Yet another fella thinking of moving to BsAs

#1
I realise that there is an endless line of these types of posts and I apoligise if it irritates a section of the board, but I would be grateful if someone could tell me about my chances of surviving in BsAs if I were to take the decision to move. I am 34, single and no ties living in London. I stayed in BsAs for six weeks back in 2003 and fell completely in love with the place. I am a relatively good Spanish speaker. Indeed it was BsAs that persuaded me to start learning. I enjoy London but feel that I can never really make much headway here in terms of getting somewhere I want to live. I enjoyed the culture of BsAs and I would love to have a chance to study it more.
I am a lawyer and realise that I do not have transferable skills to the Argentine jobs market as I do not know any Argentinian law. (sounds pretty hopeless so far) BUT I have been lucky enough to be able to save quite a nice sum of money i.e $280,000. USD. Do you think that I could buy a flat and rent out some rooms enough to survive until I get used to the country enough to get a job?Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
#2
I wouldn't advise anyone to rush in like that and invest their worldly savings....if I had lived here a year before buying a property, I might have changed my mind!
Go to www.doingbusiness.org and click on Argentina to see just how many days it takes to get anything done, plus info on property and rental taxes etc. There are many hidden taxes in this country.
Living here permanently is v. diff from life as a tourist. Why not come over and rent for a year so that you can make a rational decision about investing time, effort and money in Bs As.
 
#3
Quoting "potentialbonarense":
". . . . I stayed in BsAs for six weeks back in 2003 and fell completely in love with the place. . . . I enjoy London but feel that I can never really make much headway here in terms of getting somewhere I want to live. I enjoyed the culture of BsAs . . . ."
As a fellow anglophone and fellow lawyer (though American, not British) who has lived in London, I understand your feellings entirely.
". . . . I have been lucky enough to be able to save quite a nice sum of money i.e $280,000. USD. Do you think that I could buy a flat and rent out some rooms enough to survive until I get used to the country enough to get a job?"
I do. Better, you might want to consider the excellent advice you've received: rent for awhile -- six months, a year at most -- and see just how well you really enjoy the place in the brutally humid heat of summer and the occasionally chill dreariness of winter. Were I you, I might watch my pennies by renting in the suburbs, looking out for good buying opportunities.
The best of good fortune for you.
 
#4
I was in a similar situation as you in 2005 and made my way to BA. What was planning to be a month trip turned out to be a life long adventure. I bought a place and later ended up marrying a local girl. Eventually we headed back to the states because "real" money opportunties are quite limited in Argentina. IMHO I feel Argentina is a great place to vacation, travel, play, retire, but offers little in terms of financial gain/opportunities. If you go, go with the primary intention of having fun and secondary scouting out investment opportunities. If you want to make money either contintinue to work in Europe and visit Argentina or possibly expand your search to include Brazil and Chile - you may find more opportunities in those countries. Good luck!
 
#5
Hello there, I really appreciate all your replies and I do believe it is very sensible advice to rent there for an extended period of time before I buy and this is something I will do.I quickly glanced throught the "doing business" link (thanks for that) and it certainly makes for sobering reading. It certainly appears that it takes alot of effort to do even the most basic tasks.In the UK however, we have serious quality of life concerns that are an equal and I would argue, a larger source of stress. London is manic, abrasive, expensive and dirty. I cannot afford a property with my savings, I would have to mortgage myself to the hilt to afford a one bedroom in my particular area. Effectively I would need $USD600K to buy an entry level apartment. Job wise, I earn good money, but then I need to, my weekly Zone 1-3 travel card is $56 dollars. My rent is $1340, and for that I share, Council tax is $700 every quarter. Finally house prices are on the slide, so I am doomed to rent for a few good years more in case I buy near the top of the market.So in short, on paper I am finding it hard to find a downside. Let me reiterate, I totally agree with the advice proffered. I should spend an extended period there to be sure.
 
#6
Were I you, I would move to Argentina. You've enough money to see you through, with care, even if you don't find a decent job -- and if, of course, you restrain your spending to Argentine norms. The more reasonable approach to life to be found here is well worth the trade-off. Only an insane love of money (by my lights, at least) could keep one plugging away at a job that does not satisfy emotionally in an area that frustrates.
 
#7
go for it. you only live once. yes bs. as. has problems, but living there is a pleasure overall. for 12,000 to 15,000 u.s. per year you can live pretty well. invest the principal and live off as much interest as you can. you do not have go out every day and spend big money on steak. do an empanada or a slice of pizza (el cuartito). load up on wine at carrefour and find the little produce spots. recoleta and palermo are outstanding, but living in almagro and villa crespo also has it's rewards. check out guia oleo for some restaurant reviews based on price. enjoy!
 
#8
"potentialbonarense" said:
In the UK however, we have serious quality of life concerns that are an equal and I would argue, a larger source of stress. London is manic, abrasive, expensive and dirty. I cannot afford a property with my savings, I would have to mortgage myself to the hilt to afford a one bedroom in my particular area. Effectively I would need $USD600K to buy an entry level apartment. Job wise, I earn good money, but then I need to, my weekly Zone 1-3 travel card is $56 dollars. My rent is $1340, and for that I share, Council tax is $700 every quarter. Finally house prices are on the slide, so I am doomed to rent for a few good years more in case I buy near the top of the market.
This is correct and your logic is impeccable. The British housing market is in for a sustained slump. In addition, the prognosis for the pound is bleak: expect it to slide to parity with the euro over the next two or three years. But you want to be wary of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Argentina is no bed of roses. Perhaps one possibility would be for you to park your modest savings some place (neither the UK nor the US), and rent for a while in Argentina. It's considered wise to not commit to Argentina until one has spent a protracted period of time in the country and knows what one is letting oneself in for. You are young, you are single -- go for it; just don't commit yourself financially at this stage.
 
#9
Again thanks for the advice. I suppose what really bugs me is how Anglo-phone countries everywhere, have defined success in terms of raw economic growth and productivity, Being Irish I have seen my country transformed from an economic basket case to the 5th richest country in the world. However, it is certainly odd defining success as a housing market that has risen beyond the reach of many and dooms individuals and young families to live in a shoe box miles from the city centre.

It certainly seems odd to define success by pointing to increased productivity which translates as young parents both having to work well beyond the traditional 9-5.30 because of a sense of obligation. Oh and to afford child care (my sister and her husband pay $2400 a month for their two kids' child care.And for the very few that made lots of money, it is certainly odd to define success by having your child say "Mummy I really do not consider a flight less than 5 hours from home a proper holiday" ( that was said by the niece of one of my best friends). You know, none of this is to minimise the serious issues faced by the people of Argentina, the inadequacies of their democracy and the economic mismanagement that they have to endure, but if they were to achieve conventional success, would it be something you'd ask for, in terms of quality of life, would it not almost be very similar to the downsides of what they experience now, in my opinion, life seems very similar at both extremes of the spectrum. The reason why I would move there, is to leverage the difference and that is important. Some would argue that it is a form of economic parasitism. I would prefer to see it as one person taking an opportunity to escape the madness and save his soul.(ok a tad melodramatic but......)
 
#10
"potentialbonarense" said:
I suppose what really bugs me is how Anglo-phone countries everywhere, have defined success in terms of raw economic growth and productivity, Being Irish I have seen my country transformed from an economic basket case to the 5th richest country in the world. However, it is certainly odd defining success as a housing market that has risen beyond the reach of many and dooms individuals and young families to live in a shoe box miles from the city centre.

It certainly seems odd to define success by pointing to increased productivity which translates as young parents both having to work well beyond the traditional 9-5.30 because of a sense of obligation. Oh and to afford child care (my sister and her husband pay $2400 a month for their two kids' child care.
And for the very few that made lots of money...
If you have a spare moment, you might like to take a look at this piece in the London Review of Books. An excerpt:
But City money is strangling London life. The presence of so many people who don’t have to care what things cost raises the price of everything, and in the area of housing, in particular, is causing London’s demographics to look like the radiation map of a thermonuclear blast. In this analogy only the City types can survive close to the heart of the explosion. At this time of year, when the bonus stories come out, you can understand why. A bar announces that it is offering the most expensive cocktail in the world: £35,000.
And this article in the FT:
Given what we have long known – about the country’s relatively low productivity growth rate and the erosion of its scientific and engineering excellence – the British economy should clearly not have performed quite as well as it did for the past 15 years. Economic theory would suggest that this was not possible.
In the next few years, I expect the UK economic miracle to be exposed for what it was: an overlong joyride on the back of an overlong asset price bubble. The UK economy is about to undergo a downturn at least as large as that of the US – maybe even worse, because of an even more inflated housing market and because the financial sector constitutes a larger share of gross domestic product.