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Websites, magazine articles, and other get-rich-quick offers often claim you can make a killing buying overseas real estate. Maybe you can. But I can tell you from personal experience, many of the places you might buy in don´t offer a quick return, and there´s no guarantee you´ll be able to sell it when you wan to.
You can check the International Living website, which has many articles about real estate in places like Croatia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. If you buy property here, and probably in some of the other places mentioned, the challenge comes when you want to sell. In many of these countries, there is no dynamic real estate market as there is in developed countries. That means no longer term financing, or if there is, it´s expensive. That means no buyers knocking at your door. That means there´s a very small market of potential buyers, and they set the price, not you.
We bought 6 acres over five years back, and put in a lot of improvements. If you buy rural land, you face the challenges of getting water connections, telephone, and even electricity connections. And these don´t come cheap or easy without local connections…that is, knowing the right person. Fortunately, we had these. We´ve installed all these things, at some cost.
We´ve decide to sell the land, given that it will remain in the family. But we´re not making any money on it, we´re just breaking even. If we did put it up for sale, it could take years to find a buyer. No one is knocking down doors to buy property, especially rural property, even if it does have a great view, has all utilities installed, and is accessible. Why are there no buyers?
First, few people have 50, a hundred, or a couple of hundred thousand lying around in cash. Fewer people can get access to any kind of long-term financing that would enable them to make a purchase in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. And even fewer people actually move from place to place or invest in a second property in developing countries. Finally, many buyers of homes want to buy only new here. Despite the claims of appreciation the real estate companies make, there are very few homes or lots you could buy that you will actually make money on-especially built homes.
The mentality here is that if it’s used, it should be cheaper. Neighborhoods go in and out of style, and when they go out, they lose value. So not might you buy something and be stuck with it because there are no buyers, but you might be stuck with a depreciating asset. In my opinion, you’re better off renting if you want to live here.