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Web opens door to luxury real estate bargains

Americans find their slice of the good life abroad

Desert oasis in Marrakech? Chateau in Versailles? How about a tropical island all your own? The dream of escaping America has been around as long as, well, the American dream itself. Now, however, with real estate prices at an all-time high and America locked into an endless war on terrorism, the prospect of escape is more appealing than ever. Add to the picture job layoffs and spiraling deficits, and the idea of moving somewhere cheaper makes increasingly good sense. Whether you're an overworked wage slave who can't afford a two-bedroom hovel, or a penny-pinching suburban mom or a glinty-eyed trust-fund baby, it might seem that buying foreign property could solve a host of divergent and sometimes contradictory problems. In countries that disagree with American policies (i.e., most of the globe), for instance, you can feel as if you're no longer condoning American imperialism abroad. In poor nations, your American dollar can allow you to live like royalty. In places where English-s...

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