Buy a house in BA?

MyArgentina

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Hi all! Long time lurker here, but have lived in BA for several years and have permanent residency. BAExpats is a regular stop for me and I have benefited a lot from everyone's knowledge and kindness. I am seriously mulling over purchasing a modest home here and I am wondering if any of you might offer an opinion on the expected 'future value' of a home somewhere north of the center, say, 10 years or so from now.
 

Fiscal

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off topic but don't home prices in BA seem high to you compared to the United States outside of large coastal cities?
 

FrankPintor

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If you can deal with living in the countryside, around an hour's drive from Buenos Aires there are quite a few closed condominiums ("countrys" in the local dialect) around Pilar, Cardales, and Campana, for example, where you can buy a 1000m2 site for $30-50,000 and put a house on it from $50-100,000. Or buy a house that someone has built to sell in one of those places.
 
off topic but don't home prices in BA seem high to you compared to the United States outside of large coastal cities?
Fiscal,

RE prices are RIDICULOUSLY over valued in Argentina. (Ronnie nailed the reason, RE is a safe place to park your money.)

I marvel at the silliness that makes for the Argentine RE marketplace.

Among other things:

No mortgage market (mercado hipotecario) to speak of. All cash transactions in USD or Euros. But anything except for pesos. Buying and selling is a silly process as well. Cash, barter, other assets introduced into the transaction. It makes me dizzy thinking about it all.

RE agents that do not much to help their client and the prospective buyer. They are simply in it for themselves. And their honesty is very suspect.

Rents that do not come close to what the property changed hands at or is valued at. The monthly rent on a place to live is out of proportion to the renters advantage, IN A BIG WAY!

If the Argentine government ever got it's act together, stabilized the financial system, built trust in the people's minds etc ... Banks started being banks, lending money at reasonable interest rates etc ... The RE market would reset and wipe out values in a big way.

Bottom line: RENT instead of buy - I wouldn't want to take it on the chine when this rug gets pulled some day.
 
If you can deal with living in the countryside, around an hour's drive from Buenos Aires there are quite a few closed condominiums ("countrys" in the local dialect) around Pilar, Cardales, and Campana, for example, where you can buy a 1000m2 site for $30-50,000 and put a house on it from $50-100,000. Or buy a house that someone has built to sell in one of those places.
Frank makes a good point. Outside of the population center, prices look quite a bit different. But I still feel they are too high. As for local build quality, it's really sub standard in Argentina unless you are constructing a dog house.
 

FrankPintor

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Frank makes a good point. Outside of the population center, prices look quite a bit different. But I still feel they are too high. As for local build quality, it's really sub standard in Argentina unless you are constructing a dog house.
For apartment blocks in the city I definitely agree with your point about build quality, the mostly Paraguayan gangs seem to make all the concrete rebar onsite, I didn't see any pre-finished materials being delivered at any of the building sites I lived close to (and there were more than enough...), building seemed to progress very slowly, and the spaces between the concrete supports are just constructed with brick (if there was ever an earthquake here, most of Buenos Aires would fall down.

But for an individual house, is the building quality still sub standard? I see the traditional brick and concrete method, and steel frame construction being used (wood frame isn't allowed by most of the "countrys"), and for steel frame the building companies claim to use high quality multi-layer sections. Here I don't see the chipboard and stucco construction used for the Million-Dollar Mac Mansions in California, for example.
 

MyArgentina

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I have noted that real estate seems to be the most reliable store of value in Argentina. I expect to be here for the long haul. And the way things are going Stateside who know what sort of world we'll be living in 10 years from now. As the States continues printing trillions, I have thought that diversifying out of cash may be wise. But one never knows.
 
I have noted that real estate seems to be the most reliable store of value in Argentina. I expect to be here for the long haul. And the way things are going Stateside who know what sort of world we'll be living in 10 years from now. As the States continues printing trillions, I have thought that diversifying out of cash may be wise. But one never knows.
There might be a handful of people on the planet who are rock star level economists who can paint a clear picture what future things look like.

But 10 years out, and with so many things that could be major shaping events, forget about it for accuracy's sake. It's just next to impossible to be acting today, thinking you will know 10 years into the future. But you can do a good job just the same. DIVERSIFY by not putting all your eggs in one basket. Think about your risk tolerance, timeline in life and what you feel comfortable with. SPREAD IT OUT. Any expert would advise the same I am guessing.
 
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