Archive | October, 2010

Studio Apartment Wanted: Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood

UPDATE: We found a studio apartment in Palermo and it is now available for rent.

If you happen to know of anyone selling a nice studio or reasonably priced one-bedroom apartment in Palermo Soho or Palermo Hollywood, please let me know.

Ideally looking for something new-ish, 30+ sq meters, lots of light, amenities, etc. Send an email to [email protected].



Street Dogs

File this one under “I’m surprised it didn’t happen earlier…”

Buenos Aires has a stray dog problem. You’ll immediately notice it if you spend any time here, especially since it is in stark contrast to most of the US.  In all parts of the city, stray dogs roam the streets and it seems like the city has done very little to counter the problem. There are neighborhoods were the problem is less pronounced, but if you look hard enough you’ll be sure to find them everywhere. It’s a sad thing to see, and most people tend to avoid the dogs as they do not know what diseases they may have or what their temperament may be.

One day after I first met Laura, we were driving when we saw a couple of strays scrounging for food. She pulled over, telling me that she had to feed them. She opened the trunk and pulled out a bag of dog food, bottles of water and plastic trays for just this occasion. It seemed a bit odd to me at first, but I realized how impressed I was with her for caring the way she did and trying to do something about the issue.  She also donates to a local shelter operation and her dog, Blanquita, is a rescue as well. We’ve always talked about having a second dog at some point in the future – one we would adopt from a shelter.

So, fast forward to Thursday morning… I was on my way to the gym and at the corner of my block, I noticed a black dog limping behind some people. At first I thought she was with them, because we do not have many street dogs in our neighborhood. But, then I noticed her stop at the corner to drink from a puddle, so I turned around to go back towards her. I called her and she immediately limped over to me. She was so sweet and friendly even though it was apparent her leg was causing her a great deal of discomfort.  A woman on the street saw us and helped me get some rope from a shop on the corner to fashion a makeshift leash. We walked home and I woke Laura with the “surprise” I had for her.

She immediately called her local vet who told us to come right in.  We took her there and had her cleaned up – she had over 30 ticks on her and he thought she had no idea what a bath even was. Then x-rays determined that she had a broken leg that had probably been that way for over 3 months.

We’re caring for her now, but she is restricted to a small area of the apartment until we get all her shots. She is also very thin and needs to put on some weight before they can operate on her leg. She’ll need a pin inserted, but the doctor seemed positive about her outcome. Plus, she’s learned to get around on it pretty well already.

So, not necessarily what we planned for with one dog and a 5-week old already, but fate brought us together and we’re glad she’s here. Laura named her almost immediately and I knew she was staying. So, welcome to the family “Michigan!’

If you want to help, you can donate to some of these organizations:

APEMA – Accion Para Erradicar El Maltrato Animal
Pedigree Argentina Adoption Program

If you know of any others, please let us know. You can also adopt! Bringing a dog back to the States is a relatively painless process…


New Buenos Aires Condo Hotel Development

A good friend of mine has just launched his latest Buenos Aires condominium hotel development project – 4955 Charcas.

After selling out his first development project, 5865 Nicaragua, entirely in pre-sale, he has focused his attention on developing his next set of luxury condominium-hotel apartment units in Buenos Aires. These new luxury studios in Palermo Hollywood are 43 and 45 square meters in size, feature complete kitchens, high-end finish out and large American-style bathrooms. The entire building will be of a much higher construction quality than typically found in Argentina.

In addition to the high-quality construction, his project is unique in Buenos Aires in many other ways. First, these units are great investments. You can choose to have his company manage and rent the units, rent them yourself or through another company, or use the unit personally. There are also no restrictions on the time that you can personally use the unit; unlike many other similar projects. As an investment, the rate of return at only 30% occupancy could be almost 10% and at 70% occupancy you could see a 25% return. (You can get more information on their FAQ page.)

These units are also sold for a fixed-price, meaning the price you get up front is the final price. This is extremely rare in Argentina as most developers charge a lower price per square meter initially, but then have price increases built into the contract. You will then see two to three price increases before the project is complete, which means your final price is significantly higher than the initial price. Also, buying in pre-sale means that you only pay 40% down and then can make 15 interest-free payments.

Finally, they take care of all the logistics of getting the money into Argentina as well as handling taxes, getting tax id numbers, etc. Most Argentine developers require a full cash payment and it’s up to you to figure out how to get the money into the country, which is a costly and time-consuming procedure. With his business, you can pay via check or wire transfer to their US corporate account.  Since everything is done legally and “en blanco” you’ll never have any problems when you go to sell.

I can also personally vouch for their integrity and honesty. I’ve worked with them in the past, and they’ve been entirely forthcoming about every aspect of the buying and construction process. This has been in stark contrast to much of the real estate buying process I have experienced here where I saw first-hand how additional fees and assessments could be added on.

Check out their web site or email them for additional information.