|Small house in Bhutan|
We've just started a new internet promotion, courtesy of our still living-at-home university student daughter who qualifies for a special rate. It's a win, win situation. Part of the deal includes HGTV, otherwise known as Home and Garden TV. On this channel there are many, many House Hunter programs filmed all over the world, ranging from tiny off grid houses on a remote island to luxury mansions in exotic locations.
It's all a bit staged and I have read that the couple or family on the program has already purchased a home and two more are added to the mix to make a show featuring three different properties. I am certain realtors cooperate as the publicity would no doubt help sell the other properties. You get to see what's available and a quick look at the different areas. The results can be interesting. Some couples seem to have granite countertops as their main priority.
Recently, a family was looking for a home in Lusaka, Zambia. I happen to have been there so that made it especially interesting. I stayed with the relative of a relative in a gated home complete with a rifle toting local employee patrolling the grounds even though it was in the embassy part of town. When I thought of going for a walk, I was advised 'better not.' Accompanying our hostess on a routine shopping trip meant tipping a parking lot attendant to ensure her vehicle wouldn't be stolen. I've seen this in Mexico as well. Safety is important to most.
The couple looked at a basic, somewhat grungy home in Lusaka which was priced at $1200 USD. Going way out of Lusaka to a neighbouring town a home with unreliable electricity and water (but a back-up well) was more appealing to them at $500 a month rent. Yet on the tropical island of Roatan, a destination for cruise ships and expats in the Caribbean, off the coat of Honduras, a much better home was available for $700 and included waterfront.
|This Roatan vacation rental is $1000 a month|
I've seen families in Bhutan who could rent a basic (almost primitive) house for $50 a month and American style homes in Papua, New Guinea for $5000 USD monthly. Western Europe is uniformly expensive but it is possible to rent an apartment in Tirana, Albania for $500 a month.
You might have a mental image of some of these places. I certainly did as far as Papua, New Guinea and Manaus, Brazil were concerned. Let's just say my image did not at all fit the reality. Prepare to have your assumptions challenged. Spend a few months on the ground to find out if you can put up with or preferably enjoy the differences, both the culture and accommodation. Or maybe you just shrug your shoulders and exclaim, 'It'll be an adventure!'.
It's sure to make you think about what you're paying at home.