I would make an awful salesman in general- unless I'd buy a product myself, I find it impossible to convince someone else to purchase it. I always think that the best advert for the product you're selling is to buy it yourself.
In my time working as a real estate consultant in Argentina and for the last almost three years in Chile, I've always owned property in the places in which I lived.
Firstly, that was Buenos Aires back in 2004 when the real estate market had collapsed and property was absurdly cheap. Then, when I saw the writing on the wall for the Argentine economy and a stalling of the already inflated property market, I sold up and moved across to a more serious country (Argentina is fun and I love going back to visit but I prefer a more stable place in which to live and work).
After Buenos Aires, I moved to Valparaiso where I also invested in real estate. I'd still be there and had no real pressing reason to leave but I was getting tired of living in the city and wanted a move out to the country. Valpo's still on its way up and will be for a while yet. After a very, very quiet 9 months caused by the economic collapse last September, things have really picked up there again but I sold up fairly successfully in the end and can't complain about how things went in that respect.
I've been looking at houses on a couple of streets in Santa Cruz for the last few months. There are two specifically that are clearly going to rise above average in value over the next few years due to their proximity to the Plaza de Armas, the style of the houses and the fact that most of the properties would make fantastic commercial spaces- restaurants, bars, boutiques, galleries...this is already starting to happen and Santa Cruz is only just beginning in terms of its potential for tourism. There are still some bargains around...but I doubt there will be for all that much longer.
So I bought a house. It's really cute, not too big, in great shape (it needs some renovations but nothing major), has a lovely, private walled garden. Best of all was that I got it for a really great price. Great because the sellers were happy and because I, the buyer, was happy too. That's not all that common! I won't mention how much it cost but I could sell it tomorrow for a profit if I wanted. I don't, though...this is going to be a great little space in which to live and work.
Once the renovations are done, we'll be moving out of the rental house and I'll have a proper office there, Allie will have her classroom and we'll have space for the dogs and cats to bound about outside whenever they want.
So here's the house:
It'll be painted yellow and white in a couple of months.
Cool inside front door...
The living room has this fantastic bank of windows looking out onto the garden.
This huge garage (there are two) will be converted into an independent studio flat to rent out short term to visitors.
The garden needs to be completely dug up and replanted- we're going to have a lawn area, a vegetable patch and trained fruit trees around the walls...
These vines are huge and must be at least 50 years old.
We have a Bird of Paradise plant. Very pretty...
Back before satellite telly, people had antennas. Remember? The house has a 20m high antenna right in the middle of the garden. We're going to keep it and train vines up it...
The dogs already have fun in the garden...
And finally, we have a little shrine. Not sure what to put in it. Any smart ideas???
So if you're interested in investing in real estate in Santa Cruz, Chile (vineyards, fruit farms, houses or commercial property) please get in touch and I'll be happy to help!