$100,000 doesn’t seem like much. It’s the bare minimum required nowadays to maintain a middle-class lifestyle. That includes a 30-year mortgage, kids sports and field trips, car payments, and a short vacation once every year or two. But what if you could take $100,000 and move to a different country?
If you wanted to buy a snazzy condo on the beach for cash, there are plenty of places in the world where $100,000 will get you that. Do you want an entire house? Believe it or not, you can buy one for under a hundred grand. Whether you opt for a condo or a house really depends on location, and how big the space is that you want. In some places in the world, you will be considered stinking rich with that much money! Imagine having an entire house complete with a swimming pool! You must be willing to sacrifice that American dream to d0 it, however.
But if you don’t want to give up the western lifestyle, complete with debt, stress, and soulless consumer existence, then there are still some places where $100,000 can get you a small home. On the other hand, there are cities in the world where that money will barely get you a bus pass! Most of them are in developed western nations.
Have a look and see what $100,000 will get you around the world!
If you want the most bang for your buck, then Nicaragua is the place to be. According to Numbeo, you can buy a liter of milk for less than a dollar. A train ticket costs thirty cents! You can buy a beachfront house for $100,000 in Granada that you could buy in the US for $1 million. Nicaragua has a stable government, good infrastructure, and low crime. Best of all, as Costa Rica and Panama deal with corruption, disaster, and civil insurgencies, money is flowing into Nicaragua. Prices have gone up 80-percent in the past few years, so you’ll build some nice equity with your investment. That’s a deal!
Imagine living in a condo on a beach facing the Pacific Ocean. It’s always warm and breezy, and the locals are beautiful and cultured. Also, it only cost you $75,000 for this lifestyle! If that sounds like a dream, head to Ecuador and make it come true. Sure a somewhat-malign dictator keeps law and order with an iron fist, but so long as you’re not dealing drugs or marching in Marxist demonstrations, they won’t bother you. According to Global Property Guide, expect to pay between $75,000 and $95,000 for a shiny new air-conditioned condo, and $100,000 for a house.
If you’re looking for a more European-lifestyle than South America can offer, Albania might be right up your alley. They’ve got beautiful Adriatic beaches, hundreds of miles of forest, gorgeous old-style European towns, and a few cities with all the amenities and nightlife. You can buy a 3-bedroom townhouse in Tirana for around $60,000. That leaves you with $40,000 in your pocket, which will give you an extravagant lifestyle for two years! As members of the European Union, you get to travel to all the rest of the continent while always coming back to your beautiful, cheap, beachfront home.
$100,000 in Cambodia basically makes you an emperor. The country is one of the poorest in Asia but is currently going through a boom. Standards of living are rising as are property prices. Of course, it’s all relative. You can buy a 3-bedroom apartment in Phnom Penh for $50,000, or spend all $100,000 on a beachfront condo in touristy Sihanoukville. Be aware that a new law bans foreigners from owning property. This means you can buy an apartment, but it can’t be on the first floor. With those views, however, who cares?
If you want more stability and less crime and corruption than Cambodia offers, head next door to Vietnam. Although technically a Communist country where the ownership of private property is outlawed, Vietnam has a thriving real estate market. It seems all that Marxist mumbo-jumbo gets in the way of making money, so now people can buy property in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. A gated bungalow in Hanoi will cost you $50,000, which means you can live like a king for many years with the other $50,000. Property prices are rising very quickly, so if you’re going to get in for under $100,000, do it fast!
You used to be able to live cheaply in Mexico, but the average housing price in Mexico City and around the Gulf has risen dramatically in the past few years. You can’t find anything for under $100,000. You can, however, look to the Pacific coast or down south. There you’ll find the same kind of laid-back living that Mexico is famous for, and $100,000 will easily get you a small villa or a nice air-conditioned condo with a couple of bedrooms. This probably isn’t ideal for family living, but if it’s just you, why not take it easy for a while?
Thailand offers something for everyone. You could buy a $10 million luxury penthouse suite in a shiny all-glass building in the heart of Bangkok, or you could enjoy a quiet, simple house on the coast for around $30,000. The general rule of thumb is that the closer to Bangkok you get, the more expensive everything is. You won’t find much for sale on the crowded tourist islands of Koh Samui or Krabi, but head to Surat Thani or Rayong and snatch up a cheap house right on the beach. The political situation in Thailand has stabilized a lot recently, so your investment should be protected.
The jewel of Eastern Europe sits on the Black Sea and has dazzling beaches. The capital, Sofia, is a beautiful city that mixes classical elegance with modern glitz. You can live here for around $80,000! A house on the Black Sea will cost you about $75,000, while a shiny new condo in Sofia will run you $90,000. According to Numbeo, the average cost of living for food, utilities, transportation, and clothing is around $200 a month. With a stable and growing market and the strong protections of the European Union, your investment is well-protected. Plus you’ll get to learn some pretty funky traditional folk dances!
Between 2006 and 2014 the housing market in Hungary crumbled. This was bad news for people living there, but good news for anyone looking to snatch up cheap property! Today the market has rebounded and cities like Budapest are booming. You can still buy a decent gated bungalow in the Budapest suburbs for around $90,000. If you want to go even cheaper, head to the countryside and buy an entire micro-farm for $50,000. You’ll need to learn Hungarian, rated the world’s most difficult language. And you’ll also need to love driving a beat-up Lada over massive potholes. You won’t have any North American stress to deal with, however!
Retirees have been flocking to the Philippines in recent years due to the low cost of housing and the excellent health care. You don’t need to be a Baby Boomer to buy a home here, however. If you have $80,000, you can get a nice two-bedroom apartment in Manila. A house near a beach on one of Philippines 7,000 islands will cost you about $60,000. Food is cheap, the weather is warm, and health care is affordable. Just watch out of corrupt officials, such as traffic cops. And if you try driving on Manila’s insane roads yourself, at least you’ll have some cash left for the hospital bill!
Not all affordable properties require you to move to a developing country where nobody speaks English. You can move to a developing country where everyone speaks English instead! While you won’t be moving into a grand ‘ol plantation house, you can get a decent bungalow and a quarter-acre of land for under $100,000, The UN ranked Mississippi as a “developing state”, which rankled the tempers of Mississippians and helped downgrade housing prices. The state is beautiful and the government works fine and infrastructure is secure. Best of all, you won’t need to travel very far to visit home!
Where else in the world can you waltz in as a foreigner, buy up property with no hassles, and enjoy the same property rights as citizens? What other country in the world has no military and requires no visas? Costa Rica is a real estate investors dream come true. Waterfront houses in Santa Teresa and Playa Guiones costs about $100,000. That’s right in the middle of tourist country, so all of the infrastructure and amenities are close by. Remember, that’s waterfront property, with your yard facing a beach. And you can spend your whole life there without ever being hassled by the Costa Rican “Man”.
When you think of affordable living you probably don’t think of Europe. Austria is still as friendly to budgets as it is to visitors. You won’t afford anything in Vienna, so forget about pretentious cultural living. You can find decent condos in Teffen, St Urban, and Carinthia for around $90,000, which puts you a short train ride away from the capital. Because you’re in Austria, you can enjoy the best beer in the world and some world-class skiing on the Alps. Best of all, housing prices are rising about 4-percent per year in Austria, so you can build some equity too.
Everyone says how beautiful and amazing Scotland is, but nobody ever thinks to actually live there. Well, if you want to live for under $100,000, you should consider Scotland! You can buy an entire two-story terraced house in Lossiemouth for $100,000. Kilmarnock remains one of the most affordable regions in the UK, with townhouses selling for around $90,000. That’s cheaper than a kilt and bagpipe set! The days of Braveheart and Trainspotting are over. Scotland today is a progressive, modern, and awe-inspiring land steeped in mystical history. Winters are wet and foggy, but that’s okay because summers generally are as well, so you only need one set of clothes!
For a few years, Moscow was the most expensive city in the world to live. It was fast becoming the center of finance, fashion, EDM, and luxury living in Europe. Then things started to go wrong around 2014 and today Russia isn’t a bad place to buy a house with your hard-earned money. While you’ll still never live on $100,000 in Moscow, you can head to any of Russia’s other gorgeous cities, such as Ekaterinburg, Volgograd, Smolensk, or Rostov. A three-bedroom apartment will cost you $65,000. If you want to splurge and live a more luxuriously, buy a modern 5-bedroom condo for $100,000 and live the high Russian life.
So far we’ve been talking about living a fairly laid-back life with $100,000. If it’s chaos and excitement you’re looking for, you can’t go wrong with India! Believe it or not, one of the world’s most populated countries is actually fairly expensive! $100,000 will just barely get you a small house or condo in a suburb of Mumbai or New Delhi. If you want to live any closer to the cities, your costs go up exponentially. You could live in the countryside for around $75,000, but then you’ll be living in the Indian countryside. Even Indians don’t like doing that, which is why they all flock to the cities!
Japan is one of the world’s most expensive countries. Tokyo, the world’s largest city, is unsurprisingly also the world’s second-most expensive city (New York takes the top spot). A small one-bedroom flat costs nearly half-a-million dollars, and the rest of the country isn’t much cheaper. $100,000 will get you a nice down-payment, but more likely it will cover your rent in a small apartment for two years. The average price for a three-room apartment (that’s two bedrooms and a living room) in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities is $3000 per month. That’s just over three years of living before you’re flat out of cash!
If Japan is crazy expensive, at least they have lots to do. Not so in Canada, where the only fun exists in overpriced cities and it’s frozen for half the year. Toronto and Vancouver, two mega-cities with millions of inhabitants, are also two of the most expensive cities in the world to live. $100,000 will get you a mobile home in a park outside the city (aka trailer park), but it won’t cover the plot lease or the utilities. Most Canadian middle-class families earn around $100,000 a year and they struggle with skyrocketing prices and high taxes. Canada is definitely not the kind of place you want to park your hundred grand.
The housing market in the Netherlands is like the tulip trade of old: it keeps going up, up, and up! There’s no end in sight! According to Global Property Guide, housing prices in Amsterdam have surged 17-percent in the past year. This basically prices you and your measly $100,000 out of the market. You could rent a small apartment for a couple of years, or lease a windmill with a comfy loft in it for one year. That will run you about $9,000 a month but it will be a story worth telling when you get home.
The Big Apple jumped to the number one spot for the most expensive city in the world in 2017. In Manhattan alone, $100,000 won’t even get you a single-room condo. The average two-bedroom condo in New York City costs around half-a-million dollars, and an entire house is well over a million. According to nyhabitat.com, an average two-bedroom walk-up apartment will run about $4,500 per month. If you want an elevator you’re looking at $6,000 and up! This means your $100,000 will last you about a year, but you won’t be eating food or staying warm in winter or even flushing the toilet. Enjoy.