Perfect Weather is Just the Start— Why You’ll Fall for Medellín, Too

by Lee Harrison
(Medellin)


The morning sunshine is streaming through the open window as I grind rich Colombian coffee bought yesterday at the local shop. Every new day

here starts with inspiring views as sunlight spills over the hillside towns on the far side of the valley.

Walking through our front gate, I wave to our doorman, who smiles with a polite “Buenos días.” The gentle warmth of the day has not yet completely dried the street, which is freshly clean and still damp from an overnight shower. Tall, shady trees line the road on both sides, almost forming a green tunnel.

The old guy who sells exotic flowers is just setting up today’s colorful selection alongside the tumbling brook, while the tropical
juice man is already squeezing fresh fruit for his first customers of the day.

The elegant, open-air restaurant on the corner won’t open until around noon…but the brightly-colored umbrellas over the sidewalk tables tell me that our local cafés are ready for business. The scent of baking bread, fresh pastries, and Colombia’s signature buñuelos (donut-like balls sprinkled with powdered sugar) fills the air, as their cappuccino machines churn out the day’s first brew.

Mornings are my favorite time in Medellín. And as I look around at the familiar faces already assembled at some of the café tables, I see that I’m not alone.

I’ve been to Medellín four times now,and the idea of buying my own place there evolved over time. I liked the city from the start, but it took me a while to absorb everything it had to offer.

As it turned out, life in Medellín was far better than I expected. Sure, my friend Rich had told me that the weather was great…Clara raved about the restaurants…and Cole said there was almost limitless opportunity here. Frankly, I’ve heard these kinds of claims before.
But in this case, they actually understated the quality lifestyle here…probably assuming that I wouldn’t believe them otherwise.

The weather is perfect all year. The average daily high of 82 F varies by only one degree during the year, while nighttime temps remain in the 60s F. For a potential second-home owner or a
property investor, this “always nice” weather is ideal, because the city is desirable (and the property is rentable) all year.

In my case, my main home is in Punta del Este, Uruguay, where we have four seasons. So when it’s winter in Uruguay, I can pass the time in Colombia…and when it’s winter in the northern hemisphere (and summer in Uruguay), I can rent the Colombia place out to someone from North America or Europe. (...)


The First-World environment is great for those who appreciate life’s conveniences…like drinkable water, a solid infrastructure, and reliable telecommunications, Internet, and public transportation.

And properties are downright inexpensive. I paid only $916 per square meter ($85 per square foot) for a beautiful, modern condo. That’s less than you’d pay in most major Latin American cities.

The average price of everything I looked at in Medellín was $1,178 per square meter at today’s exchange rates and based on over 70 properties. Today in Panama City, a similar property would set you back $2,269 per meter. In Fortaleza, Brazil, (away from the boardwalk) you’d pay $2,512…and in Montevideo, Uruguay, at least $2,100.

That’s a minimum of 129% more than what I paid. I started off looking for a pure investment property, but that didn’t last long. The more time I spent in Medellín, the more I came to see it as a place to live…and invest.

And Medellín has a number of top-end areas for living and investing. Places like El Poblado, Laureles, Envigado, or Belén. But I focused on El Poblado because it’s the best that Medellín has to offer… it’s a “branded” address, like Beverly Hills in greater Los Angeles, or Lake Shore Drive in Chicago.

Also, El Poblado is home to the Zona Rosa. This is Medellín’s high-end restaurant and night-life district, which draws successful Colombians from around the city (and the country), as well as
international visitors from around the world.

Read full Article at International Living- October 2011 Edition

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