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

Check These 13 Important Items Before Buying Abroad

Plus: A 50% Pension Tax In Colombia?

Jan. 27, 2015
Montevideo, Uruguay

Dear Overseas Property Alert Reader,

I’ve bought a number of overseas properties—both for personal use and as investments—and I find that evaluation of a potential property always comes back to a few simple basics. It’s a safe and secure process when you follow the rules and use the same good sense that you’d use in your home country.

For Any Property You’re Considering, First Look At These General Items

Location: As anyone in the real estate business will tell you, location is paramount. You can fix almost anything else with enough time and money, but you can’t fix the location. Make sure it’s either good or that you have a strong reason to believe it’s on its way to becoming good.

In addition to the neighborhood, also consider the distance to the airport and to good medical facilities.

Walkability and public transit: Where this applies, it’s crucial when it comes to resale or renting your property for income. The ability to walk to stores, restaurants, and administrative services will make your own life convenient—if you’re using the property—as well as that of your renters. If your property is not walkable, you may be requiring your buyer or renter to have a car… which is a big factor in a foreign country.

If a city property is not completely walkable, being near convenient public transit is the next-best alternative. Of course, walkability doesn’t apply in remote properties that are intended to “get away from it all.” Continue reading

Why we hate gated communities…or do we?

March 25, 2014
Medellín, Colombia

Dear Overseas Property Alert Reader,

“No gringo communities for me… I’m going to be part of the local culture.”

“I’m not the gated community type of person…”

Every year, I speak with hundreds of potential expats at events, and I get thousands of emails from people considering moving abroad. Most say that they would never consider living in a gated community overseas…especially an expat-oriented one.

Their arguments are good ones…and almost always the same. Because when we consider moving abroad, much of the appeal has nothing to do with practical issues…the allure of overseas living has more to do with adventure, excitement, and a rich cultural experience.

And the best way to get that experience is to be part of the local culture…not part of a North American enclave.

So the vast majority of potential expats—probably over 90%—say the same thing: they would not consider a planned community favored by North Americans. Continue reading