Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably saw that we recently published our Top 57 Places to Live and Invest in the Tropics eBook. It’s hundreds of pages of facts and photos detailing, based on our research, what we believe to be the best places to move yourself or your money in Latin America.
It’s a great read and, if you haven’t already, you should definitely check that out. It answers the biggest question we get asked all the time as experts on real estate investment and all things expat.
Or should I say the TWO biggest questions?
Because a lot of people assume that there are great places to live, and then there are other places that aren’t as great to live but are great areas in which to invest. And that’s not the case.
When we ranked the cities on our list, we looked at dozens of factors like climate, cost of living, accessibility. But the ones that really carry the most weight for us are these two: quality of life and real estate potential.
Those might not seem like they have anything to do with each other, but they actually do. Places that offer an incredible quality of life are naturally going to be places that are growing and have opportunities for new businesses, more housing, and other services.
Here are a few principles to help you understand how these two factors relate.
1. Quality of life is the number one thing that drives happiness.
It just is. It doesn’t matter how much of a great deal you score on a piece of property, if the place doesn’t offer the lifestyle you desire then you’re never going to be happy there. Whether the level of amenities is lacking or there aren’t enough people nearby–whatever the reason–if an area doesn’t have what you need to be happy or fulfilled, then it’s never going to work.
2. When people are happy, others start to want what they have.
We’ve seen this happen in city after city. Once a place starts to attract the right investors and the right kind of residents, then development starts to spread like wildfire. So well-planned projects lead to more businesses and better amenities. That leads to more residents, more developments. Growth naturally happens.
3. Better amenities and infrastructure mean good things for real estate.
When areas start to grow, then the government has to build new roads, install new utilities, improve existing services, etc. Those are automatic ways to increase your property value without ever having to lift a finger.
4. Spreading yourself too thin won’t make you happy either.
While we think quality of life is important, it’s not the only factor you should consider. That’s why we also included affordability and an area’s potential for real estate appreciation in our study.
Because we don’t want anybody to buy the most expensive house they can afford in an area that offers a great lifestyle, move down, find out it’s just not going to work for them, and then get stuck upside down on a property in another country because of market fluctuations. There’s a balance, and we can’t stress that enough.
5. Speculating on rock bottom real estate is best left to guys like us.
Yes, there are little-known places, undiscovered beaches, remote islands, and sleepy farming communities where an investor can find unheard of deals on real estate. But not someone investing from a suburb somewhere in Ohio.
To be able to evaluate a piece of property solely on its potential for appreciation, you have to understand that this could be a very long-term investment. Like decades. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s not something we’d recommend to your average North American investor.
Live vicariously through our adventures.
Instead, we invite you to look at all the factors, not just the ones that affect your pocketbook. It might not sound as pioneering as the types of projects we undertake, but that’s why we offer ways for investors to partner with us and benefit from our success in this area.
Quality of life and real estate potential go hand in hand. Check out the places that scored off the charts for both. If we think you should live there, then we also think it’s smart to invest there. And that’s exactly what we’re doing right now.