Author Topic: Any Good Resources For Foreign Real Estate Investing?  (Read 1205 times)

Bert The Turtle

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 18
  • Location: Upstate NY
Any Good Resources For Foreign Real Estate Investing?
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:05:52 AM »
Greetings all, I'm hoping that folks on this board might have some good suggestions on where I can read up about buying rental/residential property in South America?  I did a quick search of the forums here and didn't really see a thread addressing my particular questions about this topic.

A little background first:  DW and I were discussing the option of land lording the other day and she brought up the idea of buying a place in Colombia (we're currently living in rural NY).  She's a Colombian national who grew up in Bogota and most of her family is still down there, so it's not as random a suggesting as it might otherwise have been :).  Managing a rental property in our current location is less desirable since the property taxes here are pretty high, so we don't have much desire to get into that right now.

We discussed a couple of options:

1. Buy an apartment in Medellin and rent it out permanently.  This would be primarily an income stream strategy and would involve finding a rental management company down there who can take care of the details (e.g., finding tenants, responding to problems, collecting rent, etc).  It would also be a potential location for us to FIRE to eventually.

2. Buy an apartment/condo in Santa Marta and rent it out as a vacation property.  The income stream would be less stable, but we'd be able to use it ourselves when we go back to visit.  We'd still need to find a property manager.  This might also be a FIRE location for us, but it's a bit more of a tourist spot, so I'm not quite as keen on it for a long term residence.

Our initial internet searches came up with several listicles like "Top 10 Reasons to Invest in Overseas Real Estate," but nothing particularly useful from an actual practical details perspective.  Things like getting searching for properties, financing, property managers, tax implications, pitfalls, etc.

DW has family members who own investment properties down there, and we'll definitely tap them for info, but I'd like to get alternate perspectives before making any sorts of decisions.  Does anyone have any experience in South American/Colombian real estate?  Or failing that, do folks know of any websites or books that might be useful for us?

Thanks!

iamlindoro

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
    • The Earth Awaits
Re: Any Good Resources For Foreign Real Estate Investing?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2015, 02:17:50 PM »
Mostly responding to follow, as I am interested in potentially RE'ing in Columbia, or at least trying it out for a few months once we're FI.

I think people like you, your spouse, and myself are very common.  There seem to be a LOT of American retirees in Medellin.  If it were me considering RE investment there, I would be marketing the property to American retiree tenants.  Capitalize on the fact that you are in the US by making English speaking landlord with Columbian connections, easy US bank transfers of rent, and anything else you can think of "features" of the apartment.  In return you get a tenant who likely has long-term occupancy in mind, and a steady source of income in dollars.

This will likely mean purchasing something with first-world amenities, but that's likely something you want for the long term anyway.

Very interested to hear how this goes for you.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2015, 02:19:42 PM by iamlindoro »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28234
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Any Good Resources For Foreign Real Estate Investing?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 12:53:53 PM »
Talk with the real estate agents there as well as local lawyers.

There's a lot of legal legwork I'd want figured out before I even thought about evaluating properties.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.