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Real Estate Articles
- Buy Now in San Miguel de Allende for the Best Value in a Decade
Posted on May 28, 2013 by Glynna Prentice
Arguably Mexico’s best-known Spanish- town, San Miguel has been a top haven for decades. Its cobbled streets are lined with gaily-painted houses, their rooftop gardens bright with bougainvillea.
Blue becomes bluer, every shade from sapphire to cobalt. Sea merges with sky. The intensity of blueness is almost too much. It’s as if the Adriatic has fallen into the clutches of a Photoshop enthusiast with an uncontrolled passion for color saturation.
Sandy beaches with tumbling surf, peaceful lakeside living, bio-diverse tropical jungles, cool highland areas with modern cities. . . Little Costa Rica offers plenty to choose from. And for decades, expats like me have flocked here, making it one of the world’s most popular locales for good living abroad.
- 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.
- You Can Still Buy on the Pacific Coast for $35,000…
Posted on May 1, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
I’m standing in among lush foliage, where brightly colored butterflies are flitting by. From my high position, I can see the Pacific Ocean stretching out in front of me.
This place…tucked away on the corner of a Caribbean island… is a little piece of paradise. Nineteen miles of white- and tan-sand beaches weave their way along the coast, interrupted only by a couple of rocky points. It’s all open to the public.
The first opportunity is a perfect bolthole if you’re looking for Caribbean living with a European flavor close to home. Direct and affordable morning flights from the U.S. will get you here in time to soak up early afternoon sunshine on the beach or bathe in the turquoise waters
It feels like the highland town of Boquete is Panama’s fastest-growing relocation destination. There are a lot of “new things” around here…a new market, new theater, new library, and a new hospice are just a few
- Boquete Bargains: Prices Fall in Panama’s Idyllic Mountain Retreat
Posted on April 22, 2013 by Jessica Ramesch
It feels like the highland town of Boquete is Panama’s fastest-growing relocation destination. There are a lot of “new things” around here…a new market, new theater, new library, and a new hospice are just a few. In fact, there’s little that can’t be found in Boquete these days.
- An Insider’s Guide to the Best Neighborhoods in Cuenca
Posted on April 22, 2013 by Edd Staton
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
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.
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
Posted on April 17, 2013 by Steenie Harvey
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
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: A Favorite With Expats and Tourists
Posted on March 26, 2013 by Jason Holland
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.
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
Posted on March 26, 2013 by David Hammond
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
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.
- Uncovering Nicaragua’s “Emerald Coast” and How to Play It
Posted on March 25, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
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.
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.
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
Posted on March 10, 2013 by David Hammond
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.
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
Posted on February 26, 2013 by International Living
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
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.
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
Posted on February 25, 2013 by Jason Holland
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.”
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
Posted on February 25, 2013 by David Hammond
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.”
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.
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.
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?
- Three Lake View Properties in Costa Rica That Won’t Stay Cheap for Long…
Posted on January 30, 2013 by Ronan McMahon
Today I’m going to tell you about one of my favorite places. It has some of the best real estate values right now. And I love spending time there. Back home, winter is gnashing its teeth. But in this place, it’s warm. Bright sunshine reflects on a mirror-flat lake.
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