Benefits are Growing for Investors
If you’re considering an overseas property, you may not be aware of all the hidden benefits you’ll receive. It’s true, many international investments aside from the financial bonues, can sometimes come with an opening to foreign residency.
More and more savvy investors are realizing: now, you may not only have a second home, but also a second residence and maybe passport, too. While it’s true, residency and the pathway to citizenship can overload you with red tape, home ownership can potentially provide you a gateway into the host country’s banking system and financial services sector, which all make that elusive final goal a little more obtainable.
On top of these clear advantages, one additional point I would like to take a moment here to mention (and which I think may have been thus far left out of the conversation) is that investing and living in Medellin is fun. By fun, I mean, coming here to live and work has been one of the greatest adventures of my entire life. And I mean that in the most whole-hearted way I know how…
Rather than having “the easy life” back home with the network of easy friends and low bar challenges that I could have, here in Medellin, I’ve struggled with the language and learning all about the myriad challenges of this strange world. Learning about the dating scene, for instance, was (and sometimes is) still a worthy challenge that makes me eager to jump out of bed in the morning and add a little more cultural knowledge to my growing comprehension. Living in such a place means being mostly surrounded by folks who have had an utterly different life than me — and it goes deep — tv, cartoons, newspapers, events and attitudes are like nothing I knew growing up, so from the food to the funeral processions, all is fresh and strange and needing my constant attention to grasp even the tip of that giant, hidden iceberg.
So no, that electric sense of adventure isn’t for everyone… but if you think it might be a good fit for you some day, read on and discover more about the Medellin Lifestyle we claim to be the fun excitement that we just can’t leave behind!
Speaking of adventure, here’s a great one: Buying a home in Colombia. Amazingly, this country provides one of the easiest processes we’ve seen for the ex-pat property owner.
A friend here in Medellin shares his story:
After gathering all the necessary paperwork (specified on the country’s immigration website), I took off for the Ministry of Exterior Relations. There was a line outside when I got there, but they let us into the building at 7 a.m. I took a number … waited my turn … and left the building at 7:55 with a permanent residency visa.” How does that sound, in relation to how it is in your country?
Less than one hour … no lawyer … that’s about as easy as this gets.
Colombia offers the property buyer two paths to residency. By buying a property valued at more than $89,000 (at today’s exchange rate, you can qualify for a temporary residency visa (Type TP7).
This is renewable yearly, and, after five years, you can switch to permanent residency. And this option is for those who are looking to purchase on the low end. If you’re able, there are much better options, which we’ll tell you all about, below.
And here’s where it gets interesting: suppose you are willing to spend $165,300 or more. First of all, you’ll be getting a much nicer investment, more and larger bedrooms, maybe even a penthouse… and your residence will be much nicer. On top of that, spending the extra money means you can obtain permanent residency immediately, as a resident investor. Who would have thought, you could become a permanent resident in Colombia, just by plunking down a little more than $150 thousand US dollars? This is only the beginning, and there is much more great stuff to come…
Keep in mind: There are some paperwork nuances which you’ll want to stay on top of as you make this move. For instance be sure the municipal value on your property deed reflects the proper investment threshold, and you have unimpeachable records of that same amount coming into Colombia.
Naturally, if this is something you’re thinking seriously of doing, we strongly recommend you engage top-quality legal representation that has extensive experience in expat home investing, and who can show a proven track record with bi-lingual success. These are not the most simple transactions, especially for someone who is relying on a translator. In fact, it’s a good idea to make sure you deal with a top-quality translator, which you can fully trust. If not, perhaps looking around and getting your bearings with the local experts is worth a little extra time. Get more insider tips on Medellin investing, right here.
We’re the first to agree with being careful and securing the right help whenever you’re conducting any sort of business at this level: Colombia really has improved its foreign investment policies in the last 15 years, and they have done a lot to make this transaction go easily. Along with the free trade agreements with the US, new legislation has expedited the foreign investment process and taken away the uncertainty concerns amongst foreigners who previously had limited rights to property here in Colombia.
As a foreigner, you can buy, rent, own and sell properties or land and have the same ownership rights as a Colombian. What’s really great is that all income can also be returned to your country of origin. In the past 15 years this country has made impressive strides to simplify the processes for foreigners to invest in Colombia property and real estate. This is, of course in stark contrast to many other “friendly countries, such as Thailand where foreigners cannot own land.
The shift has gone so far that you can actually buy, rent, own and sell apartments with just a valid tourist stamp in your passport. That’s right, you are not legally required to posses a permanent visa or a Colombian National ID card (Cedula de Extranjeria).
At the time of publishing, you aren’t even required to present either of these at the Notaria at the final signing of the deed.
Assuming you have the correct forms when you are transferring money for your investment, be sure to enable ¨exchange rights¨ for yourself. Not doing so might endanger the freedom which enables you to both, take out the capital investment plus extricate any profits you see from an eventual resale.
In this writer’s case, we won’t be reselling.
In conclusion, Colombia has dramatically improved its foreign investment policies in the last ten years. With new trends—like the upcoming free trade agreements with the US—always on the horizon, new legislation has expedited the foreign investment process and taken away the uncertainty concerns amongst foreigners who previously had limited rights to property here in Colombia.
While it’s unfortunate many people still haven’t caught onto the fact that Colombia is no longer a haven for drug cartels, but never mind because governments have. And that fact, for you, can be a powerful tool indeed. In this day and age, having added tools like a second passport will open doors and create potential access to various levers and advantages you never considered possible. Further, having two or more passports is considered rather normal, especially if you own a home in that second passport country.
If you see this as a strictly business move, a passport from Colombia is increasingly becoming a more valuable travel document. Consider these changes, for instance: Singapore has begun allowing the citizens of Colombia to enter visa-free. Not to mention Europe signed a bi-lateral agreement allowing Colombians to stay in the EU for up to 90 days without a visa. The latter development was finalized on December 2, 2015 in Brussels and does exclude the UK and Ireland.
When you consider all the potential benefits, such as the capital appreciation, potential rental income, the privacy from tax authorities owning foreign property provides, and Colombia’s dynamic economic development in general, Colombian real estate truly is a great way to diversify yourself internationally with a single purchase. But don’t stop there. When you take this first step, we like to warn with a smile, people who come down here with the intention of putting their money to work for themselves as a rental property often find themselves in a small dilemma: they want to live here. And so we often sell these happy new residents a second property so they can have their cake, and eat it too. We are happy to service these clients of ours, and we’re elated to have new neighbors from abroad. It’s been our mission to aid people just like you in these transactions…