Sunday, September 4, 2016

Own in This Up-and-Coming Pacific Coast Town From $53,000


Own in This Up-and-Coming Pacific Coast Town From $53,000
By Jim Santos
Sometimes, considering a move overseas is a lot like fishing. You do some research, talk to those who have tested the waters before you, pick your spot, and then start casting around, seeing if you can land the big one. What better place to try than a fishing town?
When you approach the Pacific coast beach town I visited recently from the south, your first glimpse of town is breathtaking. You top a hill, and there it is, nestled in a crescent-shaped cove. Colorful fishing boats of all sizes bob gently in the harbor, and the town seems to be embraced on the other side by green hills, rising to mountains in the distance.
Those hills become the national park, so the beautiful view is protected. Just farther up the road is the pristine beach of Las Frailes. This beach does not allow any food or drinks out on the sand, to maintain its untouched-by-man look and feel.
In the village itself, there is a long beach, covered in soft sand. The town is home to about 18,000 people, and its major businesses are fishing and tourism. Work is underway to build a brick walkway along the whole length of the beach. Although only partially completed at this writing, you can see how beautiful it will be when it is finished.
The town is big enough to have the shopping, services, and infrastructure you want—including, of course, doctors and a clinic—but is small enough to give it an authentic "village" feel. Although currently there is a small expat presence, the way the town is updating streets and the boardwalk, combined with the great property bargains, many feel this will be one of the new "hot spots" on the coast.
It is also along a popular bus line, so there is constant traffic up and down the coast. There is a new bus terminal just outside of town, with connections to just about anywhere in the country. And it's just three hours from the country's biggest city.
There are some great opportunities to buy here. For example, there's a two-bedroom, one-bathroom, single-family home that sits in the hills, just a five-minute walk from the beach and town. You have views of the bay and the town, and plans have already been approved for adding a second story, and even a deck on top of that. So for just $53,000, you could be in this furnished home (oh yes, it comes furnished), and take advantage of the low cost of home improvement to build your own showcase home.
Or if you are in a building mood, start from scratch and build your own dream beach house. How about a 5,000-square-foot lot, with electric and water hookups already in place? It is just off the beach (there's a short grass path to the sand), and is available for only $55,000.
This is not a condo kind of place...most of what is on the market are single-family homes (most under $100,000), or building lots. You cannot build more than four stories, so you don't have to worry about someone coming in and taking your view away. But if you want to run a business, there are options as well—you can also find a 15-room hotel being offered for $550,000.
This beach town is truly a hidden gem, and poised to be the next major attraction on this stretch of Pacific coast. If great weather, small-town living, and beautiful scenery are what you are fishing for, this is a perfect place to get a few lines in the water.