Extreme Real Estate: Run Away to Uruguay


Each week MainStreet takes a look at what we call Extreme Real Estate deals. Extreme could mean comparing properties that can be had for less than $200,000 with similar spots that go for $2 million or more. Or we might present three houses in the U.S. for less than $40,000 (they do exist). Or a selection of castles in eastern Europe for under half a million. Whatever they are, you’ll be extremely impressed. This week we bring you: The Highs and Lows of Uruguay.

With the financial markets in a tail spin, unemployment rising and the credit markets locked up tighter than an aging socialite’s face, perhaps it’s time to consider getting out of Dodge and waiting out the economic tsunami on a beach far, far away.  Or maybe you’re just one of the lucky few who can afford to spend a month each year on vacation. Either way, if you're headed to Punta del Este in Uruguay, you should plan for a long stay, seeing as it will take almost a full 24 hours to get there.

Located along the scenic southern coastline of Uruguay, the beach resort town of Punta del Este has long attracted deep-pocketed Europeans with its temperate climate, 20 miles of sugar sand beaches, sophisticated summer population and lively night life. Although spending a Wall Street-sized wad of cash on an ocean front mansion is de riguer in Punta del Este, the frugal and less financially fortunate are also in luck because a casa close to the beach can still be snatched up for under one hundred thousand clams.

Beach House No. 1: The Sprawling Chateau

One of Punta del Este’s most exclusive and vibrant neighborhoods is La Barra, where an 8,600 square foot ocean front mansion dubbed Charitomene is available for purchase at $8,500,000 (US). With 7 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, there is plenty of room for the whole family, and the two-bedroom staff suite means the nanny and chauffer can come along too. Additional amenities include two living rooms, a large covered terrace with a built in barbecue area, a refrigerated wine cellar and a family room with a built-in bar and ping pong and billiards tables. The fully fenced and properly secured grounds include a negative edge swimming pool and spa surrounded by a large terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Contact Verónica Algorta or Adriana Massa at Uruguay Properties Sotheby’s International Realty (+598 42 772 722) for more information on this listing.


Beach House No. 2: The Basic Bungalow

Another option, at just one hundredth the price of Charitomene, is a much more modest 1,300 square foot number with an asking price of $90,000 (US). Located a few short blocks to the beach, the 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom house includes a tiled living/dining room with fireplace. The grassy rear garden includes an entertainment pavilion with built-in seating and a large built-in barbecue area. Not bad at just over 1% the price of the other one.

Contact January First Real Estate Latin America (+1 214 3066 811) for more information on this listing.

Flights from New York to Montevideo are typically around $750 but can be found by an intrepid traveler for as little as $550. Punta del Este is another 90 minutes by car. Most visas to Uruguay do not allow for a stay longer than three months, so if hiding out in Punta del Este until the stock market settles is your next move, be prepared to hop up to Miami for a long weekend every few months to update your visa.

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