Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Uruguay Real Estate: Why Its The Perfect Location For Expatriates

The picturesque, sleepy Uruguay town of Punta del Este represents a unique opportunity for savvy investors. Boasting affordable real estate, a remarkably high standard of living, and a party season each summer that transforms the town into a prime spot for South America's rich and famous, Punta del Este is primed for a real estate boom. See the following post from Daily Wealth for more on this.

I'm writing to you from a farm in South America...

There are three horses outside my bedroom window. My host, Fitzroy, lets horses roam his property. In the morning, we find them munching grass on the front lawn. And when we're having afternoon tea on the back patio, they'll come wandering slowly past...

In a moment, my wife and I will walk across the garden, past the horses, to the main house, where we'll join Fitzroy's family for breakfast. The housekeeper, Alexandra, is there. She's already set the table, pressed the oranges, and prepared a large plate of organic sausage, ham, and eggs.

After breakfast, we'll saddle the horses and Fitzroy will take us for a trot around his property...

We're in Uruguay, in a town called Punta del Este.

They call Uruguay the "Switzerland" of South America because of its powerful banking secrecy laws. It's also one of the last countries in the world where you can own property anonymously. Finally, there's no tax on foreign earnings. So Europeans and South Americans move here to avoid income taxes.

These laws attract money to Uruguay. Uruguay is the second-richest country in South America, after Chile.

For six weeks every summer, Punta del Este is the most important party town in South America. If you're a celebrity here, this is where you come for your summer vacation. If you're a wealthy aristocrat from Brazil, Argentina, or Columbia, you come here to party with the celebrities.

During this "party month," tables at nightclubs sell for $10,000 a night, rents jump 4,000%, and it takes two hours to move across town because of the traffic.

Luckily, high season doesn't start until January. For now, we're the only tourists in town...

For full-time residents, Punta del Este is a sleepy seaside town. Three-quarters of the houses and apartments are empty. Most of the restaurants are closed. And they disconnect the traffic lights. The standard of living for these folks is extraordinarily high...

Fitzroy, for example, lives in a large country house with wooden floors and big windows. He has a lake, a forest, and a horse paddock on the grounds. On the other side of the lawn, there's a cottage for the housekeepers and another cottage for guests.

He told me his country estate would sell for around $750,000 if it were on the market today. The same property in England or America would cost 10 times as much...

We went on a tour of Punta del Este's real estate market with Fitzroy. We found dozens of seaside cottages and small homes for under $200,000. They come with neat lawns, brightly painted walls, and fruit trees. Most of them even have separate quarters for housekeepers. A full-time housekeeper costs $400 a month. The country club charges $150 a month for offseason membership. And the top private school charges $200 a month per pupil.

The weather is wonderful. It never freezes. In the summer, you rarely need air conditioning. Travel connections are great, too. The international airport is two hours away and offers direct flights to the United States and Europe.

In short, Punta del Este is the perfect location for expatriates. It's cheap, easy to reach, and the quality of life is unbeatable, even in America. Best of all, there's going to be a property boom here as money flees from the bankrupt governments in America and Europe.

If you ever get the chance to visit Punta del Este, I highly recommend it. Just make sure you avoid the party season... unless you like that sort of thing.

This post has been republished from Daily Wealth, Steve Sjuggerud's contrarian investment site.


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October 27, 2009 at 9:06 PM charlie350 said...

Two hours to cross town? What kind of exaggeration is that? The peninsula is only 6 blocks wide. You can walk it in 10 minutes without breaking a sweat.

October 28, 2009 at 9:01 AM InvestBA said...

Great article! Please visit our site for more information on real estate in Uruguay: http://investba.com

January 31, 2010 at 10:51 PM ChristinaMARIA said...

If your readers are looking for more articles about buying in/moving to Uruguay, they should check out: http://www.olauruguay.com/

It offers advice from expats about living and investing in Uruguay.


June 18, 2010 at 4:24 AM ferro said...

Depends on where you live in Uruguay. According to my choice Punta del Este is the best place for living unless you like city life then Montevedeo is better.

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