As far back as I can remember that special combo of a magazine, a girl-friend and a deck chair has always been one of the most agreeable ways of making plans. And shopping is of course no different. While Heaven on Earth may be one of those combed beaches in other places where you can shop for fake Fendis while not budging from your lounger, one’s own pool deck doesn’t seem so dull when you have a brollie, a gal-pal and a sunny day ahead, with tons of plans to be made.
The greatest difference this time for us was that instead of scatters and scarves, we were looking for offshore investments and instead of Elle, we were looking at financial journals.
As the day wore on, so our gathering intensified and by noon we were armed with enough power to get any other half to consider the options. Our checklist was heavy with promise, and so was our basic premise.
With a steadily sliding rand, offshore investments are a realistic and unemotional way of securing financial freedom in the long run. And investment in property, especially property that can work for us, makes total sense. It makes even more sense when we can use that property too – sometimes – for picture-book holidays. Emotion aside, we were secretly quite excited: so many places with so many positives!
A convenient time zone, great climate, minimal language barriers, political stability, well developed infrastructure and low crime rates tick many boxes for Mauritius. On top of this they show good growth in the property and tourism markets as well as general good economic growth. We were also delighted to discover that their Integrated Resorts Scheme allows foreigners to buy and own full title property, and they have attractive investment and low taxation policies.
Here is another destination where property can be let when you’re not using it, and beyond sublime summers, as long as winter is cold in Europe, there’ll be people flocking to Cyprus year-round. Besides this South Africans don’t need to live in Cyprus, need only pay two thirds on purchase and with the recent discovery of offshore natural gas, the economy is looking up. Cyprus also has an extremely favourable double tax agreement with South Africa and one of Europe’s most favourable tax structures.
With signs of turnaround in the Spanish economy yet low prices still available, now’s a great time to invest in Spain, where property can of course also be let when not in use. Favourable financing terms add to the attraction, as well as easy residency for non EU citizens, through property investment, that for South Africans also means unrestricted movement within the Schengen zone.
Offering very solid first world assets, and a potential Dollar-based income, property in the US offers South Africans low-risk financial diversification. Here a lack of language barriers and a host of first world amenities come hand in hand with a stock well priced quality property and a buoyant rental market.
Four possible new pozzies – complete with holiday and rental potential! We’d had a great day’s surfing, learnt lots and seen do-able properties world-over.