Steve Ostad: More Americans Finding Lavish Homes in Unexpected Places

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A recent New York Times article highlights the fact that more and more Americans are finding beautiful, exotic, multimillion dollar homes in unexpected places, like Latvia—a trend that appeals to real estate consultant Steve Ostad.

When it comes to the topic of exotic, elegant homes on foreign soil, most American consumers tend to think of a handful of geographic areas in particular. Caribbean islands, the beaches of France, and perhaps even Swiss villas are common selections among affluent Americans seeking vacation homes. Places like the Balkans, meanwhile, are less common—but according to a recent New York Times feature, that trend is beginning to change. The Times feature notes that Latvia is just one of many unexpected places in which wealthy Americans are seeking elegant real estate, a trend that has won the acclaim of many real estate professionals, such as Steve Ostad.

Steve Ostad has helped many wealthy Americans find ideal homes, including both professional athletes and movie stars. The consultant says that this new trend of looking to uncommon destinations is nothing but good news for American investors and consumers. “The fact of the matter is that Americans have long flocked to certain countries for real estate connections, but have completely ignored other destinations,” comments Steve Ostad. “The truth is that many of these off-the-beaten-path nations, like Latvia, have beautiful properties available. Why would an American buyer not consider all the possible options?”

Ostad says that he is encouraging more and more of his clients to look for homes and vacation properties in places like Latvia, as well as in North African and Asian locales. The Times article, he says, is helpful in illuminating just some of the treasures that can be found in these oft-unexplored markets.

The article specifically highlights a piece of property known locally as Kuksu Manor. The property encompasses 17 acres, and the home built on it has 95 rooms. The home was erected before 1530 but has been extensively renovated in the meantime. The going price, according to the Times report, is $2.8 million.

Of course, there are numerous other options in Latvia and elsewhere, and the Times reports that many of these foreign real estate markets are actually very strong. Latvia’s market has been relatively stable since 2010, and in many areas the real estate industry has actually improved. Steve Ostad says these areas are ideal simply because they provide such rich alternatives for American buyers. “There are apartments in some of these areas that are just exquisite, luxurious, and exotic,” he enthuses. “Americans who are looking to buy a nice home overseas, or simply get a good investment property, will be amazed at some of the options that can be found, often in the places where they’re least expected.”

Ostad concludes by advising American buyers to “explore all possible, global options” before purchasing a lavish new home.


Steve Ostad is a real estate consultant based in the New York area, but well-versed in real estate markets throughout the world. He specializes in helping individuals and corporations alike find foreign properties to meet their needs. His clients include large companies, professional athletes, and celebrities. Ostad has worked in real estate for more than a decade.

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Michael McGarety
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