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Finding Life and Property in Trinidad

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by melbo, Feb 28, 2007.


  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    http://www.escapeartist.com/efam/79/Living_In_Trinidad.html

    <center>[SIZE=-1]Finding Life and Property in Trinidad[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]By Michael Christopher Gutierrez

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    </center> [SIZE=-2]April 2006[/SIZE] [SIZE=-1]Introduction[/SIZE]
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    After five years of being back at school and working three jobs, I felt my life had lost all meaning when finally divorce left me financially and emotionally destroyed. I had honestly given up, but heck, if I was going to die it wasn’t going to be in busy San Francisco with people rushing 24/7, it was going to be on a tropical island.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=-1]So on March 10th, I left San Francisco, California and landed ten hours later in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. While in transit my heart beat fast and my stomach quivered with fear of the unknown. As I made my way through customs, I was stopped at the checkpoint by a woman, with ebony skin and wide eyes who asked me for my passport. She smiled a smile of genuine warmth and we struck up a short conversation. I guess it is all just a part of being on an Island; a little slower, a little warmer… a little more human.
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    [SIZE=-1]The First Few Months:[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]The first few months of my new life went quickly and busily. [/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]I rented an apartment for about $US100 per month in south Trinidad in charming Princes Town, a place with only about 25,000 people. It was in the country but a mere twenty minutes from San Fernando, the second largest city in Trinidad and another hour from the capital. It was quiet, no traffic, but people were friendly….and if I craved it, city life was only minutes away![/SIZE]
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    [​IMG][SIZE=-1]There were fruit stands sprinkled everywhere and fresh fish and vegetable markets a short walk away from where I was staying. Day by day, I found my health returning to me. I was walking regularly, joined a gym, and my mental outlook began to improve along with my body. After a while fatigue disappeared. Oh boy, I had not felt this good in years; come to think of it I had never, ever felt this good! I even took a part time job as a high school counselor and was enjoying myself so much that I forgot why I came here in the first place. As a result, my plan drastically changed from coming here to die to coming here to “make a comeback!'[/SIZE]
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    [SIZE=-1]After four months I was in the best shape of my life and developed a social network of dear friends and family. Now that I look back at my life, I see how I let myself become consumed with the American culture of fast food and fast living and obsessed with performance, achievement, status and the collection of material objects. All the things that I thought I needed (which ran me into the ground and almost killed me) I no longer wanted. I came to a point where the simple things were all that mattered… family, friends, health and a sense of community and home. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=-1]Real Estate[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]Now that I had been rejuvenated, I vowed I would never go back to living the way I did before. [/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=-1]I was determined to create and sustain the life I wanted in the Caribbean. My first task was to look at housing and real estate around the island, which is what I did with a good friend who worked in a local bank.
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    [​IMG][SIZE=-1]I discovered that it is legal for a foreigner to own a home in Trinidad but that the price of land and property drastically changes from one part of the Island to another. In the capital of Trinidad you can pay $US800,000 for a home or live closer to the beach (about 45 minutes away) and pay as little as $US50,000 for a two storey, four bedroomed, two bathroomed house. I almost lost my mind when I found out how low the prices could be. I personally bought a 6,000 square foot lot in a new development in Princes Town for $US8,500. I’m twenty minutes from the beach! No smog, congestion or stressful living![/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=-1]To get a better idea of the real estate market check out www.sipreal.com for more information. This is an excellent resource and gives you an accurate picture of local real estate prices with lots of photos.
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    [SIZE=-1]Currently, I am looking at investment opportunities and find the stock market is very stable. In addition Trinidad has one of the only financial institutions that guarantee your principal in a mutual fund account from Unit Trust Corporation. Unit Trust also has accounts which earn over 20% on mutual funds. Yeah, you heard me right. I was shocked myself but if you don’t believe me, check out the website for Unit Trust Corporation and decide for yourself. www.ttutc.com I currently have an account with them and have been very satisfied. Another good resource with great links is www.stockex.co.tt if you want to find out more about investing in Trinidad.[/SIZE]
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    [SIZE=-1]Living and or Retirement[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]The exchange rate is 6 Trinidadian dollars to one $US, so stronger currencies will go much further in Trinidad, especially since the cost of living is much lower, about a third less than in the USA. Many elderly and retired Americans struggle to survive in the good old US of A. As for me I would rather live a good life in Paradise when I retire.
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    [SIZE=-1]A big plus for living in a climate that is tropical and warm all the year round, is no heating bills. Your clothes last longer too, no beating up in the dryer because, as the locals say, you just “hang and dry”.[/SIZE]
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    [SIZE=-1]Conclusion[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]In my opinion Trinidad has the best of both worlds; slow island life with access to 21st century amenities. Chill by the beach or sample the nightlife. Cool coconut water or or KFC, TGIF and Burger King.[/SIZE]

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    [SIZE=-1]When I first left America I was ready to give up on life but Trinidad saved me and showed me possibilities that I had lost sight of. For me, it is my paradise.
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    [SIZE=-1]I have now been to Trinidad four more times and have collected detailed information on investing, real estate, employment and I am in the process of buying my second piece of property. Look out for future articles on Night Life, Carnival, Investing, Real Estate, and Employment. For more information or any questions please email me and I will try to answer your questions. mchristophermsw@yahoo.com[/SIZE]
     
  2. B540glenn

    B540glenn Should Be Working Founding Member

    I'm having a hard enough time trying to convince my wife it's time to leave Michigan. How would I ever convince her to leave the country???
     
  3. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I frequently have worked in Trinidad and would like to point out a few things to be cautious of. First, the friendly natives are all trying to get into your pocket and will with a gun or knife, if given the chance. Second, kidnapping is such a lucrative business there that they have even started kidnapping pets for ransom. Third, negroes and east indian are always at odds and racism is rampant. I have met some of the best people I know while in Trinidad and I love the island and the climate and most of the people but do not be fooled; it is a dangerous place and one of the highest unsolved murder rates in this part of the world. Fourth, the corn soup has actual feet of chickens in it. Fifth, the food is wonderful (except for the chicken's feet takes some getting used too). Sixth, folks will jump into the back of your pickup for a ride anytime you are headed in the general direction they want to go, so get used to it. Seventh, cabs always stop for more passengers and sometimes take a round-about route to where you need to go. Eighth, the rastas are real, not the wanna-be kind we got in the States and take some getting used too. Nineth, the local beer is actually pretty good but a little sweet. Tenth, mauby will grow on you and bake and shark is almost as good for breakfast as saltfish and pumkin with bananas.
     
  4. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Even with all that...I'd go there...

    Or Costa...I have friends that live there 8 months out of the year now...and the kidnapping has gotten bad there too....That, and remembering to ck all clothing for Scorpions before getting dressed....Rainy Season....missing the chicken truck.....oh yeah, and the crocodiles... ;-)

    We rode horseback up in to the Rain Forest...swam in springs...just beautiful...and what she got her property for is unbelievable! Of course, she doesn't live in one of the gated communities the gringo's live in....She prefers to be on the beach with the tiko's.....and has been called a "Tiko egg eater"....because she chooses to live simply....

    I'd go.

    In a heartbeat.

    After all....we're here for a good time, not a long time. We all make choices...and as the man says.."I'd rather die while I'm living ,than live while I'm dead..."
     
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