Your Own Home Overseas - International Real Estate


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You've done the dreaming… We've done the research. And Your Own Home Overseas is a completely free e-letter where you’ll find everything we know about making your overseas dream home a reality.

We know a good location and, more importantly, good value, when we see it. And with decades of on-the-ground experience, we know our way around the best spots under the sun for buying your dream home right now.

Whether you’re interested in investment real estate, a second home in the sun, or your dream property for a full-time life overseas, Your Own Home Overseas is where you’ll find the inside track.

You’ll hear regularly from real estate guru Ronan McMahon (from Pathfinder International, International Living’s preferred real estate advertiser), who travels the world in search of the best off-market deals. You’ll also hear from a panel of International Living’s in-country editors and correspondents dishing out everything they know, revealing the latest great-value properties they have found as they scout the globe.

In your mind’s eye picture brilliant white-sand beaches on your doorstep, just a few hours flight-time from the U.S., where you’ll find property at a fraction of the cost back home…how about a great deal on a sun-drenched, white-washed house with a shady courtyard in the Mediterranean…or a luxurious retreat nestled in the lush valleys of Central America…

We’re constantly uncovering the most desirable and affordable real estate on earth…that’s why we publish Your Own Home Overseas—to share these opportunities with you.


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An Insider’s Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Cuenca

For many reasons, Cuenca, Ecuador earns top billing as one of the world’s top expat destinations. The cost of living is low—three-course lunches start at $2.50—the weather is great, usually around 65 to 70 F during the day, and it’s never too cold or hot. When we want to travel back to the U.S., it takes us as little as six-and-a-half hours’ flight time to New York (plus you’ll get a major discount on your fare if you are a resident retiree).


A Condo Next to One of the World’s Best Beaches—Just $150,000

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.


Cliff-Top Homes and Staggering Views

There’s no other view in the world like it. In a cliff-top home, there’s nothing between you and the beautiful vista but empty space. You never have to worry about a house going up in front of you or that your neighbor’s new satellite dish will block your line of sight. Badminton in the back yard may be out. But morning coffee and sunset drinks on the terrace are in. If you’re on the seaside, the rumbling waves pounding the rocks below will be your lullaby.


Three Little-Known Havens in Italy, France and Spain

If you’re in love with classic Europe and its history, romance and culture, take heart: Spain, Italy and France aren’t only for the vacationer who saves for months just to visit. Each one of these three countries has numerous small towns and villages that lie under the radar—places with enticingly affordable properties to rent or buy


A New Start in an Unusual Home in Nicaragua

Lee’s biggest business is advising people how to build eco-friendly homes out of shipping containers, throwing in alternative-energy systems, like solar panels, if they’re interested. He’s also the go-to guy in San Juan when expats and business owners have computer trouble. And he helps fellow expats transition to life in Nicaragua…

Living in Jaco, Costa Rica

Living in Jaco, Costa Rica: A Favorite With Expats and Tourists

Located in the heart of the Central Pacific coast region of Costa Rica, Jaco (pronounced: ha-ko) has long been a favorite of vacationers and expats.
This lively beach town features several large resorts, as well as many options for longer-term residents, like condos, gated communities, and lots for building.The wide range of housing options in all price ranges, from budget to luxury, as well as many amenities and comforts of home, make living in Jaco, Costa Rica a great choice for lifestyle and retirement overseas.

Living in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Living in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The Manuel Antonio area on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast has been a long-time favorite of visitors. Just two hours from the capital San Jose on a well-maintained modern highway, Manuel Antonio is the site of the country’s most popular national park. In 2011, Forbes magazine named it one of the world’s best.At 4,000 acres, it’s a relatively small refuge and one of the smallest national parks

Affordable Properties in the Best Areas of Punta del Este, Uruguay

Affordable Properties in the Best Areas of Punta del Este, Uruguay

Believe it or not, you can still find a nice condo in a coveted Punta del Este neighborhood for less than $150,000. There’s a secret to buying affordably here. And it’s simple. Folks from North America determine a property’s value by three factors: location, location, location. But in Punta del Este’s condo market, a property’s location is less important.


Beauty and the Beach: Rent and Live Part-Time in New Zealand

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.


IL’s Guide to Visa and Residency in New Zealand

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.


Uncovering Nicaragua’s “Emerald Coast” and How to Play It

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.


Live the Good Life In the World’s Blue Zones

What’s the secret to a long, healthy, and enjoyable life? A group of researchers believe that residents of five Blue Zones around the world know it. They have the longest life spans on Earth and are less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer, and other serious conditions.

Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada, Nicaragua

Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada, Nicaragua

Nicaragua is now cool. And Granada is at ground zero of the new, cool Nicaragua. Yet there never has been a better time to buy a colonial home in Granada. I’ve followed the real-estate market here closely since my first visit in 2004. Through boom and bust I’ve watched prices fluctuate. And on this visit I saw a 900-square-foot home, a short stroll from the historic center, with an asking price of $39,000.


The Trick to Buying Affordable Property in Punta del Este, Uruguay

Punta del Este, less than two hours from Uruguay’s elegant capital of Montevideo, has long been the most fashionable beach resort in South America. An apartment sold here a few years back for $7.2 million… but believe it or not, you can still find a nice condo in a coveted Punta del Este neighborhood for less than $150,000. There’s a secret to buying affordably here. And it’s simple.

If I Buy Overseas, What Will I Do All Day

“If I Buy Overseas, What Will I Do All Day?”

I get asked all kinds of property-related questions by readers. But one question keeps cropping up. It happened again recently. A reader told me that she loved the idea of a low-priced condo I wrote about. And she’d happily swap the dreary winter weather back home for blue skies and sunshine. “But is there a trade-off?” she asked.

Up to 50% Off Property Prices in Boquete, Panama

Up to 50% Off Property Prices in Boquete, Panama

Now is a good time to buy in Boquete, Panama if you’re looking for a second or retirement home. The market slowdown is throwing up some nice discounts and deals. A dozen years ago it was little more than a sleepy mountain town. But its cool climate and low cost of living attracted expats and retirees. Word got out and Boquete boomed. Located in Panama’s Chiriquí province, the town is also known for its expat community.


Everything is Negotiable: Colonial Homes from $50,000 in Granada

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.


Almost Utopia: New Zealand Delivers the Good Life

It’s sunset at Waihi Beach. Earlier, its six miles of glorious beach were almost as white as sand could get. Now the sky’s reflections are brocading the wet shoreline into orange and blue, pink and lilac. One of New Zealand’s North-Island gems, Waihi Beach is a laid-back community on the Bay of Plenty.


Nicaragua: Gussied Up and Brimming with Opportunity

Nicaragua is going mainstream. A country that war and conspiracy made infamous in the Reagan years is today home to eco-lodges, spas, and restored colonials. It’s at the top of the New York Times’ list of places to see in 2013. Food and Wine has pronounced it “affordable, safe and undiscovered.” Outside magazine declares, “it feels like Nicaragua’s moment is now.”


What FATCA Means for Owning Foreign Property

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.


Uruguay: Buy a Million-Dollar Address for $150,000

Across from the beach near Avenida Roosevelt, where I ride my bike to the mall, is the completed sales office for Trump Tower Punta del Este. Construction is scheduled to start in June. Prices for condos start at $700,000, and the sales people say “it will redefine what is meant by luxury living.”


Mansions and Luxury Homes

Oak floors, chandeliers, large fireplaces, and exposed wood beams are things you’d expect to find in a chateau. And this perfect country getaway in Normandy has them all. Built in 1881, it’s set on five acres and surrounded by a mixture of lush green pastures and the forest of Eu. There’s a fruit orchard and the Yres River runs through the property, with a bridge leading to a private island.


The Top Beach Address in Panama

Great boulders in the distance, half wet, half dry…cobalt-blue waters scrubbing sands of downy gray…white seabirds soaring above, their cries for fish occasionally audible above the sounds of the surf. This is Coronado Beach, Panama’s most popular Pacific coast destination.

3 Affordable Beach Hideaways... From $31,900

3 Affordable Beach Hideaways… From $31,900

Busy streets, crowded malls, long lines in the bank: those I can live with. It’s part of modern city life. But every so often, I need an escape. And that means the beach. But I don’t want to swap the daily hustle and bustle for a busy beach resort. Who wants to fight their way through an army of beach loungers to find a piece of sand the size of a postage stamp to pitch a towel?


With U.S. Property So Cheap, Why Buy Overseas?

I just received an email from an International Living subscriber asking a question that is becoming more and more common in my inbox. To paraphrase: “With the price of real estate so low in the U.S. right now, why would anyone move abroad?” Fair question. And if your only reason for considering a move abroad is to find inexpensively priced property, the answer is obvious…you really don’t need to.


Affordable Caribbean Escapes

The tops of the palms wave cheerily in the breeze like giant green feather dusters against a soft blue, cloudless sky. I’m bobbing contentedly in the warm turquoise waters looking back at the beach, its silky white sands speckled with tiny seashells. Despite it being mid-summer I’m the only one swimming in this small cove…the only one enjoying this flawless slice of beach this morning.


Slow Down and Enjoy the Moment in Tuscany

Each summer, my husband and I perch ourselves on the house’s upper terrace and gaze out at the valley below. Shimmering there in the heat is Florence. It thrills us that beneath the haze lies a trove of Renaissance treasures: Michelangelo’s David… Brunelleschi’s magnificent dome… Botticelli’s Venus, standing tall and tranquil on her scalloped sea shell. In just 20 minutes we can be down there…

Spain is about more than the beaches of the Med. The north has mountain villages, hilltop towns and medieval cities. © Juan Ignacio Polo/iStock

Crisis-hit Spain’s Real Estate Bargains

We’ve been keeping an eye on what’s been happening in the property market of crisis-hit Spain—and there’s no shortage of bargains. Check out the articles below for more on the type of real estate opportunities Europe’s economic downturn has thrown up in this varied, culture-rich nation.


Panama City Rises—When, Where and Why to Buy

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.


Lisbon: Europe’s Sunny, Affordable, Old-World Capital

Photographers call the last hour before sunset “the magic hour.” In Lisbon, Portugal’s capital, the luminosity is extraordinary. Traditional tiled houses dazzle. Pastel pink and yellow facades blush and glow. Glasses of vinho verde, a quaffable white wine, prism into silver half-moons on table tops.


Secret Burgundy: The Lure of Yonne, France

For many people, the word “Burgundy” usually brings to mind either a deep purple-red color or an excellent bottle of wine. Here’s what comes to my mind… Fairy-tale woods, winding trails, velvety-brown cattle sitting heavily in the grass, nipping at clover. Springtime hills draped in lemon-yellow blossoms…


Romantic Hideaways

At 129 square feet, this apartment is what real-estate agents call “cozy.” But it’s Paris, city of love and romance. From your fifth-floor balcony you have a view of Place de la République. The square gives its name to the historic neighborhood that surrounds it, where the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements (districts) come together. Le Marais, where some of the oldest buildings in the city line winding, narrow streets, is just a five-minute walk away.


Buy a Colonial Property in Granada, Nicaragua

Granada is where Nicaragua puts on its best face for visitors. It sits on the shore of the vast Lake Nicaragua, just an hour’s drive from the country’s capital, Managua. Centuries-old colonial architecture fills the historic city center surrounding the neoclassical-style Cathedral of Granada and the Parque Central.

In Pictures: Where to Buy Property in the World’s Best Retirement Havens

  You can read more about properties for sale in our top retirement havens here. Get your free retirement report Simply sign up below for International Living’s daily e-letter and we’ll send you a FREE research report on The World’s Top Ten Retirement Havens straightaway. (We value your privacy. You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Real Estate in the World's Best Retirement Havens

Real Estate in the World’s Best Retirement Havens

Affordable, good-value real estate is a “stand-out” factor of the world’s best retirement havens. And to prove just how much further your money can go when you buy overseas, we’ve asked our in-country experts to reveal a taste of what’s on offer in the five highest-ranking destinations of this year’s annual Retirement Index. Whether you dream of a pastel-painted, old colonial home surrounded by lush gardens…

Revealed: 3 Best Buys in Costa Rica

Revealed: 3 Best Buys in Costa Rica

The 2 million tourists who come to Costa Rica each year probably think they know this country pretty well. They relax on pretty beaches, zip-line across the tree canopy, surf the wave of the mighty Pacific and trek through misty cloud forests. But most tourists tend to stick to well-known beach towns and the Central Valley. That’s not where you’ll find the best property values right now.


Properties from Just $85,000 in Ireland’s Magical “Kingdom”

Known in Ireland as “the Kingdom,” County Kerry is spellbinding. A land of legends, lakes, and mountains, it comes with color-drenched little towns and craggy promontories that jut into the Atlantic. Fishing boats return at evening with catches of haddock, mackerel, monkfish, and scallops.


Coastal Ecuador is a Buy Today—Prices Are Already Rising

Right now it feels like civilization has forgotten about this place. It’s the coast of Ecuador, running from north of Canoa to Pedernales. One of the last stunning and undiscovered stretches of Pacific coast in the Americas, it is now set to be developed. And if you are interested in buying best-in-class real estate at deep, early-in values, this is a stretch of coast that should be on your radar.


A Caribbean Escape Three Hours from New York

The tops of the palms wave cheerily in the breeze like giant green feather dusters against a soft blue, cloudless sky. I’m bobbing contentedly in the warm turquoise waters looking back at the beach, its silky white sands speckled with tiny seashells. Despite it being mid-summer I’m the only one swimming in this small cove…the only one enjoying this flawless slice of beach this morning.

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Your Chance to Retire Overseas Now

Sign up for our free daily Postcard e-letter and we'll immediately send you a FREE RESEARCH REPORT on the most desirable —and cheapest— retirement havens available to you today.

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