The Downshifting Dilemma: Buying or Renting Abroad

Buying a property to call your own is tempting, but in some cities, it makes far better financial sense to rent. To help you decide, we list a;

Buying or Renting Abroad, Johannesburg is good for buying
Buying or Renting Abroad, Johannesburg is good for buying

Rental Yield Comparison when Buying or Renting Abroad.

According to Global Property Guide “The gross annual rental income, expressed as a percentage of property purchase price. This is what a landlord can expect as return on his investment before taxes, maintenance fees and other costs.”

The Gross Rental Yield may seem insignificant if you are buying a property to live in. But, it is a useful statistic to know for two reasons. Firstly, if rental yields are low, then it makes more sense to rather rent than buy. Secondly, high rental yields are often a good indication of good capital growth potential.

Buy in South Africa, Rent in India is an excellent resource for rental yields and they have just released new Cost of Living information for January 2017. I’m a bit obsessed with browsing the stats; Seeing how cheap rent and food is in Bangalore never fails to amaze me. And on the flip side, I wonder why New Yorkers continue to slave away to maintain their high cost of living, when they could have a better work-life balance in Cape Town or Lisbon. lists this guide when deciding on Buying or Renting Abroad;

  • 3% = do not buy
  • 6% = borderline
  • 9% = ok to buy

I’ve been fortunate to buy some investment properties in Johannesburg and Cape Town that have allowed me to escape my stressful corporate job. And my experience is that the “Outside of City Centre Gross Rental Yields” of 12.11% for Johannesburg and 10.56% for Cape Town are both achievable. It makes good financial sense to buy in South Africa and Mexico. But Delhi is at the bottom of the list and you’d be far better off renting there.

Numbeo City Stats Rental Yield City Centre Yield Out of Centre
Johannesburg, S. Africa 11.34% 12.11%
Cape Town, S. Africa 7.84% 10.56%
Mexico City, Mexico 6.70% 7.29%
Lima, Peru 6.29% 5.95%
Hanoi, Vietnam 3.69% 7.33%
Budapest, Hungary 5.21% 5.80%
SaintPetersburg, Russia 5.24% 5.69%
Santiago, Chile 4.70% 5.82%
Istanbul, Turkey 4.71% 5.61%
Warsaw, Poland 4.44% 5.12%
Bogota, Colombia 4.70% 4.73%
Chiang Mai, Thailand 4.81% 4.54%
Lisbon, Portugal 4.19% 4.97%
Athens, Greece 4.33% 4.00%
Bangkok, Thailand 4.18% 3.95%
Bangalore, India 3.45% 4.62%
Prague, Czech Republic 3.50% 4.11%
BuenosAires, Argentina 3.60% 3.89%
Delhi, India 2.46% 3.15%

@NomadicYou Would you prefer buying or renting abroad in your new downshifting city? What scares you most about foreign property ownership?

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about buying in Cape Town or Johannesburg. Property investing is my favourite topic!

Continue reading The Downshifting Dilemma: Buying or Renting Abroad

Exploring by Transit Map: The Best Sights Prague

The Czech capitol has a historic medieval center, cheap beer and some of Europe’s best nightlife. Plan your trip now with the;

Top 10 Best Sights Prague.

Transit Map of the Best Sights Prague
Transit Map of the Best Sights Prague

1.    Nightlife Charles Bridge

Pague has hundreds of clubs and pubs to enjoy and some of the greatest are near Charles Bridge; built in 1357 it is one of Prague’s most celebrated landmarks. Hemingway Bar near Karlovy lázně tram stop is one of the best places to have a cocktail in town; made to order by the bartenders with their own twist.

AnonymouS Bar is near the Sex Machines Museum and offers a unique “secret underground room” experience; the mixologist (bartenders) put up a show, but the drinks are a bit pricey. Next, head to one of the best clubs in Prague, M1 Lounge Bar & Club open daily from 21:00. M1 has a team of DJs playing R&B, hip-hop, electro and dance till early morning.

2.    Explore Old Town

The Old Town (Staré Město) is a medieval settlement that used to be separated from the outside world by a moat. The main sights are the New Synagogue, Old Town Square and Astronomical Clock. The square has been the city’s main market since the 11th century; Be sure to stay at the top of the hour to see the Astronomical Clock’s mechanical show featuring saints and the deadly sins.

Old Town is compact enough to explore by foot; with beautiful buildings to admire and pubs to explore. Restaurants and shops are pricier here than the rest of Prague. Old Town Square is an 8-minute walk north from Můstek station.

3.    Selfie Prague Castle

According to the Guinness Book of Records, Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world. The castle was built in the 9th century and is home to the President of the Czech Republic and the Bohemian Crown Jewels. It is free to get into the grounds and look around, but you will need to book a tour to go inside. It is a bit of a trek to walk up the hill, but you are rewarded with amazing views over Prague and plenty of selfie opportunities. The entrance to Prague Castle is an 8-minute walk west from Malostranská Metro on the Green/A-Line.

4.    Shopping Centrum Černý Most

If the weather requires a day spent indoors, then Prague’s most modern mall, the Centrum Černý Most is a good choice. Their website claims that they are a four-star shopping mall (wonder what happened to the 5th star) with a large variety of shops, restaurants and even a cinema too. International brands include H&M, Marks and Spencer, Tommy Hilfiger and Marciano Guess. Open daily from 09:00 to 21:00. The mall is a short 3-minute walk from Černý Most station, the last stop when heading east on the Yellow/B-Line.

If you are keen on a more authentic shopping experience, try the Naplavka Farmers Market near Karlovo náměstí station on the Yellow/B-Line. The market has a great atmosphere; set next to the Vltava River with food stalls allowing you to see, taste and smell the local food.

5.    Dining Little Quarter

The Little Quarter (Malá Strana) is on the left (west) bank of the river Vltava, on the slopes just below the Prague Castle. The district has many fine churches including St. Nicholas Church. And there are dozens of quaint cafés and restaurants to explore.

St. Martin near the Malostranské náměstí tram stop serves light and delicious meals. Their duck is very popular. For some fine dining, or just to enjoy a drink with a view overlooking Charles Bridge, try Hergetova Cihelna Restaurant. Open daily from 11:30 Hergetova Cihelna, is near the Franz Kafka Museum.

6.    LGBT Vinohrady

There are a good variety of gay clubs in Prague across New Town, but the Prague 2 district of Vinohrady has several gay clubs and bars clustered within walking distance. Start at Celebrity Café, which is open from breakfast until late, and do some people watching at their street terrace.

Then try The Saints Bar, a relaxed gay bar with cheap drinks, near Vinohradská tržnice tram stop and open daily from 19:00. Club TerMIX is a small club with free entry open Wednesday to Saturday nights. Or head to ClubTerMax, a large club with themed nights to dance away those weekend nights. The closest Metro to Vinohardy is Náměstí Míru on the Greeb/A-Line.

7.    Relaxing Letná Park and Beer Garden

Letná Park (Letenské sady) is a large park built on a plateau above the Vltava River with impressive views of the Prague Old Town to the south. The park is great for a stroll and has sights that include the Prague Metronome and the oldest functioning carousel in Europe.

O the eastern border of the park, you will find the Letná Beer Garden. It is a bit of a climb, but worth the effort for some fine city views and the cheap beer. The Letná Beer Garden is a 18 minute walk west from Vltavská Station on the Red/C-Line.

8.    Exercise Stromovka Park

Stromovka was the Royal Game Reserve for a nearby summerhouse, but in the 19th Century it was converted to a park. It is the largest park in Prague spanning 95 ha; plenty of room to run then! The fact that Stromovka is relatively flat makes it a better option than the hillier Petrin Park.

Stromovka is protected as a natural monument, but also has cultural buildings such as the Academy of Fine Art and Planetarium. The closest station is the Hradčanská metro on the Green/A-line.

9.    Hotels in Prague 9

Continue reading Exploring by Transit Map: The Best Sights Prague

Considering Downshifting Freelancing Life?

Are you tired of the corporate grind and wish you can work on your terms? Rudolph shares his experience;

Downshifting Freelancing Life. Rudolph at the Cradle of Humankind
Downshifting Freelancing Life. Rudolph at the Cradle of Humankind

Living the Downshifting Freelancing Life.

In 2016, I was working as a Risk Specialist for a large corporate here in South Africa. Our new CEO was keen on implementing cost-cutting measures and the risk department was targeted for downsizing.

The uncertainty of potential job cuts was playing havoc with my health. My anxiety levels escalated and I was constantly exhausted. I had body aches and all I wanted to do was sleep; I had all the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Friends and family encouraged me to re-apply for my job and hope for the best. But besides my worsening health, I was uninspired by the monotony of the 9 to 5 grind. I faced a tough decision: Stay and prove my worth with what little energy I had left, or leave corporate life.

I decided to make a clean break and didn’t re-apply for my position. A decision that, now a couple of months later, I am so glad I made.

Working remotely is easier than ever before

My main concern (and certainly my folks’ foremost fear too) was that life outside corporate is not financially viable. Luckily, I had some rental income and savings to cushion my leap.  I could supplement that by starting something entrepreneurial, but there were no guarantees that this would succeed.

Instead, I did some research on online businesses. These have the lowest start-up costs and the best potential for a global audience. The more research I did, the clearer it became that the “Gig” economy is fast becoming the new normal. If I had a marketable skill, there were thousands of opportunities for making money online.

Cheap Destinations are a Freelancer’s Best Friend

I’ve been devoting most of my time to writing “Escaping Corporate” and learning new freelancing skills. With the “All-In-One Dummies” guides and online courses from the I have been able to fast-track my learning.

Continue reading Considering Downshifting Freelancing Life?

Country Comparison of Budget LGBT Destinations

London, San Francisco and Sydney are gay friendly. But sadly, they aren’t cheap.  Nomadic You lists some alternative;

Best LGBT Budget Destination Prague. Photo by GGAADD
Best LGBT Budget Destination Prague. Photo by GGAADD

Best Budget LGBT Destinations.

Europe and South America are a safe bet for a fun holiday in a gay-friendly country. The Pew Research Centre finds that very few citizens in the Czech Republic and Argentina find homosexuality to be unacceptable.

It is a pity that their 2013 survey is quite old and didn’t cover more countries. So, to get an idea of LGBT views for more countries, Nomadic You has included info on countries that supported gay rights at the United Nations in 2008.

Country Homosexuality Acceptable? Yes No UN 2008
  Czech Rep. 56% 14% Yes
  Argentina 49% 27% Yes
  Chile 45% 32% Yes
  Mexico 36% 40% Yes
  Poland 22% 44% Yes
  Greece 24% 45% Yes
  Portugal * * Yes
  Thailand * * Yes
  Peru * * Yes
  Hungary * * Yes
  Colombia * * Yes
  Vietnam * * Yes
  South Africa 18% 62% Yes
  India 9% 67% *
  Turkey 4% 78% *
  Russia 9% 72% *
  Indonesia 3% 93% No
  Malaysia 4% 88% No

LGBT Malaysia and Indonesia

Malaysia is at the bottom of the list. But, LGBT travelers can still consider Johor Bahru as a destination since the gay scene in neighbouring Singapore is easy to access.

And while Indonesia ranks second from bottom, Bali is a good choice for LGBT travelers. The Balinese are Hindu and more accepting than the rest of Indonesia which is predominantly Muslim.

Global Views on Morality

The Pew Research Centre asked the question “Do you personally believe that homosexuality is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or is it not a moral issue?” They found that half or more in most of the 40 nations polled say that homosexuality is unacceptable. However, Europeans are much less likely to say homosexuality is unacceptable – this is especially true in Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Britain, and Italy, where about 20% or fewer express this opinion.

LGBT Rights United Nations 2008

The first declaration concerning gay rights was put before the UN in 2008. According to Wikipedia, The statement includes a condemnation of violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation. 96 member states of the UN supported the declaration. The 54 countries that opposed the declaration are mostly from Africa and Asia.

@NomadicYou Does somewhere in Europe or South America top your Budget LGBT Destinations?

Europe on a Budget: Hotels Prague Metro

It’s easy to see why travelers fall in love with Prague. This Iron-Curtain capitol has shed its communist past for hedonistic nightlife in a picture-postcard setting. And it is cheap!

Hotels Prague Metro. Střížkov 4 Photo By Karelj
Hotels Prague Metro. Střížkov 4 Photo By Karelj

Comparison of Three Star Hotels Prague Metro

No wonder only London, Paris, Rome and Istanbul get more annual visitors; Prague packs a city-break punch for over six million visitors per annum. It is easy to get around too, with 65.2 km (40.5 mi) of metro train lines.

Hotels in the city centre are reasonably priced, but for a real bargain head east on the B-line to Prague 9. This suburb is home to the O2 Arena that has played host to Madonna and Lady Gaga. So, if you time your visit well, you can catch some international stars live.

And how much money can you expect to save in Prague 9? A lot! Expect to pay around $34.14 per night for a respectable hotel with Wi-Fi and (in some cases) breakfast.

Price per room per night March 2017      
Hotel Arko $26.25 € 25.00 £21.75
Hotel Inturprag $27.30 € 26.00 £22.62
Hotel Bella $31.50 € 30.00 £26.10
Hotel 51 $31.50 € 30.00 £26.10
Elen’s Hotel Arlington $32.55 € 31.00 £26.97
Bridge $35.70 € 34.00 £29.58
Hotel Max $35.70 € 34.00 £29.58
Hotel Imos $38.85 € 37.00 £32.19
Hotel Penzion Praga $39.90 € 38.00 £33.06
HOTEL ARÉNA $43.05 € 41.00 £35.67
Three Star Hotel Average $34.13 € 32.50 £28.28

Wikipedia Prague

Vaclav Havel Airport 10 kms (6 mi) west of the city centre is the busiest airport in the newer EU states with 12,030,928 passengers per year. The hottest month is July with an average high of 24.4°C (75.9°F). The coldest month is January with an average low of minus4.0°C (25.0°F). The rainiest month is May with 77.2 mm (3.039 inches).

@NomadicYou What will you splurge on with those savings from the Hotels Prague Metro?

Hotel Room vs AirBnB Apartment Cost Comparison

What you can expect to pay in Warsaw, Budapest, Johannesburg, Athens, Istanbul, Lisbon and Cape Town for a hotel room versus an AirBnB apartment?

AirBnB Apartment Cost vs Hotel Cost. Photo Flickr
AirBnB Apartment Cost vs Hotel Cost. Photo Flickr

Budget Destination: Average AirBnB Apartment Cost

For this comparison, we looked at the average cost for an AirBnB ‘entire place’ for a one night stay. Yes, it is possible to get a ‘room only’, but it seems a fairer comparison since hotel rooms have an own bathroom.

The main benefit of having an AirBnB would be access to a kitchen and (often) a separate living area. Also, it can be useful if the AirBnB comes with a washing machine. Lastly, AirBnB apartments may be in quieter residential neighbourhoods; if you like a jog in the ‘burbs.

AirBnB “Entire Place”      
Warsaw $61.03 €57.98 £50.04
Budapest $65.55 €62.28 £53.75
Athens $68.11 €64.70 £55.85
Johannesburg $73.88 €70.18 £60.58
Istanbul $75.34 €71.57 £61.78
Lisbon $96.36 €91.54 £79.02
Cape Town $130.38 €123.86 £106.91

Budget Destination: Average Three Star Hotel Cost

The advantages in staying in a hotel versus an AirBnB are; Hotels are in more central city locations near transit; this central location  means there are more amenities and entertainment options close by. Secondly, the hotel staff are on hand to clean your room and to quickly address any problems you may be having . Lastly, you may feel more secure, especially if the hotel has surveillance systems and security guards.

Nomadic You has researched the best budget hotels to stay that are near public transport. These are the average three-star hotel prices we have so far;

Three Star Hotel Average      
Athens $48.23 €45.82 £39.55
Budapest $49.29 €46.83 £40.42
Istanbul $49.86 €47.37 £40.89
Warsaw $51.19 €48.63 £41.98
Johannesburg $56.59 €53.76 £46.40
Lisbon $63.95 €60.75 £52.44
Cape Town $85.56 €81.28 £70.16

Is a Hotel room or an AirBnB best?

Both options have pros and cons then. But, it seems that an AirBnB apartment will often come at a premium. We find that AirBnB apartments in Warsaw have the smallest price premium at $9.84 per night. While Cape Town has the largest at $44.82.

AirBnB Premium Hotel AirBnB Premium
Warsaw $51.19 $61.03 $9.84
Budapest $49.29 $65.55 $16.26
Johannesburg $56.59 $73.88 $17.29
Athens $48.23 $68.11 $19.88
Istanbul $49.86 $75.34 $25.48
Lisbon $63.95 $96.36 $32.41
Cape Town $85.56 $130.38 $44.82

@NomadicYou Do you prefer to pay the extra AirBnB apartment cost for the space and an equipped kitchen?

My hunch is that digital nomads and remote workers would rather have a quick hotel breakfast and save the time they would otherwise have spent in the AirBnB kitchen.

Furnished Johannesburg Rentals: Country Life from $581

You’ll be amazed at the value and quality of life to be had at one of Hartbeespoort Dam’s estates; We list the:

Top 5 Furnished Johannesburg Rentals at Hartbeespoort.

Club Nautique Spacious Thatch Home $945
Club Nautique Spacious Thatch Home $945

Okay, technically Hartbeespoort is not in the same province as Johannesburg, but it is very close. And for remote workers it offers the best of a country lifestyle with proximity to Johannesburg’s lifestyle hot-spots.  Entertainment at Monte Casino and shopping at Fourways mall are a 40-minute drive away.

You’ll need a car to get around. Consider embracing the sharing economy and find someone to share with. Properties at Hartbeespoort offer a lot of space for the money and your flat mate could car-share with you too. (Or it could be time to couple up with a remote worker that loves golf.)

Club Nautique $945 for an Authentic Thatch 

Club Nautique next to Pecanwood Golf Estate has tennis courts, communal pool facilities, picnic areas and boat launching. Good idea then to invite some boat owners over for a BBQ!

This large 236m2 Three-Bedroom Two-Bathroom freestanding thatch roofed home is renting furnished for $945 per month. Caribbean Beach Club is on the southern shore of Hartbeespoort Dam, 42.4 km (26.3 mi) from Fourways Mall.

Kosmos Village $800 with Private Pool

Kosmos Village $800 Cottage with Pool via
Kosmos Village $800 Cottage with Pool via

According to Wikipedia, Kosmos village has developed a strong sense of community with the residents subscribing to a security service which maintains the access gate to ‘Kosmos Proper’. On the waterfront near the entrance is Kosmos Marina Club.

This freestanding two-bedroom cottage has its own private pool and garden and is renting for $800 per month, you may need to negotiate extra with the owner for the furnishings. Kosmos Village is in a quiet corner on the western shore of Hartbeespoort Dam, 53.9 km (33.5 mi) from Fourways Mall. 

Key West $764 for an Active Lifestyle 

Key West is a secure estate offering the residents an array of entertainment facilities including 3 different swimming pools, squash courts, volleyball courts, tennis courts, club house and boat launching facilities. It is next to Pecan Wood Golf Estate and has (in JoburgRudolph’s opinion) the best views.

This large 200m2 two-bedroom furnished duplex apartment townhouse is renting (75%) furnished for $727 per month. Key West is on the southern shore of Hartbeespoort Dam, 42.2 km (26.2 mi) from Fourways Mall. 

#4 Caribbean Beach Club $727 for Golfers

Crribbean Beach Club for Golfers $727
Caribbean Beach Club for Golfers $727

Caribbean Beach Club offers a unique lifestyle, with access to the dam, a golf course, tennis courts, a number of communal pools and a clubhouse with restaurant.

This 119m2 Three-Bedroom Two-Bathroom townhouse is renting furnished for $727 per month. Caribbean Beach Club is on the western shore of Hartbeespoort Dam, 51.8 km (32.2 mi) from Fourways Mall. 

#5 Caribbean Beach Club $581

Staying at Caribbean Beach Club means that you wake up to a stunning view of the dam and have use of the communal pool and landscaped gardens. The unit has a patio with braai and undercover parking.

This 53m2 one-bedroom apartment is renting furnished for $581 per month. Caribbean Beach Club is on the western shore of Hartbeespoort Dam, the closest suburb to Sun City; 103 km (63.7 mi) away. 

@NomadicYou Is country living with one of these Furnished Johannesburg Rentals for you? Will you choose it for the golfing or large thatch homes?