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Old 22-06-2010, 00:59   #16
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Doodles.... What sort of a home do you have? Is it similar to one a friend owns in Krabbi which we visited one day on our travels- an apartment in a condo?? Lovely beaches, lots of sailing, pretty chilled lifestyle...

Our dream is to find some land (preferably on the beach) - with a shack - that we can build up slowly over time... (He's a gardener at heart), and make ours. We're not likely to find one of those on the internet, I know!

So, I'm thinking it might just be more sensible to get a condo, and think of it as a holiday home / safety valve / investment.... does it work tho? Our mate says his is very 'under-rented'. But I guess purchasing in a condo means you avoid any of the legal ownership hassle Boracay refers to, that we are worried about if we buy a more 'independent' type property... Is that what you are doing, and what has your experience been? If so, how did you find it? How Much (relative to capital cost - you don't need to give figures!!) do you make in rental? Do you recommend it?
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Old 22-06-2010, 01:23   #17
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Doodles.... What sort of a home do you have? Is it similar to one a friend owns in Krabbi which we visited one day on our travels- an apartment in a condo?? Lovely beaches, lots of sailing, pretty chilled lifestyle...

Our dream is to find some land (preferably on the beach) - with a shack - that we can build up slowly over time... (He's a gardener at heart), and make ours. We're not likely to find one of those on the internet, I know!

So, I'm thinking it might just be more sensible to get a condo, and think of it as a holiday home / safety valve / investment.... does it work tho? Our mate says his is very 'under-rented'. But I guess purchasing in a condo means you avoid any of the legal ownership hassle Boracay refers to, that we are worried about if we buy a more 'independent' type property... Is that what you are doing, and what has your experience been? If so, how did you find it? How Much (relative to capital cost - you don't need to give figures!!) do you make in rental? Do you recommend it?
We were lucky and kind of in an unusual situation. We had Thai/American friends in the US who were planning on retiring and moving back to Thailand and they owned some land they planned to build on. They offered us a lot (actually a ground lease since foreigners can't own the land) and we had the house built. Its not a rental property, we just live there 6 months of the year.

So far we like it, but it is hot and humid especially in the dry season and that takes some getting use to. But its beautiful, cheap, locals are nice, food good, and there is lots to explore. Only real negative is the language is hard, but we'll get there.

If I were on my own, no Thai friends, I'd look for a condo or villa where you don't have the land ownership problem. I'd look at Koh Lanta island in the southern part of Krabi Providence. Lots of vacation type properties (condo & villa) and tourist during the season. Its a big area for Europeans mostly.

Forget the shack on the beach lot unless you want to get really remote with zero services.
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Old 22-06-2010, 06:38   #18
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Thanks for the excellent feedback, Doodles, much appreciated!

Anyone got similar info on buying property in other cruising grounds?
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Old 22-06-2010, 06:40   #19
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... So far we like it, but it is hot and humid especially in the dry season and that takes some getting use to ...
Do I understand correctly that itís very humid, except when itís raining?
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Old 22-06-2010, 06:47   #20
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Do I understand correctly that itís very humid, except when itís raining?
Not in Thailand. It's humid when it's raining - often when it's also chilly
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Old 22-06-2010, 07:05   #21
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Do I understand correctly that itís very humid, except when itís raining?
Starting the outboard puts anyone into a lather of sweat. And thats a key-start!
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Old 22-06-2010, 07:21   #22
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If you like SE Asia, I'd look at Vietnam as well as Thailand. There are some beautiful spots on the coast, although the best spots, such as Nha Trang, have already been developed.

However, as we get older, the real issue with these 3rd world "hideaways" is the availability of good medical/dental care, plus the ability of friends, children, grandchildren, etc. to travel to where you are. In that respect, the Carribean and Central America have alot going for them if you are from North America.
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Old 22-06-2010, 07:43   #23
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central america - costa rica in an awesome country but getting more and more developed (read more expensive) every year. i have not been there in 4 or 5 years now, i have been spending my summers in nicaruaga instead and absolutely love it, i imagine it is much like costa rica was 10 - 15 years ago (before i got to experience it), nica is also a growing country and i see the change from year to year, ill be going again in august...

like hud mentioned, not all americans would be thrilled living down there, but it is dirt cheeeepppp and very tranquilo, but still very very 3rd world, this its charm (for some) land on or across the street from the beach is cheap, and as long as your not trying to buy acres and acres to resell (read screw the nicas), you will have no problem establishing a home there... if you have a money tree in your yard check out rancho santana, american style neighborhood,

this is the first website i got on google, give a good rundown...
Rancho Santana Nicaragua - Home
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Old 22-06-2010, 09:09   #24
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I have been doing some research and with respect to the rental angle Thailand is not ideal. According to some internet sources the rental rates are generally around 1/200th of the property cost. If you are trying to live off rentals this may not be enough. I have been leaning toward a condo(s) on the US Gulf coast for a rental since rentals can add up to 1/50th or so of the purchase price, although after taxes and property management fees probably closer to 1/100th. Right now I am leaning toward a couple small condos in the US for income and one someplace tropical like Krabi for living.
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Old 22-06-2010, 18:46   #25
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If you are considering Mexico bear in mind that you cannot own beach property outright .If you are planning to buy, it can only be through a trust, some reputable some not. I would guess that is where the horror stories of people losing their home comes from.Also be very careful if you are offered ejido land (communal land like a co op). It is a sound legal concept, but the laws vary from state to state and looking into the requirements is a nightmare.
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Old 22-06-2010, 19:05   #26
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I have been doing some research and with respect to the rental angle Thailand is not ideal. According to some internet sources the rental rates are generally around 1/200th of the property cost. If you are trying to live off rentals this may not be enough. I have been leaning toward a condo(s) on the US Gulf coast for a rental since rentals can add up to 1/50th or so of the purchase price, although after taxes and property management fees probably closer to 1/100th. Right now I am leaning toward a couple small condos in the US for income and one someplace tropical like Krabi for living.
I have no figures or feel for rental values in Krabi, but I'd guess you are right. I think it would only work if you wanted a vacation property or future retirement home, and just wanted to rent a bit in the short term to defer some of the annual carrying costs. There is not year-round rental market, at least not for properties you'd want to own/live in some day. For an investment vehicle, I still like the stock market. Its been good to me.
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Old 22-06-2010, 19:51   #27
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My dad had a saying never buy property thats advertised. (Except in the normal real estate part of the paper)
My dad had a saying too. "Never be caught out of the house without a good book."

Interesting how many dad sayings begin with the word "never."

apologies for the thread diversion. +2 on Central America.
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Old 23-06-2010, 06:02   #28
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My dad had a saying too. "Never be caught out of the house without a good book."

Interesting how many dad sayings begin with the word "never."
Not quite "never", but along the same lines...........

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Old 23-06-2010, 08:12   #29
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central America is certainly attractive from the cruising point of view. But there are MANY pitfalls for overseas buyers. Not least is land registration.

We have spent some time in Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize.

I would consider living in most of those places but the only one I would invest in is Panama. It's strategic position with the Panama canal gives it a head start in terms of long term stability imho. All the others have some significant political issues that could become serious issues at any time.

Panama has an excellent infrastructure, mostly courtesy of the USA, with good internet, roads, healthcare etc. It is getting pricey if you want to be in one of the gringo 'ghettos' but if you look outside those areas there are excellent properties to be found.

We spent two years there, and many happy hours driving around some of the wonderful countryside as well as enjoying the incredible cruising grounds of the San Blas Islands and the Bocas del Toro area.

Contrary to popular belief English is NOT spoken everywhere, particularly once you get outside the cities so you really need to have a degree of fluency in Spanish.

Residency is reasonably easy to obtain. Indeed to qualify for 'retirement status, you only need prove a pension income of around a $1000 a month per couple...That qualifies you for 'pensianado' status which brings savings on things like electricity, meals out etc. Worth considering!

It is on my shorlist for that fateful day, hopefully far in the future, when we will have to swallow the anchor!
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Old 25-06-2010, 18:14   #30
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We currently live in Costa Rica, have been here two years. Did all the research before moving down, looked at belize,panama, hoduras and picked CR for many reasons. We live in a small beach town on the pacific it is very pretty but the cost of living is ridiculous, about on par with the large U.S. city we moved from. The crime here is completely unbelivable, maybe 100 robberies a year in a community with 300 homes, no one ever gets caught, and there are no police. I would definitely move to the place you pick and rent a house for a year minimum before you make up your mind. And all of central america is without any kind of marina structure, and the marinas there are are very expensive. We just bought a 44 Cheoy Lee sailboat and are going cruising for a few years to reevaluate. Good luck.
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