Moving to Portugal

West coast of Portugal

West coast of Portugal

This is a guest post by Julian Erbs.

Most Brits looking to move to Portugal are looking to trade the moody weather back home for a better life under the sun and amongst the friendly people Portugal is renown for. The nation’s beautifully warm and long summers paired with great food and wine are certainly one of the country’s greatest assets in the eyes of those looking to spend their twilight years in a warm and welcoming country not too far from home. When wrapping up the ‘old’ live in the UK to make the move to live in Portugal, there are a few important considerations to be made.

Find your perfect location

Do your research and do it thoroughly. Do you have any preferences of where in Portugal you want to live already? Do you want city life, beaches or the cooler mountain villages? Are you planning to work in Portugal or even to start up your own business? How far do you want to be from the nearest airport or larger city? If you will be relying on the income of that work or business you may want to look for more affluent and vibrant communities where other expats are already established. If you are looking for peace and tranquillity, are not a fan of roasting yourself in the sun, you may prefer a smaller, all Portuguese community in the green hills of the back country. Think about what you need around you to make your move a success and check each property you find against that list. Then go and visit the places you have shortlisted for a holiday to get to know the area. Choosing a location near a well established airline route departing from your nearest UK airport will not only make it easier for your to come back to visit but will also encourage friends and family to come out and visit you more frequently.

Find out how much money you can borrow

Unless you are part of the lucky minority with enough cash to buy a property outright, you will need a bank to provide you with a mortgage. The number of banks offering mortgages for non-residents is limited. The biggest provider for these services is the Caixa Geral de Depositos via their specialist arm Live in Portugal. The website offers a quick mortgage calculator which can be very helpful to quickly calculate how much you will be able to borrow. There are other providers too, the best place to get some impartial advice are online expat forums.

Engage with the Portuguese expat community

Portugal has a thriving community of expats who gather in various forums, social media groups and blogs. There are groups on Facebook, expat business groups on Linkedin and a large number of forums dedicated to expatriate life in Portugal. Simply do a bit of Google research around ‘Portugal Expats’ search terms and start following some of the blogs and forum threads. This is also a great place to get some impartial advice. This is an opportunity to make friends in Portugal before even moving out there and can really support this at time daunting move.

Do not cut all ties from home

For the first few years you may want to keep your options open. Not everyone finds their dream abroad and you would not want to find yourself stranded far away from friends and family with no route back. This might sound a bit extreme but there are quite a few stranded expats to around the Mediterranean countries who would love to move back to the UK but find it difficult. Simple things such as keeping a UK bank account open, staying on the books with your local GP are easily overlooked. Consider taking out a British private international health insurance as well just to make sure that you are well looked after if anything happens. Rather than selling your UK home entirely, you may want to consider taking out some equity for a deposit in Portugal and then renting your property out for a while. The rental market in the UK has been really strong over the past few years so it’s an option well worth exploring.

Author bio:

This article was written by Julian Erbs who has lived in a number of countries across the world. Currently he is based in the UK and writes articles for a living but he is always toying with the idea to move into a warmer country again.