Have you always dreamed of escaping the dreary winter months at home? Longed for a chance to take a break from the mundane and run-away to a home away from home? Winter has a bad rep, and rightly so, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer. If winter’s getting you down, investing in a winter home might be the solution. Giving you the chance to defrost on a white sand beach or carve your way down a freshly powdered mountain, there’s no greater luxury than a vacation home overseas. For those who like it hot or cold, here are 6 great locations to invest in a winter home abroad.
3 Locations to Invest in a Winter Home that are Guaranteed to Warm Your Bones:
#1 Tulum, Mexico
With a prized spot on the Riviera Maya, Tulum is a cultural paradise. Mayan ruins are nestled on a cliff overlooking a white sand beach, an artistic hub leaves the town’s walls covered in beautiful murals and fabulous restaurants serve freshly caught seafood. Add to that a yearly average temperature in the 80’s and you have a perfect place to invest AND beat the winter chill.
Tulum is a short flight from the U.S. to Cancun Airport and offers you the best of Mexico (avoiding the tourist hoards found in Cancun!). Tulum has had a massive infrastructure boom in the past decade, though it has stayed strictly bohemian, meaning that there are plenty of cool investment property options available.
Tulum offers investment properties to suit all tastes from eco-living to luxury beach houses. A current property you can invest in in the town of Tulum sits on a lot of 1062m². A 6 bed, 6 bath 862m² house on the beach with a pool overlooking the ocean, the current asking price is $1,431,650.
#2 St.Croix, US Virgin Islands
St. Croix offers a halfway point between the familiar and the exotic. An official territory of the U.S., the Virgin Islands use U.S. dollars and follow the same property buying rules as the U.S. which creates a sense of comfort for U.S. citizens looking to invest abroad.
The familiar feel of the island doesn’t mean it scrimps on the exotic. A full Caribbean experience awaits you. St.Croix has scuba diving, horse riding, rum tasting and much more. Rob DeRocker is a realtor on the island and can testify to it’s laid back Caribbean charm, ‘If you’re looking for Club Med with some guy telling you what time volleyball starts, you have the wrong island.’
Granada Del Mar is a condominium on the sea. A second floor, beachfront condo with 3 beds and 3 baths, it is listed at $149,000.
#3 Boquete, Panama
Located 37 miles from the Costa Rican border, Boquete is situated in the highlands of western Panama. With only 6,000 residents, and many of them expats, Boquete is a quiet town with a lot to offer as a winter retreat.
Hidden away in the mountains, Volcán Barú provides the towns backdrop while Rio Caldera provides the soothing soundtrack. Cory Burnell chooses to spend his winter family vacation there each year because ‘the outdoor adventures are spectacular, including zip-lining, whitewater rafting, hikes in the rain forest, ATV rides, golf, horseback riding and day trips to beaches and islands.’ While the low prices in Panama mean that ‘entertainment is priced very reasonably, and the Panamanians are friendly and enjoyable – and happy to help you work on your Spanish.’
Invest in an estate home with extensive gardens on a lot of 0.82 acres. The property has 5 beds and 5 baths, it is fully furnished and it is priced at $998,000.
3 Locations to Invest in a Winter Home that’ll Give You Chills in All the Right Places:
#1 Zakopane, Poland
When debating possible ski locations in Europe, Poland doesn’t generally come to mind. However Eastern Europe has fully embraced ski culture in the last few years. If you’re looking for a ski town that is steeped in history and offers you some great runs without breaking the bank then Zakopane is for you.
Zakopane is at the foot of the Tatra mountains and is a quintessential ski town. Andrew Duthie, of The Guardian says that, ‘ It’s impossible not to be taken by the region’s unique dress, folk music and cuisine.’ Add to that a lively night-life and cheap beer and you have a winning investment location.
A quick internet search will show you the variety on offer in a place like Zakopane. If you’re looking to invest in a traditional wooden house: 162m², 3 bed, 3 bath with a panoramic view of the Tatras mountains will set you back $282,000.
#2 Zermatt, Switzerland
Another tried and tested European ski destination is the unbeatable Switzerland. Zermatt is handily located at the foot of the awe-inspiring Matterhorn. The Matterhorn is a mountain in the alps which straddles both Switzerland and Italy. The ski village is car-free, which makes it perfect for those who like to indulge in a little après-ski. Florian Steiger is the founder of luxury property developer Steiger & Cie. He comments that “You don’t have to think twice about having another glass of wine at the end of an amazing day on the slopes. When you finish skiing (the slopes are quite challenging) everyone crosses paths in the town, which makes après-ski time quite lively.”
However, nothing in Switzerland likes to guard it’s exclusivity. Buying a property in Zermatt is quite difficult for foreigners. Foreigners can buy commercial properties only.
A commercial property that is available for purchase by a foreigner has to be over 500 square metres. An example of such a chalet is available from Steiger & Cie. Their 7 Heavens development consists of 7 luxury chalets with views of the Matterhorn. The chalets are mostly design-your-own with only the exterior being pre-built. Prices start at approximately $18 million.
#3 Mont-Tremblant, Québec, Canada
Finally, for those looking for an escape that is closer to home Mont-Tremblant is a great option. USA Today placed Mont-Tremblant in the Top 10 Most Scenic Ski Resorts. National Geographic listed it as one of the 25 Best Ski Towns in the World. So it’s safe to say that Mont-Tremblant is well respected as ski locations go.
Mont-Tremblant is in the Laurentian Mountains. Montreal is an hour and a half to the south while the Parc National du Mont-Tremblant is only 30 minutes away giving you the best of both worlds. Mont-Tremblant itself is home to fantastic skiing with 4 slopes offering 96 different trails. The Parc National offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing amongst other winter sports. If that ever gets boring, Montreal is only a stone’s throw away.
The process for U.S citizens to buy property in Québec is much easier than further afield. However it does depend on what your plans for the property are regarding renting as a vacation home etc. Property begins at around the $500,000 mark. There is a property for sale on the slopes with a view of Lac tremblant. It is a 5 bed, three level townhouse and the current asking price is $1,379,000.
So, investing in a second home abroad can be a scary thought. But with the right guidance and advice it can be as easy as buying a home state-side. Make sure you spend some time in your potential location before you make a decision and consider these factors:
- Do you know the rules for U.S citizens buying property in your chosen location?
- Can you take the time out to complete the process of buying your property?
- Will you be using the property for non-personal use (such as a rental property) and does this affect the purchasing process?
For more information on the investment process in the Riviera Maya, Mexico contact Virgin Realty for step-by-step guidance.