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2019

Last updated: March 30, 2021 • Real Estate Investing

Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home around the World

So you’re looking for a place to buy a vacation home. Maybe you’ve just gotten a big return on an investment and you want to put the money into something tangible that you can enjoy. Maybe you already have a vacation home, but want to broaden your horizons, so you have more options when it comes to spending your precious vacation time. Whatever the case may be, you’ve arrived here, looking for a good place to buy a vacation home.

Now, there are many places you can buy a home, from sunny Mediterranean towns to balmy island beach getaways and breathtaking glacier vistas, but ultimately which one you choose is up to you! The climates and languages of these locations vary, but they all have one thing in common: they’re all great places to go on vacation! 

 In this article, we’ll list some of the top destinations for those looking to buy a vacation home and measure everything from cost of living to the prospect of renting your house to AirBnB patrons when you aren’t on vacation. Let’s get into it! 

Is vacation real estate a good investment

You may be wondering whether or not vacation real estate is a good investment. While there is no simple yes-or-no answer, there are a couple of tricks to making sure your property appreciates or remains steady in value. First of all, if the property is overseas, then you’ll have to look into how to get a loan for an overseas property. This may actually be easier than you’d expect, if you have the collateral to back up your loan application. You’ll also have to work out a way to manage your property while you’re not there. 

It’s also a good idea to check real estate prices and price histories in the area surrounding the home you want to buy, much like you would when buying a home in your own country. These can predict with uncanny accuracy to what extent your vacation home will hold its value or appreciate in value. 

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Best locations for a vacation home

When it comes to choosing a location for your new vacation home, you have all the options in the world, literally! Where you choose to go depends on when you are going to be taking your vacations, and what type of vacation you want to have. A great way to ascertain what exactly you want from your new vacation home is by doing a SWOT analysis on potential locations for you new vacation getaway. 

If your idea of a great vacation is two weeks spent sunbathing on the beach with the sound of the ocean gently lapping at the shore, you might want to buy your second home in the Mediterranean or Carribean. If you’d rather spend your vacation hiking through mountainous fjords with breathtakingly beautiful glacial vistas, you might consider buying a home in one of the Scandinavian countries. That being said, let’s look at a couple ideal locations to buy your second home abroad! 

1. Palermo, Italy 

panoramic view of mondello bay in palermo

Situated in the beautiful, warm Mediterranean on Italy’s largest island, Sicily, the beautiful city of Palermo is quite simply the perfect place to buy your second home abroad. There’s plenty to be said about Palermo; the climate is warm year-round, and there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to explore in addition to its many beautiful cityscapes. Aquaphiles will no doubt be enamored by the many beautiful coves and ports where swimmers can freely dive into and swim through the warm, crystal clear water and take in the many underwater sights.

If you enjoy spending time learning about history, Palermo offers various different opportunities to do just that! At the towering but elegant Teatro Massimo, you can delve deep into the history of  theatre in a place where many of our modern day ideas about the performing arts were formed. 

But this isn’t just a mere historical relic; it’s also an operational opera house! The Teatro Massimo has some of the best acoustics of any opera house in the world, and anyone who visits will be provided with the opportunity to listen in awe as flawless vocal harmonies reverberate off the theatre’s lofty interior. 

That’s not all there is to explore, however; nearby to Palermo are the ruins of dozens of ancient sites, all of them rich with deep historical significance. The Catacombe Paleocristiane di Porta d’Ossuna offer a fascinating glimpse into the religious traditions of the ancient Romans surrounding death and mortality. At the Palazzo Cattedrale di Palermo you can immerse yourself in one of the most significant places of worship in Italy as you wander the halls of this 1400 year old Cathedral. 

If you are interested in buying a home in Palermo, you’ll have to buy a heavy pocketbook; Palermo is not cheap. However, its long list of beautiful and fascinating attractions far outweighs its hefty price tag, and we’re sure you’ll agree if you make your second home in Palermo, Italy!  

2. Oranjestad, Aruba

aruba tourism colorful welcome sign

If you’ve done any research into buying a second home in another country, chances are you’ve heard of a little island called Aruba. This picturesque little island paradise is widely touted as one of the best Carribean vacation spots, and for good reason! With beautiful beaches, balmy climate and beautifully crystal-clear water, this tropical getaway might just be the place you decide to choose to spend your vacation days. 

But don’t be fooled; Aruba isn’t just about sunbathing and relaxing; for more active vacation-goers, Aruba offers the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of watersports and dry-land activities. If you enjoy spending time in the deep blue, you’re sure to enjoy surfing! Aruba is a great place to surf, with large waves and long daylight hours. Or, why not try jet skiing? For those who don’t have the physical chops to spend all day paddling back out catch the next wave, Jet Skiing might just be the thing for you. Nothing quite matches the feeling of racing across the surface of the deep blue carribean that you get when you’re riding a jetski in Aruba! 

If you decide to make your vacation home in Aruba, you won’t regret it! For starters, houses in Aruba are relatively affordable! You can buy a home in Aruba for as little as $60,000, with more luxurious offerings going for up to $250,000. Additionally, the real estate market in Aruba is consistently on the uptake, so a real estate purchase here is likely to be a good investment. Between the beautiful beaches and the sunny tropical climate, you won’t be able to avoid having the time of your life; and if you buy a vacation home here, you can do it every year! 

3. Bergen, Norway

view on bruges bergen norway

Now, when you think summer vacations, there’s a good chance that snowy mountain ranges, frigid glacial rivers and rows of neat, modern, scandinavian style houses aren’t the first things that come to mind. Allow us to change that! Bergen, Norway is an immaculate city on the southern coast that boasts a wide range of things to see and do that might just put this cool little hotspot on your map! Once you’ve heard all the great things Bergen has to offer, you’re sure to agree that it’s a great place to make your second home abroad.

First of all, if you like beautiful views, Norway is the perfect place for you to buy your second home. Take Norway’s fjords for instance, carved from the earth by the flow of water created by melted glaciers, these majestic waterways are truly an awe inspiring sight to behold. Whether you do so from the deck of one of the many cruise ships that traverse the fjords or from the window of your vacation home in Bergen is up to you! 

For those who like exercise and a challenge, never fear; there’s something for you too! Norway has dozens of great places to test your physical prowess, from gently rolling hills to frosty snow covered mountains. If you make your vacation home in Bergen, the only choice left will be to decide whether you want to go hiking or mountain climbing! 

After this look at what Norway has to offer, we’re sure you’d agree that this a great option when it comes to buying a second home abroad. If you choose to buy a home here, you’ll have to keep in mind that real estate in Bergen is not cheap. A medium sized home in Bergen will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500,000 Norweigan Krone, or $280,000 USD. 

However, the real estate market is lively and competitive, so buying a home here wouldn’t be a bad investment. Whether you’re drawn in by the beautiful scenery or the daunting but doable physical challenges, you’re sure to enjoy your vacation when you make your second home in Bergen! 

4. Dubrovnik, Croatia

aerial panoramic view of dubrovnik croatia

Here’s one you probably didn’t expect; the breathtakingly beautiful city of Dubrovnik, Croatia! This well-kept secret is one of the most beautiful cities on the continent, and a great location to buy a second home! 

If you like classical architecture, you’re sure to be absolutely mesmerized by Dubrovnik’s Old Town, where classical gothic, byzantine and baroque buildings meld into a wondrous experience of culture and tradition. Walking the streets of this marvelous city is sure to evoke feelings of profound wonder that you will have a hard time finding anywhere else. 

Real estate in Dubrovnik is pricey, with homes ranging in price from $150,000 all the way up to the 1 and 2 million price range. Fortunately, properties in Dubrovnik are appreciating rapidly, and if you get in on the market now you could be in possession of a great investment. 

5. Naples, Florida

naples beach florida

Now we’re going to get a little domestic. The cozy Florida town offers plenty of things to do and see, and it’s right here in the United States. If you want a vacation home that doesn’t require you to leave the U.S., Naples might just be the right place for you! 

The biggest draw of Naples is unquestionably its laid-back beach town feel. Spending a Saturday afternoon casually browsing through Naples’ antique stores, surf shops and cafes is relaxing and reinvigorating. After doing some shopping, you can meander over to the beach, climb over the dunes and spend your evening watching the sun sink behind the horizon from your comfortable beach chair. This is your quintessential beach town, and it shows. 

The real estate market in Naples is fairly cool, but houses are still fairly expensive. At around $325,000 for a home, this little Florida town isn’t exactly a cheap place to live. However, if you’re looking for a place that doesn’t require you to venture too far from home, this is the place for you. 

If you are interested in finding a home in Naples, you’ll need to find a good real estate agent in Naples Florida. Once you’ve found your dream real estate agent, you’ll be well on your way to making your second home in Naples Florida. 

Whatever place you choose to make your home, we hope we’ve helped you in your decision and wish you a great vacation!

Overseas real estate investments

morning view of amalfi

Buying a vacation home for the sake of living in it and enjoying the perks of living in some of the best vacation destinations around the world is one thing, and investing in real estate abroad is a different thing. 

There are two types of people in the market to buy a vacation home. The first type buys the property and is the only one that occupies it. They don’t want strangers in their home, but when/if they decide to sell it, they hope there is equity in the property or at least to break even. If you break even, it’s still a win.  The second type of vacation home buyers will use it when they’re around and rent it while it’s vacant to help overcome any costs and hopefully even make money from it. Of course, there are pros and cons to short-term lease agreements, but the latest might be the smarter investment perspective.

Also, it is a known fact that not all countries are created equal, and some actually provide a lot of advantages when it comes to buying, maintaining, and managing real estate. Among the top places worldwide to buy property as an investment are Bahrain, Taiwan, and Ecuador. All three of these countries receive a lot of praise from expats for being some of the most friendly countries in the world. The laws are very kind to foreigners, and these countries allow expats to settle in easily, and they are known for their ability to communicate with non-native English speakers. Taiwan is known for the high quality of life and Ecuador for its financial advantages.

Considerations before buying real estate overseas

overseas property metallic sign

There are some things you need to consider before venturing yourself into an unknown housing market overseas. I know that the idea of spending your golden years in someplace warm and sunny might be very appealing to you, but buying property overseas is going to be a different experience. Whether you prefer the traditional home around the world or not, before you fall in love with this ultimate vacation spot, here are five things to take into account.

Foreign Ownership Laws

Remember, individual countries have the right to place restrictions on non-citizens, which is especially important if you want to own property. Even if the country’s laws allow you to own property, you might still have to obtain special residence permits or register yourself with a government agency in order to complete a home purchase. If you are unaware of other countries’ laws for foreign real estate purchases, get in touch with a real estate attorney who knows how to execute foreign transactions.

Financing

euro banknote

Not everyone will have an impressive amount of money sitting around waiting to be invested in foreign real estate. That is why you have to consider financing to see if it is possible for foreigners. Most foreign banks will accept finance only if you are willing to shell out a big down payment and take a high-interest rate. Some lenders might even require you to acquire a separate life insurance policy if something happens to you. Financing a home purchase overseas can be costly and taxing if you reach a desperate situation where you can’t make payments, so be prepared to take risks.

Costs of living

Even if financing might be more taxing for non-citizens, it is still worth it if you invest in real estate in a country with low living costs. However, it is not always the case, and even though real estate might come out cheaper than the current city you are in, some other expenses might counteract the inexpensive housing. If you plan to purchase a home overseas, scout the areas and learn more about the costs of living and how they compare to your current city.

Tax liability

tax wooden text

Tax might not be very kind to foreigners, especially if you want to purchase a property. When moving overseas, consider any tax rules that might apply. Taxation might apply both when buying the property and when it comes time to sell again. Making tax payments throughout the year (similar to US property taxes) is not uncommon in most countries. Educate yourself and make sure you know how buying a home overboard will affect your tax situation.

Have an exit strategy

Now what I mean by that is not to break the law in any way but to know the housing market well enough that you have a back-up plan in case things go sideways. If you are ready to move on and sell the property, you might find out that the market is quite cold, and your listing might end up lurking for months or even years! Factor in the local market conditions and have an exit strategy, so you don’t get stuck with the house for long if you want to sell.

Conclusion

Buying a vacation home abroad might seem like a dream come true, yet it might also turn out to be a headache if you don’t know what you are getting yourself into. Without question, the world has to offer breathtaking vacation destinations that have everything you ever wished for in terms of living conditions. With the tips and advice underlined in this article, we hope that we helped you get a good look at some of the top destinations in the world and made you aware of the implications of buying property overseas.What do you think are the best places to buy a vacation home? Let us know in the comment section down below. Whatever place you choose to make your home, we hope we’ve helped you in your decision and wish you a great vacation!

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2 Responses to " Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home around the World "

  1. Carine says:

    Great article!
    You could add Montenegro to the list 🙂

    Btw you have a typo in the text:
    It’s Mediterranean, not Meditaranean 😉

    • Ovidiu Tarnaceanu says:

      We stand corrected! Thank you for your feedback, and we are glad you enjoy our blog. On our platform, we try to keep our blogs updated, and current with all the real estate trends. On the next blog revision, we will consider adding Montenegro to our list.

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