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Buying a vacation home

Six Benefits of Buying a Vacation Home in Central America

Luigi Wewege from Belize’s Caye International Bank offers six reasons why buying a vacation home overseas can be an excellent investment, offering short and long-term benefits. 

While you already know there are benefits to establishing offshore accounts for investment and savings purposes, have you thought about the idea of purchasing real estate?

Buying a vacation home in another country is another way to generate wealth. Here are a few examples of how this type of investment will pay off in more than one way.

1. Vacation property in a favorite location

What’s your perfect vacation setting? Do you like being close to the beach? Rainforests and nature? How about lots of activities and things to do? Or is the goal is to spend your vacation time relaxing in a place where life is more laid back?

Offshore properties, particularly those in Central America, provide you with all the above. Central America has beautiful beaches, excellent fishing, surfing, and diving. You can find world class golf in gorgeous tropical settings. Hiking in nature, wildlife all over. World class cities offering great restaurants and entertainment.

Choose a setting that allows you to enjoy the things you love most. The right spot will leave you feeling rested and refreshed.

2. No worries about finding a place to stay

Have you ever tried to arrange lodgings for a vacation and found all the best spots gone? Even when you try to book well in advance, getting into the places you prefer is difficult. Most hotels around Central America are small, boutique places. Beautiful, upscale hotels, to be sure. But many book way in advance, especially during high season.

If you own a property in a favorite vacation location, bypassing such issues is easy. All you have to do is show up. And if you have someone managing your property while you’re not there (advisable), let them know when you’re arriving, and the home will be ready for you. You can even have the refrigerator full upon your arrival.

3. Creating a secondary income stream

While you can buy a home abroad for your personal use, no rule says you can’t rent it out in-between visits. It’s easy to hire a property manager to handle short-term booking stays for anyone interested and willing to pay a competitive daily rate. See this as an excellent way to help pay off the offshore mortgage you’re using to buy the property.

Once you pay off the mortgage, the money from those rentals can go toward upkeep and maintenance costs. You can tuck any generated profit into your offshore time deposit account, or even into your offshore checking account for emergencies. That will give your vacation home sustainable independence, and avoid using domestic income to maintain the property.

4. Own an asset that increases in value

While there can be exceptions, the most common result of owning offshore residential real estate is that it appreciates. By the time you pay off the financing, the place will likely be worth more than what you paid. That’s great, since it means you have an asset that would fetch a tidy amount if you ever needed to sell.

Look at the country’s economic trends where you’re considering investing in a vacation home. Pay attention to how property values have shifted during recessions and other significant economic changes. If you find that property in that country has tended to hold value during rough times or maybe even kept increasing in value, then that’s a location you want to consider.

5. Property protected from domestic courts

One of the advantages of offshore assets is that they are typically not subject to seizure by the courts in the country where you are a citizen. That’s true for more than your offshore bank and investment accounts; it also holds true for any offshore property you own.

If something catastrophic happened at home and the court rendered a judgment against you, you can lose every domestic asset you own. What they can’t touch is the money in your offshore accounts, plus that offshore vacation home.

6. The perfect place to live or retire

At first, you’re thinking of buying a vacation home – a place, by definition, for your vacations and downtime. Could it be that the same property could become your home? For many people, that’s the way things turn out.

The recent pandemic turned the way we work upside down. Many people now work remotely. As long as you have good internet, what’s to say you can’t work from your offshore property on a Pacific or Caribbean beach? Two countries in Central America, Panama and Costa Rica, now have remote worker visas available for people like you, and expect more to come in the future.

Or what about retirement? After leaving the workforce, why not move to a setting where you enjoy the weather, and can live more comfortably on a reduced income? That’s the case in most Central American countries.

For these reasons, look at your favorite vacation spots and consider how they could work as places to live on a permanent basis.

Find the perfect offshore vacation property

Now is the perfect time to learn about buying international real estate, and determining which countries offer the most advantages. Look closely at locations, terms and costs, and ongoing expenses. Be sure to find out what amenities and features are nearby.

Finding and buying a vacation home abroad may be easier than you think.

Luigi Wewege is the President of Caye International Bank, headquartered on the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize. He is also the published author of The Digital Banking Revolutionnow in its third edition.

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