5 Bargain Beach Towns
Where You Can Own from $109,000

By Ronan McMahon

The refreshing sea breeze, the salt tang in the air, the laidback vibe, the sounds of breaking waves lulling you to sleep…life at the beach offers a lot.

Seaside living can have a rejuvenating effect on the mind, body, and soul. It’s certainly harder to be stressed in that sort of atmosphere, that’s for sure.

Just imagine taking long walks on the beach…enjoying seafood in local restaurants…taking boat rides up and down the coast to hidden coves…or simply sitting with your toes in the sand, cold drink in hand…

The great thing is that you don’t have to break the bank to find a home by the beach so you enjoy these benefits day in and day out.

Sure, in California, Florida and other U.S. states, beachside real estate can cost a small fortune. But look overseas and you’ll find that in many stunning, desirable parts of the world, beach real estate remains remarkably affordable. You can get a millionaire’s lifestyle for a fraction of the price.

Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated resort, a seaside fishing village, or anything in between, there is place to fit your lifestyle—and budget.

In fact, you’ll find that in many of these destinations, your cost of living will decrease but you’re quality of life will increase thanks to lower food costs, high-quality but low-cost healthcare, affordable entertainment and incredible cultural events…all with the sea in your backyard.

It’s the recipe for an enviable lifestyle.

So, here’s a list of five beach towns in some of the world’s most desirable destinations where you can own homes at incredible pricing…

Tamarindo, Gold Coast, Costa Rica

Once the haven of surfers and sports fishermen, Tamarindo has gone upscale in recent years. But this seaside destination on Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast still retains its funky edge.

The surrounding region, officially called Guanacaste province but popularly known as the Gold Coast, is booming. The country’s second international airport in Liberia—about an hour from Tama, as the local expats call it—is expanding all the time and adding new flights from the U.S. and Canada.

Tamarindo in Costa Rica is famed for its long stretch of beach, which sits on a wide bay.

Major luxury resorts, from the likes of the Four Seasons and JW Marriott, have moved in too.
The resort town of Playa Flamingo near Tamarindo is home to a brand-new marina. You have golf courses. This stretch of coast really has everything you need for fun in the sun.

Set on a wide bay, backed by verdant jungle-covered mountains dotted with luxe villas, Tamarindo has a “main drag” of open-air restaurants, beach bars, boutique hotels, and more running parallel to the coast. It’s the perfect venue to enjoy sunset and a cocktail (the only thing that might be better is hiring a local sailboat or catamaran to go out on the bay)…or a cappuccino after a long, early morning beach walk or surf session. Or you could stop for a massage, with tables set up right on the sand.

Fishing boats and sunset cruising catamarans available for hire bob in the swell and provide a photogenic addition to sunset snapshots in Tamarindo.

This busy town offers plenty of fun away from the beach too. Boutique shopping, craft beer bars, organic markets, live music venues, art galleries, spas, restaurants of every international cuisine, a gourmet food hall…it’s all hip, trendy and here. And anything in town is easily accessible in this walkable community where there’s always something going on. And thanks to year-round highs in the mid-80s to low 90s, you can always be outdoors.

Yet, real estate can be quite affordable, especially when you consider the many attractions and huge popularity of this town.

Walking distance to the beach and all the fun in town is this one-bedroom condo in a seven-unit community with shared pool and garden area.

Built in 2020, it features a modern look with teak wood finishes and an open floor plan. The balcony offers views over the jungle. The list price is $285,000.

This one-bed condo in a community with a pool is on the market for $285,000.

This two-bedroom condo, with two community pools and covered outdoor sitting spaces (known locally as a rancho) is set in the midst of tropical landscaping.

It’s in a more established community—one that’s a Tamarindo landmark—and it’s less than half a mile from the beach. It’s available for $295,000.

This two-bedroom condo is in a community that’s less than half a mile from the beach. It’s listed for $295,000.

Just a block off the beach is this fully furnished three-bedroom, three-level townhouse in a small gated community. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and terrace. And the community has a pool and lounge area. The list price is $399,000.

This three-bedroom, three-bath townhome is on the market in Tamarindo for $399,000.

Albufeira, the Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve is Portugal’s famed warm weather haven on the country’s southern coast, where picturesque farmland, pasture and forest meet the sea, alternating between golden-sand beaches and rocky coves.

This has long been one of Europe’s premier beach destinations, especially among Northern Europeans, who often wing their way to this coast to warm up during the frigid winter weather.

Recently, Portugal in general and the Algarve in particular have become popular with North Americans too, who liken it to a lower cost and more relaxing Southern California. Like Algarve veterans, they’re drawn by the mild winters, pleasant summers, and beautiful landscapes…not to mention the friendly people who have welcomed foreigners with open arms for generations.

While the Algarve has no shortage of developed areas, you can still find quiet coves and secluded beaches.

The Algarve boasts a vibrant culture, history visible in every hilltop castle and white-washed village, and stunning local cuisine, which has a heavy focus on seafood. Try the fried sardines. And be sure to order a pastel de nata with your coffee. This super-rich custard tart—one of the Portugal’s iconic dishes—is to die for.

But this region is also sophisticated and modern, with every amenity you might need for a short stay or permanent relocation, including top-notch medical care, shopping, fiber optic internet, smooth highways, and more.

Whether you want to relax on the terrace with a glass of vinho verde, get out on the water, sunbath, or hit the links at a world-class golf course, the Algarve has you covered.

Albufeira’s white-washed Old Town offers a place to experience the Algarve’s rich traditional culture and history…with golden-sand beaches on your doorstep.

Like many destinations, Albufeira is a former sleepy fishing village turned popular vacation destination. It has an expansive modern marina, seaside promenade lined with cafés and restaurants and a lively Old Town. It is centrally located and in the heart of the Algarve region, making it travel to get east and west along the coast to other towns and beaches, as well as the international airport in Faro about 30 minutes away.

Albufeira has a mix of options when it comes to property, including plenty of modern condos in resort-style communities, as well as renovated places in the Old Town.

In the historic center, surrounded by shops and restaurants and a short walk to the main Peneco Beach, is this updated bright and airy one-bedroom apartment with a large private terrace. It’s listed at €210,000 ($226,000).

This one-bedroom apartment a short walk from the main beach is on the market for €210,000.

This two-bedroom condo in a modern development, near the town center, is available for €230,000 ($247,500).

The community boasts extensive green space and sun decks, multiple swimming pools, a fitness center and restaurants. The condo comes furnished, though it’s in need of updating and redecorating.

This two-bedroom condo boasts a terrace. It’s a little dated and in need of updating, but it’s available for €230,000.

A bit inland, but still close to the beach and Old Town, is this one-bedroom fully furnished condo in a small community, with pool, for €165,000 ($177,500).

This one-bed condo is less than a mile from the beach. It’s on the market for €165,000.

Puerto Morelos, Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexico’s Caribbean coast is a wonderland of white-sand beaches fringed by swaying palms, ancient Mayan cities, dense jungle, mystical cool water cenotes, and the warm, azure sea.

Known as the Riviera Maya, it was virtually unknown to the outside world until the region was developed for tourism by the Mexican government starting in the 1970s.

Over the decades came resorts, bustling towns packed with entertainment, shopping, and nightlife, a well-maintained coastal highway that makes getting around easy, and an international airport with connections to dozens of cities around the world, some just a couple of hours away in the U.S., the main source of tourism. Soon, a new train line, the Train Maya, will connect the major destinations all along this coast.

The best-known destinations on the Riviera Maya are the sprawling all-inclusive resorts of Cancún, the thriving seaside city of Playa del Carmen about an hour south, and the chic beach destination of Tulum a farther hour south.

About midway between Cancún and Playa, Puerto Morelos is worlds apart from these destinations. Although modern development has grown up around it, it’s still a traditional fishing village at heart…low-key and laidback. When you’re there, it’s easy to stop by the fishing co-op to get fresh catch for the grill.

Puerto Morelos boasts stunning golden-sand beaches and attracts tourists, but it remains a small fishing village at heart.

The main plaza, which often hosts fiestas for patron saints and other holidays, is lined with cute little cafés and restaurants with outdoor seating, as well as tidy little shops selling books, jewelry, and handicrafts. The malecon, or boardwalk, is the spot to be for watching the fishing fleet of open pangas bobbing in the water and late afternoon walks. The powder soft beach has a few beach clubs and small resorts but is uncrowded.

Puerto Morelos’ charms, including its authentic Mexican feel and small-town vibe, have attracted in-the-know vacationers and a loyal group of expats. Some live year-round, but there is also a sizable contingent of snowbirds from Canada. The place is positively bustling in “high season,” with live music, trivia nights, and other fun.

Thanks to the subtropical climate, outdoor activities are always popular. There’s no shortage of things to do: snorkeling and scuba, sport fishing, sunbathing, exploring the Mayan ruins scattered around the region, swimming in freshwater cenotes deep in the jungle…

There are also plenty of good value real estate options, with the most desirable homes and condos close to the water, so you can walk to the beach.

As this town comes further on the radar, communities are also being built further inland, in the jungle and closer to the commercial development like medical clinics and large supermarkets just off the main highway. But even from there it is still a bike ride or quick drive to the beach.

The small Puerto Morelos fishing fleet still operates from the main pier in town, while expats, tourists, and locals savor seaside views during afternoon strolls on the malecon.

This sleek one-bedroom beachfront condo, built in 2022, features Caribbean views from the building’s rooftop terrace, complete with infinity pool and lounge area. The condo has its own private terrace and jacuzzi and comes fully furnished. It’s listed for $237,000.

This one-bed is in a community with a rooftop pool offering views out over the ocean. It’s listed for $237,000.

As I say, the farther inland you go, the more likely you are to find bargains.

In a new gated community noted for its quiet jungle vibe is this two-bedroom condo available for just $109,000. There are some finishing touches needed, like kitchen cabinets. But the community has a pool, barbecue area and basketball court. And you’ll still only be about two miles from the beach.

This two-bedroom condo is unfinished and set in an inland community, but it’s listed for just $109,000.

In another inland gated community is this three-bedroom home listed for $216,000. The look and feel is high-end and spacious, with vaulted ceilings and picture windows to view the surrounding tropical foliage and bring natural light into the house.

The large patio has a plunge pool. The community features a yoga space, palapa common lounge area, and fitness center.

This new home in a gated community back from the beach is on the market for $216,000.

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Click here to learn more.

Pacific Riviera, Panama

Thanks to its canal essential to worldwide shipping, plus a booming banking and financial services sector, Panama City has become a global center for trade and commerce with the dollar as its currency…a regional base for multinational companies like Proctor & Gamble and Nestle. And its international airport is a major hub for travel—the gateway to the Americas.

It’s a shining city with a skyscraper-filled skyline, super-luxury shopping malls, world-class museums, fine dining, gated communities, and the like…although you can still see its earliest days in the restored Casco Viejo colonial district. It is all very chic and sophisticated.

But Panama City has a problem. It doesn’t really have beaches. So, going back generations, those with means have headed west along the coast, to what’s known as the Pacific Riviera.

Master-planned communities in this region are a favorite for second homes, for vacations, and even quick weekend retreats—it’s only about an hour from the capital. It’s also a favorite of expats seeking a tropical escape close to a major metropolis.

Panama’s Pacific Riviera offers tropical seaside splendor within an hour’s drive of the country’s world-class capital.

The Pacific Riviera features equestrian clubs, tennis, golf, beach clubs, resorts, and restaurants of every cuisine. And you have everything else you might need in terms of services too, from medical care to big box stores and supermarkets.

And, of course, there is the beach. Miles of white and black volcanic sand and the glorious Pacific. And with temperatures staying in the 80s pretty much year-round in Panama, every day could be a beach day.

This is also a great home-base for adventures around the country, whether it’s for dinner and a night out on the town in Panama City, treks in the jungle for wildlife watching, boating and fishing voyages, trips to experience cultural events like Pedasi’s famed Carnaval…

Panama is a small country that offers a lot.

This two-bedroom condo in Coronado on Panama’s Pacific Riviera is all about the views from its 20th-floor perch—a panoramic vista of the mountains, the golf course, and the ocean, best enjoyed from the spacious balcony or even from inside thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room and master bedroom. That gives the added bonus of letting in plenty of natural light. It’s listed at $249,000.

Two-bedroom condo offers stunning Pacific Ocean views from its terrace. It’s listed at $249,000.

Another two-bedroom condo in this area, with a maid’s quarters that could become a home office, comes fully furnished. No ocean views to be enjoyed from the two balconies, but you can walk to the beach in 15 minutes.

Plus, the community features two swimming pools, garden area, jacuzzi, playground and gym. And the new owner will have the opportunity to join the golf club—which also has a beach club component. This one is available for $235,900.

This two-bed condo offers direct access to the Tom Fazio-designed golf course in Coronado on Panama’s Pacific Riviera.

If you want to be right on the sand, check out this one-bed condo overlooking the Pacific. Throw open the balcony sliding glass doors, and you can enjoy the vistas and cooling breezes coming off the water.

You can even take in the view from the bedroom. It’s been recently renovated with touches like granite countertops, and the community offers amenities like pools (one on the roof surrounded by a spacious sundeck, the other perfect for a quick dip after a beach day), gym, game room and plenty of landscaped outdoor space. It comes fully furnished. It’s listed at $260,000.

This one-bedroom condo offers ocean views and is available for $260,000.

Fuengirola, Costa del Sol, Spain

The Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) stretches for 93 miles along Spain’s Mediterranean coastline. Northern Europeans have been coming here for decades to spend their holidays, drawn by warm weather, warm water, dinners out, and discotheques. But it’s also an attractive place to live long term. The region offers a lot.

You have the excellent Spanish medical system, great seafood, traditional villages, temperate climate, fun beach towns, many world-class golf courses, and, of course, the glittering Mediterranean and the dramatic peaks just inland up and down the coast as the backdrop. The international airport in Malaga city makes getting here easy. (And makes traveling throughout Europe easy too, once you live on the Costa del Sol.)

Fuengirola’s “city beach” is easily accessed from all over town.

Fuengirola is one of the most popular and built-up towns in the region, a seaside haven with a mile of boardwalk, restaurants, nightlife, and a restored historic center near the port. A hilltop Moorish fortress watches over all. People have been living this spot since the time of Phoenicians and later Romans. If history is your thing, a stroll through the Old Town is like seeing a glimpse of life centuries ago. Although I doubt you could get an ice cream or café con leche (coffee with milk) or buy the latest fashions back then.

There are five miles of beach here, the primary draw for vacationers, who have been coming here since the 1960s. Here, you can hang out on the beach all day…and go tapas hopping at night.

Plus, you have all the amenities of being in a vacation hotspot like golf courses and other recreation…and you’re within striking distance of the famed white-washed mountain villages found inland. And you’re just 45 minutes from Málaga by train, putting you within striking distance of not only the airport but also a host of activities that only a big city can offer, along with a charming and walkable historic center.

Fuengirola’s seaside promenade is a center for fun in the sun…and nighttime dining and entertainment.

You can walk to the beach, not to mention restaurants, shops, and the like, from this recently renovated two-bedroom apartment in the historic area. It comes furnished and is listed at €190,000 ($204,500).

Nearby is another two-bedroom apartment in the heart of town, close to everything, for €210,000 ($226,000). It also comes fully furnished and has a large terrace. The neighborhood is more local than touristy, with a bakery, greengrocer, churreria, and other small family-run businesses.

This two-bedroom apartment is on the market for just $226,000.

There is also this two-bedroom apartment from which you can walk to the beach…as well as enjoy a sea view from the balcony. It was recently renovated and is available for €300,000 ($323,000).

This two-bed apartment, on the market for €300,000, offers views out over the charming streets of Fuengirola.

On the Hunt for Profitable International Real Estate Deals

I’ve been an international real estate investor and scout for more than two decades.

For years after I began investing in overseas real estate, I searched for a group of like-minded folks…a club for people who, like me, understand there’s always opportunity somewhere, when you look everywhere. I knew there had to be many others who would recognize a great real estate deal wherever it was in the world and act decisively. I searched in vain. For there was no such group. So in 2008, I founded my own…

I called it Real Estate Trend Alert.

Today this RETA club is bigger than I ever imagined it would be, and it’s become a unique deal machine.

Using RETA’s group buying power, I’m able to negotiate exclusive, off-market deals for our members. For a deal to cut my muster, I have to see clear potential for us to double our money invested in five years. I particularly love deals that offer us rapid capital appreciation and enormous income potential should we chose to rent upon delivery.

This process all starts with my team and I identifying up-and-coming markets and major transformations with potential. For months or even years before I send details of a members-only deal, I’ve been researching…putting boots on the ground…and meeting high-level contacts in the destinations where I feel there could be a hot opportunity.

Then, once I’m confident a major transformation is underway, I use RETA’s group-buying power to negotiate a deal with a best-in-class developer.

Because of the combined group-buying power of all Real Estate Trend Alert members, I’m able to negotiate some serious discounts on retail pricing. An off-market, RETA-only deal must see us paying much less than anyone else, which means we’re locking in significant gains from the get-go.

Why do these developers agree to offer us the unbeatable pricing they do?
It’s a simple win-win for each side. The developer gets quick and discreet sales from our group…allowing him to go to the local market with sales under his belt and the confidence to charge higher retail prices (i.e. the price everyone else pays)…and we get a deal at a price no one else can even dream of.

Because of my decades of boots on the ground scouting, RETA members have been ahead in all the destinations highlighted above…and we’ve gotten incredible deals on best-in-class real estate there. To give you just a brief snapshot of some of our RETA-only deals…

  • Boost of €160,000 in the Algarve—In December 2019, RETA members could buy in a community in the Algarve from €310,500. Two-bed condos available to RETA members for €390,000 now list for €550,000.
  • $309,018 more in the Riviera Maya—In 2021, RETA members had the chance to buy two-bed condos in a community called Singular Dream in Playa del Carmen from $265,304. In early 2024, a two-bed condo in Singular Dream was listing for $574,322.
  • $105,000 uplift in Panama—In 2019, I was able to bring members the chance to buy in a landmark community in Panama called Playa Caracol, on the Pacific Riviera. Members could own from a RETA-only $184,300. A condo a RETA member bought for $220,000 later listed at $325,000—that’s $105,000 more.
  • Gain of €223,000 on the Costa del Sol—We had our opportunity at Casares Costa in Spain’s Costa del Sol in 2020. A RETA member bought a luxury condo here for €327,000. It was sold in late 2023 for €550,000—a gain of €223,000.
  • In March 2024, I brought RETA members the chance to own luxury homes in a stunning amenity-rich community in Playa Flamingo on Costa Rica’s Gold Coast. Around Playa Flamingo, condos sell for $600,000…the typical listing is well over $1 million. Yet our prices were from a RETA-only $286,800 from luxurious two-bed homes and from just $386,800 for three beds. This was an insane deal. Plus, I expect gross rental yields of 15% and up.

Nobody I know does the kind of travel and firsthand research we do at RETA.

Nobody I know has our contacts and ability to negotiate such incredible, off-market deals for members. And no one I know has RETA’s track record of being ahead as destinations experience major transformations.

While you’ll get lots of travel and research reports in your Overseas Dream Home…the best deals…the off-market, members-only deals are only ever found in RETA.

Click this link to learn more about RETA and to join today.

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Transparency is important to us, so you should know that properties and development projects detailed here may be clients of Pangaea Limited, a real estate advertising company managed by Ronan McMahon and Margaret Summerfield. Should you purchase one of the properties, Pangaea may receive a fee from the property owners, real estate developers and/or real estate agents. International Living Publishing Limited along with certain marketing companies who work with Pangaea may receive a portion of that fee.

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