Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dear Reader,

Lately I’ve been talking to you about safe havens—places where internationally minded folks go in turbulent times.

Right now there are compelling opportunities to buy property at great value in some of these places.

West Cork is an off-the-radar safe haven, but one of my personal favorites. This is an area that has always been a bolthole from the world. Today, it’s a safe haven for your money.

You won’t find Saudi princes, or Russian oligarchs as on Spain’s Costa del Sol. Nor will you come across young professionals working in online gaming or big pharma companies as in Malta.

But West Cork has long been a favorite of mega-wealthy business families, entertainers, and financiers. In the corner of a small local pub it’s not uncommon to see a sheep farmer, a fisherman, a banker turned cheese maker, and an international businessman all sharing the “craic” (or fun) over a pint, with a rock star or movie star minding their own business.

For celebrities, this is an attention-free safe haven. For the international businessman, this is a secure place where they can move freely and openly. This is a warm and welcoming location of immense natural beauty. You can eat fish right off the boat or lamb from your neighbor’s farm. The modern world and its troubles can be a million miles away.

In the 1970s and 1980s, small numbers of Swiss, German, and French started to come. They came for splendid isolation in amazing scenery, clear air, and fresh gushing water. Then the artists and the musicians started coming. Like any location with intrinsic value, West Cork will always appeal.

Then Ireland’s real estate market took off. Values soared. Prices were too high, though.

Thanks to Ireland’s crisis, values have now hit the floor. Down by two thirds…even 80% in some cases. You can buy amazing intrinsic value for a song. Ireland’s economy and real estate market has been distressed, but the attributes of the location and the real estate are more compelling than ever.

Intrinsic value like this always has a floor price. Once it hits it, it bounces back— like what is just starting to happen now. We are at the early stages of a recovery. Foreign and domestic buyers are coming back.

At today’s close-to-floor prices, West Cork is now a safe haven for your cash.

The buying moment for a little cottage on a couple of acres is now. Locals frequently opt to build a new house rather than renovate a traditional farm house or cottage. Where you see charm, they see the old.

The Beara Peninsula is the largest and most remote peninsula of this coast. It runs from Bantry Bay to Kenmare across the border in County Kerry. The Caha and Slieve Miskish Mountains run down its center. This was the traditional seat of power of the powerful O’Sullivan Beare clan. This was their safe haven.  

A typical Irish farm cottage lists for €85,000 ($96,850). I expect it could be bought for €70,000 ($79,750). You are a short stroll from the ocean. And have great views to the ocean and headland beyond from the upper floor. For a total spend of €20,000 ($22,800) you could create a charming picture-perfect Irish farm cottage on its own ocean-view plot.

All in for less than €100,000. With today’s strong dollar, that’s only $113,900. With values at today’s rock bottom levels, this is a safe haven for you and your cash.

Ronan McMahon

Editor’s Note: The best deals on property in Ireland are often off-market, something Ronan specializes in finding and revealing to members of his Real Estate Trend Alert. Find out how you can become a member of Real Estate Trend Alert here.

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