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Property prices in Colombia

Hello everyone,

Finding affordable housing in Colombia is number one priority for newcomers. Tell us more about the estate market in your district/city/region.

What are the most desired places to live? What are the most affordable ones? What is the average cost of a rented flat? And what is the average sale price for an appartment or a house? Could you tell us more about local real estate policies/procedures? What about property tax or residency tax in Colombia?

What about you? Where do you live now? Is it a place you would recommend?

Thank you in advance for your clarifications.

Priscilla

Renting is always the better route during a newcomer’s first year in South America.

There’s a wrinkle in the rental rules in many Colombian cities, relating to a so-called fiador.

This is a local Colombian who would be on the hook for a renter’s obligation if the renter finds him/herself unable to meet the rent payments.

In Medellín, for instance, a rental agency may require an Expat renter to find or provide a fiador for any long-term rental.  Otherwise, the agency would be on the hook for the dough.

A way around this requirement can be to pay three or six months of the rental in advance.

Another method is to avoid dealing with an agency and rent directly from the property owner. 

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Rents in Medellín are literally all over the map -- depending on sector, size, amenities, neighborhood safety and your negotiating skills.  That’s just a partial list of the variables.

It has been widely reported that the Western-style living available in many of Medellín’s Poblado-sector neighborhoods -- with upscale supermarkets, ethnic restaurants, enhanced security and superior health care -- attracts the most Expats and also produces the highest average rents.  Poblado's Golden Mile or Milla de Oro strip is the Beverly Hills of the city .. pricey for Medellín, but a bargain compared to the California original.

Property prices and rents in Medellín’s popular areas are significantly higher than another Expat-friendly area .. the Zona Cafetera or Coffee Zone, whose principal cities are Armenia, Pereira and Manizales.

cccmedia

Priscilla :

What about property tax or residency tax in Colombia?

Well, there’s a subject we could discuss all day.

To simplify:  property taxes in most of South America are much less expensive than in North American cities.

As for residency tax, let’s make these points...

1.  Cities such as Medellín use a Strata System -- 1 through 6, six being the fanciest areas -- to assess utility costs and property taxes.  Part of your due diligence is to know what stratum you would be buying into and how that would affect you.

2.  Expats who live or stay in Colombia for more than 183 days in any 12-month period are considered tax residents of Colombia.

This means they are required to file a tax return with the government regardless of whether there is tax due .. and regardless of the type of visa you may have.

A few of the features of Colombia’s fancy tax system as it affects ’tax residents'....

  -- You are liable to pay taxes on your worldwide income on a sliding scale of up to 33 percent.

  -- If, let’s say, you paid the IRS in North America $10,000 in taxes in a given year, you can typically deduct that amount from your Colombia obligation.

  -- There are few exclusions from the tax man’s reach.  One is inheritance income, which is non-taxable in Colombia.

  -- There’s now a ‘wealth tax’ according to which tax residents with about $400,000 or more in worldwide assets may pay a small percentage of the value of their assets in taxes each year.

  -- El presidente has been trying to change the tax laws -- and not to make them friendlier to Expats -- although the current and important peace process may have taken his eye off the proverbial tax ‘ball.’

Yesterday (Thanksgiving Day 2016), el presidente and FARC signed the peace deal .. which will go directly to Congreso for approval, without a repeat of the national public referendum that scuttled the deal in October.  Despite the public’s rejection of the accord, el presidente -- Juan Manuel Santos -- was the surprise winner of the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize just weeks after the Colombia vote, for his work toward obtaining a peace treaty with the FARC rebels after decades of conflict.

cccmedia

Neiva if you don't mind hot weather 33+ for the states thats 91
It is dirt cheap right now
its beside the rio Magdalena and surrounded by mountains
there are hot springs nearby at Rivera
During the oil boom this city was on fire with development
shopping malls and high rise condo development eveywhere
Its a 5 hour drive or 40 min flight from Bogota
No starbuck subways or mc burgers here, Lots of panerias
Home centre and the usual big box stores no Alcoskor
100 million to 150 million COP will buy you a new condo in a gated community near to shopping malls  and one of them that just opened has a indoor skate rink
Yes thats right artificial ICE the real deal for homesick Canadians
Neiva is the best deal in Colombia in my oppion

That is some great information. One of my worries is that this is only a Good idea for six months out of the year. It looks as though the other six months they kind of just kick you out. I couldn't afford that tax that's for sure

NWTMAN :

Neiva if you don't mind hot weather 33+ for the states thats 91.
It is dirt cheap right now....

100 million to 150 million COP will buy you a new condo in a gated community near to shopping malls  and one of them that just opened has a indoor skate rink.
Yes thats right artificial ICE the real deal for homesick Canadians.
Neiva is the best deal in Colombia in my opinion.

Most Expats prefer mild weather and not the kind of scorchers you'd find in Neiva.

New condos are available in Quindío in world-famous Colombian Coffee Country .. at roughly the same price as mentioned -- equivalent to $33,000 U.S. but in a far milder climate.

The weather in Cali is widely considered too warm for U.S. and Canadian Expats .. and Neiva is five degrees hotter than Cali (Fahrenheit) if you compare the monthly high-temps averages, year-round. :o  The indoor skating rink is not going to be salvation for Canucks when it's 95 degrees out of doors for weeks on end.

Now you know why Neiva is unheard-of to 99-plus percent of Expats considering Colombia for re-location .. even though almost 400,000 people live in Neiva.

If you call that living. :cool:

cccmedia in Medellín

there are 400thou expats living in Colombia i had no idea i work in places where english is rarely spoken although i am not living the dream i live in hotels and do the grind like every worker

so my question is if you worked most of your life in the country you were born and had no pension other than the government pension that you will recieve when you are 67
where is a decent place in colombia

i know plenty of retires that get out of Canada in the the winter to worship the sun in Arizona Texas new Mexico and Mexico because we Canadians love hot weather 
I am one of them and as far as as i am concerned it is not the weather it is rather the heath of the individual that makes you happy
I do a lot of walking in this country and enjoy what i see only because i not lazy and wonder every day if there is a Bylaw on a 1 meter drop on the side walk  I have seen 750 mm
My god this is why Colombian women have beautiful  legs and bodies they traverse these  obstacles in there stilettos with grace and can dance better than any culture on earth
what a magical place
and it doesn't matter where you are

Hello everyone,

Please be informed that some off-topic and unwelcomed posts have been put aside from this thread. We are heading off-topic on this thread.

Should you want to share your personal experience which is not directly related to this topic, please feel free to create your own thread on the Colombia forum.

Thanks in advance,
Bhavna

Duffield :

One of my worries is that this is only a Good idea for six months out of the year. It looks as though the other six months they kind of just kick you out. I couldn't afford that tax that's for sure.

Dear Duffield,

Some Expats get scared away from Colombia due to the 180 maximum time-in-country for non-tax-residents.

Since you apparently read my old posts from November, keep in mind that the worldwide income tax only applies to tax residents whose assets are worth several hundred thousand US dollars. 

In fact, the worldwide assets tax may have been phased out, eliminated this tax year .. although it has been difficult to impossible for Expats to find that out for sure on the Internet.

Smart Expats considering Colombia sometimes seek out a tax opinion from a COL-based tax professional before making a decision.

cccmedia in Medellín

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