Nancy’s dream is a simple one. She wants to live by the beach. She approached me at an IL conference, concerned that she couldn’t afford her dream lifestyle on her small budget.
She’s had it with the freezing winters back home, she told me. She’s done with shoveling snow and scraping windshields and worrying about heating bills. She’ll wave goodbye to winter by moving overseas.
Nancy’s looking for a spot that’s warm all year, with endless beaches and swaying palm trees. She pictures herself strolling on the sand, soaking up the sun or enjoying a leisurely dip in the ocean.
She’s pretty flexible on most things, she laughs, except one. She doesn’t want the hassle of driving a car or calling a cab to get some beach time. She wants to live steps from the sand.
There’s one little catch. Nancy’s on a tight real estate budget. Will she have to ditch her beach dream?
Not in these three locations on the Pathfinder beat:
Beach Location #1
This Pacific coast beach town is fun, with a movie theater, yacht clubs, restaurants, and bars. It’s also convenient, with a mall, clinics, produce market, hardware stores, and supermarkets.
It’s warm and dry all year, with only 4-5 inches of rainfall.
And its big bonus is the low cost of living and the low property prices. You can get a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, ocean-view condo in a beachfront community, that comes fully furnished and with a hot tub on the terrace for only $125,000. It’s a short drive to restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. And best of all, it’s only a few minutes’ stroll to the beach.
Beach Location #2
This location is the stuff that Caribbean island dreams are made of. A carpet of palm trees covers the hills that sweep down to white-sand beaches and the clear blue ocean. You can walk for miles along the sand, stopping off for a cool beer or a seafood lunch.
The nicest beach town on this coast is a surprising mix of friendly Caribbean charm with a stylish European edge. You can play boules (lawn bowling), relax in a Turkish steam bath, or pick up a strong espresso.
Another surprise is the property prices. On the market right now there’s a one-bedroom condo in a small complex with a swimming pool and tropical gardens. It’s got a nice terrace and it’s fully furnished and equipped. It’s priced at $110,000—and it’s right across the street from the beach.
Beach Location #3
If you’re looking for a combination of culture, sophistication, and buzzing nightlife, look no further. This third location has it covered.
It’s an established tourist and expat destination with excellent infrastructure, including an international airport, smooth highways, and world-class hospitals. Plus, it’s got plenty of amenities.
If you’re into boating, head to one of the town’s four marinas. Golfers get a choice of courses. You can shop in big-box stores, dine in hundreds of restaurants and cafes, or hit the town’s lively nightlife scene.
What’s unusual about this beach town is its emphasis on the arts. The local theater hosts ballet and opera. Walk the cobbled streets of downtown and you’ll find art galleries and local handcrafts. You can join an Art Walk or take a guided tour of artists’ studios.
The icing on the cake is the long, soft-sand beaches on this Pacific coast—and the property gems you’ll come across if you know where to look.
Right now, you can buy a studio condo with an ocean view, downtown in the heart of the action, for $89,000. You’ve got shopping, dining, and entertainment on your doorstep. The studio is fully equipped and ready to go. And you’re only a few steps from the beach.
Editor’s Note: Margaret Summerfield reveals her best real estate finds—as well as her hard-won insights into buying property overseas securely and legally (that insight and knowledge could help you save money)—four times a week in the Pathfinder e-letter. If you’d like to get a free report on these three locations, with details of the three properties above, subscribe here to The Pathfinder Alert, Margaret’s free e-letter that brings the best in real estate opportunities straight to your inbox. (Pathfinder is International Living‘s preferred real estate advertiser.)