Why I Bought on Portugal’s Silver Coast…and a Booming Beach Town in the Dominican Republic

  • Video: Why I Bought on Portugal’s Silver Coast
  • Scouting a Booming Beach Town in the Dominican Republic
  • Mind-Blowing Bargains in Sicily
  • Plus Your Questions Answered

As you read this, I’ll have just arrived back at my condo on Portugal’s Silver Coast…

The Praia D’El Rey Golf and Beach Resort where I own in Portugal sits right up on the country’s stunning Atlantic coast.

I’m thrilled to be returning. Before I began my journey back, I recorded a video to explain why Portugal’s Silver Coast met all my criteria for my overseas dream home…and why the process of owning there has been life-changing for me.

Check out it below…

Portugal’s Silver Coast boasts pristine beaches, world-class golf, incredible food, and stunning historic towns and fishing villages. And those are just some of the reasons I decided to buy here. Click to view and learn more.

Once I’m back on the Silver Coast, I’ll be sharing some scouting updates on this region. And in the next week, I’ll be setting out from my Silver Coast condo to scout destinations across northern Portugal and northern Spain that have major growth potential…

The northern regions of Spain and Portugal have milder climates than the southern areas of the countries. These temperate environments will have amazing appeal as we see a shift in climate preferences.

The next generation of migrations will want the sun, but they’ll also want temperatures and landscapes that are conducive to being active and being outdoors. Northern Portugal and northern Spain offer this…and so much more. I believe there are huge potential opportunities in these northern regions.

Stay tuned to Overseas Dream Home in the weeks ahead to learn about the destinations there that most excite me. (For insights on one hotspot in northern Portugal that has incredible potential, check out this video of my 10 best places in the world to buy real estate in 2024. It’s listed at No. 2.)

My upcoming scouting in Europe aside, there’s so much happening across our global beat…

As I write, my scout, Ciaran, still has boots on the ground in Sicily. I asked Ciaran to scout the Italian island for a town to buy…and to investigate the astonishing real estate bargains there.

In a moment, I’ll share a recap of Ciaran’s scouting from the past week…and I’m going to address a question that an Overseas Dream Home reader had on safety in Sicily.

First, though, a brief scouting update on the Dominican Republic.

Another of my scouts, Oliver, has just returned from the sun-soaked Caribbean country. He was on the ground there to continue my team’s ongoing, in-depth scouting of the ultra-luxurious master-planned community of Cap Cana. (You can read Oliver’s report on Cap Cana here.)

Since we last heard from Oliver, he also took some time to scout the popular beach destination of Las Terrenas. Below, he shares a brief report on this stunning coastal town …

Scouting a Booming Beach Town in the Dominican Republic

As you approach Las Terrenas, the road climbs abruptly as it passes through the mountains before opening up to reveal the most glorious sweeping views of the Caribbean coastline.

Sparkling cobalt waters stretch out to the horizon. Closer to shore the sea turns various shades of turquoise. White-sand beaches are bordered by miles of swaying palm trees. This is the unspoiled, un-landscaped Caribbean that would have greeted explorers and pirates centuries ago.

Nestled in this tropical paradise is the small bohemian beach town of Las Terrenas, a pleasing mix of Caribbean charm and European elegance. The latter is a result of the French and Italian expat communities here.

The town boasts French bakeries, wine caves, whisky bars, and authentic Italian restaurants, but the stunning beaches, like the one below, are pure Caribbean.

In Las Terrenas, you’ll find beaches ideal for swimming, snorkelling, sailing, surfing, kitesurfing…

I took a tour with a broker who told me that the market has exploded in Las Terrenas since COVID, when millions more people were exposed to remote working and reassessed their priorities.

Investors from the east coasts of the U.S. and Canada have poured in, buying up all the inventory they can get their hands on. Prices have soared. Local developers are now rushing to build new communities. Preconstruction condos are in high demand. Driving around town, I saw no shortage of construction sites.

I visited a new community that’s set to be delivered in the coming weeks. It’s well-located, right in the center of Las Terrenas and just five minutes’ walk from the beach. I viewed a modest one-bedroom condo priced at $180,000. That’s a big jump from the prices Ronan reported when he came here in 2012 and found a one-bed condo close to the beach for $99,000…

There’s no doubt that word is out on Las Terrenas…

Ronan says: Buyer beware. Las Terrenas is a notoriously difficult place to fully and legally permit a project. When I was last there, time and again I got excited about projects I was pitched only to be disappointed when my legal advisers and local contacts gave me the real skinny. This is disappointing as I’m extremely bullish on Las Terrenas and have been for 15 years now. It’s truly stunningly beautiful.

That said I have found the following opportunity there for members of my Real Estate Trend Alert group…

First, you could buy land in town within five minutes of the beach and custom build an Airbnb.

Second, you could buy an old, ugly, and dated condo in one of the older beachfront projects. (Dated and ugly comes cheap.) With some cosmetic updates you could have a cheap dream beach home.

Third, despite the surge in prices and demand, there’s still relative value in luxury villas with drop-dead sea views and infinity-edge pools. You will pay more than pre-COVID, but your dollars still stretch further…much further than comparable locations.

Mind-Blowing Bargains in Sicily

Shifting back to Europe, for the past week my scout, Ciaran, has had boots on the ground in Sicily.

I asked him to visit to scout the bargains on offer on this stunning Mediterranean island…and to look for a town to buy.

Over the years, numerous members of my Real Estate Trend Alert group have raised the idea of buying a town with me. And International Living’s Founding Publishing Bill Bonner has been encouraging me to put together something like this for close on a decade.

It’s an idea worth exploring…and Sicily is the obvious place to begin. (Check out this article for more details on our mission to buy a town in Sicily.)

The Italian island of Sicily, the largest in the Mediterranean, boasts breathtaking hill towns, stunning coastal cities, and rich history and culture.

Sicily is a land of historic cities…ancient temples…quaint little villages…towering mountains…and stunning beaches on every shore…

Prices there are also incredibly affordable…

In medieval towns there set amongst lost-in-time landscapes and surrounded by sun-drenched hills, you can find historic homes in various states of repair for $70,000…$50,000…even $20,000, or less.

So far, Ciaran has reported back from the charming hill town of Mussomeli in central Sicily, where he met contacts among the agency that runs the municipality’s famed €1 homes program.

Ciaran wasn’t there to see €1 homes, however, which are generally derelict buildings in need of significant investment. He was there to tour what are called “premium” homes—structurally sound properties in livable condition available for astonishing prices from €28,000 to €35,000. Check out his report from Mussomeli here.

He also shared a report with us this week on listings he found in other charming hill towns in central Sicily, where you can own from insane prices like €15,500. Those listings are in this article here.

And Ciaran is not done yet…

As I write, he’s got boots on the ground on Sicily’s northern coast around the picturesque seaside city of Cefalù.

Squeezed between the sea and looming hills, Cefalù is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Sicily, boasting numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites and in-town beaches. In the hills just outside the city, there are towns that, like Mussomeli, are working to bring historic homes in decent condition back onto the market.

You’ll find homes listed in the €25,000 to €70,000 range there, many in livable condition. And you’d be close to Cefalù and the beach.

I’ll share what Ciaran uncovers there in the days ahead in Your Overseas Dream Home…

Your Comments and Feedback

Have a question or comment? Share it here. One Overseas Dream Home reader, Robert, has written in regarding Ciaran’s trip to Sicily to ask about the security situation there as it relates to organized crime and the Mafia.

It’s a valid question. So let’s address it…

For decades in the mid- to late-20th century, the Sicilian Mafia was entrenched on the island, particularly in the capital Palermo, and the effect of this was devastating.

As happens when a criminal organization has a stranglehold on a city, it took a heavy toll. Business stayed away from Palermo, so did tourists. City planning—also controlled by the Mafia—became a vehicle for crooked deals. Life in Palermo disintegrated.

You can still see the physical manifestation of this in many of the shoddy apartment blocks that rim the historical center of Palermo. A construction boom led by Mafia-affiliated developers from the 1950s through to the mid-’80s devised the destruction of city parks and Art Deco palaces—a period now known as the “Sack of Palermo.”

Throughout that period, the Mafia were at their peak. Bodies were showing up on the streets every day as rival families vied for control. But in the late 20th century, things turned around…and fast. The 1992 murder of anti-Mafia magistrate Giovanni Falcone and, less than two months later, of his colleague Paolo Borsellino, shocked Italy into action. Within a week of the murders, 5,000 military personnel were dispatched to Sicily to fight a war against the Mafia. This marked a turning of the tide.

Since then, police have arrested thousands of Mafiosi, including all the high-ranking bosses. Now special laws with harsh penalties, along with new police technology, are making it difficult for organized crime to operate.

Today, in the streets of Palermo, the Mafia wars of the 1990s are light-years away. More than 60% of the city’s historic buildings have been restored within the last 25 years. And some of the seized Mafia assets, worth tens of billions of dollars, have been used to build new social, environmental, and cultural spaces in the city.

Palermo is becoming a chic vacation destination. When Ciaran visited at the start of his scouting trip, he tells me he bumped into trendy twenty- and thirty something tourists from the U.S., Greece, Scotland, England, Korea…some of them with young families.

So, the short answer to the question “Is Sicily safe?” is yes. That’s not to say organized crime doesn’t exist there. It does, as it does virtually everywhere. But the statistics show the island now has lower rates of crime than other regions of Italy. And Sicily is home to a modern, highly regulated real estate market.


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

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 or perhaps you have a suggestion about where you’d like us to scout next. Let me know here.

Your Daily Dream Home

Acquasparta, Umbria, Italy


In the heart of Acquasparta, a historic town in central Italy, is this one-bedroom home. Acquasparta is famous for its thermal springs, and the town is a popular destination for health and wellness vacations.

The flat has a kitchenette, a bathroom, a bedroom and a living room with views  overlooking  Acquasparta’s old town center.

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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