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- Realtor.com determined the best affordable beach towns in the Caribbean and Central America area for those looking to buy a home.
- Realtor.com looked at the best beach destinations as ranked by travel publications like Condé Nast Traveler and TripAdvisor, then checked to see which towns near those destinations met certain affordability criteria.
- Researchers found that popular tourist spot Tulum, Mexico, was one of the most affordable beach towns.
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Winter is in full swing, and many are already dreaming of an escape – perhaps to a beach-side investment property of one’s very own.
In 2019, the data team at Realtor.com determined the best and most affordable beach towns in the Caribbean and Central American area.
To develop their ranking, Realtor.com took into consideration various factors, including the home price per square meter, population growth, local homicide rate, life expectancy, gross domestic product growth, and the town’s international beach ranking. The website also noted the conditions which American buyers must follow in order to invest in real estate overseas, resulting in towns with overly restrictive real-estate guidelines being excluded from the list.
It concluded that Tulum, Mexico, is the best affordable beach town for prospective homebuyers. Beyond just beautiful beaches, Tulum is also one of the top culinary towns in Mexico and home to well-preserved Mayan ruins, Realtor.com notes.
Keep reading to see which other beach towns made the ranking, in order from most to least expensive price per square meter.
Note: All figures are sourced from Realtor.com unless otherwise indicated.
10. Falmouth Harbour, Antigua — The town offers breathtaking views of the beach and is in close proximity to a reef teeming with sea-life. Condé Nast Traveler once reported that Falmouth Harbour was one of the top beaches in the world.
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Price per square meter in Antigua: $3,501
Note: Foreign buyers have to get a license first and have to pay a fee equivalent to 5% of the home’s value.
9. Kittian Village, St. Kitts — This tiny island offers guests sandy beaches and dolphin adventures.
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Price per square meter in St. Kitts: $3,496
Note: You’ll probably need to secure a local lawyer to help you handle applying for a land-holding license, which is necessary for most Americans looking to invest in St. Kitts real estate.
8. St. John, US Virgin Islands — After being hit with back-to-back with hurricanes in 2017, home prices have dropped dramatically in this region. But the island of St. John is slowly bouncing back to reclaim its title as one of the “most naturally beautiful isle[s] in the Caribbean,” according to Realtor.com.
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Price per square meter in St. John: $3,235
7. Crane Bay, Barbados — This town is surrounded by gorgeous cliffs that look down upon what Realtor.com noted as “one of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean.”
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Price per square meter in Barbados: $2,739
Note: Americans are treated like locals when buying here, in terms of real-estate transaction fees and taxes, but foreign buyers must pay in all cash upfront.
6. Maracas Bay Village, Trinidad and Tobago — Just hours away from Port of Spain, this village is located right next to the country’s rainforest and provides clear views of the beautiful ocean.
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Price per square meter in Trinidad: $2,334
Note: Foreign buyers have to acquire a license before purchasing property.
5. Caye Caulker, Belize — With a population of under 2,000, Caye Caulker is also known as “budget island.” The island is also right next to the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world.
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Price per square meter in Belize: $2,322
4. Playa Bonita, Dominican Republic —Far from tourist-crowded areas like Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, this beach town is a cosmopolitan of Italian, French, and Spanish influences.
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Price per square meter in Dominican Republic: $2,078
Note: All Americans need to do to buy a home is show a copy of their passport.
3. Dominical, Costa Rica —This town sits at the intersection of the jungle, mountains, and beach. It has year-long surfing weather, with beautiful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.
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Price per square meter in Costa Rica: $1,938
Note: Costa Rica has particularly low property taxes, and Realtor.com notes that Costa Rica’s relatively unrestrictive property laws tend to treat foreign buyers the same as local buyers.
2. Rodney Bay, St. Lucia — This bustling port is home to a vibrant international expat community. There are shops, bars, and of course, beautiful beaches.
- Benus C Mathurin / Shutterstock
Price per square meter in St. Lucia: $1,860
Note: Realtor.com notes that in order to buy land here, Americans must hire an attorney to acquire a local license for them.
1. Tulum, Mexico —Filled with beautiful white sandy beaches, Tulum, over the years, has garnered the reputation of being one of the culinary hubs of southern Mexico. Also home to well-preserved ancient Mayan ruins, this town offers affordable condos and homes, just minutes from the Caribbean coast.
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Price per square meter in Mexico: $1,852
Note: Mexico forbids buying in some coastal areas and also requires foreign buyers to have a trust set up with a Mexican bank in order to purchase property.