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50 k report

  1. 1. Twelve Killer Real Estate Deals for $50,000—or Less! Want to make this your front yard without draining your bank account? We’ll show you how.... A Pathfinder Report www.pathfinderinternational.net 1
  2. 2. Table of ContentsINTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................................... 3BELIZE ................................................................................................................................................... 4BRAZIL: CUMBUCO................................................................................................................................ 9COSTA RICA: PACIFIC LOTS .................................................................................................................. 13COSTA RICA’S LAKE COUNTRY............................................................................................................. 17COSTA RICA: COUNTRY, CITY, OR BEACH…OR ALL THREE? ................................................................. 21URUGUAY: The Next Coastal Hot Spot ................................................................................................ 26RE-SALES ............................................................................................................................................. 31 Ecuador ........................................................................................................................................... 31 Re-sales: Uruguay ........................................................................................................................... 32 Re-sales: Panama ............................................................................................................................ 33 2
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONDear Reader,At Pathfinder, our mission is to scout the globe to find the most unique and value-oriented real estate opportunities the world has to offer. We’re your eyes and ears onthe ground, working to get you in early for the best possible deal… often at prices youthought were consigned to the history books.I have scouted real estate opportunities in fifteen countries in the past year alone. Everytime I visit a new location, I look to see what opportunities are available for $50,000.I’m only interested in quality, so I rarely get to write about these $50,000 opportunities.Thing is, I’m having more success lately.Global economic problems mean that today there are opportunities...opportunities thatdidn’t exist one, two, or three years ago. If you think you can no longer afford theretirement you planned or the second home you dreamed of, you’re wrong. As financialmarkets have fallen, the deals have got better.The deals in this report are the best I’ve found. These deals offer the biggest bang foryour buck...or 50,000 of them. The report includes lot deals for less than $50,000, andselected home re-sales in Costa Rica, Ecuadorand Uruguay.Study this report carefully. Deals like this won’t last long. Once the world economy turnsaround, they’ll be consigned to the history books.Ronan McMahonExecutive Director,Pathfinder 3
  4. 4. BELIZE Belize, a Country That Will Grow on You! Belize is an affordable Caribbean paradiseDear Reader,Once you stroll Belize’s unspoiled beaches and explore the flora and fauna of itsrainforests, you may become afflicted with what’s known as the “Belize Factor.” Simplyput: you find that once you return home, you have an uncontrollable compulsion toreturn. Time and again ...Perhaps even to stay.After all, where else in a country the size of Massachusetts will you come upon mile aftermile of fragrant pine, counter-pointed with swaying palms; forests where no man has setfoot for over 1,000 years; atolls, islands, and barrier reefs with a rainbow kaleidoscopeof tropical fish; stark savannah; majestic mountains; and Caribbean waters so crystalclear you can see the shifting sands of the sea floor 150 feet below? 4
  5. 5. Rainforest, and ruins: Belize is rich in history and natural beautyBelize is a land with more than 4,000 species of flowering plants (including 250 varietiesof orchids) … 700 different types of trees … 100 species of birds (including the awe-inspiring jabiru, with a wingspan of up to 12 feet) … 200 types of butterflies (some aslarge as a foot wide) … and, of course, the largest cat in the Western Hemisphere.That’s why Destinations Magazine called Belize “A showcase of naturalphenomena that takes your breath away”, and why AAA’s Go Magazine termed it“one tropical paradise that lives up to its postcard depictions.” But Why Live or Invest Here?Belize is unique in many ways. One is that the official language is English. So you canthrow away your phrase book and dictionary…and start making friends the moment youarrive.Belize encourages offshore business…and financial privacy. Belizean laws allow asset-protection trusts, for example. There are no local income taxes, and no currencyexchange controls.Residency is easy through the Qualified Retired Persons (QRP) program, run by theBelize Tourist Board. You can qualify with income of $24,000 a year…and then enjoy arange of benefits. Income earned from sources outside Belize is tax-free, and you canimport your household goods, a car or a boat, without paying import duty.And property doesn’t cost the earth, even in this little Caribbean haven. You can own alot here from just $44,000… The Newest HotspotCorozal is snuggled along the shores of Chetumal Bay some 90 miles north of BelizeCity’s international airport. It’s a picturesque seaside fishing village famed for itsbreakers, breeze, and fragrant canopies of poinciana trees adorning its central park. 5
  6. 6. One of Belize’s best-kept secrets, Corozal hit the headlines last year, when the AARPranked it as a top retirement hot spot. They cited Corozal’s laid-back, affordablelifestyle: "with year-round outdoor play (boating, hiking, swimming, diving)… only 20minutes from the malls and cineplexes of Chetumal…"The turquoise waters of the bay invite you to swim, or spend a few hours boating orfishing (the bay is good for tarpon, bonefish and permit). The town itself is peaceful, setaround a central park with a historic Clock Tower and plenty of shade trees.With a population of less than 11,000, Corozal feels like a quaint seaside town, withsmall local restaurants and stores. But it’s only a half-hour from the Mexican city ofChetumal, where you’ll find big-city conveniences.Large chain retailers offer familiar North American brands. A duty-free zone with morethan 300 stores stocks bargain-priced goods (electronics, clothing, perfume, alcohol). Amodern movie theater complex shows first-run movies in English with Spanish sub-titles. More than a dozen clinics and hospitals (public and private) provide inexpensivemedical care. Chetumal’s restaurants, bars, casinos and clubs create an active nightlifescene.Corozal is still a sleepy town. There’s not much in the way of real estate development,although 300-400 expats now live here. The premier community in the area is OrchidBay. Orchid Bay … Corozal’s Premier Waterfront CommunityOrchid Bay is… · A luxurious stretch of beachfront with 115 acres of untouched rainforests and one-and-a half miles of coastline on a tranquil turquoise bay perfect for swimming, diving, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, or simply strolling along the shoreline admiring the powder-blue sky. · Conveniently located just two hours from Belize City by car. And thanks to a planned private airstrip, it will be less than 15 minutes in one of the low- cost charter planes that hop about Belize. · Only 10 miles across the Bay of Chetumal from the bustling metropolis of Chetumal, with its modern American-style mall, state-of-the-art cinema plazas, crowded city sidewalks, beachfront eateries, first-class restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. · A short boat-ride away from Ambergris Caye, the alluring tourist hot-spot made famous by FOX Network’s mini-series, Temptation Island. · Within driving distance of the 2,000-year-old Mayan ruins at Altun Ha. It’s here the Temple of the Sun God reaches 60 feet above the jungle floor. And only a few yards away lays the Temple of the Green Tomb, where 6
  7. 7. archeologistsuncovered the solid jade head of KinichAhau, the largest jade carving ever found in any Maya country.At Orchid Bay, you’ll enjoy the comforts and convenience of a modern, close-knit,luxury community – combined with the easy ambiance of a beach front, tropicalsetting. The streets will interconnect, and hardwood boardwalks will encourage walkingand biking. Belize is a water-worshiper’s paradiseSix years back, owners at Orchid Bay were buying a master plan and a vision. Thedeveloper promised a beach club and restaurant…private beaches and a boat dock…andlittle beachfront casitas. But six years back, all buyers could see was heavy machinerycutting in roads and utilities…Today, however, it’s a different story. The beach club, restaurant and bar opened lastyear. You can enjoy tasty meals and snacks…or shoot the breeze with friends andneighbors over a local Belikin beer. The first beach and the dock are complete, and asecond beach is underway. Eight homes are under construction. The 24 little beachfrontcasitas are finished (the first owners have already moved in). The community Wi-Fi is upand running…and the first of two swimming pools is under construction. Homes in Orchid Bay use locally-sourced and hand crafted hardwoodYet home sites in Orchid Bay still start from only $44,000. 7
  8. 8. The Affordable CaribbeanIf you’ve read this far, I have a feeling you will agree that for anyone who wants toenjoy a Caribbean lifestyle … with all of the comforts and convenience of modern living …and the close-knit camaraderie of friends and family, the community of Orchid Bay iswell worth considering.It’s affordable. It’s amenable. And it’s a world removed from the hustle and bustle, thehurry and worry, we’d all like to occasionally escape.When you consider that home sites in Orchid Bay start at only $44,000, I think you’llagree this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that warrants your careful attention. If youwant to build a little home on your site, good quality build costs are $100 per squarefoot...or up to $125 for high quality finishes. There is no minimum home size. The folksat Orchid Bay will build you a 998 square foot home for $114,000.That’s $158,000 for your home and lot if you decide to build…incredibly affordable for aCaribbean home…If you want to discover more, email sales@orchidbaybelize.com.Margaret Summerfield 8
  9. 9. BRAZIL: CUMBUCO The beaches here are stunningI didn’t think I’d ever see Brazil in a report with properties for $50,000 or less. But if youknow where to look, you can find a bargain…Cumbucoon Brazil’s northeast coast is truly is a special little beach town. The pace of lifeis slow…but funky, active and energetic. The streets are lined with little fishermen’shomes. Blooming flowers drape over freshly painted exteriors. For a playground, the kidshave miles of beach and a soccer ball. The beach is also mum and dad’sworkshop…where they repair fishing nets and touch up the paint on their fishing boats.For neighbors, the fishermen’s homes have Italian restaurants, a German grill, a trendykite surfing shop and beach bars where bronzed adventurers come to enjoy caipirinhasat sunset to the soft melodies of chill out tracks.Miles of white sand beaches stretch out, uninterrupted, east and west of here. This is thetype of beach town I’d expect to find way off the beaten track. Like the ones I saw inThailand over a decade ago. A place beautiful enough to draw an eclectic mix ofresidents and visitors from far afield. But usually places like this are too secret…or toofar off the beaten track... to grab the attention of the mainstream.But in this little beach town we are only thirty minutes from downtown Fortaleza with hershiny boardwalk. Fortaleza plays host to more domestic tourists than anywhere inBrazil….more than three million last year…and tourist numbers are growing strongly.Standing on the white sand beach at Cumbuco…where I have seen baby turtles taketheir first staggering steps towards the water…if you look to your right, you can seeFortaleza’s glimmering skyline. The international airport is 35 minutes away.This would be a great place to have a beach home.And the little community of Summerville in Cumbucowould be a great place to have thatbeach home. It’s private, with a gated entrance, paved roads and utilities, landscaped 9
  10. 10. grounds, and the social area (complete with swimming pool and tennis courts) alreadyfinished. A few minutes walk got you to the beach. The beach is stunning...a soft carpetof white sand, unfurling into the distance...dotted with lofty coconut palms...and thewarm ocean calling out for a quick dip.Its location is hard to beat. Its only thirty minutes from Fortaleza, a city with more than3 million residents, the international airport, and all of those big-city conveniences(hospitals, shopping malls, large supermarkets, hardware stores) and fun (nightclubs,restaurants, theaters, cinema, bars and cultural events). The private gated entrance to SummervilleSummerville is also close to the center of Cumbuco. Scandinavians have come here formany years, mainly to kite surf, but its off the radar of North American tourists.Two years ago when I first visited Summerville, the communitys location felt a littleawkward. Sure, it was only a five-minute beach buggy ride to Cumbuco and a half-hourfrom Fortaleza. But it felt isolated, oddly positioned on the edge of Cumbuco. But thatchanged with the arrival of a new five-star hotel, the Vila Gale Cumbuco.This new resort places Summerville in between the center of Cumbuco and Vila Gale.Vila Gale plans to add a golf course and residences in the next phase of theirdevelopment. Brazilian and Spanish groups snapped up land parcels adjacent to VilaGale, who also plan on developing residential projects.For now, Vila Gales hotel is an oasis of luxury. Designed to blend in with the gorgeousscenery around it, the hotels roofs are sand-colored, fading into the dunes around it.The large swimming pool is natural, too, without the bright turquoise tiling you usuallysee in hotel pools. The social areas and lobby feel elegant and comfortable. Guests payan average of $350-$450 a night for a standard double room at the hotel (which is all-inclusive). You can also buy day passes to the hotel for 220 reals ($118). 10
  11. 11. Vila Gale brought in a new access road to the hotel, too, much of which is complete. Itswide, smooth, well-lit, and comfortable to drive. Cumbucos little streets were alsogetting an upgrade when I visited last month. And new little residential developmentsand pousadas in the town feel distinctly upscale.But it still feels like a low-key, laid-back beachtown. Summerville has landscaped grounds, a social area...and sits next to the beachIn Summerville, two years ago, we checked out a model home. I didnt like it. It wasdecent, but lacking in inspiration. The layout and finishings were okay...but only okay. Itdidnt have much in the way of outside terraces or patios. It just didnt feel like a dreambeach house.But newer homes here have upped the ante. They could easily grace the pages of aglossy magazine. They are large, stylishly designed, with plenty of outdoor living space.So, you have a great location in Summerville: · Five minutes from Cumbuco, a friendly, charming little beach town · Close to Vila Gale, a 5-star resort...and large planned residential communities, that should push land prices up here · Thirty minutes from Fortaleza, when you need the international airport, or city amenities · A tranquil community that sits right next to a beautiful beachBut what about property prices?Well, that is the interesting part.You can buy lots in the project for 85,000 reals ($45,736 at the time ofwriting).(This is for cash buyers only. Other lots are available, with a higher purchase 11
  12. 12. price, but they come with low down payments and monthly payments spread over twoyears.) Condo fees on lots come in at 160 reals ($86) per month. This includes themaintenance of common and social areas.Thats a good price when you consider that today, beach front land in Cumbuco isselling for 600 reals ($322) per square meter. Summerville lots are priced at 220 reals($118) per square meter.Home construction starts at 120reals ($65) per square foot. The cost of a lot plus a1600-square-foot house runs around 277,000 reals ($149,044).There is a rental market at peak times. Easter and Christmas/New Year are traditionallybusy. So is October, which is prime for kite surfers.But Summerville is not really a rental opportunity. Instead, its all about having a perfectbeach house... for chilling out, swimming, kite surfing, and exploring the ruggedcoastline in a beach buggy.To find out more, contact sales@investinfortaleza.com, and quote Summerville. 12
  13. 13. COSTA RICA: PACIFIC LOTSThis place is home to some of the most stunning landscape youll see in Costa Rica.Sharp, spiny mountain ridges, cloaked in thick, rich rainforest, wind into the distance.They slope down to a curving coast, with mile after mile of pristine beaches, backed byimmense national parks. Hot-orange tropical flowers stud the roadsideverges...waterfalls cascade from rocky overhangs...and the rhythmic sound of the surfgreets you at every turn.Costa Ricas north Pacific coast boomed in the 1990s. But this area stayed under theradar...with its mist-shrouded mountain peaks, pristine beaches and vast forests...asecret known only to adventure tourists, a small group of expats, and the locals.It should have attracted swarms of property shoppers...and resort and residentialdevelopers, looking to cash in on the real estate boom. But it didnt...because it wastough getting here.Im talking about Costa Ricas Southern Zone. Sharp mountains, vast rainforests, miles of sandy beach...this is a dramaticlandscapeThe Costanera (coastal) Highway was, quite frankly, one of the worst roads Ive comeacross on scouting trips. Unpaved...filled with lunar-sized craters...with rickety bridgesand whole sections that washed out in rainy season. In dry season, clouds of dustobscured other drivers heading straight for you, on the wrong side of the road...trying toavoid the potholes. The drive wasnt for the faint-hearted.There is an airport, but its a small, domestic affair, lacking basic amenities. You wontfind duty-free, VIP lounges, or airport food here. Youll wait for the tiny planes alongside 13
  14. 14. the bumpy strip in an open-sided hangar with wooden benches, with your fellowpassengers--all eleven of them... The beaches stretch for miles--and youll often have them all to yourselfThese are exactly the kinds of conditions to look for when scouting out a promising realestate opportunity - a stunning setting, with low property prices, thats tough to getto...with infrastructure upgrades on the way.The upgraded, resurfaced coastal highway, with new bridges, storm drainage systems -all the bells and whistles - opened in January 2010. It cuts the drive time from CostaRicas capital, San Jose, to just over three hours. And its a smooth, comfortable, easydrive. One section that took 90 minutes on the old road took 22 minutes when I testedthe road shortly after it opened.The government plans an international airport for this region, though. This would makethe Southern Zone even more accessible to mainstream tourists…bring in more resortand residential developers…and push property prices up.The Hospital de Osa opened in the Southern Zone in April 2008. It has an emergencyroom, a pediatrics wing, and a neurology center. Its out of proportion to the area as it isnow...but an international airport needs a hospital of a certain size and caliber...so theybuilt this one.The new highway kick-started the opening of this region to mainstream tourists. Thesetourists will bring residential and resort developers, wholl want to buy the best beachand ocean view properties. They know that once tourists see this place, theyll want tospend more time here...and want to own a piece of it. That all means one thing:property prices should rise... 14
  15. 15. Close to the little town of Ojochal in the heart of the countrys Southern Zone, youll findPacific Lots. This secluded spot is where emerald-green hillsides slope down to desertedbeaches...where cloud-ringed mountains tower behind ...and the afternoon sunglimmering through the lush vegetation creates a magical show of light and shadow...Dont think for a moment, though, that your early-in opportunity in this still-emergingarea of Costa Rica means youll be roughing it.Pacific Lots is a mature development, with over 150 homes already constructed, and itsfully serviced with roads, water, electricity, satellite TV, Internet, and a moderncommunications system.The development is close to the new coastal road, and Hospitalde Osa.The nearby village of Ojochal has plenty of tiny restaurants. But instead of serving riceand beans, they serve Indonesian food...French, Italian and even organic food. You canbuy crispy French baguettes fresh from the oven...grab an espresso from the coffeeshop...or savor a wood-fired pizza. A small deli stocks imported cheeses, wine andchampagne, Cuban cigars, Swiss chocolate and other treats.It feels quite cosmopolitan for such an out of the way place...If youre an outdoor enthusiast or a nature lover, youll love the unspoiled, lushlandscape, and pristine beaches. Its the perfect spot for swimming, surfing, seakayaking, hiking, bird watching, whale watching...or chilling out in a hammock, rockedby the ocean breeze. Choose your view...choose your lot...and design your own dream homeWhat will really take your breath away is how extremely affordable the majestic views atPacific Lots are. 15
  16. 16. For as little as $40,000, you can purchase a home site, with superb mountain views.There are no requirements to build immediately--so you can lock down your piece ofparadise at todays low prices.If you wait to buy here, the early-in deals will be gone. Its inevitable that values will risedramatically once the infrastructure upgrades open this coastline up.Contact pathfinder@pacificlots.com to find out more. 16
  17. 17. COSTA RICA’S LAKE COUNTRY Costa Ricas Lake Country: Home to stunning scenery, and low property pricesDear Reader,The forest-cloaked mountains rise gracefully from the lake shore. The wide, sapphire-blue depths of the lake sparkle and shimmer in the bright morning sunshine. A smallwhite sailboat skims across the lakes mirror-smooth surface, alone in this majesticlandscape.Sitting on your terrace, with a show-stopping view of this breathtakingly beautiful LakeCountry, you greet the day with a leisurely breakfast. You almost want to pinch yourself.You still cant quite believe this is real...that youre here...and that you could afford tobuy a home in this sensational setting...However, this is all real. Its a secret paradise...hidden away from the hordes that throngthe beach towns of this popular tourist destination...concealed by the lucky few whochanced upon it, and settled here for good...and where you can still buy a property for afraction of the price youd pay elsewhere.The location will surprise you. This place is in Costa Rica...not exactly a shrinking violetwhen it comes to self-promotion of its natural assets. But while most vacationers andhome buyers tread the well-worn paths of the countrys north and central Pacific coast,and her Central Valley, this location plays it cool...Its Costa Ricas Lake Country...a glorious jewel thats under-appreciated--and under-valued. 17
  18. 18. Lifes a Beach...or Is It?Set in the north of the country (see it on this map, marked with a green star), CostaRicas Lake Country is a three and a half hour drive from San Jose, the capital city, ortwo hours from the international airport in Liberia. Its easy to get here. But it stays offthe map of most of Costa Ricas visitors...You see, most of the travelers and property buyers in Costa Rica look for one of twothings: beach living on the Pacific coastline, or cool highland living in the Central Valley,close to San Jose. They dont consider other possibilities...so they skip Costa Ricas LakeCountry. They have no idea what they are missing out on... You can enjoy sailing, fishing, kayaking and swimming on the lakeThose beach lovers could indulge all their water sport fantasies in Costa Ricas LakeCountry - without the sand and salt. The huge lake (the largest in Costa Rica) provides aperfect arena for kayaking, swimming, wind-surfing and fishing. Onshore, you can tryhorseback riding, hiking, bird watching, or canopy tours.Central Valley aficionados will find the climate in the Lake Country a surprise, too.Temperatures here hover in the 70s year-round, with refreshing lake breezes. Its notcloudy and misty either (unlike the Central Valley, which is frequently overcast in rainyseason). And So Much MoreCosta Ricas Lake Country has a unique twist. The scenery looks a lot like Switzerland orItaly, with mountains, forests, pastures...tumbling streams and cascadingwaterfalls...with an exotic touch. The heady perfume of tropical flowers drifts on the 18
  19. 19. breeze. Howler monkeys swing through the tree tops, their growling barks echoingacross the hills. A rainbow-billed toucan or an ultramarine butterfly may join you whenyou dine alfresco. And then theres the volcano... The wildlife here is spectacular...and right on your doorstepCosta Rica boasts many volcanoes. Some smoke, smolder and steam...ooze scarletstreams of lava...and mesmerize onlookers with their fiery displays. And the LakeCountry s volcano is a scene stealer. Its tall, sharp cone rises majestically over the lake.It doesnt simply look pretty. It also provides another bonus: thermal spas. Sink into oneat the end of a busy day...and soak away your aching muscles and niggling stresses.Youll emerge, feeling like a brand-new person...and ready for dinner with friends. Good Food...but What about the Company?And thats when youll discover the Lake Countrys gourmet delights. In the local towns,youll find pastry shops and bakeries stacked with mouth-watering treats...little cafesserving seafood dinners and local delicacies...and a small restaurant that offers the bestfood youll eat in Costa Rica. Period. You can enjoy good food and good company hereAnd youll enjoy your meal with convivial company. Costa Ricas Lake Country is home toa friendly group of expats, who love this place, and welcome newcomers. 19
  20. 20. But now on to the hidden treasure...property bargains that youll find hard to beat...andeven harder to resist.There really is a property for every budget here.One of the best is a private communityoffering half-acre lake-view lots from only $19,000. See it For YourselfIf you want to get a feel for Costa Ricas Lake Country, surprise yourself with its hiddencharms, and check out the best property deals in the area (including those $19,000lots), contact local broker Terry Moran atarenaldeals@moranlakearenal.com. Let himknow you’re interested in the Preserve lots, and a personalized tour. Terry can help youdiscover this hidden corner of Costa Rica...before the mainstream catches on. 20
  21. 21. COSTA RICA: COUNTRY, CITY, OR BEACH…OR ALL THREE? Colinas de Miramar offers quiet country living, close to the city and beachDear Reader,Its a seashore resort popular with Costa Ricans. Islands speckle the deep blue waters ofits bay. Its the gateway to the gorgeous Nicoya peninsula. Its close to cloud forests,lush highlands, and pretty beaches. It was a port for shipping coffee overseas in the1940s. Today, 18 different cruise ships call here.Its easy to get to, and its highly affordable.Its Puntarenas, on Costa Ricas Pacific coast.This area offers quiet country living, closeto the city, and close to the beach. Yet you probably havent heard of it. Its overlookedand undervalued.But if youre thinking of retiring or buying a second home in Costa Rica, this area shouldbe on your shortlist. Heres why... Its Easy to Get ToFor starters, its accessible. A new highway opened last year, connecting the port city ofCaldera (south of Puntarenas) with San Jose, Costa Ricas capital. The new road cuts thedrive time from San Jose in half. It now takes around an hour.It takes an hour and a half to get to San Joses international airport. But you can also flyinto Liberia, Costa Ricas second international airport. The drive time from Liberia isroughly two hours. 21
  22. 22. Its a quick, easy and comfortable drive to Puntarenas from San Jose. So you can takeadvantage of San Joses city amenities. These include top-class hospitals likeClinicaBiblica and CIMA...cinemas, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs...supermarkets andshopping malls. But youre not in a remote outpost here. You have a world of amenitieson your doorstep... Fun & Adventure Awaits YouThe setting is beautiful. Mountains and hills tumble down to the wide, sparkling-blue Gulfof Nicoya. Sandy beaches, dotted with palm trees, run for miles along the coast.Head into the Tilaran Mountains behind the coast and the scene switches from beachliving to country living. Farms and small villages are scattered across this pastorallandscape, including the village of Miramar.Its a little hidden gem. A small white church with twin red-roofed towers sits on thecentral plaza. Its a scrubbed-clean, tidy village. Exotic flowers in shades of pink, scarletand cream spill over walls and fences. Miramar was a gold town. Some of the older,grander houses are historically important. Others are simple homes in brightly paintedwood. Theres also a sprinkling of newer, larger homes in landscaped grounds. The little town of Miramar is a lovely place to spend timeMiramar boasts a doctor, dentist, supermarket, bank, butcher, and hardware store. Littlebakeries, cafes and restaurants offer light snacks and hearty meals at low prices. Youcan shop at the little family-owned stores. Thursday through Sunday, the local farmersmarket offers fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses and herbs. Its a lovely peaceful placeto spend time... 22
  23. 23. If you carry on driving through Miramar, up into the mountains, you reach a mirador(lookout point). You can look down the valley, across the farms and forest-covered hills,out to the Gulf of Nicoya. Its an awesome view. A restaurant at the mirador serveschilled beers and freshly-prepared food.You have beautiful beaches 10-15 minutes away, including Playa Blanca with its whitesand beach. You have surfing, horse riding, sport fishing, white water rafting, zip lining,canopy tours, and nature hikes...all on your doorstep.Take a short ferry ride across the gulf, and youre in Nicoya. Nicoyas beaches arepopular with surfers and celebrities alike. You could spot Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis,Harrison Ford, or Gisele Bundchen strolling on the sand... A Boom TownThe port city of Puntarenas feels a little gritty round the edges. It wont win awards rightnow for charm or cuteness. But this city is moving ahead. Many of the older, smallerhomes in Puntarenas are changing hands, or getting a facelift. New condo blocks aregoing up.Development is spreading outside the town, too. A Hilton Doubletree hotel opened onthe outskirts a couple of years back. An upscale private residential community close tothe hotel has plans for a golf course. Land prices have shot up in this area in the last 2-3years. An Opportunity You Should Check OutColinas de Miramar is set in 647 acres of gentle hills, with streams and centuries-oldtrees. Situated at the base of the Tilaran Mountains, many of the lots in the communityhave panoramic ocean views, over the Gulf of Nicoya. The developer is a Miramar local.His well-connected family has lived here for generations.Colinas is a master-planned community. Plans call for a community center, commercialcenter, swimming pool, tennis and squash courts, and a gym. Road construction isalready underway in the first phase. And theyre building the first model home. 23
  24. 24. Stunning sunset views in Colinas de MiramarColinas de Miramar is around 5 minutes from Miramar, and 20 minutes from Puntarenas.Home lots in this community are large, averaging 1.25 acres. Mountain-view lots startfrom $50,000. You pay 1/3 of the price down, and then have two years interest-freefinancing on the remainder.Owners can either hire their own builder, or choose a home/lot package. But there is norequirement or timeframe to build; you can sit on your lot for as long as you like. Why Not Visit and See For Yourself?Theres an easy way to see this area and Colinas de Miramar for yourself.Just contact the developer. Then, choose a lot, and reserve it with a fully refundable $2000 deposit.Now, you have 60 days to come and check out Colinas de Miramar -for free.Just get yourself to the airport at San Jose, and the Colinas team will meet you there. Youll stay in aboutique hotel in Escazu, the nicest neighborhood in San Jose.Over three days, youll explore Puntarenas, Miramar, the views, the beaches...and get afirst-hand look at Colinas de Miramar. The Colinas team will pick up the tab for youraccommodation, airport transfers and transport.This isnt a high-pressure sales trip. If you dont like what you see, you can ask for yourdeposit back. Thats it. No strings, no obligation. Youll have enjoyed three days in CostaRica, partly at someone elses expense. Not bad at all... 24
  25. 25. Remember, this is an early-in opportunity. Prices wont stay this low here for too long. Ifyou want to get the best lot...at the best price...now is the time to act. Contact Johnhere today: details@colinasdemiramar.com.Margaret Summerfield 25
  26. 26. URUGUAY: The Next Coastal Hot Spot A typical beach in Rocha: beautiful, untamed, and empty...Dear Reader,As we crested the dunes, the beach came into view. It was gorgeous: a wide silky ribbonof white sand, bordered by the sapphire ocean sparkling in the sun. The rhythmicswoosh of the waves rolling up on the sand and the call of seabirds broke the peacefulsilence. The beach was empty. We had it all to ourselves, for swimming, sunbathing, andwalking barefoot in the sand...This is the province of Rocha, on Uruguays eastern seaboard. While it holds a certaincachet for a select few, its not particularly well-known. Punta del Este, Uruguays (andSouth Americas) most glamorous resort town overshadows Rocha.Rocha is very different to Punta. It doesnt have the swanky high-rises or the fairy-dustmagic of celebrities. Its more tranquil...more discreet. And its a lot more affordablethan Punta. You can buy a spacious home site from only $31,900. More on that in amoment.But first, why you should seriously consider the Rocha area. Rocha: A Beautiful Coast at a Beautiful PriceFor starters, the beaches here are the best in Uruguay. Wide and untamed...with softwhite sand...and white-capped breakers running across the navy-blue ocean. Sanddunes crouch protectively behind the beach. On the other side of the dunes lies adifferent watery oasis: a huge lake, Laguna de Rocha. Its protected, and covers morethan 22,000 acres. Both the lake and the beach are open to anyone to enjoy.The landscape around the lake is a rural one of rolling grassland, pine forests and fieldsdotted with cows and sheep. 26
  27. 27. Close by, you have a choice of two popular beach towns. La Paloma, favored byUruguayans, is the larger of the two. It has more amenities: a bank, post office,supermarkets, clinic, taxi ranks, bus depot, and many restaurants and cafes. A newboutique hotel on the edge of town offers chic modern style. The beach at La Paloma with the towns famous lighthouseThe towns lighthouse (one of a series dotted along the Uruguayan coast) is a much-photographed landmark. La Palomas pretty beaches fill with vacationers, surfers andbackpackers in peak season.La Pedrera is much quieter, and attracts Argentineans and Europeans. It lacks many ofPalomas amenities. Two boutique hotels, a handful of little restaurants and a smallgrocery store stocking the basics...and thats about it. La Pedrera: chic, upscale, and tranquil 27
  28. 28. The homes in the town are a mix of ultra-modern architecture and upscale rustic. Set ona low cliff, the town overlooks sweeping curves and coves of white sand. Rocky reefs andoutcrops shoot ocean spray skywards. Unspoiled Chic or High-end Glamour?These little beach towns are a sharp contrast to Punta del Este. Punta is the traditionalsummer and vacation resort of Argentineans, and increasingly for Brazilians. For sixweeks a year, royalty, the seriously wealthy, and stars from the worlds of fashion, musicand cinema gather in Punta to party. Puntas trendy restaurants and designer storescater to this exclusive market. From the sleek yachts moored in the marina, to the multi-million dollar condos on the boardwalk, Punta oozes money and glamour.That popularity impacts real estate prices. New condos in Punta now average $3000 persquare meter. A lot in a gated community can cost up to $500,000. It hasnt stoppedbuyers coming. Real estate sales in Punta hit $2.2 billion in the 12 months to April 2011.But those escalating prices are pushing real estate development along the coast, awayfrom Punta, and towards the border with Brazil. Thats where youll find Rocha.When I first visited Rocha four years back, there wasnt much in the way ofdevelopment. I only found a couple of small private communities, and some re-sales.Since then, things have started moving in Rocha. You still wont see high-rises, condotowers, or mega-resort hotels. But a prominent Argentinean developer plans a $350million project here...the founder of clothing chains Mango and EtiquetaNegra plans todo another one...and smaller developments are starting up.And weve uncovered one community, close to the ocean and the lake, with spacious lotsfrom only $31,900. La Serena GolfLa Serena Golf is developer Daniel Oks second development in this area. His first, LasTajamares, features heavily in a glossy coffee table book showcasing homes fromArgentinas foremost architects. Owners in Tajamares selected some of the bestarchitects to design their homes. Its the only project in the book in the Rocha area.With 225 acres, La Serenas 179 lots vary from a half-acre to three-quarters of an acrein size. More than 50% of the land will stay as green space. Seven lakes will dot theproject, adding to the relaxed country feel of the property. Amenities will include a nine-hole golf course, a putting green and tennis courts. This will be the first golf course inRocha. 28
  29. 29. The landscape around La Serena: pine forests, pastureland...lake and oceanMany of the lots have ocean views. And La Serena is only 400 meters from the oceanand beach. Its a kilometer to Laguna de Rocha and four kilometers to the beach town ofLa Paloma. This beach is 400 meters from La SerenaDespite the amenities, lots in La Serena start from $31,900. That gets you 2120square meters (a half-acre). If you want sea views, youll pay a little more. You donthave a build requirement, so you can sit on your lot as long as you like, and only start toconstruct a home when youre ready.Youll enjoy spending time on Rochas beautiful coastline. And La Serena Golf is in theright place...at the right time...ahead of the development path thats sweeping along thiscoast from Punta. 29
  30. 30. In the next five to ten years, I expect this section of coast will change significantly. Thepace of development is gathering speed. This is good news for property investors. I justhope that Rocha’s little beach towns preserve their quaint charm…If you want to snap up one of those spacious lots in La Serena,contact enquires@laserenagolf.com.uy. 30
  31. 31. RE-SALESEcuadorIt might seem almost impossible to get a home for $50,000 or less these days. Weasked our in-country broker contacts to scour their listings—and surprisingly, they cameup with some gems. Ecuador’s Pacific coast has miles of sandy beachesEcuador has 1400 miles of Pacific coastline. If youre dreaming of a bolthole overseas,but didnt think you could afford it, Ecuador can give you that beach lifestyle you dreamof...at a price you can afford. Think California in the 1950s, before prices got out ofhand.Ecuador is the place to go to make your retirement dollars stretch even further...and thisapplies to your daily living costs and to real estate values as well. This is where youllfind some of the world’s cheapest beachfront. That’s because until now, this countryscoast...with miles of unspoiled, pristine beaches, and undervalued property...wasoverlooked. But thats changing.Ecuadors coast reminds us of parts of the Pacific coast in Nicaragua and Costa Rica,before the real estate boom in those countries, triggered by an influx of foreign buyers. 31
  32. 32. And Ecuadors coast is now on the radar of an increasing number of overseas propertyshoppers. Faced with economic uncertainty in the US, theyre exploring morealternatives. They want a lower cost of living, and a lower-priced home. They want to cutcosts without cutting their standard of living. Ecuadors coast fits the bill.Foreign property buyers are also waking up to the potential of this area. Once word getsout, the trickle of buyers here could become a flood—and prices should rise.Ecuador’s south Pacific coast boasts coastal cities as well as tiny beach towns. You’llenjoy warm beach weather year-round here, with low humidity levels. Salinas is one ofthe most developed cities. It offers big-city amenities: Supermarkets, shopping malls,hospitals and clinics, restaurants and nightclubs. It also offers two marinas, and a choiceof watersports, including world-class sport fishing.The city feels a little like Miami…with gleaming high-rises lining parts of the beach,trendy clubs coming alive in the evenings, and the jet set’s luxurious yachts swayinggently on the ocean. You won’t pay Miami prices for eating out or enjoying the localnightlife here. Dinner for two in a fashionable restaurant shouldn’t set you back morethan $20. With lunches costing around $5, you can cut your living costs here…or savesome dollars to splurge on household help, deep-sea fishing trips, or spa treatments.And you won’t pay Miami prices for a property in this area, either. A condo with 70square meters (750 square feet) of living space comes with ocean views. The one-bed,one and a half bath condo feels bright, airy and spacious. It’s got a parking space, andit’s furnished. Only two blocks from the beach, it’s a short walk to restaurants, shopping,and the boardwalk. The condo is on the market for $47,500.If you dream of building your own beach house, then an on-beach lot, 800 squaremeters (8608 square feet) in size, makes sense. It’s further up the coast, close toMontanita, a hip beach town popular with surfers. In a private community with onlytwenty lots, the price is $45,000.Contact info@pathfinderinternational.net to find outmore.Re-sales: Uruguay 32
  33. 33. Montevideo’s Plaza IndependenciaUruguay is the final country for our re-sale picks. Montevideo, the capital, has a veryEuropean flair. From its tree-lined streets to the grand buildings that surround thepeaceful plazas, the feel is civilized and cosmopolitan.Ciudad Vieja, the historic part of Montevideo, was neglected and forgotten for decades.However, today, infrastructure investment and the restoration of properties arereversing that trend, and Ciudad Vieja is an up-and-coming area for overseas propertybuyers.A 75 square meter (800 square feet) centrally-located apartment in Ciudad Vieja is listedat $45,000. It’s in good condition (recently renovated), with three bedrooms and abathroom, and close to shopping, restaurants, and banks.Another 65 square meter (700 square feet) apartment in need of complete restoration islisted for $40,000. It’s on the pedestrianized walkway, and dates back to 1935. In fact,when looking for bargain apartments, I found 21 in Ciudad Vieja for less than $50,000.Re-sales: PanamaKnown as the “Crossroads of the Americas” and with a dramatic coastline stretching formore than 3000 kilometers, Panama has attracted large numbers of expats and realestate buyers in the last decade. From the bewitching highlands beauty of Boquete…thequaint colonial villages in the interior… to the tropical, white sand beaches of the PearlIslands…it’s easy to understand why so many people are tempted by Panama’s charms.In the early years of Panama’s property boom (2004/2005) it was easy to pick up aprime waterfront condo in Panama City at a bargain price, from as little as $1000 asquare meter. But that was then… 33
  34. 34. Today, Panama has a shortage of buyers...and a glut of city condos. Many buyersbought a pre-construction condo three or four years ago, who need to find 70% of thepurchase price to close, but who no longer have access to those funds. Other ownersneed to sell to shore up finances elsewhere. It all leads to one thing: fire sales. We arestarting to see more and more of those…What does this mean for the potential real estate buyer in Panama? Dont buy in Panamaright now for short-term appreciation. Dont buy expecting high rental yields--the daysof hotel shortages, 84.7% hotel occupancy rates, and double-digit net rental yields areover. Dont buy pre-construction whatever you do...theres always a risk with pre-construction, even in a rising market. In a stagnant market like Panama today, pre-construction is not a risk worth taking.But Panama still makes sense as a place to live. If you plan on relocating or spending achunk of the year here long-term, and you want a home base, then look for a fire sale.The key is not to over-pay. That lack of buyers combined with distressed sellers equalssome great opportunities. You’ll find some bargains.A local broker contact has a lot 15 minutes outsideBoquetepriced at $50,000...and thatprice is negotiable. With excellent views of VolcanBaru (a dormant volcano), this 1.24acre site comes equipped with water, electricity and has road frontage. Boquete has alarge group of expats, gourmet restaurants, and an active social scene. If you areconsidering a home in a relaxing, cool, highlands setting, this lot is worth a look.If beach living is more your thing, then perhaps you should consider El Uverito.Overlooking the endless Pacific Ocean, El Uverito is a small seaside village in the Azueropeninsula. Azuero is Panama’s traditional heart…the home of folklore, tradition andfestivals (there’s said to be a festival for every day of the year in Azuero). It’s also oneof the most affordable…and most tranquil…locations in Panama. A home site with astunning ocean-view is on the market here for just $45,000. The property comeswith water and power close by and a paved road within 70 meters of the lot.If you want details on any of these re-sale properties,contact info@pathfinderinternational.net, and let us know which one you are interestedin.And remember…you’ll get more great deals like these ones in your free e-letter,The Pathfinder Alert…so watch your inbox!© 2011 Pathfinder Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of Ireland andinternational treaties. Do not reproduce, copy, or redistribute this work either online orin print without the express written permission from Pathfinder. 34
  35. 35. Neither Pathfinder nor its employees and agents are licensed to give personalized adviceabout securities investments. Nothing in this email or in communications from ouremployees to you should be construed as personalized to your investment situation.Pathfinder is in the business of recommending a wide range of real estate and relocationservices from developers and lawyers to real estate agents and tax specialists, to namebut a few. Pathfinder requires developments to meet basic criteria before bringing themto you. However, any vetting we do on projects or professionals should not be construedas a guarantee by Pathfinder. Pathfinder is not responsible for the management anddelivery of real estate agent or developer-sponsored real estate tours and chillweekends. We bring these to you for informational purposes on behalf of our developerand real estate agent partners. As with any other overseas trip, we advise that youpurchase travel insurance.We always recommend strongly that buyers perform their own complete due diligence,use a qualified legal professional to help with real estate transactions and purchase titleinsurance. Should a reader decide to purchase a property from one of thedevelopers/real estate agents we cover, we will receive a fee from the developer or realestate agent.© Copyright 2011, Pangaea Ltd., trading as Pathfinder, Elysium House, Ballytruckle, Waterford,Ireland. All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced by any means without theexpress written consent of the publisher. The information contained herein is obtained from sourcesbelieved to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Registered in Ireland No. 441952. 35

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