International Real Estate

23 Replies

I love BiggerPockets. It is full of great information, stories, and has a great community. I have learned much through the podcast and by reading. I'd say about 99.9% of the content is geared towards the USA, however, much of the knowledge, wisdom, tools, rules, etc. are applicable in foreign markets where I have been using them.

I would love to share my success stories, lessons learned, etc. from investing in international real estate, but the platform does not really provide a way to do that. For example, if I try to add my investments to my profile, the dropdown menu assumes my property is a state within the United States. 

I want to open up the discussion to something atypical and talk about my adventures in doing what we do in the USA and applying it in South America and Southeast Asia.

I am curious what the founders of this site, moderators/admin, etc. think about this and if they could add a feature to list "Other" locations outside the USA. 

@Aaron Bryson

There are a handful of us here interested in non US markets, but we’re by far the minority.

I’ve also inquired about opening up a specific international forum within the community, but didn’t get anywhere with it.

Best options I’ve found are tracking certain key words. 

@Aaron Bryson and @Benjamin A Ersing . I love Bigger Pockets ánd International Real Estate and have posted in various random fora and chats. However, when I point members to the communities in e.g. The Netherlands (investor associations, meetups, community groups and such) my posts are deleted by moderators. Although I have no interest in the discussion groups other than discussing (international) property investments and management. So I stopped, but did meet some members of Bigger Pockets in real life in the meantime. It's a great tool! Best from Amsterdam, The Netherlands ;-)

@Aaron Bryson , I totally agree with you. While the site is US-centric, I agree with you that the site is very useful in terms of knowledge, wisdom, tools, rules, etc.

Yes, some of the techniques and strategies can be applied in certain countries but many cannot. Also, the best strategy in North America might be a bad strategy or at least not the best strategy in another country. Also the laws and tax systems are different, as are the cultures and the ways to do business. Investing is international real estate is awesome and a great opportunity to diversify outside of the US and invest in higher growth areas of the world. Yet, you need to know what you're doing or invest with somebody who does.

I know there's no place to feature international deals here but I've still been able to contribute to this forum by answering questions and sharing my knowledge on the subject in many threads. I just saw on my computer that I'm again the top contributor in this forum so I guess I'm helping some folks out here.

@Aaron Bryson and @Benjamin A Ersing . If I had the time, I'd definitely start a site for international. Who knows maybe a few people together could do that if there is demand for it of course.

@Erik Noordam I used to live in beautiful Amsterdam. Nice to read that there are BiggerPockets people there too!

@Aaron Bryson, you're investing in South East Asia? I'm limiting myself to Latin America and Europe. I won't invest in any country where I cannot hold the land freehold as a matter of principle and for economical reasons as well. Also, the rental income is generally way too low for my taste (or the properties are overpriced) but that would be an interesting debate (and there are exceptions everywhere).

@Mike Lambert Lambert I invest anywhere that makes sense. I also agree with you regarding the land rights, I don't like the idea of having to give the land back with whatever property is on it in 20-99 years, on principal. Bali is an example. Currently, it is not a good time to invest in Vietnam, Thailand, or Indonesia or many other areas there because the numbers are simply not there. However, if you were looking to set up a really sweet life in a villa by the water or surrounded by palm trees, it could make sense for yourself but not as a straight rental property. It depends on your goal, because land is not getting cheaper. If you are looking to retire abroad to a dream property that you don't want to rent, it has its appeal.

As an example, right now in Bangkok there are an estimated 100,000 empty condos, many of them are really nice. They are overpriced and the market is saturated. Now is not a good time to buy, but I think the opportunity to get nice properties at a steep discount is around the corner. I am keeping an eye on Thailand and Vietnam. For the last few years, it has made more sense to simply rent luxury because the cost to buy vs the rental rates didn't make sense.

I'll make some separate posts regarding properties, everything from investing in favelas of Brazil to Penthouses and beach-front properties.

@Aaron Bryson

Exactly! That's what I meant by not investing in South-East Asia for economical reasons. The rent vs buy is so favorable to renting that buying doesn't make sense. You'd only speculate on capital gains but those will always be capped by the already super low rental yields. Any fire sale should be very deep to correct the imbalance and then, you still have the land rights issue.

I would be interested in an international meet up or site. Perhaps there could be a virtual meet up? I'd love to hear what some of you are doing. My husband and live in Singapore and own here as well as Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, the US and Canada. But I'm always interested in hearing what works for others and what strategies can be taken from Bigger Pockets and used elsewhere. 

Hi Maya

Shoot me a message and I’ll get you added to the group here in Singapore. Meetup is on the 25th in Rob Quay. Thanks!


Please let me know and keep me posted on the real estate international investing resources, as i am interested as well.