Beach Homes in the “Portugal of South America” from $55,000

Some people call Uruguay the “Switzerland of South America,” but I prefer “the Portugal of South America.”

This is a country where foreigners and foreign capital are welcome…a place of wild beaches, cool pine forests and rolling dunes…a safe, stable, and sophisticated place far from the world’s turmoil and troubles. Much like Portugal.

Uruguay is South America’s safe haven. Wealthy people from across the region come here for banking and investment…and to unwind at its luxurious beach destinations.

Uruguay isn’t your typical South American country. It has good highways and dependable electricity, phone, and internet service.

Then there’s the economy. Uruguay is considered a safe-haven by wealthy South Americans, who invest here to diversify and protect capital.

The economy has gone through ups and downs, but is largely resilient to what happens in North America and Europe. For example, when the global housing market crashed in 2007-2008, Uruguay’s banks and housing market stayed strong. In 2009, only 1% of bank loans in Uruguay were not being paid back.

This stable economy gives Uruguay and its real estate market international appeal.

Punta del Este is an internationally renowned destination, popular with both tourists and second home buyers.

For evidence of Uruguay’s wealth and international appeal, you need only look to the beach destination of Punta del Este.

Punta del Este started out as a fishing village, but today it’s more like a Saint-Tropez in South America…somewhere the rich and famous come to see and be seen on the beautiful beaches.

You’ll see all the trappings of the ultra-rich here—supercars, yachts, polo tournaments…

And Punta draws huge crowds of folks looking to rub shoulders with the rich and famous. In high season, the city’s population swells from 20,000 to 400,000.

Visitors to Punta are happy to spend a five-figure sum for a few weeks in the sun.

In Punta, a top-end condo with a beach view in the downtown area can cost over $1 million. A luxury penthouse $7 million…

The influx of tourists has been good news for early investors, but bad news for the rich, who crave exclusivity…so they’re heading along the coast to Rocha, located about one and a half hours’ drive east of Punta.

The expansive Rocha region spans 110 miles of oceanfront lined almost entirely with beaches. Inland, you’ll find nature reserves, lagoons, and forests.

Recent infrastructure improvements, like an airport, and a $11.6 million bridge over Laguna Garzón, have made it easier to get to Rocha. The super-rich were first to arrive here, but today you’ll also find more expats in the know from the U.S. and Europe, too.

In recent years, Rocha’s long coastline has been attracting a mix of wealthy folks from around South America and in-the-know expats from the U.S. and Europe. The city of Rocha, capital of the Rocha Department, is set back from the coast.

Rocha is on the Path of Progress heading out of Punta. I believe it’s in the early stages of a multi-decade run…which is why it tied for third place on my list of The Best Places in the World to Buy Real Estate in 2024.

Yet, although this coast east of Punta is seeing an influx of people, you can still find incredible bargains here on beachfront and ocean-view real estate.

Charming House with Thatched Roof in La Paloma for just $55,000

This charming two-bedroom house is in a beach town in the Rocha region called La Paloma. The town is on the edge of Laguna de Rocha, a protected nature reserve where you’ll find flamingos, capybaras, otters, and more…

The property features two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room with fireplace, and kitchenette. At the rear of the house, there’s a roofed barbecue area.

The property is sold furnished and has internet, cable, and all the utilities connected. The home needs some TLC, but it’s listed for just $55,000.

Located in the peaceful neighborhood of Rincón del Rosario, this charming home is just a five-minute drive to the beach. You can view the listing here.

Steps from the Beach in the Seaside Resort of La Aguada for $170,000

This two-bedroom house is just steps from the beach and listed for $170,000. It’s situated within the seaside resort of La Aguada

La Aguada is set on a beach, around half a mile from the center of La Paloma. During the summer it’s a popular tourist destination, and from July to October the nearby Cerro de La Virgen viewpoint is one of the best places for whale watching.

The home measures 915 square feet and sits on a corner lot of 3,200 square feet. It has two bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and one bathroom. There’s also a private outside barbecue area with a beach view.

This home is just 100 feet from a popular tourist beach. Listing here.

Live by the Beach in La Pedrera for $180,000

My team found this two-bedroom house close to the beach at La Pedrera, listed for $180,000.

La Pedrera is a picturesque seaside town located on a rocky cliff. This is a town where everything is calm, except the sea. The beaches here are popular with surfers and kite surfers, while back on land you’ll see folks enjoying hiking and horseback riding.

From the nearby Del Barco beach you can still see the last vestiges of the fishing vessel Cathay VIII, which ran aground in 1971.

This two-story house with a thatched roof is just two blocks from downtown and 500 feet from Del Barco beach in La Pedrera. The first floor consists of a living room with fireplace and air conditioning, dining room, open kitchen with breakfast bar, two single bedrooms, and a full bathroom. On the upper floor there’s a master bedroom with adjoining bathroom and balcony with garden views.

Outside you’ll find a covered grill area, laundry room, garden, and garage. The house is sold furnished and the listing mentions that owner financing is available.

This two-bedroom house is just 500 feet from the beach and comes with an upstairs balcony…the ideal spot to enjoy the cooling sea breeze. Listing here.

Three-Bedroom House on a Large Lot in Trendy Playa Serena for $265,000

My team found this three-bedroom house for sale in upscale Playa Serena for $265,000. Playa Serena is a lively area of La Paloma with lots of beach bars and restaurants.

This two-story property, built in 2011, is a few blocks from the beach and sits on a 10,700-square-foot lot. The solid construction features thick stone walls, wooden openings, tiled and wooden floors, and high hardwood ceilings, with a total built area of 300 square feet.

The ground floor consists of a large living room with a fireplace, dining area, bright kitchen, full bathroom, and pastry room. The upper level has three bedrooms, one with a balcony. The house also has a large two-car garage and a roofed barbecue area. The entire yard is fenced, with a front gate made of stone and wood.

The house also benefits from extra space in the form of a two-car garage. Listing here.


Ronan McMahon, Founder, Overseas Dream Home & Real Estate Trend Alert

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