Tag Archive | "Bowen Road"

Ecuador Florida


This message on how Florida and Ecuador connect can help you enjoy everlasting wealth.

See how going from this view in Hong Kong from Bowen Road…

HK-waterfront

to this… brought us more than a fortune.

multi-currency-view

The leaf change has begun here in the Blue Ridge and autumn’s glorious message can help us improve our investing and business. I explain below.

Yesterday’s message, Ecuador Gold,  was about gold, good value real estate and the power of incorporating a PIEC (Personal Income Earning Corridor) in your life so you can:

1.    Do what you like.
2.    Act beyond money.
3.    Work with like minded souls.

One key to developing this PIEC is to know what you are investing in and… why.

Plato summed it up nicely about 2,500 years ago… investor… “know thyself.”

Take for example, what Merri and I knew about ourselves, as we headed south in our Honda mini van last week to look at over 20 properties in three days… a short list derived from researching hundreds of properties for sale.

Our hound, Ma, was with us… she is very happy about traveling more to Florida and less to Ecuador because she far prefers traveling in the golden rolling cave rather than being eaten (and then regurgitated) by the big, silver bird.

Merri and I were happy knowing that a common denominator between Ecuador and Florida is that each have a lot of sun at times when other places have a lot of cold!

As the autumn’s first frosts were appearing at our mountain home… we enjoyed the 85+ degree sunny weather.

A recent article entitled Ecuador Florida Connection looked at value real estate in both  Ecuador and Florida and evoked this response from a reader:  Gary, I love reading your daily emails. You are right about the many foreclosures in Florida but let me say that those foreclosures are mostly in places that would make you feel like a “gringo in Ecuador”.

I have checked on quite a few but the prices are just coming back down to what they are really worth.  Good luck in your quest !  I am trying to talk my wife into a place in Ecuador which she may warm up to a while.Maybe I can talk her into an inexpensive condo. What do have to offer preferably near the water (Salinas).

I replied: Agreed… but there is also appears to be a hole in the market for Central Fl property in the $1m to $750k range.  There are very few buyers. We have been watching prices tumble hundreds of thousands.  We are viewed one property that started at $800K+. It dropped $100K last week from $395 and is now down to $295K.  This is the sector where we are looking.

This property…

ecuador-florida

with this view…

ecuador-florida

started at $1.7 million dollars. Then Merri watched online it dropped to $1.2 million…then went to $899,000.  When we looked, it had dropped to $85o,000 and was down to $499,000 when it disappeared from the listing…foreclosed.  It is on a clear spring fed lake, has around 3 acres, all fenced, dock, boat house, large beautiful guest house, barn, pool, high ceilings and even a sauna/workout room AND in an excellent neighborhood near the historic town of Mt. Dora.

ecuador-florida

The broker that showed this house to us is Shirley Peacock at Coldwell Banker All Stars  in Mount Dora (There are two CBs in Mt. Dora).  Her email is shirley.peacock@mfr.mlxchange.com whose attitude is to help make a sale, and if it is a foreclosure or a short sale, she has knowledgeable attorneys and doesn’t flinch on these sometimes “difficult” properties.  Usually where there is difficulty, there is profitability.  We have profited by her advice and knowledge and spent a lot of time with her and had a lot of fun looking at one after another beautiful great properties.

Why did we pass so quickly on this house?  It is certainly beautiful, has excellent value and had all the qualities we were looking for…but what it didn’t have for us as much privacy that we long for…but still what a value!

We have a very defined search for good value, Florida real estate that we would like to live in.   We use the Golden Rule of Business Simplicity…  “Our desires represent the desires of many others.”

In short, the Golden Rule of Simplicity means that… “Your Passions Represent Markets.”  Figure out what you love and why and you’ll have good, strong business and investing ideas.

Expanding on this example…Merri and I love living in the sun so we know many others do as well.  This means if we buy real estate in the sun and lakefront… at a good price… there is a good chance we can sell it later for a profit.

So we are looking for places where we would like to live… in the $750,000 to $1,000,000 range where we would like to live.

Yet this is not all.

First we expect to pay much less because of this flat spot in the market. We like to go where no one else is competing.

As we expand on this example we cannot leave out the importance of knowing where one is on the diffusion curve.

To understand this better, let’s look at research on diffusion models.

A well-known diffusion study followed the spread of a new hybrid corn in Iowa in the 1930s. There were 250 farmers in the area that were observed. The goal was to see how fast these farmers accepted and switched to the new hybrid, which was superior in every way to the existing corn that the farmers had been growing.

Though this hybrid cost less gave better, more dependable crops and higher yields, not all the farmers began to use the corn at once.

Only a few farmers started using the hybrid in 1932 and 1933. In 1934 16 more switched. Then in 1935 21 more followed. 1936 saw the highest switching when 61 farmers began using the hybrid. Then there were 46, 36, 14, and 3 that switched, leaving only two of the 254 farmers studied.

In this study, the original few who began using this corn were the Innovators. These are the adventurous people who will always try anything new. Innovators start trends but do not cause the trends to take off. They instead infect the Early Adaptors 16 who in 1934 and 21 in 1935 that began using the hybrid. These are the opinion leaders in the community that will cause the trend to spread. These are people that cause the trend to really spread.

They were followed by the Early Majority (the 36 who switched in 1936), the Late Majority (61 in 1937). Finally they are followed by the Deliberate (46 in 1938 and 36 in 1939), Skeptical Mass (14 in 1940 and 3 in 1941) finally leaving only the Laggards (the two who still had not adapted by 1941).

Whenever looking at your PIEC, ask  “Where am I most comfortable in the diffusion process?”

There is potential and a risk reward balance in every part of the curve. What counts is making sure you are in tune with the diffusion position of any idea that appeals to you .

For example even laggards can find exciting niche opportunities.   In fact some times laggards find themselves turned into innovators… such as the low tech Amish Lehman’s Catalog business.

Merri and I are well aware that we lay somewhere between innovators and early adapters.  We have worked and/or lived on every continent… visited over seventy countries and rarely had a month without a flight somewhere for 40 years.

We warn readers regularly that we are usually early in and early out.

Manx-waterfront

The view in the 1970s from my flat at #5 Bowen Road was something like this… except most of those skyscrapers did not exist!   After I left, real estate appreciated 20 – or 30 times.

We were into real estate in Hong Kong, Isle of Man, London, Naples, Florida and Ecuador when the majority thought the idea was crazy.  We earned nice profits in each place but prices rose dramatically as much as ten times or more after we exited.

Manx-waterfront

Manx real estate has skyrocketed since we left this wonderful British Isle.  Many of our real estate delegates there made much more than Merri and I did, because they stayed on.  This shot and many more by Jon Wornham can be seen here.

london-house

London house prices, for homes like this, rushed upwards after I sold our Bedford Park, London house for 115,000 pounds. Today, even after the economic downturn, such a house would be in the millions.

Yet Merri and I have done very well and are perfectly happy because there are two ways to move along the evolutionary path of business and investing…. as settlers or as pioneers.

We sold this wonderful Naples, Florida home that…

Ecuador-florida

was 30 seconds walk to the beach and had a huge… glorious…

ecuador-florida

garden. We moved…

ecuador-florida

into this beat up, Blue Ridge farm house, with…

ecuador-florida

a falling down barn, half burnt house and a most gosh awful 252 acre mess, plus…

ecuador-florida

this old tin roofed house… in a really remote part of the Andes with 900+ acres of vine covered land.

ecuador-florida

Many (maybe most) of our friends believed we were nuts! (And perhaps we were and are!)

Had we stayed in Hong Kong. Had we stayed in London. Had we stayed in the Isle of Man or in Naples… we might have millions of dollars more.

We spent years redoing, reclaiming, unearthing the treasures here in the Blue Ridge and building our country house which we love during the summer and fall…but not in the winter!

Yet viewing the autumn forest at dawn from our front porch here in the Blue Ridge gives me a greater thrill than any extra bucks.

multi-currency-yard

I could not be happier because it is important for each of us to know which type of investor and business person we are.

Comfort is one of the most important aspects of successful investing. If we make investments not in keeping with our nature, we will not be comfortable.  Without comfort, we are more likely to second guess ourselves and screw up. Restlessness and worry reduce the joy of affluence and reduce our investing and business effectiveness as well.

All of us need to invest in things that we feel are right to us.

For example when we moved out here to our North Carolina farm, many of our friends in the city thought we had lost our marbles.  Yet we have loved it.   Now that it is fixed up and worth many, many times our cost, we are considering selling part of the farm and reduce our position here.

multi-currency-barn

We plan to always have some position here… perhaps less than now.

multi-currency-woods

Lance Armstrong summed this idea up in a Time magazine article when asked about who to listen to about what to do in life when he said: “The important thing is to go around (collect data-get information). Then you really start to weigh your options. Which one feels right? It may not be the right decision, but it’s what makes you feel right.”

Why when we get everything fixed up… do we want to move on? The process… the challenge… the fun of creating, is what fulfills us…. more than the bottom line.   Once we have achieved our goal we like to move on… to the next project.

This understanding is vital to your investing and business.

Know yourself.

Know that ultimately you must make decisions for yourself.  Know that you can’t know everything.

Know that not every decision will bring maximum profit, but if it feels right for you and the process is enjoyable, you improve your odds of success.

Real estate in Ecuador is steady and rising.  Ditto for the Blue Ridge. Ashe Country real estate sales may have slowed but prices have not really faltered here.

We have been investing and creating in both the Blue Ridge and Ecuador for almost 15 years.  We love each place and will continue to enjoy them… but we love the next step as well so we are reducing our presence in each and adding Florida… with of all things… agricultural property… something we have never done.

This is a new challenge we believe makes good business sense… and for us… will be fun.

Next time you plan to invest or start a business… whether in Ecuador, Florida, North Carolina or wherever… think about yourself.  Are you a pioneer or a settler?   Where do you enjoy sitting on the diffusion curve?   Make the most of the entire process… money, fulfillment and fun by developing a PIEC that allows you to do what you like and act beyond money with like minded souls.

Gary

Because the ability to earn wherever you live is vital, we developed our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

I am willing to give you this $299 course free when you attend either our our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October or November in Ecuador.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free.

Join Merri, Thomas Fischer of JGAM, our webmaster David Cross and me in North Carolina this October and enroll in our emailed course on how to have a web business free.  Save $300.

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina

Or join us in Ecuador.

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour Sold Out

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

December 6-8 Beyond Logic Shamanic Tour

December 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

December 11-13 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799 for two.

Ecuador Scams


Ecuador scams are like scams anywhere in the world… best avoided.

There are enough scams in the world that we have no control over like… Madoff…  like Federal spending… like Social Security… like underfunded pensions.

Yet we can avoid scams  that we would otherwise bring on ourselves.

Decades ago we learned that there are many scams in investment markets which is why we have always focused on working with large, experienced global firms like Jyske Bank.

Here are delegates chatting in the courtyard of Meson de las Flores with Peter Laub of Jyske Global Asset Management during an IBEZ Ecuador course.

ecuador-shots

Yet scams go way beyond the investing community and they are everywhere… including Ecuador.

When one moves to a new place… it is hard to know all the ropes. This is a bit frightening and often leads new arrivals or investors to depend more on other expats.

This can be a huge error… because Ecuador scams… or scams anywhere are promoted as often by other expats as they are by local residents.  

People are not more honest just because they come from the same country you do.

I learned this the hard way when I moved to Hong Kong almost 41 years ago.

I had a really wonderful apartment in the mid levels of Hong Kong on Bowen Road.  “Bowen Do Ng Ho” (Bowen Road #5 – This is the last of my Cantonese!)  We had an extra bedroom we rented to a very nice American woman. She met a guy who became her boyfriend… a redheaded freckled guy I recall. He was an architect… so he said… with a San Francisco firm arriving in Hong Kong to build a skyscraper.  He was a very pleasant fellow… a “jolly chap” my British friends used to say.

Somehow, for the financing, the woman, who rented our apartment, became involved. To make a long story short… the guy (and the financing) disappeared.  Huge bills owing were strewn around town.  The woman, who rented our apartment, was devastated and left on the hook.  We had all been fooled until days after this con artist fled.  We had all felt more comfortable since we were dealing with what we thought was a “known”…someone from our own culture.

So my ears perked up when a reader wrote to me after our latest Ecuador Visa Update.

“Gary, When I read your newsletter today, I was hoping you would say something about the cost of a visa.  Unfortunately, there are people who are promising newcomers a resident’s visa for $7000.  I’ve never heard of anyone paying more than $2000 for a resident’s visa, no matter which lawyer they used.

The reader went on to say that one  couple discovered this scam and tried to back out of the contract.  This elderly couple was threatened by a lawsuit.

I do not have all the facts so cannot be sure if this is a pure scam… just really unfair pricing or if more than just a visa was offered, but $7,000 seemed awfully high if all that was provided was just a resident visa.  I immediately wrote to the three attorneys who advise us in Ecuador to check on the price.

Although we were totally unaware of any of this, it did remind us that all of us should always take care and do our research when we move or visit other countries.  This is what I wrote to the 3 attorneys that we use:

“I would like to inform readers about what is a reasonable amount they should expect to pay for a resident visa.  Could you provide this?  Regards, Gary”

The first reply came from our attorney, Dr. Andres Cordova. He wrote:  Dear Gary:  If this story is true then it’s terrible. Poor people. They can contact me immediately and I will take care of them.  I will review their case for free.  It may be possible that these possible scammers are doing things under the
table, cutting corners. This would be bad, but instilling fear on clients is beyond reproachable.

Lawyers would normally charge between $800 and $1.000 for a visa, including for a family. In some cases where there is an added complication the cost may be a little bit higher.

Some bigger law firms may charge between $2,000 and $4,000 for a visa but normally when obtained of behalf of major investors, corporate CEOs, etc.  I believe $800 to $1.500 is reasonable. We charge $800 to $1.000.  Regarding expenses, they are of about $350 per visa plus some $100 in general, for the whole family.  Best regards, Andres.

This is very kind of Andres to offer free legal assistance. He has helped so many of our readers in the past. See ways he has helped readers here.

Another excellent and reliable attorney, Roberto Moreno, wrote:   Gary,  Yes, $7000 is absolutely out of range. Depending on the visa we charge from US$900 to US$1200.  Also, it is important to inform the readers that some lawyers will just obtain visas with few requirements, especially in Guayaquil.  The risk is that the visa could be removed later on. We prefer now to obtained all the visas for our clients at the immigration office in Quito.

cotacachi-green

Gary Scott and immigration attorney, Roberto Moreno, at Meson.

Learn more about Roberto and his firm here.

The third attorney, Floridalva Zambrano wrote:

Hi Gary, This is a terrible thing!!  Your reader is correct,  the cost of obtaining a resident  visa, including attorney fees,  fluctuates between $1,200 and $2,000, being this last one a very high one.  We usually charge  about $1,300.  Checking with other attorneys  from Quito this is the the standard cost.  Hope this helps!!

Here is one of our Ecuador real estate tours meeting with our attorney, Floridalva Zambrano.

ecuador-beach-prices

Flori is one of the few attorneys with such experience that when she conveys a property, a US title insurance company will provide US title insurance.

Learn about Flori’s law firm here.

There you have it… three very reliable Ecuador law firms charge about $1,200 for a resident visa.  Whether you feel someone charging much more is a scam or not is up to you… but when you move to Ecuador or anywhere that is new… you are more vulnerable so watch out for price gouging and scams.

Gary

One benefit of an Ecuador Living subscription is that we do not take commissions or kickbacks on real estate, legal work, hotel or tour reservations… or anything.  There are no hidden agendas.   We even donated our hotel to a foundation to help promote employment in Ecuador so we do not even make a penny from the income at Meson de las Flores.    Our goal is to help our readers enjoy safe, easy, profitable, low cost journeys to Ecuador.  Learn more about our Ecuador Living Service here.

The greatest asset of all is the ability to earn wherever you live, which brings everlasting wealth.

This is why we offer our course Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business.

A clear mind and healthy body are also a vital assets… plus a second language is a powerful diversification tool.

This is why I am willing to pay you $300 to attend either our Ecuador Super Thinking plus Spanish seminar in September or our North Carolina International Business & Investing seminar in October.  Sign up for either seminar and I will email you our Tangled Web… How to Have an Internet Business Course (offered at $299) free plus I’ll knock an extra dollar off your seminar fee…. to round up the $300 savings.

Here are comments from a reader about the way we help:  Merri, I am sitting here with a smile on my face.  I am always amazed at the turn around that I get from my emails to you.  I know you are busy with all of the projects that you and Gary address on a daily basis and appreciate very much you making time for mine.

Sept. 17-21 Ecuador Super Thinking + Spanish Course

Sept. 23-24 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Sept. 25-28 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Learn more about global investing, how to have an international business and diversification in Ecuador at the seminar.

Oct. 9-11 IBEZ North Carolina with our webmaster  David Cross & Thomas Fischer of JGAM

October 16-18 Ecuador Southern coastal tour (early sign up before Sept. 1, $499 per person).

Oct. 21-24 Ecuador Import Export Tour

Oct. 25-26 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 6-8 IBEZ Ecuador Seminar

Nov. 9-10 Imbabura Real Estate Tour

Nov. 11-14 Ecuador Coastal Real Estate Tour

Attend any two Ecuador seminar or tours in a calendar month…$949 for one.  $1,349 for two.

Attend any three Ecuador courses or tours in a calendar month…$1,199 for one.  $1,799