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Exploring Relocation Trip

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Emanuela
5/7/2019 15:43 EST

Hello,
My family will travel to Uruguay to explore the option to relocate from the US. We are planning about two weeks trip in August with the objective to get the feel of the country, people, environment, and eventually pick a home to settle. We would love to live on a chacra.
We have a five year old and would like very much for him to be able to play/socialize with other children, even attend local Uruguayan school. Spanish language is not an issue with us.
We would also like to be near to a English speaking community in Uruguay.
So, we would much appreciate your advise on which town/areas to visit/stay and eventually settle there.
Also, do you any recommendations for a local real estate agent. Thanks

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83xlx
5/8/2019 08:20 EST

We are picking up the keys to our chacra tomorrow. We picked a spot between La Barra and San Carlos. 20 min to beach and shopping but mostly outside the insanity of high season.

We used the services of Martina van Bevern (www.van-bevern.com). I cannot recommend her highly enough. She speaks German, Spanish and English. fluently. She also has a young son and would have some insight into schools. She knows everyone, at least in the Punta del Este area and was an invaluable help in getting functional here.

We let her know what we wanted and she showed us several nice chacras.

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mypinares
5/8/2019 09:35 EST

congratulations on your deal. Hope you will be happy in your new home. Another very reliable real estate agent in Punta del Este is Margret with 14 years experience in the property business is www.uruguayproperty.com. She is fluent in German,English and Spanish and is a fountain of knowledge.

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Emanuela
5/8/2019 12:12 EST

Thanks so much for your encouraging information. Yes, we have seen the inventory of Martina van Bevern online and it is good to hear positive comments of her services.
Congratulations on your new home!

How is the weather now there as you enter winter? We'v heard about constant winds - how bad it is outside Punta del Este/San Carlos, etc?

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Vortice
5/8/2019 15:49 EST

We are in the Sierra de Las Ánimas, about 25 km West of San Carlos and 25km from Piriápolis (the coast). Yes, it has been windy lately as a much needed rainstorm blew through (4-7/8" in our rain gauge :-). Local, up to date weather radar info is not available, but the frogs had been very quiet during the weeks of no rain, until 2 days before the storm. They became very loud and we were confident rain would follow. We have real weather here: in 1/2 hr we got 1" of rain and the electrical storm was prodigious.
Uruguay is flat, much of surrounding Argentina is flat not to mention the Atlantic Ocean; there isn't much to slow winds or storms. This makes for fast changing and somewhat unpredictable weather. Keep the wind in mind when you look at chacras. The previous owner of ours cut down 200 of the wind block trees so as to improve the views, but now there is an open North-South corridor to channel winds from Brazil or the frigid winds from Argentina/Antarctica. I've planted over 100 trees so far and will plant more now that the ground is soft and it is cooling down (nights in mid 40's days 65º-75º). A;so be wary of low, flood prone land which is very common here.

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MobilityLC
5/9/2019 15:21 EST

Hi Emanuela!

Hope you are fine.

I have sent you a PM back on April answering to your first message.

Have a great rest of the day and wish you well.

Cheers!

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sylk
5/9/2019 15:30 EST

for campos - we had an excellent experience with Noel de los Santos who is based in San Carlos. Their office provides immobilaria, legal, and escribana services, are well established and respected. They're also very kind & fluent in English.
We can't recommend them highly enough!!
His real estate (immobiliaria) is called "Inmobiliaria Campos del Este":
25 de Agosto 956
(between Ituzaingo and Carlos Alberto Cal, close to the center)
20400 San Carlos,
Departamento de Maldonado
tel: 442 666687
camposdeleste@gmail.com

check out the beautiful campos on their website:
http://www.camposdeleste.com/site/index.php

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Emanuela
5/9/2019 16:26 EST

Thank you everyone for the abundant information. We will follow your lead. Any advice you may have for us, about living on a chacra, would be greatly appreciated.

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ChiquitaBanana
5/9/2019 17:09 EST

Hi Emanuela, my husband and I have been visiting Uruguay, Punta Del Este for the last 4 years. Our last visit was a couple of months ago during which time we took the time to look at some properties to purchase. We stayed a few weeks and got to understand many different areas as well as locations and we concluded that although chacras are wonderful, they are just not very practical if you need to be near schools or shops, entertaining. Having a car will facilitate and of course all is a matter of choice and likes.
Our agent Marina Gutierrez took the job of educating us about all of this and showed us many options.
Frankly she was awesome, always available, very knowledgeable and helpful Initially we contacted her over the internet through a client of mine that knew her and while speaking to her we realized how lucky we were to have meet her.
Good luck!

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stratossailor
5/10/2019 06:32 EST

Hi Emanuela,

the most helpful contact I met in UY is Marina from focus-properties
info@focusproperties.com.uy. She and her husband Michael know almost everything and do help a lot. Their offers are very good choice as well.
Best wishes for your UY-future!

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Vortice
5/10/2019 08:45 EST

Some of the reasons we like living on a chacra are privacy, natural beauty, relative quiet, pitch dark nights, our own non-chlorinated well water, room to grow plants, room to build, room for the dogs. Disadvantages would include the need for a car (preferably 4x4), the closest store is a 15 minute drive so you don't want to forget anything. When we get 3+ inches of rain in a day the creeks flood and we cannot get out, security is an issue (we do not leave the chacra unattended for more than a day, since we moved onto the farm 2 years ago, we have had no more problems). Venomous snakes are an issue, I have seen 4 Yaras this season and we always wear tall rubber or leather boots or work boots and snake gaiters when working outside. We worry most about the dogs getting bitten.
Dirt roads raise clouds of dust, so we bought a chacra that is set back from the road. Rural dust pollution (pm10) is a health threat and makes for a dirty house. Our car is never clean! That being said, neighbors are friendly and everyone waves at each other. We do have some local traffic jams in the form of 50 head of cattle with horseback gauchos and their busy cattle dogs. This can lead to "fender benders"; one day, the impatient car in front of us was head butted by a large, and incensed cow. Driver was not "tranqui" so neither was the cow.

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papajohn
5/10/2019 09:03 EST

What do you do for fun out there in the middle of nowhere?

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pjantares
5/10/2019 10:03 EST

Vortice, you summed it up quite nicely. Don't forget peaceful days and stunning sunsets.

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Vortice
5/10/2019 11:00 EST

Hola Papajohn, the internet makes all the difference out in the campo. Youtube is one of the most popular websites here, not to mention Facetime conversations with family and friends in the US. We put benches around the chacra to sit and take in the views of nature, which we find very interesting. From birds to bugs, nature is very different here than in California and we are learning a lot. The chacra has native monte, a year round creek and we are planting many natives in the landscape and removing invasive non-native plants. The latter being a sisyphean task given the extent of honeysuckle invasion.
We are rarely satisfied with restaurant fare (at least at our budget) so we spend the plata on quality materials and cook great meals on the farm. Last night was medium-rare filet mignon with a velvety bernaise sauce and organic garlic mashed potatoes. We also have a plethora of hobbies and love to read books (made of paper!) and so are able to amuse ourselves "en el medio de nada."

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papajohn
5/10/2019 11:33 EST

Thanks Vortice. It sounds like you've found your little piece of paradise so to speak. What is the filet mignon called here? We've not had good luck with our beef buys and stopped eating it a while back and now subsist mostly on vegetables we grow and buy. Every now and then, we do get a hankering for a thick, juicy, flavorful steak and even more so with a nice Bearnaise sauce!

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Vortice
5/10/2019 12:09 EST

Papajohn, Filet mignon is called lomo here. We do not buy the lomo in the packages and ask the butcher if they have a " lomo entero" or whole tenderloin. They have to cut it from a side of beef and trim it while we wait. We slice it and wrap it in servings for the freezer. We too have been disappointed with the cuts of beef, unless we are making stew! Given that we eat small steaks and not more than once a week, we decided to buy only quality filet. In a country that is famous for beef and where there are 4 cows for every person, we were surprised by the scarcity of good beef. Me thinks the fine beef is mostly exported. We have not yet tried buying steak at Las Nenas Steak House in Pta del Este. On our 1st exploratory trip in 2014 we wanted to experience the parilla and walked into "El Fogon" in MVD. The med-rare filets came to the table virtually raw but I decided to taste it before sending it back to the grill. It was absolutely the most tender and tasty steak I have ever had. It exists here, we simply need to find it. Anyone else solved this?

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pjantares
5/10/2019 14:52 EST

Beef is not aged here. Refrigeration is too expensive. I have aged my grass fed beef in a spare fridge on a rack over a broiler pan at 36F for one week. it not only breaks down the muscle tissue but improves the flavor.

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Expat91364
5/10/2019 20:54 EST

I do find marinading, Corning or slow cooking all improve the local beef. On the other hand you can find meet for export which is amazing.

Keep in mind they butcher differently and that can make the meat seem tough if not cutting across the grain.

But it is for the most part half the price of meat in the US so I find ways to make it work....

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Wanderlustspirit
5/21/2019 22:12 EST

There are several South Africans looking to develop a community in Pueblo Eden. That is about 30 minutes to Minas which has a bilingual school. Pm me if you would like more details.

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Sailingalong
6/20/2019 12:26 EST

I have learned first hand only to believe face-to-face recommendations from living in other countries. Anyone can pose as anyone on these boards. In the last country I lived, there were individuals that were posing as others but were recommending themselves to new arrivals. Very dishonest. No idea if that is happening in Uruguay but best to ensure that your "recommendations" are coming from real people, especially based on other threads from this group.

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