Written by Staff Writer at CNN
“We left Sicily — our preferred destination — because of the crime rate and were persuaded by our broker, who thought we’d get 50% more if we went to Italy’s most distant corner of the country,” says a shopper from New York. “She wasn’t totally wrong.”
Such was her reasoning that for every €1,250 ($1,365) she spent on the villa, which she found through a broker, she will have to sell at least 80 units to return to financial health.
“I’ve lost hundreds, but I also have reason to hope, as we’re hoping to sell our house a long way from Sicily in about three years,” she says.
Here, a selection of consumers from CNN Money share tips and stories about how they look for bargains on houses abroad, or on Airbnb.
Basilios 28 Condesa, Rome
Basilios 28 Condesa in Rome, which costs around $575 a night. Credit: FlorentinaCaterita/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
After scouring through listings on Airbnb for a house in Rome, Julie Brickhill and her husband, Ned Whaley, from Glasgow, Scotland, went to a meeting with a potential broker.
“He told us he had a villa to show us; a tiny space in one of Rome’s poorest districts,” Brickhill recalls. “We didn’t think much of it and spent the rest of the night thinking about other places to rent.”
However, when the couple approached a broker again, the broker sold the same small apartment for two months in advance.
“He didn’t tell us that his ‘other’ broker was selling it, so when we went to the meeting, we thought that the villa would be in perfect condition, and within our price range,” she says.
Ultimately, Brickhill says, the house failed to live up to her expectations. She left without realizing that it had multiple issues in relation to its recent property renovation.
Now, Brickhill advises that you check a real estate agent’s references. If they are questionable, do your own research. If you’re unsure, just wait to see if you receive an ‘upgrade.'”It’s all about trust,” Brickhill says.
Bruntona in San Sebastian, Sant’Ambrogio in Spain, costing $108 per person a night. Credit: Dimitris Legakis/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Armenians Nandini and Nagoreksay Ivaniyan , from Athens, first used a building broker after attempting to buy a house in Sant’Ambrogio, in Barcelona. The building was supposedly being refurbished but was never completed.
“We weren’t confident in the broker’s previous work, so we came to the same meeting as Julie and Ned, where we were initially introduced to another broker who came up with a great price point for the villa. Since then, we bought the villa together with about a dozen other Armenians.”
They now live in the house in Sant’Ambrogio.
When purchasing a home on Airbnb, consumers must first decide if they are confident in a “hosted stay” or “guest stay.” Should your goal be to sleep in the house or rent it out as a full time home or guest house?
If you choose to rent out the home on a guest or hosted stay basis, you will be responsible for cleaning the house, as well as any damage to the house or its contents. If you were to fix the damage, then you would need to replace everything that was damaged, including fixtures, carpeting, wallpaper and fixtures. On the other hand, if you are considering a full time home rental, you would only need to replace the fixtures and wall coverings.
But there are ways to cut costs and get as many free services as possible. Most properties on Airbnb are “glamping” packages, where travelers come dressed up for the stay.
Perla, Paraje de Puebla, Mexico
Perla Paraje de Puebla in Mexico is advertised as a luxury home rental. Credit: calmistheby.com/Credit: Calmistheby.com/Courtesy Calmistheby
When Irene Looper and her husband, Steve, from Elkhart, Indiana, bought a home in Colombia, they discovered that one of the house’s owners had been listing it as a hotel room. So when they told the woman about their plans, she offered them the home.
“It has really grown on us,” she says. “It is great for backpacking, for a quick week or two as a holiday home. I’ve been to Colombia so many times, and it is such a great