Extreme Real Estate Investing

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you had craploads of money to burn? While I don’t see myself swimming in moolah anytime soon, it’s fun to dream. It’s like the three wishes thing. Of course, you’d spend your first wish on more wishes. If I had a fortune to my name, I would make sure that it never runs out, so I’d have to invest well. And then when I finally had plenty of leftover money, I’d start investing in real estate all over the world because that’s how I’d choose to indulge myself — through travel and homeownership.

Traveling and nesting. What can I say? I’ve always been self-contradictory. At least I think my preference is practical and enriching. My husband would probably start collecting classic and luxury cars. My daughter would buy all the Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony, and Shopkins toys in the world. My two sons… well, they go crazy over sticks, electric cords, and other dangerous items, so they’ll probably buy a knife factory or a pet orca.

In any case, I already know the locations I’d choose and the kind of dwelling I want for each one.

1. A Greenwich Village apartment — As a kid, I always envisioned myself living as a writer in New York. I never got around to doing that, so it would be awesome to be able to go there at least once a year and pretend I’m living my childhood dream.

2. A Paris apartment — I dreamed of studying in France and being wooed by a French man. That dream went out the window when I didn’t get along with the ones I got to meet in college here at home. My minor was French, so I got some honest-to-goodness French lecturers. They were hot, too, but they were unfortunately also grade A A-holes, so I ditched the idea, but did start dating a guy whose last name was French even if he wasn’t. Married him, too, so our family name will fit right in when we acquire our Parisian appartement.

3. A house in Provence — We can all blame Peter Mayle.

4. A cabin in Alaska — Honestly? I probably contemplate moving to Alaska at least once a month. I know many places are urbanized, but it’s still pretty much the last frontier, and it would be thrilling to pretend to be pioneers. Well, the 21st century kind with planes, cellphones, Internet, etc.

5. A mountain cabin in Colorado — I think I’m under the impression that I can do winter sports, so this made it to my list. In any case, it would be all cozy and Christmas card-ly.

6. A cottage in Cape Cod or Nantucket — Actually, any New England coastal town. Shoulder seasons would be awesome here.

7. A beach shack in the Caribbean or in the Pacific — There was a time in my life when I was all about the water and being a beach bum. I still get those moods, so it’s good to have a beach house to go to when they strike.

8. A villa in Santander — I lived here for a time as a student at the Universidad de Cantabria, and I loved it. It’s so safe, pretty, and quaint despite being a thriving city.

9. An apartment in Zurich — I saw Sam Brown’s Passport to Europe episode featuring this city, and I just fell in love. It’s in my bucket list to drink hot chocolate at the Café Schober, but I understand it’s closed since? Bummer.

10. A country cottage in New Zealand — I don’t really know much about New Zealand, except impressions I got from Essie Summers’ books and pictures shared by my Kiwi friends on social media, but I’m sold. I don’t need to see Lord of the Rings or whatever. Not my thing.

Why am I stopping at 10? If I were so rich, I’d just keep on acquiring homes all over the world. I could buy a house in Dubai for kicks. It wouldn’t make a dent on my imaginary fortune. Who the heck puts a limit on dreaming? Not me.

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