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La Serena, Chile

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Bravado
10/5/2007 12:15 EST

Hello,
I'm planning an early retirement in the area of La Serena, and I was wondering if there are any english groups in that area. Would appreciate any help that you could offer to assist me to make new friends.

Cheers- Robert

Jerome
10/28/2007 00:41 EST

I can't help you with an English group in La Serena. However, I will be moving there in January with my family. We'll be living there a year, and are also interested in the international community there.

Regards,
Jerome

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Chucky
12/31/2007 12:33 EST

My wife and I are planning a trip to La Serena, Chile in September 2008 (maybe sooner) to explore and price properties. We are very interested in the area for future retirement and wondered if you knew of a Realtor in La Serena. We woul like to make contact with an english speaking agent if at all possible. Thanks

edlfrey
1/2/2008 22:21 EST

La Serena is getting a lot of attention from the expat community this year.
I too am considering a move there in the next year - 18 months. I may do a "scouting" trip this fall or early 2009. Don't have name of English speaking Realator but you might try addressing an email to the owner of Hotel del Cid at http://www.hoteldelcid.cl/ and ask him for assistance. He has written in English on another Forum so he may be able to help.
I am very intested in rentals so if anyone gets any information PLEASE pass it on.
Ed

suziehammond
2/19/2008 22:45 EST

We are considering a move there as well and visiting over Easter week 2008. I'd love to be in touch with anyone there now.

Today online I found a RE agent who said he spent 5 years in Canada/US and understands the needs of his English speaking clients. Don't know anything else about him. I've pasted the link below. In case it gets lost his name is 'Lefara Propiedades'

http://www.lefara.cl/sitio/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=17&Itemid=51

fabian
3/3/2008 17:41 EST

I am a Costa Rican expat that have been living in Chile for 16 years now. So you could say that I finally understand this culture (coming from a latin country doesn't mean the culture and people will be tha same, surely after we expericned here).
I dedicate myself to being a personal travel assistant to primarily americans, canadians and australians, this because of contacts i have after working on the mining industry for several years. I also lived in Europe, travelled in Asia, US, Canada... so I'm pretty sure I can understand and help with your needs'.
Feel free to contact me at my e-mail; I can help you out with the trip, and making contacts (even if I don't have them yet), cause this is what I do.

Chile's land "development" is just starting (if you compare it to Costa Rica, for example), this can be of a great opportunity to newcomers, but also a difficult one, sincelanguage and cultural stuff can get on the way.

La Serena and it's area around are beautiful... but don't expect tropic, this is more desert like. (I say this because this is what I expected, when I first got here, mmm some years ago)

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nshos2rtr
3/12/2008 07:05 EST

I am so glad to have found this forum. We are also considering retirement in La Serena. Would love to receive real estate and medical information such as hospitals, doctors,etc.
Glad to hear other expats are looking to relocate in the same area.

nshos2rtr
3/12/2008 10:03 EST

We are seriously considering retirering in La Serena. I would like to hear about your relocating experience. Also, glad to hear the American community is growing.

suziehammond
4/8/2008 15:03 EST

Ok Guys I have just come back from La Serena and thought I would give you a review.

We loved it! Lots of plus points and few minuses from our perspective so let's get an international ex-pat group going here, as we are slated to make the move.

We are going back in July for a month to start establishing ourselves.

Great mix of new nice shopping/ amenities & also a great amount of 'SA' culture that is so interesting & the reason many of us go there.

People are warm, friendly and forgiving of lousy Spanish as long as you are trying. City is big enuf to be interesting, small enuf to be personal. IMHO

RE is not cheap as it is a tourist town in the summer. We haven't looked outside the city yet but prices plummet as you get away from the metro beaches everywhere. Will check that in June.

The drive up from Santiago is lovely along the coast with a great toll road. The air in La Serena is clear and the food excellent.

Health care seems excellent but needs more comprehensive research as well. Will quiz very thoroughly in June.

Schools are a non issue for us but there is a superb arts school that wants my hubby's services.

Anyone else back yet who wants to add to this or talk?

HHInternational
4/9/2008 13:38 EST

Hello! My name is Anne and I'm a Casting Producer with HGTV's HOUSE HUNTERS INTERNATIONAL. If you are moving are have decided to make a move to Chile, either permanently or as a vacation spot, I would love to hear your story and feature you on the #1 real estate program in the U.S! Please contact me for more information!

nshos2rtr
4/10/2008 14:07 EST

hello suziehammond.. glad to hear you had a wonderful experience in La Serena. We are very interested in the area. Hope your next trip is as wonderful and I'm looking forward to read about your new experiences and findings. There is a web site www.elsitio.cl which posts real estate "propiedades". La Serena is located in the IV Region and if you select those two options, you will find lots of homes for sale. Wish you our best.

gregduncan1
5/12/2008 11:11 EST

hello I am moving to la serena before the end of this year. I am just waiting for my children to finish school here in ecuador then we will be going there. Does anyone know which is the best school to go to. Both of my boys 9 and 12 years old speak english and spanish. I have been to la serena 2 times now and it is a great place. I am looking forwardto living there.

Greg

fabian
5/13/2008 09:48 EST

I found in La Serena a person working on real estate called Alicia Morgan (http://www.aliciamorganpropiedades.cl/)
Also, there is a new development called La Serena Golf (http://www.laserenagolf.cl/index.php)
Hope any of these tip are helpfull.
Any more specific (legal, travel, coordination) assistance, feel free to contact me.
As I mentioned above, I dedicate myself to be of assistance to travalers and expats in a personalized way.

regards

hgewers
5/22/2008 19:32 EST

Hello everyone,

I just found by accident this site. I moved from Santiago to La Serena 8 month ago.

And yes, there is an Expat Group, called IESA. We have a lot going on here.
http://web.mac.com/camillacamp/IESA_2008/Welcome.html

Please feel free to contact us at any time. We are english - spanish speeking and from all over the world!

Saludos,
Sara

suziehammond
5/23/2008 18:22 EST

Thanks for posting and...So nice to meet you Sara. Nice to hear that there is an organized group to get involved with in La Serena. It is always a relief to find out which doctors and grocery stores, etc are good so you don't have to completely reinvent the wheel upon arrival. I will certainly be in touch in July when we spend some time there. Also be finding out and posting any info I get on basic issues.

Suzie

fabian
5/25/2008 22:35 EST

Greg, I talked to a friend that lived in la Serena, and she reccommended to ake a look at the International School ( I looked for it's web site: http://www.tisls.cl/en_index.asp).

Hope, it's useful.

gregduncan1
6/18/2008 22:08 EST

Thank you I will go to the site after I write this. I am moving to la serena with my family August 4. I will be there also July 4 for a few days before returning to Ecuador. This trip is for business and to try and find an apartment there. I will need a 3 or hopfully four bedroom apartment. Does anybody know about the rules about a personal move to Chile. I am in Ecuador and will be able to fill a 20 ft container of my houshold items. All used and bought here in Ecuador.

Thank you
Greg

CrystalG
10/3/2008 05:13 EST

Hello,
I am moving to La Serena in the end of November. I was wondering if anyone could help me out in finding a job. I speak spanish and english fluently. I was either looking for something bilingual or teach english to adults. Please if anyone has any info please let me know...thank you

LaurafromBend
5/11/2009 11:55 EST

Interested to see if you made the move to La Serena and how it is going. We are considering being abroad for 4-5 months in 2010 with 2 kids (age 11 and 13 now). Thoughts/ideas re: Chile?
Thanks.

kajvejle
7/11/2009 08:13 EST

I have resently bought house in La Serena. If I can be of help you are welcome to contact me.

Best regards.
Kaj

suziehammond
8/25/2009 16:31 EST

There is one I know of as we are considering moving that way. We are in Chile and adore it but Santiago's air is lousy.

http://web.mac.com/camillacamp/IESA_2008/Welcome.html

Visiting again this W/E and looking at hosuing.

bernadetteg
10/24/2009 02:39 EST

hello fabian, i am considering moving to that area next year and as you have lived there for quite a while, i would like to know how difficult it is to acquire a teaching job. i speak both english and spanish,english being my native language and would be willing to work at a school or in any other sector that requires bilingual speakers. i would appreciate any advice you can offer!! thank you!

sheff
2/14/2010 10:49 EST

Hi, I wonder if any UK expats in La Serena can help please? My daughter is trekking around Chile and is coming to La Serena tomorrow for a day or two. She has set off with the wrong power adaptor and cannot charge her phone or camera. So she desperately needs to buy a UK 3pin to Chile adaptor. Does anyone have one, or know where she can get one - eg hotel shop? Many thanks, kind regards, Iain.
Problem now solved thanks. Iain

JCeppi
2/17/2010 13:45 EST

There are a number of schools in La Serena looking for English language teachers. the one that I recommend is the International School of La serena.

bronco
3/2/2010 11:51 EST

I have know the area for fifteen years and have seen it grow from a sleepy coastal town into a metropolis. The sad part is that so much of our culture is being lost and even now there will be a walmart in the area which of course will remove small business and change values of life an quality. R. E. is nor realistic and any investment will never be recovered so to only live for the time of life and not to think about investment. It is a wondeful city and has stricter rules for business and bars.

bronco
3/12/2010 17:26 EST

my sad experience is that most realtors, not only in LaSerena but everywhere in Chilehave one objective. Tat is to sell you the most expensive property in their area. There is no national listing service and also they will evaluate you and then give you a price which often is different from what the owner has told them to ask. Then they base the commission on the new sales price .I have not found anyone that really knows about real estate from a rational investment position.

bronco
3/12/2010 20:08 EST

I went to your site and the web says that there is no listng. Have you changed or desbanded your group. I know La Serena and would like to have more information . How can I contact you?

bronco
3/12/2010 20:14 EST

I contacted your suggested realtor and was very disappointed in what they offered and impressed with what they didn't know about real estate investment. R.E. in all of Chile is overpriced and overvalued and is not a good investment unless you plan to just live there for the rest of your life because I feel that you will never recover your investment, or at least that's my opinion. Also the quality of construction is not there: I.E. hollow core entrance doors, no alarms, questionabl quality of construction material and compliance with any rules of construction if they even exist as evidenced by the new construction and the damage from the recent earthquake. So caution is suggested. Youneed a good lawyer and more important a notary

Adenada
4/4/2010 17:58 EST

We are Canadians looking to retire for 1/2 the year May to Oct in South America. We see many expats exchanges about Ecuador but very little about Chile. I would appreciate any info. My husband and I are planning on a 4 to 6 month trip to South America in 2010.
Cheers,

suziehammond
4/4/2010 23:05 EST

Ecuador is poorer in terms of the finances of the people and the country. It is spring/summer temps almost year o. There is a great deal of corruption at all levels of government.

Chile has very little corruption. There are many climate zones in Chile and a good number of middle class people. Many nice reasonably priced housing options. But it IS more expensive than Ecuador for sure. Some things are more than US prices of course.

We also looked at Uruguay which is lovely unless you love mountains...nice people,low prices and good communications.

So many choices!

Good luck,
Suzie
Author: "I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be-But it's Not Here" (A Manual with Tricks for Finding Your Perfect New Home)
http://www.goodwriter.info

bronco
4/6/2010 10:35 EST

suzzie
If you found a realtor that understands real estate please let me know. I have been to the area and found that the realtors are lacking in a professional deameanor and know little about realestate and just want the fees.

suziehammond
4/6/2010 11:55 EST

Yep, that does seem to be a main complaint. After our first trials at getting a place we were thoroughly disgusted with them all. They get paid big time for doing nothing but showing up and having you sign a contract. They hardly advertise anywhere and there is NO multi-listing service. You have to hunt everywhere to find them! There are a few local in Spanish only websites that have plenty of property with pics though. (You probably found those tho)

If you can have some time to look carefully, try and find people who are advertising their own properties. They are few and far between-- but there are some, and so far we have usually found their properties are in nicer shape If you have a little Spanish or someone who can go with you who does, these type of deals are straightforward without paying extra fees to a guy who doesn't deserve it.

All that said I highly suggest that you rent first. You will then find the parts of town that are quieter-maybe don't have a two week rock'n'roll festival a block away or........

We rented and liked our neighborhood just fine but within a year we had found 3 other area that are in much better situations. Off the beaten path yet close to the city, fabulous views, and have rented here for the second year. To see how we like this area. Once you buy in Chile it takes forever to sell (possibly years)--usually because of the lousy realtors. Also you may find you could build something you are happier with for less money once you are sure you love it there.

Just some ideas to kick around.

Author: "I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be-But it's Not Here" (A Manual with Tricks for Finding Your Perfect New Home)
http://www.goodwriter.info

Suzie

bronco
4/6/2010 18:02 EST

If you are still in Laserena could you please send me more information about the expat group there as I will be once again coming to the area looking for a house and would like to ask if anyone has had success with any realtor or nothing but bad luck as I have had.
Thanks

bronco
4/6/2010 18:06 EST

forget it , it can be anighmare so sell everything and buy new here. I made the mistake and boy did it cost me.

bronco
4/6/2010 18:08 EST

do you have the name of the owner of the hotel El Cid. I have searched many real estate sites and what they are offering would be condemmed in most countries except for those that are so over priced you could stay in a five star hotel for the rest of your life and still save money.

suziehammond
4/8/2010 20:09 EST

Hi,
I caution against selling everything! Computers and other electronic items of that nature are very expensive here. Depends on what you need to feel comfortable but we wanted a good computer with fast speeds. They cost serious money here. Bring a top portable. I am not in La Serena at the moment. We are settled in Santiago for this year. But The RE situation is the same all over the country seemingly. It is just the way they do things here. Find a Chilean who is trustworthy to approach and talk to people with properties. You are less likely to be taken advantage of if you choose you helper carefully.
We did not stay at El Cid but in Coquimbo around La Herradura Beach in a lovely cabin with kitchenette for $30 a night. there are many of these available in that area if you go look. They are clean and pleasant. Why don't you rent for a while until you find something you really really want?

Author: "I am Not Sure Where I Want to Be-But it's Not Here" (A Manual with Tricks for Finding Your Perfect New Home)
http://www.goodwriter.info

bronco
4/9/2010 19:20 EST

suzzie
To inform you the site that you listed no longer exist.

bronco
4/9/2010 19:23 EST

Have you had any success?

rlaakso
5/4/2010 09:58 EST

purchased a condo in La serena Golf four years ago. You do not deal with a realtor, but with the developer, La Serena Golf. This simplifies things greatly. We are very happy with our purchase. We only live there seasonally, and rent when we are not there.

fguti
6/15/2010 18:37 EST

Hello. I own an amazing apartment in a very beuatiful condo in La Serena which I'm offering for sale. The apartment has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a very nice livingroom, a magnificant view to the sea, and a very well equipped kitchen. Also, it has 2 parking spaces and a warehouse. If you are interested in, please contact me through e-mail or responding this message. Regards. FG.

skylark
8/11/2010 02:08 EST

Hi,
Just wondering if anyone could recommend a realestate agent in La Serena.
We are looking to rent an exec house for approx 1 year.
thankx

EXPATSINCHILE
8/11/2010 09:25 EST

well, first at all you have to visit www.expatsinchile.com and then in front page www.chileselect.com our expats relocation company with american realtors all over the country...lance waddle is our personal friend, expats and on of the most reliable real estate professionals in chile.

good luck!!

rlaakso
8/11/2010 10:10 EST

Maria Teresa Fuentes

She speaks English and Spanish, as she is Chilean, but lived in Australia for 30 years before returning back to La Serena, Chile. Her website is http://www.laserenaproperties.com/

CallawayBliss
2/21/2016 08:47 EST

Hi Kaj,

Can you recommend a good real estate agent in La Serena?

Thanks.

Ryan

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