Tranquil Living By the Beach in Mexico for $150,000

It was total bliss…I was sitting in a restaurant, steps from the beach, eating delicious freshly cooked fish, with a cold beer in hand, the turquoise ocean just feet away, and a cool light breeze drifting in…I wondered, could it get any better? There was glittering sandy beach as far as the eye could see, swimmers splashed in the Caribbean waters, and sunbathers took in some afternoon rays…while down the beach, kite surfers made use of the wind.

Total Relaxation on the Coast…With a Profitable Vacation Rental

"The weather is wonderful—very warm, can be hot, with a sprinkling of showers every once in a while. Coming from our cold temperatures in Canada we appreciate not having to bundle up for five months," says Colleen Tannahill who along with her husband Blake owns a condo on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. "We are very happy with our rental occupancy and we've had a strong return so far. We have a rental manager who has our property posted online and we also spread the word ourselves."

Buy in Ireland’s Prettiest River Valley from $135,000

Ireland is about the best place I can think of for genuine hospitality. Folks speak English—which is a big plus—and hopping around Europe from your Emerald Isle retreat is a synch thanks to low-cost airlines. (For example, flights of a couple of hours to France cost from $80.) I'm sure you know the country's real estate market took a beating during the crisis. It's picking up, but there are still great-value properties to be uncovered.