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Author Topic: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!  (Read 783 times)

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Offline benjio

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DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« on: November 28, 2020, 07:06:31 PM »
I’ve been here in Bogota over two weeks now and although this city ranks pretty low in my top 10 favorites of Colombia, I’m glad to be back. I’m sure everyone’s question at this point is, “If you don’t like Bogota, why did you go there?” The truth is the pandemic has taken my job fully remote (at least for the time being) and right now this is the best place to be when a person has plans to permanently relocate to Colombia. There’s some red tape that has to be cut through to become a legit expat. Especially now with everything that’s happening because of the pandemic. I never realized how much traveling becomes part of a person’s lifestyle...to the extent it has detrimental effects on one’s mental and emotional health when they aren’t able to do so. I don’t have many friends/associates that travel as much as I do, but those that do either hopped on a plane as soon as they could, or they’re completely miserable waiting on the opportunity to.

Another awesome advantage of being here is the mother of my son travels to Cartagena often for vacation (at least once every 3 months) so it gives me the chance to see my son a lot more. Not to mention Rio being a 6 hour flight from Bogota as supposed to a 11 hour flight from Houston (depending on the time of year). Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Well why didn’t you just move back to Brazil?” Brazil is in a very chaotic state right now with violent crime levels and murders skyrocketing. I’ve lived there. I’ve seen this. And although I’m not afraid for my life, it was a calculated decision that involved a lot of variables. Safety, health care costs, transportation, number of locals I trust, etc. I plan to settle in Pereira eventually but that’s still up in the air. We’ll see.

Anyway, my reason for starting this thread is each time I come back to Colombia I’m seeing huge construction projects regardless of the health of the economy. Here in Bogota there are new high rise apartments being built everywhere and for the most part they sit empty when they’re finished. Barranquilla is the same. Is this drug lords cleaning up their dirty money looking for the long term payoff? Another passive aggressive Chinese take over? Those filthy rich Emirates in U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia looking for foreign investments (this is happening in Houston BIGTIME!!). Any insight from our resident group of expats?Thinking these men know something I don’t. Is real estate a good investment in Colombia?

Offline benjio

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2020, 07:34:41 PM »
By the way....anyone living here that post on this board...I’ll be in touch very soon if you’re willing. Looking forward to meeting CaliPro and Elex. Like Robert said once, I suspect that regardless of our disagreements here, we’d be very good friends in person...so I hope to have a beer/tinto/vino with you guys soon. And if not, I’m good with that as well.

Offline Calipro

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2020, 09:10:34 AM »
By the way....anyone living here that post on this board...I’ll be in touch very soon if you’re willing. Looking forward to meeting CaliPro and Elex. Like Robert said once, I suspect that regardless of our disagreements here, we’d be very good friends in person...so I hope to have a beer/tinto/vino with you guys soon. And if not, I’m good with that as well.

Let me know when you are in Medellin

I'm probably going to be moving back to the States sometime next year with the wife and kid.

My mom passed away so I inherited a house in Phoenix.

I have a ticket for the 24th of February to go back.... do my taxes maybe take the house out of the trust and put it in mine or an LLC.





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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2020, 09:10:34 AM »

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2020, 09:40:16 AM »
By the way....anyone living here that post on this board...I’ll be in touch very soon if you’re willing. Looking forward to meeting CaliPro and Elex. Like Robert said once, I suspect that regardless of our disagreements here, we’d be very good friends in person...so I hope to have a beer/tinto/vino with you guys soon. And if not, I’m good with that as well.


I am in Manizales  right now. Doing a bit of travelling- welll quite a bit- really- but nota as much as normal  but tryg to be safe..trying to avoid excess travel


Use the N95 when ever I am forced to be close to people.


Fatality rate may not be that excessively  high, but antedotal cases I have heard is that it effects  athletic peoples performance long term


As far as apartment prices,looking for a bigger furnished place and seems the prices in Manizales are 20% to 30% higher than Bucaramanga, which is strange...

Offline Calipro

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2020, 10:55:10 AM »
[




« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 10:57:07 AM by Calipro »

Offline Calipro

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2020, 10:59:09 AM »
[

LOL

Everyone take note ...you will need a negative PCR test if you want to meet Elex

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2020, 02:24:56 PM »
LOL

Everyone take note ...you will need a negative PCR test if you want to meet Elex


I am sure we are all getting sick of this malparido virus :'(

Offline robert angel

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2020, 05:54:44 PM »
I’ve been here in Bogota over two weeks now and although this city ranks pretty low in my top 10 favorites of Colombia, I’m glad to be back. I’m sure everyone’s question at this point is, “If you don’t like Bogota, why did you go there?” The truth is the pandemic has taken my job fully remote (at least for the time being) and right now this is the best place to be when a person has plans to permanently relocate to Colombia. There’s some red tape that has to be cut through to become a legit expat. Especially now with everything that’s happening because of the pandemic. I never realized how much traveling becomes part of a person’s lifestyle...to the extent it has detrimental effects on one’s mental and emotional health when they aren’t able to do so. I don’t have many friends/associates that travel as much as I do, but those that do either hopped on a plane as soon as they could, or they’re completely miserable waiting on the opportunity to.

Another awesome advantage of being here is the mother of my son travels to Cartagena often for vacation (at least once every 3 months) so it gives me the chance to see my son a lot more. Not to mention Rio being a 6 hour flight from Bogota as supposed to a 11 hour flight from Houston (depending on the time of year). Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Well why didn’t you just move back to Brazil?” Brazil is in a very chaotic state right now with violent crime levels and murders skyrocketing. I’ve lived there. I’ve seen this. And although I’m not afraid for my life, it was a calculated decision that involved a lot of variables. Safety, health care costs, transportation, number of locals I trust, etc. I plan to settle in Pereira eventually but that’s still up in the air. We’ll see.

Anyway, my reason for starting this thread is each time I come back to Colombia I’m seeing huge construction projects regardless of the health of the economy. Here in Bogota there are new high rise apartments being built everywhere and for the most part they sit empty when they’re finished. Barranquilla is the same. Is this drug lords cleaning up their dirty money looking for the long term payoff? Another passive aggressive Chinese take over? Those filthy rich Emirates in U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia looking for foreign investments (this is happening in Houston BIGTIME!!). Any insight from our resident group of expats?Thinking these men know something I don’t. Is real estate a good investment in Colombia?


In NYC and especially Miami, but really in many, many places, organized crime has whole buildings they've bought to wash money. If not buying blue chip properties, as said--they're building them. Or 'sitting' on land. Good economy or not, vacancy rate no worry. Just odd that some leave the lights mostly off in otherwise bright, glitzy city skylines. They can afford the electric bill.


But Benji--I'm really happy you're getting out and about again, for personal, as well as work purposes. Slowly but surely, my wife's nation is reopening too.


Hard to imagine this being possible 10-15 years ago--'remote working' and all that technology has brought to life--to the global economy. And how it wasn't until August 1991 that the Internet--or as we know it--the "World Wide Web" became publicly available.


Ever imagine how our lives would be different if developments hadn't followed in the direction they did? You might be working in Newark, NJ!
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Offline Hector_Lavoe

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2020, 10:33:42 PM »
Anyway, my reason for starting this thread is each time I come back to Colombia I’m seeing huge construction projects regardless of the health of the economy. Here in Bogota there are new high rise apartments being built everywhere and for the most part they sit empty when they’re finished. Barranquilla is the same. Is this drug lords cleaning up their dirty money looking for the long term payoff? Another passive aggressive Chinese take over? Those filthy rich Emirates in U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia looking for foreign investments (this is happening in Houston BIGTIME!!). Any insight from our resident group of expats?Thinking these men know something I don’t. Is real estate a good investment in Colombia?


Mostly conjecture and/or educated guesses on my part but a few things to consider:

-Until Covid 19, Colombia had not seen a decrease in its GDP since 1999. So nearly 20 years of positive increases in GDP.

-Colombia's economy is considered one of the most stable in Latin America and in 2019 it had one of the highest growth rates in Latin America.

-According to the article below, Home prices had been increasing for the 13 years through 2019 in Colombia which would encourage developers to continue building.

-There are also government subsidized building programs in Colombia for new housing (often carried out by private developers) in an effort to get people out of substandard housing.

-Bogota specifically is building a rail system for commuters as well as other infrastructure projects which also attract the interest of private developers.

https://www.globalpropertyguide.com/Latin-America/Colombia/Price-History

I am guessing it is a good bet that there is a decent amount of drug money flowing through Colombia's real estate financing system. It can't all go to So. Florida.

Don't know why they'd sit empty for long unless there was over building and/or lack of demand.

Could be some other reasons but I have no idea what. I know in NYC some landlords leave rentals empty or practice what is called "warehousing" as they find it more lucrative to convert rental housing to condos.

https://www.brickunderground.com/rent/why-landlords-leave-apartments-empty

« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 10:46:29 PM by Hector_Lavoe »

Offline Hector_Lavoe

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2020, 10:40:03 PM »
Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “Well why didn’t you just move back to Brazil?” Brazil is in a very chaotic state right now with violent crime levels and murders skyrocketing. I’ve lived there. I’ve seen this. And although I’m not afraid for my life, it was a calculated decision that involved a lot of variables. Safety, health care costs, transportation, number of locals I trust, etc. I plan to settle in Pereira eventually but that’s still up in the air. We’ll see.

I am curious why Pereira?  Climate, size of city, etc.?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 10:43:40 PM by Hector_Lavoe »

Offline benjio

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 03:35:01 AM »
I am curious why Pereira?  Climate, size of city, etc.?

I have a very good Colombian friend there that I met in the United States years ago and I’m very close to his family. He’s actually the person that initially influenced me to come to Colombia because when I met him in the states he immediately recognized my obsession with Latinas. I like his lifestyle. He lives well, works out consistently, stays active, he’s single with no children. He also runs a successful business I plan on helping him with on the IT end to optimize his supply chain and maximize his profits. Aside from that I do actually enjoy the city. Technically I’d stay in Dosquebrados but it’s just across the bridge. The climate is definitely one of the reasons. I know a lot more people in Barranquilla but it’s hot, you can’t even brush your teeth with the tap water and it can be VERY dangerous in some areas. In Pereira there’s typically a light shower most mornings then it gets sunny with temperatures maxing out at around 80F. Pereira is also the smallest city I’ve been to in Colombia with a big city feel. It’s much cheaper than Bogota or Medellin but I can still find almost all the amenities I’m accustomed to. I also enjoy the proximity to several other cities I like visiting (Mani, Armenia, Cartago, Salento, etc.). Relatively low crime rate, good food, good water and air quality, and even though I’m not single the women ain’t bad looking either.  8)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 03:43:46 AM by benjio »

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 07:13:45 AM »
I have a very good Colombian friend there that I met in the United States years ago and I’m very close to his family. He’s actually the person that initially influenced me to come to Colombia because when I met him in the states he immediately recognized my obsession with Latinas. I like his lifestyle. He lives well, works out consistently, stays active, he’s single with no children. He also runs a successful business I plan on helping him with on the IT end to optimize his supply chain and maximize his profits. Aside from that I do actually enjoy the city. Technically I’d stay in Dosquebrados but it’s just across the bridge. The climate is definitely one of the reasons. I know a lot more people in Barranquilla but it’s hot, you can’t even brush your teeth with the tap water and it can be VERY dangerous in some areas. In Pereira there’s typically a light shower most mornings then it gets sunny with temperatures maxing out at around 80F. Pereira is also the smallest city I’ve been to in Colombia with a big city feel. It’s much cheaper than Bogota or Medellin but I can still find almost all the amenities I’m accustomed to. I also enjoy the proximity to several other cities I like visiting (Mani, Armenia, Cartago, Salento, etc.). Relatively low crime rate, good food, good water and air quality, and even though I’m not single the women ain’t bad looking either.  8)


Dos quebradas is a dive, man

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 07:49:49 AM »
If you stay more than 183 days legally you have to do a Declarcion de Renta (Tax return) and pay taxes on your World Wide Income. Also. if you have more than Approx. $1.5 million world-wide assets, you have to pay  a wealth tax.


I realize that unless you have assets in Colombia they can confiscate , this is impossible to enforce.even though supposedly there is information exchange between IRS and DIAN, ..even then, with or without assets in Colombia, they have not ben enforcing this in anyway and pesonally, I have doubts they ever will.


However..migraciones Colombia has recently become very strict and bureucratic in their requirements to renew visas. Supposedly you have to show your EPS statements for the last 6 months and your bank account statements for the last 6 months, and once you get your visa,your EPS statements go up to  about 2 % of your stated income.


Its a bit easier for a new visa, you only have to show you are enrolled in  1 years medical insurance of some type.


The issue apears to be that the EPS system was financially overloaded during the COVID crisis and they are trying to get some money back and make sure people are paying more into the syatem than they get out of it. This is made worse since it is a corruppt system and the administrators are stealing from it always.


Another money grab is they are supposedly reducing 3 to 5 year visas down to 1 year and less again. Before they were motivated by laziness to extend the period, now they are motivated by greed to reduce it.


With the additional debt and financial constrainst you could very well see Colombia pressurizing their citizens and expatriats financially, but again, if there is a backlash that has an oppposite negative effect financially, they will backtrack. Colombian government changes their minds more than their underwear. Multiple examples of this during COVID
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 07:54:40 AM by Elexpatriado »

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 07:49:49 AM »

Offline benjio

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2020, 11:03:37 AM »
If you stay more than 183 days legally you have to do a Declarcion de Renta (Tax return) and pay taxes on your World Wide Income. Also. if you have more than Approx. $1.5 million world-wide assets, you have to pay  a wealth tax.


I realize that unless you have assets in Colombia they can confiscate , this is impossible to enforce.even though supposedly there is information exchange between IRS and DIAN, ..even then, with or without assets in Colombia, they have not ben enforcing this in anyway and pesonally, I have doubts they ever will.


However..migraciones Colombia has recently become very strict and bureucratic in their requirements to renew visas. Supposedly you have to show your EPS statements for the last 6 months and your bank account statements for the last 6 months, and once you get your visa,your EPS statements go up to  about 2 % of your stated income.


Its a bit easier for a new visa, you only have to show you are enrolled in  1 years medical insurance of some type.


The issue apears to be that the EPS system was financially overloaded during the COVID crisis and they are trying to get some money back and make sure people are paying more into the syatem than they get out of it. This is made worse since it is a corruppt system and the administrators are stealing from it always.


Another money grab is they are supposedly reducing 3 to 5 year visas down to 1 year and less again. Before they were motivated by laziness to extend the period, now they are motivated by greed to reduce it.


With the additional debt and financial constrainst you could very well see Colombia pressurizing their citizens and expatriats financially, but again, if there is a backlash that has an oppposite negative effect financially, they will backtrack. Colombian government changes their minds more than their underwear. Multiple examples of this during COVID

Elex,

Thanks for all the useful info!!! Some of it I had already read. Some of it I didn’t know. Either way it’s always better to get in from the “horses mouth” in Latin America as there’s almost always a gray area. I’m going to be moving back and fourth between Colombia and Brazil although my primary residence will be in Pereira. I don’t even plan on trying to rent a normal apartment. I plan on staying in AirBnb’s. They’re a little more expensive than traditional apartments but nothing like the $1450 USD I was paying for a small one bedroom in Houston. Not even for the most luxurious AirBnb apartments in Pereira, which average about $750 a month.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 11:09:48 AM by benjio »

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2020, 03:05:58 PM »
Elex,

Thanks for all the useful info!!! Some of it I had already read. Some of it I didn’t know. Either way it’s always better to get in from the “horses mouth” in Latin America as there’s almost always a gray area. I’m going to be moving back and fourth between Colombia and Brazil although my primary residence will be in Pereira. I don’t even plan on trying to rent a normal apartment. I plan on staying in AirBnb’s. They’re a little more expensive than traditional apartments but nothing like the $1450 USD I was paying for a small one bedroom in Houston. Not even for the most luxurious AirBnb apartments in Pereira, which average about $750 a month.


And with Airnb you can negotiate even lower prices with the owner if you sign a muti month lease.


At least thts how it worked in Bucaramanga


Problem is, gettig hold of the owner to see and the apartment without first booking a couple days in the apartment without actually seeing it.

How do you get around this on Airnb site?


In Manizales, we are only getting to look at apartments through real estate agents and they are a lot less flexible than in Bucaramanga, and oddly enough, 2 bedroom furnished apartments apear to be 20 to 30% higher in Manizales than Bucaramanga, even thouh it is half the  size (metro area).


There is a city you migh like-Bucaramnaga-not as clean as Manizales, but nicer than most of Pereira, espscially dos quebradas, in my opinion.


A tiny bit  warmer than Medellin, on the dry side, but nowhere as hot as Cali, even though it is the same elevation.


Has everythig there as well, except good restaurants. (well not a lot)

Offline robert angel

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2020, 08:30:04 PM »
Seems like for a real long time, the relative 'niceness' of Pereira has come up again and again here. If I were down thataway, especially if I needed a place to stay a while, that might be it.


Medellin and Cali--places I'd for sure want to visit and with my weakness for slower paced locales, especially those with golden skinned morenas, I'd want to try on Barranquilla for a bit also. Carnival sounds about right.


But I'm sort of preparing to 'bet the farm' here (financially anyways) at least for the 5 or so years a real estate investment typically requires to recoup and settle on Skidaway Island, USA. Lately I'm intent on just living a very relaxing lifestyle, safe and 'apart from the madding crowd' ---but close enough to other 4 and 5 star lifestyle amenities a mere twenty or so minutes away--off island.  Forty minutes to an international airport, I want to always feel that I'm coming home to a vacation, but that we have enough resources to still travel, enjoying what the rest of the world has to offer.


At this point, my resources are still a bit limited, so that'll take a bit of budgeting and balance for a while--but I am not one to be denied.  Go big or go home, I figure. I've got one helluva of a woman by my side--a most delectably delightful living and travel companion, so here, there or anywhere, I think I'll (we'll) be happy, health also allowing.


After all, the right woman and physical health are precious things --valuables that money cannot buy.


But for some reason, Pereira has always piqued my interest.
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Offline Hector_Lavoe

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2020, 10:09:26 PM »
I have heard good things about Bucaramanga from Colombians in terms of quality of life.

I've been wanting to visit Pereira because it is off the tourist path (compared to Medellin or Cartagena) and I have heard they still have pretty hot women.  The climate in both cities looks great.

The guy that runs Medellin Guru recently did a comparison of Medellin, Pereira and Bucaramanga. Has a modest paywall though.

https://medellinguru.com/medellin-vs-pereira-vs-bucaramanga/
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 10:12:26 PM by Hector_Lavoe »

Offline benjio

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2020, 04:49:38 AM »

And with Airnb you can negotiate even lower prices with the owner if you sign a muti month lease.


At least thts how it worked in Bucaramanga


Problem is, gettig hold of the owner to see and the apartment without first booking a couple days in the apartment without actually seeing it.

How do you get around this on Airnb site?


In Manizales, we are only getting to look at apartments through real estate agents and they are a lot less flexible than in Bucaramanga, and oddly enough, 2 bedroom furnished apartments apear to be 20 to 30% higher in Manizales than Bucaramanga, even thouh it is half the  size (metro area).


There is a city you migh like-Bucaramnaga-not as clean as Manizales, but nicer than most of Pereira, espscially dos quebradas, in my opinion.


A tiny bit  warmer than Medellin, on the dry side, but nowhere as hot as Cali, even though it is the same elevation.


Has everythig there as well, except good restaurants. (well not a lot)

Elex,

You’re right about not having the opportunity to view these properties before making any financial commitment. With higher end properties it gets worse as they usually have very strict non-cancellation policies and require a minimum of a week’s stay. Then you get to the place and figure out the hot water is spotty or there’s a bug problem (very common in the tropics). Two things though:

1. Higher end properties tend to draw snobby clientele. They are usually extremely knit-picky in their reviews. I’m someone who will sit and read every single one of them before booking a property so it’s a lot easier to gauge any potential issues. I will NEVER book a property without at least 5 reviews and I pay special attention to what people say about the surrounding area.

2. Higher end properties tend to be less problematic because of the infrastructure in the areas they are located and the components and appliances in the residence. A high rise apartment in a brand new building located in a high strata will usually have stable high speed internet, a good quality water heater, microwave, washer and dryer, good quality locks, dedicated security staff, a decent gym in the building, etc.

In Bogota I ALWAYS stay in El Chicó. A lot of bankers and politicians live in this neighborhood because of the proximity to the Colombian World Trade Center. There are often military police standing on corners around the area because of the high profile residents. I feel completely safe walking around here...even in the evening. And the apartment where I’m currently staying is pretty much as nice as furnished one bedrooms get in Colombia.

I’ve never been to Buca believe it or not but it’s definitely on my bucket list. I met an absolutely gorgeous model from there at an Oil & Gas Trade Show years ago and she assured me there were plenty more where she came from.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2020, 09:25:30 AM by benjio »

Offline Calipro

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2020, 03:25:39 PM »
If you stay more than 183 days legally you have to do a Declarcion de Renta (Tax return) and pay taxes on your World Wide Income. Also. if you have more than Approx. $1.5 million world-wide assets, you have to pay  a wealth tax.


I realize that unless you have assets in Colombia they can confiscate , this is impossible to enforce.even though supposedly there is information exchange between IRS and DIAN, ..even then, with or without assets in Colombia, they have not ben enforcing this in anyway and pesonally, I have doubts they ever will.


However..migraciones Colombia has recently become very strict and bureucratic in their requirements to renew visas. Supposedly you have to show your EPS statements for the last 6 months and your bank account statements for the last 6 months, and once you get your visa,your EPS statements go up to  about 2 % of your stated income.


Its a bit easier for a new visa, you only have to show you are enrolled in  1 years medical insurance of some type.


The issue apears to be that the EPS system was financially overloaded during the COVID crisis and they are trying to get some money back and make sure people are paying more into the syatem than they get out of it. This is made worse since it is a corruppt system and the administrators are stealing from it always.


Another money grab is they are supposedly reducing 3 to 5 year visas down to 1 year and less again. Before they were motivated by laziness to extend the period, now they are motivated by greed to reduce it.


With the additional debt and financial constrainst you could very well see Colombia pressurizing their citizens and expatriats financially, but again, if there is a backlash that has an oppposite negative effect financially, they will backtrack. Colombian government changes their minds more than their underwear. Multiple examples of this during COVID

I wonder what will happen to me when and if I renew my visa.

I have a family visa because I have a Colombian child and there was no income requirements so I never had to show any financial information or income.

Plus my US insurance covers me while I'm here.

As far as the USA sharing financial information with Colombia .....I don't believe it.

And I don't even think Colombia even tries to find out what your foreign income or assets are.

No one here has ever even asked for my Social Security Number and I have never given it to anyone here ever.

Just how are there supposed to get your financial information from the IRS....by your passport number?

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2020, 06:53:59 AM »
I have heard good things about Bucaramanga from Colombians in terms of quality of life.

I've been wanting to visit Pereira because it is off the tourist path (compared to Medellin or Cartagena) and I have heard they still have pretty hot women.  The climate in both cities looks great.

The guy that runs Medellin Guru recently did a comparison of Medellin, Pereira and Bucaramanga. Has a modest paywall though.

https://medellinguru.com/medellin-vs-pereira-vs-bucaramanga/



As far as I am concerned, Manizales is the nicest place in Colombia, apart from the rain...And I have visited and lived in a lot of places in Colombia.

As far as pretty women, not high priority for me, and pretty women, even good ones  are available anywhere in Latin America, even for old farts like me, with a lot of patience..

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2020, 07:14:04 AM »
Elex,

You’re right about not having the opportunity to view these properties before making any financial commitment. With higher end properties it gets worse as they usually have very strict non-cancellation policies and require a minimum of a week’s stay. Then you get to the place and figure out the hot water is spotty or there’s a bug problem (very common in the tropics). Two things though:

1. Higher end properties tend to draw snobby clientele. They are usually extremely knit-picky in their reviews. I’m someone who will sit and read every single one of them before booking a property so it’s a lot easier to gauge any potential issues. I will NEVER book a property without at least 5 reviews and I pay special attention to what people say about the surrounding area.

2. Higher end properties tend to be less problematic because of the infrastructure in the areas they are located and the components and appliances in the residence. A high rise apartment in a brand new building located in a high strata will usually have stable high speed internet, a good quality water heater, microwave, washer and dryer, good quality locks, dedicated security staff, a decent gym in the building, etc.

In Bogota I ALWAYS stay in El Chicó. A lot of bankers and politicians live in this neighborhood because of the proximity to the Colombian World Trade Center. There are often military police standing on corners around the area because of the high profile residents. I feel completely safe walking around here...even in the evening. And the apartment where I’m currently staying is pretty much as nice as furnished one bedrooms get in Colombia.

I’ve never been to Buca believe it or not but it’s definitely on my bucket list. I met an absolutely gorgeous model from there at an Oil & Gas Trade Show years ago and she assured me there were plenty more where she came from.


Yep, if you think its a headache and potential money loser  just renting a furnished place, just imagine what you have to go through to buy a place.


Then there are guys that marry a girl they just met on the internet,only visited a couple times , in a long distance relationship, dont understand Colombian tax laws or divorce laws and buy an expensive (for them) house in her city,in a city or area they may not even like.


Only thing kookier  is bringing a women and her kids from another man back to the US ... but you know my opinion on that.


One thing about Bucaramanga is the people , maybe are not as fria as Bogota, but are not as friendly, polie and civilized as Manizales. The women have th reputaion of being "brava" ..naggy and agressive with their men even physically


And the people are very "chismosa" gossippy and "envidiosa" envious. They see a 60 year old epat with a 20 year old chica and blah..blah..blah..espescialy the older women who are extremely envious.


Somebody has a car or lives in a nice apartment and "how do you afford that apartment,? What do youdo for a living?"


Neighbours-total stranger  knock on the door and ask "how much do you pay for rent?"


Also,taxis and people arent used to foreigners , other than Venezuelanos, and whenthey hear my accent ask " de donde eres?"..very rarely get that in other cities in Colombia.


Santandereanos  are definitely a different "cultre" from Paisas


People are much friendlier inthe steet in Manizales and answer questions. It might have to do with the fact Buca is a bigger city and there are so many Venezuelan migrants there.




Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2020, 07:32:53 AM »
I wonder what will happen to me when and if I renew my visa.

I have a family visa because I have a Colombian child and there was no income requirements so I never had to show any financial information or income.

Plus my US insurance covers me while I'm here.

As far as the USA sharing financial information with Colombia .....I don't believe it.

And I don't even think Colombia even tries to find out what your foreign income or assets are.

No one here has ever even asked for my Social Security Number and I have never given it to anyone here ever.

Just how are there supposed to get your financial information from the IRS....by your passport number?


I agree DIAN wont be going through that much trouble to check foreign income or enforce "Declaracion de Renta"


This is all possible  theoreticaly  and legally , but as a Colombian lawyer will say in private


" en Colombia la ley escrita y la le que se practican son 2 cosas diferentes"


Dont think they have the ambition or are sophisticated enough to do it, no matter what anybody says ..and if they do, it ill do more harm than good th their economy.


Depite this, the law is scaring a lot of potential permanent expats into staying in Colombia for less than 183 days in 365.


As a Canadian I have an extra layer of protection , being that there is a Canadian-Colombian tax agreement tht apears to over-ride the 183 day rule, saying if you have a "residence" in Canada ,or if your main source of economic interests are in Canada, you are a tax resident of Canada only, and not Colombia.


I understand this tax treaty was pushed by Canadian mining and oil companies to protect thier long term expats in colombia.


Irregardless of the above, Migraciones is becoming much more strict with the Visas, espescially in regard to healthcare. Dont know if this is just a passing phase.




Offline benjio

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2020, 08:42:05 AM »

Yep, if you think its a headache and potential money loser  just renting a furnished place, just imagine what you have to go through to buy a place.


Then there are guys that marry a girl they just met on the internet,only visited a couple times , in a long distance relationship, dont understand Colombian tax laws or divorce laws and buy an expensive (for them) house in her city,in a city or area they may not even like.


Only thing kookier  is bringing a women and her kids from another man back to the US ... but you know my opinion on that.


One thing about Bucaramanga is the people , maybe are not as fria as Bogota, but are not as friendly, polie and civilized as Manizales. The women have th reputaion of being "brava" ..naggy and agressive with their men even physically


And the people are very "chismosa" gossippy and "envidiosa" envious. They see a 60 year old epat with a 20 year old chica and blah..blah..blah..espescialy the older women who are extremely envious.


Somebody has a car or lives in a nice apartment and "how do you afford that apartment,? What do youdo for a living?"


Neighbours-total stranger  knock on the door and ask "how much do you pay for rent?"


Also,taxis and people arent used to foreigners , other than Venezuelanos, and whenthey hear my accent ask " de donde eres?"..very rarely get that in other cities in Colombia.


Santandereanos  are definitely a different "cultre" from Paisas


People are much friendlier inthe steet in Manizales and answer questions. It might have to do with the fact Buca is a bigger city and there are so many Venezuelan migrants there.

The men I’ve met from Buca have usually been a bit boisterous....and not in a positive way. Your description of women from that city is consistent with most of the Colombianas I’ve met outside of Bogota and Medellin. It seems the smaller the city, the more people concern themselves with the affairs of others. I stopped worrying about what people thought of me years ago. I’m completely oblivious to it. But I have dated women here that literally make life altering decisions based on how other people will perceive them. It can have a devastating effect on a relationship.

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2020, 08:42:05 AM »

Offline Calipro

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2020, 09:32:37 AM »
The men I’ve met from Buca have usually been a bit boisterous....and not in a positive way. Your description of women from that city is consistent with most of the Colombianas I’ve met outside of Bogota and Medellin. It seems the smaller the city, the more people concern themselves with the affairs of others. I stopped worrying about what people thought of me years ago. I’m completely oblivious to it. But I have dated women here that literally make life altering decisions based on how other people will perceive them. It can have a devastating effect on a relationship.

So stay away from the campesinas....got it.

Offline Elexpatriado

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Re: DAFUQ’S GOING ON??!!!
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2020, 11:30:08 AM »
The men I’ve met from Buca have usually been a bit boisterous....and not in a positive way. Your description of women from that city is consistent with most of the Colombianas I’ve met outside of Bogota and Medellin. It seems the smaller the city, the more people concern themselves with the affairs of others. I stopped worrying about what people thought of me years ago. I’m completely oblivious to it. But I have dated women here that literally make life altering decisions based on how other people will perceive them. It can have a devastating effect on a relationship.


Believe it or not,I know exactly what you mean..

 

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