The Best Spot in Town

Dear Reader,

Right here. This is the best spot in town for swimming. Brilliant white sand. Smooth, clear turquoise water. To my left the beach makes a wide sweep to the next point. Here the sand is a rich tan, and the water rougher. Not so good for swimming but hypnotic to gaze into the shifting colors of light and dark blue. Surf breaks on the reef offshore.

Everywhere palm trees grow where nature intends. At night warm breezes rustle through the palms.

This time of year the weather is perfect. Mornings start fresh with temperatures in the mid-seventies. Perfect for long walks on the beach. In the afternoon, it warms up to the eighties. The evenings are comfortable for al fresco dining. The breezes across the peninsula keep things fresh.

Las Terrenas in the Dominican Republic’s Samana peninsula is a little piece of paradise. A perfect place for a beach home.

Just on the edge of town and minutes from the beach,  $165,000 buys you a 1700 square foot townhome.  You can buy a house in a small community close to the beach from $200,000. It’s a boutique destination that’s still surprisingly affordable.

And this might just be the best place on my beat to earn an income from your beach home when you aren’t using it. You could net an 8% rental yield – and still get to use your beach home for vacations.

A new (and excellent) road means that Las Terrenas is now only an hour and forty five minutes from the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santa Domingo. Or you can fly direct to El Catey international airport (25 minutes outside Las Terrenas) from many locations in North America and Canada.

Las Terrenas isn’t manufactured beach or resort. Behind and between the palm trees are chic cafes and restaurants run by French and Italian expats. Here, in front of the turquoise waters of the best swimming beach in town, the Cuban American owners are dishing out plates of exquisite tapas at Mojitos bar. They serve the best mojitos in town, and this is the place to come for happy hour sunset cocktails.

A couple of doors away is a French hangout. People play boules while others doze in the shade of the palm trees. It’s a scene you would expect to see in any sleepy French village.

Close by, an Italian kitchenware store means you won’t need to bring an espresso maker with you. No problem finding one here.

In this area, you can walk a total of almost nineteen miles of beach, interrupted only by a couple of rocky points. The beaches weave their way, serpent like, around the coast. It’s easy to walk for hours, trying to see what’s around the next corner. Each twist and turn opens up a more stunning vista.

Development has been tightly restricted in Las Terrenas. There aren’t any high rises. Outside of town there’s a couple of larger all inclusive hotels. But that’s it. Everything else is boutique. And it should stay that way. Here, they don’t want to go down the road of mass market tourism. Expats and locals don’t want it. They want boutique development that will keep Las Terrenas is the way it is.

As I said…this is a great place for a beach home. It’s stunningly beautiful. It’s easy and low-cost to get to. Property prices aren’t cheap…like Ecuador for example…but your money will go much further here than it would in other Caribbean island destinations.

You can get all of this beach life starting from $80,000 for a condo in town. If your budget can stretch to seven figures you’re into serious jet- set beach home territory. And you’ll find property in every price bracket between those two extremes.

What’s particularly interesting is how strong the rental market is.  Homes I viewed netted an 8% yield. And the owner still got to use their home for personal vacations.

If you want a beach home that also generates income when you aren’t using it, Las Terrenas should be on your shortlist.

It certainly makes my shortlist for my presentation on the best locales to buy a beach home and generate income at this year’s International Real Estate Investment Forum (you can find out more about this event here).

You’ll enjoy your beach home in Las Terrenas….and generate income when you aren’t here. Plus, as North Americans catch on that this corner of the Samana peninsula is stunning, chic and now more accessible with the new road, prices could rise.

Ronan McMahon

P.S. Las Terrenas is just one of the locations we’ll cover during the International Real Estate Investment Forum this June 7th-9th, 2012. This event is the quickest and easiest way to get the inside track on profitable real estate investing overseas. We’ll discuss the major opportunities on our beat – locales where your overseas home can generate income when you’re not using it yourself, places poised for capital appreciation, and hot spots where you can snap up a home for a fraction of what you’d have paid a few years ago. Plus, you’ll get access to special deals and discounts. Registration opens this weekend and I expect this event will sell out fast. Click here to find out more.