Escaping The United States? - InvestingChannel

Escaping The United States?

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Oh, Canada! 

Spoiler alert: The #2 most popular place in the Americas, outside of the United States, for US homebuyers looking to relocate or buy a vacation home is Canada. 

Yes, Canada. Where housing affordability is at its lowest in 41 years. 

Source: National Bank of Canada

Across Canada, it takes 63.9% of the country’s median income to service the mortgage on a typical home (condo or non-condo). That number climbs past 90% in the country’s two most expensive markets – Toronto and Vancouver. 

Just check out these astronomical numbers in Toronto: 

And Vancouver: 

Looking at non-condo homes only, it takes 98.2% and 121.2% of median income to service a mortgage in Toronto and Vancouver, respectively. To comfortably afford the typical non-condo home in Toronto, you need to make $265,664 CAD. In Vancouver, that number increases to $328,822 CAD. 

That’s a lot of bacon. 

Speaking of Canada, we have a newsletter that focuses solely on the Canadian stock market and economy. It’s called The Bacon. Subscribe to it now – for freehere

And scroll with The Juice to see where else Americans are expressing interest in purchasing a home. Hint: the #1 place is way, way cheaper than Canada and it’s a popular location for digital nomads, retirees, and people just looking to stretch their dollar.

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Escaping The United States?

Key Takeaways:

  • The #1 destination in the Americas for US homebuyers comes as no surprise. 
  • Even as the housing market cools, affordability is still out of reach for large numbers of households. 
  • To make ends meet or to just live more comfortably, some people take seemingly drastic action.  


There’s lots of talk about people leaving expensive states for less expensive ones. Like the popular California to Florida or Texas migration. 

At the same time, an increasing number of people are leaving the United States completely. For example, Portugal is a popular destination for Americans, particularly Californians, thanks to its relatively low cost of living. The number of US citizens residing in Portugal increased 45% in 2021, even as Portugal’s overall population decreased. 

However, not all Americans leave the 50 states for Europe or, say, Asia. Some stay in the Americas. As in, elsewhere in North America. 

The Juice has the data. But first …

Why Move? 

Let’s brainstorm: 

  • You can’t afford to live in the US anymore. You feel like an idiot for not moving someplace where housing and life in general is, relatively speaking, dirt cheap. 
  • You can afford to live in the US, but you can spend a lot less elsewhere. 
  • You’re a digital nomad. You’re mobile. You want experiences, even adventure.
  • You’re about to or already have retired. Here again, it’s all about maximizing/stretching your nest egg. 
  • You prefer the culture and lifestyle someplace else. 
  • You’re over US politics. 

Mexico’s #1

According to housing researcher Point2, Mexico is the top destination for US households looking to make the move or buy a second home elsewhere in the Americas. 

Over the last 12 months, the Mexican destinations with the most US interest were Puerto Vallarta, Tulum and San Miguel.

Retire by the beach. Look cool pounding away on your laptop in Tulum. You know the drill. 

Source: Point2

In terms of increasing search interest, Haiti, Chile, and Aruba saw the largest increase between 2021 and 2022 among Americans researching home buying opportunities abroad. 


The Juice thought it’d be fun to look back at the results of the same study from 2015. 

So Mexico jumped from 4th to 1st. And Puerto Rico – you don’t need a passport to go there – moved from 4th to 3rd. 

And, guess what, you can still score a pretty sweet crib for $300,000 in Puerto Rico’s biggest city, San Juan. 

Source: Zillow

For comparison sake, the same size property in San Francisco starts in the low-to-mid seven figures and increases fast. 

In the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, you’re looking at between $1.2 and $1.5 million. 

In New York’s Westchester County, prices on a home like this start in the high six figures with quite a few properties coming in north of $1 million. 

In the Austin, Texas bedroom community of Round Rock, it’s a bit more affordable with asking prices generally clustering in the $500,000-$750,000 range. 



The Bottom Line: Let’s say you haven’t saved quite enough to retire comfortably in the United States. You fell significantly short of that magic number of $1 million, but you still have a healthy nest egg. It might make sense to go someplace less expensive. Maybe Puerto Rico. Maybe Mexico. Maybe somewhere even cheaper. 

Nationally, it takes a $75,000 salary to be able to comfortably afford the median price home in the US. 

If you’re not one of the lucky ones with a mortgage interest rate under 5% – and maybe less than 4%…

If you’re not in a stable, rent-controlled situation… 

If you’d be rolling in dough if you weren’t for your housing payment…

If you’re house rich but cash poor, your best bet might be to sell and move abroad. If you take this somewhat drastic and potentially culture-shocking plunge, at least you won’t be alone.

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