Live and Invest Overseas By Kathleen Peddicord

How To Rent In Cuenca For US$300 Per Month

Sept. 23, 2014, Quito, Ecuador: Here’s what you need to know to find and negotiate a rental apartment in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

"When we first started our property management office, we had six rental properties that were rented maybe 25% of the year," explained Graciela Quinde, owner of Rentals Cuenca in Cuenca, Ecuador, to the group convened in Quito for last week's Live and Invest in Ecuador Conference.

"Now I manage between 30 and 50 rentals," Graciela continued, "and they are occupied 90% of the year, some 100% of the time. And my company is not the only one managing rentals in Cuenca today. The rental market in this city is booming. More turn-key properties intended for the foreign client are available than ever before. Still, supply is lagging demand."

The good news for the renter in Cuenca is that, despite the growing demand and despite property values appreciating at a rate of about 10% per year for the past seven years, rents remain low in this city, though they are edging up.

The would-be renter in Cuenca has more support than ever. Typically, the world over, a property manager manages a rental property for the owner. In Cuenca, though, Graciela's company offers a service for the renter, as well.

"We're dealing with a lot of foreigners," Graciela explained in Quito last week. "A lot of them don't speak Spanish, and they need some hand-holding. We're happy to provide that. We help with things like setting up cable TV and Internet."

Graciela's firm also provides turn-key rentals, furnished and with all utilities already in place. This is a great choice for someone who wants to spend two or three months in Cuenca to try the city on for size before committing to an annual lease.

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Why Not Just Stay Put?

Sept. 29, 2014, Panama City, Panama: The big benefit of living and investing overseas is diversification, both of your assets and also of your life.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

I was "onshore" in Nashville recently for our once-a-year Retire Overseas Conference. We arrived in the States on a Sunday afternoon. Once we'd cleared U.S. immigration in Houston, where my wife was singled out as she is now every time she crosses the U.S. border, for reasons no one with U.S. immigration seems to be able to explain, the experience of making our way to downtown Nashville was painless.

The truth is, the United States is one of the easiest places in the world to live and travel. You might begin to wonder: Why do anything offshore in the first place? Easier, surely, just to stay put.

Overregulation and poor government stewardship of the people's money are two reasons to consider voting with your feet and your finances and relocating yourself and your assets somewhere else.

However, I'd say that going offshore is better approached as an opportunity rather than an escape. Or, put another way, this isn't a political decision. It's a practical one.

In that context, what's the real advantage of the Five Flags ideas I report on?

Diversification. It's the key to success in all things, from personal happiness to a healthy portfolio. And you don't have to go physically offshore, not immediately and maybe not ever, to reap the benefits.

That said, having a residency permit that allows you to stay in another country indefinitely should you decide you'd like to can be a good idea even if you right now have no intention of moving yourself anywhere. A backup residency, as I think of it, keeps your options open down the line. Many countries allow you to obtain legal residency without having to be resident full-time or even most of the time to maintain your residency status.

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Make Your Own Reality

Dec. 29, 2010, Baltimore, Maryland: Beyond the media view of the world is another one, where every turn brings not worry and fear but discovery and adventure, and this other world is way more fun.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Standing in line in Target last weekend, our cart overflowing with super-discounted stuff we'd decided we couldn't live without and had to buy to carry back to Panama with us, Lief asked me the question that we can't help but return to from time to time:

"Why do we choose to continue living overseas? Wouldn't it be easier and maybe even cheaper to move back to the United States?" he wondered.

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Fresh Snow And Sleigh Bells—The Best Of The Season In Stowe

Dec. 28, 2011, Stowe, Vermont: Stowe, Vermont, is one of the most beautiful, delightful places in the world to travel for Christmas.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

There may be an un-nice person in Stowe, Vermont, but we haven't found him or anyone who's heard tell of him. The folks in this part of the world are as genuinely welcoming, gracious, and helpful as any we've met anywhere.

Our families thought we were nuts, but, last Thursday, we left sunny, sultry Panama and traveled north to Stowe, with the kids, in search of a white Christmas. When we arrived, all was green, and temperatures were relatively warm. Then, Friday morning, we awoke to flakes falling and thermometers dropping. All's been frozen and white ever since, just as we'd hoped.

Arriving in Stowe village this time of year is like being dropped inside a Christmas garden. Every house, church, porch, lamppost, streetlight, timber fence, and wooden bridge is dressed with fresh wreaths, white lights, pine garland, red bows, and sleigh bells. It's Norman Rockwell come to life.

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The Most Turn-Key And Low-Cost Way To Invest In Colombia's Future (And Your Own)

Dec. 28, 2012, Medellin, Colombia: This turn-key real estate investment in Medellin, Colombia, provides both investment upside and Colombian residency.

Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,

Last year, I bought an apartment in downtown Medellin, Colombia. The price was a bargain (less than US$700 per meter), and, despite having spent much more than I intended on the renovation (friend Lee Harrison refers to this as the "Spousal Factor"), I could resell the unit today (18 months after the purchase) for a profit of at least 50%. And I could likely find a buyer quickly, as this is an active market.

I bought the apartment partly as a rental and partly for personal use. One Medellin rental manager who has inspected the property now that it's been renovated and furnished projects rent and occupancy rates that would translate to a net yield of 11% or 12% per year based on the purchase price (and including the monthly HOA fee).

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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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