Home may be where the heart is, but when it comes to home buying, maybe the passport should come into play. The U.S. housing market is so hot, it’s become a struggle to secure a primary home, let alone a second home. Inventory is scarce, and sellers are being wooed by cash buyers who are offering hundreds of thousands of dollars above asking price, sports tickets and vacations.
So why not look elsewhere? The world is opening back up and it’s beckoning.
There are a variety of benefits to owning a second home abroad, but let’s start with the obvious: more bang for your buck. For $200,000, you can buy property in a luxury development on an island off the coast of Belize or a charming stone house in the French countryside. To put that into perspective, the median home price in the U.S. is currently at a record high of roughly $350,000, and in vacation destinations it’s exponentially more. The cost of living is often lower abroad, particularly in Latin America, which means you can afford a higher standard of living. And for those nearing retirement age, a vacation home can be looked at as an investment that may one day become a primary residence.
The following homes are in countries where local laws make it easy for foreigners to purchase property, and Americans and Canadians can receive their visa upon arrival.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, $160,500
Just four hours from New York City by plane or four and a half from Chicago, Punta Cana is an easy getaway from many U.S. cities. This modern, stylish three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo is located in an exclusive community designed so you don’t ever really have to leave: there’s a golf course, a beach club, an infinity pool (condos come with the option of a private pool as well) and restaurants. It’s just 15 minutes from Punta Cana international airport.
Orihuela Costa, Spain, $225,000
This three-bedroom, two-bathroom Mediterranean-style villa is located in Orihuela Costa, a popular vacation community along the coast. The villa itself comes fully furnished and has access to a shared pool, but who needs that when you’re just steps from Flamenco Beach. It’s located less than an hour’s drive from two international airports: Alicante and Region of Murcia. A new high-speed train offers direct connection between Orihuela and Madrid in just two hours and 22 minutes.
Cuenca, Ecuador, $175,000
This two-bedroom, two-bathroom garden suite is located in downtown Cuenca, a popular destination with both expats and travelers, making it an excellent income property. The property is being sold fully furnished with custom-made furniture, top-end appliances and various artwork. Cuenca has its own international airport and is about an hour by plane from the capital, Quito.
Cava D’Aliga, Italy, $220,600
This three-bedroom, three-bathroom semi-detached villa is located in a charming seaside community on the Island of Sicily. The property boasts a covered-terrace with ocean views and a garden planted with fruit trees. It’s located 15 minutes from the nearby city of Scicli and two hours from the island’s largest international airport.
San Pedro, Belize, $199,000
This one-bedroom, one-bathroom luxury beachy townhouse is the perfect island escape. Located in Mahogany Bay Village, one of the main resorts on Ambergris Caye — the largest island in Belize — it’s on the canal, a nine-minute walk to the Atlantic Ocean, and a couple steps to the village pool. The property is being sold fully furnished. Just over an hour ferry ride from Caye Caulker Airport and a 15-minute drive from the local San Pedro airport, you’ll be able to smell the salt water the moment you arrive.
Kalo Horio, Greece, $125,000
This traditional-style one-bedroom one-bathroom home is located in a quaint village (Kalo Horio literally translates to “good village”) on the island of Crete. You have a view of the sea and the nearby olive groves from the rooftop terrace. The nearest cosmopolitan center, Agios Nikolaos, is less than a 10-minute drive and the closest international airport, Heraklion, is just 50 minutes away. The house is being sold fully furnished.