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Treinta Y Tres, Uruguay: The Ultimate Low-Key Lifestyle

Treinta y Tres

The Best Place To Disappear Abroad

Those of us who write about living overseas tend to focus on the positive. That is, we make our case for living or buying abroad based largely on the advantages of overseas life… rather than the advantages of escaping your previous life.

But let’s face it… some expats simply want to disappear—to spend their days under the radar.

Or, if they don’t want to disappear right now, they want the ability to disappear if they should feel the need to do so.

When looking for an out-of-the-way haven, I have a few preferred criteria… I like a low-profile country, at some distance from the United States, in a low-key city that …

Piriápolis: Uruguay’s Most Intriguing Seashore Town For Expats

uruguay: Lots of people, energy, and bustle in the summer, and solitude in the winter

A Seashore Town Like 1950s America

Piriápolis, is one of Uruguay’s most popular destinations, and has been a high performing property market. It’s a 1950s-style seashore destination, popular with Uruguayans, Argentines, and expats. Increasingly, it’s catching on with Brazilians and Europeans.

Piriápolis was Uruguay’s first seashore resort, founded in 1890; more than 15 years before the founding of world famous Punta del Este. It’s located between Montevideo and Punta del Este, adjacent to the lesser-known Costa del Oro.

Piriápolis seems to be on the ocean, but technically, it’s located on Río de la Plata… the river that separates Uruguay from Buenos Aires. Since the river is 129 miles wide at this point (210 km)—and your visual horizon is only about three miles—it certainly feels like you’re on the Atlantic.

 The bay at Piriápolis, with summertime swimmers
The bay at Piriápolis, with summertime swimmers

Just over an hour from Montevideo, Piriápolis has long been popular for its sandy beaches, calm waters, and attractive seafront.

When I first drove into the town of Piriápolis, it immediately brought back fond childhood memories of summers on the New Jersey shore. The old buildings, seafood restaurants, and people sunbathing or strolling along the boardwalk simply looked like life in the 50s.

With fewer than 9,000 full-time residents in town, Piriápolis never achieved the international fame of Punta del Este, and in fact, its popularity had already been eclipsed by Punta del Este just after the turn of the 20th century.

But that doesn’t mean that Piriápolis is not popular…

How to Live “Like A Local” In Mexico, Uruguay, and Colombia

Live like a local

Most people who move abroad enjoy the familiarity of an existing expat community and seek out destinations with a number of expats already in residence.

But not everyone.

There are a few of us who want to live among the local community, become a part of the local culture, and are happy if we rarely see another American or Canadian expat.

There are a few advantages to living a local lifestyle in a foreign community…

  • The cost of living is usually lower, without the market influence that expat communities often bring. This usually includes properties;
  • The cultural experience is far richer and more authentic;
  • It’s much easier to learn the local language when you’re using it to get by every day;
  • You’ll make friends quickly and easily if you’re one of only a few North Americans in the area, and you’ll enjoy a smoother assimilation.

Property Market In Colonia, Uruguay, Is Ripe With Opportunity

Property Market In Colonia, Uruguay, Is Ripe With Opportunity

Colonia is the most attractive and convenient town in Uruguay. It’s busy all year with a thriving local population as well as travelers from Uruguay’s other cities, Buenos Aires, and around the world. It offers a solid, long-term property and rental market.

Colonia has everything you’ll need for a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle. From fine dining to cheerful sidewalk cafés to all the practical shops and services you’d want to make life convenient.

I’ve always enjoyed walking along the banks of Colonia’s expansive, lazy river, poking around the marina or enjoying the evening sunset. I’ve also spent many an afternoon exploring the cobblestoned streets and alleys in the historic center, while enjoying its elegant restaurants, upscale shops, and 17th-century architecture.

It’s all walkable and less than 30 miles from Buenos Aires by …

Uruguay’s Last Stretch Of Pristine Coastline

Beach in Rocha
Plus: Farming And Teaching English In Italy

July 21, 2015
La Paloma, Uruguay

Property in Uruguay trades in U.S. dollars

Dear Overseas Property Alert Reader,

There’s one affordable section of coastline left in Uruguay that still boasts miles of undeveloped, pristine beaches with fine white sand bordered by deep blue Atlantic waters. There are no high-rises, few developments, and almost no one on the beach. This 100-mile stretch of coastline is in the department of Rocha.

Rocha is the next big thing in Uruguayan beach real estate… and likely the last big thing.

There are a few market forces at work in Rocha.

The first is the need for developable land. During the 11 years since I first explored the area, the path of development has marched relentlessly up the coast, from the posh resort of Punta del Este toward Uruguay’s border with Brazil. Through good times and bad, the financing has continued for new developments and the demand has continued for new vacation homes.

Today, the department of Rocha is the last frontier… although, it’s not undiscovered by developers. The first few high-end developments are underway and …

Beachfront Properties Start At US$85,000 On Uruguay’s Costa de Oro

Beachfront Properties Start At US$85,000 On Uruguay's Costa de Oro

Plus: Property Confiscations And Buying Abroad With Your IRA

Uruguay is a country that’s known throughout the world for its beautiful beaches. Without a doubt, the country’s best value in beach property is Costa de Oro, a 30-mile stretch of shoreline between Montevideo and Punta del Este.

Costa de Oro—which means Gold Coast in Spanish—also contains a couple of Uruguay’s best coastal towns for full-time retirement living. Aside from these livable, shady towns, this coast offers something that most the Atlantic seaboard does not: beautiful sunsets, thanks to the general east-west orientation of its shoreline.

When you add in Uruguay’s world-class private banking sector, its nonintrusive government, its absence from the world’s conflicts, and its warm, Italian-influenced culture, you get a package that’s hard to beat.

Best of all, you can still buy a seafront property here for US$85,000.

Thirty Miles Of Beaches…But Not Far From The Capital

Costa de Oro begins about 22 miles (36 km) from the capital of Montevideo and spans the distance between the rivers Arroyo Pando and Arroyo Solís …

Punta Carretas: The Best Blend Of Lifestyles In Uruguay

From penitentiary to shopping mall, Punta Carretas Shopping is a popular meeting place and historic landmark.

Plus: Banking In Uruguay | Getting Your Money Out Of Ecuador

Uruguay still leads the pack for a large number of overseas property buyers, with good reason. In many ways the Montevideo neighborhood of Punta Carretas exemplifies what brings people to Uruguay and why they stay.

Since 2004, Uruguay’s property market has been one of the world’s best performers. Property values—and Uruguay’s economy as a whole—continued to grow during the Great Recession, and, in 2011, prices in Montevideo rose an amazing 22%.

But then Argentina—Uruguay’s primary source of buyers and rental market customers—put strict currency controls in place, making it very difficult to get U.S. dollars out of the country. To make matters worse, Argentina’s central bank refused to redeem the Argentine pesos that its citizens had spent in Uruguay. Despite dire predictions, the property market in Uruguay refused to die and tacked on another 9% the following year.

Properties aside, Uruguay remains one of the world’s premier offshore havens, with a solid banking system, strong currency, and a business-friendly environment. It’s drawn people from the region for years. Since about 2009, Uruguay has been a virtual magnet for North Americans wanting to establish a presence outside their home country.

Finally, the lifestyle in Uruguay is second to none, with its old-world, European ambiance mixed with a tango-culture romance and some of the world’s friendliest and kindest people.

Punta Carretas lies on a peninsula that juts southward into the sea. The signature Punta Brava lighthouse marks the end of the point and the beginning of a wide, mile-long seafront park (my golden retriever’s favorite feature). Punta Carretas also hosts the nation’s premier golf course, the Club de Golf del Uruguay.

Punta Carretas Shopping is located here, which contains a large, modern grocery store in addition to the mall’s other cafes and upscale (expensive) shops. The mall was originally built in 1915 as a prison and remained so until 1986. It reopened its doors as a high-end mall and historic landmark in 1994.

Things To Consider Buying Property With A Different Currency

Closeup rolled of variety banknote and multi currency around the world

My son is a massive soccer fan. He also lives by numbers.

Every morning, I hand over my phone for 10 minutes so he can check on the latest results and stats from the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and more.

The one stat he always tells me—maybe the only early-morning conversation I get from him—is “win probability.”

He needs to know how it’s looking for his team, Liverpool FC, in their next match. Of course, it’s not enough for him to know this ahead of the game…

As a soccer match is in play, he’ll be checking in on the win probability for as long as it updates—no matter how little time is left to the final whistle… no matter how many goals Liverpool are up.

I understand this kind of number-watching can be comforting. But how important are numbers when everything appears to be going well anyway?

As you approach buying a property overseas, it’s important to ask yourself this…

Especially when it comes to dealing in a foreign currency…

Because that’s where numbers can get really interesting… but also confusing.

You know, of course, that you can gain from your property purchase when there’s a strong currency advantage. But this also has the power to work against you, depending on …

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5 Things You Need To Know About Your Overseas Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent broker with bungalow house in background

“Imagine yourself sitting on this veranda each afternoon,” said my real estate agent, “watching the sun sink into the horizon straight out there. The orientation of this unit couldn’t be better.”

I glanced down at my compass—something I always carry when looking at real estate—and saw we were facing south. That doesn’t bode well for sunsets in the southern hemisphere.

When buying real estate overseas, your primary interface with the market will be the real estate agent. And, while the certification requirements and rules of conduct are fairly rigid in North America, you’ll find a mixed bag overseas.

So it’s best to go into your real estate search with the proper expectations. Here are five ways that I’ve found …