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Which Is the Best Country to Buy Property Abroad As a US Citizen?

11 minute read

Investing in real estate can be fulfilling, allowing you to turn your dream of owning property abroad into a reality. With growing interest among US citizens in purchasing property overseas, which is the best country to buy property abroad?

Whether you're seeking a vacation home, a retirement haven or a savvy investment opportunity, join us as we navigate the world of international real estate and discover the perfect place to call your own.

In this blog, we'll explore the top destinations for property investment:

  1. Factors to Consider When Buying Abroad
  2. 10 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself When Looking at Property Buying Abroad
  3. The Top 6 Countries for US Citizens to Buy Property Abroad
  4. Which is the Best Country to Buy Property Abroad?

Factors to Consider When Buying Abroad

Before we pick the ultimate destination for your forever home away from home, it's crucial to consider various factors to ensure a successful and fulfilling venture.

Wherever you set your sights, you need to understand the legal regulations and restrictions around property ownership for US buyers and familiarize yourself with residency requirements, taxation laws and visa regulations. 

Delve into the local real estate market to uncover the latest trends, property values and growth potential. Consider factors such as the interplay between supply and demand, the rate of property appreciation and the returns on rental properties to make well-informed investment choices.

Explore the destination's cultural and lifestyle offerings, including its climate, culinary scene, language and recreational opportunities. Evaluate how well the destination aligns with your personal preferences and lifestyle aspirations, whether you prefer a vibrant urban setting or a tranquil beachside escape.

10 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself When Looking at Property Buying Abroad:

  1. What legal regulations govern property ownership for US buyers in the country I'm interested in?
  2. Are there any restrictions on foreign property ownership, such as limits on the type or location of properties that can be purchased?
  3. Do I need to obtain any special permits or approvals from local authorities to buy property as a foreigner?
  4. Are there specific residency requirements for property owners, such as minimum stay durations or obligations to obtain residency permits?
  5. How are properties taxed in the country? And what are the applicable tax rates for foreign property owners?
  6. Are there any tax treaties between the country of interest and the US that may affect my tax liabilities as a property owner?
  7. What visa regulations apply to US citizens seeking to buy property abroad? And are there any visa options that benefit property investors?
  8. Are there any legal implications or restrictions on renting out the property to tourists or long-term tenants? And what are the requirements for doing so?
  9. Are there any inheritance laws or estate planning considerations that may affect the transfer of property ownership to heirs or beneficiaries?
  10. Do I need to engage the services of a local attorney or real estate agent specializing in foreign transactions to navigate the legal aspects of buying property in the country effectively?

The Top 6 Countries for US Citizens to Buy Properties

Turks and Caicos islands

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos, a stunning destination north of the Dominican Republic, offers spectacular beaches and ocean views.

Providenciales is the central hub with the most amenities, while smaller islands may lack services.

While properties may be scarce, the ones that do become available boast breathtaking views. Non-residents can secure loans from banks in the Turks and Caicos and a property purchased here lets you make unforgettable memories. 

Given the high price tags of luxury rentals in this market, it's wise to be cautious when taking out a mortgage if rental income fluctuates. 

Real estate prices vary considerably based on the island and location. As expected, beach-front properties demand a premium.  

The cayman isles

The Cayman Isles

The Cayman Isles are one of the closest Caribbean destinations to the United States. All three islands — Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman — that make up this destination have their unique personalities and activities to offer. 

Grand Cayman combines arts and culture, and you can dive into the luxury of Georgetown, which is surrounded by traditional architecture.

You’ll need to adjust to the Caymanian culture as it differs from the US way of life.

Purchasing a property in this location is usually straightforward. There are no restrictions on foreign ownership if the property is for personal use, but it gets a little more complicated when you consider it for rental purposes.

 

Barbados

Barbados

Barbados is an independent British Commonwealth nation with its capital and main seaport in Bridgetown.

Barbados' culture is a blend of West African and British influences. English is the official language of the nation, reflecting centuries of British influence, but the Bajan dialect is an iconic part of Barbadian culture.

The total flight duration from New York to Barbados is four hours and 50 minutes, and tourism is Barbados’ number one earner. During peak season, you’ll find a great mix of tourists and locals socializing and going about their daily lives together. 

Situated just north of the equator, it’s a little further to fly there but Barbados has glorious sunshine all year round.

Non-residents must obtain permission from Barbados’ Central Bank to buy property. Failing to do so will void your purchase. 

Anguilla

Anguilla

Anguilla is one of the Leeward Islands and a dependent territory of the United Kingdom.

Anguillans are proud of their independence and unique identity as one of the smallest inhabited Caribbean islands. According to tradition, the small, narrow island got its name in 1493 because, from a distance, it resembled an eel, or in Italian, Anguilla.

Anguilla's culture is a unique mix of stately British traditions and a lively Caribbean spirit. It enjoys the reputation of being the ‘culinary capital of the Caribbean’, and like most Caribbean islands, rum is a favorite. 

There are some restrictions on overseas buyers looking to purchase property. For example, non-nationals are permitted to purchase up to half an acre of land and must build a property with a gross external floor area of 2,000 square feet within 18 months from the issue of the Alien Landholding License.

Mexico

Mexico

Mexico is a popular destination for Canadians and Americans for tourism and retirement, with restrictions on buying real estate near borders and coastlines for foreigners.

However, these restrictions can be sidestepped legally, either by buying via a Mexican land trust or a Mexican corporation.

Mexico offers diverse landscapes, including long coasts, mountain towns, colonial cities, Mayan ruins, jungle, rainforests and lakes to explore.

It's also the most accessible 'overseas' haven from the United States. You could even drive back and forth if you wanted. For all these reasons, Mexico is home to the biggest established population of American expats in the world.

Bermuda

Bermuda

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory and retains the charm of its heritage and language. 

The island of Bermuda is undoubtedly exclusive and purchasing a vacation condo can give you access at a much lower price. This welcoming destination has amazing beaches, incredible views, intriguing history and an amazing culture you’ll adore. 

Bermuda is perfect, especially if you’re looking to maximize rental potential. The best news? It’s only a two-hour flight or less from the East Coast.

The island is also well underway in developing a Fintech ecosystem, which will allow Bermuda to become a real leader within this modern technologywhile smaintaining its island charm and sophistication.

 



Which is the best country to buy property?

Of the six highlighted destinations for property investment, Bermuda is the best option for US citizens looking to purchase a vacation property abroad.

Get an in-depth comparison between Turks and Caicos, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda in this blog here.

Bermuda offers a slice of everything, so it's no surprise that it has become such a popular destination for a second property. With its British heritage and exclusive charm, Bermuda offers a unique blend of amazing beaches, incredible views, intriguing history and captivating culture.

The island is perfect for maximizing rental potential, making it a savvy investment opportunity for those looking to generate income from their property. Additionally, with just a two-hour flight or less, Bermuda's proximity to the East Coast makes it easily accessible for US buyers.

The island's combination of beauty, culture, accessibility and investment potential make it the ideal choice for US citizens seeking to purchase a vacation property abroad.

Moving to Bermuda -Everything you need to know