Colorful two story hose on an island in Las Isletas, Nicaragua

If You Think Owning An Island Is Impossible…Think Again

Own Your Own Private Island Starting At $60K

The idea of buying any property abroad is exciting. But there’s nothing more exotic, romantic, and exciting than the idea of living on your own private island.

In a way, you’ll feel like a pioneer no matter where you purchase abroad. But on an island—especially a private island—that feeling is amplified tenfold.

For hundreds of years, only the super-wealthy entertained the idea of owning a private island. And in most of the world today, owning a tropical island is still prohibitively expensive for most of us.

Yet there’s still one place left in the Americas today where you can own a private tropical island for less than $60,000…

It’s in a small island group known as Las Isletas, near the colonial city of Granada, Continue reading

Coloonial Style Buildings in the Coastal City of Olinda Brazil

3 Top Coastal Colonial Cities Offering Fun, Sun, And Property

Three Top-Rated Colonial Cities By The Sea

Most of us think of colonial cities as being situated in the highlands… not on the ocean. In fact, when we talk about various lifestyles in Latin America, we often discuss colonial city living and the beach lifestyle as if it were necessary to choose between the two.

But the truth is that you can have both. That is, there are a number of colonial cities on the water that offer an excellent expat lifestyle; not to mention the advantage of two property markets.

Here are three of my favorite colonial cities by the sea in Latin America…

Olinda, Brazil: An Early Portuguese Colonial Gem

Traveling down the coast of Northeast Brazil, it’s common to see gleaming resort cities, long stretches of sandy beaches, and beautiful small beach towns and fishing villages.

What I didn’t expect was Continue reading

Why Ecuador's Best Beachfront Property Is Found In Salinas

Why Ecuador’s Best Beachfront Property Is Found In Salinas

A Great Lifestyle With Inexpensive Beachfront

Ecuador’s coast has lots of beautiful, unspoiled, and fairly undeveloped seaside towns. In fact, Ecuador’s undeveloped coast is what draws a lot of people to the country.

But if my agenda were to enjoy resort-style amenities—restaurants, cafés, nightlife, groomed beaches, and an active real estate market— then Salinas is where I’d buy.

I first visited Salinas back in 2002, and have kept an eye on it over the years. Recently, two things changed that have affected the property market:

  • Ecuador’s major coastal earthquake in 2016 actually caused an increase in tourist and rental traffic to Salinas.
  • Salinas—always accessible from the international airport at Guayaquil—now has its own airport with flights to Quito… making it accessible to Ecuador’s other major international airport.

When you come to Salinas, Ecuador, during the North American winter, you’ll find an energetic, bustling Pacific resort city soaking up some of the world’s best weather. As I write this (on Saturday, April 29), Salinas is enjoying a mixture of clouds and sunshine, with high of 83°F (28°C)… a forecast that remains pretty much the same for the next 10 days.

In the real estate market, condo prices a few blocks back from the beach start at around US$65,000… Continue reading

Beautiful Beaches And Property Bargains In Cabo Frio, Brazil

Sizing Up Your Options On Properties In Las Terrenas, DR

Las Terrenas: Upscale Caribbean Living At Reasonable Prices

If you dream of owning a Caribbean home featuring a spectacular water view, near sandy beaches for strolling and lounging, with breezy trade winds to cool your afternoons, look no further than Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is an independent country that shares its western border with Haiti on the Island of Hispaniola. The community of Las Terrenas is located on the north shore of the Samaná Peninsula, which looks like a little thumb on top of the island.

In the past few decades, Las Terrenas (population 39,221) has become the vacation destination for many Europeans, especially the French. The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish, but while walking around the whimsical town of Las Terrenas, French is the predominant language Continue reading

top picks global property summit

Canada’s Maritime Region Offers A Tranquil Seaside Escape

Look To The Maritimes For Canada’s Best Real Estate Buys

It started as a joke, people fleeing the United States after the election. But after putting up the website “Cape Breton If Donald Trump Wins,” creator Rob Calabrese saw more than a million visitors to the site within the first few weeks.

Then after the election, Canada’s immigration website crashed, as potential “refugees” investigated actually moving to Canada.

Thousands of people wrote to Calabrese personally, asking how they could relocate to Cape Breton.

Oddly, these people included a lot of Trump supporters.

Why?

Because houses on Cape Breton, and in all of Canada’s Maritime provinces, are a great deal for interested buyers… especially those with U.S. dollars. And, like the president himself, everyone likes a great deal. Continue reading

Viña del mar, Chile

How Chile’s Accord With China Is A Big Win For Viña Del Mar

Why Chile-China Ties Will Cause A Viña Del Mar Property Boom
Plus: “Can I Double My Money Using Exchange Rates?”

Prediction: Chile will soon see big dividends paid to its #1 tourist destination thanks to its standing as China’s closest Latin American ally. –L.H.

For many countries 2016 was a disappointing year. Generally speaking, a number of stable democracies showed real signs of instability and uncertainty for the first time in decades.

For Chile, by contrast, 2016 was an encouraging year.

Chile’s 2016 annual growth rate continued despite an earlier threat of a significant slowdown for the first time since the 2010 global recession. Thankfully, growth rates remained stable due to a strong third-quarter performance from the mining and manufacturing sectors, which exceeded market expectations.

Furthermore, newly released economic forecasts show that Chile will very likely meet or exceed these healthy growth rates through the year 2020. Consumer confidence rose to its highest level in nearly two years, and business confidence also ticked up in the closing months of 2016. Continue reading

Comparing The Best Of Mexico: Puerto Vallarta vs Mazatlán

Puerto Vallarta Versus Mazatlán: Comparing Two Top
Beach Destinations

One of the questions I hear most frequently is why I chose to live in Mazatlán, rather than the better-known Puerto Vallarta. In fact, even here at Live and Invest Overseas, Puerto Vallarta gets more coverage and higher ratings.

So why choose Mazatlán? Let’s compare the two.

In Some Ways, Both Destinations Are Quite Similar

Both Puerto Vallarta (PV) and Mazatlán enjoy choice spots on Mexico’s Pacific coast, with good access to the United States and Canada.

Both cities are longtime tourism destinations, which has both positive and negative consequences. For example, the touristy “Romantic Zone” in Puerto Vallarta is about the least romantic environment I’ve ever seen… similar to Mazatlán’s Golden Zone. Read more on the ups and downs of living in a tourist destination here.

PV and Mazatlán also both offer numerous, varied lifestyle options for the part-year resident, vacation homeowner, or full-time expat. They have good residential property inventories and can be great places to manage a rental.

English is widely spoken in both cities, and both are popular with American and Canadian expats.

The infrastructure is good in both PV and Mazatlán, not only for the practical stuff (water, electricity, cable, internet, etc.), but also with respect to their tourism infrastructure, with restaurants, nightlife, and activities.

The cost of living is close between PV and Mazatlán in the expat areas. The statistical data I found claims Mazatlán to be a bit cheaper, but only by 11% overall. In many categories, they’re too close to call. Mazatlán has a “real” city behind the coastal areas in which you can live very inexpensively. But, since expats almost never live there, I don’t think it’s fair to include those areas in a cost analysis.

Both cities can be very walkable if you settle in the right place—many expats live without a car. And both cities offer tranquil beachfront neighborhoods, which are completely residential and free from the trappings of tourism.

Finally, the cost of living is very low right now in both places, thanks to a U.S. dollar that’s very strong by historic Continue reading

Bucerías, Mexico: PV’s Lower-Priced, Less-Crowded Neighbor

Bucerías, Mexico: PV’s Lower-Priced, Less-Crowded Neighbor

Bucerías: A Small Beachfront Town That’s Big On Amenities

Plus: Watch Out For The Condo Fees

Nestled on more than 10 miles of uninterrupted sandy beach, Bucerías has just about everything you’d hope to find in a Mexican beach town.

The beaches are long, sandy, and relatively uncrowded and unspoiled when compared to those of nearby Puerto Vallarta. The cobblestoned streets see their share of visitors, but nothing like the throngs of tourists and cruise-ship passengers that visit its far more popular neighbor to the south.

Bucerías is fairly low-key… but it’s not the quaint fishing village that some writers describe. In fact, it’s better; it has the infrastructure and amenities of a much larger town. Bucerías can stand on its own as a retirement or second-home destination. Continue reading

Salinas, Ecuador: Affordable Beach Condos Under $53K

Salinas, Ecuador: Affordable Beach Condos Under $53K

Salinas: A Low-Cost, Coastal Paradise Starting At US$52,150

With more than 1,250 miles (2,000 km) of coastline, Ecuador is the westernmost country in South America. And Salinas, on the Santa Elena peninsula, is the westernmost piece of land on Ecuador’s mainland.

It’s one of the world’s few coastal resorts where you can still buy a new condo for less than US$53,000.

This ex-fishing village has become the most renowned attraction of the Ecuadorian coast, welcoming people from the domestic cities, as well as from other South American countries, such as Peru and Colombia. People come here looking for a relaxing, laid-back weekend, a longer vacation, or to set up a second home.

Salinas has around 40,000 residents and hosts one of the biggest expat communities in the country. During holidays, this crowd can increase up to three times. Continue reading

Las amapas offers luxury with a view.

Puerto Vallarta South: Tranquil Luxury And Enviable Views

Lush Forests With Pacific Sunset Views And Luxury Living
One aspect of Puerto Vallarta that really sets it apart from the pack is its ocean- view homes tucked away in a lush, green hillside… homes that afford a 50-mile view over the Pacific. In some cases, you’ll find ocean front homes in this same setting.

My report from last week looked at the city of Puerto Vallarta (PV), including its famous Centro and Romantic Zones. This is the most popular area of PV, and it’s perfect for some expats and entrepreneurs… but it’s not for everyone. Some will find it too noisy, bustling, and touristy to provide the atmosphere you may be looking for.

But outside the town proper, situated in a thick, tropical forest, you’ll find cooler temperatures and a peaceful, relatively tranquil setting.

Head South From The Romantic Zone For Peace And Tranquility

The areas south of the Romantic Zone are collectively known as Vallarta South, which includes the prestigious areas of Amapas, Conchas Chinas, and Mismaloya. This area is known for Continue reading