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Old 23-08-2015, 18:36   #1
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Buying property abroad

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? This most likely isn't something that I'll do tomorrow but it would be interesting to start looking into. I look forward to here some of your recommendations!


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Old 23-08-2015, 18:37   #2
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Re: Buying property abroad

Louisiana?
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Old 23-08-2015, 18:43   #3
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Re: Buying property abroad

... hmm, if I read " ... buying property abroad ... " by " ... a U.S. Citizen" I would think the OP is looking for something outside the US. ;-)

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Old 23-08-2015, 18:43   #4
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Re: Buying property abroad

There is an Island shopping version of House Hunters on HGTV, perhaps they could help. It surprised me how cheap you could get an island some places.
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Old 23-08-2015, 18:46   #5
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Re: Buying property abroad

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Originally Posted by CarstenWL View Post
... hmm, if I read " ... buying property abroad ... " by " ... a U.S. Citizen" I would think the OP is looking for something outside the US. ;-)

Carsten

My suggestion was most certainly outside of the US
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Old 23-08-2015, 18:59   #6
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Re: Buying property abroad

Definitely outside!


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Old 23-08-2015, 21:23   #7
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Re: Buying property abroad

Anywhere with a bunch of islands will likely sell you one. Wether it is a good investment or not who knows. But be forewarned in most places, even in the US, islands won't have utilities run to them and doing so could be incredibly expensive.

No idea how comprehensive it is, but take a look at Islands for Sale Worldwide - Private Islands Online
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Old 24-08-2015, 07:24   #8
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Re: Buying property abroad

There are very few places around the world where they will refuse to sell you real estate (waterfront, an island, whatever) if you have the money--regardless of what your citizenship might be.

Your budget may be an issue. For less than $200k, in any desirable location, you probably won't get more than a very small, waterfront condo.

My advice would be to pick a few potential locations and start doing web searches for real estate companies. You are sure to find a lot of information.

Whether something is a good investment can only be determined after a lot of research and a consideration of your personal investment objectives. If, by "safe," you are talking about physical security of the area, I suggest checking the State Department and/or CIA websites; they both have information about how safe various countries are.

Good luck.
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Old 24-08-2015, 07:39   #9
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Re: Buying property abroad

I've bought & sold real estate in several Central American countries. A few considerations:

Re risk. Outside of most developed countries your risk is certainly higher. Belize for example has a very screwed up Lands department. Their record keeping system is full of inaccuracies and missing filings. Thus you can never be 100% certain about the true status of any piece of land. Throughout Central America, crooked attornies are common and the one your hire to help you may end up owning your land. So, as with any investment, never invest more than you can afford to lose and do your homework. I know loads of humorous to tragic stories about real estate boondoggles in Central America. Google "Wild Bill Bocas del Toro" for an extreme example.

Lack of Regulation. Adding to risk is that the real estate markets in less developed countries are much less regulated. This creates fertile ground for errors and scam artists.

Chose the right market. The question I ask myself is "where are the gringos going next?". Gringos come in, don't do their homework, pay too much for real estate and drive the prices up. If you can buy early in this cycle, and not lose the land, then it can pay off nicely (I've doubled my money several times doing this).

Bogus Info. Don't trust "infomercial" sources like "International Living"...these are just thinly vieled marketting entities. Get your info from trustworthy people on the ground in the venue that interests you...not some infomercial site. Also don't rely on well intentioned but poorly informed gringos...hire competent pros.

Complete all paperwork and then verify it has been processed properly. I know several gringos who've lost land because they did not finish up the paperwork process or because the processing was never properly completed (either by their attorney or by bungling officials). Always verify after the process is supposedly complete. Conversely, verify the Seller actually legally owns the land you are buying.

...
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Old 24-08-2015, 07:41   #10
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Re: Buying property abroad

Malayasia. They even have a MMSH program with benefits.....(Malaysia My Second Home)

Vietnam...love it but all land belongs to the "Peoples Committee"....Thailand has land ownership issues too, but with a good law firm, there are ways to get around them without having to marry a "lub you long" time local.:big grin:

Philippines, same deal.....no land for foreigners.

So beachfront villas and condos seem to be the way go in many places.
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Old 24-08-2015, 16:32   #11
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Re: Buying property abroad

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Louisiana?
Ha, local humor...not sure everyone will get that. I grew up in the Miss-Lou region so I do. ;-)

I bet islands around Barataria go pretty cheap these days.
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Old 24-08-2015, 18:43   #12
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Re: Buying property abroad

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.
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Old 25-08-2015, 05:56   #13
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Re: Buying property abroad

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... No restrictions, didn't even ask my citizenship.
Varies of course by country, but many allow non citizens to buy land. However, restrictions regarding non-citizens buying land are fairly common along national borders and/or navigable water ways.

Another consideration is that there is nothing like a purchase by a foreign owner to bring those with a grievance or claim, bogus or valid, out of the wood work. Have seen that happen many times and even had it happen to me once.
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Old 25-08-2015, 07:18   #14
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Re: Buying property abroad

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.
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Old 25-08-2015, 14:01   #15
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Re: Buying property abroad

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

And of course there is Norman Island, but that was confiscated due to illegal activity...cool place once upon a time though.
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