It’s no secret that California features high-dollar real estate. In essence, you have to spend more to buy less space than you can get in other areas of the world — which might be worth it to those who dream of living in the Golden State. But what about Americans who are tired of overpriced real estate and want to get more value for their dollar?
To find countries where your money goes much further, GOBankingRates calculated what you can get around the world based on the current median price per square foot — $318 — for any residence in California. The results show the incredible extent to which you can upgrade elsewhere for the price of a California home.
19. Chile: 2 Homes
- Price per square foot: $175.90
Choosing to settle in this primarily Spanish-speaking, South American country over the Golden State can net you two homes for the price of one. For the cost of a single square foot in California, you can score 1.81 square feet of Chilean abode — and it’s one of the countries where home prices are getting even cheaper. If you’re uncertain about where to live, you could choose to buy property near Chile’s capital, Santiago, in the middle third of the country.
18. Thailand: 2 Homes
- Price per square foot: $166.98
You can stretch your dollars further in this Southeast Asian country where Thai is the official language. For every square foot of California home you can purchase, you’ll be able to get 1.9 square feet in Thailand. Although the most concentrated population density is in and around the capital city of Bangkok, other major urban centers include Chiang Mai and Samut Prakan. As an added incentive, Thailand is also one of the countries where people pay less in taxes than Americans.
17. Portugal: 2 Homes
- Price per square foot: $152.33
Homebuyers interested in twice the bang for their buck might want to consider relocating to the Iberian Peninsula. You can get 2.09 square feet in Portugal for the price of a single square foot in California. Popular places to live in Portugal are located mostly along the Atlantic coast, including the capital city of Lisbon and the country’s second-largest city, Porto.
16. Argentina: 2 Homes
- Price per square foot: $145.17
This South American country positioned between Chile and Uruguay offers homebuyers the equivalent of two homes to California’s one. More specifically, you can get 2.19 square feet in Argentina for every square foot you buy in a California residence.
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15. Poland: 2 Homes
- Price per square foot: $138.82
In this central European country, you’ll find some of the cheapest homes in the world. That means you can get 2.29 square feet in Poland for every square foot you purchase in California, which equates to more than twice the value.
14. Greece: 2 Homes
- Price per square foot: $133.53
Greece, which is home to Mount Olympus and located in southern Europe, offers prospective homebuyers the chance to purchase two homes for the price of one in California. To be exact, 1 square foot in California equals 2.38 square feet in Greece — it’s one of the best countries to own investment property.
13. Hungary: 2.5 Homes
- Price per square foot: $124.14
Hungary — a country that’s similar in size to the state of Indiana — is where you’ll find some of the cheapest homes in Europe. You can get more than 2.5 times the value per square foot compared to what’s available in California. Hungary’s population is evenly distributed throughout the country, except for larger populations in urban areas.
12. Brazil: 2.5 Homes
- Price per square foot: $122.63
In Brazil, where the official language is Portuguese, homebuyers will find more value per square foot. A single square foot in California equates to 2.59 square feet in a Brazilian home. It’s also one of the countries where your Social Security check goes furthest, which might be particularly appealing to soon-to-be retirees.
11. Malaysia: 3 Homes
- Price per square foot: $113.26
Make a move to this Southeast Asian country and you’ll get extra value per square foot. For what you’ll spend on 1 square foot in a California home, you can snag 2.81 square feet in Malaysia. The population is unevenly distributed throughout the county, with over 80 percent of residents living on the Malay Peninsula.
10. Colombia: 3 Homes
- Price per square foot: $96.59
Colombia ranks among the top 10 countries that provide more value for your money in real estate — and it’s also a travel hot spot where your dollar goes furthest. Colombia allows homebuyers to enjoy 3.29 square feet of living space for every square foot offered in California. The most heavily populated urban areas in this South American country include the capital city of Bogota as well as Medellin, Cali and Cartagena.
9. Peru: 3 Homes
- Price per square foot: $95.27
A square foot in California is worth 3.34 times the same amount of living space in Peru, which means you can splurge on three Peruvian homes for the price of one in the Golden State. Peru — a country that’s almost twice the size of the state of Texas — is home to more than 31 million people.
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8. Algeria: 4 Homes
- Price per square foot: $83.89
If you really want to maximize your dollar, consider buying a home in Algeria. This North African country, in which Arabic is the official language, offers homebuyers 3.79 square feet for the cost of just 1 square foot in California. Most of the population resides in the northern area of the country, along the Mediterranean coast.
7. Bulgaria: 4 Homes
- Price per square foot: $73.71
Even if this country in southeastern Europe isn’t your first choice of locales, buying a home in Bulgaria becomes more appealing when you realize how much square footage you can get. Bulgaria, which is one of the best countries for rich people, offers 4.31 square feet in comparison to the single square foot you can buy in California for the same price.
6. Mexico: 4 Homes
- Price per square foot: $71.16
Choosing to live south of the U.S. border can score you 4.47 square feet compared to what it costs for each square foot in California — coincidentally, Mexico is one of the cheapest countries to retire in. Most people reside between the states of Jalisco and Veracruz in the middle of the country, and about 25 percent of the population lives in or near the capital, Mexico City.
5. South Africa: 5 Homes
- Price per square foot: $69.56
This nation ranks among the top five countries offering the most affordable homes compared to those in California. For the cost of 1 square foot in a California home, you can get 4.57 square feet in South Africa. Population centers in the country occur along the southern and southeastern coastlines as well as further inland near Pretoria.
4. India: 5 Homes
- Price per square foot: $64.57
India ranks highly on GOBankingRates’ list of countries with the most affordable real estate. In this nation bordered by the Arabian Sea in southern Asia, homebuyers can get a much greater value per square foot than in California — 4.92 times as much, to be exact.
3. Turkey: 6 Homes
- Price per square foot: $53.56
Get even more bang for your buck if you buy a home in Turkey instead of the Golden State — it’s one of the top countries to own investment property in. For every square foot you can afford as a California homebuyer, you’ll be able to purchase 5.94 square feet in this Middle Eastern country. Turkey, which is slightly larger than Texas, is home to over 81 million people.
2. Ukraine: 6 Homes
- Price per square foot: $52.49
In this country located in Eastern Europe, homebuyers can score more than six times the value per square foot of what they can get in California. Ukraine is home to over 43 million people who enjoy lower rates of taxation in their home country.
1. Cuba: 19 Homes
- Price per square foot: $17.10
Cuba tops GOBankingRates’ list — and for good reason. Not only is the price per square foot in this Caribbean country a mere fraction of the price offered in other countries, but a square foot in Cuba is also more than 18 times cheaper than a square foot in California.
Click through to find out how much home you can buy for $300,000 in your state.
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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined what you can get for the price of a California home based on the current median price per square foot for any residence in the state of California, sourced from Zillow, which is $318 as of November 2018. Numbeo was sourced for international prices per square feet, using the prices “outside of city center” because they are comparable to state-level housing prices in the United States.