Watching HGTV International and Wonder

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

 

I am watching HGTV International, and the story is about Lisa, a nurse from Fresno, CA. She lives too far from the water, so she started looking internationally, because she said she can’t do it in the US.

So, what is her budget? $400,000.

She finds the place in Panama on the Caribbean side. Needs a boat to get to those small islands, looks at houses, which don’t look enticing to me. Lisa meets the agent, and tells him she needs minimum 2 bedroom but 4 would be better (!).

With instructions, the agent takes them to the first house… a one-bedroom house atop the place with tons of steps leading to it. The funny part is that Lisa and her kids do not get surprised that they had to go up all those stairs to see … what they did not ask to see. But no problem to both the agent and to Lisa. Weird…

Second home was, actually, the closest to a home, but they eliminated it. And ended up with a house on stilts in the water… for $395,000…

All that time I was trying to understand why they did not look closer to home. If there was nothing in California in this price range, they could find it in Florida.

In Daytona for this money they could buy a really luxury 3-bdr oceanfront condo.

Wanted some place warmer in winter? She could by a place in Florida Keys. What an excellent place, and it is in the US.  I do not trust any investment outside of US. In todays political climate, Americans are easy target outside of the US borders. I think people don’t think about it, going to Costa Rica, Panama and other wonderful places.

Whole developments have been built… But when the Americans will be shot dead in the gang fights in Mexico, or the first American head is cut off (and for me it is not a question of if, it is a matter of when), then people will drop their properties like flies and run away.

The government does not have the obligation to protect Americans abroad, nor can it be capable of that, so when you will be choosing investment or life, we all know what it would be.

So, if I get richer and start thinking about second home in warmer place, Florida Keys, or US Virgin Islands will cut it for me.

The best part is that I still can do it with even less than $400K…

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Rainer
171,030
Robert Butler
Aspect Inspection - Montreal West Island, QC
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection

I suspect that price is not the only consideration. The absence of US municipal, state and federal taxes has it's appeal and as well as how far he US dollar goes in a smaller offshore economy.

Oct 17, 2012 02:04 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,558,040
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

You got a point there!  Florida is probably one of the most affordable places now.  I'd probably want to stick state-side too!

Oct 17, 2012 02:20 PM #2
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
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Robert - of course, but tis is ot what Lisa was saying that was mportant to her. And these economies tend to be not really stable and life gets more expensive very quickly.

And still the question of safety remains

Oct 17, 2012 03:25 PM #3
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Carla - and island living is another issue. It has flavor, but can be daunting

last year we went to Islamorada, and I loved the time there, the climate, and it was America. And with Miami only couple of hours away, not island syndrom

Oct 17, 2012 03:27 PM #4
Rainmaker
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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I saw this one too, Jon.  I was wondering about the same questions.

Oct 17, 2012 10:13 PM #5
Rainmaker
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Dick and Dixie Sells
Sells Real Estate, LLC - Trinity, FL
Realtors, Tampa Bay Florida Homes For Sale

So true, Jon.  There's no place like home! And agree that we definitely  have waterfront  bargains here in Florida!

Oct 17, 2012 10:26 PM #6
Rainmaker
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Eileen Burns
Trans State Commercial RE Ft. Lauderdale/Miami/Palm Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
FL Probate Agent, Hotel & Land Specialist

I agree Jon.  I caution all ex-patirots to be on their guard.  Uprisings occur as well as abductions.  On the surface it may look magical but in the long run socialism and oppression creeps into economies.  Buyer beware

Oct 17, 2012 10:29 PM #7
Rainer
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Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

So true!  My dad bought an amazing place outside of Puerto Vallarta and they have to caravan with others to make the trek down...no driving at night.  Not for me!

Oct 17, 2012 10:50 PM #8
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Gabe - good. Means that I am not crazy.

Oct 18, 2012 12:11 AM #9
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Dick & Dixie - it is just so much safer. I simply do not understand why gamble. We all know what regime was in Panama before, and where are the guarantees that it can't change and another Noriega gets the upper hand...

Oct 18, 2012 12:13 AM #10
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Eileen - I agree. It is so obvious that fanatics can have easier way of geting to Americans abroad than here.

Oct 18, 2012 12:14 AM #11
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Kathryn - it reminds me times back in the USSR, when some people started making big money. The group of guys wanted to build a small high end development with cottages. They were putting the fence and part of the plan was a tower for a machine-gunner.

I do not want to live in a place wth machine-guns to protect my very being there. I feel protected here, in the US. i am not going anywhere no matter how cheap I can buy there.

But it is not really as cheap as they think. In poor and undeveloped Panama it is more expensive than in Daytona Beach.

Oct 18, 2012 12:18 AM #12
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Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Jon - I completely agree about the risks of buying foreign property. However, that doesn't stop me from dreaming about that Italian hillside villa I saw in Umbria, and what it would look like after we got finished restoring it (and $400K would just about get it done). But really, HGTV?!! Why would you watch that, when Real Housewives are on?

Oct 18, 2012 03:46 AM #13
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Dick - as for Real Housewives - guilty as charged. Have no alibi

BTW, Italy is not quite Panama. What do you think?

Of course, I am saying it hoping to get an inviation to this gorgeous villa in Italy.

I buy wine.

Oct 18, 2012 06:36 AM #14
Rainer
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Marie Fox
Foxy Interiors Inc. Lake Mary Florida - Lake Mary, FL
Lake Mary, Florida, Home Stager & RE Photographer
Good morning Jon, I'd be clicking the heels of my pretty red shiny shoes saying there's no place like home. I agree with the others: there are many tropical places in Florida by the water to find a lovely home for $400K or less, not to mention the safety and security factor.
Oct 18, 2012 09:35 PM #15
Rainmaker
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Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Jon, RE: Comment #9.  Unless we're both crazy!  :-)

Oct 20, 2012 05:41 AM #16
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Marie - and there is nothing more important than safety. Why gamble with that? Why risk losing your property if political climate changes.

A friend of mind spend 10 years in Saudi Arabia long ago, and was very fond of it and was calling it a very safe place for Americans, until somebody cut off the head of the American citizen.

Why even consider it? What is the benefit?

there are easier ways to learn the forecign language (LOL)

Oct 20, 2012 05:59 AM #17
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Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
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Gabe - I enjoy your company, how about that? even if you are right, the quality of the company matters (LOL)

Oct 20, 2012 06:00 AM #18
Rainmaker
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Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I saw the exact same episode and I really didn't like the house they picked out on stilts. It seemed so isolated to me. Good job rationalizing how they should switch gears and look in Florida instead.

Oct 20, 2012 12:59 PM #19
Rainmaker
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

What about that other American paradise on the water -- Hawaii? Although, I have heard that Americans are not treated very well nor welcome there.

Oct 22, 2012 01:46 AM #20
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