quiet beach in mexico

From Paris To Panama: Updates On The Situation Overseas

If You Could Be Anywhere In The World Right Now, Where Would That Be?

For the past week, Lief and I have been on lockdown with the rest of France.

The rules aren’t as strict as in Italy. From our apartment in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, we can go to the supermarket or pharmacy. And, it’s okay to go for a walk—as long as you go alone…

Every citizen who ventures out must complete an official form stating the reason for his mission. Break the rules and you could be hit with a 135-euro fine. Last Wednesday alone, the French police handed out 4,095 fines.Continue reading

couple watching virtual conference online

Watch Live Or Later: Launching Virtual Conferences In 2020

Urgent: We’re Keeping The Dream Alive In A Time Of Crisis

Last week, Lief and I traveled freely between Paris, France and Waterford, Ireland.

Despite the spread of the coronavirus in both countries, it was business as usual for most people. In Waterford, we met with our Irish-based staff in a local co-working office space… ate out for lunch and dinner in restaurants with full occupancy… and even squeezed in a couple of property viewings (an Irish country home is still part of our long-term retirement plan).
Continue reading

black truffles on a board

Discover The Best Agriculture Investments To Diversify In 2020

Boost Your Retirement Income With The Easiest Property Investment You Can Make

Last week, as we opened up registration for our 2020 Global Property Summit, I talked about how to approach a property purchase overseas… and how the head and heart both come into play.

But there’s one area that breaks this rule… where you don’t need to give much thought to how you feel about the country or area you’re buying into… whether you can speak the local language… how close you are to shopping… or who your new neighbors might be…Continue reading

traditional style apartment buildings in Paris

Reasons Why Real Estate Overseas Is A Great Investment

The Property Battle—Old Country House Vs. Return On Investment

On the surface, buying an investment property overseas may seem like a straight-up business transaction. But things are rarely that clear-cut…

I’ve hosted conferences on living, retiring, and investing in real estate overseas for more than 30 years. And, in my welcome address on the opening day, I’ll usually ask the crowd a series of questions…

First: “How many of you are thinking about buying property overseas for investment? A few hands shoot up.

Then: “How many of you are considering purchasing a retirement residence in another country?” A flurry of hands in the air.

Finally: “How many of you would like what I’d term a ‘second home overseas,’ a place you intend to occupy, full- or part-time, in retirement or sooner, if possible, but that you hope could earn some income when you’re not using it yourself?” At the suggestion of this, practically every person in the room raises his hand.

These folks seem to understand something that it’s taken Lief and me more than three-dozen property purchases in 21 countries to figure out. Buying real estate overseas makes so much more sense when you do it as part of a bigger-picture plan.

How I Accidentally Became An Overseas Property Investor

I didn’t set out to become an overseas property investor. It happened by accident and organically. When my husband of but three months, my 8-year-old daughter, and I arrived in Waterford, Ireland, 23 years ago, we needed a place to live. I like old houses the way some women like new shoes and was drawn to the idea of owning an Irish Georgian-style house in the country—a place surrounded by rolling green fields dotted with roaming sheep and spotted cows and bordered by low stone walls and tidy hedgerows. My new husband didn’t object, and, after a search that extended nearly a year, we purchased Lahardan House, a 200-year-old stone house on 6 acres that became our first home as a new family.

Lahardan House was where my daughter Kaitlin, born and raised to this point in Baltimore, Maryland, struggled with the transition to our new life overseas and where we welcomed our son, Jackson, born in Waterford just two months after we’d moved in. It was where Kaitlin learned to ride a pony, in the front pasture, and where Jackson learned to walk, in the forever muddy back garden. Lahardan House was our first overseas renovation adventure. The old stone house was dripping with damp, its timbers riddled with rot, when we bought it. In time, we transformed it into a comfortable and cozy home kept warm and dry by the big Stanley stove in the kitchen.

Lahardan House was also our first overseas property success story… and, not just from a financial perspective. More important, our experience with Lahardan House taught us the fundamentals related to buying and selling real estate overseas that we’ve learned to respect most, key among which is this: The best purchases are made with your calculator, yes, but also with your heart.

Georgian Country Manor Vs. ROI

When Lief and I went looking for a house to buy in Ireland years ago, I was shopping for rolling green hills, centuries-old stone walls, tumble-down outbuildings, and classic Georgian symmetry. He was shopping for cost per square meter, rate of appreciation, and projected ROI. Today, dozens of often conflicted purchases later, we finally understand that the secret to success in buying and selling real estate overseas is recognizing that each of these seemingly competing perspectives is important and that each deserves equal weight in any buy decision.

After we sold Lahardan House, we took those proceeds, added about 20% to them, and reinvested in an apartment in Paris. For our money, we got less than one-quarter the space we’d enjoyed in Ireland. Not a sensible exchange of values, you might say, at least not if you’re evaluating the transaction using your calculator alone.

We were moving to Paris so that our daughter could attend her final three years of high school in France and so that our little family could, meantime, sample life in the City of Light, a dream of mine since I was a young girl. Certainly, under those circumstances, we could have rented a place to live. We didn’t need to buy an apartment for our time in Paris, and, as I said, on the face of it, going by the numbers alone, buying an apartment in Paris didn’t add up. Yet that’s what we did.

Now, in retrospect, I can say that the apartment we purchased in Paris’ 7th arrondissement has proven, like Lahardan House in Ireland, to be one of the most successful investment decisions of our careers, again, we understand now, because it wasn’t made for investment reasons alone.

The Cornerstone Of Our Retirement

When we made our third international move to Panama, we were able to rent out our Paris apartment—and return to use it ourselves whenever we roamed through Europe. It has evolved into one of our most valued assets, in part because it’s worth at least twice what we paid for it, but also, more important to us, because it has become the cornerstone of our retirement.

We didn’t purchase this apartment as an eventual retirement residence. However, the more time we spent living in Paris, the more we liked living in Paris. Finally, Lief and I agreed that we’d always like living in Paris, that this is a place we’ll always want a chance and an excuse to return to. The apartment we bought to live in while our daughter finished her high school education and that we’ve held on to for part-time living and cash flow from rental income ever since, thereby, was transformed, organically, into a piece of our long-term retirement plan.

My point is, in most cases, as you explore your real estate options overseas it’s impossible to separate your personal and your business agenda completely.

Nobody I know understands this better than Latin American Correspondent Lee Harrison. Lee—who’s been living and investing overseas for nearly two decades—looks first for a place where he would enjoy spending time… then he researches the practicalities of investing in the local market.

Certainly, for a first-time investor, Lee’s is a good model to follow. This way, if the local market goes against you, you’re still invested in a place where you’re happy to spend time. You’re in it for the long term… and are willing to wait for things to climb back up. You’ve minimized your risk.

Where Do You Start?

Of course, I’m just scratching the surface here. There is so much more you need to think about as you consider your options for buying property overseas… from where to find the best value (in a market that makes sense for you) to how to protect yourself from falling into the traps that have caught out many a foreign buyer (including Lief and me back in the early days).

This is why we host our Global Property Summit every year… not only to educate you on the best markets to consider in the world right now… but to help you understand everything you need to be aware of in each market for a safe, legal, and straightforward purchase.

Having the right help at hand is key to your success. And, over the three days of this year’s Global Property Summit, you’ll have a chance to network with trusted professionals who can provide you with all the local knowledge you need… and who can help guide you through your property purchase.

This year’s event takes place in Cancún, Mexico, May 13–15. And, as we open registration this week, we have a limited number of complimentary VIP packages… available only to the first 40 readers to register.

Kathleen Peddicord

 

cathedral in cuenca ecuador

Find Out How To Live Better For Less In Cuenca, Ecuador

High On Historic Charm, Low On Price

A colonial or medieval city can be a great choice for retirement…

For many, there are few things more enjoyable than the charm and splendor of a well-kept historical city. The plazas, cobblestone streets, courtyard homes, and flowered balconies give you a peek into some bygone empire’s grand era.

Living in these cities is like stepping back in time every day… bustling markets sell fresh foods and artisan goods, Baroque cathedrals punctuate the skyline, and a traditional way of life is honored and protected. It’s like the best of the good old days we grew up with… coupled with the modern conveniences we’ve come to depend on.Continue reading

cuenca ecuador view across the colonial buildings and city

The Expert Guide To Ecuador Direct To Your Living Room

How Ecuador Offers You A Serious Lifestyle Upgrade

Ecuador is the top place in the world right now to retire well on a very limited budget

Only a four-hour flight from the United States, a couple could live comfortably here for less than US$700 a month.

That figure may seem unbelievable. But, if you’re a North American, everything in Ecuador is affordable…
Continue reading

view across medellin colombia

Expats Discuss Why They Moved To Medellin, Colombia

Medellin, Colombia—Much More Than Perfect Weather

“Let me know when you start showing mild climates near lakes and I’ll consider it!” a reader wrote in this week.

If you’ve read more than one of my dispatches, you know that I’m not here to present you with any one particular lifestyle. The year-round beach life of the stereotypical gringo is not for everyone.

Personally, I enjoy the experience of four seasons. But I know others who have lived through months of snow—year after year—who would do anything to avoid another winter… in any part of the world.
Continue reading

medellin view across colombia

Find The Best Of Colombia At Our 2020 Conference In Medellin

The Best Mistake I Made Was In Medellín…

Nine years ago, Lief and I bought our apartment in Medellín, Colombia.

Visiting the city for some years at that point, we recognized the potential of this city working hard to transform itself and shake off its shady past.

The property we bought was a renovation project in El Poblado—an upscale neighborhood in the city that’s become a favorite with expats. This was a chance to add value to a property that we should be able to sell in the future for a profit. But our first priority was to rent it out to vacationers in the city. Lief ran the numbers and projected a solid net rental yield…

Only there was one problem. A problem I take full responsibility for…

While the renovation work was going on, I made more visits to this “City of Eternal Spring.” With every visit, Medellín charmed me more. Coming from the humidity and noise of Panama City, the spring-like weather was a welcome break. Sophisticated Medellín also offered up a strong cultural scene that was more reminiscent of European living than most other parts of Latin America.

So, while I made decisions on fixtures and furniture for our restored apartment, I thought more of the comforts I’d need when in town… and completely lost sight of my potential renter.

Our rental manager warned us it was getting too fancy to suit short-term renters. Lief’s ROI plans were out the window.

Of course, all was not lost. Medellín has become part of our retirement agenda—a place we plan to spend time for many years to come. Now our family has a comfortable space to enjoy whenever we’re in town. (We’ve also used it to host gatherings for our Private Network members in the past.)

With a strong currency advantage for U.S.-dollar buyers, now is the perfect time to make a move in this city. Back when we bought our apartment in El Poblado, the exchange rate was around 1,800 pesos to US$1. Today, it’s more than 3,300 pesos to the dollar. Though property values have increased, you still have the upper hand.

Aside from affordable real estate, Medellín offers the opportunity for a superior lifestyle. As well as having one of the world’s best climates, you’ll find an impressive selection of restaurants and cafés… an exciting cultural scene, with theater, orchestra, and festivals all year… all at a reasonable cost of living.

Whether you’re interested in retiring, investing, or doing business overseas, I encourage you to try Medellín on for size. And no better way to experience everything on offer in this exciting, innovative city than to join us for our 2020 Live and Invest in Colombia Conference, June 3-5, in Medellín’s San Fernando Plaza Hotel…

Over three days with our team of Colombia experts, you’ll get all the inside information and on-the-ground support you need to be able to make your plans and invest wisely.

Like many expats who’ve already made their home here, Medellín is my favorite city in Colombia. But it’s not the only option. The experts we gather in Medellín will introduce you to other areas, too, where you can enjoy a great lifestyle… or find exciting investment opportunities.

We only run this event once a year, so it’s your single chance in 2020 to:

  • Explore with us to see the best of what the country has to offer, region by region. We’ll not only have expats to give their point of view, but also Colombians who can showcase their country…
  • Get the facts on being a part-time resident in exciting locations like Cartagena, Santa Marta, and Medellín…
  • Visit the expat-friendly neighborhoods with the people who live here now…
  • Discover how to find an affordable rental—starting at US$500 per month—and where you should be looking…
  • Discover Colombia’s medical care… what many believe is Latin America’s best, most modern, and most affordable…
  • Break through the language barrier. Learning Spanish is a terrific investment to help you get the most out of your experience in Colombia. We’ll showcase the best of Colombia’s many fine language schools for your convenience…
  • Get a grasp on the cost of living. We’ll show you actual budgets from people who live here…

And that’s just for starters. You can read more about our plans here.

Kathleen Peddicord

a couple walking overseas

Catch All The Stories From Our 2020 Panama Conference

“Moving Overseas Is Easy—Transitioning Is The Challenge”

Stories are how we make sense of the world around us.

And, when it comes to our conferences, nothing beats the power of the personal stories shared by our expats up on stage.

Of course, we dedicate many conference hours to giving you the practical information, too. You need to know the laws surrounding residency… you need help identifying the best places to start looking in a particular country… and what’s involved in shipping your belongings (and your pets)…
Continue reading