The Azores islands, located in the Mid-Atlantic, are a group of 9 islands belonging to Portugal and are located about 90 minutes plane ride from the Capital of Portugal, Lisbon. They say time stands still with a quaint agriculture-based society and modern Europe flair intertwine to create these magical densely populated islands. The Azores has recently become a tourist destination for international travelers, with many new hotels and restaurants being opened throughout the island while still preserving these small islands’ nature and unique lifestyle. The Azores has a population of 250,000, with 140,000 of those residents living on the island of Sao Miguel. The Azores are known for their unique beauty, preserved culture, and ancient traditions that make this a year-round favorite for travelers and vacation homeowners alike. The nine islands of the Azores are all very unique, and all value the common bond of preservation and Nature. The Islands are as follows: Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Faial, Pico, Graciosa, Horta & Flores. Each one of these islands can be whatever you want to make them as long as you have a love of nature in your veins since these islands are very isolated being located in the Mid-Atlantic, and although the land of eternal spring it can become slightly chilly in the winter months with rain being the common theme of the winter. That is how all the islands flourish with their unique flora with the delicate balance of sunlight, fertile volcanic soil, and the perfect amount of rain. If you are deciding on getting a second home in the Azores or a vacation rental, then there are some things you may want to consider before purchasing or building your dream property in paradise. The Azores islands are part of the Euro-Zone region and are the westernmost part of the area. The transformation to the Euro from the Escudo in the early 2000s has led to a tetter-totter effect on the local population. Many things increase in price relative to past Escudo. However, this has allowed a real estate market to thrive where housing values also have gone up. Before the transformation to the Euro, the homeowners benefited greatly from now selling their homes or properties in Euro’s, allowing the price to be higher. However, the same is valid for purchasing a home. The property is now sold in Euro’s, making it harder and more expensive for the locals to move out and buy their own homes in early adulthood. After the financial crisis, banks in Portugal are more reluctant to lend to buyers with unstable or less than good credit. Any member of the Euro-Zone partnered countries can qualify to buy a home in the Azores with employment records and a minimum down-payment of 20%. There is much room to negotiate on a substantial amount of the housing market’s inventory due to supply and demand. Due to an aging population, many properties are becoming available for sale from heirs of the properties that have emigrated or have their own homes. Those interested from other regions of the world such as the USA and Canada can also buy and build homes; however, if you are not paying cash or able to arrange your financing, you might need to get a lawyer in helping to ensure all proper steps are followed according to local and regional regulations. The Azores, which thrive on many solar, wind, and hydro-electric means, have only increased the island’s self-preservation ideals. Many local towns and even some islands are powered 100% by sustainable natural means; Graciosa’s island is one of them. The Azores are a safe, eco-friendly group of islands, where the people and the land live hand in hand. It is a great place to get off the beaten path and relax with countless natural hot water volcanic pools, crystal clear lagoons, and safe, clean beaches. This is becoming a place for those who want to get away and enjoy Mother Nature and all her glory. A safe place to retire and very accessible to both North America and mainland Europe by daily flights leaving with numerous airlines flying both in and out of the region. A modern-day health sector with hospitals located on all nine islands makes these a new favorite with the baby boomers who want peace of mind and security in their retirement. A short 4-hour direct flight out of Boston and 5 hours from Toronto make these islands an escape in Paradise where you can go and enjoy your second home or vacation home and relax whenever you want, knowing you have access daily to both Europe and North America.