Buying Real Estate in BA

Rich One

Registered
When is the right time to buy , see what Argentinian Real Estate Tycoon Elsztain believes.

"After the 2002 and 2008 crisis the Merval Index went up 700% and 274 % respectively , Argentina will always economic have cyclic swings . are we at the bottom of the trough " .He is an optimist About Argentina's economic future.

 

elgordito

Registered
Hi, a bit late to the party here but I'd just like to know if anyone here who has bought a property can share how much you managed to negotiate off the listed price? I'd be hoping for a minimum of 5-10%, anything more would be great news though. My budget would be around 200-300k USD for a 2/3 bedroom flat in Palermo/V Crespo/Belgrano.
 

Joglide

Registered
Be prepared to play a cat and mouse game with the crooked realtors who want to hide the truth and jack up the price, squeezing the maximum possible out of you by comparison to the better properties you could have bought with the same amount of money. It also depends on how generous and patient you are and whether or not you are willing to study the market by taking it slow.

Realtor can and will most likely lie about plumbing, services, building expenses, assessed value, square meters, etc, you must check everything yourself and push your escrow office to double check the documents and unpaid bills, otherwise you will end up like me, paying previous owner's unpaid gas, electricity and water bills. the utility companies don't care who owes the money, to transfer the service under your name they force you to pay up, luckily the amounts I paid weren't too bad.

If the building you are interested in is old, some love those old colonial ones, check and see if it has lead plumbing, don't listen to what the realtor says, go in with a cutter and scratch the pipes to see if they are soft or not, usually under the bathroom sink there are some pipes exposed. Also check if the building (even if relatively new) wasn't painted recently, this can be an indication that something was wrong and some cracked were sealed and now it's all covered and you would never know what structural problems it might have (very common because those idiot contractors pour cement at noon on hot scorching days instead of doing it early in the mornings or on a cloudy day, very little building oversight.)

Overall I would not recommend buying into a brand new condo building unless you know who the architect is and the quality of construction. Most buildings are NOT built well. I walked around construction sites countless times looking at exposed rebar at the bottoms of balconies and at the load baring concrete pillars, they cover it all and think it's ok, then several years later the rust comes through the paint and the building loses value fast.

The windows in new building are often times of horrendous quality, I used to rent in a new building and the rain water was accumulating inside the window frame, there was always black mold under the window, even the in the summer! i painted it and even left dehumidifier there but no, rain is rain and when it's built like shit then that's what you are going to get.

If you got money then go and look up a good architect with full building specs and go see every detail for yourself, talk to neighbor before you even talk to the realtor. Extra homework in this corrupt country comes a long way.

Otherwise, the time to invest within CABA is now. We hit the rock bottom already this year and I believe it's only going to go up from now on, albeit slowly, thanks to the looming default but demand is rising, too many young motivated venezuelans, hard working bolivians, paraguayans, tranditional families and myriad of other people who are saving dollars, patiently waiting for their chance to get into the real estate market of BA.
Very sage advice with good warning flags. What surprises me is that you are so sure demand is strong and will remain so: given the ridiculous exchange rate and cost of buying dollars when you are paid in pesos how do hard working ordinary citizens get say 10 million pesos to buy dollars for an apartment? Minimum salary of say 20,000 ARS per month or 80,000 ARS if you are very well paid means being able to save (say) USD$100-$300 per month or $3,000 a year even if inflation slows down? So how long before you can save even $70,000 to buy a very basic apartment? Most poorer people seem to inherit if they can and I just wonder where people get the money to buy if they just work hard in lower paid jobs. Second question is different: how does bargaining work? If someone asks USD$150k and I offer USD$70k is there a haggling room? Or do I offer $120k and get bidden up to $130k?
 

Weyland

Registered
Be prepared to play a cat and mouse game with the crooked realtors who want to hide the truth and jack up the price, squeezing the maximum possible out of you by comparison to the better properties you could have bought with the same amount of money. It also depends on how generous and patient you are and whether or not you are willing to study the market by taking it slow.

Realtor can and will most likely lie about plumbing, services, building expenses, assessed value, square meters, etc, you must check everything yourself and push your escrow office to double check the documents and unpaid bills, otherwise you will end up like me, paying previous owner's unpaid gas, electricity and water bills. the utility companies don't care who owes the money, to transfer the service under your name they force you to pay up, luckily the amounts I paid weren't too bad.

If the building you are interested in is old, some love those old colonial ones, check and see if it has lead plumbing, don't listen to what the realtor says, go in with a cutter and scratch the pipes to see if they are soft or not, usually under the bathroom sink there are some pipes exposed. Also check if the building (even if relatively new) wasn't painted recently, this can be an indication that something was wrong and some cracked were sealed and now it's all covered and you would never know what structural problems it might have (very common because those idiot contractors pour cement at noon on hot scorching days instead of doing it early in the mornings or on a cloudy day, very little building oversight.)

Overall I would not recommend buying into a brand new condo building unless you know who the architect is and the quality of construction. Most buildings are NOT built well. I walked around construction sites countless times looking at exposed rebar at the bottoms of balconies and at the load baring concrete pillars, they cover it all and think it's ok, then several years later the rust comes through the paint and the building loses value fast.

The windows in new building are often times of horrendous quality, I used to rent in a new building and the rain water was accumulating inside the window frame, there was always black mold under the window, even the in the summer! i painted it and even left dehumidifier there but no, rain is rain and when it's built like shit then that's what you are going to get.

If you got money then go and look up a good architect with full building specs and go see every detail for yourself, talk to neighbor before you even talk to the realtor. Extra homework in this corrupt country comes a long way.

Otherwise, the time to invest within CABA is now. We hit the rock bottom already this year and I believe it's only going to go up from now on, albeit slowly, thanks to the looming default but demand is rising, too many young motivated venezuelans, hard working bolivians, paraguayans, tranditional families and myriad of other people who are saving dollars, patiently waiting for their chance to get into the real estate market of BA.
Interesting, and great tips. Thanks.

I'm just wondering why you believe that the time to invest in CABA is now. Will a default have any negative affect on real estate values? Just as an investment, do you see any other real estate markets within Argentina that have a lot of growth potential?
 

Ries

Registered
You dont.
real figures of sales, whether sales prices, or overall market volume, are simply not available reliably.

Argentina is different.
People who buy real estate here are overwhelmingly Argentine. They park money in real estate because, historically, they have found it safer than any other place to keep their wealth.

Prices here do not track US models.

If you are serious about buying here, the only way to do it is extensive homework.
You have to actaully go and look at a lot of places for sale, in the areas you are interested in, and get your own model built, in your head, of what prices are being asked for what kinds of places.
You need to see yourself if they need new kitchens and baths (almost always) and what quality of construction is like.

And you need to realize- with no mortgages to speak of, and it being almost impossible to lose an apartment due to non-payment of expensas or taxes, NOBODY is in any hurry to lower prices. The external motivators that exist in the US do not exist here.
Some apartments go unsold for decades, because somebody doesnt feel the market is offering a high enough price. Meanwhile, somebodies nephew or cousin lives there.
 
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