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U.S. Second-Home Buyers Shop Abroad

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 posted by Tommi Crow

Over 4 million Americans currently reside in other countries and the trend is accelerating at a rapid pace. Baby boomers lured to international real estate by lower prices, taxes, stable economies and quick global travel are flocking in droves to exotic locations when shopping for a second-home.

While U.S. buyers show an interest in a wide range of property types, they seem to gravitate toward properties that are comparable to what you find in the states. Americans still like an American product with gated communities, stainless appliances and big open kitchens, they just don’t want it in America.

Baby boomers, bored with golf course, retirement communities, seek more exotic locations with more things to do. The jet set, globilized, baby boomers are all about new experiences, which makes living abroad especially appealing. Internationaly affordability, proximity and good weather are also factors motivating boomers to head for the borders.

In many areas popular with Americans, such as Mexico and in the Yucatan Peninsula south of Cancun, buyers are creating mini U.S. suburbs. Belize is cooking, along with other Latin American destinations. Panama and Nicaragua are rolling out the red carpet for Americans in terms of tax incentives, creating a hot international markets there. Panama, in particular, is booming now because they offer financing terms similar to our own, they speak English and use the U.S. dollar, the flight from Miami to Panama is less than 2 1/2 hours long and Panama is bordered by 2 oceans, within an hour drive of each other.

Globalization and the internet have sparked an interest in international real estate ownership, attracting worldwide interest in adopting a second country. If you are looking for a place to put an exotic mix in your real estate portfolio, check out,
which boasts over 3 million property listings around the world. Brad and Angelina shouldn’t have all the fun.