New Yorkers are fleeing the city at record rates — with many vowing never to return — and real estate in the Hamptons, Catskills and New Jersey is skyrocketing to previously unseen high prices. But many people, balking at a $50,000-a-month rental in the Hamptons, and with the newfound ability to work from home anywhere in the world, are now looking internationally for a longterm escape.
With COVID-19 decimating economies, several countries that rely on tourism are now offering lengthy, work-from-home, tax-free tourism visas in an attempt to lure talented Americans. And these countries offer a lot more bang for your buck than any of the bedroom communities surrounding New York City.
The sun-soaked Caribbean nation of Barbados has introduced the “Barbados Welcome Stamp,” which allows visitors to stay in the country without a visa for up to one year and will remove local income taxes that normally kick in after six months.
“Covid-19 has placed a severe strain on people’s mental wellness,” Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley told told The Washington Post. “The sunshine is powerful. The seawater is powerful. They’re both therapeutic in ways that are hard to explain.”
Meanwhile, Estonia is launching a “Digital Nomad Visa” which “allows remote workers to live in Estonia and legally work for their employer or their own company registered abroad,” while Chile has started Start Up Chile: a program for tech start-ups that offers a one-year work visa and equity. Georgia, Germany and Costa Rica also have visa programs geared toward freelancers, making it easy to live and work in large, beautiful spaces surrounded by nature — for a fraction of Northeast prices.
The west coast of the island includes the ritzy town and parish of Saint James, where you need not be a millionaire to live, play and, of course, work from home with a view to die for.
This 650-square-foot, one-bedroom condo is located on the island’s coveted West Coast and comes with a beach membership and golf course access. It’s a short walk to shopping, restaurants and nightlife in historic Holetown. According to the listing, “the apartment features an open-plan kitchen and living area leading to the terrace, and a spacious en suite bedroom with air conditioning throughout. The property has a community of long-term residents and many repeat holiday guests giving it a friendly feel. There is a receptionist-controlled main entrance and 24 hour security.”
Set in tropical gardens, this gorgeous cottage is one of four properties on a five-acre estate. With two bedrooms and a wraparound porch, it boasts a panoramic view of Royal Westmoreland golf course in the east and the Caribbean Sea in the west. As it sits on a high ridge, you can enjoy cool trade winds throughout the year — and a private pool is nearby.
If you love rivers, lakes and nature, Estonia is the place. Having one of the cleanest air quality records in Europe, Estonia’s capital of Tallinn, set on the Baltic Sea, is a beautifully preserved medieval town that residents describe as “clean and efficient.”
Set on the 15th floor of a “Manhattan-inspired” building, the apartment offers gorgeous views of the Old Town and Lake Ülemiste. It’s located in the Kristiine area near the city center, and there is a private terrace, a sun deck and parking.
Located in the center of Tallinn’s UNESCO World Heritage Listed Old Town, this apartment in a fully renovated building boasts high ceilings, parquet floors and art galleries on the first floor.
Sitting at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Georgia has a low cost of living, is a foodie’s heaven, and The World Bank ranks the country as the sixth-easiest in the world for doing business. These homes are in the historic Abanotubani district of Tbilisi, known for its sulphuric baths.
This apartment is on the top floor of a recently built building that comes complete with elevator and parking. There are two balconies, two bathrooms, a large living room and terrace overlooking the Narikala Fortress and surrounding mountains.
This gorgeous triplex features a working fireplace, a renovated kitchen, several balconies and views for days.
Artists in New York started flocking to Berlin over a decade ago, for lower cost of living than any other major European metropolis, world-class health system and comprehensive public transportation network. And Berlin is a megalopolis of culture, with more than 160 museums as well as Museum Island, which is dedicated to displaying architecture and artwork.
This gorgeous corner apartment is located in Kreuzberg — known as the Soho of Berlin — near several major train lines. Boasting original molding and hand-made railings, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit includes a balcony.
Set in the center of Mitte, in central Berlin, this bright and spacious apartment is fully furnished and features a balcony, a flat screen TV and free internet.
Our Central American neighbor has long been popular with the surf set and socialites — but most anyone would warm to its friendly visa policies, safety record, green initiatives and high-speed internet. Bonus: It’s also in the same time zone as much of the United States so you won’t have to adjust your work schedule.
Casita Bamboo is perched high on a private mountain, overlooking the Parrita Valley, and Parrita River. It has an open living area, large bedroom and floor-to-ceiling sliding windows. The bathroom is “state of art with an indoor-outdoor shower,” and the home sits on two acres of land within a gated community. Near Jaco and only two hours from San Jose International Airport, Casita Bamboo is a nature lover’s dream come true.
Forget the Hamptons — get a Costa Rican beach house for a fraction of the cost. Located in the tourist-friendly Guanacaste region, this house is just 100 meters (just over 300 feet) from the beach and comes with internet, cable and a generator included.
Situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, Chile has excellent surfing and skiing and a world-class wine scene. It also boasts huge national parks and the stunning Patagonia region for nature lovers — and international airports and a burgeoning foodie scene in the capital city of Santiago.
If you’re really into privacy and need a lot of space, buy this private park — the size of two football fields — on the edge of the Alerce Andino National Park. Included are two fully equipped Geodetic domes and a two-bedroom cabin with solar power, hardwood floors, a deck and an outdoor sauna. Listed as “an ideal place for trekking, bird watching or just relaxing,” this compound is the perfect COVID-19 sanctuary.
Why cram yourself into a tiny New York City walk-up when, for less, you can live like a king in this spacious four-bedroom apartment in Santiago’s chic La Dehesa neighborhood, near the shops of Costanera Norte Avenue? The huge master suite has views of the Andes Mountains, a private bathroom and a walk-in closet. The building has a doorman, a gym and a swimming pool, and the apartment comes with three parking spots.