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Friday, May 27, 2005

Beginning The Apartment Search

Now that I've settled in and been here about two weeks, I'm starting the process of looking for an apartment to buy. Since I wasn't able to get the kind of loan I wanted, I'll be looking for a place that's a little smaller than I normally would have purchased.

Since I may only live in Buenos Aires for a few years, I wanted to make sure that the purchase I make is also a good move financially. This means that when I'm done with the apartment, I want to be able to rent it out or sell it at a profit.

Yesterday, I met with Michael Koh of ApartmentsBA, one of the biggest apartment rental companies here in Buenos Aires. He gave me some great advice about where to buy a place, to ensure that it makes money as a rental and also has a chance for some capital appreciation. It comes down to one word -- Recoleta. According to Mike, 85% of all tourists request an apartment in the Recoleta area. So, if you want to be able to rent out the apartment, you pretty much have to buy it in the Recoleta area.

So, today I start my search for an apartment here in Recoleta. I'll keep everyone updated with how it goes.

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Blogger Carolyn said...

I have another option since you are not looking to rent out your apt. at this point - but are looking to live there yourself, and want a good investment - another word: Palermo!
My husband and I are from Chicago, and were in BA for the first time in February. We fell in love with BA - particularly the Palermo neighborhood. The scale, the restaurants, shops, accessiblity to Santa Fe, and the subway we found to be wonderful. We are both architects, and this neighborhood has some great small buildings, still with some "afordable" properties in the form of something called a "PH". It is a quaint way of life. It is basically a "townhouse" with a courtyard. No assessment fees. Nice scale. I would highly recommend this neighborhood! We were enchanted. It is a charming neighborhood. So many of the "affordable" apartments in the Recoletta were in very unattractive buildings, with small windows, and boring, very routine layouts. Uneducated businessmen looking for an alternative to a hotel room may be interested in these. But, for anyone interested in a place that they will live, ApartmentBA is not the paradigm. The "PH" examples are much more interesting - high ceilings, tall windows and doors, privacy, etc. If you find yourself frustrated with the Recoletta - try Palermo for a wealth of opportunity. Mike's model is different than yours - you are not planning to rent yours out - but live there yourself. As an investment, we thought that Palermo is similar to a place in Chicago -Lincoln Park - only 30 years ago. Today,you can't touch a townhouse in Lincoln Park for under a million. The proximity to downtown, and the Recoletta of Palermo, is spectacular. The investment in Palermo by many is considerable. It is a neighborhood on the rise. Consider it!

5/27/2005 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger elizabeth said...

I would concur with Carolyn. While Recoleta is considered desirable, I would argue that the various neighborhoods that make up Palermo offer a better quality of life and more real upside investment wise. You will be able to buy more house, jardin and light. And when I say light, natural light can be a problem in the Recoleta. It is relatively built up and many of the newer buildings are short on windows. Unless you are able to afford the pre-war flats with french doors everywhere, most apartments are uninspired and dark.

I personally love the Palermo Viejo area, but it might be too funky for you, think East village, lots of industrial space and 2-3 story buildings with great gardens. It has great restaurants and shops. Definately more happening than the Recoleta which think is more like the upper eastside. But Recoleta is very noisy 24/7 and what green there is is very congested and even the kioskos are more expensive.

I suggest you open up your search to Palermo: Viejo, Alto, Chico, Hollywood, Canasitas and look at Belgrano too. Further out but very upscale.

5/27/2005 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger said...

I explained the difference to him regarding buying with your head and your heart. Typically, I recommend to my clients if they are going to use the apartment at least 2-3 months out of the year to buy with their heart. You want to live in an area that you really love being in regardless of how much money you will make.

I happen to really love Palermo as well. Palermo is a great area and it is starting to get more rental requests. Still, as an investment of cash flow, Recoleta still is the most requested area by my clients. Why? Almost every guide book and travel publication lists Recoleta as the safest, most affluent area. Naturally, they ask to stay in that area.

We aren't competing against other cheap apartments. We are competing with the hotels. There is a reason the Alvear Palace, Four Seasons, Caeser Park and now the Hyatt are all within blocks of one another. It's where the tourists request to be in.

No different with my business model.

6/03/2005 12:29:00 PM  

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