Can't Afford a House? Buy a Castle in Scotland

scotlandcastleSometimes I feel so jaded living in Los Angeles, especially when it comes to the cost of housing. Anything under two million dollars is “cheap” to me, even though I don’t have two million in the bank to spend on a house. I guess living in a place with an exorbitantly high real estate market tends to do that to you. When you’re surrounded by luxury high-rises on Wilshire and beachfront Malibu pads that cost upwards of ten million dollars, anything that is priced for less does sound less expensive, despite still not being even remotely affordable.

Did you know that you can buy a French mansion along the coast of Cambodia, a beach condo in Costa Rica, or a castle in Scotland – all for less than the price of a standard house in California? Here are several current international real estate listings that might even make you have second thoughts about staying in the United States. While it may not be practical to move across  halfway across the world on a whim, it certainly is tempting…even if only for a moment.

Cambodia – Due to its rich French history, Cambodia is home to many beautiful architectural ruins, which include their restored French colonial mansions that decorate the inner cities as well as the coastal areas. And despite being a third-world country, Cambodia is a luxury traveler’s paradise with an array of five-star hotels, restaurants and ruins that attract travelers far and wide. It’s also a convenient jumping-off point if you want to travel to the rest of Asia. A six-bedroom, six-bathroom estate with a swimming pool and lush gardens is selling for $750,000 – and you can even find properties selling for half that price in more remote areas.

Costa Rica – With a stable climate and government, Costa Rica is a popular destination for vacationers and retirees alike. Located between Nicaragua and Panama with an endless supply of beaches, this Central American country is every surfer’s dream. With pleasant weather and only two seasons a year, many people come here to enjoy year-round beach bliss. Currently, a one-acre parcel of land complete with a main house and a guesthouse, along with a swimming pool, goes for around $325,000. Or if you’re looking to build, you can purchase 26 acres of vacant land for only $495,000 and build your dream home.

Mexico – Another popular destination for those looking to retire or escape to a tropical, beach-like locale is Mexico, which is home to an abundance of beautiful beaches and resort-like areas. You can easily find a beachfront condo in Acapulco for $450,000 or an eco-friendly bungalow in Puerto Vallarta for $45,000. Yes, there are only three zeros in that last figure.

Scotland – Relive a Knight’s Tale fantasy by living in your very own castle for only a fraction of the price. According to Kyle Cockburn, an associate at Re/Max Scotland, “A budget which would only probably buy you a flat in central London could buy you a castle in Scotland.” Still reeling from the aftershocks of the recession, real estate prices have gone down in Scotland, and as the market struggles to return to its original high point, buyers are taking advantage of it by investing in real estate that would normally be out of their budget. While most people don’t live year-round in their castles and instead choose to have them as recreational vacation homes, a decent castle such as Cavers Castle is going for around $627,000. With 64-rooms located on over 100,000 acres with a large pond and a woodland area, that’s one deal that isn’t going to last long.


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