Medellin Real Estate – Used vs. New?

If you’re setting out to buy an apartment in Medellin right now you’ve got a lot of options.  As of Feb 2014, there are more than 3000 completed high rise door man buildings in Medellin and more than 300 that are newly constructed or currently in construction from Sabaneta to Poblado all the way to Bello.  You can view all the new projects at Casacol on the proyectos tab.  There are pros and cons to either buying new or used, this blog entry will discuss our perspective on both.

New Projects

Pros:

1) You get a brand new apartment, who doesn’t like brand new!?

2) You usually get a discount off market value for waiting 1-2 years before it is finished

3) You can usually customize some features (floors, colours, tiles, etc.)

Cons:
1) Space in Medellin is limited, most new projects are not in the best locations and the ones that are well located are in the outer regions of the city.  (I don’t want to live in Sabaneta or Bello)

2) You have to tie up some cash in the form of deposits with no asset to enjoy or rent out

3) New project, new neighbours, new administration, new porteros, can combine to be sometimes problematic (my personal experience)

4) You’re probably waiting at least 1 year to move into your apartment – and they are always on schedule right?

5) There is a LOT of paperwork to file when buying directly from a construction company, anti money laundering, asset declarations, etc., have your lawyer handy

Used – Usados

Pros:
1) You can pick a very specific building in a very specific location (remember, location is the #1 factor for long term value)

2) You can negotiate price with an owner, you can’t usually negotiate prices with a constructor

3) Taxis and deliveries know how to find your building already

4) Turnkey – pay the money get the keys

Cons:
1) Wear and tear can affect the value of your apartment over time, older buildings in Colombia definitely sell at a discount unless VERY well located

2) Many older buildings all look the same in Medellin, hard to find something unique

3) Good features are harder to find in older buildings (pool, gym, turco, etc.)

4) Age of the building can affect the look/layout of the apartment so in many cases some remodelling will be needed and it can mean spending money

I’ve had personal experience with both cases, there is no right/wrong answer.  Casacol agents can help you with all types of Medellin real estate, drop us a line if we can help.

Brad Hinkelman – brad@casacol.co

Founder/Owner – Casacol SAS

 

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