Earlier this evening I walked across a plaza to meet a friend. There was an elegantly outfitted brass band playing for a group of dignitaries. The centuries-old Hotel Central—newly restored to its former glory—was the perfect backdrop. Locals hung out in the gazebo and on benches around the plaza, enjoying the impromptu show.
When you first look at real estate websites you might get the impression that Panama's Chiriquí province is beyond your budget. But discovering great deals is only a matter of being in Panama and hitting the pavements.
I wake up to the sound of birds, the sun shining through the windows that line my bedroom. It has become my habit to get up and throw open the front door before doing anything else. All day long that door stays open, the terrace outside seamlessly flowing into the interior of my wood cabin.
The Cayo District, in the foothills of Belize's Maya Mountains, is a region of meandering rivers that flow seaward through dense jungles. Majestic ceiba trees, sacred to the Maya, stand tall and proud on the hilltops of the fertile Mennonite farmland.
Sitting at the far southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos, Mexico is one of the country's top beach destinations. With top-notch boating, world-class sport fishing (especially for billfish), championship golf courses, excellent restaurants, and warm weather year-round to enjoy it all, it's no wonder it's so popular.
"We're so happy to be here, every day is just a great day," Micki Westhorp says. "We can't imagine being retired anywhere else and having this kind of quality of life." Micki, 71, and her partner, Jaci Norwood, 62, moved from Dallas, Texas, to Cuenca, Ecuador, with the intention of buying a home and starting their retirement.
Mine was in Mexico, in a small city nestled in the hills of the Central Highlands. I had dreamt of Latin America's colonial towns, cobbled lanes, and shaded parks ever since first encountering the literature from that part of the world. The movies I saw confirmed it...There was magic and romance in those places and I wanted in.
Last year I was fortunate to spend some time in one of my favorite places—Tulum, Mexico. I was carrying out an interior design project for two condos that belonged to a client. When the job was finished, I handed them both over to the local vacation rental management company, who promised a 32% to 34% occupancy rate. Not a stellar rate, but not terrible for the first few years of business.
It's a rare child that says, "I want to be a vacation rental owner when I grow up." I'm writing this from the hanging bed of my home in Fiji—Starfish Blue. The breeze is delicious, the view world-class, and the scent of frangipani—my favorite flower on the planet—perfumes the air. I am a delighted vacation rental owner. But I did not start out that way.
This is so simple, yet many people miss it. When people are looking at a number of properties across a few listing sites, it will begin to register with them. If you want to do additional marketing and have a website or Facebook page, this gives people a way to find you without the competition of other rentals.