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off grid sustainable living?

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doublekindness
11/1/2015 17:01 EST

Hi all!

My bf and I currently live in Colorado, but are wanting to move to punta del diablo Uruguay next year (2016) .

We own our own home here in the us and will be renting it out, along with our other rental property we're buying our rental income will be around 2k a month.

We want to buy land there in pdd and build our own home.

My first thought is to buy 3x 28' long shipping containers here and fill them with all that we need to set up, but then I read no seeds, foods, candles, chemicals, yurt or lumber?

What can we bring?
What do we need to bring to build our home or what are orices on such things there?
What about animals? Say chickens, ducks, goats, cows? Are they easily obtained in pdd?

I currently stay at home and dritter tend ** 80+ birds, beehives, rabbits, kittens, dogs and huge extensive indoor and outdoor gardens as well as mmj.

We are in our early 40's. Very handy mechanically and with animals and plants. My bf is capable ofbuilding our own home, but we need to know what CAN we bring?

I have a friend that lives in pdd and I can mail things slowly to her.. but i would love to be able to pack up a few containers and my most beloved animals and best of my seed genetics to set ip our sustainable homestead.

edykizaki
11/1/2015 19:42 EST

if you are a little more specific with your questions about animals I will ask friends who farm. Also know an agronomist here who trained in the US and consults farmers here so I would be happy to put you in touch with him. Please PM me with your specific animal/ag realated questions.

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doublekindness
11/1/2015 21:23 EST

I was wondering if i'm allowed to bring my chickens, ducks, beehives, and cats with me.

I have 6 breeds of extremely rare chickens; ayam cemani, svart honas, white bresse, crested cream legbars, frizzle tolbunt polish and am very attached to them.

I'm also looking for goats, horses and cattle, but it would be best to buy in pdd?

kimbo47
11/1/2015 23:58 EST

If you search this topic on this forum you will find many excellent postings answering your questions in detail of what can be brought in as well as personal experiences.
good luck!

Morell
11/2/2015 07:00 EST

No birds from anywhere in the world are allowed into Uruguay.

carlitos
11/2/2015 07:31 EST

Hey Morell, how about snow birds? jajajaja

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edykizaki
11/2/2015 07:53 EST

I will submit this question as written to my friend who's an agronomist and see if he has any further information. It might be a week or so, their family had an illness so they are busy right now.

Morell
11/2/2015 07:59 EST

Carlitos,
Good one!

If you mean retirees escaping the cold, yes.
If you mean the Canadian Airforce flying squad - The Snowbirds - yes but
Junco hyemalis the actual bird made famous by Anne Murray of Nova Scotia. Sorry, no!

kimbo47
11/2/2015 12:26 EST

Good one Carlitos!

crazyfarmer
11/2/2015 12:58 EST

>We own our own home here in the
>us and will be renting it out, along
>with our other rental property we're
>buying our rental income will be
>around 2k a month.

Should be the right amount and type to appease the residency process.

>We want to buy land there in pdd
>and build our own home.

Building here isn't impossible. But make sure you investigate things like BPS. It's also best to be flexible with the building materials. Masonry, while not as buzzword compliant as straw bale for example, is inexpensive and readily available. The construction technique affects the taxes as well so pay attention to that.

Expect to to take 3x longer and cost 3x more than expected.


>My first thought is to buy 3x 28' long
>shipping containers here and fill
>them with all that we need to set up,
>but then I read no seeds, foods,
>candles, chemicals, yurt or lumber?

Right. You can only bring in things in a house. Not building materials.

>What can we bring?
>What do we need to bring to build
>our home or what are orices on such
>things there?

Brings the small but expensive stuff like door knobs, plumbing and light fixtures, etc. These things will be expensive and poor quality here.

>What about animals? Say chickens,
>ducks, goats, cows?

No. You can bring cats and dogs though, although the process is complicated and it can be expensive.

>Are they easily obtained in pdd?

They are in most other places in uruguay, so it should be easy up there. Although rare breeds might be difficult or impossible to find.

>We are in our early 40's. Very handy
>mechanically

This is priceless here.

>and with animals and plants. My bf is
>capable ofbuilding our own home,
>but we need to know what CAN we
>bring?

Not much unfortunately.

>I have a friend that lives in pdd and I
>can mail things slowly to her..

There's a good chance it won't get through without your friends getting dinged for import duty

>but i would love to be able to pack
>up a few containers and my most
>beloved animals

Animals in a container? ;-)

>and best of my seed genetics to set
>ip our sustainable homestead.

Bring all your seeds. Put them in a box labeled "kitchen".

>I was wondering if i'm allowed to
>bring my chickens, ducks, beehives,
>and cats with me.

Only cats. But it's probably not worth it.

>I have 6 breeds of extremely rare
>chickens; ayam cemani, svart honas,
>white bresse, crested cream
>legbars, frizzle tolbunt polish and am
>very attached to them.

You can't bring them. And unfortunately, you probably can't find them here either. if you do, please let me know. After almost 4 years, I'm *still* looking for a chicken worth eating.


>I'm also looking for goats, horses
>and cattle, but it would be best to
>buy in pdd?

You can get all those things here, but they'll be more garden variety.

Morell
11/2/2015 14:20 EST

I would check that they will accept your rental income if you have a mortgage on the property.
A Canadian I know was refused as they said the Bank owned the property not him.
There was someone who has since returned to the US who wanted to bring a yurt but was told no.
Most folk here that commented thought it was not a good idea due to the damp climate, the difficulty with security and heating.

kimbo47
11/2/2015 21:23 EST

Good point Morell and with what I have learned on this forum it seems they are looking for a SOLID stable income like a government or company retirement plan and rent income may not fit the bill.. Renters leave, don't pay, things break in the homes etc and therefore the income can vary enormously. I would hire a professional to guide me navigate this long and full of surprises road.

Visiting the country and staying for 4 weeks or longer in the area you have selected, may also help you to answer many of your questions and get a good realistic feeling of what you will have to encounter.
Good Luck.

proger1989
11/3/2015 04:52 EST

hi, im moving to Uruguay in 15 December in order to buy land and build a sustainable home environment for myself.

i will be glad for company and help.

doublekindness
11/5/2015 11:34 EST

It will be sad to sell my 85+ birds.

What about my beehives? Can I bring them or have them shipped?

Can I set up beekeeping in PDD?

I'm thinking I may want to open a little eatery/restaurant there in PDD and my bf is a very habdy mercedes benz mechanic of 20 years experience.

We are coming from a high demand rent area of Denver, Colorado with the legal weed here the housing market is very tight.

We could SELL our properties and liquidate to move to PDD with 500k cash and our skills and tools.

Surely a mechanic and metal machinist with welding equipment and condtruction/carpentry skills is needed in PDD? :)

I am a fantastic cook, gardener, animal caretaker and mj grower/extraction artist/hashish maker and maker of fine cannabis edibles. I'm just wanting to retire while we're still young enough to enjoy it!!

Can I bring solar panels and power converters?

I had also wanted to possibly make a hemp/cob house.

We're planning a visit this spring/summer to pdd to search for land.

I want to be in the campo area where there is more agricultural opportunities.

How much are dairy cows & goats? How much are chickens? Ducks? Peafowl?

My friend tells me the soil is very sandy. Can I bring a greenhouse? What about greenhouse lights?

I have a feeling that it will be me & the bf building things out for ourselves. We planned on an 18 month build time.. so longer than that?

doublekindness
11/5/2015 11:37 EST

The nice thing is atm our oroperties are worth 3x what we have left on each mortgage.

We can rent our properties out at 3x the monthly mortgage payments or we can outright sell our properties.

crazyfarmer
11/5/2015 19:26 EST

>What about my beehives? Can I
>bring them or have them shipped?

I think if there were no bees, you could put them in the container.

>Can I set up beekeeping in PDD?

Beekeeping seems pretty common here.


>I'm thinking I may want to open a
>little eatery/restaurant there in PDD

I'd learn how to make the local fare and serve that also. Otherwise the locals won't eat there. They have culinary brain damage resulting in a lot of resistance to new foods.

>and my bf is a very habdy mercedes
>benz mechanic of 20 years
>experience.

In the US, car parts are cheap and labor expensive. Here, it's the other way around. I wouldn't count on doing auto repair here as a profession unless he speaks spanish.

>We could SELL our properties and
>liquidate to move to PDD with 500k
>cash and our skills and tools.

At the risk of starting another holy war concerning things to come, I'd recommend liquidating everything in the US as quickly as possible so that you can set yourself up here. Bring *all* your tools.

>Surely a mechanic and metal
>machinist with welding equipment
>and condtruction/carpentry skills is
>needed in PDD? :)

There's a demand for americans who can work on houses. But I'm not sure about the demand in PDD. I don't think there's many americans up there. I've never been there though so I could be wrong.


>I'm just wanting to retire while we're
>still young enough to enjoy it!!

That's what I'm trying to do. I'm nowhere near retirement yet. But I'm starting on it now so I can have something in place within the next 10 years or so.

>Can I bring solar panels and power
>converters?

That should be ok.

>I had also wanted to possibly make
>a hemp/cob house.

It's not impossible. But it might be difficult to pull off here.


>How much are dairy cows & goats?

$250 dollars or so for a saanan, nubian, or alpine, or a mix. Nubians are usually not pure here because they're susceptible to some kind of critter here.

$1000 dollars for a dairy cow.

>How much are chickens?

A dollar or two for live hatched "egg" or "meat" chicks. Have a look at mercadolibre.com for chickens. Type in "gallina", "pollo", or "pollito".

> Ducks?
>Peafowl?

I have no idea, but they're available. Have a look at mercado libre. Duck is "pato" or "patito"

>My friend tells me the soil is very >sandy.

Up there, that's probably true. You should be making your own soil though.

Have a look at www.backtoedenfilm.com


>Can I bring a greenhouse?

If it's small, you can probably get away with putting it in the container. I wouldn't call it that on the packing list though.

>What about greenhouse lights?

You can bring them, but consider the voltage difference. Electricity costs a lot here though so they might be cost-prohibitive to run if you're not on solar.

I'd be careful where you put them also. If they're the red/blue LED types that look violet, they'll be a bright "come steal me" sign at night.


>I have a feeling that it will be me &
>the bf building things out for
>ourselves. We planned on an 18
>month build time.. so longer than
>that?

It depends on what you're building. Expect things to take 3x longer and cost 3x more than expected.

kimbo47
11/6/2015 00:34 EST

Doublekindness,
seems like you are planning a very involved project that needs many questions answered by the authorities in UY.

My recommendation is to viist the country and spend a reasonable amount of time there to get all your questions answered and at the same time look for a location and meet with some expats.

doublekindness
11/6/2015 11:50 EST

My friend lives in pdd and is encouraging me to move there.

I just want to be prepared, as when we come visit this spring, I may just stay so I can be more hands on in building.

My friend said she psid 9k for her land and $5 per sq ft to build.. so I'm checking things out on here. Is this accurate?

I saw house hunters international off the grid episode on punta del diablo that sealed the deal.

doublekindness
11/6/2015 21:14 EST

I'm familiar with building/making my own soil with the heavy use of bokashi based composting methods and keeping all my critters. Mostly chickens, ducks and rabbits. I have 2 turkeys, but it's almost Thanksgiving ;)

i lost both of my beehives this year due to weak bees and neighbors spraying pesticides. I have better/stronger bees now that I'd like to keep for breeding.

I'm on facebook :) with lots of pictures of my gardens and animals.

carlitos
11/7/2015 05:32 EST

hi, I advise to search and join our facebook groups:
free uruguay expat
uruguay expat
sustainable living in uruguay.

Welcome to uruguay.

Morell
11/7/2015 05:46 EST

You should check carefully about bringing beehives.
I kept bees in Canada and I was not allowed to move any equipment due to disease concerns from one Province to another. We could not take bees either so had to bring new queens from New Zealand or raise them in Province.

proger1989
11/7/2015 05:49 EST

no place to buy bees in uyu?

Morell
11/7/2015 05:56 EST

There are several beekeepers nearby so I am sure you can get set up here. One sells at our local feria - honey, beauty products and mead and wax.

The issue is bringing bee equipment from elsewhere.
Canada and the US have significant problems with mites which is why we could not import US bees or move equipment around.
New Zealand was mite free which is why Canada allowed their bees in.

letsmove
11/7/2015 06:05 EST

The hives placed on my property must have some African bee genetics. They are very aggressive. I don't know if that is throughout all Uruguay or just regional. The bee keeper ALWAYS wears his gear even if not opening the hives. I don't go near them because they do attack even from a distance. So bring your suit.

doublekindness
11/7/2015 19:37 EST

I have 2 brand new beehives that have not had bees in them yet.

I spent about 500 on each of my beehives, and would loathe to leave them behind.

I have another beehive with new bees. My bees are a 3 way cross between Russian x brown german x Minnesota hygenic which are more aggressive than the Italians I had started out with.

I did send in a request to join the Uruguay expats facebook group and another one. I will look for the sustsinable off grid Uruguay one too.

doublekindness
11/10/2015 10:31 EST

I think I may have found a property that I like in pdd.. but my Spanish is awful.

Planning is still going under way.. passports are being applied for.

We already have people clammoring to rent our home for 3x our mortgage payment. We are starting the process to buy the property next door to fix up and rent out also.

We are planning to come to Uruguay for 4 weeks in April or May, to look for property. Since we will be flying in, I want to start bringing some things, like blankets, sheets, pillows, towels, clothing, pots and pans, books, unopened sealed spices and condiments, laptop, tablets..

can I bring sealed seed packets?

We are going to try to see if my friend or someone can go see the property we're interested in to get the real nitty gritty on it and to possibly buy it before we come? Is that possible to buy property in Uruguay from the US?

You do not have to be a resident of Uruguay to buy property, correct?

I'm thinking if we can buy it before we come visit if it is what the ad says it is and the pictures are accurate, that I can just buy it as an investment in general.

I'm also taking my friend's suggestion under advisement to possibly just pay for extra luggage and just bring what I can. She said she paid $100 for each extra suitcase and brought 6-7 extra suitcases.

I'm pretty excited to start our new adventure.

crazyfarmer
11/10/2015 11:57 EST

>We are planning to come to
>Uruguay for 4 weeks in April or May,
>to look for property. Since we will be
>flying in, I want to start bringing
>some things, like blankets, sheets,
>pillows, towels, clothing, pots and
>pans, books, unopened sealed
>spices and condiments, laptop,
>tablets..

This should work ok. But I wouldn't overdo it. Also, any electronics that are new in the box can easily be held hostage for import duties. (60% of value plus tax plus shipping) So if there's two of you for example, and you have two laptops that are open and used, you're probably ok. If they're new in the box, you might get dinged.

>can I bring sealed seed packets?

If they find them in your luggage, they'll confiscate them But nothing else will happen.

>We are going to try to see if my
>friend or someone can go see the
>property we're interested in to get
>the real nitty gritty on it and to
>possibly buy it before we come? Is
>that possible to buy property in
>Uruguay from the US?

Yes. Someone will need a power of attorney to buy the property for you remotely. I wouldn't recommend it.

Most properties won't be advertised on the internet. Also, my feeling is that prices are higher on mercado libre and buscando casa. You'll have more options for better prices if you shop for properties once you're here.

>You do not have to be a resident of
>Uruguay to buy property, correct?

That's right. They'll use your passport instead of the uruguayan identification card.


>I'm thinking if we can buy it before
>we come visit if it is what the ad says
>it is and the pictures are accurate,
>that I can just buy it as an
>investment in general.

You may discover all kinds of things about the property or area you don't like once you can spend some time here.

I wouldn't buy property in Uruguay as an investment. First, there appears to be a bit of a property bubble here. It's nowhere near as bad as the US bubble was for example, but I wouldn't trust property values to go up. But who knows. Second, I think you should count on not being able to generate an income from any property here unless you live on the property and know exactly what you're doing.

>I'm also taking my friend's
>suggestion under advisement to
>possibly just pay for extra luggage
>and just bring what I can. She said
>she paid $100 for each extra
>suitcase and brought 6-7 extra
>suitcases.

This is entirely possible. We had 11 people and brought 44 bags containing what you're describing. We brought sheets, pillows, pots and pans... everything. This helped us get through the first few weeks before our container arrived.

>I'm pretty excited to start our new
>adventure.

It's definitely an adventure. And it's one we're glad we did. But you need to be *extremely* careful. A healthy dose of paranoia would serve you well. You'll be a financial target here in ways you would never dream of in the US. I would be wary of *any* Uruguayan you're working with regardless of how nice they seem or how good their english is or how highly recommended they are. I wouldn't trust Americans, Canadians, or Europeans either. I've been close to horror stories involving other expats as well. Trust no one. We've been screwed by people we felt were members of our family. We've been screwed by people who were highly recommended to us, someone they had worked with for years. And we know people who have been screwed by expats. One expat may say wonderful things about someone while another could tell you how they screwed them.

If you're in a hurry, if you do things remotely, if you act before taking a few months to survey the situation and meet people here, you're taking a huge risk.

You don't want to end up with a $5000 or $10,000 expense you could have avoided, or end up with a property where you paid double what you should have, or end up with a property you can't live on because of something you didn't know before the sale. (These are all things that happened to us and to friends of ours)

Assume people are lying or hiding problems. Take nothing for granted. Ask obvious stupid questions because no one will volunteer the truth even when they know you would want to know. If anyone pressures you, gives you the hard sell, or tries to hurry you along because you need to act right now because someone else will swoop in and get this great deal... run. Don't walk, run the opposite direction. Being in a hurry is deadly. There's nothing wrong with taking a few days to think about it. Simply waiting a few days may force facts into the open.

Talk to as many expats here as possible. Go to the meetings. Talk on facebook. Talk about dollar amounts, how much repairs cost, who's responsible for paying them. Name names. Talk about who your escribana is, who the buying and selling real estate agents are, who the seller is. Give as many people as possible the opportunity to warn you away from a bad situation. Watch out for conflicts of interest. Three parties who stand to gain from you buying are less credible than one disinterested party telling you it's a bad situation.

If there are any red flags at all, don't buy. Be patient and find a place where everything is right.

Like I said, you should just come here first, rent something, and take your time.

kimbo47
11/10/2015 14:55 EST

As usual Crazy's info is gold. Judging by all your many questions I would advice to slow down and do additional homework. Read Crazy's post a few times. I don't know why you are in such a hurry if you don't even have a passport yet? The best advice all have given you is to plan to go there spend time and answer all your questions while there from officials or others. Again read crazy's post. I personally witnessed how some expats screwed other piers in Panama , Ecuador and Nicaragua. Making big money by selling land and homes at 3x the going prices to UNINFORMED (here is where additional homework will save you) new arrivals trusting them.

doublekindness
11/18/2015 17:43 EST

Why am I in a hurry?

There's an election coming up? I'm sick of suburbia? I want to breathe clean air? I'm sick of being sick.

And we're able to afford it now. Kinda.

Honestly, I'm sick and we're getting our 2nd blizzard in 3 days.. a beach sounds pretty sweet right now or at least no snow sounds fabulous.

We're not comitted to PDD. We would like to be sustainable, but we're open to having a place near enough to conveniences.

My bones crave some warm sun. So does my soul.

We've worked hard and are debt free. We have a couple businesses, as well as a job my bf can always come back to if we don't like it.

We're not selling everything or burning our bridges.

crazyfarmer
11/19/2015 13:27 EST

There's nothing wrong with coming here on the spur of the moment, even for a long time. I would just suggest that you don't buy something immediately. Rent a place for 6 months or so while you look around and get a good feeling for what all of the places you're considering look like.

edykizaki
11/19/2015 15:28 EST

I totally concur, great advice, Brian, as usual.

doublekindness
11/19/2015 17:52 EST

Then the question is... where to stay?

Airbnb seems pretty reasonable and safe. Plus our best friend is one of the top 3 in that business, which makes it even more appealing to us.

Punta del Diablo, Piriapolis, Punta Ballena are areas of interest.

Another blizzard is about to move in. This time last year we were -19f lol.

I hope I can get to meet many of you while we visit. I understand more Spanish and Portuguese than I can speak unfortunately. My bf is not any better, and he has never left the usa in his lifetime yet.

I used to travel frequently and move country to country. In my 20's I had dreams of moving and retiring in Sao Paulo, Brazil, so Uruguay is kinda close to that dream, no? I'm more the adventurer. My bf likes stability.

We will be coming in April or May to stay for a month. I was thinking a week in Mondevideo, then make our way to Punta del Diablo and then up to Punta Del Este and a quick trip to Chuy? I read about hot springs?

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