Buying a House in The Azores
The Azores islands are located in the Mid-Atlantic ocean and are a group of 9 autonomous islands which are a part of Portugal. They say time stands still here on these densely populated islands, and that is the way the locals and visitors like it. The region has recently become an increasingly popular tourist destination for eco-friendly travelers and nature enthusiasts. The Azores; with a population of just under 250,000 people and 140,000 of those residents living on the island of Sao Miguel makes these 9 islands very special. The Azores are known for their unique beauty, preserved culture, and ancient traditions, which are only some of the reasons these islands have been rated so highly by organizations and publications such as UNESCO and National Geographic.
The nine islands in order of their discovery are; Santa Maria, Sao Miguel, Terceira, Sao Jorge, Faial, Pico, Graciosa, Corvo, and 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.
If you are deciding on purchasing a second home in the Azores or are considering a long-term 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 region in the Atlantic and are autonomous like the Portuguese islands of Madeira and Porto Santo; just 300 miles south of the Azorean archipelago. After the global credit crisis of 2008, banks throughout the world and especially in Portugal were reluctant to lend to buyers with unstable or less than desirable credit. 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 hydroelectric means, have only increased the island’s self-preservation standards. 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.
A safe place to retire and remarkably 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 to an island paradise. Here you can go and enjoy your second home or vacation retreat and relax whenever you want, knowing you have access daily to both Europe and North America by air.
The island of Sao Miguel has seen an unusual increase in housing prices which do not reflect the current value and or inventory in the housing market. In my opinion, the prices are exceptionally high at the moment and do not reflect the Azorean wages and availability to financing anymore, marketing the houses to foreign buyers.
The increased interest in second-home purchases by expats and Azores lovers from abroad has caused sellers to get much more than they ever dreamed for their homes due to the limited new housing developments and increased purchasing power of foreign buyers, eliminating the possibility for homeownership for the majority of the younger population. So, again there is always room for negotiation on anything you see and some prices have been inflated so make sure you do your research or have a reliable consultant do the work for you so you don’t end up overpaying.