Buying a property in Buenos Aires

jantango

Registered
There are two apartments for sale in the building of 16 units where I have lived for 19 years in Balvanera. The 32m unit owned by a man (87) was offered for sale from Dec 2019 for one year without any result. He wants to move to Spain where his daughter lives, so he will sell the unit furnished. The owner of the other 47m unit next to mine passed on recently, and his three daughters removed the contents quickly to put the unit up for sale. Inspections are not done or required prior to sale in the City of Buenos Aires, so anyone buying property has to do a thorough investigation, especially in an older building from 1966 that has not been maintained.

Real estate agents do a good job of presenting apartments, but do they show the entire property to prospective owners? The condition of a building should be considered when buying a unit, as well as the financial state of the consorcio. I doubt that the young man who bought the unit above mine in April 2018, had a tour of the entire building. I would not be surprised if he has never seen the terrace.

The only positive thing I can say about living where I do is that the location is convenient to the central milongas and good transportation to others, a priority for me when I moved. A friend of a friend told me about the apartment, only ten blocks from where I rented. I rented the unit for three years and then bought it -- the first property I've owned in my life.

No real estate agent will make full disclosure about any building that requires major renovation work or about a consorcio that is in a financial crisis because of poor management. Both are a reality for me. My sister recommended I sell my apartment and move. That's easier said than done. I feel sorry for the owners who want to sell. Our incompetent administrator has decided that moratoriums with AFIP and AYSA are in order for all the debt she has brought upon us since January 2020. The owners/residents/heirs are left with a huge debt to pay, while she has accepted no part in the crisis. Would you believe that her mandate was renewed at the Sept 14th assembly?

Let the buyer beware!
 

Ries

Registered
Over the years, we have bought and sold a wide range of property in the USA. And buyer beware certainly applies there too, as well. Argentina is, indeed, a unique case though, and it requires more care and study.
I would say, though, that you dont want to rely on a real estate agent- instead, you need an escribano, and, hopefully, a lawyer as well. And if you dont know structures and systems, some kind of a consultant for that, like an architect, is handy as well.
We have both been involved in construction, and have renovated a fair amount of buildings, often doing much of the work ourselves, so we can see whats coming in terms of repairs- but for some of the things jan suggests, have found that a good escribano is essential.
For example, we purchased a property two years ago in BA, and our escribano laid out exactly the current financial situation of the consorcio before we bought- debts, unpaid bills, pending lawsuits, etc.
A good escribano will be able to dig up all this kind of information.
 

jantango

Registered
You have shared important information for foreigners who are potential property owners without any knowledge of how it works in Buenos Aires. The buyer has the right to choose the escribano for the deal. I got a referral to mine, and then recommended her to another friend buying property. Obtaining as much information about debts and lawsuits is important before you sign the papers.

A physical tour of any building in which anyone intends on buying is a priority. That includes the patios, terrace, basement, garage, laundry room, etc. One can hire a professional inspector for help before making a mistake.

Both of these apartments on the market in my building could easily go for below market price because the building is a disaster. The older population doesn't seem to care that the building is falling down, literally. Three years ago when the unit above mine was on the market, I found a listing online with the price of $120,000US, the same price for a unit in a brand new construction one block away. Needless to say, it didn't sell for that amount. Foreigners have to know that no realtor expects anyone to pay the asking price for any property. It's always negotiable.

Our administrator doesn't disclose bills accrued pending payment to the consorcio, so it could be difficult for an escribano to find the debt. Asking for several months of liquidations is one way of knowing what you're getting into. Also talking with other owners in the building could help with financial information. Who is interested in buying property where the consorcio debt is $500,000 and the monthly contribution will be increased thousands to pay off the debt that was the fault of poor management.

No one wants to find themselves moving into an apartment that is infested with roaches from the unit below. That is what someone will face that buys the unit next to mine. The owner always had several cans of RAID on hand. The roaches move through the ventilation ducts. I have mine covered in the kitchen and bathroom to keep them out. You would think that the administrator and the owner's council would take action against the tenant below who lives in junk yard, inside and outside, the building. This is prohibited by the reglamento propietario and internal rules (no depositos), but it has continued for 20 years. I initiated mediation with that tenant but he refused to do anything. Thus, the consorcio pays for roach and rat control every month, while the source of the problem is untouched and continues for the entire building. The service is not permitted to enter the unit for fumigation services. There are people like this is lots of buildings. We don't live alone. We live with everyone else in the building, including those who live in garbage dumps.

No one buys only their apartment. Their investment is in the property that determines the price. If the property isn't maintained, the apartment should be priced accordingly.
 

Sequoia1321

Registered
You have shared important information for foreigners who are potential property owners without any knowledge of how it works in Buenos Aires. The buyer has the right to choose the escribano for the deal. I got a referral to mine, and then recommended her to another friend buying property. Obtaining as much information about debts and lawsuits is important before you sign the papers.

A physical tour of any building in which anyone intends on buying is a priority. That includes the patios, terrace, basement, garage, laundry room, etc. One can hire a professional inspector for help before making a mistake.

Both of these apartments on the market in my building could easily go for below market price because the building is a disaster. The older population doesn't seem to care that the building is falling down, literally. Three years ago when the unit above mine was on the market, I found a listing online with the price of $120,000US, the same price for a unit in a brand new construction one block away. Needless to say, it didn't sell for that amount. Foreigners have to know that no realtor expects anyone to pay the asking price for any property. It's always negotiable.

Our administrator doesn't disclose bills accrued pending payment to the consorcio, so it could be difficult for an escribano to find the debt. Asking for several months of liquidations is one way of knowing what you're getting into. Also talking with other owners in the building could help with financial information. Who is interested in buying property where the consorcio debt is $500,000 and the monthly contribution will be increased thousands to pay off the debt that was the fault of poor management.

No one wants to find themselves moving into an apartment that is infested with roaches from the unit below. That is what someone will face that buys the unit next to mine. The owner always had several cans of RAID on hand. The roaches move through the ventilation ducts. I have mine covered in the kitchen and bathroom to keep them out. You would think that the administrator and the owner's council would take action against the tenant below who lives in junk yard, inside and outside, the building. This is prohibited by the reglamento propietario and internal rules (no depositos), but it has continued for 20 years. I initiated mediation with that tenant but he refused to do anything. Thus, the consorcio pays for roach and rat control every month, while the source of the problem is untouched and continues for the entire building. The service is not permitted to enter the unit for fumigation services. There are people like this is lots of buildings. We don't live alone. We live with everyone else in the building, including those who live in garbage dumps.

No one buys only their apartment. Their investment is in the property that determines the price. If the property isn't maintained, the apartment should be priced accordingly.
Interesting that you mention roach problem. I have some experience with that. I don’t like to kill roaches and other non-predatory or less predatory insects. I mainly kill spiders. I had a roach problem and spent alots of time with roaches as a result. They actually generally are very good natured things. I have various devices such as a bug vacuum and other humane bug capturaing devices that I use if I see some bugs inside. But big roaches are hard to capture and it’s best to seal the house to keep them out. They also poop all over the palce and this can cause harm if ingested. That might be the reason why you might lose your appetite if you see a roach. The way homes are built I get the impression that they didn’t care much about the lives of pests and seem to have built the homes with the intention of using pesticide rather than sealing the home to keep them from coming in. I had this problem when I purchased my home. After the pesticide wore off from the previous owner the big roaches started coming in, and I had to figure out where they might be coming from and seal those areas with foam, caulking, and in some cases the builder had not even put basic sheetrock, I think to make the kitchen cabinets fit in, and lots of roaches were coming in from there. Big roaches were also coming in from the fireplace box. There are also very tiny ants that can come in from small holes and cracks. It’s been a challenge, but I made big progress and it seems to be a matter of sealing the places they come in from. They are coming in from somewhere after all. It seems there are ways to keep them out of the house by sealing entry ways, including the duct system which can be sealed with wire mesh of various sizes. Also, some chemicals can be used as deterrent rather than to kill them. I think the problem should be addressed from the initial building of the home and having a culture that cares about these things. Yes, the insects should know better than to come inside the house, but I think of them sort of like children who should know better not to jump in the middle of the street for example, yet we have speed limit restrictions in school zones. Also, we built our houses right on top of existing ecosystems. Even if one doesn’t care about their lives I think most would agree that it’s better to have a well sealed home that doesn’t rely on pesticide or the neighbor’s use of pesticide. This is something that architects and builders should be addressing. I think if I buy a home or apartment I might prefer having a fixer upper or something that is in the total renovation phase where I can get these things addressed from the beginning. For example, when I renovated my kitchen I used foam and other sealants to seal possible entry ways, and that’s when I discovered the missing sheetrock that roaches were coming in from. Once the cabinets and things are installed it might be more difficult to do it, but I think it might should still be possible. After all, as mentioned, they are coming in from somewhere. Problem seems to be, as mentioned, that these things don’t seem to be high on the priority list in home design.

I remember a long time ago while I was at university I was living in this apartment for a short time that had lots of tiny roaches. At the time I didn’t care about their lives but I figured out where they’re coming from and sealed it all with duct tape. Not a permanent solution but it worked. Recently I noticed a wasps nest with lost of wasps near my back door, and normally I could wait for the winter when they abandon their nest to take it down, but because I’m selling my home I had a hard time figuring out what to do. Finally I found a bee relocation service who said they will also relocate the wasps nest to another location, and it was just yesterday that they came out with their bee suits and a vacuum that sucked the wasps and put them into a box, and they said they will not kill them and relocate the nest. That was not easy to find either, as other bee relocation services didn’t offer relocation service for wasps, though it can be done apparently. There are acutally lots of solutions and ways to go about pests, but it seems much of the problem is that it’s not thought about much and people mostly resort to killing them.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
If you live in a place where the spiders are genuinely dangerous then ignore the following remarks.

I don't have a roach problem like @Sequoia1321 but thanks to coexisting with spiders, I don't have any problems with insects and other small critters either. Coexisting with spiders doesn't mean living in a house that resembles Miss Havisham's: spiders tend to live in the cracks and empty spaces that people don't use or notice. Spiders' webs get vacuumed away along with any other dust or debris around the house: if you can see a spider's web that's probably because it has become dusty and if it's dusty it's no use to the spider anymore. I don't know whether spiders emit pheromones that warn other critters to stay away or whether they are just very good at their job but with spiders around, all the other pests are gone - and no man-made chemicals are needed.
 

pmacay

Registered
My step dad told me that spiders are good luck and would never kill one, if my mom really freaked out about a spider, Bob would pick it up and carry him/her outside. We had a large spider that took up home in our kitchen. I called him Fred. Fred would come out every night while we washed the dishes and say hello. He would walk the length of our kitchen window, then go back to his hiding spot where we couldn't see him. He was a good friend. Unfortunately Fred didn't survive the winter because I had to close the windows and he couldn't find any dinner. I miss Fred.

Fred - 2019-05-26 - 1.jpg
 

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steveinbsas

Registered
Since this thread has taken such a "strange" turn (about killing spiders...or not), I will add this photo:

This one was never actually inside my house but I didn't kill it. I used the catch and release protocol (with a broom and bucket) and let it go on the other side of the street.

The overall length (from the tip of the front legs to the tip of the hind legs) was about five inches.
 

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pmacay

Registered
Since this thread has taken such a "strange" turn (about killing spiders...or not), I will add this photo:

This one was never actually inside my house but I didn't kill it. I used the catch and release protocol (with a broom and bucket) and let it go on the other side of the street.

The overall length (from the tip of the front legs to the tip of the hind legs) was about five inches.
HOLY NO WAY! Are you in the north? What city do you live in?
 

steveinbsas

Registered
HOLY NO WAY! Are you in the north? What city do you live in?
YES WAY!

! AM 650 KM SOUTH of CABA on the outskirts of Punta Alta.

This was actually the second tarantula I've met (outside my house) in eleven years.

I relocated the first one in the same manner.
 
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