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Patagonia Real Estate and Land Basics
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patagonia_realestate_IMG_1027The Patagonia of Chile is something that is near and dear to our heart at All Southern Chile. What we define as the Patagonia is mainland Chile, South of the City of Puerto Montt, and excluding the Island of Chiloe. That definition might seem arbitrary, but there are some good reasons. Hopefully, you will understand a few as we continue.

First, most of the Patagonia is completely separated from the rest of Chile. South of the Pumalin Park, there are no roads connecting say the town of Chaiten to Santiago, inside Chile. Access is by ferry, plane, or by driving through Argentina and back in to Chile. That isolation has served to produce  a unique, rugged, and independent people. The region was mostly settled originally by farmers and ranchers that were given their land by the government to encourage settlement and development. Those generations of people making most of their living off the land, with little interference from the central government has also helped produce a fairly healthy level of pride in being independent.  

On the other hand, that isolation has also in many ways slowed the development of how business is done in the Patagonia, especially in relation to real estate, both for better and worse.

Number one difference that sets Patagonia apart from the rest of Chile, no one is in a hurry. I don't just mean a bit of “manana” attitude that is so common to much of Latin America and the rest of Chile. I mean in selling real estate in the Patagonia, sellers are willing to wait years and decades if needed for the price they want. They don't care what land is worth in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, or even Argentina, and for the most part don't need to care.

The net effect is that it takes the teeth out of many of the most traditional negotiating tactics used by foreigners when buying real estate in the Patagonia. For example, you are not likely to get someone overly excited about an offer and have them make a hasty decision that might benefit you in a real estate decision.

That leads us to some important cultural notes on purchasing land or real estate in the Patagonia. Always remember when dealing with locals in the Patagonia, you need them more than they need you. Treat them with the respect they deserve. Buying real estate in the Patagonia is like applying to be member of the community. People often want to get to know you better, before starting negotiations. Don't just jump in to questions like “how much do you want for your land”. Stop, have some coffee, lunch, ask about their farm, the weather, their cows and sheep. Deals are given to friends in the Patagonia, not strangers. The reason this is so important in the Patagonia is because very few properties have "for sale" signs posted on them or will be listed with a real estate agent in Southern Chile. Luckily, most people are very friendly, and making friends is one of the few things that generally happens quickly in the Patagonia of Chile.

The number one rule to buying real estate in Patagonia or anywhere in Chile is take your time. Never rush. There will be plenty of property for sale, for many, many years to come. When in doubt, get professional assistance from people that know the Patagonia.