What Is The Real Cost: Latin America VS. North America Part 2 – HOA And COA Fees
In the previous article on investing in Latin America Real Estate, we covered the costs associated with investing in properties here.
When talking about HOA fees and comparing between North and Latin America, we must take into account the cost of labor. Because labor costs are far less in Latin America, we’re talking $200-$300 in HOA fees per month, depending on condo size.
We must also come back to discussing real prices. That condo in Miami that I mentioned earlier? Realistically, that was a rock-bottom deal, because data shows that average prices for condo sales are much higher than the $76 per square foot price quoted. And those prices only keep climbing.
What’s the deal, then?
Why pay more than the lowest possible price for a condo? New construction could be a factor and a better neighborhood with more amenities. Perhaps owners want to be closer to the beach. It all points to lifestyle, something that owners focus on when making these kinds of big decisions. Price is only one part of the decision-making.
Lifestyle is the true reason people are looking outside of North America for retirement. Real estate is inexpensive, yes, but compounded with a much lower cost of living and higher quality of life, there is no doubt why over half a million retirees flock south of the border.
Does lower cost of living and higher quality of life seem paradoxical? On print it does, but in reality, it’s the dream come true. Homeownership is less expensive in the long run, what with lower taxes and HOA fees. Then, add in the cost of little luxuries, like an hour massage for $20, a full-time maid for around $200 a month, steak and chicken costing under $1 per pound, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables for a fraction of the price in North America. Doesn’t this all sound like the best quality of life?
Having a maid means more time for oneself. Time to play golf, catch up on reading while swinging in a hammock, perhaps even time to put into motion your volunteer services with a local church or organization to help better the lives of others. It means the kind of purposeful life you dreamed of, fulfilling one’s passions at an affordable rate.
If you’ve worked decades of your life while planning on retirement in warm weather, then suddenly find yourself unable to afford that dream at home, it would be an understatement to say you’re feeling trapped. Have no fear, however; you can still have golden years ahead. It might just mean changing locations, perhaps Latin America! Hundreds of thousands of people are already headed this way. They too have heeded the call of higher quality life at a lower cost.
And so, we take a look at that condo in Miami and weigh the price against a similar condo in Latin America. For the base price, maybe Miami calls you because it is familiar, but then I want you to add up the rest: property taxes, HOA fees, cost of living, amenities, and quality of life, over 20-25 years. Can you live on $1200, $1500, or $2000 per month? That’s where you need to look ahead. Add up the cost of living for the next two to three decades and factor that into your decision.