“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. “I’ve got a lot of amenities on my doorstep right now. What will I do all day if I move overseas?”

My answer surprised her—because the condo she liked was in a city rich in culture. It turns out she could carry on playing with a symphony orchestra, catch art exhibitions, poetry readings and more.

In the right places, there is no “trade-off.” You’ll find plenty to do—as well as affordable property. For example…

One colonial city I know has beautiful mountain landscapes, pretty little plazas and lots of restaurants and cafes in a cool highlands setting. It’s the cultural heart of the country, home to artists, writers and musicians. This city hosts hundreds of events each year. (Many of them are free.) You can also join amateur theater and writers’ groups, listen to live jazz or take classes in cooking, salsa or weaving.

The cost of living is low—and real estate values are excellent. Right now, you can buy a two-bedroom, two-bath condo with a city-view yard for $79,900.

If you like Caribbean beach towns, I know one that’s sophisticated and stunning. The turquoise Caribbean Sea washes up on powder-soft beaches. It’s the perfect spot for snorkeling, swimming or relaxing by the ocean.

Golfers will love the world-class courses in the area. History buffs can check out the ancient ruins and temples. Or you can simply relax with a massage at a boutique spa or enjoy dinner with friends at a gourmet restaurant. With a calendar of film, fashion and music festivals, lots of shopping options and fun nightlife, it’s easy to keep yourself entertained in this place.

Plus, you can buy a huge, forested five-acre lot in this postcard-perfect location from $90,000.

For outdoorsmen who also like a little luxury, I recommend this hideaway: It’s nature at its finest, with mile after mile of unspoiled forests, sandy beaches and sharp-peaked mountains. You can hike or horse ride… swim, surf, sport fish or sea kayak. You can trek through untouched forests and spot exotic wildlife… or try your hand at zip-lining or a canopy tour…

But you’re not in a remote outpost. You can still surf the net and buy champagne, cigars and imported cheese. You can grab an espresso from a coffee shop and dine on French, Italian and organic foods. Here you can buy a mountain-view lot for as little as $40,000… or a brand-new house with hardwood cabinetry and granite counters for $150,000.

Editor’s Note: Margaret Summerfield is a director of Pathfinder, International Living’s preferred real estate advisor. To get your free report on these three locations, sign up now for her free e-letter, the Pathfinder Alert.


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