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Old 25-08-2015, 14:17   #16
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Re: Buying property abroad

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Abandoned hotels on Bimini too, have been for years, I assume they are tangled up in some legal mess or confiscated by the Govt.

...
Abandoned hotels reminded me of someone I know in Belize who owns half a hotel. He of course paid to build an entire hotel, but survey errors surfaced later...and only half the hotel was actually on his land. Oops!
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:24   #17
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Re: Buying property abroad

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Even in the Bahamas, I'd be leery.
On San Salvador Island, there is an old stone big house that was owned by some Hollywood Actor or Actress many years ago, apparently some time ago the Bahamas took it back somehow or another, now it's just ruins, but you can tell it was really something back in the day.
No idea if this is the case here.

In many places you cannot actually get the land Freehold - only Leasehold for a certain amount of time. This is even the case buying property in some places in the UK - you end up with a 99 year lease on the land. At the end of the lease you return the land to the land owner. Usually of course with the property still on it as it is kind of hard to take away.

I guess many of these terminally run down places are places where the lease has run out and the land has reverted back to the original owner which may well be the state.
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:25   #18
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Re: Buying property abroad

I watch some of the Beach Front/Island Living shows on one of the Directv channels. They have shown a few condos in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix <$200K.

I recently saw homes on Dominican Republic that looks surprisingly good for around $200K.They make all the property look good.

We stayed at a nice 2 bedroom villas in Guavabarry, Virgin Gorda, BVI a few years ago. As I recall, they had a couple for sale for around $225K. Great location, great view, friendly people.
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:36   #19
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Re: Buying property abroad

How close to the water do you want to be:

Land for sale in Plot of Land at Aultgrishan, Melvaig, Gairloch IV21, IV21
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Old 25-08-2015, 15:49   #20
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Re: Buying property abroad

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Is there anywhere that a U.S. Citizen can buy an island or water front parcel that is affordable (<200k U.S.) and also a safe investment? ...
Was thinking about the OP's specific question relative to my experiences.

Cases in point:

Over the past decade or so, I've executed contracts to buy a total of 6 water front properties in Central America. All were $200K or less...some much less, one was only $30K. One deal fell thru due to a land dispute which re-surfaced due to the new activity. Fortunately this happened before we closed or I would have lost the entire investment. As it was I took a small loss (deposit). The other 5 completed. Of those, one had title issues surface several years after I bought it and this took many years to resolve, but I did ultimately get principal + interest back, so really no harm done...and I learned a lot.

So, 2 of 6 had issues....and that's even after doing much homework before closing. Those two had very hard to find problems. In one case because the "problem" had never been properly filed so was not in fact in any public records. The other was a difference of opinion which had high potential for being settled by violent conflict so paperwork didn't really matter...exit stage left...quickly.

So ultimately:

Yes, you can find plenty of water front property outside the USA for <$200K. Hint: don't buy from the agents who cater to gringos, spend some time in the area, get to know the locals, and find some better value buys.

Safe investment, maybe. In the end, 1 of 6 (~16%) of my deals lost money. The 1 that lost only lost about 5%, but could have very easily lost 100%, I just got lucky. Of the remaining properties which I have sold or still hold, all have increased in value from about 65% to 100%. So, do this risk/reward analysis and decide whether that is "safe" for you.
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Old 25-08-2015, 16:09   #21
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Re: Buying property abroad

BelizeSailor is spot on. We have also owned several properties in the Caribbean. Although everyone will assure you that "this is a land of law" you better learn how to grease wheels or influence or you will find out how slow things can get. We have been waiting on a new land permit now for 3 years - just for the right to buy property in a country we already own property.

Also, we are always concerned that some new government will just decide to take our land some day.
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Old 25-08-2015, 17:07   #22
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Re: Buying property abroad

We bought a nice home on Nevis and lived there full time for six years. It was a wonderful experience that we wouldn't have traded for anything, but we went into it realizing that home-buying wasn't going to be anything like what we were used to in the States, and that it wasn't a financial investment that would net a profit or even break even, it was a life experience that would end up costing us.

You really need to research all the specifics involved in real estate transactions by a non-citizen for the specific country you're considering. But based on my experience on Nevis, issues may include...

1. foreigners face different rules and bureaucratic treatment than locals
2. long delays getting approval to buy--the bureaucracy feeds on process, paperwork and indifference to your schedule expectations
3. long delays in receiving title to the property
4. very high government fees and legal fees, for both buying and for selling later
5. local lawyers may or may not be trustworthy (ours ended up in jail for stealing buyers' escrow deposits---not ours, thankfully)
6. no recourse for a buyer if there are unseen defects discovered later
7. no reliable home inspectors
8. very expensive homeowners insurance premiums
9. lack of zoning/land use regulation (our neighbors started raising chickens)
10. strange and unpredictable real estate tax assessments
11. when selling, don't expect the buyer to honor the contract, and don't expect an escrow deposit to work for you unless it's held by your agent with an iron-clad escrow agreement
12. When selling expect a long wait for a qualified buyer

In spite of all this, it was a worthwhile experience for us and we were happy with how it all played out.
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Old 28-08-2015, 05:40   #23
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Re: Buying property abroad

Dominica has nice value and is not difficult for foreigners to buy land.


Why can't things remain where i carelessly left them?
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Old 28-08-2015, 08:07   #24
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Re: Buying property abroad

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Originally Posted by hpeer View Post
We bought 168 acres of wood lot with 2,000foot frontage on the Bra dOr lakes (Nova Scotia, Canada) for $58,000 About 10 years ago. VERY steep to over 500 ft. Worth maybe $125,000 now. No restrictions, didn't even ask my citizenship.
I see.... :-) 66,348.14 Euros for 64 acres ( 1 acre = 4046.86 m2)
http://www.capebreton-properties.com...le-tmacn-c.htm

Where I live I'd have to pay for that size 77 Mio. Euros :-)

How you did it technically ? You just went to a lawyer who overtook the paper job for you ? Any sources to read before starting ?
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Old 29-08-2015, 07:54   #25
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Re: Buying property abroad

A couple of other considerations:

Sea frontage, like everywhere else, is generally more expensive. Less expensive water front can be had along rivers & bays. Inland, no water front, can be radically cheaper. In Panama for example, you can pick up beautiful undeveloped land inland for a few dollars per square meter.

Owning entity. Often it works out better to hold real estate (anywhere) in a corporate entity. In most venues this has two advantages. One, it typically (depending on venue) limits liability to the assets of that entity (just the property) thus protecting your personal assets. Two, transfer of ownership can be made much easier by just transferring the shares of the entity to the new owner. Some countries have an onerous probate process which can be circumvented by just transferring shares to your heirs.
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Old 29-08-2015, 08:55   #26
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Re: Buying property abroad

Everything Belizesailor has said is true. I own several properties in Nicaragua. I've never had a problem with buying, selling or other legal issues, but I know many others who have. It's a matter of doing your due diligence, understanding the process, having a great lawyer and staying away from the shysters.

For the benefit of the OP or anyone else who's interested, I have one of the properties for sale. Almost 12 acres, 300 ft of road frontage at the entrance to the three beaches north of San Juan del Sur, great views of Marsella Bay, includes the main house (Spanish colonial look), pool, guest house, garage, caretaker's house, all utilities on site, and loads of fruit trees. Other than living there and enjoying it, the property can be sub-divided into lots, build a resort, or any number of investment ideas. We operated as a B&B for several years while living there. Marsella valley has become a great destination due to the beaches, surfing and now hosts several resorts, and restaurants. This property is the last sizable chunk of land available for development in the area. If anyone is interested, PM me and I'll provide more information and pricing.
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Old 29-08-2015, 09:31   #27
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Re: Buying property abroad

We really like Nicaragua, have travelled extensively there, and have considered buying property there too. I think there is still a lot of upside potential in Nicaragua. Several areas in Nicaragua that would certainly make our short list of potential places to live.

I've travelled in the area near your property and recently returned from a trip to Estelí and tarpon fishing on the Rio San Juan.
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Old 29-08-2015, 09:33   #28
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Re: Buying property abroad

My wife watches those real estate shows on people buying a house in other countries. I'm amazed at how expensive much of it is. Boy am I out of the loop. Half a million might get you a run down place a long way from the water.
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Old 29-08-2015, 12:11   #29
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Re: Buying property abroad

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My wife watches those real estate shows on people buying a house in other countries. I'm amazed at how expensive much of it is. Boy am I out of the loop. Half a million might get you a run down place a long way from the water.
But keep in mind that many of these shows focus on upscale areas catering to gringos (...or at least foreigners). Take Belize for example, a waterfront lot in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye is gonna cost you. By contrast I've owned 3 pieces of land in Belize with navigable waterfront...I paid between $30K and $85K for them. These were not crap pieces of land either...each was in a beautiful location...one with 400' of beach front! They just weren't in a current hot spot for gringos...but gradually they showed up! ;-) $$$.

Yes, if you want to be in the latest American style gated community on the sea then that's gonna cost you. And...the developer is making the money, not you. But there are still good value buys available...finding them just requires more effort.
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Old 29-08-2015, 12:45   #30
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Re: Buying property abroad

d0n-
As I recall, Bermuda won't sell real estate to anyone foreign. Lease it, yes, but no sale. And until recently, gringos and aliens couldn't buy real estate in Mexico within something like 100 miles of the coasts...so it actually is not uncommon to say "No alien property owners!"


As for safe? No, really, can anyone anywhere call it safe to buy waterfront property when global sea levels are rising and that stuff is becoming UNDERwater property all over the world? Between that and heavier storms...I'd think twice about buying anything within Poseidon's reach.


Although the Chinese might make you a good offer in the Spratly Islands...
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