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Article by: Joaquin Cristobal info@jdcpropiedades.com.ar Published: 21/05/2008

Buying to live vs. Buying as Investment.

Buying to live vs. Buying as Investment.

First you have to know why are you buying property. Is completely different if you want to buy as an investment and rent the apartment to tourists for short terms, than if you want to live there because you want to relocate or retire in the city.

In the first case, you have to focus in occupancy that you may expect, price of the property, and the expected revenue (rent price). Size and location will determine them.

The area to buy if you are investing is definitively Recoleta. This is the premium location for tourists, some of the very most important tourist attractions of Buenos Aires are located there. On the other hand if you are buying to live, there are additional beautiful areas you may look, like Palermo Chico, Palermo Soho, Puerto Madero.

These areas would be great to live but won't be the first option tourists will choose when they are visiting for first time. As close to Recoleta's heart it will be better, also more expensive.

Size is an important factor. The rents that give more profit margin are weekly rentals. I know you don't want to live permanently in a 40 sq meters studio (132 sq feet aprox.), but for tourists visiting 7 days is a great deal.

It will be bigger than many hotel rooms, and they pay less, in some case almost 50% less than a 4 stars hotel for something equivalent.

Visiting the apartment.

Many realtors won't speak English, or just basic. Some important factors to pay attention when you are visiting the apartment is light and noise. Visit the apartment on different days and hours (not only in weekends), the traffic in some streets -and the noise it produces- can change dramatically from weekends to weekdays.

Even if you are buying a studio or a 1 bedroom apartment is important that has a complete bathroom. Some studios will have a shower only and very small bathroom.

You don't won't to live in a place like that, but also someone who is booking a an apartment to rent wants a bathtub (even if they only take showers then). Bring your digital camera and take pictures of the apartment. That will help you deciding and comparing between apartments you had seen later.

During the visit the realtor will give you the info of the apartment in some cases before, in others after seeing the unit.

He will give you the price, the conditions, commission details, etc. He also should give you a plan of the apartment. He may write everything down or not, in that case make sure you take note of the conditions, which units they have available, if they look to the front or to the back, etc.

You should ask the now what are the home association fees of the apartment (Expensas in Spanish), what does that includes (in some cases it may include the water and cable bill), approximate cost of the Municipal Tax called ABL.

5) Reserving the apartment and doing an offer.

After have decided to buy a property, you should reserve it. When you pay the "reserva", you basically block the apartment, the cannot show it anymore. They usually require from 1000 to 2000 argentine pesos as reservation deposit.

When you pay make the "reserva" you will make an offer. There is a margin to negotiate in most cases. People ask some thousands dollars more to get what they want after the bargaining process.

The seller may accept, reject or counter-offer. In most cases he/she will counter-offer. When both parties agree on the price, you will proceed to sign the property purchase contract .

Searching properties in Buenos Aires.

Now that we know our goal, is time to search. Searching for property can be very time consuming. There are hundreds of different real estate agencies.

They all will promise you to search all the market though their databases, and to offer you the best properties.

But in my experienced they always will try to sell you what they have in stock so they don't have to share their commissions with other realtors.

Commission is 3% is charged to the selller, and 3% to the buyer. In some cases it can be 4% each, some new buildings constructors will ask 4%.

The best source for finding a property are the Classifieds ads in La Nación and Clarín Newspapers on weekends.

Sometimes is not easy for myself to understand the abbreviations of the ads. The area to look is Barrio Norte (this includes Retiro, Recoleta, some parts of Palermo, and anything close to Recoleta).

Barrio Norte (North Neighborhood) does not really exist in the maps, but people call the Retiro + Recoleta that way.

Because it is a desirable area, Barrio Norte is a growing denomination, some realtors will advertise properties in Barrio Norte that are not really neither loctaed in Recoleta or Retiro.

In the ads you usually have the address of the apartment, the sq meters it has, the price, and a description. We will create a dictionary of real estate abbreviations, so it is easier for you to look up.

Mark the properties you are interested. It can be helpful to mark them also in a map so you get an idea of the location and the relation price / location.

Finally, you have to take in account how far is the property from main avenues like Santa Fe, Alvear, Callao, etc.

Santa Fe Avenue is one of the main dividing lines, to the south of Santa Fe will be cheaper, to the north more expensive. The same happens with Alvear Av.

The South of the city is less wealthy and developed than the North (Recoleta, Barrio Norte, Palermo, Belgrano, etc). The only area in the South that developed incredibly well in the last years is Puerto Madero (the docklands) which are now one of the most expensive areas of the city).

This division has historical reasons. In the 19th century the South was originally the best part of the city, but a yellow fever epidemic struck in 1850's in this area (specially in San Telmo), and everybody who could afford it, moved to the North of the City, far from the water and the Port, where the epidemic was originated in those days. The epidemic is something of the past, but no one moved back after it, and this dividing line continues to exist up to the present.

The local Government tries to promote the Southern areas of Buenos Aires City, but I would bet in the success of this plans. This may -or not- change in the future if the prices in the North increase too much, but right now, the hot area to invest is the North.

Making appointments / showing up.

Let's say you found 5 properties you are interested in seeing. You should call them to make an appointment. Many real estates have "guardias" and you will be able to visit the property without prior appointment (specially in new buildings, and constructions).

But some of them (specially if someone is living in the property) they will ask you for a land telephone number, to call you and meet.


External Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=138

Article Link: http://www.property-partnership.com/overseas-property-guides/overseas-property-guide.cfm?id=138

Please contact the author at info@jdcpropiedades.com.ar for more information.


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