Read ’em and weep

The real-estate classifieds for Cusco, that is. Here’s a few examples:

We’ve started looking to buy a house or apartment in Cusco, because the apartment we’ve been renting is becoming too small, especially since baby got a new swing 😉

Brianna in her new swing

Brianna in her new swing

Real estate here in Cusco is very expensive compared to the rest of Peru, since the area is thriving with so much tourist money. Asking prices for some nice apartments we’ve looked at range from $60,000 to $120,000, and mortgage interest rates range between 9-14%. This in a country where the per capita GDP is $8,500. If I worked full-time at my teaching job, my entire income would be spent on the $500 mortgage payment if we bought a $60,000 apartment with 20% downpayment 😦

I’m really on the fence about this… to get a nice place that we can afford we may have to look outside the city. I actually prefer the quiet areas outside the city, but then we’d be further away from family, friends, etc.

In terms of real-estate value, I’m worried that much of the increase in Cusco in the past years is speculative and that prices appear to be wildly out of line with personal incomes. On the other hand, I think long-term demographics, conservative lending standards and the mountainous terrain could put a floor under real-estate prices in Cusco, plus we’d be buying something to live in, not as an investment to “flip” in a few months or years.

So if any readers have a rich aunt or uncle… tell ’em to help out a poor gringo in Cusco 😉

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