Nov. 9, 2014, Panama City, Panama: When shopping for real estate overseas you will fall in love many times and feel overwhelmed by the beauty of each paradise. This is why it is important to make decisions with a clear, sober mind after taking a step back and analyzing your options.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
You want to be sober when considering property purchase options in a foreign land. Certainly, you want your wits about you when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. The trouble is, in the lands of mañanas and fiestas, the rum flows and so do the promises. The key to success navigating overseas, especially in developing world real estate markets, is avoiding the liquor and turning a deaf ear to the assurances.
Here's how this will go. You'll arrive in the country where you're dreaming of launching your new life. In the terminal of the airport, the lobby of your hotel, and the restaurant down the street where you go for lunch, you'll be approached by friendly fellows with houses and beachfront lots to sell. Every taxi driver, every bar owner, every shopkeeper will have a piece of property for sale or a brother or a cousin in the real estate business. You won't have to seek out agents or developers to help you find your new home. They'll find you.
Once, years ago, in Granada, Nicaragua, I was early for a lunch meeting with a friend and decided to sit on a stool at the bar of the restaurant while I waited for my friend to arrive. Two minutes later, a fellow gringo sat down beside me.
"Hello," he offered. "Have you just gotten into town?"
"Yes," I replied.