Florida, Las Vegas, New York. In the early 2000's many people made a lot of profit in a year or less investing in Real Estate.
In 2004, the value increasing rate in Miami was about 20 to 25 % constant during several years, and even the most respectable and experienced real estate investors, said prices would continue rising.
Many Colombian investors, including me, followed the cheery trend.
Then I started investing and promoting real estate in the US market to Colombian investors and at the same time, I encouraged my friends and family to do so as well.
What happen? In 2006 price stopped going up. In fact, they dropped like a coconut!
I had already paid the down payment of two condos, one with a friend, and one with my brothers. My Dad had bought one as well.
What do you do when you put a big part of your savings in a down payment and the closing dates are stepping you the heels?
Well, if you are lucky enough you can get into an expensive mortgage, pay maintenance, utilities, taxes, etc, and wait until market recover.
However, if you can’t close the property, you simply lose money.
So, I did all the mistakes a first time overseas property buyer can make:
. I did not read the small letter.
. I did not plan in advanced how I would finance the properties
. Even if I could afford to close them, the currency risk at that time was against the numbers
. I did not made the enough research,
Just to name a few...
To make the story short, I ended up losing all my down payment money, as well as my family did.
I was very embarrassed not only myself but with my Dad, my brothers and my friends
I felt I had failed also as professional in my business
I realized, even though I had experience in the real estate business locally, it was very different buying abroad.
It took a long way financially to recover from this experience, but every cloud has a silver lining. So then I realized, Colombia's real estate market was not that volatile over the years.
Buyers of my local developments had relatives abroad, a foreign husband/wife. And it was not one or two. There were several foreigners buying and investing in real estate.
I was supporting them all along the buying process, explaining in their language step by step.
So I thought, ¿ Why not help foreign buyers to have a very safe, secure and pleasant experience when buying and investing in properties in Colombia? ,
and help them to avoid all those troublesome and costly experiences I had myself? And as an extra bonus, help to promote all the positive values my country has to offer?