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Portugal - Santarem

The Santarem district of Portugal can be found in the central part of the country and is named after the city of Santarem. There is a total population of over 475,000 inhabitants and consists of 21 municipalities. The city of Santarem has a population total of nearly 29,000 inhabitants and the area is becoming popular with both expats and tourists alike. The relaxed lifestyle is a big attraction, particularly as the tourism industry is not as busy as that in other parts of the country.

The climate in the area is typical of the region. The summer months are characterised by high temperatures – usually an average of 30°C – and low rainfall. The winter temperatures are much lower at an average of 10°C and rainfall is much higher. The summer season can last for around 5 months of the year.

Those who choose to retire to this area will find that the winters are not as cold as in some other areas, although that season can be much wetter. The city of Santarem is not as busy as many other cities but does offer the chance for socialising and leisure pursuits, without being too overrun with tourists. This is an area which offers value for money and a low cost of living, particularly in areas outside the city.

As the tourist industry is just beginning to take off in Santarem, those who are looking to start a tourism based business will find that there are many opportunities available to them, although there are also opportunities for those who want to have their own business in other fields. There are an increasing number of retailers opening in the city so opening a shop or buying an established retail business is always an option. The area does also need tradesmen, so trained and experienced builders will find that there is a need for their services.

There are several options in the Santarem district for expats who are looking to buy property. The city of Tomar has a population of 20,000 people and there is a small but growing community of expats. The city has a long history and as with most cities in Portugal there is an old part and a new part. Properties in the old part tend not to have gardens but some do have courtyards. These are mainly houses, although there are some buildings that have been converted into apartments. The homes in the newer parts are a mix of apartment buildings and houses. The town has several schools to choose from which have good reputations. Property prices in the town are very reasonable and much cheaper than in some other districts, although prices are expected to rise as the area becomes more popular.

In the rural areas of the Santarem district, land is available at very low prices and is ideal for those who are looking to start a small agricultural based business. Very often parcels of land have planning permission already for houses and occasionally for the construction of outbuildings. Land which already has mains services such as water and electricity connected will cost a little more. There are plots of land which already have a ruined building or barn that can be converted into a home. These can be obtained for around half the cost of an apartment in the city. Houses in the same area which are new builds or have already been converted to a high standard will cost around six times the price of a building plot that has planning permission. Large villas with extras such as swimming pools can cost over half a million Euros, depending upon the exact location.

The city of Santarem has several good neighbourhoods which are ideal for families who are moving to the city. These have good amenities and schools and a range of properties from apartments to detached houses. The city is also a good place for those who want to buy property to start their own business. As with all cities there are cheaper areas and more costly areas. As a general rule, the closer you are to the city centre the more expensive the property, although there are some bargains to be had if you are prepared to renovate. There are one or two districts which are filled with larger, more expensive properties but these are only a little way over the average price for the region.

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