Category Archives: International real estate

Under All is the Land

The Preamble to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS® begins with these words:
“Under all is the land. Upon its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depends the survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization.”

I’ve thought a lot about these words lately, as local and state governments take steps to mitigate the effects of climate change. My community, as do many, has a Climate Action Plan. At the national level, politicians on the right try to score political points by claiming the verdict is still out. At the local level, however, elected officials from both the right and left are ignoring the far-right bloviation and planning for the future. It’s almost comical to watch – that in places like Florida, state officials are trying to quench debate – while officials in Miami-Dade County are taking action to fight tidal flooding, saltwater intrusion, and substation power outages.

The right hand DOES know what the left hand is doing, but pretends not to see it.

That said, we have to find a positive way forward that hopefully is a two-pronged approach – take steps to protect our planet, but also safeguard communities against changes that WILL happen.

Land has always been a precious commodity. As populations shift and we have to prioritize land use for residential, industrial and farming, these conversations will get tougher. To be engaged and best help my clients and the brokers I manage, I have joined the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI) – created for land experts and by land experts to build knowledge, relationships, and “manage our most precious resource: the land.”

Please contact me if I may be of further help. Comprised of just over 1,200 members (whereas the National Association of Realtors has over 1,000,000) RLI is a committed organization of specialists providing brokerage services for all types of land: farms, ranches, timberland, vineyards, subdivision and lot wholesaling, site selection – and more!

Interested in Canada?

I attended the BC Real Estate Convention last week in Vancouver, BC. In addition to a number of informative educational sessions, the Expo included a nice mix of private business professionals and public officials. If you’re interested in diversifying your real estate portfolio, or take advantage of dynamic investment opportunities, please call or email me. Great options abound!

Inspired by Iceland

Me, on Laugavegur in downtown Reykjavík

While certainly not “Pacific,” people who know me, know I have a strong affinity toward Iceland. So when I saw this video, I just had to share. When I travel there, I feel so at home. And as the video illustrates – it’s easy to see why. Please enjoy, and feel free to hit me up with any questions or for suggestions about Iceland.

Global Broker Tour

This week’s featured destination is Mexico, and more specifically, Merida and the Mayan Riveria on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Here is quick overview. I also have a handout that I can send, as well as connect you with an outstanding referral partner who lives and works in the area.

  1. Why consider Mexico? Mexico is the United States’ closest neighbor to the south. At no other time in our long histories have the benefits of living and investing in Mexico been more apparent. Mexico has it all: rich culture, excellent climate, afforadable living, and not to mention an amazing topography – from mountains, to deserts, to ocean beaches.
  2. What about the economy? With its growing GDP, a higher level of direct investment than any other Latin country, and a current political climate that is more pluralistic and open to investment than any other time of the past seven decades, the risk vs. reward scenario is extremely favorable.
  3. Are there incentives to invest in Mexico? While the government does not offer any direct incentives for buying real estate, there are benefits to be realized. For example, property taxes are miniscule in Mexico when compared to most of the United States and Canada. And, sellers may be exempted from paying capital gains taxes on the sale if they can prove they resided in the property for at least six months.
  4. Is financing available? Every year, more and more financing sources are becoming available to U.S. and Canadian residents through both U.S. and Mexican banks. Contact us to be connected to a professional that matches your needs.
  5. Where are popular retirement destinations in Mexico?  Merida, with its sidewalk cafes, tree-lined streets, and fresh-paint look, is Yucatan’s best-kept secret. Just a half hour from the Gulf-coast beaches, the city of 800,000 is a center of commerce and home to universities, hospitals, friendly locals, and beautiful colonial homes – at a fraction of the cost of other “discovered” enclaves. There is a small expat community who maintains a well-equipped English-language library, and hosts monthly get-togethers. All good and services are readily available as one would expect to find in similarly-sized cities in the U.S. and Canada. The Riviera Maya, is the stretch of Caribbean coastline that runs from Cancun to Tulum. This area is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. There are several intriguing towns along the coast, including Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen. Akumal, and Tulum. Playa del Carmen is now the fastest-growing destination in the state of Quintana Roo.

If you dream of Mexico, or any other area throughout Latin America, please contact me first. It all starts with an initial conversation and a plan, and I love connecting people to other professionals who can help make your dreams happen.

 

 

Global Broker Tour

This week’s featured real estate destination is Belize. English-speaking, eco-conscious, stable, and conveniently reached from the United States, Belize is a popular first choice for many.

Here is a quick run-down of common FAQ’s:

  1. Are there any restriction on foreign ownership? No, foreigners receive the full bundle of rights of property ownership.
  2. What type of residency options exist? Several options are available: after a year, one can apply to become a resident. Following three years of residency, one then can apply to become a citizen. Another option for retirees is to apply for the Qualified Retirement Program (QRP), which have a number of minimal requirements to ensure applicants are able to suppport themselves as retirees (my referral colleage is a registered agent for this process too).
  3. What are some popular areas for investors? Popular areas include San Ignacio (famous for its historical ruins), and San Pedro island (with its amazing barrier reef). Property prices in San Ignacio area are substantially lower than on the island.
  4. What are typical prices ranges in those areas? Lot prices in San Ignacio run $5,000 – $25,000 depending on presence of utilities; home prices start as little as $110,000. On San Pedro, condo prices can begin in the $140,000 range, with detached single family homes upwards of $275,000 USD.
  5. What are typical flying times? Belize can be reached in just over two hours from Houston. From where I live in Portland, Oregon, Houston is about a 4 hour 30 minute flight.

I have an amazing referral partner who lives in Belize, who abides by the same code of ethics and standards of care as a REALTOR in the United States. She blends professionalism and fun perfectly. Please let us know if we can help.

 

Global Broker Tour


Tuesdays in Portland are the most popular day for broker open houses, in which new listings are first open to the real estate community. Since I work both locally and globally, I am starting a weekly post called Global Broker Tour. Look for info each Tuesday about real estate in popular foreign destinations, along with relevant “things you must know” for Americans looking to acquire property outside the U.S.

If you have suggestions or requests for specfic destinations, please chime in. I would love to know which areas are of most interest to my friends, family, and sphere. Thank you.

Embassy of Peru Visit

On May 11th, a group of representatives from the National Association of REALTORS and the Certified International Property Specialist network, both of which I am a member, met with officials from the Embassy of Peru in Washington, D.C.

The purpose of our visit was to learn more about the economy and real estate industry of Peru, and assist NAR members to develop business between the United States and Peru.  And while based in the United States, the National Association of REALTORS is also the voice of the industry around the globe, and works with professionals worldwide to advance property rights and consumer protections in their own countries.

 

 

A picture is worth…

…about $5.7 Billion!

I took this picture during the Washington D.C. Embassy Briefings at the Canadian Embassy awhile back. To underscore how important Canada is to the United States economy, they have posted a US map with various statistics for all 50 states.  The “1” indicates that Canada is Oregon’s largest trading partner.

I work  directly with a number of real estate professionals throughout Canada, too, so please let me know if I can help.