Let’s face it, in the United States the best places to live are generally located on either the east or west coast(s). The cost of purchasing a home in and around these places get to be crazy expensive, especially anything near bodies of water. It would seem that the housing bubble that burst circa 2008-2009, has rebounded quite nicely, and in some places like Los Angeles for example, prices have come back with a vengeance. The fact of the matter is that for millions of Americans the dream of owning a nice, spacious home is directly linked to their good lottery fortune, or not. However, have no fear, there are still possibilities regarding buying a nice home, at affordable pricing. All it requires is a willingness to move away from the United States. Hear me out. The world is quite different than it was only 20 years ago. We now live in a global village. Heck, give me good internet access and a city with excellent food and decent accommodations, and I’m willing to listen. Aren’t you? If the answer to that question falls into the affirmative, or you’re simply curious as to what’s out there, then this list is for you. Idiots Guide has compiled a short list of 7 surprisingly cheap international places where your American dollar allows you to live in an amazing space with the kind of luxury features usually reserved for those of fortunate wealth in America. With that being said, get ready to expand your horizons…
#7. Bulgaria / Capital City: Sofia / Population: 7.265 million
Bulgaria is a country where $1,000 per month will afford you a very comfortable lifestyle. At $1,500 per month you can live like a senior executive . The price of a nice home in Bulgaria is a very reasonable $20,000 (USD) on average. Go up to $50,000 and, well you get it…A monthly budget of $2,000 and you will have more than double the average income of a natural citizen in this country.
#6. Thailand / Capital City: Bangkok / Population: 68 million
Thailand is a beautiful, enchanted country where you can purchase a luxury high-rise condominium armed with breathtaking views for as little as $30,000 (USD). $60,000 (+) will get you a stunning 2, 3 or 4 bedroom house with a sick pool and a hanging garden. Thailand is also notoriously comfortable for foreigners from the west. The cuisine is off the charts good, especially if you are already a fan of Thai food. The beaches are stunningly pristine, and the nightlife is nothing to sneeze at either.
#5. Vietnam / Capital City: Hanoi / Population: 89 million
Forget that nasty war business from the 1960’s and 70s, those days are long gone. Vietnam is a wonderful country, especially the capital city of Hanoi. There are ridiculously affordable houses and condominiums all around that typically span the spectrum of $25,000 – $60,000 (USD) that will blow your doors off! In addition, the region of Southeast Asia, has amazing local cuisine as well as an international fusion that has worldwide influences. You will also be able to afford inexpensive domestic help for your property if you feel so inclined. So go ahead, take a vacation to Vietnam, and see for yourself! I expect an invite to the house-warming party.
#4. Cambodia / Capital City: Phnom Penh / Population: 16 million
Cambodia is a tropical beauty of a nation that is up and coming. This formally 3rd world nation is certainly all grown up in the 1st world! You will be amazed as to what $20,000 (USD) can get you in terms of a home. We’re talking about a sweet 2, 3, 4 bedroom structure on multiple acres of land. True story. Full time domestics, including daily housekeepers will run you a pittance of approximately $100 per month. Think you can swing that? I thought so. There are luxury villas with exquisite pools that run $600 per month as a rental space. Food? Well let’s just say that for less than $10 per day you will eat like the Prince/Princess of somewhere important. Check it out…
#3. Equador / Capital City: Quito / Population: 16 million
Is Equador a South American nation that is near the equator? Yes, indeed. It gets hot there for sure, but that isn’t a bad thing when there’s water to cool you down, and beauty to tame the wildest of beasts. Did I mention that the enchanted and now famous Galápagos Islands are a part of this country? They are indeed. Bottom line is that housing there is very inexpensive. Less than $50,000 (USD) will get you almost any house, condominium, and/or villa that your heart desires. Want more good news? Equador uses the American dollar for their currency, that’s right people! In addition, in the capital city of Quito, it is actually cheaper to eat out at a restaurant than it is to cook a meal at home. True story.
#2. Mexico / Capital City: Mexico City / Population: 125 million
In many of the nicer parts of Mexico there are Americans living on less than $600 a month. True story. That $600 includes the whole kit and caboodle. Food, lodging, travel etc. The reality is that the Mexican economy is largely unstable, which makes the American dollar…like gold. You might want to rent, perhaps not buy a home and/or condo in and around the tourist areas to get the kind of luxury and safety that you want. Mexico City is huge, period. That’s a good thing and a not so good thing, but it is very cheap…
#1. Argentina / Capital City: Buenos Aires / Population: 43 million
Argentina is a magical country and Buenos Aires is an amazing city. It is also one of the best natural places for wine in the entire world. You can find an off the charts home (1,500 sq. ft) with significant acreage (lots of outdoor space) for approximately $125,000 (USD). The cost of living in Buenos Aires is a fraction of that of an American city. The term ‘Bang for the buck’ was invented for Argentina. True story. Ok, maybe not a true story but you get it. Hiring a housekeeper and/or domestic help is very affordable monthly as well. Argentina is a ton of fun and has a lot of flavor…worth a look? Probably.