The Scouting Trips My
Mother Doesn’t Know About

I’m not into adventure sports. Free climbing…diving with sharks…bungee jumping from sheer cliffs: you can keep them. I have zero interest in trying any of them out.

But I’ll do whatever it takes to check out a potential real estate deal.

That sometimes leads to an adventure or two. The kind you don’t want to share with your mother. Mothers, after all, tend to worry, even when their kids are all grown up and can take care of themselves.

On a trip in Ecuador, I needed to see a planned beach project. Freak rainstorms had turned the entrance trails at the huge parcel of land into a mud bath. Even horses couldn’t wade through it. My local contact came up with a solution. We could take a boat.

Of course, he didn’t mean a fancy power boat. We hired a panga, a small wood-hulled boat with an outboard motor. Our crew were two young, but experienced, fishermen.

The panga was cramped and not very comfortable. But it was fantastic for getting a fresh perspective on a large swathe of the coastline. Things were going great. And then, a couple of hours from our starting point, the engine cut out…

When do you get worried? When your panga starts drifting to China…

Not a problem, the fishermen told us. We’ll have it going in no time.

Thirty minutes later, we were still drifting on the Pacific. None of us had a cellphone signal. The fishermen were starting to dismantle the motor. If we keep drifting, I asked them, where will we end up?

China, they replied. We’re heading towards China.

I laughed. They laughed, too. But as the afternoon wore on, reality started to hit. It would soon be dark. We had no drinking water. And the day before, I’d scouted a piece of beach land close by that the owner proudly told me was a hot spot for all kinds of sharks.

Thankfully, three hours or so after it cut out, the fishermen finally got the engine running again. We headed straight back to their village, arriving just before the sun set.

The following day, I stepped into another panga to go back and see the land. This time it was mission accomplished. Kind of. For various reasons (none connected with being cast adrift in a panga), the planned beach project did not make the cut.

In Costa Rica, checking out another big land parcel, the farmer owner looked me up and down. It’s rough terrain, he told me, and only the tractor can get over some of the ridges.

Are you up for standing on the back of the tractor?

The answer, of course, was yes.

Half a day later I had a very good picture of the land’s potential. And seriously aching arms and shoulders, along with some huge bruises, scrapes, and cuts. The back of a tractor is not exactly VIP-style travel.

Another time, I was following a wannabe developer up a sheer gravel slope to see the views from his land. The slope dropped down to a concrete highway hundreds of feet below. The cars on the highway looked like little beetles from our elevation. Heights don’t freak me out. Neither do gravity-defying slopes. But my wannabe developer was out of shape and out of breath after 20 minutes. He slipped a couple of times, almost taking me with him. I told him I’d carry on without him and scaled the last peak on my own. I wish I could say that the view was worth it.

But it was not. This was a “cross it off the list” project…

You get the idea.

There’s a huge amount of time, resources and legwork involved in finding the best real estate deals. I don’t pack silk skirts, designer beachwear, and fancy perfume for my trips. I need practical trousers, a wide-brimmed fishing hat, and enough bug repellent to kill a mosquito army.

Investing this much time and money into putting boots on the ground is a serious undertaking. Most of the potential deals we look at don’t pan out.

But, the ones that do more than make up for it…

· $309,018 More in Caribbean Mexico—In 2021, members of Ronan’s Real Estate Trend Alert group had the chance to buy two-bed condos in Singular Dream—a community in Playa del Carmen, on Mexico’s Caribbean coast—from a RETA member-only price of $265,304. In early 2024, a two-bed condo in Singular Dream was listing for $574,322. That’s $309,018 more.

· €223,000 Gain in Spain—In 2020, RETA members could own luxury condos in a community called Casares Costa on Spain’s Costa del Sol. A condo that a RETA member bought here for €327,000 was sold in 2023 for €550,000—a gain of €223,000.

· €275,000 Boost in Portugal’s Algarve—In 2021, RETA members had the chance to own in the luxury community of Dona Maria in Portugal’s southern Algarve region. RETA members could buy two-bed condos in Dona Maria from €575,000. One of Ronan’s contacts says these now list for €850,000—an uplift of €275,000.

· $602,885 Uplift in Cabo—In 2017, RETA members got the opportunity to own villas in Copala, in the Quivira master-planned community in Los Cabos. A luxury villa that a RETA member bought here for $385,115 was recently listed for $988,000—that’s an uplift of $602,885.

How do you find winning real estate investments like these?

Ask Ronan…

Ronan’s spent the last 25 years figuring that out. He’s travelled all-over the world, invested in dozens of properties in several different countries, and made a small fortune doing so.

You can find out how in Ronan’s bestselling book and you can get a copy for FREE when you click here (just pay $5.97 for shipping).

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