Getting to know the international real estate marketTop Highlights Thursday, January 12th, 2012
In the last two decades, more and more Americans have been buying property in other countries. Often, it is for a second home or a home for retirement.
In some cases, it is even to relocate on a permanent basis. Our world has become smaller as it has evolved into an international market place, which of course includes the real estate market.
It used to be a very extravagant thing if someone owned a second home, particularly if the home was out of the country. But today, there are many people who have their own getaway properties. Whether it is a cabin in the mountains or a place in Palm Springs, it has become more common to have that second home. Nowadays, one of the main reasons that it is possible for people to buy a second home is that it continues to be a buyer’s market. With interest rates and housing prices so low, many people are taking advantage of the current housing market and turning it into a window of investment opportunity.
Traditionally, the typical locations for second homes are Palm Springs and the surrounding area, and Idyllwild or some other type of mountain community like Julian or even Big Bear. For Americans, Mexico has long been a popular place to have a second home. But unfortunately, with the increase in crime and particularly homicides, many people are no longer considering Mexico for their second home even less as a vacation destination. So where else, internationally, are people looking for second homes and investment property?
For many years Central America has been a popular place for Americans to buy property. Most of Central America has had new developments built, catering to foreign buyers and investors. Even though Panama and Nicaragua have become popular in the last ten years, Costa Rica continues to be one of the most desirable places in Central America for Americans and other foreigners to buy property.
Costa Rica is located just north of Panama and just south of Nicaragua. It has the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean to the east. Costa Rica is a very beautiful and impressive country. It has some of the best surfing, snorkelling, fishing, rafting and sightseeing in the world. It has some of the most lush and pristine rain forests, many protected by the Costa Rican government.
Besides all the natural beauty that Costa Rica has to offer, it also has many other wonderful attributes. Costa Rica has a successful socialized medical system for its population, which is something our nation has been struggling with for many years. Costa Rica also has a 93 percent literacy rate, which is an incredible statistic for any country’s educational system. The people of Costa Rica are known as “Ticos” and are very warm and friendly, which makes it a delight when visiting the country. These are some of the reasons why Costa Rica has attracted Americans and other foreigners to the country.
To give you an example of the unbelievable prices for property in Costa Rica, there is currently a six acre ocean view parcel overlooking the Pacific with electricity, water and cut pads ready for building a home, or homes for only $495,000. This would make a magical retreat or compound for someone and is a fraction of the cost of what you would have to pay for any ocean view parcel here in California.
Whoever you are, you can have property most anywhere in the world. To give you a better idea of the properties available throughout the world and the prices, watch HGTV International, which travels the world showing you properties for sale. Until we meet again, don’t just dream your dreams, live them!
Trent St. Louis is a licensed Real Estate Agent and a member of the National, California and San Diego Association of Realtors. You can reach Trent at email@example.com or at his office in Hillcrest, The Metropolitan Group. DRE#01273643.
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