Lynn Mulvihill

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 …

You Must Read This Before You Sell Your Rental Property

A small house with a nice green yard for sale.

When To Sell And Reinvest

“When should I sell a rental property?” is a popular question among readers.

For most people, the answer depends on the situation…

Of course, if you need the capital from the property for something like a medical emergency, the answer is easy.

But if you’re looking to reinvest the capital, there’s more to consider.

Taking the pure investment approach and ignoring diversification considerations, you start with the math. You need to …

10 Questions You Must Ask Before Buying Property Overseas

Modern villa with pool and garden

They must have looked so alluring on paper…

Luxury villas next to the golf course at Quinta do Lago—one of the Algarve’s premier resorts… each with two full-size swimming pools (one on the rooftop) and a home cinema system and bar for entertaining guests…

Several years on since buyers paid seven-figure down payments, the unfinished villas at “The Keys” sit abandoned… scaffolding scattered about the grounds, stagnant rainwater filling up the swimming pools. The developers of this 72-property project went out of business after a local bank pulled its backing. Buyers are now battling to get their down payments (in the region of US$3 million) back, plus compensation.

The story made U.K. headlines—mainly because a number of its buyers were well-known British TV celebrities.

But, foreign property buyers get burned all the time…

We don’t all have millions of dollars to lose. But it hurts just as much when you lose a few thousand… or …

How To Recognize A Good Real Estate Buy In Paris

Rooftops of Paris with view of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre and the Trinity Church

In an episode of This American Life recorded back in 2000, writer David Sedaris takes host Ira Glass on a tour of Paris—his adopted home.

Here’s how Glass introduces Sedaris…

“Two years ago, at the age of 41, barely speaking French, David Sedaris moved to Paris. He had no special feelings about France, no particular interest in the French. It would be the same if it’s Korea, he said to me, a sentence that, I think, if the French ever heard that he said it, they would deport him.”

The deeply cynical Sedaris also made a pact with himself to avoid all the usual tourist traps in the city. In pre-smoking-ban France, he says of the Louvre…

“Why come to Paris and go to the one place where you’re not allowed to smoke? As a matter of fact, it’s my goal to be the only …

Regain Your Privacy: Top 5 Countries For Off-Grid Living

A beautiful beach in Malta

Over a decade ago, when my husband and I bought our home in Waterford, Ireland, we never gave much thought to privacy.

That all changed one day when I noticed a camera in my neighbor’s front window… pointed in the direction of our house. (Our house fronts face each other; our front doors are just 30 feet apart.)

Cameras on private homes are not common in Ireland… particularly in a small town like ours. I almost didn’t notice this one—it’s no bigger than a standard doorbell—so it may, in fact, have been active much longer.

I don’t dispute my neighbor’s right to security. He’s out of town Monday to Friday, so he needs to keep watch over the place.

But every time I walk out my front door to get in the car… or my son has to chase his soccer ball up this guy’s driveway… I can’t help but wonder if we’re being picked up.

Suddenly, privacy has become one of my top criteria in looking for my next property.

But, of course, this isn’t purely driven by my neighbor’s camera—or the three …

The Easy Life In Boca Chica, Southwestern Panama

Boat Beach Playa Boca Chica

Ocean Hideaways In Panama From US$53,500

“Could you really disappear… and never get caught by the KGB… or FBI?”

I’d paused an episode of The Americans to get my husband’s thoughts….

“Well, that’s the 80s,” he reminded me. “I’d say it was possible then… and even into the late 90s.”

A different time, for sure…

Whatever hope you had of escaping Stan Beeman and his buddies back then, I’m not confident of your chances in this digital era. (We’ve come a long way from that clunky mail-delivering robot at FBI HQ.)

Fortunately, few of us have reason to run for our lives in a dramatic way. Still, many of us welcome the opportunity to escape to a quieter place from time to time…

If going off the radar is your dream for your new property overseas, then you’ll appreciate today’s destination…

It’s in Panama… but away from the bright lights of uber-modern Panama City. Not far from …

The Best Places To Move To In Mexico For Expats

Sunset in San Miguel De Allende, Guanajuato Mexico

5 Top Markets For Expats In Mexico

Over the past four decades, Americans have voted Mexico the world’s #1 place to live or retire in the way that really counts: They’ve packed up and moved there. This country is home to more American expats and retirees than any other—
at least 1 million and as many as 2 million, depending on the survey.

Americans looking to start a new life in a new country primarily seek three things: warm weather, beautiful beaches, and a low cost of living. Mexico delivers in all three categories.

While the living is not as cheap as it was in the 1970s when Americans first began migrating south in volume, Mexico is a bargain on the global scale. Thanks to the U.S. dollar’s strength against the peso in the last few years, the cost of living appeals to retirees on a budget. In some parts of the country, this translates to super real estate deals, too.

The other big attraction of Mexico is its convenience. Depending on where you choose to call home in this diverse country, you could drive down from your U.S. base. This makes it attractive to expats who want to keep up regular links with family and friends—or even a business—back home.

Possibly the greatest challenge with Mexico is finding the right place to go. When you can choose from Pacific or …

Revealing The Best Place To Live In Ireland

Waterford, Ireland. Panoramic view of a cityscape at night

It’s Official… This Is The Best Place To Live In Ireland

Over the summer, 470 places across the island competed for the title of “Best Place To Live In Ireland.”

The winner, announced by The Irish Times this week, is…

Drumroll, please…

My hometown of Waterford City… on the country’s southeast coast.

Waterford City, Ireland

Founded by the Vikings in 914, Waterford is Ireland’s oldest city. Later falling to Norman hands, it has …

Discover A Laid-Back Life In Argentina, The Perfect Expat Haven

Grass against flowing river during summer season in Cordoba, Argentina

Could This Be The Most “Chill” Place In South America?

From dental appointments to haircuts to passport renewals for the kids, I let a lot slide over the past 18 months.

But procrastination time is over…

This week we got a note about a school trip to Barcelona. It was just the trigger I needed. The pandemic cloud lifted. And, later today, we’ll be off to get new mugshots to send to the passport office. Not just so my eldest son can go on his school tour, but so we can take a long overdue family trip next year.

Influenced by meme culture, the kids are tossing around ideas about Japan and Russia. But, if I could choose anywhere in …

Investing In Truffles And Cashing In On The Demand For This Luxury Food

A piglet laying over green gras with black truffles

What Hollywood Doesn’t Tell You About Pigs (And Profits)

“Who has my pig?”

These words are uttered by desperate Oregon recluse Rob, played by Nicolas Cage, in the recently released movie Pig.

“Hmmm… a lost pig,” you may think. “Can that be a movie? I mean, a movie for adults?”

Yes, indeed. Especially when the animal in question is a truffle-hunting pig… worth some US$25,000. (Of course, it goes much deeper than that for the owner.)

Here’s what Hollywood doesn’t tell you though…

Pigs were traditionally used to hunt down truffles. But more plantations these days employ specially trained dogs to do the work. Really, pigs are better at sniffing out this luxury tuber, but they’re also more likely to gobble their newly found treasure…

What’s more, if you’re a truffle farmer in Italy, you can’t just release Babe on a quick sniffing mission. Because pigs …