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What Is the Meaning of 'Home' for People? What Are the Three Words You Would Use?

Buildings & Land for sale in Seixal – Seixal is facing Lisbon and can be reached in 20 minutes by the ferry. Many people are currently moving to Seixal to be closer to the beaches.

What is 'home' for you? What do we call 'home'? When asked, 'What is home?' A large number of people answers with three words that often overlap, and what seems to matter most seems to be: safety, security, unity, peace, the people we love, and the right to be oneself, illustrated by a few quotes:

"Only three words: safety, security, stability." — Rita "I would say: family, our home by the sea, and comfort" – Stephanie

"Home means a new chapter in my family's lives, a fresh new start, safety, security, unity." — Betty "Home is a place of emotional and physical stability. It's a place where you can find peace and solace from the world outside." - Richard C. Morais, Canadian-American novelist and journalist

"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." - Maya Angelou, American writer and poet "Home is a place where you can be yourself, where you can feel comfortable and safe." - Marjane Satrapi, French-Iranian novelist Housing and real estate markets often focus on numbers and returns on interests, but housing is so much more for those who live in a house, in an urban or rural environment, in an interconnected society, in a country and its politics.

In Portugal, what people want today are houses connected to tech innovations with a concern for security and the environment.

Ferrel on the Peninsula of Peniche. Read also our blog on Ferrel, epicenter of surf training.

SMART HOMES In Portugal, the demand for smart homes is higher and pushes developers to build homes that suit the requests of families seeking smart home solutions to improve comfort, energy efficiency, and the security of their homes, according to a survey by experts via idealista.

Image courtesy of Appeared in article: 'Smart home or building (home automation or domotics)'

Real estate is embracing the digital age and the collective concern for climate-friendly sustainable living and energy saving. Families have started to pay attention to the concept of 'smart home' in Portugal in the past three years: "After the pandemic and the lockdown, people effectively started looking more at the concept of house and comfort, and they started thinking more about how they could get in and out of the house without having to touch everything,” states Lídia Amorim, Chief Marketing Officer at Chaviarte, which develops Domni smart security systems. Although this is a first step, it is undoubtedly a growing market with strong economic outcomes for Portugal. And count on 'digital nomads' in the country working remotely and investing in housing, to join the choir. [Source: TPN, Idealista, 01.05.2023]

The innovation hub in Lisbon focuses on creativity and technology. Located in Beato | Marvila, east of Lisbon, the former industrial complex has 35.000m2 and 20 buildings. Images feature pracabeato_

LUXURY HOUSES Foreigners buy 4 out of 5 properties in the Algarve, in South Portugal. And around 90% of buyers who invest in the Algarve are buying second homes. As a result, less than 20% of home investors in the Algarve region are Portuguese.

Luz de Tavira, Algarve | Six-bedroom traditional villa for sale This survey is by a German multinational specializing in luxury real estate. It stipulates that the breakdown of buyers is essentially coming from wealthy Northern countries. British nationality is predominant, followed by German, French, Swedish, Dutch and Swiss. The study also shows that the number of US investors is also increasing significantly.

The majority is said to be buyers under 55 years old, with an active professional life and with children. As a rule, they do not want to live more than ten minutes away by car from the nearest main city. And ideally, they are looking for properties with sea views.

INVEST IN PORTUGAL If "buying a house in Portugal in 2023 is 5.5% more expensive than one year prior," investing in Portugal remains the best option in Southern Europe. The increase in demand in recent years is the reason why real estate prices in Portugal are higher than in Spain and Italy.

This can be attributed to several positive factors. Portugal has been at the forefront of many societal changes. Even before the pandemic, the country fearlessly invested in technology and biotechnology. Additionally, Portuguese people of all generations speak English fluently, which has facilitated international integration. The Web Summit in Lisbon has further boosted these efforts. Following the pandemic, Portugal has experienced two major societal changes. Remote work has become a reality in the country, and surfing has also become a popular movement. Portugal, with its welcoming atmosphere, pleasant weather, and a coastline stretching 1,793 km (1,114.1 mi) along the Atlantic Ocean, is at the center of this momentum.

Peniche city on the Silver Coast. Credit:

Surfers relaxing on Vila do Bispo's Praia da Cordoama, a beach on the west coast of the Algarve, part of the Costa Vicentina natural park. Credit:

HOUSING & SAFETY In recent news from North America, security, mental health, and gun control have once again dominated the headlines. According to the database of the research group, Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 192 mass shootings (mass shootings are defined as involving more than four people) in just over four months. (Source: nytimes) If a house becomes a shelter from increasing threats, both imagined and real, how sustainable can the feeling of peace, stability, unity, and safety truly be in one's home?

Vila do Bispo, Algarve. Credit:

Pastelaria Saudade in Estrela, Lisbon. Credit:

This year, many Americans are choosing to relocate to Portugal. Switzerland is also attracting a significant number of American expatriates. Additionally, according to the Global Property Handbook 2023, Paris tops the list of the most desirable cities for high net worth individuals, with Portugal climbing four positions. The resurgence of interest in the "City of Light" can be partially attributed to Brexit, which has attracted Anglo-Saxon and French executives returning from overseas assignments, as well as American buyers who were previously restricted by travel limitations. (Source: New 2023 edition of the GLOBAL PROPERTY HANDBOOK [print] The growing number of Americans moving to Europe may be due to increasing anxiety about social violence and political uncertainty leading up to the next presidential election.

HOUSING vs. PEOPLE There is something profoundly unsettling when facts, fictions, conspiracy theories, and mental health issues lead consumers to consider purchasing weapons. Let's pause and think about it carefully. How many items have you bought without any intention of using them? Imagine buying a car and leaving it parked in a garage for its entire life.

A Culver City gun store in 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photography: Monica Lopez From story in Center For Health Journalism

In her opinion piece dated May 4th, 2023 in The Times, Contributing Opinion Writer Roxane Gay writes: "In Kansas City, Mo., Ralph Yarl, a Black 16-year-old, rang the wrong doorbell. He was trying to pick up his younger brothers and had simply mistaken the street, going to Northeast 115th Street instead of Northeast 115th Terrace—a harmless mistake. Andrew Lester, an 84-year-old white man, shot him twice and allegedly said, 'Don't come around here.' Bleeding and injured, Ralph went to three different houses, according to a family member, before he received help from good neighbors in a good, middle-class neighborhood." Gay raises questions: "Why are men so afraid? Why are they so fragile that they shoot or harm first and ask questions later? Why do they believe death or injury is an appropriate response to human fallibility?"

When the protection of a house sounds more crucial than the protection of a human being, there is reason to worry about the society fomenting such beliefs.

HOME AS A NEW BEGINNING Whenever moving country, one might also shift priorities. In Portugal, many of us have been re-thinking priorities. Customer service might not be such a thing here and that’s because a few generations of Portuguese experienced Europe’s oldest dictatorship until 1974. Further on, Portugal built its own revolution and democracy with little time to embrace the capitalistic model of customer-friendly consumerism.

Portugal invites us to live in a country without post-industrial waste of grand scale and without consumerist values that risk endangering the environment. Portugal in its great simplicity, a trademark of Portuguese culture, don’t invite us to recluse in a house, fear the others or create greed and unnecessary antagonisms. Blessed by a mild climate and down-to-earth common sense, here it is the sunrise and sunset, or our break times for an expresso on a terrace or the collect of fruits, fish and vegetable from a local market, that keep us busy and in movement. Most likely walking from places to places with little talks and high moods particularly when gazing at purple trees stretching their light branches in a perfect blue sky.

#cafejanis near #timeoutmarketlisboa and Cais do Sodré in Lisbon. Credit:

It might remind us that the best way to fight back solitude, insecurity, economical, political or social hopelessness, is to step out of a house and share lived-in experiences and stories with locals, and seat on a bench or a cafe while praising that new house, new country and its national psyche that have let us in so smoothly. And eventually feeling accountable for it with our own contribution to its peaceful growth.

Around Rua de São Bento in Estrela, Lisbon, May 2023.

If you wish to invest in Portugal, reach out to us with your questions. We hand-pick properties that are the best investment for you. And as a reference, check out our current properties for sale. Call / text via WhatsApp number: +351.962.621259 for any questions you have.

Read also: Why Americans are moving to Portugal

In Portugal: Live better. Live longer!

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