Why Mazatlan, Mexico, Just Might Be 2018’s Best Property Buy

I’m Betting On This Beach Resort For 2018

This is the time of year at Live and Invest Overseas when we take stock of the best performing markets of the current year and make our predictions for the best performers of the coming year.

For 2018, my money’s on Mazatlán, Mexico.

Yes, it’s true that I already own property here. And, as much as I’d like to tell you that it’s because of my investing prowess, it was really just luck… Continue reading

Rental Properties In Medellin, Colombia

Selecting A Property Manager For Your Overseas Rental

One of the most rewarding things you can do abroad is to manage a rental. I find it enjoyable to get to know an area, pick the property, and outfit it for the rental market.

And managing a rental is also a good source of income… while sometimes also providing that income stream in another currency.

Aside from being a landlord, I’m also a fan of renting a furnished apartment for any extended stay in a foreign country, since it’s the best way to get to know a place. So I’ve got experience as both a landlord and a frequent tenant, allowing me to see both sides of the coin.

Being a landlord is not always fun. But having a good property manager can make your life a lot easier… and having a good contract with your property manager makes your eventual success far more likely.

The property manager is your representative when dealing with your renters… Continue reading

Mazatlán, Mexico

Mazatlán, Mexico: Your New Property In The Path Of Totality

Next Eclipse: Own A Home In The “Path Of Totality”

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t bother traveling to the Path of Totality during the recent 2017 eclipse. It wasn’t worth the travel and traffic jams, on top of the risk of having a cloudy day.

But for the next North American eclipse, I have a ringside seat… I’ll see it from the sun deck on the roof of my apartment in Mazatlán.

That’s because the Path of Totalityfor the eclipse on April 8, 2024 will completely envelop Mazatlán, and nearby Durango.

As you can see below, the path will also cross into Texas and head into the Northeast.

But since the United States will be in its April showers season, there’s a good chance you won’t see anything up there. Continue reading

3 Great Overseas Property Opportunities with Financing

Financing available on these three coastal projects

Financing is the first issue that many people ask about when considering buying a property abroad. It opens the door for a lot of buyers.

In fact, in my experience, financing is the single most important factor in a development’s sales. I’ve seen condos “fly off the shelves” when financing is available, while similar projects in the same area languish when it’s not.

Among those who seek financing, I see three Continue reading

bird's eye view of Coronado Beach with beachfront homes and lush trees

4 Top Countries For Low Risk, Dollar-Based Property Buys

Consider These Dollar-Based Property Markets Abroad

My big “currency awakening” came in Uruguay.

I first visited Uruguay in 2004 and fell in love with its First World environment, honest culture, and super infrastructure. And, at an exchange rate of 34 pesos per U.S. dollar, life there was an amazing bargain.

In fact, I finished my first article on Uruguay with the words “…and best of all, it’s cheaper than Continue reading

Colorful two story hose on an island in Las Isletas, Nicaragua

If You Think Owning An Island Is Impossible…Think Again

Own Your Own Private Island Starting At $60K

The idea of buying any property abroad is exciting. But there’s nothing more exotic, romantic, and exciting than the idea of living on your own private island.

In a way, you’ll feel like a pioneer no matter where you purchase abroad. But on an island—especially a private island—that feeling is amplified tenfold.

For hundreds of years, only the super-wealthy entertained the idea of owning a private island. And in most of the world today, owning a tropical island is still prohibitively expensive for most of us.

Yet there’s still one place left in the Americas today where you can own a private tropical island for less than $60,000…

It’s in a small island group known as Las Isletas, near the colonial city of Granada, Continue reading

Retirement For Boaters

Sail Into Your Retirement: 3 Top Retirement Spots For Boating

My first retirement plan—10 years before I moved to Ecuador—was to spend winters in Arizona and summers living on our 44-foot boat in the Chesapeake Bay. We planned to spend part of the season docked in the small town of Charlestown, Maryland, and the rest of the time cruising up and down the Continue reading

Yes, You Can Retire Overseas and Still Play World-Class Golf

Yes, You Can Retire Overseas and Still Play World-Class Golf

Golf, Beaches, And Good Property Deals

I get a lot of inquiries about golf from people looking for a good place to retire overseas that also gives them a chance to continue to play the game.

And, according to most of these inquiries, I don’t talk about golf often enough.

So this week I’m going to report on two established projects that offer three things: a great place to live and own property, miles of unspoiled beaches, and golf.

Ten Miles Of Unspoiled Beach And A Top-Notch PGA Course 

Estrella del Mar is a huge, 850-acre residential and golf project that sits alone on a stretch of 10 miles of pristine beach… 3.5 miles of which belong to the development. It’s located just south of Mazatlán, Mexico, about 15 minutes from the international airport.

This project is perfect for those who want an undeveloped beach out front and the area’s best golf course out back.

Plus, you’ve got all the amenities of Mazatlán close at hand.

The golf course is a spectacular, 18-hole, Robert Trent Jones championship course, and a host on the Latin America PGA Tour. The course is par 72 (7,015 yards) with six holes running along the ocean. I spoke with Continue reading

Comparing The Best Of Mexico: Puerto Vallarta vs Mazatlán

Puerto Vallarta Versus Mazatlán: Comparing Two Top
Beach Destinations

One of the questions I hear most frequently is why I chose to live in Mazatlán, rather than the better-known Puerto Vallarta. In fact, even here at Live and Invest Overseas, Puerto Vallarta gets more coverage and higher ratings.

So why choose Mazatlán? Let’s compare the two.

In Some Ways, Both Destinations Are Quite Similar

Both Puerto Vallarta (PV) and Mazatlán enjoy choice spots on Mexico’s Pacific coast, with good access to the United States and Canada.

Both cities are longtime tourism destinations, which has both positive and negative consequences. For example, the touristy “Romantic Zone” in Puerto Vallarta is about the least romantic environment I’ve ever seen… similar to Mazatlán’s Golden Zone. Read more on the ups and downs of living in a tourist destination here.

PV and Mazatlán also both offer numerous, varied lifestyle options for the part-year resident, vacation homeowner, or full-time expat. They have good residential property inventories and can be great places to manage a rental.

English is widely spoken in both cities, and both are popular with American and Canadian expats.

The infrastructure is good in both PV and Mazatlán, not only for the practical stuff (water, electricity, cable, internet, etc.), but also with respect to their tourism infrastructure, with restaurants, nightlife, and activities.

The cost of living is close between PV and Mazatlán in the expat areas. The statistical data I found claims Mazatlán to be a bit cheaper, but only by 11% overall. In many categories, they’re too close to call. Mazatlán has a “real” city behind the coastal areas in which you can live very inexpensively. But, since expats almost never live there, I don’t think it’s fair to include those areas in a cost analysis.

Both cities can be very walkable if you settle in the right place—many expats live without a car. And both cities offer tranquil beachfront neighborhoods, which are completely residential and free from the trappings of tourism.

Finally, the cost of living is very low right now in both places, thanks to a U.S. dollar that’s very strong by historic Continue reading

property investments overseas can be affected by exchange rates.

How Exchange Rates Affect Overseas Property Investments

Exchange Rates: More To The Issue Than Meets The Eye
Plus: “… I’m Going To Get You People Shut Down”
You hear a lot of disclaimers about currency risk in the world of overseas property investment. In fact, I often mention here that your property’s price—or your rental income—will vary with current exchange rates.But there’s more to the issue than meets the eye when it comes to foreign exchange rates.

I thought I understood the concepts of currency exchange rates when I first started buying property abroad. But the reality of what they can do only hit home when I experienced a dramatic rise in my cost of living in Uruguay… and a windfall profit when I sold my house in Brazil.

My annual property taxes in Uruguay were about 54,000 pesos. In dollar terms, this amount was US$2250 when I arrived in 2006… and went up to US$2900 in 2011 due to a weakening dollar. Continue reading