“I’m not sure I can afford to buy (or whether it makes sense for me to buy) a house overseas. But I can spend around US$1,000 a month on rent…and maybe try a few different places to see where I really want to live. I do know I want to be right next to the coast where I can swim and fish. How easy is it too rent a place for say three to six months? Can you help me?”
–Scott, United States
We always recommend that you rent before you buy. You may be surprised how your opinions change about a place once you spend extended time around town. And, since you’re not sure which country or region you’d prefer just yet, spending time in a few makes a lot of sense.
With a budget of US$1,000, you should have no trouble finding something to rent near the coast (and, really, anywhere away from the bigger cities) in most of Latin America. In places like Nicaragua, Ecuador, Panama, Colombia, and Uruguay, you should find a nice property for less than US$1,000. Southeast Asia would be another option—Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam are our top recommendations in that part of the world.
In many parts of the world, landlords advertise a minimum one-year contract for property rental, but it’s always worth inquiring. In many cases, they’ll do six months (and maybe less), depending on the market and time of the year.