Investing in real estate while living abroad

2 Replies

Hi, I am from Canada. I never invested before. I want my first investment to be real estate as it can produce monthly income. I have read that people use real estate to help  them during retirement instead of relying on a retirement plan like 401 K or RRSP. I was thinking to get real estate to fund my retirement.  

I will be working as an English teacher in China this year. My plan is to work in different countries. So I will work 2-3 years in China, 2-3 years in Japan, 2-3 years in Thailand, etc.  I do not want to live in Canada anymore because I want to live  in other countries. 

I was thinking to buy real estate in Canada and  other countries that I will be living in.  I do not want to sell them. The only problem is that I have to hire somebody to look after the property and to collect rent for me. The problem with hiring a property manager is that there is a high risk of deceiving you. Unfortunately, there is not many trustworthy people. However, property manager is the only answer because I will not know anybody in that country. 

Q1: Based on my goals and my concern with property managers, is it worth me investing in real estate? What investments I should consider instead? I am looking for investments that can support me for retirement. 

Q2: Do you know where I can find reputable, trustworthy property managers? Is it recommend to get property managers? 

Thank you so much for your time and consideration in reading this message. 

Updated about 2 years ago

I would like to another question to my post: is my plan with real estate good? What can I do to make my plan better?

Hi I saw your post and decided to take a look at it. You may have trouble owning property in China. Since they are Communist. Everything belongs to the government. I would check-in to that. And I saw that you are a Canadian citizen. You can still own property in Canada and still live abroad. But you will need someone to manage it for you. 

@Amandeep H. yes this is a pretty good plan but I am not sure about buying property everyplace you live. As noted, China will likely not be possible. In Japan you can but you will have a difficult time getting a loan without being a permanent resident - but if you have lots of cash, it will not be a problem. I think you can own condos in Thailand but not the land. 

If you haven't read David Greene's book on out of state rental properties, I would strongly recommend it. It will give you ideas on how to vet PMs and other "team members" that you will need. You can also reach out to the BP community to ask for recommendations and pros/cons of different agencies you have connected with. Not all PMs are crooks. You need to get past that belief first or REI is not for you.

Find a location where you want to invest first, then look for agencies, brokers, PMs etc in that area to help you out, but ask them good questions. I have been cheated by PMs before (1 even went bankrupt and never told me until I received all the keys and contracts in the post!), but I have good people in the areas I own in now, so being cautious is good.