Prepare to buy in Panama. I first scouted real estate opportunities here nine years ago and since then there has been a lot of changes. The canal is being expanded with a $5.25 billion investment and an investment of $1.9 billion investment in a new city-wide metro. Balboa and Colón were two of Latin America’s busiest ports last year.
- San Miguel de Allende, Mexico: Why Now is the Time to Buy Property There
Posted on June 25, 2013 by Glynna Prentice
Arguably Mexico’s best-known Spanish-town, San Miguel has been a top haven for decades. And today, you can buy real estate here at bargain prices, down as much as 55% from highs in 2007/2008. But you’d better move fast. On a recent visit to this most sophisticated of pueblos, I found that—here, at least—the recession induced real estate slump is over.
- Bargains in Ireland’s Scenic Southwest from $26,387 to $151,729
Posted on May 28, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
Real estate values have fallen so far in Ireland today that €20,000 ($26,387) puts you in the game. Spend that much and you get a traditional-style, semi-detached cottage in need of some modernization.
- A Condo Next to One of the World’s Best Beaches—Just $150,000
Posted on April 22, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
As an International Living reader, you know that I’m bullish on the opportunity we have in the Tulúm area of Mexico’s Riviera Maya. I’m here on a 10-day scouting trip— my seventh visit—and I’ve lucked out. Through a local contact, I’ve managed to get a last-minute rental in the high-quality condo closest to the beach at Tulúm.
- Living in Santa Ana, Costa Rica: One of San Jose’s Top Suburbs
Posted on March 27, 2013 by Jason Holland
San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, is full of small towns and villages that have merged over the years into the greater metro area as the city grew. One of those is Santa Ana, population of about 11,000. At one time known mainly for its ceramics and pottery, this once sleepy hamlet is fast becoming one of San Jose’s top suburbs.
Those looking for a beautiful, unspoiled beachfront setting, as well as a sizeable community of expats, should find living in Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica to be a good match.Playa Flamingo is located on the northern Pacific Coast, in the heart of what is known as the Gold Coast.
- Beauty and the Beach: Rent and Live Part-Time in New Zealand
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Steenie Harvey
After a day’s hiking in Abel Tasman National Park, I need a night in. A bottle of $8 Sauvignon Blanc is chilling in the fridge. Perfect with these fresh mussels I bought—amazing value at $3.15 for 2.2 pounds. As my accommodation has a fully-equipped kitchen, they’re simmering in a wine and cream sauce.
Citizens of the U.S. and Canada are eligible for the New Zealand visa waiver program. Under its terms, you will not need a visa for visits of up to 90 days for either a vacation or business once you have a ticket showing onward travel and evidence of funds to cover the cost of your stay.
Four-and-a-half hours’ flight-time south of California are opportunities that feel a world away. This short plane ride from the snapped-up beachfront and million-dollar mansions of the Golden State brings you to deserted beaches, lush, jungle-clad hills, and low-cost real estate that has to be seen to be believed.
- Everything is Negotiable: Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
In the nine years I’ve been savoring her charms through regular visits, I have never seen Nicaragua’s colonial city of Granada look better. Cute bakeries and cafés are opening up in brightly-painted, tiled- floor colonial homes. Artists and art galleries are setting up shop. Italians have come to make great pizza. The terrace in front of the Irish bar, O’Shea’s, is buzzing by day. Inside it’s rocking at night. Nine years ago expats were mostly from the U.S. There was a real-estate agent on every corner of the main square, Parque Central.
You’ve found your perfect retirement paradise overseas and your attorney has recommended that you establish a foreign corporation and have it own the property for you. You’ve looked at the legal side of this and it makes a lot of sense. However, as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations take effect, you have additional tax and reporting issues to consider.
Get ready to buy in Panama. Right now, Panama’s economy is on a tear. Panama City and much of the countryside has been transformed since I first scouted real estate opportunities here nine years ago. A $5.25-billion expansion of the canal is well underway, $1.9 billion is being invested in a new city-wide metro system, and two Panamanian ports, Balboa and Colón, were Latin America’s two busiest last year.
- Undervalued and Overlooked: The Secret Beaches of Samaná
Posted on November 26, 2012 by Ronan McMahon
Over four continents, dozens and dozens of countries, and hundreds of scouting trips, I’ve learned one thing: A last-minute change of plan or a chance meeting, often leads me to the best opportunities. When you put yourself out there, the pot of gold you find often isn’t the one you set out for…but it’s still gold…
Every time you turn around, another travel piece appears about Ecuador’s capital city, Quito. Mainstream travel writers, it seems, are just now discovering what we’ve known for years…that the city is a worthy destination that blends new and old in alluring ways. It doesn’t hurt that Quito is one of the world’s most affordable cities, where you can still take a taxi anywhere in town for $1 to $5 and find a menú del día…usually a four-course meal of soup, salad, meat/rice/vegetables, dessert, and beverage…for $1.50 to $2.50.
I’m not lost. More like slightly astray. I don’t know how, but the main road from Tralee vanished a few miles back. The map shows I’m on the longer route to Listowel, a market town with a fascinating literary heritage and an annual Writers Festival. And it passes through some villages that weren’t on today’s travel plan.
There’s a special place on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast where bright, thick, green jungle canopy rolls down to a stretch of sandy beaches and rocky points. It’s truly stunning. While prices in places you’ll see in glossy magazines soared…prices here stayed low. It was difficult to get to. But a new smoothly paved coastal highway has changed that. And it’s nicer here.
The morning’s fresh ceviche is sharp and fragrant with coriander. Fifty minutes up the highway we passed a North American style service station. My contact convinced me to resist my strong coffee urges and hold off for fast food Costa Rica style. So, I ended up sitting under a palm tree, sand between my toes, eating $1.50 ceviche from a local vendor. There’s not much action on the beach.
It’s amazing what people will do for a water view. Some people will try to tell you that anything with a water view is worth an inflated price. I don’t agree. In fact, if you know where to look, you can get a lake- or ocean-view property, on a tight budget…without any crazy compromises (or extreme weather systems).
If you ever wanted to retire to the beach, or buy a second home on the water, now is the time to act. Prices in certain desirable markets are low right now. But they won’t stay that way for long… The wide white-sand beaches of North-East Brazil stretch for hundreds of miles. The beach towns and fishing villages along this coast are popular with international tourists and Brazilian visitors…
Although southern France comes with a medieval legacy of troubadour poets, I never expected to see a poetry shop. But there’s one in the harbor town of Cassis. Framed and written on marbled paper, there are over 4,000 poems on love, life and friendship to choose from. Dominated by a fortress castle and with a back garden of vineyards, Cassis is the unhyped Riviera…
If you’re looking for a bolt hole overseas…somewhere you and your family can return to as often as you need…while enjoying the ultimate privacy…Margaret Summerfield has made a short video about where to find the three best secure and private hideaways.
- Spain’s Real Estate Market: Up to 50% Off Property Prices
Posted on June 26, 2012 by Ronan McMahon
Everywhere historic buildings bring alive the romance of old Spain. Granada is the country’s most beautiful city, the jewel in the crown of Andalucía, and today, thanks to the country’s crisis, you can ﬁnd distressed real estate here for up to 50% less than what you would have paid for it four years ago.
Steeped in history, Granada, Spain attracts visitors from around the world. Its international airport has flights from most major European cities, and it’s within a two-hour flight of northern Europe’s major population centers. This could just be the perfect location. There’s culture. Three World Heritage sites, including the exquisite Moorish palace of the Alhambra, are just the headline draws.
A three-bedroom, two-bath home in central Boquete was just listed for $90,000. At approximately 2,900 square feet, it’s spacious, and the lot is over 5,300 square feet. Excellent value for a home with mountain views, indoor laundry room, storage room, and large patio.
No part of Paris can be described as inexpensive, but the 20th is comparatively more affordable than its central arrondissements. Although invariably bijou, studio apartments can be had for under $200,000. For example, a 19-square-meter (204-square-foot) studio for $189,000. It sounds small, but all across Paris, numerous vacation-rental studios are no larger.
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