I purchased a 3 bedroom 2 bath house for $55,000 It also has a maids quarters and a HUGE 1 acre fenced yard filled with fruit trees like avocado, oranges, limes, grapefruit, bananas, plantains, dragon fruit, etc. The original plan was to keep it as a rental but it is not close to my house so I decided to sell it after I spent $5,000 fixing it up. I sold it for $105,000 to a cash buyer.
BTW, it was 4 blocks to the Pacific Ocean.
In Panama there is a 3% capital gains tax and a 2% transfer tax but it only has to be paid on the improvements ( not land) so I paid $2700 in taxes in Panama on the sale.
Holding costs were very low! My average electric bill was $11 per month while I owned the house. And I paid $4 a month for unlimited water. A gardener came once a week to take care of the yard and he was there all day for $30. When I bought the house, I paid $235 for one year of house insurance.
Because I live in Panama full time, I qualify for a Foreign Earned Income Exclusion which means no taxes in the US on income less than $103,000 a year currently. I make sure to keep my income under that threshold to avoid paying taxes in the US.
So, yes you can do real estate investing overseas but you definitely need to know the rules before diving in.