Friday, June 29, 2007

People started writing with lots of questions,

I know it looks like every day here is a lark, with tropical waters, beautiful weather and not a  serious care in the world. The truth is that the day to day routine on a small tropical island is in many ways more complicated than daily life the USA. Things break here constantly, and much sooner than they do up north. And while fishing and diving are some of our favorite things to do, lying in the dirt replacing rusted starter motors on the side of a busy road  is not really that great.

One of the  THT forum members asked about moving down here.  He wanted to know the logistics of it all.  He asked who he needed to bribe. And everybody wants to know how much it costs, of course. We had these questions ourselves. We jumped into this with no prior experience living foreign at all. And we found that, actually, Americans are welcome here. No bribes needed, you just go through the application process, depending on what kind of resident permit you are looking for. You can own property here and come down for a month at a time with no permit at all. living here full time is a bit more complicated.

Finished, 2 BR Condos start about $400K. Since we have been here, I have learned that people buy a property at before construction prices. Common way to finance projects here. Some of the new condos near us were sold twice before they were even completed. Each buyer along the way made money. Some buy in early and hang on to them for themselves, too. Just takes longer, but saves some money. Appreciation here has been running around 20 to 30 % a year. First six months of last year it was 16%.

Cost of living is a tricky question, as you can control a lot of it. In general, its higher. But its got some interesting angles. Almost no taxation whatsoever. Offshore banking is the other major industry here, similar to the Caymans.

...back to boats and fish:

We passed this stern wheeler on its way from the boatyard back to Turtle Cove. It looked so strange in these waters. We met the owner later.

Our youngest son on a good fishing day. These were the first two rainbow dolphin we caught here. Some people cringe when they hear us say we love the taste of "dolphin", thinking of Flipper or of us raiding SeaWorld. No no no. These are dolphin fish. You probably know them as 'Mahi Mahi", up in Walla Walla, or over in Pango Pango.

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