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Property Ownership - should digital nomads buy properties?


by @sparrow_23 | 2yr  | 16 comments

I have been a digital nomad for the last couple of years. I have always worked in tech and now run a couple of profitable online businesses that give me a reliable income and allow me to fund a nomadic lifestyle.

I recently exited one of my businesses and I am considering to invest the income from the sale in properties, mainly for 2 reasons:

a) I donโ€™t want to keep wasting my money in renting apartments across the cities I stay

b) I believe in properties as investment and I want to diversify my investment portfolio (mainly stocks)

After years of constant wander from one place to another, now I am the type of digital nomad who sticks to few locations: I mainly rotate across 4 places each year (San Francisco, Medellin, Berlin, Bali). Buying a house in each of those location would be difficult and too expensive. Therefore, I was wondering if there was any sort of service that combines an investment opportunity with the ability to access different properties around the world (even if just for a limited time per year) ?

Imagine living in 4 cities per year and having a house in each place that you can exclusively use for 3 months and at the same time having your investment growing (this depending on the market, of course). Wouldnโ€™t that be great? I believe it could be done via a property fund selling you a share and giving you access to some of their properties for a limited timeframe each year.

Has anyone heard of anything like that?

Thanks!

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@ld | 1yr

In the US this is called a timeshare property - a part ownership of various properties that you stay at periodically. I bet thereโ€™s timeshare options that offer international properties.

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@flipchan | 1yr

Co owning real estate ? Yeah bedcoin dot global is doing that aswell, seems to become trendy

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@analogmario | 1yr

I, I only read the first post.
In the 80โ€™s there used to be a company called โ€œTiempo Compartidoโ€ or โ€œTime Sharesโ€ that you could buy and then choose properties around the world but I guess didnโ€™t work.

If you want to diversify and stop spending money in Airbnbโ€™s and so on.
Maybe it could be a good idea to โ€œhedge itโ€.
Find some good opportunity under market value similar to what you usually rent, buy it, and rent it out as an Airbnb, and let a company to manage it. Plus you could invest in a property that charges in a strong coin like EURO, while you may sometimes rent in cheaper places.

In Some countries in Europe interested rates are incredibly low, for taking loans/credit.

So if you use leverage wisely your investment on your own Airbnb to let could give you much more money than the one you end up spending to every place you go.

Airbnb, rentalโ€ฆ itโ€™s the same.

I am not a finantial or real state expert at all, but been looking and researching quite a lot lately.

Hope that was helpful

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@yann | 1yr

Definitely agree index funds and similar โ€˜set and forgetโ€™ investments can offset rent if youโ€™re capital rich, but what attracted me to property is the concept of leverage. In the UK buy-to-let mortgage market, for example, you can control an asset with only 25% deposit. Taking a pessimistic outlook of 3% annual return (also bundling together capital appreciation and rental yield for simplicity), thatโ€™s actually a 12% return minus interest on borrowing on the capital youโ€™ve put up.

Weโ€™ve essentially traded rental income for paying rent elsewhere, which is virtually the same as owning property wherever you go except as a downside you donโ€™t have a static place to store stuff / return to, but on the upside you donโ€™t have any place sitting empty.

Also agree on the above point - short term (holiday / business) rental looks great on paper, but only commit if youโ€™re ready to commit at least part-time to running it. Long term rental respects your time far more. But that being said, neither is as background as passive index funds.

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@joshstraw | 1yr

One of the key problems Iโ€™ve run into is taxation. More and more countries penalise no residents for buying and holding properties.

The other problem you have the holding cost of a property just sitting there. Of course we all glamorise making money out of them through short term rental, but as someone in that industry I can tell you itโ€™s a lot of work. You need a property manager, cleaner etc. So yes it can be done, but itโ€™s a pain in the ass.

That all said, it can certainly be done, just needs a lot of work.

Josh

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FYI I was still scraping together cash for noodles when I started my business, in Sydney.

Property appreciation is paper money. Itโ€™s a nice feeling knowing itโ€™s there, but my bank account still had $20 in it a few times.

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Property can be a great investment. It depends.

For me, itโ€™s worked out great.

I bought my apartment when I had a corporate job. Thereโ€™s no way Iโ€™d be able to buy that same apartment today. I worked as a freelancer for 18 months and only set my business up a few months ago. You need around three years of consistent earnings for a mortgage broker to take you seriously in the UK, if you have your own business - and you get scrutinised way-harder than salaried employees.

Mineโ€™s gone up by 20% (about ยฃ100k) in value while Iโ€™ve done nothing.

However, I know people who have bought elsewhere in the UK that have had a rough ride.

Negative equity is of course a potential risk for anyone, but I would describe my location as โ€˜low riskโ€™ (relatively speaking).

And yeah, having a huge cupboard to keep all my snowboards and gear in while Iโ€™m away is pretty sweet. Iโ€™m basically a fake minimalist.

If I had a million pounds spare tomorrow, buying two ยฃ500k flats in London that each generate around ยฃ15,000 income each while holding and probably climbing in value long-term would still be appealing.

The UK marketโ€™s in a funny place right now, with values still sitting high on paper, but with lower demand/responsiveness. And I think itโ€™ll be tough for 2-3 years post-Brexit. But I feel the 5-10 year prognosis will still be positive.

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@sparrow_23 | 2yr

Hi guys,

Just following up here for an update: since when I started this thread 6 months ago, we kept looking for a solution to the problem and together with a couple of fellow nomads we came up with this beta version (more alpha version really) of something we think could work:

www.nomadwise.co

Would love if you could take a look at it and share any sort of feedback :slight_smile:

Safe travels!

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@naz | 2yr

Hey! The idea is great. Iโ€™m interested in the structure of ownership you guys plan to do? Have you looked into tax implications of owning a share in such a โ€œfundโ€?

For example some countries (Poland) would consider owning a property being a โ€œcenter of life interestโ€ and would go after your income to tax.

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@sparrow_23 | 1yr

Hey!

Thatโ€™s a fair question! We have been looking into the legal/tax aspect of transnational property ownership over the last few months. So we are currently releasing a new version of www . nomadwise . co with which we like to help in a โ€œbespoke mannerโ€ digital nomads buying houses internationally and help them understanding what makes more sense for them based on their income, tax residency, budget, preferred buying locations etcโ€ฆ

To learn more, check out www . nomadwise . co

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Iโ€™ve been thinking a lot about this for a few years. Iโ€™m a designer and creative director and I too constantly move between cities- San Francisco, Berlin, Barcelona and Chiang Mai (generally for a few months at a time). Iโ€™ve looked into buying property, but A- itโ€™s expensive (well ok, really we are talking about San Francisco in that regard) and the idea of having to manage it when Iโ€™m not there is daunting. But Airbnb and typical rentals donโ€™t give me any sort of return on my investment. At this point, Iโ€™ve been getting rather sick of throwing my money away. Iโ€™ve been toying around with an idea for a while and am thinking about potentially looking for a partner to help me vet it. If youโ€™re interested in chatting about another venture, give me a shout.

By the way- the answer to your question (should digital nomads buy properties) is yes. Itโ€™s the how that the world has yet to figure out.

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@levelsio | 2yr

โ€œRent is throwing money awayโ€ is a common misconception and completely false http://affordanything.com/2015/11/24/is-renting-better-than-buying-should-i-rent-or-buy/

Key takeaway: Housing keeps pace with inflation. And when it does produce real gains, it often underperforms the overall U.S. broad market.

Like I wrote above:

Numbers show US/EU properties over 30 years only return 3% per year after all the costs and taxes, vs. index funds (like Vanguard, MSCI) that track markets (like S&P500) that do 7-9% per year over the same time. Those also donโ€™t need management like a rental property or maintenance like a house does.

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@sparrow_23 | 2yr

Thanks Hannah. Would be happy to chat and discuss the topic!

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@levelsio | 2yr

Buying properties seems a good idea in the popular mindset, but there might be better investments.

Some numbers show US/EU properties over 30 years only return 3% per year after all the costs and taxes, vs. index funds (like Vanguard, MSCI) that do 7-9% per year over the same time. Those also donโ€™t need management.

So it might be โ€œromanticโ€ to buy property. But it can be a lot of headaches, hidden costs, taxes, when you can also just put it in a fund and sit back!

My exception here would be if you have the ability to buy in an emerging market, unfortunately most of those limit owning property/land for exactly those reasons.

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@kyshoc | 2yr

I havenโ€™t heard of a service for this, but Tynan did a blog post a couple years back detailing an experience with group property purchases among friends.

(Iโ€™m a new user, so I canโ€™t post a link, but do a Google search for An Island, Vegas, Budapest for A Fraction of the Median House Price<5>.)

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@sparrow_23 | 2yr

thanks for flagging - Tynanโ€™s article was actually interesting!

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Read and participate in 14,056 discussions on Nomad List

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Any nomads in Arizona, US?

 

in Netherlands by @info132 | 2d 2 days ago | 0 comments

Hi guys,

After the Netherlands, the Bay Area, Colorado and being on the van life for 8 months, I am now in Sedona, AZ with a few other digital nomads. We are sharing a home here and are wondering if there are more like minded people in the area.

We do a bunch of hikes and campouts in the northern of Arizona. If you would like to connect with us, please do so :)

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Hi there, title says it all. Canadian nomad hoping to find the city/town in Portugal with great, consistent surfing, a solid coworking spot, and a fun group of young nomads. Please recommend!

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Tax advisor for permanent nomads?


by @eljaques | 9d 8 days ago | 1 comment

I'm in need of a tax advisor who understands "our" typical situation. I'm all good on being legal on taxes at this point, but as I'm doing more investing and there's more compliance and KYC and such, it's getting more complicated to deal with this topic. Not living in my country of citizenship, company in another country, resident in yet another country, banking in a different country ... you know how it is, a pile of red flags.

Would be great to find a good tax advisor to sort things in a way that makes my situation as "explainable" and easily dealt with as possible. Any leads?

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How to get into the digital nomad lifestyle?


in Switzerland by @filiptk | 21d 21 days ago | 1 comment

Hi, I've got a question to anyone who had experience with the digital nomad lifestyle. I'm 24, I'm in my last year of university doing computer science, got 3 years of experience mostly doing web development.

I never liked the idea of staying in one place, getting a job and growing roots - hence the will to take the opportunity and travel the world. My main question is โ€“ how do I go about it? Are there any useful resources I could look into?

How do I go about insurance and such once I decide to move. I currently live in Switzerland and do freelance work for one company. It's not a lot, since my studies don't allow me to pick up a full time job, but it allows me to cover simple expenses.

I'd be happy to get some insight into how things work and also happy to network with anyone interested.

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Where do I get good legal advice/support to have a long-term stay?


in Lisbon, Portugal by @mzorrilla | 2mo 2 months ago | 1 comment

Hello, everyone!

My idea is to stay as low as 6 months and as long as a year (maybe, who knows) over Lisbon after doing some analysis from many cities in Europe.

I'm an Argentinian and Chilean (both nationalities) so... no Euro-pass for me (getting my Italian nationality could take 2 years easily). I'm also a remote worker and I have a really good income (I work for a Silicon Valley company) so I can show more than enough resources to stay in the country.

Everything I see online doesn't inspire me much confidence (most sites looks a bit scammy) and this is not a "vacation stay"... I want to be clear my head far away from Argentina right now. If someone has a good website, recommendations, etc I will super appreciate.

Thanks in advance!

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 3mo 2 months ago | 4 comments

Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.

I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :

- health

- laptop, phone ...

- Flights

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Do you prefer co-living spaces or hostels or Airbnbs?


by @davda1546 | 3mo 3 months ago | 5 comments

We are hoping to become nomads soon and have booked an AirBnB in September in Goa for our first destination. We are considering what would be the best option for accommodation after that. We are trying to decide between co-living spaces, hostels, or Airbnbs.

What are your experiences of accommodation in terms of the following: reliable wifi, social aspect, pricing, cleanliness, cooking facilities?

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Can Americans with EU Passports Travel to EU during COVID-19?


in France by @fqlx | 3mo 3 months ago | 1 comment

I'm a dual citizen of America and France with my resident based in the America. Can I travel to the EU using my French passport?

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Any nomads working on startups?

 

by @mattlock | 6mo 6 months ago | 33 comments

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Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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by @al_steffen | 7mo 7 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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Has anyone created a list of co-living spaces around the world?


by @keegansard | 8mo 7 months ago | 4 comments

Iโ€™m a big believer in co-living but Iโ€™m finding hard to find all the options available in different cities.

I have found the major players like Roam, The Collective, and WeLive but havenโ€™t found many others.

Has anyone seen a list or should I start making one?

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What investment options are open to e-resident?


by @64tankman | 8mo 7 months ago | 1 comment

I know from experience that if you have residential status in countries where IG (a broker) serves, you can buy stocks and other assets through this broker. But I wonder what doors to the stock market, asset market or broker can be unlocked with e-residency? Some banks open a terminal for customers to buy assets overseas too, is one of the e-residency friendly bank offering a good portfolio of assets to invest in?

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 8mo 8 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 9mo 8 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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My first time nomad-ing... Spain or Portugal?


in Portugal by @jasraj | 9mo 9 months ago | 6 comments

Hey everyone,

Iโ€™m a freelance + nomad newbie, off for my 1st proper trip in May. Iโ€™m wanting to spend a month somewhere and go from there.

I just came back from Slovenia/Ljubljana and loved it there (just a week). I donโ€™t mind โ€œsleepierโ€ places par-say, as long as theyโ€™re close to a beach or nature of some kind. In fact, I kinda like places less-busy and a bit smaller/cosier.

Iโ€™m been swaying towards Porto, but have been impressed by the rave reviews Iโ€™ve seen for Valencia.

-> Have you every nomad-ed in a Spanish/Portuguese city? Iโ€™d love to know where and what you liked/disliked :slight_smile:

Thanks! :slight_smile:

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Warm and dry place - June to November


by @nomadsince2010 | 9mo 9 months ago | 4 comments

I have been doing Southeast Asia during June to November for 11 years. Rainy, Typhoons - is wild - still warm but ya - getting older so not as into that. Where can go is warm and dry - not super hot like Vegas but warm and has to be DRY. Good Internet and affordable. Ty

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Central America - Where and what's next?


by @as11 | 9mo 9 months ago | 11 comments

Currently in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and heading to Santa Teressa, Costa Rica next week.
Then Aruba in the Caribbean Sea for Christmas and New Year.

However I feel I want to head back to Central America to bring living costs down, rather than staying in the Caribbean Sea among the expensive Islands.

This means I have around 2 - 2,5 month of unplanned travelling.
Any digital nomads who have ideas about where to head in that timeframe?

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Anyone know an accountant for Canadian nomads/expats?


by @noam_lightstone | 10mo 9 months ago | 16 comments

Hey guys, this was my first year as a Canadian nomad.

As far as I know of, Canadians donโ€™t pay taxes if they do not live in the country for 6 months.

But Iโ€™d like to talk to an accountant or someone who does Canadian taxes specifically for expats and nomads to get clear on the rules and for help on my return coming up.

Does anyone know someone who specializes in Canada who can help? Iโ€™ve seen plenty of US recommendations but none for us canucks.

Thanks guys!

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