They moved from France to Portugal because they wanted their children to have contact with another country and culture. They found that, but they also found a good business opportunity: helping those who want a home and are looking to buying in Lisbon.
They chose to settle in Lisbon because it was a “good balance between a reasonably sized capital, with an interesting geographic location, undeniable architectural quality and a light that makes it all quite magical”, says Stéphane. Together, they set up a business: Vila Home real estate. Their goal was to establish a project with a “slightly different approach than that used by other agencies”, and thereby better serve the interests of their clients.
Their clients are people who would like to settle in Lisbon and enjoy life – be they French, American or from other countries. “These are people who discovered Portugal, fell in love with Portugal and decided to come back, live, work and participate in the local life”, says Deborah.
At the beginning it was mostly people they knew who sought them out, but the network quickly expanded. “We found a spectacular apartment for somebody and they recommended us”, they explain.
The advantage of buying in Lisbon
So why should people buy in the capital of Portugal? For Deborah, “the advantage of buying in Lisbon is precisely to be able to live in Lisbon, enjoy life, the people and culture. And to build up an estate, because the houses are magnificent”. And though prices are currently high, “they are still more attractive and lower than in Paris”.
Having lived in the Portuguese capital for almost four years now, Stéphane and Deborah agree that life is quite different from what they had in France. Firstly, because here they run their own business, which didn’t happen back in France, and then, also, because of the surroundings. “The culture is a little different from what we were used to in France, and it’s also different because we put our children in a Portuguese school”, they explain.
That is why today their children are fluent Portuguese speakers, unlike Stéphane and Deborah themselves who, despite understanding the language quite well, have only just begun to speak it. One thing, however, is for sure: the family is well and fully integrated.