Real Estate Overseas
Looking for help finding international real estate? International Living has 30 years of on-the-ground experience in the countries that we think are the best spots under the sun for retiring, investing, and buying global real estate right now. We've done the research... you've done the dreaming.
With IL correspondents around the globe, we'll help you make those dreams a reality. We can help you find the best investment real estate, a second home in the sun or your dream property to live in overseas.
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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.
Last Friday I told you about the results of Ireland’s most recent fire sale auction. The catalog for the next auction (May 3) has been released. This time there are fewer apartments in the bigger urban centers. The focus is on commercial units. Some have tenants with leases of varying terms. Others are vacant. Homes and building plots scattered around the country also go under the hammer. Some are far from the big urban centers and will likely sell for a song.
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 northeast Brazil, miles of wide and deep white-sand beaches connect little fishing villages and kite surfing outposts. A typical year has 300 days of sunshine. A typical day is in the low 80s with sunshine and refreshing breezes from the ocean. This is where Brazilians and Europeans come to vacation.
This is a stretch of coast you should visit first-hand to see the opportunity I have been telling you about. Today, I’m extending a special invitation
The best way to see this stretch of Pacific Coast is from a real estate project I recently visited. Perched at the highest point in the project, yet only a gentle four-minute stroll down a cobblestone lane, through landscaped gardens to the beach, views open up to the blue ocean and along the coast and rich green forested hills.
Buying a home overseas is not as easy as buying in your own home country. So how do you figure out if you’re paying a fair market value for your overseas home? Follow these steps.
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.
Some of the best properties up for grabs in the countries that topped IL’s Global Real Estate Index 2012.
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 boots-on-the-ground research lead me to an anomaly in real estate prices on a narrow stretch of downtown beach in a part of Brazil that’s doing particularly well.
Beach city is buzzing with trade, commerce and progress. It’s beautiful; hundreds of miles of white-sand beach that’s wide and deep.
Today Brazil is a global power broker…the world’s sixth biggest economy…host country for the 2014 soccer world cup and 2016 Olympic Games…the world’s biggest food exporter…a world leader in renewable energy, while also awash with oil…and a strong manufacturer of planes, trains and automobiles.
Whether you’re looking for a country cottage for $150,000, a downtown pad for $130,000, or a place in small-town Ireland for $80,000…for the moment, these “fire sale” auctions are where to go. On the shores of Lough Sillan in County Cavan, there’s a four-bedroom pinewood lodge with an open-plan living area, a kitchen, sitting room, and bathroom.
“I want it all,” he said. I was at International Living’s recent Ultimate Event. This attendee had come to us seeking information about Belize and Costa Rica. But my presentation—particularly the part about Panama City—got him thinking. Suddenly, Panama was at the top of his list of countries to check out.
If I owned a beach house here, I don’t think I’d rent it to anyone. I’m not sure I’d want to share this place, here on the finest stretch of Ecuador’s coast. I’d want to be here…feet dangling in the lap pool, face in the bright sun and warm breezes…all the time. Well, maybe at sunset I’d amble down the steps to the beach for a dip in the mighty Pacific…
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.
Ecuador’s nicest 100-mile stretch of coast used to be difficult to get to. That’s changed with the new highway. One strong opportunity I’ve told you about on this coast (most recently in yesterday’s Alert) is Jama Campay.
This is where you can buy a 960-square-foot condo perched above…yet only a four-minute stroll from…a white-sand beach. Even from the ground floor you have views past the beach and breaking waves to the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll find Ecuador’s nicest stretch of coast in the north. It runs for 100 miles of sandy beaches, rocky coves and steep forested hills around the town of Jama. RETA members have bought beach homes here—at the Jama Campay project.
When I was in Cancun recently for International Living’s Ultimate Event, Francisco, the developer at Jama Campay, burst into the exhibit hall waving pieces of paper. “I have it…I have it…I got it yesterday…just before I got on the plane…” He was talking about permits—his condos are now permitted.
The economies of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain) are in disarray. Europe is in the throws of sovereign, political and financial crises. Greece is bankrupt and burning. Yields on Portuguese bonds hit 17% earlier this year.
Las Terrenas on the Dominican Republic’s Samana peninsula is a little piece of paradise. The road south-east from Las Terrenas winds its way through hills clad with palm trees. This is how the first visitors found these hills. How nature intended. These aren’t farmed palms in tidy lines. After a 30-minute drive the bay opens up in front of us.
On March 1, real estate prices in Ireland will reach an all-time low. You could pick up an Irish country cottage for $9,750…a Dublin pied-a-terre for $46,500 or a beachfront hotel for $15,365 per room. You could buy at discounts of up to 90% off peak prices. You could buy with cash on cash yields of 22%.
On the Dominican Republic’s Samana peninsula, Las Terrenas is a little piece of paradise. Nineteen miles of walkable public beach, palm trees, warm breezes and stars so bright it feels like you could pluck them from the sky… I can’t think of a nicer place to have a beach home. You’ll find your dollars stretch here, too.
Next Thursday (March 1) the sixth fire sale auction in Irish real estate will take place in the luxurious Shelbourne Hotel on Dublin’s Stephen’s Green. I expect prices will hit an all-time low. Finally, it’s truly “game on” for distressed sales in Ireland.
Among the sloping fields and rush-covered hills of Ireland’s “Drumlin Country” are thousands of lakes—big and small. In good weather, they glitter like jewels, and on wet days shine bog- black. You can see why the Celts thought of them as gateways to the underworld, although today you’re more likely to see a jet ski or ﬁshing boat than a druid.
It’s the world’s most affordable retirement haven, but that doesn’t mean you can’t splash the cash on top-end luxury in Ecuador.
I’m sad to report that most visitors to Panama never leave the capital city. But if you’re willing to look beyond the city skyline, a world of choice awaits. This is a country roughly the size of South Carolina, so you needn’t go far to find idyllic mountain, beach, and valley hideaways with a “so close, yet so far away” feel.
The drive from La Romana to Las Terrenas brought me back toward Santo Domingo before joining the main highway from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas. Studying the opportunity at Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic is the primary purpose of this scouting trip.
My friend Margaret often sends me e-mails about real estate deals on or near the beach in places like Costa Rica. But sometimes she sends an insider tip like the one in her Video Postcard below. In it, she reveals three tropical destinations right now where there’s an easy way to finance your overseas property purchase…sometimes interest-free.
The plans at the Gran Bahia Principe (the new resort I told you about in my last report from the Dominican Republic) call for a self-contained mini-town. Residents here will be able to go to school…get medical treatment…enjoy their leisure activities (like golf and tennis)…dock their boat…get dressed up for fine dining…dress down for cocktails and a snack on the beach…buy groceries in the supermarket…You get the idea.
The colonial city of Antigua in the Central highlands of Guatemala has a thriving expat community. It’s no surprise that foreigners choose to live here full- or part-time. They enjoy the history-steeped cobbled streets and a vibrant culture. Visitors often extend their stay, swapping family home stays or hotel accommodation for short or long-term rentals in Antigua.
Brilliant bright white sand reflects the warm early afternoon sunshine. Fresh breezes mean it’s pleasant to eat outside. On a peninsula like this you can rely on these breezes almost year round. The water is flat, clear and turquoise. The sand a rich tan. If you have preconceptions about the Dominican Republic, put them to one side.
Six years ago, I received a birthday present worth over $70,000. No, I’m not friends with Oprah. We had recently fallen in love with—and bought—a crumbling, pigeon-infested, 150-year old maison bourgeoise in northern Burgundy, France, only two hours away from our apartment in Paris.
White-sand beaches. Turquoise waters. Coconut palms. Brightly colored beachfront pizzerias. And hopefully a big opportunity for us… My bags are packed. I’m heading to the Dominican Republic (DR).
Compared to other major European capitals, Berlin property is remarkably inexpensive. For example, 89,900 euro ($117,000) buys a well-maintained, 45-square-meter apartment with stucco details in a Prenzlauer Berg Altbau dating from 1902. Prices like that don’t exist anywhere in London or Paris, let alone in their fashionable districts.
We’ve pinpointed three locations with strong rental potential. Two of them would make fantastic second home destinations. The third would suit investors looking for a mix of good potential rental yield and appreciation.
If a small Italian farmhouse with a vineyard sounds sweet, then look to the Abruzzo (pictured), a region of southern central Italy bordering the Adriatic Sea.
There’s a lot to consider when buying a home anywhere, but especially one overseas. First thing you want to know is how much it’s going to cost. With bang-for-your-buck in mind, Ecuador comes out on top, offering some of the best-value real estate in the world. For $50,000 you can buy a penthouse suite in a colonial town or a beachfront condo.