How To Launch Your Own Overseas Property Adventures
Nov. 16, 2014, Panama City, Panama: Analyze any investment on paper, according to the numbers, but also in the context of your big-picture life plan
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
"I've told the buyer from Dublin that the other buyer, the gentleman from Cork, is considering by how much he'd be willing to increase his offer," John Rohan explained in a hurry as he burst through the door into the little room where Lief and I sat waiting.
"However, the other buyer, the one from Cork, he's gone. He said he'd reached his limit and excused himself from the bidding. He's left the building. Our buyer from Dublin doesn't know this, but it won't be long before he figures it out. This is your chance. If you're selling, you're selling today, now. I believe I can push the Dublin bidder up another 50,000 euros, but that's all I'm going to get out of him."
With that, Mr. Rohan looked squarely at Lief and then at me, gauging our reactions. I glanced over at the monitor mounted on the wall to our right. The room where we'd been told to wait while John Rohan presided over the auction of our home in Waterford, Ireland, had no windows. The monitor on the wall was our only glimpse of the activity going on around us. It showed the auction room itself, where we'd watched, starting about an hour earlier, as Mr. Rohan had opened bidding for our Lahardan House before a crowd of about three-dozen. John had prepared us by explaining that most in the room would be bystanders, there just to see what the house might sell for. In the end, we had five serious bidders. Three pulled out quickly, leaving the gentleman from Cork and the gentleman from Dublin, who'd been going back and forth, first in the main auction room and then, eventually, from two separate, private rooms where John Rohan had escorted each in turn, for more than 30 minutes.
The year was 2004, and the Celtic Tiger was roaring. All Ireland was watching all the time to see by how much more property values had appreciated since the last time they'd checked. We'd purchased our Lahardan House, the property on the block that day, about six years earlier. John Rohan's projected selling price had us tripling our investment. Why were we hesitating to accept it?
Because overseas property investing isn't only about the money. After more than 17 years of marriage and three-dozen joint-property purchases in 21 countries, Lief and I have finally figured this out. Buying real estate overseas makes so much more sense when you do it as part of a bigger-picture plan.