I’m on vacation, walking down a street of shops and restaurants when I come across a real estate office. Its window is filled with pretty pictures of houses for sale and as a real estate agent, I’m drawn to the window like a child to a Christmas display.
I look at the style of homes, their prices and the amenities they offer and, whether I am in the North, South, East, West, or in America’s heartland, I can’t help but compare them to what the D.C. metropolitan area has to offer. Since many areas still rely on real estate advertising magazines, I pick one up and leaf through it over lunch, imagining myself living there.
As I grow older, thoughts of winding down creep into my head and I wonder whether the place where I am at the time will allow for a comfortable retirement. Many of my friends are investing in areas that are popular among travelers, buying homes that will produce income from renting year-round, seasonally, or as local laws permit, as an Airbnb, until they are ready to make the move permanently.
So, when San Francisco, Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg just won’t do – go global. Here are six properties currently listed for sale on Viviun.com that may pique your interest.
Mexico – If you want something elegant where you can earn a good income, a penthouse condominium with two bedrooms, two baths and 1,250 square feet in the resort area of Playa del Carmen can be yours for purse pleasing price of $259,000. Enjoy 180-degree ocean views from your 700-square-foot roof deck and mini-dip (or skinny-dip) in the plunge pool. With a rental occupancy rate of 80 percent you’ll receive a 15% return on investment (ROI).
Costa Rica – If you really want to get away from it all, check out the village of Chauita, where $250,000 will buy a secluded, 1,600-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bath home with garage near the rainforest. With a fabulous mountain view, it’s located only 45 minutes from the capital city of Limón (also known as civilization).
Argentina – In the beautiful area of San Rafael, you can purchase a five-acre Chardonnay vineyard (to be planted upon purchase), where Mumm has bought its grapes for the last seven years. The asking price of only $110,000 includes the services of a staff of 7 and is eligible for purchase from your self-directed IRA or 401k. No house comes with it, but you can build one locally for only $50 per square foot.
France – Who doesn’t want to frolic and canoodle on the French Riviera? If you’re interested in running a bed and breakfast, a mere $790,000 Euros ($923,000 in U.S. dollars) buys a five-bedroom, five bath B&B, where the rooms rent for $90 per night for a party of two. There is a two-bedroom owner’s suite, a living room with stone fireplace, a library, and a salt-water pool. Breakfast is served on a 320-square-foot terrace. The property is located near 10 golf courses and is only 15 minutes from Cannes. Can you say film festival?
Italy – Near the town of Cotona sits a six-bedroom, two bath Tuscan “casale” (castle) that awaits your loving care. Originally built in 1900, it consists of a main building of about 3,800 square feet in need of total restoration, plus two other outbuildings to restore. The property is characteristic of Tuscany with wooden beams, “cotto” (Italian brick tile) paving and a huge fireplace in good condition. The home sits on 74 acres with the ability to buy another 5 acres nearby, all with pleasant views of the countryside. It’s priced to sell at only $190,000 Euros (roughly $222,000 U.S.).
Spain – If your trust fund permits, you can buy a stunning 2.5-acre resort in Toledo for $1,950,000 Euros (a steal at under $2.3 million U.S.). The Toledo Countryside Hotel is an elegant and intimate picturesque resort with distant views of the Sierra de Gredos mountains. The business features a hotel with seven stylish rooms, 12 deluxe villas, an events hall and a restaurant. Local activities include golf, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, and visiting nearby towns to enjoy the national heritage and savory cuisine. Translation: the perfect site to host the next G-20, if only someone will share a villa with Justin Trudeau.
So, the next time you go on vacation, take notice of your surroundings, eat, drink and be merry – and please bring me a local real estate magazine for my collection.