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If you're a shopper who just isn't satisfied by small-fry spending, why not splash out on something a little more extravagant, like, say … a house? Buenos Aires' latest shopping trend is led by a horde of foreigners who are acquiring porteño pied-à-terres as second homes or investments. Most look for a classic from the 1920s, '30s, or '40s, with 10-foot ceilings, crafted wooden doors and windows, and acres of gleaming floorboards. The most desirable districts are San Telmo, Palermo, and Recoleta, though there's been a surge in sales of apartments in Puerto Madero. Prices vary considerably from district to district. Although there are few restrictions imposed on non-Argentines buying property, the process can be a headache, so it's best to deal with an agency that can smooth out all the bumps.
Reynolds Propiedades. More than 40 years' experience have made Reynolds Propiedades a fail-safe option for foreign buyers. Reynolds works with other real estate agents to increase the number of properties it can offer, such as vineyards, new developments, or farms, and then guides you through the paperwork. Staffers can even help you furnish your house once you're done. Junin 1655, 3A, Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, C1113AAQ. 11/4801-9291. www.argentinahomes.com.
Ojo Propiedades. If you feel guilty about taking the property out of the hands of locals, you can go easy on your conscience at Ojo Propiedades, where all profits go to the Red Cross. This hip outfit deals primarily with Palermo properties although it does have offerings in surrounding Villa Crespo, Belgrano as well as Chacarita, and has lots of foreign customers. Serrano 1503, Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, C1414DFE. 11/4832-4040. www.ojopropiedades.com.
Gateway To South America. This real estate broker specializes in giving advice about Argentina and its neighboring countries and deals with vacation rentals as well as residential and commercial properties, with an emphasis on farms. With a Buenos Aires office run by various native English speakers, GTSA helps perspective buyers with economic reports and also offers agri tours. Basavilbaso 1350, Office 706, Retiro, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires. 11/5254-3415. www.gatewaytosouthamerica.com.
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