“Kathleen, I found it very interesting that your Latin American correspondent responded in your newsletter dated Nov. 5 to my initial comment about the U.S. State Department’s position on Ecuador. Your correspondent’s Mailbag response started off with:
“‘Kathleen, if I listened to the State Department, I’d never go anywhere outside the United States…and that’s only because they don’t rate the United States…’
“I’ve signed up for your conference in Quito in mid-February 2013. I am staying in Ecuador beyond the conference so I can visit more of the country. Trust me; I am not looking for a boxing match with you folks. You do a great job of presenting facts about various opportunities overseas and I for one am very grateful for the information you provide. I very much look forward to meeting your team in Quito in February of 2013.”
–Tom R., United States
We look forward to meeting you, too. You seem to have a very open mind. That will serve you well as you consider your options for starting a new life overseas.
“Kathleen, I’ve been receiving your e-mails for a short time now and find the articles quite interesting, particularly the recent one regarding coconut plantation investment. Could you advise on how to do due diligence on such an investment?”
–Gary M., United States
I always advise that, before making any real estate investment anywhere in the world, you visit the property. In this case, Lief and I have visited the plantation in Brazil I wrote about earlier this week.
You should also check the background of the principals. In this case, the developers are investment guys out of the U.K. who had several years’ experience in Brazil before undertaking this project. Prior to that they were real estate consultants/advisors/investors in Dubai. Their original partners in Brazil were locals with local knowledge. They’ve since bought out those partners and put a new partnership together with the largest coconut seed company/coconut research operation in Brazil.
Then you want to vet the country. Understand things like restrictions on foreign ownership of property, currency restrictions, taxes, and the costs of buying and selling. Brazil does impose some foreign ownership restrictions, but the developer of this project has taken these things into account when structuring his offer. Brazil also imposes currency restrictions; you must register your funds coming in to the country properly or you could have trouble getting them (and associated profits) back out. The developers in this case have addressed this important point, as well. Taxes are managed/paid by the management company and are factored into the yield projections. This is a truly turn-key opportunity.
I include a fuller guide to performing due diligence on any overseas property investment opportunity in my new book, “How To Buy Real Estate Overseas,” to be published by Wiley & Sons in March 2013.
Continue Reading: How To Diversify Your Life And Your Assets Offshore