Time is running out if you’re planning to buy a Portugal property at historically low interest rates and want to enjoy residency benefits like free healthcare through the country’s Golden Visa program, according to Ideal Homes International president Chris White.

The program ends December 31. Combined with Portugal’s low interest rates of 0.6 percent, 40-year mortgages, lower property taxes and values compared to North American standards, ownership is extremely attractive. It makes early retirement a reality.

“You could buy a two-bedroom apartment in Portugal’s popular tourist eastern Algarve region for 179,000€. If you rent it out, it’s possible to make about 1,200€ a month after paying the estimated 400€ mortgage payment with a 20 percent down,” said White.

Mortgage rates can also be fixed at 1.5 percent per year to protect against any future increases.

Ideal Homes International has many properties throughout Portugal, including the Dona Maria II Residences. The five-star development has a spa, indoor and outdoor pools with ocean views.

The Algarve region is about a 2.5-hour drive from Lisbon on Portugal’s southern coast. Its 120-mile coastline is extremely popular and the population of 700,000 swells to about eight million tourists in the summer, all looking for accommodations.

Besides selling, Ideal Homes International also manages and rents out properties for clients.

They’re already 96 percent booked for the upcoming May-to-September peak season in the Algarve. Ideal Homes International has a staff of 30 and manages 150 properties for clients with a management fee of 1200€ for the year and a 12 percent commission.

“You could rent out an apartment for 30 weeks and possibly make 30,000€ a year to pay-off your down payment within three years. This is extremely attractive, especially to North American couples planning a retirement in a few years,” said White.

When you retire, you could rent it out for six months and visit the grandchildren back in North America or travel the world. When you’re back, you can live off the rental income and enjoy the nice climate and friendly people of Portugal.

“We have a couple that bought a place and meet them every April to pack up their things so they can travel Europe for 14 weeks. When they come back in October, they can live off the 25,000€ rental income we made for them,” said White.

Rental income varies from 900€ in April to 2,000 euros during the peak season. It’s less expensive per person for renters than staying at hotels, so there’s a demand.

“The lifestyle in Portugal is catered towards retirees. Everyone speaks English in the Algarve. Clients are always amazed when they switch on the TV or go to the cinema and everything is in English,” said White.

An American family bought one of his company’s properties and saved on their daughter’s $30,000 annual medical bills because of the free healthcare in the country. There are also good schools.

Portugal’s Golden Visa program started in 2012 to reboot the economy after the financial crisis of 2008. It has been a huge success by boosting the economy by bringing in foreign investment and allows the benefits of residency through property ownership.

It was originally scheduled to end in July but COVID has slowed the economy, so the government has extended the program. With it, individuals can apply for citizenship after five years without actually living there.

It’s your passport for you and your family to work and visit European countries. Investors can gain residency through the Golden Visa Program by buying a property in the Algarve for as little as 400,000€ or 280,000€.

“Another good reason to buy real estate in Portugal is its low property tax compared to North America. The average home pays about 500€ a year. However, there’s an eight percent real estate transaction tax in the country,” said White.

For further information on properties in Portugal, you can review the Ideal Homes International website or YouTube Channel. Chris White can be contacted at +351 289 513 434 or info@idealhomesinternational.com for more information or to schedule an interview