Most people buy a second home for one of two reasons: as a bolt hole, or as a source of income, or maybe as a combination of the two. The big question is where? Climate is likely to be high on the list of criteria, as is proximity to a transport hub. For those intending that the property will provide a source of income, the property will need to be situated somewhere with a good tourist infrastructure. All those three elements can be found on the island of Madeira.
The main island of Madeira is a small island just 50km long, which is situated mid Atlantic, 900km southwest of Portugal. The island is famous for its fortified wine and its unique sub-tropical climate, which is home to a spectacular diversity of flora and fauna. The emerald-green island is ringed with dramatic high cliffs which have ensured that Madeira has been protected from the indiscriminate spread of high-rise hotels which has blemished so many beautiful coastlines.
Madeira is an unspoilt, exotic garden and its mid-Atlantic location means that its air is pure and clean. Around 70% of the island is protected parkland and forest, making it ideal for outdoor leisure pursuits such as walking the narrow irrigation channels (levadas), mountain biking and climbing. Despite its mid-Atlantic isolation, Madeira’s international airport accommodates direct flights from around 40 European destinations and it’s a mere 3-hour flight from the U.K. If you’re looking to purchase with a view to generating a rental income, Madeira’s year-round good climate means that you can let your property in all seasons.
Property in Madeira can be bought by any nationality, but in order to do so you will need a numero de contribuente, a Portuguese fiscal number, which is issued by the local tax office. This is not difficult to obtain and can be taken care of by your legal representative. Most people you are dealing with will be able to speak English, but French and German are also spoken widely. After your offer on a property has been accepted you will sign a ‘promissory contract of purchase and sale’, which is a legally binding contract for both parties, with financial penalties should either party withdraw from the sale. A deposit of between 10% and 25% of the sale prices is payable at this point. The final deed of sale will be signed between 30 and 90 days later, at which time the IMT tax, stamp duty, notary and land registration fees will also need to be paid.
You can look at the range of property for sale on a property platform, such as Imovirtual, but once you’ve decided on the type of property that you’d like to acquire, spending some time on the island, getting to know its different areas, is essential. Once you’ve enjoyed the wonderful local wines, the outstanding local cuisine and the warmth and friendliness of the locals you may never want to leave.