Bob Bauman JD, Editor, Offshore Confidential
Dear Sovereign Investor,
If you’re looking for an environment where your money is safe, your property investments are profitable and your family can feel safe and secure…
Consider becoming a resident of Uruguay.
Uruguay is one of the most economically developed countries in South America, with a high GDP per capita. The Economist ranked it 21 out of 167 countries on the 2010 Democracy Index. And according to Transparency International, Uruguay is the 2nd least corrupt country in Latin America, behind Chile.
Besides these accolades, Uruguay has even more to make it the best offshore residence for you.
It is one of only a few remaining countries with a sound banking system that welcomes Americans and provides far greater financial privacy than you get in the United States. It also has a pleasant climate and friendly citizens.
And becoming a resident is relatively simple to do. All that’s required is your presence.
But before you begin to plan your move, there are several details you should know. For instance, immigration law states that residency is granted to those “who show intent to reside in Uruguay.” This means you must have an established address in Uruguay (rented or owned), which the Immigration Department may randomly verify.
Now, this does not stop you from spending several months outside of the country during your application process. But you must meet the minimum “presence requirement” or your application may be delayed.
After Uruguay grants you permanent resident status, you keep your status so long as you do not live outside of the country for more than three years.
The beauty and stability of this place make these requirements easy to meet. And since you have to stay in the country for a few months every year, you should consider investing in local property…
Property in Punta del Este –
a Worry-Free Investment
Punta del Este is Uruguay’s answer to Newport, Rhode Island.
Bridge nights and cocktail parties are part of the routine. Many wealthy people make their home there, and international cruise ships regularly visit the harbor.
As an Atlantic Ocean-side town, Punta del Este has a great deal of “old money,” which makes it a more established re-sell market.
Prices are not cheap because of international demand, but your investment is safer because you’ll be able to find a buyer when you want to cash out.
There are currently 70 new developments in Punta del Este, all of them without mortgages. It’s a cash business that is owner/developer financed.
The lowest entry-point price on the peninsula is $300,000. The lowest you’ll pay for a studio apartment in the area is $160,000. Historically property in Punta del Este has increased in price and holds value well.
The rental market is strong during peak summer season — January to March – with a return of 3–4%.
Adjacent to Punta del Este is the small town of La Barra. It is highly sought after so you’ll pay between $600,000 and $800,000 for property there. But with art galleries, shops, narrow, European-style streets, and youth oriented activities, from daytime sports on the fine sandy beach to all night discos, it is well worth the investment.
Another great place to invest in Uruguayan property is in the country’s capital…
Montevideo: One of the World’s Safest Cities
Montevideo is an attractive, modern city — among the safest in the world.
Located on the southern Atlantic coast of the country, the city contains many impressive high-rise buildings.
The average price for a 2,500 square foot apartment in this area is about $550,000. New construction prices are higher, closer to $750,000. A smaller apartment of about 1,800 square feet, in an equally good section of the city, would cost you around $350,000 plus.
Most apartment buildings have association fees of a few hundred dollars a month. These allow you to use common areas and enjoy a parking spot.
Overall, the Uruguayan property market has a dependable security that makes investments safe and stable. For example, farmland prices have increased in value 10 times since 2002 to a present average price of $2,100 per hectare.
Uruguay is not a country where you should look for a cheap retirement. Its first world living standards come with first world prices.
For First World Living
Without Big Brother… Go to Uruguay
Uruguay offers you financial and physical security – you feel safe walking the streets in Montevideo or Punta del Este… or anywhere else in the country.
What else makes Uruguay a great offshore haven?
It is an open, free market economy, with no exchange controls or foreign currency limitations. 80% of bank deposits in Uruguay are in U.S. dollars or euros. Accordingly, the prices for most big-ticket items like real estate and cars are denominated in U.S. dollars.
An export-oriented agricultural sector characterizes Uruguay’s economy. It has a well-educated work force, and high levels of social spending.
The country’s main industries are tourism and farming. Political stability has boosted the economy. It has a strong property market with high liquidity and consistent growth. And acquiring residency is relatively easy.
If you want to learn more about what the country can offer you, I recommend you schedule a trip to see the country first hand. If you like what you see, return and rent a place for at least six months so you can see if you’d really like living there full-time.
As an offshore haven, Uruguay is definitely a place to consider seriously.
Bob Bauman, JD
Editor, Offshore Confidential