Despite interest from investors and well-heeled vacation home owners, you can still find good-value real estate. Prices start at $150,000 for simple digs, going up to multi-millions for the luxury palaces favored by wealthy vacation home owners. So it may not be dirt cheap. But with ocean-view homes starting at the low $200,000s, prices are a quarter of what you’d pay for similar property on the southern California coast, for example.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the video, you’ll see a beautiful property for sale on the lake in Arenal, Costa Rica. The views from the back porch are of the lake and the volcano at Arenal. Lake Arenal has an ideal climate—no AC needed, even on the hottest days. And it has a close-knit community of expats from all over the world (about 400 according to an informal survey by one resident).
If you think real estate in Costa Rica is for the Wall Street and Hollywood jet set, think again. In fact, Costa Rica is one of more than a dozen markets we’ll run the rule over this June 7-9 for our International Real Estate Investment Forum. And the discounts will be substantial—a savings of $48,000, just on the three deals I outline below.
It’s a rare thing these days to be able to say that you own real estate on or close to “Grade A” beach. By that, I mean truly stunning beach, either Caribbean white sands or the bluest stretches of the Pacific Coast. We’ll discuss the following three beach areas in detail at our upcoming International Real Estate Investment Forum…and for those in the room, $91,500 in savings will be on offer.
The real estate market in Ireland is deeply distressed. That’s why the deals here are so exciting. You can buy a 1.5-acre lot in a picturesque County Clare village for just $13,000. Or a comfortable vacation home close to miles of sandy beaches, world-class golf, and the dramatic Atlantic coastline for $87,000.
Ecuador’s north coast is one of the finest stretches of Pacific coast you will find. Steep, bright green jungle-clad hills rise from the flat blue ocean. In places, rocky coves sculpt sandy beaches. Here would be a great place to have a beach home.
This is the most stunning stretch of white-sand beach I have set foot on. Standing here, on Tulum’s Caribbean coast in Mexico, with warm sea breezes rustling through the palm trees, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d want to be. If you’re looking for a manufactured resort, stay in Cancun. Tulum is the real thing. Jungle crawls over ancient Mayan Ruins. You’ll find caves and underground rivers.
At Arenal you will find a mirror-flat lake with a dark green, tree-lined shore rising steeply to the cone of a towering volcano. This place is hidden, secret…yet you have safe and stable Costa Rica amenities and attractions on your doorstep. And, the world’s most bio-diverse country all around.
This stunningly beautiful place in Costa Rica has been overlooked. I can’t explain why. It’s just one of those anomalies. Sometimes things of great beauty and value are overlooked…for a while. Like the work of a great artist that gathers dust on a shelf until someone spots it. Then everyone wonders how it could have been missed. The drive from Costa Rica’s capital, San Jose, was on a modern highway. Scenic, interesting and smooth. Around the lake was sporty and dramatic.
Times are tough in Spain. Half her young are unemployed—if they haven’t emigrated. Her economy, banks and real estate industry is in tatters. Like in Ireland, they built too many homes. Homes that nobody would ever want. Speculators snapped them up, betting that prices would go even higher. Then the party ended in 2007. By 2008, all activity stopped completely.
The Ring of Kerry in Ireland’s south west is the most scenic drive I know. It takes you through 111 miles of the County Kerry countryside. Along her peninsulas, calm bays, sandy beaches and wild roaring Atlantic shores. There are attractions and jaw-dropping lookout points along the way.
Half my time is spent on the road—scouting for undervalued real estate opportunities. The top places on my radar right now are in fast-emerging beach destinations. In each place I visit, I study how much income you could make if you made your beach home available for rental when you aren’t using it. These are my top three picks for this strategy.
In pockets all across the planet, you’ll ﬁnd amazing opportunities to make money from real estate. I’m talking about beautiful places tucked into lush jungle-clad hills, on white sandy coves, in bustling cities, and in small colonial towns. These are markets on the upswing. The mainstream hasn’t heard of them yet. And in them today you’ll get excellent bang for your buck as well as great proﬁt potential.
In this Global Real Estate Index, you’ll ﬁnd listed the 27 places in the world today that boast the most attractive, and potentially lucrative, real estate opportunities. Each of these places has something special to recommend it…some attribute you won’t ﬁnd elsewhere. Those that top the list hold the most proﬁt potential right now. Those at mid-table and below are ones to watch.
My friend Margaret just sent me details of the best property she found on her recent Caribbean scouting trip. She’s from Pathfinder, IL’s preferred real estate advertiser—and clocks up serious air miles on her scouting trips. When Margaret calls a property the “best” anything, it’s worth paying attention to. In the video below, she reveals an affordable beach house on a Caribbean island.