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Coming to Uruguay! Like in 3 days....

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Wanderlustspirit
4/20/2015 21:51 EST

Just booked ticket to arrive Thurs. Am in Uruguay. Surreal but wanting to start process of finding house. Also thinking of buying an apartment in Montevideo to rent out to meet income requirements. Thoughts on this?

Okay, so in town thru next Tues. Going to be busy looking at properties but would LOVE to meet some of you while in town.

1) looking at getting a rental car but so far only seeing manual transmissions. Yikes! Hubby is not coming due to expense (& work) so would prefer automatic. Does anyone know of a rental company that rents automatic transmission cars?

2) read somewhere on one of this group's blogs that the one bank that works with U.S. Citizens will not allow tourists to set up accounts. Is that correct?

3) besides checking out the schools & properties, is there anything else I should do while there to facilitate things for my family's arrival?

4) staying at Hotel Urban Express on Andes Street in Montevideo. Is this a safe area? Planning to have a money belt as opposed to purse but don't usually run around another continent without my husband. Hotel was included for free in package so if i do not use, would not be a huge deal.

5) my phone is global ready so Verizon said I can get 100 min. Outgoing calls, 100 outgoing texts,, unlimited incoming calls, & 100 MB of data for $ 40 U.S. Is that a better deal than getting a chip?

6) what else am I forgetting?

7) going to call medical company tomorrow as I expect I will need to get travel insurance.

8) the de-insectization spraying thing on the plane is strange but understandable. Has this bothered any of you?

9) what items Will I need (planning to bring bank reference letters, wire transfer details) to bring for purchase of property.?

10) going to look for Spanish translator app & bring book to help. Any suggestions?

Hope we can meet up in Montevideo (appt. location plan) or Punta del Este (possible house location) while I am in town. Can PM my cell if you want to meet up. :)

Heather

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edykizaki
4/21/2015 05:04 EST

It's wonderful news that you're coming so soon I'd love to invite you to dinner on the day you arrive. we are pretty near where you will be staying and whether you have a car or you're on the bus it doesn't matter you can easily take the bus here or taxis are very cheap and while you're in Montevideo it will be just as cheap to be using a taxi multiple times a day as to have a rental car. Or you can change your mind and Rent-A-Car once you're here. From the airport to your hotel I recommend you take the shuttle you can use your credit card in the airport it's $14 US to get a place on the shuttle to take multiple pieces of baggage and don't forget that you get the poorest exchange rate for your dollars in the airport itself so don't change very much money in the airport yet there a much better rates here in the city.

I will also check with a couple car companies here about the possibility of an automatic though.

Please don't take this as a huge sales pitch but I just started working with a couple of real estate agents ...I was a real estate agent in the states for eight years in Seattle ...I actually managed a small office and I didn't think I was going to be doing real estate here yet because I don't speak Spanish very well but I met a couple of really high-level wonderful agents (a couple called Oscar and Elena) and they invited me to work with them so I just started working. I've just had my first client start working with us. and if you don't have an agent chosen I would like to ask you to consider us, having your own agent does not cost you more then just working through the seller's agent but it does protect your rights better because your agent is committed to your best interest rather than working for the seller. but either way I really want to welcome you and give you as much information as I can, introduce you to my family and hopefully help you get oriented a bit. Although it's really important to know obviously Uruguayans, it's also really necessary and helpful for us "ex-pats" to know and help each other and it's been a source of amazing benefit, mutual benefit for me to be a part of the ex-pat community and I have made some wonderful friends already. My cell in Uruguay is 093-578-058 and my US number rings here too, 206-249-2914. My email is edyseattle @gmail.com. Welcome!

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Morell
4/21/2015 08:14 EST

You are brave to drive in MVD! Lots of expats won't.

I would wait and see what you think of the crazy traffic. If you search for "alquiler autos automaticos montevideo " you will see quite a few choices but they are expensive. All car rentals are expensive here. Remember you must drive with your lights on and very few cars have day time running lights so you have to remember to turn them on and off. No right turn on a red light here.

I have seen some apartments that are already rented for sale. For example, in Pocitos you would spend around $250,000 US for a 2 bedroom apartment bringing in around $900 - 1000 US monthly rent. That is just an example. You would have expenses, taxes to pay out of that. Having your own realtor is definitely a good idea as well as your own lawyer.

We had to have an address here including utility bills before we could open a bank account at BROU. We did this when we came down for good.

When we bought our house we used our lawyer's escrow account and he had limited power of attorney in order to sign papers etc. as we went back to Canada before the purchase went through. We had to put down 10% when our offer was accepted and then wire the rest before the closing.

We were recently in Peru and were sprayed a couple of times. No problem.

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carlitos
4/21/2015 08:41 EST

I would keep this 40 bucks cell plan you have plus would bring another old or cheap phone and buy a prepaid ancel chip for local here to call you in case they don't want to call the us.

Your hotel are is not safe after dark hours, even during the day, but it is bearable and convenient.

I can provide contacts to a realtor and a escribano both ladies speak English and are based in Montevideo.

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Wanderlustspirit
4/21/2015 08:44 EST

Sounds lovely edykzaki! I have spoken to another realtor, that I reached out to already but would like to meet you.

I appreciate the help on the car - finding an automatic.

Morrell - is driving in Montevideo worse than driving in DC? I would not drive in downtown Boston but have driven in many other U.S. Cities.

As I expect to look in both Punta del este & Montevideo, I would think I need a car & would also like to meet up with some expats, possibly at any expat meetings occurring while I am in town.

I know creating a network of people to offer advice & support will be critical to my family's successful transition given 3 members' lack of language skills & short timeframe.

I really am grateful that you are all willing to try to assist.

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Morell
4/21/2015 09:41 EST

Montevideo would be similar to Boston regarding the confusion of getting around and the traffic. Here though there is less emphasis on sticking to your own lane and if two lanes would fit three cars then go for it! There are lots of small motorbikes weaving in and out and the roads are much narrower than you would be used to with parked cars and lots of pedestrians.
Many streets are one way and you end up going round in circles trying to get back to where you wanted. Most cross streets do not have stop signs or even yield signs so you have to watch closely when driving and give way to the right.

Personally in Montevideo I would use taxis and then rent the car to go out to Punta etc. See what you think when you get here.
The taxis have a card in the back so you can see exactly the fare, tips are just a few small coins.

I know someone who lives and works close to that hotel and he would agree it is not safe around there at night.

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Freddikins
4/21/2015 10:11 EST

Advise Punta Car, rates are fairly good right now, and there is a Punta Car close to the airport. You will take a taxi. They have a very basic car, automatic. This is off season, so it is not a big deal to rent what you want.

We are in Punta Colorada. If you would like to visit the beach while you are here, call us! Personal message me, and I will give you our local phone number and our Magic Jack US phone number.

Allison & David

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wengin
4/21/2015 19:33 EST

I agree with Morell, take a taxi when you are in Montevideo or it will be a stressful experience to you.... trust me on this one...
As far as opening an account, you sure can. You will probably have to provide an address that it can be easily acquired.
You can contact me if you'd like. I also sent you a PM.
I'm really busy with my work but I am also able to help you with whatever I can.
Kindly,

Silvia.

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afj21
4/21/2015 21:01 EST

Wow! What a huge moment in your life! Congratulations!

FYI, I am living 4 blocks from your hotel; I think I drove by it today. Maybe one day we can meet up.

Anyway, about driving in Montevideo... during the brief amount of time I have been here I can say that driving in Montevideo is a circus. Driving on the Rambla and the bigger main roads isn't as bad, but navigating through the city can be confusing and dangerous. Just be careful and you'll be good.

As the others have stated, you can buy a really nice apartment for $250K. We bought one for $135K near Hospital Britannico it makes $600/ Month and a friend of mine bought an apartment in a real slummy area for $20K and makes $200 a month.

Realestate is plentiful here and there are a lot of new apartments going up in the city. There should be plenty to choose from.

This might sound elementary, but I purchased a map of Montevideo from a book store for about $10. It has come in quite handy.

Arthur

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godeep
4/22/2015 00:17 EST

Edy: Do you know the name of the shuttle that takes you from the airport to MVD hotels?

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Wanderlustspirit
4/22/2015 08:49 EST

Update - 1) not going to use hotel in MVD due to possible safety concerns

2) not going to rent car

REVISED plan

1) stay in Punta del este @ hotel Milano (pm if u can meet up w/me somewhere in town, otherwise will try to meet up June/July.

2) not going to rent car to drive in MVD. Not ready for that additional stress

Completely DIFFERENT topic - does the Uruguay govt. keep your apostilled documents for the residency process or just look at them & return them immediately? They make a copy of the apostilled document for their records, please advise.

Do you think Punta del este is significantly more expensive to live? If so, 10 or 15% higher? Could this be avoided by shopping outside this area?

Also considering buying a pretty home to rent out during peak 2 months to earn income. Thoughts? Will supply/demand be in balance or is supply outweighing fed and w/current Argentina economic woes?

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afj21
4/22/2015 09:11 EST

I got an apostille for my birth certificate and they didn't take it. Though it might help to spend the $100 and get it translated into Spanish.

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Morell
4/22/2015 09:53 EST

I don't recall getting much back from Immigration. The folk you speak to are not the ones who actually process the paperwork. They have various departments that deal with various aspects of your documents and we ended up with a huge thick file there filled with all kinds of papers.

When we went they just took everything including all the extra papers our lawyer had produced such as official translations and papers that had been given various seals on them and we did not get them back but maybe our lawyer did.

Nothing is done immediately here!

An excellent realtor in Punta that we used is a German named Martina Van Bevern. She has a good website with lots of info in English you might find interesting.

http://www.van-bevern.com/en/

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afj21
4/22/2015 10:45 EST

Are you flying into Punta Del Este? Just a suggestion, you might want to compare ticket prices between the two airports, MVD and PDP. I believe PDP only takes international flights from Buenos Aires, Asunción and Sao Paolo. Your ticket price might be astronomical...

Punta Del Este is 90 minutes East of Montevideo, the drive is pretty easy and you will definitely find a cheaper ticket flying into MVD. Just a thought.

Also, right now the Argentines are going through a crisis... they can't even afford to pay their utilities for their Punta Del Este apartments. Now is the right time to profit from their misfortunes.

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roninscz
4/22/2015 13:50 EST

Living in Punta del Este is expensive, it is a resort city and many extranjeros live here. If you choose to buy in the Punta area, be aware that the property taxes are high within the city limits. Also, be advised that many, if not all, of the apartments demand very high "maintenance" fees in addition to the prop taxes. Look at properties in the campo surrounding Punta to avoid paying the high prop taxes. A good real estate agent can advise of these concerns, but as you know, real estate agents make their money SELLING so keep that in mind and, as always, ask questions!!! The old adage "there are no stupid questions" very much applies here. On the whole buying property is not a great deal worse than in the USA. Another thing to keep in your mind (or notes) is that changing the utilities are your responsibility solely, there is no hand holding here. Sometimes the real estate agent will help, sometimes the seller may help you, but, again, it's solely your responsibility. Actually that's one of the nice things about not living in the nanny state: you are responsible for yourself. Wishing great success in all your decisions!!!!

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Morell
4/22/2015 15:21 EST

When we bought our house, our lawyer who helped deal with the sale gave us a sheet with information such as when property taxes were due and how to pay them, school tax due dates, how to deal with the utilities and reminded us we had to go to the Intendencia to change the title into our names. We needed the deed for that. None of this is done for you. You also do not get reminders about property tax. If you pay it for the year as soon as it is due, you get a big discount.

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edykizaki
4/22/2015 15:22 EST

Hi! There is a booth right outside the customs glass door exit, as you go into the main lobby after passing through customs. You'll see it near the back wall. The sign says "Taxi/Shuttle" as far as I remember... it's hard to miss and there is only the one shuttle service. The people at the counter speak English, and will take a credit card for a taxi voucher (if I recall from a recent trip it's $42) or a shuttle ticket ($14 each and they wait till 5 passengers are ready to go).

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Flyingbluejay
4/22/2015 16:05 EST

Greetings Wanderlustspirit,

Good queries resulting in loads of useful information. Thank you for posting.

I wish you well.

Regards,
Flyingbluejay

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