Live Better By Arbitraging Your Cost Of Living Around The World

Arbitrage Your Life To Enjoy All The World's Bests

Nov.17, 2014, Paris, France: You can afford a much better quality of life when you manage your lifestyle depending on where you’re living.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Earlier this year Vicki and I ended a long stay in Thailand. Then we spent two months on the west coast of the United States (Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle), and just over a month in Paris.

We concluded that at street level Paris costs roughly double the west coast of the United States. The United States in turn costs roughly double Bangkok or Chiang Mai in Thailand.

For example, a small, plain cheese pizza for one person costs 12 euro in Paris, 6 euro in Seattle (US$8.50), and 3 euro in Thailand. A small espresso in a Paris bar costs US$4, about double that of Starbucks in Portland. A monthly bus pass costs US$100 in Paris, US$50 in Los Angeles. A hamburger in a bar costs US$20 in Paris, US$10 in Portland, and US$5 in Bangkok. A light bulb cost 4 euro in Paris, 2 in Los Angeles, 1 in Bangkok.

So given that Paris costs double Los Angeles and Los Angeles costs double Bangkok, other things being equal, you'd choose Bangkok, right?

Not exactly. First of all, other things are never equal. Bangkok has a tropical climate, Los Angeles a desert climate, and Paris the inevitable Northern European rain and cold. Bangkok has a king, Los Angeles a middle-of-the-road democracy, and Paris a leftist world view. The three countries differ in language, culture, and other specifics. You may have many friends in Bangkok and none in Paris, or the other way around.

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Overseas Property Adventures From Ireland To Paris

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.

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Investing In Crisis And Growth Property Markets Overseas

The Three Secrets To Making Money From Real Estate Overseas In 2015

Nov. 14, 2014, Panama City, Panama : The three best global property investments for 2015 are in crisis markets, growth markets, and agriculture.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

I'm finalizing the line-up for my 2015 Global Property Summit taking place at the Marriott Hotel in Panama City March 18–20.

My straightforward objective is to showcase top current options for making money from real estate overseas. I see three big ways to do this right now—first, from crisis markets; second, from growth markets; and third, from agriculture and productive land. 

Specifically, here's what I've got on the program so far:

Crisis Markets

Ireland

Ireland was hit hard during the post-2008 global financial crisis and is my #1 pick in Europe for capital appreciation in the short term. Prices are already up from their bottom, especially in Dublin, but you still can find great bargains. This market is attracting global attention, meaning the window for getting in is already beginning to close.

At my March 2015 Global Property Summit, my Ireland property pro will show you where to shop to position yourself for the greatest upside potential.

Spain

As in Ireland, property prices in Spain fell hard in the wake of the 2008 crisis. Here, though, we're earlier on in the recovery, meaning that right now is the best time in the last 20 years to be shopping for an investment in this country. As my contact on the ground explains, "Prices are absolutely crawling along the floor."

This is a challenging market to navigate, though, and you must know specifically where to look and what to look for. My Spain correspondent will make recommendations from his firsthand scouting for those in attendance at the Global Property Summit in March.

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Property Investing In Malaga, Costa Del Sol, Spain

"Prices Are Absolutely Crawling On The Floor"—Why Now Is The Time To Be Shopping In This Crisis Market

Nov. 13, 2014, Malaga, Spain: The foreign-driven property markets on the Costa del Sol, Spain, specifically in Malaga, have hit the bottom; it’s time to buy.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Malaga is a wonderfully picturesque city on Spain's Costa del Sol sandwiched between the looming Montes de Malaga and the azure Mediterranean and capital of the varied, culture-rich province of Andalusia. It's also right in the middle of what is Europe's most tourist-heavy stretch of coastline. And while you might expect to find the same endless nondescript white tower block apartments and hotels that scar much of the rest of the Mediterranean's most popular locales here, Malaga has a whole lot more to offer. 

When I stepped off a plane into the Andalusian capital last week I found a ribbon of great beaches, mountain trails that make for superb hiking, remarkable architectural sites, and art museums that befit the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. But the big surprise was that Malaga also offers a surprisingly authentic slice of Spanish life. Freshly landed fish sold in bustling, ancient markets...eclectic tapas in hidden old town eateries...
wild-eyed beasts being put to the sword in the bullfighting stadium...and flamenco spilling down cobbled streets through wooden-shuttered windows. Malaga is the postcard image of Spain-made life.

Yet Malaga is largely overlooked.

Why? 

"Well," explained English-born expat Barbara Woods when I met with her, "this was a right tatty dump 20 years ago!"

Read more...

Rental Property Investment In Salinas, Ecuador

Own In This Pacific Coast Resort Town 
For As Little As US$40,000

Nov. 12, 2014, Salinas, Ecuador: Salinas is the top choice for rental property investing on the coast of Ecuador.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

The coast of Ecuador is dotted with beautiful, unspoiled, and undeveloped seaside towns. In this context, Salinas distinguishes itself. This is one spot on this country's coast that offers amenities such as restaurants, cafes, nightlife, etc., as well as groomed beaches and an active rentals market.

Best of all, condo prices here start at just US$40,000.

Making Salinas my pick for coastal investment in this country.

Located at Ecuador's westernmost tip, Salinas occupies a unique position in more ways than one. It is Ecuador's premier and most mature resort destination with a substantial property market and a healthy tourist trade. 

With around 35,000 residents in town, Salinas is a small city but large enough to offer the services and infrastructure required by year-round residents.

It's convenient to the international airport in Guayaquil.

And, finally, Salinas draws rental traffic during off-season periods in a way that I haven't seen elsewhere in Ecuador. More on this in a minute.

The beach at the western end of Salinas is wide, sandy, and clean, bordered by the blue Pacific. Looking toward the end of the peninsula (west), you see motor yachts and sailboats from around the world parked in the attractive marina. In a country with few marinas (I've seen less than a half-dozen along the entire coast), Salinas has two nice yacht clubs.

Looking to the mainland, the curving shoreline stretches for miles into the distance, with tall modern buildings lining the waterfront alongside old-fashioned apartments and seaside restaurants. A well-kept boardwalk runs the length of the beach. 

On the beach, people relax under colorful umbrellas, play games, and swim in the safe waters. Just offshore, jet skis race back and forth, leaving shimmering wakes trailing behind. Cuenca and other mountain cities empty out during vacation periods, while Salinas fills to capacity.

Read more...

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Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter.

Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.

Read more here.

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