€1 Homes in Italy, Windmills in Greece, and Chalets in Mexico

  • Chalets in the Mountains of Mexico
  • Weird and Wonderful Homes in Europe
  • Luxury Sea-view Properties on Spain’s Costa Blanca
  • Plus Your Questions Answered

Earlier this week, I returned home from my scouting trip to the quaint mountain town of Mazamitla, about 80 miles south of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Already my bags are packed again.

Such is the life of an international real estate scout…

In two days, I’ll be flying to the state of Oaxaca to scout Huatulco on Mexico’s stunning Pacific coast.

During this trip, I’ll also be scouting the town of Puerto Escondido, known for its postcard-perfect beaches, excellent surfing, oceanfront restaurants, and unspoiled reefs for diving and snorkeling. I’m excited to see what I uncover there…

The beach town of Puerto Escondido on Mexico’s Pacific coast has been growing in popularity of late. I’m putting boots on the ground there in the coming days to investigate…

In the week ahead, I’ll be sending you scouting reports from the road…and you can also follow along in our brand-new Overseas Dream Home WhatsApp scouting channel.

Launched just this week, this channel is a one-way broadcast system for me to send you texts, photos, and videos live from the ground…perfect for sharing what my team and I are finding as we scout for international real estate. To get all the details of the channel, including how it works and how to sign up, click here.

It’s been an incredible week in Your Overseas Dream Home. In a moment, I’ll share some questions and feedback from your fellow members, including a question about buying €1 homes—or even an entire village—in Italy, and another on real estate deals in Portugal. (Have a question or comment? Click here to submit it.)

First, though, here’s a wrap-up of some of the opportunities and reports I’ve shared with you over the past seven days…

Scouting the “Switzerland of Mexico”

As I say, I’m just back from scouting Mazamitla. This quaint mountain town, set in the Sierra del Tigre mountain range, is known as the “Switzerland of Mexico” for its cool climate and the chalet-like cabins that dot the surrounding pine forests.

The town has long been a favored weekend getaway spot for residents of bustling Guadalajara, who come to escape the stifling city heat and hike in the refreshing mountain air. It’s undiscovered among the expat and digital crowd, though, and that is a potential opportunity.

Like many who come to Mazamitla, I stayed in a cabin here and I found a bunch of interesting listings for cabins and homes in the $150,000 to $300,000 range. I shared videos, photos, and listings in my scouting report here.

Also in Mazamitla, I scouted a stunning boutique hotel that’s currently on the market. And I toured Los Cazos, one of the oldest communities in the area boasting huge lots and luxury homes nestled in a stunning forest. Get the details on those here.

Forested hills surround the charming mountain town of Mazamitla. Expats and digital nomads haven’t discovered this town yet, but if they do, values here could surge higher. I’ll be keeping this town on my radar…

Boots on the Ground in Spain’s Costa Blanca

Also this week, I shared the latest report from my senior researcher, Margaret Summerfield, who scouted a stretch of Spain’s southeastern Mediterranean coast known as the Costa Blanca.

The Costa Blanca lacks the global name recognition of the Costa del Sol, but it’s been a favored vacation spot among Northern Europeans for decades and it’s home to some of the most beautiful beaches and coastal towns in Spain.

This week, Margaret shared a report from Calpe, a popular beach town that’s in an ideal location an hour’s drive north of Alicante and less than 90 minutes south of Valencia.

Calpe’s real estate market has been booming of late. In her report, Margaret explains why and highlights some listings she found for beach homes from €247,000 ($268,000). You’ll find her article here.

Caple’s stunning coastline features a striking rock formation called Peñón de Ifach. Prices have been rising rapidly here, as Margaret explains in her latest report.

Ever Wanted to Live in a Windmill…or a Church?

International real estate is a serious business. My focus is on finding dream homes in beautiful parts of the world that can see big capital appreciation and earn huge rental income.

But this business can also be a lot of fun, and my team and I sometimes come across weird and wonderful properties while researching online. After all, there’s no end to the buildings that can be turned into homes…

So, this week I shared a snapshot of some of the most bizarre luxury properties my team have found in Europe, from a windmill on the Greek island of Santorini to a church in southern Ireland. Check out those listings here.

This windmill-turned-luxury home is on the slopes of Mount Profitis Ilias on the stunning Greek island of Santorini. You’ll find the listing in this article here.

Your Comments and Feedback

Have a question or comment? Share it here. Here’s some questions I’ve gotten from your fellow Overseas Dream Home readers.

Darlene says: “Greetings Ronan, I love reading your emails and learning about so many beautiful places all over the world. With so many communities in Italy offering homes for €1 in recent years, I have been thinking, wouldn’t it be amazing if collectively a group of RETA members could rebuild/restore a village or community in one of these beloved places (with huge incentives from local governments of course). I have no ideas to offer up as to the how, what and where…just planting the seed.”

Ronan says: Lovely to hear from you, Darlene. That’s a cool idea. And you aren’t the first person to come to me with this. In fact International Living’s Founding Publishing Bill Bonner has been encouraging me to put together a deal like this for close on a decade now.

I’ve looked into this carefully and the issue with snapping up a lot of €1 homes—or even an entire town or village in Italy—is that these properties don’t represent good value…even though they only cost €1.

These homes are often in dire condition. Renovating or rebuilding them isn’t cheap, even if you do it collectively and avail of government incentives. Generally, you’ll get a much better deal if you simply buy a resale in the same village or region.

When it comes to resales, I believe it’s in RETA members’ best interests to choose and buy their own home. My team and I can provide information, scouting, opportunities, and ideas. And then it’s over to you.

Of course, there is another way to buy real estate overseas besides resales. That’s in RETA’s off-market deals.

Just in case some readers aren’t aware of RETA and how exactly it works, RETA is short for Real Estate Trend Alert. This is a group I founded 16 years ago made up of like-minded real estate investors who understand, like me, that there’s always opportunity somewhere when you look everywhere.

Using the collective-buying power of our group, I can negotiate killer, off-market deals on incredible new homes in the world’s most stunning destinations. This means we can buy at discount pricing that ordinary investors never see.

Best-in-class developers work with us because they know that RETA can provide them with a large number of quick sales, cutting their marketing costs and increasing their cashflow. But in order to get access to our group they need to give us deep discounts. I call this our “RETA edge.”

Using this edge, I’ve been able to negotiate a host of incredible deals for RETA members in some of the world’s most desirable destinations. Here’s some examples from right across our global beat…

  • Uplift of $388,844 in Cabo—Our first RETA members-only deal in Cabo was in 2015 in the 5-star Quivira resort. Our RETA-only price on a two-bed ocean-view condo in the best-in-class Copala community was $336,156. I bought one. An identical condo to mine two floors above me later listed for $725,000. That’s $388,844 more.
  • $220,000 gain in the Riviera Maya—In 2019, I brought RETA members the chance to own luxury two-bedroom condos in a community called Santamar on the Riviera Maya, Mexico’s Caribbean coast, from a members-only price of just $174,800. A two-bedroom mezzanine-level condo with Caribbean views bought for $178,000 later sold for $400,000.
  • $105,000 boost 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 50-mile stretch of coast known as the Pacific Riviera. Members could own in the Residences at Playa Caracol from a RETA-only $184,300. A condo a RETA member bought for $220,000 listed last year at $325,000.

Thanks again, Darlene. It’s an excellent question and a very strong idea. I’m going to continue to monitor the situation with regard to buying rundown homes in Italy in case the math on this changes.


Larry asks: “I am looking for an investment property in Portugal. Will be there on April 25. Any deals you can recommend?”

Ronan says: Hi Larry, you will beat me back to Portugal by a day or two. I fly the night of April 26, arriving in Lisbon the next morning.

Over the years, I’ve recommended a number of stellar deals in Portugal to members of my Real Estate Trend Alert group. These deals have all been in Portugal’s southern Algarve region. (More on those deals in a moment.)

The Algarve has long been a popular vacation spot for Northern Europeans, but since the pandemic it’s hit a whole new level, evolving into a major destination for retirees, young families, digital nomads, and the work-from-anywhere crowd.

As people have flocked to the Algarve in greater numbers, prices have risen and finding killer deals has become more challenging.

My team and I will keep looking and of course RETA members will be the first to hear if I find a deal there. But currently, there aren’t any open RETA members-only deals in Portugal. So I can’t provide a recommendation for an investment property. But what I can offer you is a big idea…

As prices on the Algarve have soared, my team and I have been searching for the “next places” in Portugal. And I now have a number of new destinations on my radar there, chief among them is the town of Caminha on the country’s northern border with Spain. In fact, this town is second on my list of the best places in the world to buy real estate in 2024. (Check out the full list here.)

Separated from Spain by only a river, Caminha is surrounded by rolling hills, lush forests, bucolic countryside, and soft-sand beaches. Its Old Town is centered on an enchanting cobblestoned plaza where cafés and restaurants circle a 16th century stone fountain.

This town offers an incredible lifestyle, but it feels undiscovered. And in terms of real estate prices it’s like stepping in a time machine, as though the global real estate boom of the last several years never happened.

The wealthier visitors and second-home owners from Northern Europe and North America aren’t coming to Caminha yet. I believe they will, and when they do they’ll drive prices higher. Much higher.

You can read more about Caminha and two other places on my radar in northern Portugal here. Follow that link and you’ll also see some listings that will give you an idea of the kinds of properties on the market in these destinations.

And just to return to our past RETA deals in Portugal. We have a record of being ahead here…

  • In December 2019, RETA members could buy in a community called Santa Maria in the Algarve from €310,500. According to one of my Algarve contacts, two-bed condos available to RETA members for €390,000 now list for €550,000—a boost of €160,000.
  • I recommended condos in an Algarve community called Adega in 2020. RETA members could get penthouses here for the incredible price of €480,000. I hear those now list for around €1 million…meaning they’ve doubled in price.
  • RETA members could buy two-bed condos in a community called Dona Maria in the Algarve from €575,000. One of my contacts says these would currently list for about €850,000—an uplift of €275,000.

Thanks for the question, Larry. And I hope you have a wonderful time in Portugal.


Ronan McMahon, Overseas Real Estate Expert

P.S. If you have a question or any feedback, I’d love to hear it. Maybe you’d like to know what I think of a particular destination…or perhaps you have a suggestion about where you’d like us to scout next. Let me know here.

Your Daily Dream Home

Vernoux-en-Gâtine, Deux-Sèvres, France


This house is on the edge of a charming village in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region of southwest France.

The first floor has a kitchen, a living room, a shower room and a utility room.

The second floor has three bedrooms and a bathroom.

In the sizable garden, you’ll find a summer house with a raised decking area.

Click here to find out more

Remember, we don’t make money from any listing shared here in the Your Daily Dream Home section. We have no dog in the fight. We’re just sharing cool properties we’ve found.

I haven’t visited this property or done due diligence on it. If you’re interested in the listing, you should hire an attorney and do your own due diligence.

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