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Rob Roy
New member
Username: Panamahat

Post Number: 3
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 3:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi
We are moving to Buenos Aires and I just have a few general questions. If anyone has a comment it's appreciated.

Inflation
I read on the internet that Argentina has the second highest inflation rate in the world (next to Venezuela). How has this impacted your cost of living? Is it a real problem if you are using dollars to live on? Or do you consider the cost of living in dollars still cheaper than North America.

Bugs!
I read in the Frommers Buenos Aires Guide that there are a lot of cockroaches and dog poop on the sidewalks and that if you walk on them you can carry the unhatched eggs back to your apartment.Are cockroaches a big problem in apartments. (My wife asked me ask this question smile)

Smokes
this is a bit of a politically incorrect question by I am a big smoker. I was wondering what a pack or carton costs as this is a big monthly expense for me! Are American brands available.
Thanks
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 349
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 4:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I live in Buenos Aires and find living here much less expensive than North America. I hate to admit it publicly but I ate an entire half kilo (that's over a pound) of the most beautiful strawberries yesterday. Right now I pay less than $1 per pound at the little vegetable store where I shop. With expenses and rent, my one-bedroom apartment in what I consider one of the best neighborhoods runs about $425.00 per month. I dont' smoke so can't help you there.

I seldom see dog poop in my neighborhood. I do see lots of people picking up after their dogs. However, I was in San Telmo (the old historic but interesting part of the city) before this and you really had to watch where you walked.

Yes, there are HUGE cockroaches. I didn't realize it until they came to spray the apartment (as they do periodically) and I found three roaches dead within the next month. Before that I thought there were no bugs in Buenos Aires! DUH! :-)

I don't have a car, happily, so don't know about the price of gasoline, etc. Clothing is expensive compared to what you can buy in the US. Argentina has their own textile industry and might protect it with tariffs (as I think we should).

Prices have risen significantly since I first came here in 2006 but it is still very reasonable to live here. Hope this helps. Everybody loves Argentina. I think you will too!
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Rob Roy
New member
Username: Panamahat

Post Number: 4
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 4:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for taking the time to comment,greatly appreciated! Just curious what neighborhood do you live in? When you say 425.00 per month that seems really cheap. What expenses would that include?

1 bedroom apartments on a short term rental basis in good neighborhoods I see advertised on those rental sites seem to run $1,000 a month. Were you able to get a long term lease to get that price?
Thanks
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Rob Roy
New member
Username: Panamahat

Post Number: 5
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 4:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

P.S. I am a strawberry nut $1 a pound I'm salivating. I am Currently in the Caribbean its like $10 for a pint of wooden green strawberries. I've forgotten what they taste like ha ha.
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James Guglielmino
New member
Username: Jgug1

Post Number: 25
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 5:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

We need to keep in mind, also, that the exchange rate of Americdan dollars to Argentinean pesos is within pennies of 4:1, so a dollar goes a very long way in Argentina.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1984
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Rob, found this article about cigarretes from May this year:
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=126821 8.

It states there was a tax raise over cigarretes making the average box to be priced at around u$d 1.50 (perhaps more now, as inflation remains unabated). Brands mentioned: Marlboro, Philip Morris, Le Mans, L&M, Camel, Jockey Club and Lucky Strike.
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 350
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 9:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I live in Palermo Alto and, in my opinion, it does not get better than this, though some veteran expats here might argue that point! I don't know where you are looking. You can find apartments here for $2,000 US a month--or more. Depends on what you require. Some are luxurious with full time security and so on. However, if you are truly temporary (a month, a couple weeks, 3 months) you will pay high rent.

I found my apartment in the local newspaper. It is far from fancy, but is acceptable, has lots of closet space (often sadly lacking in South America), a small pantry, a patio with large glass doors that open to it, and a view of a beautiful city of other pristine, European-style architecture (this woman's point of view is for your wife!)

It includes all utilities . . . but my gas bill every month runs around $3.00. It also includes the "expenses" I have to pay management. Not sure what is included in that--the hot water is provided by the building, plus we have a full-time maintenance man, probably lights in the hall (which you have to push a button on the wall and it only stays on for a limited time).

No, no long term lease. In fact, laws in Argentina are ridiculous as far as defending an irresponsible tenant and finding someone to rent to you can be a challenge if you don't have someone right here in Buenos Aires who is willing to pledge their real estate in case you do not pay. Landlords are scared to death of getting a tenant who will stay two years without paying rent. So you will have that to deal with and it can limit what is available to you. I did find a few landlords who would rent to me if I pay 6 months rent up front and my lease is only for six months because that puts me in a "temporary" category and they can evict me in that case.

About the strawberries, I cannot wait for the raspberries to come in. Argentina's raspberries are to die for! And when I think what I have to pay for them in the States . . . . I don't eat them there, but I sure do here!
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Rob Roy
New member
Username: Panamahat

Post Number: 6
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Arial
Thanks for the info really. We are planning on staying quite a while. We will probably stay in a cheap hotel first. Then check the local papers for something to rent, rather than book something on the internet. Fortunately my wife speaks pretty fluent Spanish. We will keep Palermo Alto in mind as a place to look.

My wife loves raspberries so you made her day!
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Rob Roy
New member
Username: Panamahat

Post Number: 7
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 10:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Roberto
many thanks for the smokes info. I searched all over the net and found nothing. Really appreciated.
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 478
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 7:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Rob, gasoline runs about 4.30 pesos per liter at the moment, which eqals roughly $4USD a gallon. Inflation is running about 25% to 40% a year right now depending on what you are buying, yes this has impacted things greatly and we have to be very careful and selective with what we buy. Hopefully the Argentinians are realizing they are pricing things for disaster and will incorporate some deflation to alleviate things.

Just because the peso is almost 4 to 1, this doesn't justify the idea that a dollar goes a long way in Argentina, especially in case like a cup of coffee costing 12 pesos when you can get a cup double the size in a USA Starbucks for $1.68 USD. What's up with that?

This is most noteworthy when you realize that minimum wage in the USA is about 9 dollars an hour and minimum wage in Argentina is about 12 pesos an hour. You worked an hour here to pay for that coffee while in the USA you worked about 11 minutes for a coffee double the size. This highlights a major difference in purchasing power here, which shows all over society.

On the other hand (and I grew up in the USA so I get to say this), folks in the USA have been spoiled over the last few generations with the purchasing power and what they do with that at places like Wal Mart, Target, etc...a buying spree every week or month. Here, like most countries things are more tame, purchasing power is generally less, and you learn to make do with more simple things in life.

Otherwise than the pricing issues we are all facing right now, it is a fantastic culture here that does get some getting used to of course.

Arial, good to see you online, when will you come to Mendoza for a visit!
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Rob Roy
New member
Username: Panamahat

Post Number: 8
Registered: 6-2010
Posted on Thursday, October 07, 2010 - 10:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi
I think I read that the average wage in Argentina is around $10,000 us. Hopefully that would put some kind of cap on prices. You know, charge what the market can bare etc.
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 352
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Friday, October 08, 2010 - 6:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi there "Mendoza!" Glad to see you still here too. Not too many of the "old crowd" here, it seems. Glad to be back. I would love to see you in Mendoza. Almost surely I will be there eventually, but no immediate plans. I need to be near Uruguay right now, which is why I am in this big city, just across the river.
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Robert Gisborn
New member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 22
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 11:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

How many world class Universities does Argentina have? How many native industries that are not foreign turn key does it have working on cutting edge technologies? Technologically, how does it compare to Sweden, Finland or Israel for that matter? Is it one of the world's leading producers of an essential raw material-such as Chile? How friendly is Argentina to foreign investment? Other than becoming President of the country what other opportunities to become wealthy are there in Argentina? Or possibly Argentina has large gold reserves?
The value of the Argentine currency has nothing to do with foreign intervention or complex monetary theories.
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Roberto
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1987
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 2:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Robert, in case you are asking this to the crowd here are my thoughts...

How many world class Universities does Argentina have?
If you mean IVY league type, I would say none. Although graduates from medical schools are known to excel abroad. And considering education is free, the level of education is quite high. In my personal case, my argentine graduate degree -business- after I moved to the US was worth squat.

How many native industries that are not foreign turn key does it have working on cutting edge technologies?
I have heard that after the 2001 devaluation many industries re-emerged and have also heard about some shipping industry developments. But that may not be cutting edge.

Technologically, how does it compare to Sweden, Finland or Israel for that matter?
No idea.

Is it one of the world's leading producers of an essential raw material-such as Chile?
Isn't Argentina one of the world's biggest producers of lithium carbonate after either Chile or Bolivia (for batteries)?

How friendly is Argentina to foreign investment?
My biased view > unfriendly to any investment, generally speaking.

Other than becoming President of the country what other opportunities to become wealthy are there in Argentina?
Many, but most are related to having ties to the government or dealing with it -or a branch- in some capacity, even if that means smuggling. I do not have one friend that has gotten wealthy, except for -presumably- one that currently works as a high level government official and another one who has become a famous actor, all on his own. But I doubt the latter is wealthy, perhaps a comfortable financial situation at best.

Or possibly Argentina has large gold reserves?
I think it does have some large gold reserves and this was the subject of foreign interest recently.

And my apologies to everyone reading because of my hard views on Argentina.
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 355
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 2:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Robert, I think these are good questions--considering that they are mine as well. I know of no way to get really good information on those things in Argentina and if anyone does I hope they will tell us. When Roberto tells us something it's usually the best that is out there! About business in Argentina, it might sound like a hard view, but so far I have been told do NOT invest in Argentina. And yet apparently some have, and did well (Roberto, what about Apartments BA? Of course he may not have gotten wealthy.) Argentines tell me that, among other things, the government is likely to change the rules on you after you have invested, and destroy you. And it seems to me to be true. The raising of taxes on soybeans when the prices went up and the farmers had already planted is one example (the farmers were so angry they blocked the roads into Buenos Aires). Also my son bought an apartment in Bariloche and was in the process of buying others when the government changed the rules and he had to sell the one he did (although there was a work-around that seemed risky but it seems to have worked out).

I really wish I had a different view because I am investing elsewhere, but I love Argentina itself and her people. But alas, they need to clean up the corruption. So it seems.

I hope others will weigh in and correct us if this is wrong.
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WTMendoza.com
Advanced Member
Username: Welcometomendoza

Post Number: 479
Registered: 7-2007


Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 7:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Arial, I've been living in Mendoza for 5 years, first lived in BA in 1982 for a year, and have visited this country over 18 times in the past 28 years ....

While I agree that investing here can be daunting if you don't pay attention, but there are plenty of foreign investors that operate here just fine, some of them quite well.

What Bariloche situation are you talking about? You must be aware that if you take away all the rumors, and mis-understandings about "zona frontera" , and into account the recent law that makes it easier and faster to buy property there, there are very little issues there.

I doubt you would be able to cite one case of a foreign investor "being destroyed" because of rule changes.

If you are referencing grey money that some foreigners like to dabble in, by bring in money illegitimately and trying to invest, they only are asking for problems...problems later that cause them to say that investing in Argentina is dangerous, but when in actual fact, they didn't follow the rules.

Sorry, I just had to opine here on your comments, cheers
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Arial
Advanced Member
Username: Arial

Post Number: 356
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 9:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Don't be sorry, Mendoza. I always like your comments. And thanks for the encouraging viewpoint. I am happy to hear positive information. I hear so many negatives, not only what Roberto posted, but from other Argentines who tell me they have been badly burned and not to invest here. Roberto says you need connections in Argentina.

But I wonder if that is for all businesses. What businesses do you know where foreigners have come in and are doing well? That information could be helpful for all of us here.

About Bariloche, as I have posted here a couple years ago, my son bought an apartment in Bariloche and was working at buying more, I was in the process of doing the same. It had traditionally taken 6 months to get approved if you were a foreigner, but they had been rubber stamping approvals for years so you had to get a local to take ownership until the approval came. They changed the law with a new man who came into office and negated all the contracts. We had had an Argentine take title for us on that one apartment until the approval came through and had to sell, and many people walked away from deposits.

I have had people on the forum argue with me. One man here even suggested that there was something wrong with OUR application. This is not just another rumor about Bariloche. I am telling it like it was. No applications were being approved. One lawyer came up with the idea of an Argentina trust owned by the non-Argentine, to get around it. Some people did it and time has proved that it worked.

At the time it was a very "iffy" thing. We are not used to the shady way of doing things, being from the US, and we got in trouble with the lawyer for innocently mentioning the trust to the government official--who told us in no uncertain terms it was illegal and that they would NOT honor a trust.

The lawyer was livid that we stupidly mentioned it to the government. But we were naive Americans who had no clue how things work here. He said if you let the government know what you are doing they will stop it. Plus another lawyer in Bariloche said that it would be illegal. But it was so new then that I dont think anyone really knew whether it would work.

It did work with those with the stomach to go ahead with it. and now that it has changed back again and it is allowed to buy small properties in certain areas in Bariloche even if you are not Argentine, those people are home free.

At the time, I also talked with a real estate agent who had become friendly with me in a non business relationship. She considered it a risk she wouldn't take and said she would not recommend anyone buy in Bariloche right now because of the situation, but she advised me not to leave Bariloche because it will change back in two years.

Well I think it changed back after four years, when the apartment I was ready to place a deposit for $60,000 is now $150,000. So I say no thanks. I invested in a commercial building in Montevideo instead. Values there are rising and I have had quite a few inquiries about it lately.

But my impression is that Argentines live with this instability. The government bureaucrats stopped construction on the apartment building under construction by a man I know in Las Grutas. Last I knew the project was just sitting there but he laughed and said he wasn't worried, he'd be able to finish it eventually. I'm not sure by what means. He has quite a bit of wealth and is just proceeding with another project. I am getting the impression that, as you say, people have to pay attention, and also perhaps learn to work in this environment.

I appreciate any more imput, particularly what businesses you know that are doing well.

I am still interested in Argentina.
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Robert Gisborn
Junior Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 30
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 2:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would like to ask that when quoting prices it be made clear which currency you're talking about. the $ sign is used for both Pesos and dollars. For dollars please use $US or some indication.
Granted, much of real estate in Argentina is often sold in $US this is not a smart way to pay. As I understand it, a deed that was not acquired in Argentine Pesos may have problems being defended and may even be illegal. US$ is not the legal alternate currency in Argentina. Unless the laws have been changed since I last checked.
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Robert Gisborn
Junior Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 31
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2010 - 4:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is an informative page for anyone thinking of investing in real estate in BA province. The law may differ in Mendoza but generally the currency mentioned in the documents is pesos and no allowance is made for exchange rates.

http://www.elnotarioargentino.com.ar/inform-public o/informacion%20para%20el%20publico.htm#al publico

For all practical if not legal purposes always employ an licensed attorney when buying property in any country outside of your own. If you find the home you bought inhabited by squatters when you leave it unoccupied you might have a great deal of trouble evicting them if you did not follow the letter of the law when you purchased the property.
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claudia
New member
Username: Clau

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2011
Posted on Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 2:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Amigos:debo aclararles en principio que soy argentina,no hablo ingles por lo cual me cuesta seguir sus comentarios exactamente,igualmente puedo entender en lineas generales la propuesta de cada uno.Me dedico al turismo y a la docencia;no conozco demasiado lo referente a los mercados ,inversiones y etc.pero si puedo contarles a quienes esten deseosos de invertir en Argentina que no conozco a ningun extranjero que no haya crecido economicamente en nuestro pais,incluso y particularmente remontandome a la inmigracion de principio del 1900 debo decirles que los extranjeros han podido crecer economicamente con mucha intensidad como asi tambien en sus relaciones interpersonales pues recuerden Uds.que la poblacion de nuestro pais esta compuesta en gran parte por descendientes de inmigrantes de todos los lugares del mundo(mis abuelos eran vascos e italianos)A proposito les recomiendo un libro:"Historias de Inmigracion" de Lucia Galvez.Por todo esto es que yo aliento a quienes deseosos de encontrar "su lugar en el mundo"vienen a mi pais para transformarlo en "su pais".Saludos
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Robert Gisborn
Intermediate Member
Username: Bgisborn

Post Number: 162
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Monday, August 29, 2011 - 8:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Claudia, I do read spanish but speak and write it poorly. I'll respond to you in English as you said you can, generally speaking, understand what is meant. I agree, almost everyone will find a bit of their own culture in Argentina as it is a land that has drawn immigrants from all over-including South America of course.
Probably the usual tourist visits Argentina for the Buenos Aires experience(Tango, steak dinners, etc.) there are of course the skiers and fly fisherman, the wine lovers, and simply lovers. There are many who go for Argentina's highly qualified but inexpensive doctors and world class medical care.
Well, we certainly will read what you recommended but please Claudia, tell us about your country. Tell us where you've been and about Argentina's turbulent history. Or as the popular Spanish song says, Cuentame!

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