Initially lured in by the one-euro homes, Miami-based Cathlyn Kirk, 47, ended up buying a three-bedroom, three-story home in Mussomeli, the same village as Synclair’s, for 37,000 euros last November. Planning to retire in two years, the officer with Homeland Security wanted to move to a country where she would be able to live comfortably on a public pension.

“I'm able to retire at 50 and still live a good life, filled with traveling and eating well,” Kirk said. “Not a lot of people can do that.”

Cost And Safety
The Iberian Peninsula has also become a popular destination. The number of Americans residing in Portugal rose 45% in 2021 from the previous year, according to government data. In Spain, which has the largest American population in Europe, the number of U.S.-born residents rose 13% between 2019 and 2021 and demand has continued to rise this year, according to Alejandra Vanoli, managing director of Spanish real estate agency Viva.

To attract foreign buyers, Portugal and Spain both offer so-called “golden visas,” programs which give residency rights based on an initial investment of 350,000 euros and 500,000 euros, respectively. 

For Jamie Dixon, 37, moving to Portugal from Los Angeles last July with her seven-year-old daughter and husband was made possible by the switch to a remote job and getting a permanent residency visa which required having a lease, a bank account and health insurance in the country. 

Initially living in a two-bedroom mobile home in Malibu, California, the director of operations for a tech startup couldn’t afford to fulfill her dream of buying land with her friends to build a communal living area in LA.

A new remote job allowed her to leave the city and move to a 2,000-euro-a-month, three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment with a private rooftop in Cascais, a coastal city with a large expat population.

Besides the cheap cost of living, Dixon said her family now has access to a broader multilingual international community and less stress related to crime rates or politics.

“Violence has gone up so much in the U.S.,” she said. “I wanted to give my kid a normal childhood.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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