in real estate. The first object was a one-room apartment in the elite new building in Moscow, the yield was 20% per annum. Pure profit, minimal risks – everything seemed perfect, so Alexei continued to add to his investment portfolio.
In 2014, the Russian economy faced a serious currency and financial crisis, while real estate prices continued to rise as before.
– As bad luck, several very profitable offers appeared that year,” Alexei recalls. At the time it seemed silly for me to refuse, but of course, I was short-sighted. The next year was marked by a record fall in real estate prices in the capital: an average of 35%. Naturally, it threw me for a loop. It was then that I first thought about the possibility of investing in real estate abroad, but I didn’t decide right away.
How do I decide to invest in European real estate?
– I nurtured the idea of moving my capital from Russia to Europe for three long years, until I met with an old partner who, it turned out, had decided to buy his first property in Austria a year ago. Over dinner, he told me about all the advantages of his decision: high returns, minimal risks, the opportunity to participate in immigration programs, etc. I was on my way home, not with the thought but with the certainty: “We have to try!”
Of course, there were still many questions. Alexei spent the next two months studying the European real estate market. Of course, everything was not so rosy. There were two different, but related problems. The first option, buying property in central Europe. Indeed, high returns are guaranteed, but the entry threshold to the market is insane. On the other hand, there is real estate in the conditional Czech Republic or Bulgaria. Here the situation is the opposite: the low cost is fully covered by the fact that this property is much less in demand among the local population and the passive increase in prices is not so impressive. You have to rely on a small inflow of tourists and a very long return on investment. Of course, no one could have predicted what was going to happen in 2020 for all of us. If I had bought a property in Austria, it would have been possible at best to break even today. It was even worse with the cheap income properties in the East: The losses could have been as much as 40% of the original value.
Why Portugal? First Thoughts on Moving and Life for Investment
In his search for the best investment opportunity, Alexei turned his attention to Portugal. It was the golden mean: affordable facilities, stable price growth, the ability to rent apartments in the season, and eventually a yield on the sale of up to 30% per annum. At the same time, another opportunity opened up – a residence permit for investment.
That is when I remembered the old dream – to try to get out of Russia. Then it turned out that for the purchase of a real estate in Portugal I can get the status of a resident now.
The last thing that influenced Alexei’s decision was the preferential tax regime in Portugal. In simple words: if he decides to stay in Portugal all his income received in Russia is not subject to taxation. And there were still several properties in Russia that he did not plan to sell yet.
Agency selection and paperwork
– When it came to moving, I realized I couldn’t do it by myself. And to spend tons of time and go through all the details of the immigration process was impossible. That’s when I got my first consultation at MoveToCascais. The employees of the service were happy to provide me with everything I needed: processing NIF, opening a bank account, and an official representative. I, on the other hand, was offered to come by myself for a couple of weeks, see how things work here, and find a good property to buy.
That’s how it happened. After getting his visa, Alexei set off for Portugal for the first time and it would soon become his new home.
First visit to Portugal
– The first impression of Lisbon was very pleasant: a neat modern city with a huge cultural background, beautiful architecture, and gorgeous views of the ocean from almost any observation point. After Moscow, it immediately strikes the eye how clean and tidy everything is here. The streets are empty, no one is rushing anywhere and everything seemed to be working by some kind of internal clock. To be honest, I didn’t even think I would feel so comfortable here.
Selecting an investment
– The most important question left to decide was choosing an object to buy. I can’t say right away that it was an easy process. During the week I visited a few dozen apartments and houses throughout the center of the capital and at one point it seemed like there was no end in sight. All of them had the same problems: small square footage, bad location, problems with the artwork, and so on.
After three days, I finally found the right property: a small townhouse in the heart of the Areiro district on two floors with a lovely terrace. The property was in great condition, with no problems with registration, and completely suitable for all needs. The price at the time of purchase was 600 thousand euros, which Alexi was completely satisfied and of course, it was the right fit with the conditions of the immigration program.
Living in Portugal in 2021
Two long years have passed since then. Today, Alexei lives in a small house by the coast in the Estoril area that he bought at the beginning of the year. He says of his decision to move to Portugal:
I am incredibly glad I decided to move here. I used to seriously believe that “good where we’re not” and it’s better to try to implement at home, no matter how bad it was, but I’m glad I took the risk. The eternal race for success and the cold Russian winters have been replaced by a quiet, measured life and the ocean outside the window. Suddenly, I’m madly in love with surfing and diving, so I spend all my free time by the coast.
Investing in real estate in Portugal: new life and new opportunities
By talking to Alexei and gathering material for his story I remembered how I felt about the move. I originally perceived Portugal as a quiet corner on the edge of Europe and did not even think about the possibility to become a reality here. It was only when I came here that I realized how open this country is. There is a simple rule: if you want to succeed, nothing can stand in your way. To achieve your dreams and not be left behind, you can’t miss out on new opportunities. At the same time, you should not forget yourself in the pursuit of success. Portugal is unique in that it allows us to realize our wildest ideas, without being held back and lets us enjoy every moment to the fullest.
You too can change your life! If you are tired of the constant rush and bustle, if you want to live in a country with an excellent environment, or if you simply want a good future for yourself and your family – we can help you. Book a free call and we’ll tell you how to move into the life of your dreams. We are waiting for you in Portugal!