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Old 09-18-2007, 01:50 PM   #21
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I never heard of the place, but it looks like some very beautiful beaches. Let us know how the trip goes.
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Old 09-19-2007, 05:12 AM   #22
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Thanks, Gringo.

We like being in places where we don't need a car. We hire drivers or take public transport in most places other than the U.S.

Unfortunately, where we live in the States, it is triple digits in the summer, with miles of open space ... even bicycling in the summer time can be dangerous! (only mornings and evenings, or before summer or after!)

Your opinion -- what's the biggest knock on living there?

No place is perfect, and even paradises have their drawbacks. I am not trying to focus on the negative here. We love lots of places we visit/live. It's just that experience has taught us that there is 'always something'.

In the States it's the healthcare issue and all the hoopla over it, and the 'enforced need for a car.' Sometimes it can be the peer pressure to consume or have upscale entertainment.

In Thailand sometimes it's the visa issues changing, or off and on air pollution -- but we get great medical care and don't need a vehicle! and what peer pressure? haha

In Mexico, the weather is perfect, we don't need a car, medical care is decent, but then the power goes out, the water can run out, repairs can take 'forever' and food shopping can take a good 1/2 a day.

In your opinion, if I were twisting your arm, what would you admit to having to 'accept'?

Thanks...

Be well,

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement
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Old 09-19-2007, 06:21 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy View Post
Thanks, Gringo.

We like being in places where we don't need a car. We hire drivers or take public transport in most places other than the U.S.

Unfortunately, where we live in the States, it is triple digits in the summer, with miles of open space ... even bicycling in the summer time can be dangerous! (only mornings and evenings, or before summer or after!)

Your opinion -- what's the biggest knock on living there?

No place is perfect, and even paradises have their drawbacks. I am not trying to focus on the negative here. We love lots of places we visit/live. It's just that experience has taught us that there is 'always something'.

In the States it's the healthcare issue and all the hoopla over it, and the 'enforced need for a car.' Sometimes it can be the peer pressure to consume or have upscale entertainment.

In Thailand sometimes it's the visa issues changing, or off and on air pollution -- but we get great medical care and don't need a vehicle! and what peer pressure? haha

In Mexico, the weather is perfect, we don't need a car, medical care is decent, but then the power goes out, the water can run out, repairs can take 'forever' and food shopping can take a good 1/2 a day.

In your opinion, if I were twisting your arm, what would you admit to having to 'accept'?

Thanks...

Be well,

Akaisha
Author, The Adventurer's Guide to Early Retirement


In a nut shell you'll have to accept their lifestyle, which is a slower pace then what you are use to. There is always manana to get it done. IF you can do that then things will be fine.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:16 PM   #24
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That doesn't sound too bad.

I do enjoy the efficiency of the Asians, however, everything you mentioned about living on Isla de Margarita is attractive.

Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2007, 06:34 AM   #25
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To give all of you reading an idea of general food prices here, I am going to list a few odds and ends we just picked up at unicasa, a local supermarket. Their prices are not the best but the store is real close. Here they separate groups of three numbers with a period rather then a comma and where we use a comma they use a period.

A package of 3 nice looking Filet Mignon steaks (.455kg) .98 pounds, (9.055 Bs), $1.88

A package of 3 smoked pork chops (.510 kg) 1.12 pounds, (12.650 Bs) $2.63

Peppered salami sliced to order (.225 kg) .50 pounds (17.350 Bs) $3.61

Turkey Breast sliced to order (.245 kg) .54 pounds (8.405 Bs) $1.75

Oscar Mayer ham sliced to order (.550 kg) 1.21 pounds (8.490 Bs) $1.77

Imported Gouda cheese from Holland sliced to order (.505 kg) 1.11 pounds (14.040 Bs) $2.93

Oscar Mayer liverwurst pre packaged (.500 kg) 1.1 pounds (5.450 Bs) $1.14

Fresh Brussel sprouts (.495 kg) 1.09 pounds (4.316 Bs) $.90

Small 3.45 oz pack of Oreo cookies 2 for (2.900 B's) $.60

Fresh potatoes (1.57 kg) 3.45 pounds (4.396 B's) $91

2 medium fresh tomatoes (.265 kg) .58 pounds (901 Bs) $.19

single serving variety fruit yogurt 7 for (10.640 Bs) $2.22

Bulk plain yogurt (.500 kg) 1.1 pounds (3.630 Bs) $.75

Hair conditioner, 16.1 oz (4.610 Bs) $.96 (local brand not the cheapest but she says its the best)

White sugar (.900 kg) 1.90 pounds, (1,170 Bs) $ .24

Medium size loaf of Bimbo bread (that's the name I swear) (.500 kg) 1.1 pounds (5900 Bs) $1.23 this bread is almost double most others but it is what I like best.


I spent a whopping 115.423,40 Bs
or $24.05
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:52 PM   #26
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VERRRY attractive Gringo.

B and I will have to check into visiting Isla de Margerita more actively.

Personally, I thank you for your effort in typing all that up.

Be well,

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Old 10-08-2007, 11:46 PM   #27
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We went about 4 years ago. Flew into Caracus, rented a car, drove that night to ferry point and took car on the ferry (along with a group/gaggle/flock of goats).

It was a nice experience, unsure if I would ever go back. Beaches Ok, affordable.
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How risky is the invest there?
Old 12-26-2007, 02:09 PM   #28
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How risky is the invest there?

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Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
Thank you kindly. We feel very safe here. The are where we live a car is not necessary. I own my home.
Hi Gringo,

How safe the investments are there? The fear of nationalization is maybe keep the prices down.
I was looking in the real estate there and they are some hot deals down there.
I am planning to visit Margarita Island next year but so far I liked it already.

I am looking in buy and rent kind of thing as I am actively working right now ( canada).

Whar are your thoughts?

Thanks for the info you already posted on the site.

Vergica
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Old 12-26-2007, 04:41 PM   #29
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Vergica,

Are you fluent in Spanish? Do you know the property laws in Venezuela?

You sound like an investor or speculator, not someone who would be sticking around for years and years. How certain are you that a) you could sell it for a profit when you want to (the same forces would work on you as a seller that are working on today's sellers), and b) that you could get your $$ out of the country when you do sell?

By all means, go to Isla Margarita and write us back. Rent for 6 months or a year before you give them your $$.

In any case, don't spend what you can't afford to lose.

You work in Canada. Talk to the VZ expats who work in Canada. You may know some already.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:37 AM   #30
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The initial thought was to buy a property and to use it actively 10 years from now when retire ( as of now I can not use it more than 2 weeks per year).
It looks for me now that the investment there is so risky and it does not make any sense to buy it now.
At this time it is very easy to buy it there and it is very difficult to sell it.
I know some expats here from Venezuela and they have sold their properties there....
I am going there in 2 months from now ( one week, all inclusive...) and I hope to get a better understanding of MI.
Just start to learn spanish...
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Old 01-29-2008, 12:27 PM   #31
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I have been there and not cared for it or the food. Had to have guards on the beach at night. I flew out to Angel falls, lots a fun, and the 4 wheel island tour was cool. The weather is warm, water nice, sand fleas on the beach, watch out. The all inclusive had crap for food, and if you wanted to eat in a fancy restaurant you had to get reservations, which were next to impossible to get.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:00 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by vergica View Post
Hi Gringo,

How safe the investments are there? The fear of nationalization is maybe keep the prices down.
I was looking in the real estate there and they are some hot deals down there.
I am planning to visit Margarita Island next year but so far I liked it already.

I am looking in buy and rent kind of thing as I am actively working right now ( canada).

Whar are your thoughts?

Thanks for the info you already posted on the site.

Vergica


Hi Folks;
I have been enjoying the winter on the beach alot. The best advise I can give has already been given. Come down and rent for 6 months and live day to day here. Some people do not like it others will not leave. We are in high season now and the island is PACKED. It will be slowing down a bit in a couple of weeks.
My first few trips here I came with the idea of getting a couple of condo's to rent and then I would have a place to stay and a reason to come back. I soon realized that I wanted to live here. After purchasing my first condo I spent half that year here. I knew this place was for me. I went back to GWB land to liquidate my holdings.
I ended up buying a very nice house in a great area. No guards, no gates, ect. IF, and that is a BIG if, I wanted to move on now, I could get twice what I paid for my properties here quite easly. Oh and get this, cars go UP in value here. I could get about 25% more then what I paid for my rental fleet.
I keep busy with the rental car business but since I have a wonderful manager it really is not work for me. She takes care of the things that need someone who speaks Spanish. My spanish is.............. well lets just say I am not learning as fast as I want.
The people here, for the most part, are very friendly and warm. Sure there are some a$$holes and there is crime here. I can say I feel safer here then I did in Tampa Florida or Montreal Canada. They put up with me a LOT better then I put up with foreigners in the states!!
One cannot make a major life style change like moving to a foreign country without first spending time there. An all inclusive does not count. You need to have to go out and go grocery shopping, pay some bills and live like you would if you made the choice to live there.
I have no fear living here. Look at property values in GWB land! I am glad I got out when I did. Those who thought I was nuts now are questioning their thinking.
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Old 03-19-2008, 12:08 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by vergica View Post
The initial thought was to buy a property and to use it actively 10 years from now when retire ( as of now I can not use it more than 2 weeks per year).
It looks for me now that the investment there is so risky and it does not make any sense to buy it now.
At this time it is very easy to buy it there and it is very difficult to sell it.
I know some expats here from Venezuela and they have sold their properties there....
I am going there in 2 months from now ( one week, all inclusive...) and I hope to get a better understanding of MI.
Just start to learn spanish...


Hi Vergica,
When you talk to expats from Venezuela, ask them about Margarita Island. I would bet most, if not all, have great things to say about it. The island is not part of the mainland. I have not met a single Venezuelan living here who does not realize that the island feels isolated from much of the political s***. This is why many mover their families here. It is WAY safer!! It really is a shame that you are doing the all inclusive. Enjoy your stay.
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The TRUTH about Margarita Island
Old 06-08-2008, 05:55 PM   #34
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The TRUTH about Margarita Island

I, like many of you work hard for my money and look to forums such as this for unbiased and informed advise (which I am going to share) with you about Margarita Island (M.I.)
So I hope the moderator doesnt delete or edit.

I actually lived on MI for 7 yrs FULL TIME and left almost a year ago now.....so I like to think I know what I am talking about.
I owned a property which I purchased some 5 yrs ago (which was the best time to invest by the way.....not now)
My reason for posting this is to pass on my extensive knowledge...thats all.

M.I. Is indeed a charming Island, but it is a country in dire economical straits. Inflation is at 29.3% YTD (officially) but is nearer 40% in reality.
check out www dot veneconomy dot com

The currency is the Boilvar Fuerte or (Bfs), which was adopted on the 1st Jan 2008, replacing the plain old Bolivar. The only difference is they knocked off 3 zeros.
Eg. 1000 Bolivars is now 1 bf

There are 2 currency rates that exist, official and blackmarket.
Official is $1 usd equals 2 bf, blackmarket $1 / 3bf...........this is NOW
The blackmarket rate was almost $1 to 5.8 bf only 6 months ago !
This is when M.I was a cheap destination to live or holiday at..........Imagaine, you could change $1000 and get almost 6000 bf.................more than enough to live on for 2 months like a king on M.I.................now with hyper inflation and blackmarket rate way down, alot of things are now cheaper in Europe (not property) cost of living.

Now property.............what the agents and developers DONT tell you is that when you want to sell (which is hard enough anyway), that the sale has to be done in Bf. This is the law.
The Notarias are much more controlled now, so insist on seeing evidence of the transaction being carried out in Bf.
When you buy a property from the many UK or Irish developers now touting M.I. They accept your sterling or Euro payment..........BECAUSE they can and are not breaking the law, as their accounts are either UK based or Euro based.
But you try and sell and get your money back into sterling or Euros is very very hard........plus you are breaking Venezuelan law (punishable by imprisonment if detected)
The only people who are investing in the many buildings sprouting up everywhere are the locals........why ?
They can get loans from banks at 23% (crazy), but better than the 50% it was and invest it in property as they see this as better than having money in the banks as inflation outstrips intertest !

Claims of Formula One and golfing projetcs are at best “Pie in the sky”. I actually called the Formula One headquaters in Paris (F.I.A) and they knew nothing of it.
As for golf, there are 2 courses at present on M.I. One has been in legal wranglings for 7 yrs and has nevr been played on (oppossite Hilton Hotel), the other is located at the North of the Island and is at best “parched”

Water is a precious commodity on M.I. And it is common place in high season for buildings (especially in Porlamar) to ration water daily. Turning on for an hour in the mornings, afternoons and nights..............so new golf courses being built.......??

M.I. Is also a “long haul” destination, so rentals are very very hard to sustain long enough to make it a performer in your portfolio.

If after reading this, you are still intent on buying there, ask for documentary eveidence from developers or agents making such claims. At best you be sent a link to a glossy mag or newspaper article.....nothing concrete.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:27 PM   #35
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Hi Pharaoh
Where did you move here from and where did you move to? I, unlike you, live here today. We sure have seen many changes over the years. Yes, there are times that water is in short supply, that has not changed, lol. Most of the nicer places have a reserve tank that kicks in automatically when the main supply is off and fills when it is on. Some of the lower class units do not have this feature.
Can you please tell us how you fared when you sold your property purchased 5 years ago? With the inflation rate at 30% should have netted you a pretty penny.
As you know the "black market", or the swap market which is perfectly legal, works in reverse to convert BsF into USD. Do you not agree? So the transfer is quite a simple one. You say "But you try and sell and get your money back into sterling or Euros is very very hard........plus you are breaking Venezuelan law (punishable by imprisonment if detected)." Are you unaware of the bond market where it is completely legal to do what you claim is punishable by imprisonment?
What projects eventually end up completed is anyone's guess but you are correct that Venezuelans are purchasing property here like there was no tomorrow. And rightfully so with inflation and foreign tourist purchases prices keep going up and up with no end in sight. This is the only place that a car does not lose its value and goes up in value, as we both know. Do you disagree that nationals come here frequently to visit and need local rentals? I see this quite often.
When one digs past many of your negative comments and apply logic, one can see that La Isla is not only a great place to visit but also a better place to invest.
Let me say that I am not a Realtor or give a rats patoot about that area. The best advice given to me I always pass on. If you think this is the place where you want to invest, if even for a single purchase, come and rent for 6 months and get a feel for island life. Sure it does cost more here then it did say a year ago, but that is worldwide and I would be a moron to expect things to cost the same as they once had. I can say without any doubt that for the most part living here is less costly then in the states.
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Old 06-09-2008, 03:13 AM   #36
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Thanks for the info pharaoh.

I would not consider purchasing in a foreign country... I would only lease.

I was wondering if MI might be a low cost alternative compare to Aruba. But I was unsure if the destination was an American friendly destination.
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:52 AM   #37
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Never made it myself but back when I was windsurfing a lot I drooled over it a bit. It has some world class windsurfing conditions. So, maybe leave the bike behind and try a new sport - I bet kite sailing is available these days.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:17 AM   #38
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Hola from dreary UK.
I came across this forum quite by accident but glad that I did. I recently started to purchase a property at the La Ensenada complex and would be grateful for any information about its progress. As an investor I, along with others, have been getting pictures sent over but progress is sooo slow...I know all about manana as I holiday in Spain alot but this is getting to be a joke.
Im also researching as much as I can about life on the island. I may or may not live there on my retirement. (Im a plumber by trade so also hoping to keep a hand in). I have checked for healthcare, police, crime and social issues, prices of various goods and services, schooling, natures good and bad bits including all things stinging and biting, banking, etc but anything anyone else could add for me to check up on would be gratefully received.
I noticed Pharaohs' comment re the Formula One track. As I bought into my little slice of paradise before this was mentioned Im not too bothered whether this is true or not, it would of course be great if it was. Does anyone know whats happening on that score?
I look forward to hearing from anyone, cant wait to get out there for myself and check it all out.
Be lucky.
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Old 10-18-2008, 05:45 AM   #39
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Greatings;
From all I hear about La Ensenada, it is progressing on island time. A friend of mine who moves earth here told me he is impressed that there is always a crew there doing something. That is about all I can say about that property.
As far as the track goes the word on the street is just that, just talk. No one is able to confirm those plans here. A GOOD plumber with UK work standards would do well here.
Life here ain't for everyone. Some friends here have since moved on but we get new arrivals too. Lots of luck to ya.
Cheers


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Hola from dreary UK.
I came across this forum quite by accident but glad that I did. I recently started to purchase a property at the La Ensenada complex and would be grateful for any information about its progress. As an investor I, along with others, have been getting pictures sent over but progress is sooo slow...I know all about manana as I holiday in Spain alot but this is getting to be a joke.
Im also researching as much as I can about life on the island. I may or may not live there on my retirement. (Im a plumber by trade so also hoping to keep a hand in). I have checked for healthcare, police, crime and social issues, prices of various goods and services, schooling, natures good and bad bits including all things stinging and biting, banking, etc but anything anyone else could add for me to check up on would be gratefully received.
I noticed Pharaohs' comment re the Formula One track. As I bought into my little slice of paradise before this was mentioned Im not too bothered whether this is true or not, it would of course be great if it was. Does anyone know whats happening on that score?
I look forward to hearing from anyone, cant wait to get out there for myself and check it all out.
Be lucky.
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Old 10-21-2008, 03:02 PM   #40
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Greatings;
From all I hear about La Ensenada, it is progressing on island time. A friend of mine who moves earth here told me he is impressed that there is always a crew there doing something. That is about all I can say about that property.
As far as the track goes the word on the street is just that, just talk. No one is able to confirm those plans here. A GOOD plumber with UK work standards would do well here.
Life here ain't for everyone. Some friends here have since moved on but we get new arrivals too. Lots of luck to ya.
Cheers
Thanks for the reply Gringo.
Ive heard much of what you call 'Island Time'. Being naturally apathetic towards work situations, it bodes well for me...

Im kidding. The situation sounds as it was last told to me, which is I believe, nothing short of fanatical by island standard time. Good stuff, plenty of time then. Im hoping to get out there this coming year for a visit and a feel of the island. Really looking forward to it.
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