Six years ago, in the aftermath of Argentina's unprecedented economic collapse and a dramatically devalued peso, my wife and I bought an apartment in Palermo, one of Buenos Aires's finest neighborhoods. At the time, we thought it was a stretch for us but, with an inheritance and some equity in our California house, it was not out of reach. I don't want to broadcast what we paid for it but, in retrospect, we regret we didn't buy two.
Given the depressed peso, quite a few foreigners have bought into the Argentine real estate market since then, with greater or lesser success. I analyzed some of the rewards and pitfalls in Buenos Aires in an earlier post, but that dealt with existing housing. Getting something built can be another issue entirely, as my friend Patrick Symmes, author of Chasing Che, found when he set out to build his dream fishing cabin near the Patagonian town of Trevelin, in Chubut province.
In the course of researching his book on Che Guevara's 1950s motorcycle trip through the Americas, Patrick became enamored of the region - and who wouldn't, given landscapes like those of nearby Parque Nacional Los Alerces (pictured above)? The reality of getting his cabin built, though, was a real challenge, as he details in the October issue of Outside Magazine. Anybody considering a similarly adventurous project would do well to read his good-natured, but ultimately serious, account of his experience.