With sunshine year-round, crystal clear waters and rolling hills, it can be tough deciding where to invest in Europe. Some choose to buy a second property that they use as a vacation while others plan on retiring overseas and want to start their search early. As exciting as the idea of buying a European home is, there’s a lot more to it than touring open houses.
Not only are the housing regulations different, but there may be laws as to how much time can remain in the country without a visa. Some countries grant citizenship when you invest in property while others still require you to apply for a long-term visa. Since buying overseas can become complex quickly, it’s a good idea be prepared before you start your search. To make your search a little easier, here’s a list of the top destinations you should consider.
Portugal saw a huge influx of foreign buyers in 2022. Americans and Brits alike discovered that Portugal had a lot more to it than just Lisbon. Cascais, another gem in the country, is one area you need to visit, especially if you love villas and living by the ocean. The area has been drawing a lot of attention, particularly when it comes to be real estate. Villas in this area range between fixer uppers to villas priced in the millions. Algarve is another area beach lovers should check out. In fact, Algarve is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches you’ll ever see.
If you’re in the market for a luxury vacation property, you’ll probably want to make upgrades that entice vacationers. Installing a home lift in a luxury property allows a wider range of people to rent out your space when you’re not there. It adds an air of sophistication and allows for easy access between floors. Keep in mind that if you’re able to purchase a large villa, you’ll want to create a feeling of luxury throughout. In addition to a lift, you should add other upgrades that are comparable to other homes available on the market.
Barcelona may be the place to party, but Mallorca is the place to kick back and relax all day, every day. Mallorca has white, sandy beaches in the southwest and more rugged landscapes on the northwest coast. There are plenty of properties, ranging from quaint one bedroom to sprawling villas that can accommodate larger families. Additionally, you should head over to Marbella and see what it has to offer. Marbella’s home sales continue to increase, making it one of the most popular places for expats to buy a home. In fact, digital nomads and retirees alike have discovered how wonderful living in Marbella can be.
If fresh air and lush, green landscapes are more your speed, Switzerland may be the place for you. There are vineyards in Lausanne and Nyon that have stunning views of The Alps and Lake Geneva. Smaller towns, such as Chaux-de-Fonds, are close to Zurich and other major cities in the country. Switzerland is also home to Davos, a world-renowned health and wellness retreat. if you do want to live in Switzerland, you should research what the income requirements and make sure you can afford to live there. Also, Switzerland doesn’t offer dual citizenship, so if you want to become a citizen, you’ll have to give up your current one.
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive. That said, there are plenty of other places you can find a home in France. Depending on what type of home you want, you can search in St. Emilion, a town where you can marvel at mid-century vineyards and breathtaking views. Bordeaux is only about 45 minutes away, so you don’t need to worry about being too out of touch with a bustling city.
What can you say about Italy? It’s diverse landscape, rich cultural history and decadent food are only three of the reasons why the Bel Paese should be on your radar. Tuscany is home to a slew of American expats who have either on a live there part-time or full-time basis. There are small towns within Tuscany, outside of Florence, where you can find low-cost homes, mid-range ones and even luxury villa.
If you prefer city life more, you could look at Rome, Milan, Bologna. There are plenty of apartments available in the city center. Alternatively, you could look right outside the center where you’ll find less expensive houses and apartments, which are well connected by tram or bus. In other parts of Italy, you can find homes that are going for only a couple hundred of dollars. However, it’s important to know these homes usually need extensive repairs that need to be completed in a certain amount of time, so it’s best to do your research prior to moving forward.