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You can buy a whole Caribbean island for less than some homes in the U.S.

Imagine waking up on this private island every morning?

Whether you’ve been in the market for a new home or not, you know house prices have been soaring in the U.S. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the median home sales price is $428,700, an increase of nearly $60,000 from just a year ago. The mean sale price of homes in the U.S. is even higher: $507,800.

The pandemic began the shift, dropping mortgage rates to the point where many first-time homebuyers entered the market. Our homes became our oasis. But soon after, houses became nearly impossible to find, and with that short supply, demand was at a fever pitch. While recovery began in 2022, increased mortgage rates began to price people out of the market for home ownership. So, what to do if you can’t afford to buy in the U.S? How about purchasing a Caribbean island instead?

Iguana Island

Home prices in the U.S. increased by 30% from 2020 to 2022, and if you didn’t get in when mortgage rates were at an all-time low, you may be wondering when you can own a home of your own. But all it takes is a little imagination (and a job that truly allows you to work from anywhere), and you could own an entire island for the cost of a home.

This private island in the Caribbean Sea is listed for just $475k, and it looks as divine as it sounds. “The 5 acre island has cell service, internet, and TV available with a main house that offers 3 beds & 2 baths,” according to the listing on Instagram. Iguana Island is located just 12 miles off the coast of Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The area is known for its vast array of lakes, volcanoes, and gorgeous sandy beaches.

Just scroll through the pictures and imagine yourself lounging on the colorful porch, taking in the ocean breeze and being surrounded by nature on all sides. This property was even showcased on an episode of the HGTV series “Island Hunters,” geared toward those looking to live life off the grid and maximize adventure.

In terms of the U.S. market, there are obviously big swings in average home prices. You can buy a home in Alabama for $204,965 (48% of the typical U.S. price), while choosing a state like California, you’d be shelling out an average of $816,804. While the uncertainty of inflation and tomorrow’s housing market lingers, perhaps it’s worth exploring options you may not have thought possible.

Of course, with any move of this size, there are a lot of considerations, including access to the mainland for food and resources, unexpected expenses, and weather, but the thought of spending your hard-earned money on an entire island versus a house in America may sound just enticing enough to overcome any potential downsides.

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Julie Scagell
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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