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Simmering Hope

Hope is the expectation that something outside of ourselves, something or someone external, is going to come to our rescue and we will live happily ever after. – Dr. Robert Anthony

Archive for the ‘Real estate’ Category

Nov 17, 2007

Ten reasons for moving to Malta

Some months ago I read an article about the best places to retire.
I live in British Columbia, very close to Vancouver. Now, lots of people would like to move or retire here. Why? Because of the surroundings: mountains and ocean. Yes, in theory you can ski in the morning and go to the beach in the afternoon. Only that it’s raining like crazy. People don’t know or want to understand that we are in Pacific Northwest and it rains, it’s humid, and overcast more often than not. Not to mention the cost of living. We crave for sunlight more than anything else.
I digress; let’s go back to retirement places.

What captured my attention was Malta.
I have been searching the net like crazy trying to find more information about this small state, tucked into the Mediterranean Sea.
Suddenly, I’ve fallen in love with Malta and decided to give it a try. First we will have to go there

These are my 10 reasons for voting for Malta:
1. Near perfect climate year-round… hey, I’ve been living closer to Vancouver for the past 14 years and the rain and the almost steady overcast started driving me nuts
2. The cost of living is low and no property taxes… yupee!! We pay a whooping $3500 per year on our propriety and the cost of leaving here is absolutely ridiculously high
3. Crime is practically non-existent and the locals are friendly
4. Everyone speaks English
5. According to the World Health Organization, Malta ranks 10th in the world for its medical standards
6. The University of Malta, founded in 1592 is one of the oldest ones in the world… I listed this point because we have to take into account our son’s need for education
7. House prices are decent
8. Leisure time includes sailing and horse riding… we love boating so leaving there will suit us perfectly well
9. A chance to return to our European roots
10.The last reason is mostly subjective: my wandering soul is longing for sunshine, sea breeze and a more laid back life

I will like to finish my post with some info found on … CIA site. Weird. I did not even know that you can access their site.
If you go there this is what you find:
“Great Britain formally acquired possession of Malta in 1814. The island staunchly supported the UK through both World Wars and remained in the Commonwealth when it became independent in 1964. A decade later Malta became a republic. Since about the mid-1980s, the island has transformed itself into a freight transshipment point, a financial center, and a tourist destination. Malta became an EU member in May 2004.”
“The country comprises an archipelago, with only the three largest islands (Malta, Ghawdex or Gozo, and Kemmuna or Comino) being inhabited; numerous bays provide good harbors; Malta and Tunisia are discussing the commercial exploitation of the continental shelf between their countries, particularly for oil exploration”
Economy:
“Major resources are limestone, a favorable geographic location, and a productive labor force. Malta produces only about 20% of its food needs, has limited fresh water supplies, and has few domestic energy sources. The economy is dependent on foreign trade, manufacturing (especially electronics and pharmaceuticals), and tourism. Continued sluggishness in the European economy is holding back exports, tourism, and overall growth. “

Nov 12, 2007

Second home in the sun

Courtesy of Don Ediger who wrote for International Living, we got some general information on beach properties that could be bought for a good price in various countries.

So, if you want a place in the sun, but don’t want to spend more than $100,000, there are 10 destinations you need to consider:

Costa Rica: It’s a favorite retreat for North Americans who like the country’s cool mountains or beautiful, wide beaches. Costa Rica has superb sport fishing, birdwatching, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, and horseback riding. Property prices are rising–but not so fast that you can’t still find bargains.

The Dominican Republic: It’s one of the least expensive countries in the Western Hemisphere. Ocean-view condos are on the market for just over $100,000. For a little more than half that amount you can find an apartment in the capital Santo Domingo, known for its old world charm.

Belize: This English-speaking Caribbean country offers big tax incentives to foreigners who live part- or full-time in the country. While Ambergris Caye and several other coastal areas have become expensive, there are still real estate bargains galore, particularly in the exotic rainforests only a few miles from the ocean.

Mexico: The country has been a favorite of second-home owners for many years, but prices in Mexico can vary just as much as the climate. Today’s savvy property shoppers are attracted by low prices around Yucatán’s Gulf Coast and by the big advantages of the Lake Chapala area–golf, tennis, hiking, and horseback riding, as well as theater, concerts, and garden clubs.

The Bahamas: Sports, nature, and an elegant lifestyle continue to lure people to these islands just off the Florida coast. Though the Bahamas have a reputation for pricey real estate, it’s not difficult to find condos for $100,000 and three-bedroom houses for around $200,000.

Guadeloupe and Martinique: The French West Indies combine Caribbean culture with a Riviera lifestyle. That means dining and dancing as well as opportunities to enjoy nature, whether it’s a hike around a volcano or a dip in ocean waters that Jacques Cousteau described as among the best in the world.

Nicaragua: Despite the potentially worrisome outcome of recent elections, the country remains a haven for second-home owners. Bargains are the big reason. Even at property developments with top-notch golf courses, you can get a condo near the ocean for less than $100,000.

Nov 4, 2007

Beachfront properties in France

Dreaming about moving to France?

Let’s take a look at France’s regions

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Cannes, the Riviera… the perfume of old times.

France enjoys miles of stunning beachfront property. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between the calm, family-friendly resorts of the Normandy coast, the rugged beauty of the Celtic Brittany shores, the sandy immensity of the Landes, the thrill of the surf on the Atlantic by Biarritz, and the timeless charm of the Mediterranean in the south, among other destinations. Needless to say, this is not the cheapest sector of the property market, but on the whole it represents good value, and there are still affordable areas if you look hard.

 

The Riviera

Properties along the Riviera tend to be pretty expansive. Prices have risen over the past couple of years and now rival those in Paris, but it is still possible to find compact studios in these coastal towns for under $150,000.

But you can still find a ready-to-move-in one-bedroom apartment of just over 450 square feet with a view of the sea in Marseille for $137,000.

 

Beachfront Property in Normandy

With its 400 miles of clean, uncrowded coastline, and easy access to Paris, beach land and beach lots here are much sought after-you’ll be competing with Parisians looking for an easy weekend getaway, and, with the arrival of a low-cost airline in Deauville, with Brits eager for the same. Low-key Trouville is popular with families, yet close enough to the casinos of Deauville for entertainment. Honfleur still draws crowds at weekends except in the depths of winter, and the old-fashioned resort of Granville has a slow charm of its own.

Nov 1, 2007

Resort condos at Poipu Beach selling quickly

Vancouver-based S&P Destination Properties says it sold $76 million of Phase 1 luxury properities offered at Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach.Koloa Landing is a 10 hectare residential-resort development on the southern tip of the island of Kauai.

Koloa Lading Masterplan

  • 1. Lagoon pool — 6,100 sq. ft.
  • 2. BBQ area for every building
  • 3. Adult pool — 1,400 sq. ft.
  • 4. Porte-cochére check-in
  • 5. Serene day spa, sauna and steam room
  • 6. Lush landscaping with pathways that meander along cascading waterfalls and
        tranquil streams
  • 7. Family pool — 9,500 sq. ft.
  • 8. Poolside bar and grill
  • 9. Traditional Hawaiian garden
  • 10. Tropical pool — 2,000 sq. ft.
  • 11. Ocean access

In one day, 51 two, three and four-bedroom luxury condos were sold at an average price of $1.5 million, drawing buyers from Hawaii, California, Utah and Western Canada. 

S&P Destination Properties is a luxury and resort real estate company that specializes in the design, marketing and sale of luxury and resort properties throughout the Western United States, Hawaii, and Mexico. S&P is committed to its customers in the ownership and enjoyment of the world’s finest real estate. This commitment has recently been proven with the record-breaking success of Trump Tower Waikiki, where all residences were sold out on the first day.

Source: http://www.koloalanding.com/sp.html

Resort Amenities

  • Four resort-style pools and hot tubs with lush surroundings throughout
  • Central pool with water slide, sand bottom area, cascading waterfalls and
    swim-through grotto
  • Natural water features and living ponds throughout
  • Serene day spa includes private treatment rooms with waterfall views,
    steam room, sauna, and lockers
  • State-of-the-art fitness center
  • 24 hour lobby staff and concierge
  • Meandering Tiki torch lit pathways
    through out the resort
  • Sundry shop for life’s little conveniences
  • Poolside bar and grill
  • Located steps from Poipu Beach

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Interior Features

  • Indoor/outdoor living
  • Generous lanais
  • Floor-to-ceiling pocket door
    sliding windows
  • Complete gourmet style kitchens with custom wood-milled cabinetry
  • Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and wine refrigerator
  • Slab granite countertops with under-cabinet lighting
  • State-of-the-art technology
  • Semi-private elevators
  • Central air conditioning throughout
  • Spacious walk-in closets and owner’s closet
  • Luxurious 5-piece bathrooms
  • Natural stone and exotic hardwood flooring options
  • Two designer furniture packages
  • En suite laundry

Oct 30, 2007

More Canadians to become landlords

With a new CHMC (Canada House and Mortgage Corporation) mortgage-insurance product, more Canadians could buy rental properites with no downpayment.

For a premium based on the loan amount, CHMC now insures mortgages so investors can buy up to four units of rental housing with little money down.

The Crown corporation allows now for 100-per-cent financing on one to two units and 90-per-cent financing on the third and fourth ones.

Until last month, CMHC required a down payment of 15 per cent on investment properties.

The new product, introduced last month, also changes the way financial institutions calculate the ratios used to qualify borrowers for mortgages, which makes it easier to buy rental properties.

The insurance premium is 7.25 per cent of the mortgage amount for 100 per cent financing.

This product will look appealing to people who are self-employed or don’t have a pension plan.

The rent will pay down the mortgage and when ready to retire, it would generate a revenue.

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