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How to choose a country, a home, a lifestyle, and a community?"

Updated: May 28, 2023

"Good food, great people, great weather, and small towns" is what brought Steve and Stephanie from Bethany Beach, Delaware, US to visit Portugal once more. Watch their full interview here.

People chilling, drinking and laughing on the waterfront in Cascais on a Saturday.

Stephanie defines "home" in three words:

  1. My family

  2. My hometown

  3. Comfort

What are your three words to define 'Home'? Share them with us on our Instagram page.

"The house is a nest, a refuge for dreaming, where one sleeps and where one loves. The dreamer and the lover, both perfect idlers, represent a kind of antithesis to the worker, who is always seeking an end in action." –Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space [1958]

This quote highlights how our sense of home and what we expect from home have changed over the past 60 years:

A typical 'Kodak Moment' of an American family-icon of the Nuclear Family Model. All rights reserved. – The Nuclear Family construct as a state-based laboratory where men provide, women procreate and elders are nursed afar in specific homes, has shown major cracks. Although many house layouts are still designed around that model. On topic, The Atlantic published a podcast titled 'The Nuclear Family was a Mistake' offering an analysis, facts and figures and alternative models on the topic. – More single parents need home. U.S. has world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households – More independent women seek homes. Young, proud and empowered: Women home buyers in their 30s – More people who chose to be childfree seek houses. The Adults Celebrating Child-free Lives – More people who work and create from home, are re-thinking housing. Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say – More people are willing to share housing particularly among Millennials who for most have shared flats in capital cities, and even people in their 50s are willing to share housing: ‘My choices are limited’: over-50s turn to flatsharing in cost of living crisis – More divorced couples seek two separate houses.

Speaking to an interior designer in Lisbon, she tells us how her ex-clients are calling up to have her help re-think and design two separate houses this time.

Cities and towns are changing. More green spaces, outdoor spaces, more community-building design.

Cubo Cafe in Seixal

Covered market in Cascais Since the pandemic sent us all back home, our house and perception of home and the role of the city have transformed and adjusted at the speed of light with now a clear focus on people's well-being and mental health, while bringing back generations together. Storytelling allows elders to transfer values and meaning to younger generations

The sprawling and estranging suburbs riveted around the car culture have recently shown their limits: Depression is more common in the suburbs than in city centres – new research

One of the greatest minds in design and fashion, trend forecaster Li Edelkoort, "I'm fascinated by archaeology. I dig in the past to find the future," was visionary in her interview by Deezen in 2020 and a year later, sharing her thoughts on architecture:

"Architecture will focus on sustainable systems, tiny houses, cabins and huts as well as rethinking empty urban buildings to help the greening and re-setting of the city."

"Country houses are bought over the phone, even without visiting. In many countries, people are leaving cities in hordes to settle in more affordable and more beautiful homes with gardens close to nature, or in smaller city centres."

"The work-from-home movement will not stop but continue as another way to be, setting people free from a location, inciting companies to create new hubs where we can gather to work (and sleep?) together and then go home again. The idea of work hotels comes to mind."

Emerging Trends in Housing

When sifting through the "9 Emerging Architectural Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2023," her three predictions were spot on:

Tiny Houses

"Tiny homes are the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly design you'll ever see, and the idea has undoubtedly evolved over the years. These homes aim to create a life focused on what is genuinely valuable and to be content with what you have." But some disagree: Vox journalist, Dylan Matthew, gives a controversial point of view in his article "The Case Against Tiny Houses".

Madeiguincho unveils its latest off-grid 'tiny house on wheels' in portugal

Community-Centered Design

"Buildings and settings accessible and friendly to a diverse range of individuals, including those with disabilities, are becoming increasingly one of the most prominent architectural trends we'll see in 2023. These communities include establishing locations stimulating social contact and community engagement and designing outdoor spaces."

In the Portuguese wine-rich Douro Valley. Check out this project of a Luxury Series of Residences

Work at Home "Despite the best efforts of the return-to-office evangelists, the share of US workplaces sitting unused across the country has hit historic highs. According to the latest analysis from commercial real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield, a record 18.6% of office buildings across the country are vacant. By the end of the decade, the US could be sitting on 1.1 billion square feet of empty cubicles and corner offices." [Source: Quartz At Work] Home builders are noting a stark change in demand: Americans want more space for both working and living. "Flexibility is probably the most important thing. People want to be able to customize their home to the way they live," said Nancy K. Keenan, president of Dahlin Group Architecture and Planning.

Living room in a shared flat in Sao Bento, Lisbon Since launching the scheme in October 2022, Portugal has approved 200 digital nomad visas. The majority of applications have come from Brazil, the UK and the USA, according to the country's Ministry of Affairs.

In Portugal, small houses, small towns and praças [squares] to meet up, have always been a way of life!

An improvised garage in the shade on the Bay of Seixal

Watching the ocean on a the many benches along the promenade between Estoril and Cascais

In many cities and small towns throughout Europe, benches have disappeared. Not in Portugal. Praça das Flores in Lisbon, Cascais's promenade, or Seixal's praças offer benches to locals and visitors to relax as a community.

Smaller houses, smaller towns and community oriented lifestyles bring us back to Portugal and Lisbon South Bay. Watch Yvonne Ivanescu on TikTok addressing to her 28.5K followers. "Are you thinking about buying property in Lisbon? Dreaming about buying a house in Portugal?," she asks. Although "not a real estate agent," Yvonne clearly guides her audience to invest in smaller towns. Her top ranking: 1 – Almada / Cacilhas 2 – Charneca de Caparica 3 – Seixal 4 – Setúbal/Palmela Our chat with Steve and Stephanie in Seixal also highlighted that this lifestyle expands to holiday choices with more interest in short-term rentals out of the bigger cities. Favourite places in Portugal for Stephanie? "I personally like the beach towns. For me, it would obviously be Seixal or Sétubal. The bigger cities are great to visit, but we prefer the smaller, more intimate settings."

Housing for sales in Seixal starting from €85,000 are available on this page.

The bay of Seixal facing Lisbon at sunset. Photography taken in Portugal, courtesy of If you wish to invest in Portugal and particularly in and around Lisbon, and in the Alentenjo Region, reach out with your questions. We hand-pick properties that are the best investment for you. Check also out our properties for sale.

Mojo is a Boutique Real Estate guiding and assisting investors and buyers in Portugal, scouting and cherry picking the perfect property within specifics and budget. We manage and coordinate the purchase process and renovations as well as the property for short and long-term rent striving optimal yields for our investors. Tell us about your dream and we'll scout for you! More on our Instagram page | whatsapp: +351.962.621259


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