International Real Estate

Increasing advances in technology has shrunk barriers and turned the world into a global village. Markets have diversified and this opens new avenues for investment. It is a known fact that real estate is an important component of an investment portfolio. Real estate no matter where it is located remains one of the preferred investment options. Real estate has actual intrinsic value, its price may fluctuate but its core value remains the same.

Though investing in international real estate is not a new phenomena, international real estate has gained momentum in the last decade. Spiraling cost of living, unheard of real estate prices, federal taxes and an increase in the crime rate and slipping value of the dollar is reason enough to relocate. International real estate has been observed that the baby boomers shift overseas as retirement funds have more value and for a change in lifestyle.

Investments in international real estate can appreciate more dynamically than the U.S real estate market. With deteriorating social conditions in the country an offshore property can provide a safe haven or simply serve as a vacation home. Alternatively it can be the home you always desired and allow you to begin a fulfilling lifestyle. Offshore resorts, beach houses island properties, ranch properties are in demand. On one hand it fulfills your desire to own a beach property or a ranch, and on the other it is an appreciating investment.

There are more than two dozen countries around the world that attract expatriate investors. Buenos Aires, Budapest, Santiago, Dublin, Panama cities, Rio De Janeiro to name a few.

Some countries do not tax capital gains on real estate like Argentina, Croatia, France, New Zealand, Spain etc.

When you invest in real estate your team of personnel must include, very importantly a lawyer practicing in that country, fluent in the local language. Each country has its own laws and regulations that govern a real estate transaction. It is better to have a local lawyer look after your interests. Laws pertaining to foreign investments are usually different from local and you need to understand all legal ramifications before you invest.

An accountant and banker to handle your financial affairs and tax options. A property manager to manage the property in your absence.

Let us review some offshore options

The Bahamas:

Among the beautiful islands of Bahamas, the jewel in the crown is the unspoiled island of Great Exumas. Located 320 miles southeast of Miami, these pictures perfect islands stretch 100 miles from Nassau. The Bahamas consist of 700 islands lying amidst 100,000sq miles of crystal clear waters. Sparkling palm fringed beaches,, friendly English speaking locals and a stable political environment it is the perfect retreat for a second home.

Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas is a leading international offshore banking center. In the Bahamas there is no income tax, capital gains tax, dividend tax or estate duty. The Bahamas do not levy exchange controls on non-residents, no restrictions on the repatriation of profits and has asset protection legislation. There is no financial penalty for investors purchasing land. You pay what is the value of the land. The title to the purchased land is absolute and is registered at the land registry in Nassau.

The Great Exumas supports the only marine park in the world and offers excellent facilities for bone fishing, yachting, diving, snorkeling. Promoted by the Bahamian government, this beautiful island is experiencing increasing land value, offering excellent investment opportunities. Great Exumas also has an international airport.

Costa Rica:

Ocean front property in the U.S being prohibitingly expensive, Americans are turning their attention overseas, purchasing property, which is 70% cheaper than home and with better capital growth.

Costa Rica is 3hrs from the U.S and offers a fantastic lifestyle and excellent investment opportunities. With a soaring economy due to foreign investment, equity on the purchased land will also increase.

Cost of living is less, with a dollar giving more value. It is possible to live on $2000 a month. Services come cheap too.

It is a stable and robust democracy in Latin America with a healthy economic growth rate and one of the best social indices. The crime rate is nearly non-existent so life can be more relaxed and easy. In Costa Rica you enjoy the same rights as residents. As tax and red tape are kept to a minimum, you enjoy significant tax advantages.

The locals are friendly and speak English.

Immigrant Buyers:

Another aspect of international real estate is Permanent resident aliens purchasing or leasing property in their host countries. Though the complexities of a real estate transaction are compounded when business is conducted across borders, real estate agents realize the potential of the global economy and business represented by immigrants to the U.S.

The National Association of Realtors in association with its international real estate affiliates recognizes the potential of this market and actively supports it. The NAR’s Research Division has conducted a survey that sheds light on this aspect of real estate.

International real estate transactions usually involve permanent resident aliens and this business is on the rise. Market channels for international real estate are mostly referrals. Permanent resident aliens are expanding businesses across borders and hence require property mostly for office space. Foreign investors and Private companies are active in international real estate.

As markets expand and open up the demand for real estate increases and this increases investments. Real estate, located anywhere is an excellent option but tread carefully,navigating laws and regulations sensibly.