Articles Related to Farmland in uruguay

Argentina

Argentina thrives on crisis, and it can seem that this country is always entering or exiting a financial meltdown, making it hard to know when to get in or out. 

The most recent crisis here has been building for some time. Argentine contacts on the ground tell me that 2015 will begin the window of buying opportunity. As one puts it, "Argentina is right now walking into a new investment phase."

Another says: "The time to be putting money into Argentina will begin May 2015..."

I timed Argentina's last major crisis, in 2001, and helped investors who took my advice to as much as double their money in two years (myself included). I'm looking forward to the next buying opportunity in this country, and you should be, too.

Growth Markets

Panama City

I've been recommending Panama City for rental investment for 10 years. In that time, I've earned cash flow of 15% per year net and more myself and have helped many, many other investors do the same.

Post-2008, pundits who claimed they knew proclaimed that this market, like so many other markets around the world at the time, would collapse. I ignored them and continued recommending Panama City for rental property investment.

Though the market softened, no collapse came, and I, as well as those who took my advice, continued earning excellent annual yields.

What do I think of Panama City for rental investment today? I'm more bullish on this proven market than ever and am looking to invest further myself. This market offers some of the most stable rental yields available anywhere in the world thanks to its unique flexibility. You can rent short-term or long-term...to business men, retirees, or tourists...to expats or locals. 

The key is buying in the right part of town depending on which market you want to target. At the Global Property Summit in March, I will show you what and where to buy to generate the greatest possible yields while at the same time positioning yourself for what I predict is going to be excellent capital appreciation over the coming 5 to 10 years.

Medellin

Medellin, Colombia, has been one of my favorite rental investment markets for the past six years and here, again, I'm more bullish on this market's prospects looking ahead to 2015 than ever. 

In addition, I have identified an emerging neighborhood of this city that is poised to offer better-than-ever returns. This area is a focus of the local city planners, who are investing in important infrastructure improvements, and, as a result, is drawing increased attention from foreign investors, travelers, and property buyers. What began as the initiative of a few local entrepreneurs is expanding into one of the world's best rental investment opportunities today.

Meantime, the U.S. dollar is at a five-year high against the Colombia peso. The time to act in this market is right now. My Colombia contacts have the details for where and how at my March 2015 Global Property Summit.

Istanbul

An exploding local demand is fueling a housing boom in this beautiful and historic megacity. Half the population of Turkey is younger than 30 years old, and the country sees 350,000 weddings a year. All these new couples want places of their own to live, and, thanks to the strong and expanding economy, more of these young couples than ever can afford places of their own.

Still, right now, the starting market price in Istanbul is US$1,000 a square meter, making this city a global bargain. You can get into a rental with as little as US$50,000, and less than US$25,000 down buys you pre-construction yields of up to 15% per year.

My Istanbul contacts will be in Panama with me for the 2015 Global Property Summit to share all the details.

Profits From Agriculture

Productive land is the ultimate hard asset, with the potential for long-term even legacy yield. At my 2015 Global Property Summit, we'll look at:

Timber In Panama

Historically, timber has enjoyed the best risk-to-reward ratio of any investment sector, producing an annualized ROI of 12% to 15% per year every year since they started keeping records of investment risk versus return. It's the long-held secret of the world's wealthiest people.

I like Panama for timber. The country has some of the world's best zones for many kinds of timber, including teak. And, as this is the hub of the Americas, easy access to markets both north and south ensures outlets for your harvests. 

At my March 2015 Global Property Summit, I'll introduce you to the best current opportunities to position yourself for long-term growth from timber in Panama, including a chance to earn up to 11.62% from a hardwoods investment that also qualifies you for residency in Panama, one of the world's leading offshore and retirement havens. The best part of this opportunity is the buy-in cost, which is just US$15,200.

Agriculture In Panama

Panama also offers the opportunity right now to cash in on the globally exploding demand for one agricultural product in particular. I'm working with local contacts to prepare a special presentation on this opportunity specifically as it's one of the best agricultural investments I've identified in six years of searching.

Agriculture In Paraguay

Paraguay is the world's 10th-largest exporter of wheat, eighth-largest beef exporter, seventh-largest exporter of corn, sixth-largest producer of soy, fifth-largest exporter of chia and soy flour, and fourth-largest exporter of yucca flour and soy oil. 

This country has the third-largest barge fleet in the world (after the United States and China) and is the third-biggest exporter worldwide of yerba mate. It's the second-biggest stevia producer and exporter in the world and the world's #1 exporter of organic sugar.

GDP and GDP per capita are both expanding, and inflation is historically a one-digit number and has not surpassed 5% in recent years. 

Paraguay qualifies right now as a "blue ocean" market, an investment arena awash with opportunity, especially agricultural investment opportunity. My correspondents from the scene will have the details for March 2015 Global Property Summit attendees.

Farmland In Uruguay

Uruguay is a breadbasket country that is also the world's most turn-key market for productive farmland, the world's oldest asset class and one that is going to continue to become more attractive over the coming decade as the world's population continues to expand. We're looking at more than 9 billion people on this planet by the middle of this century, a sobering reality that is translating to a global race for farmland, with some countries (including Brazil, for example) imposing restrictions on foreign ownership of productive land.

Not so in Uruguay, which welcomes foreign investors. Nearly 95% of the land in this country is farmable. At the March 2015 Global Property Summit, my Uruguay investment pros will introduce you to current opportunities to position yourself to profit from an ultimate hard-asset investment in this market, including agricultural, cattle, sheep, forestry, and vineyard buys.

Isn't global property investing a jet-set strategy?

No.

I've identified six opportunities with buy-ins of US$50,000 or less to showcase at my 2015 Global Property Summit, including one double-digit yield opportunity for less than US$20,000 and another for US$25,000 that could earn you up to 22% per year.

Lief Simon

P.S. The first 25 who register are invited to accompany me on a private property-viewing tour in Panama City

Continue reading: Fees And Minimum Balances With Offshore Banks

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Ireland: Best Place to Retire Abroad

The beginning is Waterford, Ireland, where Lief and I, newlyweds, launched our joint adventures overseas 15 years ago. We didn't choose Ireland ourselves. It was chosen for us by my employer at the time. However, after seven years as full-time residents, raising a family (my 8-year-old daughter Kaitlin moved to Ireland with us, and our son Jackson was born in Waterford), building a business, renovating an old Irish country house, and making friends we treasure still today, Ireland grew on us. I'd include it on any list of the best places to retire abroad--and, indeed, we intend to spend time in Ireland again, starting this summer. Real estate values in this country are at a low that's too low to ignore. We're planning an extended family stay in the country this July, during which we hope to find a little Irish cottage that will allow us to take another personal position in a place we want to include as part of our long-term plan (a place where Lief and I can spend time in retirement and that we can leave behind for the kids and grandkids to enjoy when we're no longer around).

Why Ireland? It's legitimately one of the most beautiful corners of this planet, a spit of land where Mother Nature outdid herself. It's also quiet, peaceful, traditional, safe, and a world apart. The older and more sentimental I grow, the more I appreciate what this country of castles, gardens, and centuries of colorful history has to offer.

After seven years in Ireland, we moved the family to Paris, France. Why Paris? The honest answer is because it's Paris. The rationale at the time was a request from Kaitlin, who asked if she could spend a year "studying abroad" in the city. Why send Kaitlin to Paris on her own, I asked Lief. Why not go with her...all of us? We were in the fortunate position to be able to engineer this. My business partner at the time was flexible, and a new office in Paris could make sense for the business anyway (I argued).

Kaitlin's year abroad in the City of Light stretched into three. She graduated from high school then returned to the States for college. The rest of us stayed on in Paris for another year before making the decision to relocate back across the Pond to Panama.

It's not that we wanted to leave Paris; it's that we wanted to start a new business. While I'd say that Paris is the best place in the world to live, I'd also suggest that France is one of the most maddening places in the world to run a business. Our experience doing business there and in a dozen other places around the globe by this time had taught us that. It had also shown us that, on the other hand, Panama was tops in this regard, a tax haven where it's possible to live and run a business tax-free (even if you're an American). That's a big deal. A big enough deal to get us on a plane.

We bid au revoir to Paris but not farewell. We decided to hold on to the apartment we'd purchased to be our home while living in the city with our kids. Our time here convinced us, if ever there'd been any doubt, that Paris is a place we would like to be able to return to always, the spot, in fact, where, when we're too old to continue moving around the way we have been, we hope to settle in for the ultimate long haul. We've rented out our apartment on the rue du Verneuil these past four-and-a-half years we've been in Panama City, happy to know that it's still there, waiting for us, whenever we're ready to return to it.

Now, here's a secret that you may have guessed already: Panama City is not part of our long-term plan. As I said, Panama City is the best place in the world to do what we're doing right now--building a business. In this city, we have been able to piece together an eclectic and effective team unlike any I've worked with anywhere else. We've got German marketers, Irish editors, American writers, Panamanian designers and programmers...

"Where are these people coming from?" I asked Lief as we were dressing for the office this morning. "I'm more amazed each day. Whoever would have believed we'd be able to find so many smart, hard-working, well-educated, open-minded, English-speaking kids...here in Panama City? Not me. What are they all doing here?"

Neither Lief nor I has an answer to that question (though we suspect it has something to do with the state of job markets for recent college grads in the United States, Ireland, and beyond), but we do count our blessings, every day. What we're managing to create here in Panama City is proving remarkable.

That is not to say that the experience of living in Panama City is one I would describe as pleasant. Panama City is an assault on the senses--busy, crowded, dirty, noisy, congested, hot, humid--and life here can be a challenge.

But, as I try to point out often, Panama City isn't Panama, and, while Panama City is not a place where we aspire to hang our hats long term, the Pacific coast of this country is. That's why, about six years ago, we purchased a piece of oceanfront land, on the west coast of this country's Azuero Peninsula. In the community we're building at Los Islotes, we intend also to build a home that, again, will feature as part of our eventual retirement plan and, also, our legacy for our kids.

Paris in springtime...Ireland come summer...and the coast of Panama when it's winter elsewhere--that's the core of our retirement plan.

In addition, we intend to spend a month or two a year in Medellin, Colombia, a city we discovered about three years ago and that has, since, became one of our favorite places to be, thanks to its climate but, more so, for us, thanks to its pretty architecture, parks, and gardens, its walkability, its genteel population, its café culture, its general European undertones, and its affordable cost of enjoying it all.

Istria, too, is on our list of what we'd consider the best place to retire abroad. It's the best of Old World country living, like Tuscany without the crowds. As is Belize, where we've invested in land we intend to farm, in the Cayo. We intend this year to buy more farmland, likely in Uruguay, to round out our long-term property holdings...and the list of places where we really enjoy what the local living has to offer.

Kathleen Peddicord

P.S. I share these stories and these suggestions in more detail in the book I've just written for Wiley & Sons, called "How To Buy Real Estate Overseas."

One thing I realized, writing that book, is that buying real estate overseas is not so much an investment strategy as it is a lifestyle. The places where you invest in property should be the places where you also want to invest your time and your family's future. When you're able to marry these three agendas, the payoff can be enormous.

"How To Buy Real Estate Overseas" will be in bookstores starting mid-April. However, it's available now on Amazon. You can buy your copy now, of "How to Buy Real Estate Overseas," pre-publication, for US$14.55.Continue Reading:

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So it goes. Some places are in up cycles while others are declining. What's the point? The point is that we, as non-ranting global citizens, have the opportunity to move ourselves and our capital to where we believe we and it will best benefit.

Where might that be in 2013? Here's my personal New Year's agenda...

For real estate, I'm looking at Ireland, where we intend to buy a "second home" that could be rented out. Prices in Emerald Isle have fallen significantly since the Celtic Tiger bubble burst so dramatically. We want to take advantage of the opportunity this presents, which is one reason we're planning a 2013 Live and Invest in Europe event in Dublin, Ireland. This will serve as a good vantage point for an all-Europe conference, but it will also give Kathleen and me a chance to spend some time on the ground in Ireland, shopping for property (and reconnecting with old friends in this part of the world).

In this case, I'm not buying with any expectation of capital appreciation anytime soon. That'd be unrealistic for the next 5 to 10 years at least; however, rental yields in this country have regressed back to the mean and are in the 5% to 8% range (they were in the range of 1% to 2% when I lived in Ireland).

This year I also want to make a farmland purchase. For this, I'm looking to Uruguay, which I see as the obvious choice for a big private farm. This country hasn't yet restricted foreign ownership of farmland, as Brazil and Argentina have. You can buy smaller farms in Belize, Panama, and elsewhere, but in Uruguay you can find large tracts of land that can be leased to a farmer if you're not up for becoming a farmer yourself.

I don't trade currencies. I see this as too risky an investment strategy for the individual investor. I buy and sell whatever currencies I need for real estate purchases; that's as invested in currency as I get. In that context, in 2013, I'm planning to take advantage of any currency dips to move money into euro for my purchase in Ireland and into Colombian pesos, as I also intend to buy another apartment in Medellin, this one to use as a rental (no personal use agenda this time, dear wife).

Banking continues to be a complicated mess, especially for us Americans. Just this morning, one reader reported that HSBC in Panama is closing accounts of Americans in the wake of their Justice Department fine last week. I have someone looking into whether that is accurate or not. Either way, HSBC has been slapped hard by several governments, and you can expect them and other banks to focus ever-more aggressively on their know your client rules. They'll also continue asking ever-more questions about every wire transfer you make. I've come to expect this as a regular part of my day.

As banks worldwide continue to try to figure out how to be compliant with the rules being handed down by the IRS in this FATCA era, you can expect all this to get much more complicated and restrictive before it finally shakes out. My advice for right now and through 2013 is to open accounts where you can when you can and to do whatever you have to do to keep any current accounts open. Banks will continue to increase their fees as their compliance costs go up, but, unless you're certain that you won't ever need an account in the future, I say it's worth paying the higher fees. You never know, at this point, which accounts are going to be unceremoniously closed or when. The more options the better.

Next year's travel agenda includes at least two new destinations for me. The Philippines is a hot spot among American retirees, particularly military retirees, thanks primarily to the low cost of living and the abundance of English spoken. A few years ago, I invested in a small real estate development project in this country. It's time finally to go check it out in person.

Peru is close to my base in Panama, but with so many other opportunities in the region, I haven't made it to the country yet. 2013 is the year, as a friend who's undertaken a small development project in Lima assures me that a trip to that city is well worth the investment of time. That's my plan.

The United States may be facing a fiscal cliff, but 2013 is going to be a year of opportunity nevertheless.

Unless, of course, the world does end today. Did the Mayans simply run out of room on their stone calendar or did they really predict the world would end on Dec. 21? Friends are in Belize as I write enjoying the End Of The World parties regardless.

Lief SimonContinue Reading:

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We didn't buy the property with the intention of turning it into a self-sufficient farmstead, and, in truth, if we'd had to survive off our 6 acres, we would have starved to death. Mostly because we were busy working. We didn't have the time to keep up with the gardens or the chickens, and we never figured out the cows, as the government, we discovered, regulated livestock to the point that we would have needed a permit to raise even a couple of cows if our intent was to sell them to a butcher.

Today I own various bits of land in different countries, but most of it either isn't suitable for farming or is owned with partners. I'm getting serious now about changing this, about expanding my flag planting efforts to include a farm somewhere, something bigger than 6 acres.

At the tail end of the last time it made real sense to buy a farm in Argentina (about 2006), I found a 1,000-acre property in Tucuman province. The property was fertile and lush and, with a price tag of US$600,000, a bargain for productive land in that country at that time. You could still buy ranch land in Argentina back then for as little as US$50 an acre, but productive land was going for US$1,000 an acre or more. Alas, the timing wasn't right for me, and I had to pass on the purchase.

Today, with Argentine politics more complicated even than is typical for this country, I'm looking instead at farmland in Uruguay, Chile, and Belize. Remembering the difficulties we faced in Ireland trying to cultivate a half-acre garden and a bunch of chickens, I'm assessing options from a house in a "resilient" community like the one friend Phil Hahn is developing on the banks of the Belize River to the purchase of a few hundred acres in Uruguay that could be leased to a real farmer to generate cash flow and maybe part of the crop as annual payment.

Another friend is at the beginning stages of a self-sufficient community in Chile. He's identified the land, about 125 acres with 500 feet of riverfront, and is working up the numbers. I'll have more details on how to get in on this opportunity at the investment level for my Marketwatch members as soon as the plan is finalized. Right now, my friend is looking to develop a community of large lots (about 1 acre), each with enough room for a house and a private garden. About half of the total property will be kept as fields that could either be leased out to a farmer or worked by the residents in the community or both.

The idea of becoming a part of a community like this, of like-minded individuals, takes some of the work out of being self-sufficient. As Phil likes to say about his Carmelita community in Belize, he's creating a place where people can be "independent together." I think that the answer for me might be an independent farm in Uruguay, but I see the appeal of what Phil and my friend in Chile are creating.

Whether you see farmland as a straight investment opportunity or a backup plan in case of global crisis, I see having a piece of land, whether it's within a communal setting or 1,000 acres all your own, as an important flag to plant right now.

Lief Simon

Editor's Note: Today's essay from Lief Simon is reprinted from his "Offshore Living Letter," Lief's twice-weekly dispatch on all aspects of diversifying your assets and your life offshore. If you're not yet receiving the "Offshore Living Letter," you can sign yourself up here now. It's free.Continue Reading:

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In South America, Uruguay, in particular, stands out; about 95% of the land in this country is farmable. Until the start of this century, most of Uruguay's land was used for cattle. When farmers began to recognize the implications of the coming global population crisis, they switched from cows to soybeans. Because Uruguayans haven't farmed their land for 200 years, it's virgin. There's been no soil degradation as in more recognized global breadbaskets.

Foreign and local investors are treated the same in Uruguay, and there are no restrictions on foreign ownership or use of land. No exchange controls or currency restrictions either. Uruguay is a foreigner-friendly, investor-friendly place and, as a result, has enjoyed the highest foreign direct investment per capita of all Latin America for the past three years.

Uruguay sees even rainfall year-round, plus the country sits on the world's largest untapped aquifer. The climate is temperate, with four mild seasons. Farmers can raise two crops per year.

Uruguay's farmland market is transparent. The entire country has been mapped. Each parcel has an ID number. You can plug this number into a map (available online: www.prenader.gub.uy/coneat) to see the productivity rating for that piece of land. The system amounts to an MLS for farmland, making it very easy to compare all your options at once. The average productivity rating for the country is 100. A lower rating means you're looking at land suitable for running cattle only. You want land rated 120 or 130 or better. Price correlates to productivity rating.

What could you produce? Almost anything you could imagine, from agricultural crops (soybeans, wheat, rice, etc.) to cattle or sheep for dairy, forestry (eucalyptus, pine), vineyards, olives, blueberries... None of these is a new crop to Uruguay—5% of the world's meat exports come from Uruguay; the country has the two biggest paper mills in the world; and Uruguay is the world's sixth-largest exporter of soybeans and fourth-largest exporter of rice. If you're buying for investment, plant soybeans (to sell to China). If you're buying for investment and for fun, try a hobby crop, like blueberries or grapes.

You could buy 50 acres to tens of thousands of acres. One of the many unique things about farmland investing in this country is that there are brokers with access to available farm investment opportunities across the country. All things considered, a farm in Uruguay is one of the most turn-key, user-friendly land purchases you could make anywhere in the world.

What would you do with your land once you'd bought it? You could either rent it out or hire a farm manager. A farm manager is like a property manager for a rental property. He is the key to your success. In Uruguay, there are many professional farm management companies, meaning, again, your options are turn-key.

Prices for farmland in Uruguay range from $1,000 to $4,000 an acre ($2,500 to $10,000 per hectare). Again, this is tied to productivity rating. Buy as much of the most highly productive land you can (as opposed to more of lesser rated land) with the budget you have. The better rated land will hold its value. Your return will depend on what type of product you instruct your management company to farm. Agriculture will return 4% to 9% per year; cattle 3% to 6% per year; forestry 6% to 10% per year. The most productive land is to be found in the country's southwestern corner.

The option would be to lease out the land you buy. Your return this way is less but more reliable, at about 4% a year. Many people buy and rent out for a year. Then, when they're more comfortable with the whole idea, they hire a farm management company for the greater yield. Farm management companies charge 5% of gross sales or 10% of net income.

These returns don't include appreciation. Farmland in Uruguay has been appreciating at a rate of 10% to 15% per year and this should continue.

Taxes related to farm revenues are low. Regular corporate income tax is a flat 25% in Uruguay. However, if you have a farm producing less than $240,000 per year (this would be a farm valued at $1 million or less), you pay only a capped tax of $5,125 annually. Property tax on farmland averages 0.2%. There's no VAT on most supplies and machinery or on the sale of farm products.

Farmland in Uruguay can be both an investment and a lifestyle, even a retirement plan. You could buy a small working farm (say 10 to 15 acres) with a small house (say 1,500 square feet) for US$300,000 to US$400,000. Engage a farm management company to maximize the return from whatever crop you decide to farm while keeping perhaps some small field for your own hobby use.

For more information on making a productive land investment in this country, I recommend English-speaking attorney Juan Federico Fischer with long experience counseling foreign investors in his country. Reach him here.

Kathleen PeddicordContinue Reading:

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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.

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