Offshore Real Estate Lome, Togo West Africa Monday, May 28, 2007
I was a Real Estate Broker, Investor, Property Management Company, Developer and all these words involved for 14 years of my life and really more.
I have seena consistently increasing offshore Real Estate Scam being committed by Expats, similar to the Real Estate Scams involving the sale of land in Florida in the USA.
The scam works like this, the Expat predator is normally trying to sell a home over the internet that is in an offshore country outside USA jurisdictions. Normally they purchased the scam themselves, and they now want to get rid of it, the only way they can figure out to do so, is to do the scam again to the next person. There is also the more dangerous professional types.
The person reading the advertisement on the Internet is just an average person and wants to live in Resort Home or in the American Dream home And they are reading about a home in an exotic place that is twice as big as they own, however half the price as their present home. They cannot believe how great of deal this is, and they go down for a two week vacation and buy a home impossible to sell fairly.
There are many listing for the properties, normally by Expats and all are priced about 10 times the true value, however, because there are many listing and the reader believe because of the numbers they are safe. Plus, who would think an American or European would do this.
I used to have a Mexican man in Acapulco complain, -The American come down here and complain about corruption, then the learn how to be corrupt, and do it better than us. -
These properties are outside the laws of the USA, and location of the exotic property is in country with no real estate appraisal laws or any protections for consumers. Therefore, now with invention of the internet they can go find victims in other countries, and prey on the unsuspecting person, all expats are trustworthy… That is why they left the country…
All forms of Real Estate valuation is often ignored. For example the cost of construction wages to build the home only being 3 US dollars per day or the money they are buying is Mexican.
When you buy a home in Thailand, you are effectively investing in the Thai Baht. Panama is better because they use the Dollar, for me to buy a Home in Togo, I would be buying the CFA , which I think today is tied to the Euro, I anticipate they will one day disconnect it from the Euro and the CFA will go down just like the Argentina Peso did when it was disconnected from the dollars.
Buying Real Estate is investing in the strength or currency of the country.
Buying Real Estate is investing in the validity of the legal system of the country.
Buying Real Estate is investing in the Government of the country. When was the last military coup?
Buying Real Estate is about the price of comparable properties in the area, if there is no comparable properties, maybe the value is zero, not what you would pay in the USA.
This statement has zero value. - This property would cost X in the USA, this is just a stupid comment and only said by a person who wishes to scam you. - The property is NOT in the USA, so why say it?
Buying Real Estate is about buying a home where people want to move, why are they moving from Panama, Thailand, Costa Rica, etc to the USA when it is paradise?
Note, I think there are more deserted islands on the planted than inhabited islands. An island is not a prime piece of land, there is no economic value. People in Togo do not try to live on the ocean, in Thailand they do not try to live on the ocean, they want to live inland and safer, they want to live near drinking water, and often the cheapest land is on the ocean, you cannot farm it, so the land has no value, if no people close, no value.
Buying Real Estate is about the cost to build the same property and the ability to sell the property. If they cannot sell the property in the normal country, why would it be a good deal over the internet…? See the point, a good deal will always sell, but to prey on a person who knows nothing about appraisal, and knowing the laws of country allows him or her to do so is what is now happening.
The solution is simple, go and live there first, rent a home for about two years, after this time, maybe you can buy. I am not sure why? I am always wondering about this of buying, is buying a need. American and Europeans will indeed buy a swindle; they believe buying is always better. This is not true.