Vacation homes are one of those things that many people aspire to.
And with house prices recently seeing double-digit percentage increases in 90% of US metro areas, along with other urban centers around the world, some of those fantasy properties in less expensive destinations are starting to look pretty appealing.
Though travel restrictions are still in place in many parts of the world, it’s still fun to contemplate the places we could take off to if we decided to uproot and buy our overseas dream homes.
“With restrictions in most locales lessening, the process of purchasing is becoming less burdensome and interest in buying abroad continues to expand,” Joyce Lee, associate vice president for Asia Pacific at Christie’s International Real Estate, tells CNN.
“Resourceful Americans have continued to buy properties abroad.”
So what will a million or so US dollars get you these days? Here are a few of the properties on the market in some of the world’s most popular travel destinations right now.
Thailand’s island of Phuket has long been one of the most desirable vacation spots in all of Asia, and the pandemic hasn’t changed that.
Local real estate agent Norbert Withinrich of Coldwell Banker Phuket confirms that Covid-19 may have slightly cooled the market, but not dramatically.
“In the past 15 months, we saw some second homeowners drop their prices,” he says, adding that some properties even sold over the Internet without a single in-person viewing. But that won’t be necessary now – Phuket reopened to vaccinated travelers on July 1.
Among Coldwell Banker Phuket’s listings within the million-dollar range is a four-bedroom, four-bathroom villa set in a gated community in the island’s hills, a short drive from Bang Tao Beach.
Sitting on a 995-square-meter plot (10,710 feet), the home is laid out in a u-shape around a 15-meter pool, which the bedrooms open up to.
Price: 33,980,000 baht ($1,037,000). Find out more about the property on the Coldwell Banker Phuket website.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
It’s not hard to see why Puerto Plata was the first part of the Dominican Republic to open up to tourism – between the lush green valleys and the long stretches of sandy beachfront, it’s basically impossible to find an unattractive view in this province.
For those looking to enjoy it from the privacy of their own home, this three-bedroom, oceanfront villa is located inside the Sosua Ocean Village gated community, just a 15-minute drive from Puerto Plata International Airport.
The villa, built in 2018, is 220 square meters and sits on a 2,088-square-meter lot. Owners can walk straight out of the breakfast nook into the electric-blue swimming pool, or follow one of the shaded footpaths down to the Atlantic.
Price: $1,050,000. More info can be found on the Ocean Side Realty by Remax listing.
Does your second-home dream look more like a trendy urban loft apartment than a beachside villa?
The price on this design-forward, 187-square-meter apartment in Barcelona’s trendy Sant Gervasi - Galvany neighborhood has just been reduced.
Featuring four bedrooms and two bathrooms, it was recently renovated, with the original features carefully maintained. And did we mention the clawfoot bathtub?
Spain has recently reopened its borders to international visitors. Combine your real estate tour with stops in the neighborhood’s cool cava bars.
Price: 825,000 euros (about $971,000). For more info visit Lucas Fox International Properties.
If you liked social distancing so much you’re hoping to keep it up after the pandemic, consider investing in your very own island.
Golding Cay is a 3.4-acre beauty just off the coast of North Eleuthera Island in the Bahamas. It’s totally empty and ready for you to build a mansion, villa, tree house or any other property of your choice.
Golding Cay offers privacy and breathing room while not being completely cut off from the rest of the world; it’s just 10 minutes by boat from the fishing village of Spanish Wells.
It’s close enough to North Eleuthera that you can have easy access to the island’s airport and infrastructure, while if you have a boat you can be in Miami in a few hours’ time.
Price $800,000. Check out 7th Heaven Real Estate for more details.
If you’re the kind of person who hoards your vacation days to chase powder in Vail, consider buying a home on Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, where you’ll find some of the best skiing in Asia.
This quaint, 168-square-meter (1,808 square feet) log cabin in world-famous Niseko is unfurnished, so you can be 100% in charge of decorating decisions.
Located in North Hills, the two-bedroom home is just five minutes away from the slopes of Hanazono.
Price: $888,860. More info available at Niseko Real Estate.
Los Cabos, Mexico
With 1,933 miles of shared border, Mexico has always been a popular getaway for Americans.
This includes the beachside community of Los Cabos. Located on the very southernmost tip of the Baja peninsula, it offers gorgeous views in nearly every direction.
One option for sale there: This ocean-front, 836 sqm mansion in Rosarito Beach’s gated Castillos Del Mar development, which sits on a stretch of sand that’s popular with surfers.
If you prefer calmer waters, there’s a dreamy infinity pool that overlooks the ocean.
It’s got six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and offers private beach access. According to the agent, the title is held in a club membership, which has approximately 51 years remaining on it.
Price: $1,050,000. Contact Baja123 for more info.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
“Over the last two years, Jamaica’s real estate market has literally been on fire!” laughs Matthew Stevenson, an agent at Coldwell Banker in Jamaica. The good news here is that you can buy houses that are absolutely not on fire, although Stevenson’s joy is palpable.
While Caribbean islands are never a hard sell, Stevenson has noticed one major takeaway – Jamaicans who moved elsewhere in the world found themselves pulled homeward once the pandemic started.
According to Stevenson, many Jamaicans who had settled in countries like the US decided that they’d rather wait out the Covid storm from a cozy beach, and property sales kicked up accordingly.
The agent recommends that Americans check out areas like Ocho Rios, near the famous “James Bond Beach” – your money will go further, but you’ll also be enjoying some of the prettiest landscapes on the island.
Among the properties now on sale for under a million there is an 11-bedroom mansion in the St. Mary Country Club, just 15 minutes away from James Bond Beach. It offers ocean views and over 800 square meters of living space, with each bedroom having its own private balcony.
Price: $790,000. Listed by Coldwell Banker Jamaica.
St. John, Barbados
Who needs neighbors? If you buy this home, perched on a hilltop overlooking Martin’s Bay in St. John, eastern Barbados, you won’t have to worry about anybody else blocking your view.
The open-plan property has a roomy walk-in shower, a balcony perfect for watching the sunrise, an elegant garden and four bedrooms, where you can listen to the waves crashing as you fall asleep.
Barbados has been one of the destinations opening itself up to remote workers, so if you’ve ever wanted to sample a taste of life in paradise, this is your chance.
Price: $995,000. More info at Seaside Realty Barbados.
CNN’s Karla Cripps contributed to this feature.