For those in the market for a truly luxury property, the average U.S. earner could easily pay out more than 75% of their income on the dream swanky pad. This leaves very little financial wiggle room in which to enjoy the property, the surroundings, or hold celebrity-style parties to show off your new real estate acquisition. If you're not among the elite 1% and you're still shelling out the money for a luxury place to call your own, chances are you're making some hefty sacrifices to meet the mortgage repayments. The positive side of the recent economic crisis (there is one, we promise!) is that if you survived with your regular income intact, you can score a luxury property for relatively little since the real estate bubble burst. But if a property in rich suburbia is still out of your range, you might think about going a little further afield.
A mere $150,000 can buy lavish villas in Chile, luxury apartments in Argentina, and beautiful homes in Moscow. For a relatively high-earning European, Australian or American, going further afield will pay off. But, incredibly, for significantly less than $150,000 there are several truly luxury properties on the market in countries with a lower GDP, and lower incomes. While these properties are relatively expensive for the national earners, international buyers from richer countries will find the prices stunningly tiny.
These properties are so cheap, they'll leave the average earner plenty of money for travel expenses and some extravagant entertainment and sightseeing. Of course, sociologists and economists have raised some ethical questions about buying abroad: On one side, international money is a welcome investment in poorer countries. On the other side of the coin, however, international buyers are pushing prices up for locals who can barely afford the status quo before flush immigrants skew the economic landscape. We can see examples of this in our own history; at one time, the Bahamas and even Paris were considered havens of cheap, attractive real estate. That was back in the 1960’s and 70’s; now, due in part to their consequent popularity, they boast some of the most expensive property prices in the world.
But whether or not you agree with real estate tourism, you're bound to enjoy at least fantasising about that vacation paradise - and the low prices in poorer, but beautiful, countries are shocking. We've done some of our own dream house window shopping: Have a look at 5 of the most covetable, cheapest pieces of real estate in the world in 2013.
5 5.The Palms in Costa Rica Villa, Costa Rica-$129,000
These exclusive villas feature private pools and a dazzling ocean view, in a secure gated community, with private balconies, and a fitness center. The price for owning one of this lots is $129,000 which may seem a little steep, but a less luxurious property in the United States - with a fraction of the amenities that the Palms has to offer - would set you back at least three times that amount. As with most properties on our list, the costs are so low because Costa Rica is a relatively poor country; poverty is at about 15 - 20% and they depend quite heavily on the tourism industry.
4 4.Beachfront Properties in Veraguas, Panama - $100,000
For just $100,000 you can have your very own corner of paradise with these beach front properties in Panama. With one acre lots available, you'll have exotic seclusion while remaining within walking distance of luxurious, endless stretches of beach. Some of the properties available open directly to the beach, perfect for romantic midnight strolls - if that's what your into! Some of the lots are just a short distance from the ocean with stunning sea views. Although the price might appear steep relative to other properties on our list, this is almost nothing compared to what you might pay for property on coveted beaches in Europe, and with sun, sugary white sand and crystal clear blue water these idyllic properties in Panama, Central America are a steal. The country is experiencing an economic boom, and property prices are thus likely to rise in coming years - so if you're interested, strike while the proverbial iron's hot!
3 3.Beachfront Apartments in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic-$57,796 58
These beachfront apartments are decadent in every sense of the world. You'll wake up to stunning views of the ocean. with the delicious salt water sounds of playful gulls soaring through the skies. For $57,796, all of this can be yours in the scenic Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. For a larger group or family the prices will vary, depending on the number of bedrooms required and the apartment style - so you could go as expensive as $240,000 for a three bedroom apartment. But for less than $60,000 for a smaller apartment in the same luxury surroundings, this is serious value. The Dominican Republic has the highest GDP and it's the second largest economy in the Caribbean. It's a very tourist-friendly country, making plenty of money on tourism initiatives, and the outdoorsy adventurers among us will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the country's varied and rich wildlife and ecology.
2 Ski Apartments in Bansko, Bulgaria - $24,000
Bulgaria has in recent years become a hotspot for Europeans searching for a second home. It's a country with hot summers - compared to the drizzly climes of Ireland and the UK - and winters cold enough for skiing. Above all, the property is notoriously cheap. This apartment block offers studio apartments fully furnished to a high quality, with 'incomparable' views of the Rhodoppe Mountains. All for under $25,000? Incredible but - according to real estate website propertyunder20k.com - true!
1 Corozal, Belize- $11,000
Ok, you're not paying for a property - but at $10k for a prime piece of land, you'll have access to beautiful beaches, a freshwater pond, and lots of serenity in Belize, Central America. Enveloped in beautiful woods, you are only a short trip from schools, shops, and all the water activities that beachside living has to offer. The estate features a freshwater pond, so if reclining by a quiet lake fishing or reading a book amidst the famously lush vegetation of the region is your idea of luxury, then this property can easily accommodate that. The lots are large, ideal for building your luxury home and enjoying the peace and quiet of space and seclusion. Belize has the lowest GDP on our list, and is a developing country that struggles with economic stability so while you may enjoy holidaying here, it might not be a wise permanent move for your career prospects.
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