The global Covid-19 outbreak seems to have put the world on hold. While many are turning to Netflix and social media to fill their days, others are planning for the future. Now is the perfect time to make a list of dream places to live after the Coronavirus has subsided.
The world is changing fast and there may never be a better time to act than right now. Oil prices have made history by turning negative. The era of petrodollar dominance and U.S. dollar buying power might be coming to an end.
Life’s A Beach
For many people, the idea of a dream life is tied in with the beach. They dream of blue skies, the warm sun on their back, and the relaxing sounds of the ocean. For this reason most of our top recommendations are countries that provide just that.
But we know that everyone is different. In this list you will find mountain living, with cooler temperatures. You will also find some options for city living and off-grid farming in the countryside.
The dry-season runs from December until April. This makes the Dominican Republic a perfect place for a snowbirds. You can escape the worst of the winter weather in the Caribbean. The rainy season in October and November is the only time of the year where it rains consistently. For the rest of the year the weather is usually sunny with the occasional quick downpour.
The Dominican Republic is all about the beach life. This sunny country one of the last affordable places in the Caribbean.
Over the last decade, the government has invested heavily in infrastructure. A new highway connects much of the country. Investments in healthcare and dental care have put the Dominican Republic on the map as a medical tourism destination.
There is also a generous residency program for people looking to move here. The path to getting citizenship and even a D.R. passport both affordable and speedy.
The Dominican Republic has some of the best beaches you can find anywhere in the world. Swimming, sailing, and surfing are all popular here. So too is fishing with the waters full of game fish throughout the year
Where To Live
One of the best places to retire in the Dominican Republic is Las Terrenas. This is a small beach town with a heavy expat presence. You can find expats here from across Europe and the Americas. Many of them have started their own business making Las Terrenas one of the most cosmopolitan towns anywhere in the Caribbean.
Las Terrenas has colonial style houses, gated communities and condos. Prices close to the beach are naturally expensive, but fall away sharply as you move a few blocks inland. The town has a relaxed and bohemian feel, backpackers and surfers in the 70’s helped put this place on the map. Their influence can still be felt, although things are more upmarket today.
Portugal has been one of our top recommendations for overseas living for years now. This is a country with so much to offer. From residency to lifestyle, healthcare to infrastructure, Portugal scores highly across the board. It also makes a great base to explore the rest of Europe from.
Dream Places To Live
The cities of Lisbon and Porto offer history, culture, and lifestyle options for every budget. The popular expat zones have become very expensive over recent years making big profits for early investors. The growing middle class means there are opportunities for investors to get in on the ground floor, as new neighborhoods are renovated.
If you prefer to live close to the beach, the Algarve has some of the best beaches in Europe. The Algarve is another great escape for people who don’t want any more cold weather. Summers here are long, hot and dry. The winters are brief and mild, temperatures seldom get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Life in the Algarve is active and revolves around the outdoors. Golf is popular, with any number of quality courses. European pro golfers come here to play during the European winter. There are signature courses designed by the likes of Nick Faldo and Arnold Palmer.
The real estate market in Lisbon had been very liquid up until the COVID-19 outbreak. Properties were continuing to appreciate. There was also a pool of buyers ensuring that properties didn’t stay on the market for years.
The cherry on top when it comes to Portugal is the residency program. Depending on where you invest you can qualify for Portuguese citizenship from as little as US$305,000. However this is only on certain properties. The most usual residency property costs US380,000. As Portugal is part of the European Union, this visa allows you privileges in other EU countries.
Mexico has gone full circle. For a long time it was the number one expat destination for Americans, before falling out of favor. It is now back on top and one of the dream places to live at an affordable price.
The biggest plus to living in Mexico is the proximity to the United States. You can even drive here. Family and friends can easily visit while it’s reassuring to know that you could quickly get back to the U.S. in case of an emergency.
Mexico benefits from both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. There are also some charming mountain towns. Prices in the popular tourist areas can be steep, but away from the masses there are plenty of bargains.
Dream Places To Live
Durango is a mountain city that offers a chance to live in authentic Mexican surroundings. Very few expats live here, which has advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, prices aren’t artificially inflated, and you can immerse yourself in the local culture. On the negative side, you might find it takes a while to integrate and make friends. Is around a three hour drive from the Pacific coast. You can easily drive down and take advantage of the beaches and warmer weather by the coast.
Mazatlan is a city on the Pacific Coast, about three hour drive from Durango. This is an historic city with lots of colorful colonial buildings. Money has been pouring into the city over the last four or five years. Much of the money has been spent on gentrification. Antique lights, cobbled streets, trees and flowers have all appeared. Properties in the historic center are increasing but remain a bargain.
On the Caribbean Coast, the Riviera Maya is a great place to retire, or just buy a part-time home. This area set to become one of Mexico’s premier tourist destinations. As well as providing an opportunity to rent your home out there are other benefits. Flights are regular and more affordable. There is a strong infrastructure too, with lots of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. The high number of Americans means easy access to home brand foods and other comforts you can’t always find overseas. As well as tourists there’s a strong expat presence to socialize with.
If you want to enjoy year-round tropical weather in a safe country with super infrastructure, Panama has to be your top choice.
It’s become something of a cliché, but Panama City is on the path to becoming the new Singapore. The skyline is dominated by towering apartments and financial buildings built of glass and steel. A new metro system has been opened with more new lines to follow.
Panama City has world class healthcare, excellent schools and an abundance of places to eat and drink. In other words, everything you could want from a modern international city. It’s also remarkably safe It will be interesting to see what the real estate market does in the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic. Lots of experts believe a small correction is overdue. Definitely something to keep an eye
Dream Places To Live
If you want to enjoy city living, then Panama City is your only choice. Not only is it a great place to live, work and invest, it’s also an hour’s drive away from some of the best beaches in Panama.
The City Beaches is a stretch of beach towns and communities close to the capital. This is one of the most popular expat zones in Panama. Workers from the city like to come here for weekend getaways. There are lots of gated communities here which keep properties secure when owners are away. The area has an abundance of small restaurants and bars as well as supermarkets and even a shopping mall. This is one of the most expensive areas to live in Panama.
As you drive west, away from Panama City, you get deeper into the countryside, or interior, as it’s known in Panama.
The Azuero Coast is home to some of the quietest beaches in Panama. There are small towns, but this is very much country living. The Los Islotes planned community is built here. This is a place where you can find houses built to U.S. standards, in the heart of the countryside.
If you prefer to go it alone and find a house by the sea along this stretch you will have to get used to living like the locals. Prices are very affordable here, and there are bargains to be had.
The other popular expat zone in Panama is Boquete. This is the famous town nestled up in the mountains. This was one of the first expat hotspots in Central America and today the community here remains strong. If you want to live a busy social life with English-speakers who share similar interests, Boquete is the place to be. The weather here is cooler than the rest of Panama. Locals are even able to use their wood burning fires on occasion. Something unthinkable in the rest of Panama.
If you want to live on a small island in the Caribbean at an affordable price, one of the Cayes in Belize is the best choice you can make. The Cayes are a collection of tiny islands where the beers are always cold and the pace is never rushed. Ambergris Caye, the largest of the islands, is at the heart of this region.
Belize has long been a popular choice for snowbirds, especially Canadians, who fly down to avoid the worst of the winter weather.
Dream Places To Live
The Cayes are the biggest attraction for people looking to live the dream in Belize. The Caribbean ocean is crystal clear, and beautifully warm throughout the year. Life on the Cayes is slow and sociable. If you are happy to spend your days relaxing and enjoying the good weather and lack of pollution, the Cayes will suit you down to the ground.
Belize has more to offer than just white sand beaches.
Inland you can enjoy the cooler temperatures and find options for living a self-sufficient lifestyle off the grid. Carmelita Gardens offers the chance to live life on your own terms. Here you can grow your own produce and produce your own electricity. Add in water collection units and advanced sewerage systems and you can be completely independent. The Belizean government is supportive of such communities and you won’t be harassed for tax or penalized for not hooking up to the grid.
These dream places to live are within your reach, now is the time to start planning on how to reach them. The world is changing and these opportunities might not be around forever. If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us so far, it’s that we don’t know what tomorrow might bring. Start planning today, and you will be ready to make the most of your opportunities whenever they might appear.