one last look

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nikotromus
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one last look

Post by nikotromus » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:01 pm

We've been looking at property in Chile for several months now. We've located two acceptable houses, as well as a couple of decent pieces of land. We're probably going to pull the trigger on one of them here in the next few weeks.

Sorry in advance for the open ended question but, does anyone have any recommended cities/neighborhoods to check out in the meantime? So far we've been to the following areas, though we haven't actively house hunted in all of them (We're not going to consider anything near the smog of Santiago):

La Serena
Vina Del Mar
Valparaiso
Santa Cruz
San Fernando
Talca
Santo Domingo
Pucon
Villarica
Valdivia

Thanks in advance...

Donnybrook
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Re: one last look

Post by Donnybrook » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:21 pm

My thoughts and personal opinions.

La Serena - pleasant
Vina Del Mar - lived there 6 years and hated it.
Valparaiso - better than Viña
Santa Cruz - nice
San Fernando - just no
Talca - no, small town vibe
Santo Domingo - nice
Pucon - winter is very wet and cold
Villarica - same as above
Valdivia - also wet in winter but a lot more going on than Pucon or Villarica

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nikotromus
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Re: one last look

Post by nikotromus » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:38 pm

Wow. I see this list almost exactly as you have it stated.

Read a blog somewhere that referred to Vina Del Mar as Urine Del Mar and it kind of stuck after living there for a month. Hated it.

The pictures of houses in Santo Domingo look great until you step foot into them. SOO much water damage on everything we saw. Las Brisas is fantastic but you have to fork over a kidney every month in Gasto Communes to live there.

Santa Cruz is small but seems very pleasant and beautiful. That is the place where we are considering land purchases.

Talca - yep - small and kind of depressing

Pucon/Villarica are beautiful but yes, it will be miserable in the winter. But, we have located a decent house in that area. Decent houses in Chile are rare, so it's definitely a possibility. Plus it has a big expat community.

Valdivia - didn't spend enough time there but it seems like it would easily be as rainy and cold in the winter.

La Serena - Really like it. The beach/boardwalk area is fantastic. We found one house there that is nice by Chile standards, but high gasto communes and I have no idea what the expat community would be there.

Gloria
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Re: one last look

Post by Gloria » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:52 pm

Valdivia.... :alien: is rainy but no one gets bothered by it....life goes on as if the sun was shinning. The winters...coming from the far northeast of US where gets so cold.... Valdivia is a walk on the park on bear feet and your toes don't get hypodermic. The summers....awwww...the summers are great and there is green everywhere you look. For someone that was born in the city and didn't know Valdivia existed...now is my favorite town. You can walk to the stores, restaurants schools, square, banks, notary and anywhere else within the city without exhausting yourself and very low crime. "Valdivia siempre Valdivia".
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Space Cat
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Re: one last look

Post by Space Cat » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:04 pm

Everything to the south of Concepción is rainy and cold in winter.

scandinavian
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Re: one last look

Post by scandinavian » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:57 pm

I would consider the outskirts of Santiago. Buin, Lampa, the coastal mountains near Melipilla / Casablanca/ Curacavi has some nice spots. Northern Chicureo or up towards the mountains closer to the ski areas. All of those should bring you well outside the smog, but still give you the options of Santiago within 30-60 minutes drive.

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admin
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Re: one last look

Post by admin » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:13 pm

Puerto varas?

When it rains it rains. When it is sunny it is sunny. Probably less rain than pucon, because pucon is on the windward side of a big lake.
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picalena
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Re: one last look

Post by picalena » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:52 pm

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and just say that you probably have not actually located a decent house in Pucon/Villarrica.

Feel free to PM me with info on your house. If you have not spent a full winter (April through November) living in that house, you probably haven't a clue whether it is a decent house or not.

Also, if you think Santiago has smog, you need to spend some mornings and evenings in Pucon/Villarrica in the dead of July. Visibility is about 5 feet, and that is not an exaggeration.

cheers,
pl
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nikotromus
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Re: one last look

Post by nikotromus » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:24 pm

I sent it. Thanks for the info.

Donnybrook
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Re: one last look

Post by Donnybrook » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:46 pm

La Serena does have an expat community, not sure how large.

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Re: one last look

Post by David_Bro » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:12 am

La Serena----Nice town and of course very colonial----even better if you join in the community and become involved-----certain amount of foreigners because of the observatories-----winters can get pretty cold even though its in the north especially with the wind that comes up.
Vina Del Mar------Congestion and community is difficult no matter how much you try to break in----everyone lives their own life
Valparaiso-----Always like Valpo but its pretty dirty all the time---lots going on but gossip central-----need a pretty hard angle (something to offer) to make your way into the community.
Santa Cruz-----Have not spent much time there but a nice spot and maybe the least Chilean city culturally I have been in.
San Fernando-----Don't know it in any way to say anything about it.
Talca-----agriculture, agriculture, agriculture.
Santo Domingo----Don't know it in any way to say anything about it.
Pucon-----Prepare to handle the summers with all the tourists and then complete deadness the rest of the time----cold, wet and smokey.
Villarica------Tourists of a level their behavior will go beyond anything you can imagine----cold, wet and rainy and ALOT of smoke.
Valdivia-----Don't know it in any way to say anything about it...

Other places-----Temuco---would not even consider it or anything close----the city with no soul-----Osorno---very stiff but very nice people once you get to know them and even better if you have something to bring to the community-----Further----I'd say Copiapo before La Serena and I'd say Curico before Talca-----There are a lot of towns you can look at along the ruta 5 that definitely do not have the infrastructure on the list that are little gems with not too much hassle like Pitrufquen, Chillan and then some off the path like Los Andes, Pichidangui, Vicuna-----don't know what you have in the way of kids and leisure activities so hard to say-----all in all, from the list, I'd say Santa Cruz is the leader.

###

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nikotromus
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Re: one last look

Post by nikotromus » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:37 am

This has been an unbelievably helpful discussion for me. I truly appreciate the input.

The place I am looking at in the Pucon/Villarrica are isn't exactly in those towns. Its about a half hour away. There is a community office in Pucon that a lot of gringos use, so I figured if my Internet connection is bad enough that I can't work out of my house, I could just drive in once a day and use the office and hopefully miss much of the tourist scene (and shield my wife from it). That said, my biggest fear with this area is the weather. The wife hates the rain and cold, and we are both worried that the house we like will be very cold in the winter. The weather/temperatures is why I haven't looked further south than Valdivia.

Santa Cruz is a nice place and it does have a certain charm to it. Building seems to make more sense in Chile anyway due to the high cost of real estate AND not knowing whats behind the walls of anything you buy. It might be the logical choice.

I'll look into Copiapo. Never heard of it before...

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