Retiring in BA

#1
My husband and I were in BA last year and fell in love with the city and we are considering moving from Canada, to retire in BA. I am wondering what the current real estate market is like and is it declining like other cities in the world?I have been doing some research on line about buying property and find I get a variety of answers. Any one with recent expperience in buying an appartment?Thanks Leslie
 
#2
First visiting someplace on vacation and living there are two different things entirely. About 80-90% of people who retire overseas return home by the end of the second year.
Given this if you decide to try B.A. rent first. Whether real estate prices will go up or down I don't know. Prices have risen a bunch in the last few years, logic would tend to dictate this cann't go on forever.
Cost of living there is escalating rapidly 25-30% a year, which would seem to make it less attractive to most retirees. I calculated the cost of living is currently about 110% of the average U.S. city.
Also if you are living in Argentina the inheritance laws are completely different. If one of you should die there your property doesn't pass to the surviving spouse. Under Argentine law half your assets would go to your children whether you want this or not. You could be forced to sell your property and hand half of the proceeds to your kids.
Don't forget you could have problems getting health care coverage, something you don't have to worry about in Canada.
Good luck on your retirement.
 
#3
Hmm I tried to post... but didn't go up, so am pasting it in again, sorry if a repeat:
Yes healthcare could be quite a bit more expensive than you realise -- I'm Canadian, under 35, and I'm paying more for the lowest level of private plan than I did at home in BC. If you have any pre-existing conditions (with the exception I believe of Diabetes, for which they cannot refuse service), you may find it difficult to get insured at all -- I'm not entirely sure which conditions may eliminate you, but others might be able to tell you.
Depending on where you live in Canada (if you tell me what city I'll be able to give you more detail) you may find it more or less expensive. I'm from Vancouver and my rent here is considerably cheaper -- however, we also have a place that is about half the size of where I last lived before coming down AND we have a 2 year lease with garantia, which you would not be able to get. So I would say for our rent, in our barrio, the price per square foot is about 85-90% of the cost one of the nicer neighbourhoods of Vancouver (Kits, West End, VGH area etc).
On top of this we pay all of our bills / expensas etc. Internet here is more expensive than at home and you get less -- less quality, less customer service, less know how, etc ;)
However, your questions were about real estate --
Ok, well finding a place is going to take 6 months minimum, regardless. So come down and rent an apartment.
Secondly, you're foreigners, so just swallow your pride and accept the fact that you're going to get ripped off. Unless you have close Argentine family or friends to help negotiate the deal for you, you will end up paying fees left right and centre to intermediaries etc. There are some foreigners who can help you find a place, for a fee of course, and they take their cut of the commission which means they'll add another 1-2% onto the price of the department in order to get the money into their pocket. And usually they only work with certain agents etc so they are probably doing a split behind the scenes between themselves, the real estate agent, the escribano etc. This is not a bad business, nor is it illegal, it's a smart way for someone to make a living, you just need to be aware that you will be paying quite a bit of extra for the service.
Do not trust anyone that suggests you transfer the money to them, to their escribano, to whomever. Do not do any shortcuts on transferring in your money. If you want to be able to sell the property later on, you need proof of how every dime got into the country.
Do make sure that you have someone you can trust to translate all documents for you and read every little bit of legalese. As far as I'm concerned, I would not use the escribano suggested to you by the agency, by your intermediary etc. I would use an escribano recommended to you by an outside party -- if you look around on most expat forums you'll find someone that has trustworthy references.
Do be aware that in certain neighbourhoods the expensas are rumoured to be increasing again. The last time they went up they jumped anywhere from 20-200% depending on the barrio. So be prepared.
There is a lot to learn about the paperwork -- what documents you will need before you can buy, how to get your money into the country, how to make sure you will be able to sell the property without AFIP taking 30% in taxes etc. Read this forum and there should be some decent information -- http://expat-argentina.blogspot.com/ -- this guy also went through it all a few years back.
The main thng I always say to people who are retiring down here is -- are you sure you'd be happy if you were stuck here?? There's a big difference between choosing to live here, and ending up with no other option. If the economy does crash, which frankly, it probably will it's just a matter of will it be in one year, 2 years, 5 years -- hell with the States going down the drain, we all will follow sooner or later. In the case of a crash, you my not want to stay. But you may not be able to sell.
Right now the economy is still "good", yet nothing over about 100-120k is selling. If you have a property on the market for 140k it could sit there for 2 years or more with no buyers. If you don't have your residency, AFIP could hold onto a portion of your money for up to a year after you do sell. If this happens, would you be happy to wait? Would you be in the position that you could still go back to Canada in the meantime?
Flights to Canada are going up as well. When I moved I thought I'd be able to go home about every 8 months. With flights now at 1500 dollars or more to Vancouver and even Toronto, that doesn't appeal. Flights can be bought cheaper in Canada, but you'll discover that flights are much more expensive to buy when you're flight originates from Argentina.
I'm not saying it's not doable. I just am issuing the same caution I issue to anyone wanting to retire down here -- you need to know what you're getting into and figure out whether you'd be so happy to be here if you couldn't actually get out. Prices jump all the time here. In canada people balk at interest rates of 2%. Here it jumps 20-30% -- I don't care what INDEC says, we all know they manipulate the numbers.
If I were you, I'd live here for minimum one year before buying. Even at one year you won't know the ins and outs of the city, but you'll at least have an idea of how things change, have a bit more language, know the city a bit more.
 
#5
Yeah so is mine. Comes off my credit card. Last month converted to $112 CAD.
I paid $54 CAD in Canada.
My boyfriend is on the same OSDE plan as me and has to get ACL surgery. The plan covers everything -- except the screws. They don't consider them necessary to the surgery. So he has to pay 1500 pesos for screws. Nice plan.
 
#6
"syngirl" said:
Hmm I tried to post... but didn't go up, so am pasting it in again, sorry if a repeat:
Yes healthcare could be quite a bit more expensive than you realise -- I'm Canadian, under 35, and I'm paying more for the lowest level of private plan than I did at home in BC. If you have any pre-existing conditions (with the exception I believe of Diabetes, for which they cannot refuse service), you may find it difficult to get insured at all -- I'm not entirely sure which conditions may eliminate you, but others might be able to tell you.
Depending on where you live in Canada (if you tell me what city I'll be able to give you more detail) you may find it more or less expensive. I'm from Vancouver and my rent here is considerably cheaper -- however, we also have a place that is about half the size of where I last lived before coming down AND we have a 2 year lease with garantia, which you would not be able to get. So I would say for our rent, in our barrio, the price per square foot is about 85-90% of the cost one of the nicer neighbourhoods of Vancouver (Kits, West End, VGH area etc).
On top of this we pay all of our bills / expensas etc. Internet here is more expensive than at home and you get less -- less quality, less customer service, less know how, etc ;)
However, your questions were about real estate --
Ok, well finding a place is going to take 6 months minimum, regardless. So come down and rent an apartment.
Secondly, you're foreigners, so just swallow your pride and accept the fact that you're going to get ripped off. Unless you have close Argentine family or friends to help negotiate the deal for you, you will end up paying fees left right and centre to intermediaries etc. There are some foreigners who can help you find a place, for a fee of course, and they take their cut of the commission which means they'll add another 1-2% onto the price of the department in order to get the money into their pocket. And usually they only work with certain agents etc so they are probably doing a split behind the scenes between themselves, the real estate agent, the escribano etc. This is not a bad business, nor is it illegal, it's a smart way for someone to make a living, you just need to be aware that you will be paying quite a bit of extra for the service.
Do not trust anyone that suggests you transfer the money to them, to their escribano, to whomever. Do not do any shortcuts on transferring in your money. If you want to be able to sell the property later on, you need proof of how every dime got into the country.
Do make sure that you have someone you can trust to translate all documents for you and read every little bit of legalese. As far as I'm concerned, I would not use the escribano suggested to you by the agency, by your intermediary etc. I would use an escribano recommended to you by an outside party -- if you look around on most expat forums you'll find someone that has trustworthy references.
Do be aware that in certain neighbourhoods the expensas are rumoured to be increasing again. The last time they went up they jumped anywhere from 20-200% depending on the barrio. So be prepared.
There is a lot to learn about the paperwork -- what documents you will need before you can buy, how to get your money into the country, how to make sure you will be able to sell the property without AFIP taking 30% in taxes etc. Read this forum and there should be some decent information -- http://expat-argentina.blogspot.com/ -- this guy also went through it all a few years back.
The main thng I always say to people who are retiring down here is -- are you sure you'd be happy if you were stuck here?? There's a big difference between choosing to live here, and ending up with no other option. If the economy does crash, which frankly, it probably will it's just a matter of will it be in one year, 2 years, 5 years -- hell with the States going down the drain, we all will follow sooner or later. In the case of a crash, you my not want to stay. But you may not be able to sell.
Right now the economy is still "good", yet nothing over about 100-120k is selling. If you have a property on the market for 140k it could sit there for 2 years or more with no buyers. If you don't have your residency, AFIP could hold onto a portion of your money for up to a year after you do sell. If this happens, would you be happy to wait? Would you be in the position that you could still go back to Canada in the meantime?
Flights to Canada are going up as well. When I moved I thought I'd be able to go home about every 8 months. With flights now at 1500 dollars or more to Vancouver and even Toronto, that doesn't appeal. Flights can be bought cheaper in Canada, but you'll discover that flights are much more expensive to buy when you're flight originates from Argentina.
I'm not saying it's not doable. I just am issuing the same caution I issue to anyone wanting to retire down here -- you need to know what you're getting into and figure out whether you'd be so happy to be here if you couldn't actually get out. Prices jump all the time here. In canada people balk at interest rates of 2%. Here it jumps 20-30% -- I don't care what INDEC says, we all know they manipulate the numbers.
If I were you, I'd live here for minimum one year before buying. Even at one year you won't know the ins and outs of the city, but you'll at least have an idea of how things change, have a bit more language, know the city a bit more.
We live in Nanaimo and my husband had open heart surgery about 5 years ago and has never been healthier. I think we will see how our trip is this year and then take time to consider what we want to do. Thanks for all the info. Leslie