There’s no place like home. Unless it’s your home away from home.
For those with disposable cash and a hankering for a vacation home of their own, whether here or abroad, the housing downturn is resulting in some solid deals where prices had once been sky high.
At the same time, the profile of the second-home shopper is changing, meaning that there are fewer investors and more homebuyers genuinely looking for a second home. “Flippers have been cast out of the temple,” says Grace Lichtenstein, who writes the Vacation Home Insider blog.
Here are five areas you should look into if you’re scrounging for hidden vacation home gems:
Compared with home prices in Western Europe, the countries to the east are a steal. Plus they have castles! Croatia, in particular, is one of the fastest growing markets, thanks to its lovely beaches, says Rick Fisher, president of Vacation Home Expo. While the country still shows some effects of the 1990s civil war, it now ranks fairly high on the quality of life index and the coastal regions are considered some of the most beautiful around, Fisher says. For a good listing of homes in all Eastern European countries, check out Redence.com, or go to Viviun.com for listings specific to Croatia (as well as several other countries). Some cabins are listed as low as $35,000.
$350,000 for a 3 bed, 2 bath stone home with a private pool and views of the countryside.
Eu.650,000 (approximately $840,000) for a Hungarian castle with three buildings, a five car garage, sauna and tennis court.
With its varied landscape of rainforests, beaches, mountains and valleys, its low cost of living and a relatively stable political climate, Ecuador is often a good move for expatriates. Amanda Sturges, marketing director at EscapeHomes.com, suggests the sleepy community of Vilcabamba, just north of the Peruvian border. Large tracts of land with multi-bedroom villas listed on EcuadorProperties.com run as low as $65,000.