You might be surprised to learn which Caribbean beach town is the cheapest one for buying homes.
We’ve all dreamed of moving to the Caribbean at least once in our lifetimes. Some of us have even made good on our dreams!
Plenty of folks have “retired in style” on a Caribbean island. Others have spent a few years there studying or working. Some have moved there to be part of religious or humanitarian efforts. But in reality, you don’t really need a good excuse to pack up and head to the Caribbean permanently (or semi-permanently). It’s sunny, green, and has plenty of beaches– and beach houses.
Best of all, these beach houses we’re talking about can actually be affordable. Yes, you read that correctly. There are inexpensive homes lining some of the most seductive shores in the Western Hemisphere. Count us in!
Which Caribbean beach town is the most affordable?
Of course, affordability for a certain Caribbean beach town can be determined by a plethora of factors. Namely, how expensive homes are, cost of living, and gross domestic product growth.
Luckily, Realtor.com undertook a serious study of beach towns around the Caribbean and came up with a list of the best and most affordable Caribbean beach towns for 2020.
First, they eliminated any countries that are too restrictive for Americans when it comes to buying homes (i.e. Cuba and Haiti). (Note that citizens of other countries may very well be able to purchase real estate in those countries). It was also important to make sure that the towns would be great for both temporary and permanent living.
Next, they came up with a list of key criteria to rank the Caribbean beach towns:
- Home price per square meter
- Homicide rate
- Life expectancy
- Population growth
- Gross domestic product growth
- International beach rankings
Obviously, criteria like “life expectancy” doesn’t have much to do with affordability, but the study aimed at listing only towns that were both exceptional and affordable.
The most awesome and affordable Caribbean beach town: Tulum
And the grand prize goes to… Tulum, Mexico! This oceanside town on the Yucatan Peninsula has all the beautiful beaches you’re craving, plus some incredible Mayan ruins lining the sea. The typical price per square meter for housing is $1,852 USD. This price is actually high compared to what you would typically pay in most of Mexico, but it’s quite affordable for such a delightful Caribbean beach town.
Currently, Tulum is home to a substantial number of American expats and other foreigners. You’ll find a well-developed culinary scene, plenty of shopping, and even yoga classes. Although it would definitely be a great idea to brush up on your Spanish, you’ll find plenty of English speakers in the state of Quintana Roo. In fact, many cities of the Yucatan Peninsula have adapted to tourism to the point where the US dollar can be used as currency along with the Mexican pesos.
If purchasing a home in Caribbean Mexico isn’t your thing, you could also try your luck at one of the following towns on Caribbean islands:
Rodney Bay, St. Lucia
Realtor.com lists Rodney Bay as second on its list of beach towns to consider, due to its proximity to beautiful Reduit beach and comparable affordability to Tulum. The price per square meter of housing is just $1,860. Although it’s not a big city by any stretch, Rodney Bay is a popular cruise ship stop, and has plenty of shops, bars, and restaurants to keep you busy.
And if you need more reasons to consider St. Lucia, keep in mind that it’s home to the world’s only “drive-in” volcano. At Sulphur Springs, you can bath in sulphuric pools and rejuvenate your skin with a natural volcanic mud mask.
Dominical, Costa Rica
Costa Rica isn’t an island, but it’s very blessed as far as beaches go thanks to access to both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Most would argue that the Caribbean beaches are much more beautiful and swimmable, but the Pacific side has become very popular with surfers.
Currently, the town is very popular among expats, namely surfers and thrill-seekers from the US and Canada, and retirees seeking a lovely and affordable spot near the ocean. The cost for housing per square meter currently sits at around $1,938 USD.
Playa Bonita, Dominican Republic
Playa Bonita is a relaxed, easy-going beach community in the Dominican Republic. It is now home to a growing group of foreigners, including Americans and Europeans. It’s incredibly easy to purchase real estate there– US citizens need only present a copy of their passport. Housing goes for about $2,078 per square meter, and according to Realtor.com, you can purchase a two-bedroom condo for about $230,000 to $300,000.
In fact, the Dominican Republic is actually one of the most popular Caribbean vacation destinations, due in part to its affordability. There are plenty of beautiful beaches and tourist attractions to keep families busy, as well as famous historical sites in the capital city of Santo Domingo to make your visit memorable.
See the complete list of the most affordable Caribbean beach towns at Realtor.com.
How to have your own beach home…without buying it!
Forking up your savings for a Caribbean home near the beach isn’t the only way you can enjoy the luxury of “living” there– try renting a Caribbean villa! Renting a villa is an excellent choice for those who don’t plan on living in the Caribbean year round. It’s for those who want the privacy of their own home without the hefty price tag. It’s for those who don’t think of a crowded hotel or noisy resort as the perfect place to spend a vacation.
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