Woman, 32, who couldn’t afford to buy a home in her native New York reveals how she was able to snap up FIVE properties in Europe for a lower price than a SINGLE house in the US

Woman, 32, who couldn’t afford to buy a home in her native New York reveals how she was able to snap up FIVE properties in Europe for a lower price than a SINGLE house in the US


By Rachel Summer Small For Dailymail.Com

19:28 14 Apr 2024, updated 19:28 14 Apr 2024

  • Amy Beihl, 32, is a digital consultant who calls New York City her home
  • She’s long known however that she can’t afford to buy real estate in the city
  • READ MORE: Home prices are red-hot in these nine major US cities

A woman has spoken out about acquiring five stunning vacation properties across Europe instead of blowing all of her savings on a tiny apartment in New York City.

Amy Beihl, 32, is a digital consultant, who insisted that she loves her life in New York, and will remain living there ‘for the foreseeable future,’ as she declared in an essay for Business Insider.

However, she was quick to concede that, barring an unbelievable stroke of luck, such as ‘a lottery win or a giant financial windfall,’ the price range for buying a residence in NYC was ‘cost-prohibitive’ for her, particularly amid the soaring cost of living in the US. 

For now, she’s been renting a one-bedroom, 650-square-foot apartment for $2,850 per month – which is ‘pretty great by New York standards,’ she admitted.

Amy Beihl, 32, is a digital consultant who feels most at home in New York City – but could not realistically actually afford becoming a homeowner in the metropolis
Instead, Amy worked with a real-estate agency called August that facilitated her becoming a part owner of five homes in idyllic European locales – including in Mallorca, Spain (pictured)
Amy had always dreamed of living and working abroad. Pictured is her Mallorca home

But buying anything in her neighborhood of a similar size would set her back close to $1 million.

Back in 2020 and 2021, while quarantining amid the pandemic, Jen was going ‘stir-crazy’ and began obsessively googling real estate in quaint towns across Europe, noticing the many listings going for absurdly cheap.

‘There were hundreds of articles about one-euro houses in tiny villages in Italy, or France, or Spain – and all of these people who jumped at that opportunity and were able to build a house for $10,000 or something,’ Amy recalled.

‘I was like, “Wow, maybe I could do that.”‘

It was through her online research that she discovered August, a ‘vertically integrated real estate group’ that connects those looking for vacation homes to a wide array of options in some of the most beautiful locales in Europe – from Mallorca in Spain to the French Alps to the English countryside. 

In essence, August allows would-be buyers to acquire a percentage of a ‘portfolio’ of five different properties in desirable locations – with other buyers also owning shares of each listing.

Each owner is given ample flexibility to choose what weeks out of the year they wish to spend at the given property.

‘The shorthand I used when explaining it to my friends and family is, “It’s a non-scammy timeshare, because you actually have an equity stake and you have access to the properties that you want,”‘ Amy conveyed. 

Amy continued: ‘The collection I chose is five houses that are in Tuscany, the South of France, the French Alps, the Cotswolds in England, and Mallorca.’

She added that, while she is in the smallest of the three tiers of house size, that still gives her ‘three to four bedrooms per house.’

For her share of all five houses, the buy in was a ‘flat one-time fee’ of €360,000 – which is a little under $390,000. Maintenance and taxes further cost roughly $10,000 annually.

She is now owns 1/21st of a ‘portfolio’ of five different vacation homes – including in Mallorca (pictured), Tuscany, the South of France, the French Alps, and the Cotswolds in England
When she first stepped foot in the Mallorca home (pictured), ‘I was just smiling alone in this house,’ she recalled

READ MORE: Where should YOU buy a home in 2024? The 25 US cities where property values are rising fastest

Amy elaborated of her motivations to buy in to the five houses that she had ‘always toyed or flirted with the idea of living abroad.’

In college at Colgate University, she spent a semester abroad in Stockholm, and had loved the experience.

While she’d had peers who would try and visit as many places as possible while abroad, she recalled that she ‘loved feeling settled and familiar’ in Stockholm, so she’d mostly ‘stayed put.’

‘I really loved that sense of place and home that I felt after being there for just five months,’ she added.

Though she’d looked at job opportunities abroad after graduating, she never came across the right opportunity.

But, during the pandemic, she began reconsidering what was in fact in the realm of possibility for her personally – especially given how many companies started to permit remote work.

‘During the pandemic, when the realities of what work looked like completely shifted for many people, that opened up the possibility. Maybe this is something I could do sooner than I thought,’ Amy wrote.

‘I’ve been very enamored with travel and living abroad potentially, or at least spending a good chunk of time away from my home base. It happened sooner than I ever expected, but it was something that I’ve thought about even since high school.’

Amy went on to explain that she now owns roughly 1/21st of the five-house portfolio, which is split between her and 20 other families.

Amy estimates the portfolio of the five homes she partially owns is worth close to €7 million (a little more than $7.5 million). Pictured is a home similar to hers in the South of France
For all five properties, Amy paid a one-time fee of €360,000 (a little under $390,000), plus $10,000 annually for maintenance and taxes. Pictured is a home similar to hers in Tuscany
‘What I got access to was so much greater than anything I would’ve been able to achieve on my own,’ she said of the price tag. Pictured is a home similar to hers in the French Alps

‘You get that type of familiarity and ties to a place, but you don’t have the hassle of having to have a property manager, or the roof’s leaking but I’m 4,000 miles away,’ she reflected of the set-up.

When it comes to sharing the spaces with so many other families, August has a points system for divvying up time spent in any given house.  

‘Everyone gets the same amount of points, so it’s very egalitarian,’ Amy explained.

‘You get 36 points a year, and each week is weighted differently. Peak summer months are five points, and then shoulder-season weeks are two points. It kind of fluctuates from there.

‘For me, this was also a really attractive point: I have the flexibility of being able to use the lower-point weeks because I don’t have kids in school. Do I want to go for a month in October? I could do that, because I don’t have to worry about someone else’s schedule,’ she highlighted. 

She went on to estimate that the entire value of the property portfolio is probably worth in the range of €7 million (a little more than $7.5 million).

‘I don’t have 7 million euros to buy five properties across Europe. So what I got access to was so much greater than anything I would’ve been able to achieve on my own,’ she emphasized of the benefits.

‘These are established, sought-after locations that will always have an appeal to a certain demographic. So I also felt safe in that regard,’ she added.

Above all, she felt confident that, while New York City was her home, she didn’t feel the need to actually be a homeowner in NYC, nor in the greater tri-state area, for that matter. 

‘Would I move to more suburban New Jersey so I could buy a house? No. I would not make the calculus to move — whether that’s another city, or another state, or a suburb — to buy a house. That’s my reality,’ she said.

At the same time, when she first stepped foot in the Mallorca home, ‘I was just smiling alone in this house,’ she recalled.

‘I was like, “This is so cool. I am standing in this beautiful house that I own. How cool is that? I am here on an island. Who knows if I ever would’ve found my way here otherwise?”

‘It just made me so happy and so proud. It did make me feel proud of the accomplishment and purchasing this.’


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