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

One Of The Smartest Land Purchases You Can Make

Why These Farms In Uruguay Are Such A Smart Purchase

One of the smartest property buys you can make is a property that serves more than one purpose in your overall financial and lifestyle agenda. And there are few investments that do this more efficiently than the Uruguayan land parcel known as the chacra.

In Uruguay, the chacra is a popular way to invest in land… but it also gets you a few other benefits:

  • It gains you a foothold in one of the best countries for international diversification;
  • It can provide a self-sustaining home that’s off-the-grid;
  • A chacra can give you the presence required for Uruguay’s program for residency and second citizenship;
  • Being a Uruguayan property owner is a natural segue into Uruguay’s financial system, with its multiple-currency and high-interest accounts.

Continue reading

A Rental Market Overview Of Medellín

A Rental Market Overview Of Medellín’s Top Neighborhoods

The Latest On Furnished Rentals In Medellín

Last week, I saw a report that’s important for anyone who wants to get into Medellín, Colombia’s lucrative rental market… or anyone who wants to rent a furnished apartment for living in this popular expat destination.

The study analyzed the costs of 350 furnished rental units on the market in Medellín’s most popular sectors. It provides a good source of unbiased data.

So, with this rental data in hand, now is a good time to look at my three favorite areas in the Medellín valley to get a picture of today’s rental market.

Let’s start with the most popular sector in Medellín.

El Poblado: The Beverly Hills Of Colombia

With lush, shady streets, tumbling mountain streams, and excellent residential options, it’s no wonder that El Poblado is Medellín’s most popular area for expats, travelers, and tourists.

El Poblado is green, forested, and uncrowded at its higher elevations, getting more “citified” as you approach the valley floor. The lower parts are walkable, with everything close at hand. El Poblado is the most expensive and exclusive area in the city and is the best place to own a rental property.

The centerpiece of El Poblado is the Zona Rosa, with its restaurants, cafés, clubs, discos, and Continue reading

Why Ecuador's Best Beachfront Property Is Found In Salinas

Why Ecuador’s Best Beachfront Property Is Found In Salinas

A Great Lifestyle With Inexpensive Beachfront

Ecuador’s coast has lots of beautiful, unspoiled, and fairly undeveloped seaside towns. In fact, Ecuador’s undeveloped coast is what draws a lot of people to the country.

But if my agenda were to enjoy resort-style amenities—restaurants, cafés, nightlife, groomed beaches, and an active real estate market— then Salinas is where I’d buy.

I first visited Salinas back in 2002, and have kept an eye on it over the years. Recently, two things changed that have affected the property market:

  • Ecuador’s major coastal earthquake in 2016 actually caused an increase in tourist and rental traffic to Salinas.
  • Salinas—always accessible from the international airport at Guayaquil—now has its own airport with flights to Quito… making it accessible to Ecuador’s other major international airport.

When you come to Salinas, Ecuador, during the North American winter, you’ll find an energetic, bustling Pacific resort city soaking up some of the world’s best weather. As I write this (on Saturday, April 29), Salinas is enjoying a mixture of clouds and sunshine, with high of 83°F (28°C)… a forecast that remains pretty much the same for the next 10 days.

In the real estate market, condo prices a few blocks back from the beach start at around US$65,000… Continue reading

Valencia, Spain: Food, History, And Affordable Property

Valencia, Spain: Food, History, And Affordable Property

Exploring Valencia, Spain

Spain has long been a popular destination for casual visitors and retirees alike. A convivial culture, generally agreeable climate, reasonable cost of living, and superb food are just a few of the reasons for Spain’s perpetual popularity.

But Spain is quite diverse—really more a loosely-knit group of largely autonomous and disparate comunidades more so than a single country. Faced with such diversity, where should you begin your explorations?

One of my favorite cities is Valencia. Although it is Spain’s third largest city, with a population of around 800,000 (double that in the metro area), Valencia feels smaller. It has a more relaxed ambience than either Madrid or Barcelona, and it’s considerably cheaper than those larger cities, as well. But don’t imagine that you have to give up a lot just because Valencia comes with a lower price tag. Not at all.

Valencia lies on the Mediterranean on a stretch known as the Costa del Azahar, or Orange Blossom Coast. It is easily reached either by direct flight, or Continue reading

vineyard los arbolitos

Your Own Vineyard in Argentina’s Los Arbolitos For Under US$50K

Profit From Your Own Wine Vineyard For Less Than US$50K

We’ve been touting yield-generating hard assets, specifically agricultural land, for a little over four years now. In addition to providing investors with cash flow from harvests (in some cases, within nine months after their initial investment) and capital appreciation, productive land also provides you with asset protection and a hedge against inflation.

And with the emergence of turnkey farm operations, individual investors can earn hassle-free yields without a huge capital outlay.

For all of these reasons, turnkey agriculture offerings have become extremely popular investments. Many of our readers have begun to diversify their real estate portfolios into agriculture, investing in everything from fruit trees (mangos, limes, and avocados) to timber (teak, acacia, and eucalyptus).

The question about agriculture I get most frequently is, “What other agriculture investments do you have?”

Like all savvy investors, they want to add another layer of diversification to Continue reading

Beach property that deserve your attention.

The 3 Coastal Property Markets That Deserve Our Attention

Exploring One Step Beyond The World’s Popular Beaches
Plus: Assisted Living In Cuenca, Ecuador Buying Overseas Properties With Your Work-Sponsored 401K

Many who want to buy a home abroad focus in on the world’s beaches… not only for retiring overseas but also for maintaining a part-year or vacation home.

Time and again, there are a number of well-known beaches that seem to grab everyone’s attention. Three that come to mind are Punta del Este, Uruguay; Viña del Mar, Chile; and Santa Marta, Colombia; although there are numerous others.

Today, however, I’d like to go one step beyond these well-known areas, and take a look at some real treasures that are somewhat off—but not too far off—the beaten path.

This is always a good idea when looking for coastal property. In some cases, it’ll save you money… my examples start at US$50k. In others, it will get you away from the traffic and crowds, without sacrificing any of the natural beauty of the area.

Let’s start with Santa Marta, Colombia, and see what lies beyond.

Santa Marta is Colombia’s oldest city, and one of the oldest in the Americas. Located on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, it offers warm temperatures and warm water all year.

The historic center underwent a dramatic restoration over the past 10 years, with the city refurbishing many of its parks, historic buildings, and waterfront areas… which now enjoy a nice park, waterfront cafés, and pleasant walkways.

There are a handful of small beaches in Santa Marta, as well as a cruise ship port.

I’ve been to Santa Marta a number of times and have enjoyed watching its renaissance.

But one step beyond Santa Marta is the village of Taganga… just over the ridge and Continue reading

How To Cash In On Cali, Colombia’s Lucrative Rental Market

A Low Entry Point Into Cali’s Lucrative Rental Market
Plus: Receiving Medicare Abroad, And Pairing Belize With Mexico For Overseas Living

I was out taking photos of Cali, Colombia, and I came across an attractive Italian bakery on a corner in the El Peñón neighborhood. In a provincial style, it had a heavy wooden door standing open and old-fashioned windows opening onto both streets.

The aroma of baking bread drifted through the windows.

Just inside the door there were several large tables in the center of the room piled with a mountain of fresh-baked breads of different types.

Behind the cashier, there were racks of cooling pastries adding to the wonderful smells spilling through the open windows. I picked two warm croissants, ordered a large cappuccino, and sat down at an old-fashioned wooden table overlooking the street.

Through the window, I watched as an old man pulled a donkey cart laden with palms, ferns, and tropical plants for sale… announcing his wares like a town crier as he made his way down the street.

There are many good options for living here, but El Peñón is my favorite of Cali’s neighborhoods. It’s convenient, walkable, and has all of the local amenities that I look for… Continue reading

Making Offshore Investments

How To Take Total Control Of Your Self-Directed IRA

The Best Available Source Of Funds For Making Offshore Investments
Plus: “My 8-Year-Old Students Can Write Better Than You…”

I’ve often made reference to self-directed IRAs, and the fact that you can use them to invest in property overseas… as well as for many other non-traditional investments. I’ve even compared them to self-directed 401Ks.

This is a popular and important topic, and many of you have written with questions about self-directed IRAs. It’s one of our most frequently asked-about topics.

Until now, we’ve never really covered the self-directed IRA in detail… what your options are and how to set things up.

If you’d like to unleash the investment potential of your IRA, Dave Drummond’s article below is a must-read. I’ll let Dave take it from here.

At the end of 2011, U.S. citizens had approximately US$5.5 trillion in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) with just over 40% of the population participating. If you add deferred contribution plans, including 401Ks, the dollar amount climbs to around US$9.7 trillion. Continue reading

property in Medellin, Colombia

Reasons You Should Be Buying Property In Medellin, Colombia

“I Can’t Believe This Place Has Stayed Off The Radar”
Plus: Getting The “Real” Story On Belize

“I can’t believe this place has stayed off the radar,” said my friend Lou… for the third time in as many days. We were having dinner in an open-air French restaurant in Medellín’s Zona Rosa, the city’s upscale dining and shopping area.

Lou lives on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, and over the past 25 years he’s had the highest standards for fine dining of anyone I know. He was surprised that Medellín’s El Poblado made the grade given that the city is still relatively unknown by the mainstream.

But Medellín more than “makes the grade”. In most ways, it sets the standard for world-class city living and does so at a surprisingly low cost of living.

What’s more, real estate prices can start at less than US$54,000 in the Medellín valley and under US$100,000 in Medellín’s most-exclusive and upscale neighborhood.

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I’ve recently returned to Medellín, Colombia, from Mazatlán, Mexico. And returning from an extended absence—along with hosting first-time visitors to the city—always gives me a new appreciation for Medellín.

Here are a few of the items that really struck me again when I returned earlier this month.

The weather is amazing: We were sitting at a sidewalk café this morning on the way home from our exclusive, open-air gym. While enjoying cappuccinos and pastries—in gym shorts and t-shirts—I realized that I could enjoy this outdoor café every single day of the year. It’s never too hot or too cold.

I also enjoy passing mornings and evenings on our balcony overlooking the lush courtyard behind our apartment. With no heat or air conditioning, we can leave the windows open to Continue reading