For frequent travelers who have always dreamed of living abroad, buying a home internationally could satisfy that notion. Buying abroad gets you a home base in an entirely different corner of the world. Think of all the destinations that suddenly become local to you when you own a home in Europe or Southeast Asia.
If, like me, you are attached to vacationing along the French Riviera or Southeast Asia, a vacation home gives you an excuse to go to those places more often with the feeling of being home when you arrive.
The French Riviera is one of the most difficult vacation home markets to tap abroad as it is the world’s favorite 2nd home market. There is a history of glamorous homeowners in the French Riviera, and many of their properties wind up as multi-million dollar real estate listings. And, while it may seem like the entire Riviera is glitz and glamour, there are many different atmospheres to choose from when looking for a home in Provence. From beautiful, intimate, and historic towns like Aix-en-Provence, to the full-blown luxury of St. Tropez, there is something for every Francophile in search of a 2nd home here.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
For luxury buyers, Dubai is the hot ticket in international real estate lately. A 2nd home in Dubai could be a waterfront mansion with an infinity pool or the penthouse of a new high rise overlooking the marina, depending on your taste and budget. There are also residential hotels, like the Palm Jumeirah Dubai, where buyers can own villas or suites outright and benefit from the hotel’s amenities and services. The United Arab Emirates are an expensive location for a 2nd home, but considering it’s a Middle Eastern business hub, there is a opportunity to spend a good portion of your yr there.
Los Cabos, Mexico
Los Cabos is on the rise for luxury buyers in search of 2nd homes. Christie’s Real Estate reports 22% growth in affluent retirees and telecommuting buyers purchasing property in Los Cabos. And considering Cabo’s growing culinary and hospitality scene, beautiful coastal setting, and the easy international flight from the US, it’s not hard to understand the appeal. When house shopping there the focus is do you want a beachfront real estate or a garden-chic inland retreat. While the coastline is absolutely stunning, it is less swimmable, but the surf and boating possibilities are endless. On the other hand, the inland mountain-flanked enclave and downtown San José del Cabo are both known for their arts and fine dining scene.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
There’s a concentration of expat buyers in Santo Domingo, the DR’s capital, who have sought out this Caribbean country. Ownership of a Caribbean home is more of an investment, but it also means more time in the surf and sand for your family, and a much better potential return on investment. As the economy is booming and it is has easy access from the US.
Panama City, Panama
Panama has been a major player on the global real estate stage in the last few yrs. The fervor originally started with investors coming from South America; Argentina, Colombia, and Venezuela, specifically and Panama is now attracting North American, European, and Chinese buyers too. Buyers can do well in Panama City, buying in a new beachfront condo development and potentially benefiting from a strong rental market.
Singapore makes it relatively easy for foreigners to break into their real estate market provided they have the money to do so. The high prices in Singapore primarily attract luxury buyers after condos in high rises or homes in developments. And with a just routine application to the Singaporean government and a down payment, you are in. Singapore is a smart choice for a 2nd home from a business travel perspective, as it a unique connector to the Eastern world. Not only is Singapore a perfect environment for business and pleasure, it connects travelers to Asia and the Middle East with geographic ease that people do not have traveling from the US.
For long-term international living, Portugal makes a lot of sense, especially considering you can buy a 2nd home at a good price. Fortunately, as a result of the Portuguese financial issues from Ys 2010 to 2014, real estate prices plummeted and have yet to fully rebound. For retirees looking to declare residency in Portugal, their universal healthcare system is perk and being able to vacation hop around Europe does not hurt either. While coastal areas like the Algarve have distinct appeal, buying in Porto or Lisbon makes it easier to access your 2nd home and you will be more motivated to use the property yr-round because the liveliness does not come to a halt in the off-season.
Koh Samui, Thailand
The Thai islands overall have potential and see a lot of interest from North American buyers. Home ownership rates in Thailand are particularly high, in fact, higher than they are in the US and UK, and that is partially a result of foreign buyers. When you are perusing Koh Samui listings, you will learn that buying in the Thai islands brings your dreams of owning a waterfront mansion with beautiful scenery and a private pool within reach. To buy in Thailand, you have to follow certain Thai real estate regulations, not unlike those encountered in other countries around the world. Essentially, in buying property in Thailand, the buyer gets a 30-yr lease or secured leasehold on the land, as approved by the government.
Have a healthy weekend, Keep the Faith!