Getting the best of both worlds – investing in Apart-Hotels


Now, more so than ever, there is a myriad of ways in which to purchase property, be it freehold, leasehold, through fractional ownership or as part of a fund or syndicate. But in today´s financial climate, investing in Apart-Hotels is increasingly becoming an attractive method of purchasing property for the long term whilst accumulating money in the short term.

Apart-Hotels are a cheaper alternative to staying in a traditional hotel yet combine the benefits of serviced hotel living with the flexibility and space of an apartment. Stays are booked through familiar hotel booking systems and expected hotel services such as room and maid service are available. They are proving particularly popular with families on holiday wanting additional space, privacy and the option of self-catering, businesspeople working overseas and early stage relocators. The new Caracola Beach & Spa Resort on Isla Margarita is such an Apart-Hotel development which is appealing to investors looking to capitalise on the burgeoning tourism market,
Isla Margarita is a small island off the Venezuelan coast blessed with sandy beaches and plentiful sunshine. It is becoming increasingly popular with Europeans and Britons in particular, who are now the third most important overseas tourist market. The 50 plus beaches dotted around the 106 mile coastline, coupled with the fact that 94% of days feature at least six hours of sunshine, make the island an affordable and exciting alternative to the traditional Mediterranean destinations.
The island is easily accessible from North, Central and South America as well as Europe. Visitor numbers were 2.3 million in 2007, a high figure compared to the population of just 436,000. The island is famed for its water sports, particularly wind and kite surfing but also boasts exceptional tax-free shopping, an outstanding 18 hole golf course, scuba diving and snorkelling facilities, as well as hiking amongst the varied scenery which ranges from mountainous rainforests to sand flats.
The Apart-Hotel properties available at the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort are modern and stylish and located in an area with a shortage of high quality accommodation. All rooms will be furnished, come with air conditioning and will be built to exacting standards. The resort, built frontline on one of the most beautiful and picturesque beaches on the island, will also be close to restaurants, shops and other amenities. The properties will be fully managed by the resort to ensure high standards, making them a genuine ‘arm-chair investment’ for short as well as long term letting if desired.
The concrete benefits of the Caracola Resort are also matched by the financial ones. The Apart-Hotel investment scheme allows those who take part to enjoy the very attractive taxation benefits afforded to islanders; indeed, the island is a duty and tax haven. Investment in the Caracola Beach Resort is also compatible with the self-invested personal pension plan (SIPP), allowing purchasers choice in how to invest. .
Mark Andrew, Managing Director of Emerging Earth, comments:
“Isla Margarita is a beautiful, tropical destination and our Caracola Beach and Spa Resort is set to take advantage of the expected increase in travel and tourism to this exciting Caribbean island. The Apart-Hotel is an excellent way of combining the benefits of the apartment and hotel experience and investors can be sure to yield high and consistent returns well into the future.”
About the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort, Isla Margarita
The Caracola Beach & Spa Resort is situated on Isla Margarita, known widely as the “Pearl of the Caribbean”, just off the North East coast of Venezuela. It benefits from being outside of the hurricane belt and also from a consistent climate average of 27 degrees, with a soothing sea breeze and little or no rain. Isla Margarita boasts a variety of natural scenery, from mountainous terrain to lush vegetation to over 300km of long white, typically Caribbean, sandy beaches and it is for this reason that it has been a popular tourist destination for around 30 years.
The Resort is situated on Caracola Beach (Caracola is a Conch shell indigenous to Isla Margarita), a long golden-sanded beach with sparkling waters on the edge of the island’s main town, Porlamar. The area offers a large amount of activities to interest all visitors, including an excellent 18 hole golf club at Isla Bonita, open all year and with breath-taking views, excellent windsurfing, scuba diving and snorkeling facilities, exceptional shopping facilities offering fantastic tax-free value, and for those that enjoy hiking, the island’s varied scenery allows exploration of mountainous rainforests one day and sand flats the next.
The Caracola Beach & Spa Resort comprises of a variety of apartments and duplexes spread across 15 floors, most with stunning views of the beautiful Caribbean beach. The development boasts excellent facilities that include restaurants, bars, swimming pools, chill-out areas, spa, gymnasium, beauty salon, high end retail outlets and beautifully landscaped gardens. All apartments are 1 or 2 bedroom and have air conditioning, are spacious with large terraces, fully furnished and come with a guaranteed rental return of 7% pa net for 10 years. This investment purchase is SIPP qualifying and offers tax efficient freehold ownership. Prices start from €79,000/ £63,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

For more information, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin


Within the current economic situation, a time of uncertainty for all, it has become difficult to know what is the best move to make when it comes to your personal finances and savings. Should you keep them where they are and risk the change in interest rates negatively affecting them? Should you secure them in a higher-interest bond with a bank whose future remains shaky? Or should you invest the money in the stock market where day-to-day worries may hinder your sleep at night? With these tricky questions on the minds of many in the current climate, another alternative could pave the way for the savvy investor – the emerging overseas property market.

Susan Nienaltowski, an Operations Manager from Waterlooville in Hampshire, recently moved money out of her bonds by purchasing an apartment on Isla Margarita in the Caribbean through Emerging Earth. This decision was made after a suggestion from her IFA when she expressed a desire “to make more money faster” – a feeling shared by many in the current climate – and he suggested that the overseas property market might be just the place to do it.
After much consideration and research, Susan – a keen traveler – decided to invest €136,220 in a two bed, two bathroom apartment with a large balcony in the Caracola Beach and Spa Resorton Isla Margarita. Susan was drawn to the location as it is the only Caribbean island outside of the hurricane belt and she felt it to be an “up and coming destination in a popular region”. Investing in an emerging location, tipped to show substantial house price increases in coming years, meant that Susan ensured a sound investment for her money and with a great number of people currently losing money now stagnating in more ‘traditional’ savings places, she has found this option to be potentially more secure than some conventional methods, with added benefits. She says,
It seemed like a very good deal… There is guaranteed rental income and also, should I choose to, it seems a popular area to own a property and so I could sell if I wanted to.” Susan is right: with tourist figures in Nueva Esparta having increased by 3.42% during January to September 2008 proving the popularity of the region, house prices in coming years are also likely to follow suit. Not only this but the Caracola Beach and Spa Resort guarantees a 7% rental return for 10 years – a great deal more capital appreciation than the current income likely from savings accounts, limited to around the 5.5% mark.
Traditionally, however, it is the ‘risk’ of buying overseas that deters many – especially in emerging markets where the potential of capital growth may be higher but the risk in turn is too. Given the current well-publicised risks involved in investing in UK financial institutions however, the overseas ‘risk’ of old can now seem less daunting. When making her choice, however, Susan still ensured she spread her risk,
“I decided to spread my investment between two properties and am also purchasing an apartment in Egypt.” Choosing to purchase two lower-priced properties, as opposed to a single property that would take up all of her money in a market with a limited track record, is recommended as the risk is lower, therefore adhering to the old adage of not placing all your eggs in one basket. This is especially true when, like Susan, you have not visited the regions you are buying in.
Along with the other usual considerations when buying abroad, as a single woman Susan recognises that she could have also been prey to unscrupulous agents. Wise to the fact, however, she has some tips as to how to best avoid the potential pitfalls,
“I think the important thing is to use people you can trust.  I feel very comfortable that I understand all the contractual details and legalities because I had someone to refer to if I needed any clarification… The lady I dealt with at Emerging Earth was brilliant and went through the contract with me to make sure I was completely comfortable with it.” As Susan has shown, it is very important that when investing your savings, you feel truly comfortable with the choices you are making and that you have the necessary professional support. Mark Andrew, Managing Director of Emerging Earth, agrees,
“When looking to invest in an overseas market, it is important to recognise that there may be a great deal about the buying and legal processes that differ from that of the UK and therefore it is very important to seek advice from a trusted source as well as to buy through an established and professional agent. Susan went about her investment in a very sensible way – she took independent advice as well as researching the market herself using the internet. Her story proves that a well thought out investment is a secure one.”
Susan remains open-minded about her investment in Isla Margarita, “it remains to be seen as to whether I shall make money from my investments however it has been an exciting undertaking and I am looking forward to visiting my property”. Perhaps, therefore, given the current times of economic uncertainty at home more people should look to take the measured chance Susan has taken – and just maybe you will end up profiting. 
For more information on investing in Isla Margarita, contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit

Brits look towards the South American Mediterranean



The latest figures released by the state of Nueva Esparta in Venezuela show that Europeans, and especially the British, are increasingly falling in love with the best kept secret in South America. Located off the North East Caribbean coast of the country, it comprises three picturesque islands with a total population of less than half a million. Figures from the Nueva Esparta tourism corporation, Corpotur, show a 3.42% increase in visitor arrivals (2,045,143) to the state for the period Jan – September 2008.
´State of New Sparta´ as it was named in 1864 measures 50 miles by 12 and its main land mass is Isla Margarita founded in 1525. The state’s name comes from the heroism shown by its people during the Venezuelan War of Independence, thought similar to that of the Spartan soldiers of Ancient Greece. Isla Margarita, known widely as the “Pearl of the Caribbean”, benefits from being outside the hurricane belt with an average climate of 27 degrees Celsius. It boasts little rain, a variety of natural scenery from mountainous terrain to lush vegetation and over 200 miles of sandy beaches. The area around the main town, Porlamar, offers a large number of facilities and activities for visitors including an 18 hole golf course, shopping, windsurfing, scuba diving, snorkeling and hiking. For this reason it has been a popular vacation destination for around 30 years.
These once undiscovered islands and their rich history is something more and more people are travelling to experience. In 2007 2.5 million people visited Isla Margarita alone, over five times its population. However, this masks the full story. Nueva Esparta has remained largely hidden to those from outside the area as most visitors come from mainland Venezuela. 91% of visitors in 2008 thus far arrived from Venezuela, suggesting a still traditional destination unspoiled by western tourism. Nevertheless, word of mouth about the islands and their status as an undiscovered haven is increasingly reaching more and more potential visitors further afield.
Since 2001, the percentage of hotel rooms occupied by visitors to Nueva Esparta has more than tripled to 76%. Europeans are the most enamoured by the islands, making up the vast majority of international visitors. 60,000 Europeans make the journey compared to only 25,000 from the rest of the world. The tourism figures also revealed the love affair an increasing number of Britons are having with Nueva Esparta. Now the third major international tourist market, nearly 10,000 British tourists visited the islands during the last year. This represents a 38% increase on the previous 12 months when around 6,500 Britons visited.
In addition, other northern European countries have also discovered Nueva Esparta and Isla Margarita. The Dutch, Danish and French are nearly as eager as the British, with the keenest Europeans coming from Germany with around 15,000 visitors. Like their ancestors hundreds of years ago, Europeans are increasingly interested in Nueva Esparta. This is particularly the case with northern Europeans looking for an alternative sunny island retreat from the Mediterranean norm, with a Caribbean style twist as well.
Significantly, a further reason accounting for the increase in British and European visitors to the islands is their accessibility from major cities and airports. The third most popular of all charter flights to Nueva Esparta is the First Choice flight from either Gatwick or Manchester airport which in the first eight months of 2008 brought almost 9,000 people. With its activities, facilities, views and beaches it offers a competitive and distinctive alternative to the familiar European destination. Whether it is for holidaying, visiting or retiring it represents an interesting new location as well as an untapped buy to let opportunity.
Mark Andrew, Managing Director of Emerging Earth who is marketing the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort near Porlamar, said:
“Isla Margarita in Nueva Esparta has remained undiscovered for most tourists across the world but this will not be the case for long. Over the last five years Europeans have become increasingly attracted to this unspoiled part of the world, a part that reminds them of the best of sunny island living. Demand among Venezuelans for accommodation sees no sign of abating either and their continued fascination with the islands demonstrates the reason why more and more outsiders keep returning, particularly those from Europe. We expect demand for property and accommodation over the next few years will continue to grow, above all for apartment resort developments where facilities and close by tourist attractions are plentiful”.
Notes for Editors:
Caracola Beach & Spa Resort, Isla Margarita
The Caracola Beach & Spa Resort comprises of a variety of apartments and duplexes spread across 15 floors, most with stunning views of the beautiful Caribbean beach. The development boasts excellent facilities that include restaurants, bars, swimming pools, chill-out areas, spa, gymnasium, beauty salon, high end retail outlets and beautifully landscaped gardens. All apartments are 1 or 2 bedroom and have air conditioning, are spacious with large terraces, fully furnished and come with a guaranteed rental return of 7% pa net for 10 years. This investment purchase is SIPP qualifying and offers tax efficient freehold ownership. Prices start from €79,000/ £63,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.
For more information, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit

Pearl of the Caribbean: a Retirement Paradise


Enjoying in excess of 340 days of sunshine a year and with temperatures only fluctuating by about 4ºC during the entire year, the Caribbean island gem of Isla Margarita is considered a paradise by all those who visit and all those lucky enough to reside on the island. Located off the northern shores of Venezuela, outside the hurricane belt and well within the Caribbean’s inimitably desirable waters, this once lesser-known tropical island is rapidly becoming a tax-free tourism and retirement hotspot with Britons, Northern Europeans and Americans.

Now directly accessible from the UK, Britons in particular are warming to the charms of Isla Margarita as it represents the complete antidote to all that is wrong with Great Britain! With a healthy economy bolstered by rapidly advancing tourism, with western amenities, advanced infrastructure, stunning white sandy beaches and a tantalising tropical landscape, Isla Margarita truly represents a paradise-like setting for those in search of a home away from home abroad.
As a less well-known and therefore less developed Caribbean destination, Isla Margarita has emerging market status, meaning that it offers an affordable entry point for those looking for Caribbean property – and there are many other incentives in place currently to invite, encourage and entice strong levels of investment commitment as well. For example, anyone thinking about moving to live on Isla Margarita will quickly learn of its tax and duty free environment, of its transparent property ownership laws, the ease of immigration and the far lower costs of day-to-day living on the island compared to those in the US, UK and the rest of the Caribbean.
Unlike other South and Central American nations, the authorities on Isla Margarita want to make it as open and welcome a country as they can for overseas retirees for example. You can contrast this with Panama which has recently placed much stricter restrictions on those who want to own a home in the nation and benefit from its tax efficient and affluent economy. Where once one could buy an affordable home in Panama and obtain residency status with proof of only a low monthly income, nowadays there is a high minimum property price imposed upon foreign buyers who also have to prove a far stronger source of foreign generated monthly income before they will be granted residency status.
According to Mark Andrew, MD of Emerging Earth, experts on all aspects of buying a property and relocating to Isla Margarita: “It’s absolutely in the island’s best interests to attract growing numbers of Western citizens. These people raise awareness of the island internationally, they encourage greater investment and they are genuinely made to feel welcome. Because the prices for everything from property to food, from medical care to furniture are so much more affordable on the island too, this, together with Isla Margarita’s tax-free status, is leading more and more Britons in particular to establish a new home on the island. As the British economic climate becomes as miserable as its actual climate, so more Britons are looking for a haven where the weather is as glorious as the lifestyle – and for such individuals, the now easily accessible island of Isla Margarita makes perfect sense.”
Whether you’re ready to retire or you’re looking for a bolt hole in the sun, you’re after a secure investment choice or somewhere you can call home, there are five star, fabulous residential communities being developed on the island which you can retire to, live in, profit from or simply sit on until you’re ready to relocate to paradise! One such community is the Caracola Beach and Spa Resort. Situated on the beach on the outskirts of the island’s main city, the resort comprises of a variety of apartments and duplexes with stunning views of the beautiful Caribbean ocean, and the resort development boasts excellent facilities such as restaurants, bars, swimming pools, chill-out areas, a spa, gymnasium, beauty salon, high end retail outlets and beautifully landscaped gardens.  All apartments are 1 or 2 bedroom and have air conditioning, are spacious with large terraces,come fully furnished and with a guaranteed rental return of 7% pa net for 10 years for those who want to purchase a property as an investment.  An investment purchase is also SIPP qualifying and offers tax efficient freehold ownership options.  Prices start from just €79,000/ £63,000, and for more information please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208 or visit

Caribbean Luxury – Cough up the Cost or choose Closer to Home?



Since the 1990’s tourism has been one of the leading economic drivers for the Caribbean island of Barbados, and where tourists try, they buy… it has become one of the most sought after destinations across the pond for wealthy investors whose demands for off-shore banking far outweigh their concerns for their bank surviving the credit crunch! However, if a quiet night in with the movie ‘Cocktail’ is all you can afford to fulfil your Caribbean dreams then the alternative haven of the Cape Verde Islands could be the vodka in that martini that you’ve been longing for…
As the closest tropical destination to mainland Europe, just five and a half hours direct flying time from the UK, the Cape Verde Islands are being discovered by investors and holidaymakers seeking their slice of paradise. The islands are blessed with powder white sands, crystal clear waters and year round temperatures in the high twenties; it’s easy to see why comparisons with the Caribbean are common. Barbados still remains popular with property purchasers but with a price tag to mirror this, many are looking for a more affordable alternative, so how does Cape Verde compare?
Barbados is renowned for its idyllic, sun-blushed shoreline, which boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean; in fact The Crane was voted one of the ten best beaches in the world by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  
They may not be as famous, but the Cape Verde Islands can offer amazing white sandy beaches, completely deserted. Jane Dolan, a big Cape Verde fan recently returned form the islands and said “ I walked for 4 hours on a beautiful beach and saw absolutely no-one, it was incredible.” Some islands are swept by trade winds making them perfect for surfing and windsurfing, whilst the sand dune island of Boa Vista boasts 60% of all of Cape Verde’s beaches and new international flights. Matt Brooks a keen kite surfer, purchased a one bedroom apartment on Sal with the aim of spending the winter months indulging in his favourite past time, he says, “my criteria for a second home was to find somewhere affordable with a stable economy which combines my love for water sports, Cape Verde was the perfect choice”.
Barbados has been one of the world’s premiere holiday destinations for many years and as such, just about every leisure activity is available here, with water sports at the top of the list. Fans of fishing, kayaking, kite and wind surfing, scuba diving and snorkelling are all well catered for across the island. 
Cape Verde is also a water sports paradise and although the industry may not be as developed as in Barbados, centres for water sports, diving and deep sea fishing are opening up across the archipelago. The largest marlin in the world was caught of the Cape Verde coast. Surfing and windsurfing are both popular on the island of Sal, in fact the PWA (Professional Windsurfers Association) International Windsurfing Championship was held on Sal in March this year. San Vicente has a large harbour and marina for the many sailboats visiting the islands. 
Flights run to Barbados daily and the island is serviced by several major airlines. However the 8 1/2 hour flight time is significantly more than that of a flight to the Cape Verde Islands. With recent airport and inter-island air connections such as the new service from Halcyon Air, accessibility to and within Cape Verde has been significantly improved. This increase in air and ferry services is good news for holidaymakers and investors alike, meaning increased tourism and more spending for the islands. There will be 4 international airports in Cape Verde by next year.
Investment potential
Barbados has long been a sound opportunity for property buyers which has helped drive up the asking prices. Although this is good for property owners, this means buyers who are looking to get a foothold on the island’s property ladder are finding it increasingly difficult. In spite of this, the Dollar’s current weak value against the Pound does mean that there is the opportunity for value for money.
Property prices in the Cape Verde Islands are still benefiting from the island’s relatively unknown status with investors, so with prices remaining low, investors now have a fantastic opportunity to get in on the ground level of what is set to become a holiday hotspot.
Adrian Lillywhite of Cape Verde Property Ltd comments, “As the UK moves into colder months, seasonally and economically, people are looking for that winter sun getaway and a safer investment for their savings. The Caribbean is the ultimate second home destination without doubt, but for those with smaller budgets, Cape Verde offers a fantastic and viable alternative, I speak from experience when I say it is a fabulous place to escape to!”
So how much bang can investors get for their buck? Caribbean properties, especially those located in sturdy markets such as Barbados seem unaffected by the credit crunch. Luxury properties such as the Mount Standfast Villas, available through Windsor Worldwide International Property, located on the exclusive west coast of Barbados comprise 3 double bedrooms, each with 3 bathrooms, private pool and parking and start from $999,950 / £508,300.
Comparatively in more emerging markets such as the Cape Verde islands potential property purchasers can secure similar sized properties at a more affordable rate. The Dunas Beach Resort and Spa for example, located on the most established tourism island of Sal,offers 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom villas on Ponta Preta Beach from just €329,950 with a fixed euro rate of 1.4 to the pound, so just £235,678 fixed and is available through Cape Verde Property Ltd.
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Contacts for further information:
Windsor Worldwide International Property
07973 288130
Cape Verde Property Ltd
01753 859233

Shoring Up An Offshore Bricks and Mortar Investment


With Reuters reporting that the Bank of England is suffering increased pressure to cut interest rates later this year, many British based investors are looking for a safer, more secure haven for their hard won investment capital. With the bottom having fallen out of the UK housing market for the time being, the British currency taking a hammering and overall economic concerns dragging the FTSE down as well, increased numbers of sagacious investors are looking overseas, and indeed offshore, for the best investment options.

Even British resident and domiciled investors who reside onshore in the UK – and who are therefore subject to British taxation on global income and gains – are finding that there are offshore investment options open to them that could prove potentially highly profitable. The Caribbean island of Isla Margarita, which physically lies off shore from Venezuela, is a specific location where investors are now discovering that there are offshore investment opportunities in a potentially highly lucrative property investment project.
The project in question is called the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort, and it’s being developed specifically with international investor interest in mind. Located on Venezuela’s offshore island of maximum tourism potential, the development is prime location, front line, high grade and epitomises everything one looks for in terms of a potentially highly lucrative property investment asset. And in addition to the obvious appeal of Caracola from a rental return and base underlying price appreciation angle, the sale of units within the development to overseas investors has been structured in a taxation and financially advantageous package.
As an investor at Caracola one is buying an offshore property investment asset; the company behind the creation of the resort and the concept of its investment potential has created a watertight structure for the tax efficient and secure sale, profit realisation and resale of apartment units at Caracola. Investors purchase their property assets through an individually owned offshore company in the form of a Wyoming Limited Liability Company (LLC). The benefits and advantages to the investor of purchasing in this way are manifold and yet simple. 
Mark Andrew, the Managing Director of Emerging Earth, the company behind the marketing of this exceptional opportunity explains: “the use of a Wyoming LLC allows the purchasing investor to legitimately avoid local income, land registry and capital gains taxes.  What’s more, it ultimately makes the sale of property assets easier as the investor sells the shares of their company rather than the physical property that the company owns, thus legitimately avoiding local exchange controls which can otherwise hinder the remittance of investment profits abroad to the investor’s country of choice. By using an offshore company to purchase your offshore property assets on Isla Margarita therefore, you can transfer income and profits to any destination you choose, and because a Wyoming LLC is truly an offshore company, it is not liable for any taxes anywhere in the world.  The final benefit is that Wyoming LLCs provide complete anonymity to company owners and beneficiaries as they do not have to publish details of ownership, membership or even trading activity.”1
From the outset the creation of the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort has been driven by its ultimate investment potential. Therefore not only have the developers placed every effort into the creation of a stunning resort style paradise on the sun caressed shores of the beautiful Caribbean island of Isla Margarita, they have ensured that the sale, rental and resale of all units within the resort are fully optimised to be 100% tax efficient and to provide investors with the very best and most acute profit potential. 
The resort itself comprises of 1 and 2 bedroom, fully furnished, spacious and air conditioned apartments which are for sale from €79,000/ £63,000 and which come with a guaranteed net rental return of 7% per annum for 10 years.  The resort is located in a front line position to ensure that apartments have the best Caribbean views and access to the beach, and onsite the amenities are five star, comprising as they do of restaurants, bars, swimming pools, chill-out areas, a spa, gymnasium, beauty salon, high end retail outlets and beautifully landscaped gardens. So not only is this prime investment of maximum profitability potential given its low starting prices, prime location and five star status, but it comes with rental guarantees for 10 years, it is SIPP qualifying and it allegedly offers tax efficient, secure freehold ownership options to investors. For more information, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit

1 This information relating to the perceived benefits of a Wyoming LLC and purchasing property through such an entity is directly taken from the information supplied by Emerging Earth, however British resident and domiciled investors who have a reporting liability to HMRC are advised to contact HMRC or the FSA for advice.

SIPPing Your Margarita and Enjoying Your Pension in Paradise



With uncertainty about the health and future of the UK housing market dominating the headlines in the British press, and similar stories appearing in newspapers across the globe relating to housing markets from America to Australia, does property as an asset class still make a sound investment choice?  According to the general consensus of expert opinion it does – because whilst housing markets the world over can suffer from volatility and slow periods, where there is a basic case that demand for real estate exists and especially where it outstrips supply, there will always be life in the property economy.
Taking this advice on board, an investor therefore needs to think about where demand for property is strong and likely to continue growing, and they also need to consider property as a long-term investment commodity rather than an asset that will potentially turn them a fast profit if they are going to include it in their investment portfolio.  Which is why, when Gordon Brown as the Chancellor suggested that people would be able to put residential property into their pension funds thanks to the invention of the SIPP, (self invested personal pension), there was great interest with 6 out of 10 SIPP savers saying that they wanted to buy property with their pension and use it for long-term investment gains.
Unfortunately, when a u-turn came about and would-be pension investors were told they were now not allowed to buy residential real estate with their SIPP funds, many were left feeling angry and disappointed.  However, commercial property assets are still eligible for inclusion in a SIPP and there are some very attractive tourism based commercial projects available that are SIPP qualifying.  These give investors who wish to diversify their pension, and certainly include an element of real estate within their long-term savings plans, a chance to profit from exciting property projects in different parts of the world in a tax efficient way.
One SIPP qualifying property investment project is the Caracola Beach and Spa Resort on the stunning and exotic Caribbean island of Isla Margarita.  The island is attracting significant increases in annual travel and tourism numbers, witnessing a property boom and is believed to be a strong location for potential investment success thanks to the underlying fundamentals supporting the ongoing development and enhancement of the location.
The Caracola project qualifies for SIPP status because investors are able to buy individual or multiple units within the condominium hotel resort development for rental purposes – thus making the investment a commercial one.  Mark Andrew, Sales Director of Emerging Earth explains the details further: “to purchase an overseas property through a self invested personal pension the property needs to be designated as a commercial entity.  An apartment within a condominium hotel such as the Caracola Beach and Spa Resort therefore qualifies.  The benefit of buying a property in this way, i.e., through your pension fund, is that you have tax free purchasing power.  Over-demand and under-availability of good quality touristic accommodation on the island of Isla Margarita also makes purchasing an apartment at Caracola a very compelling investment proposition, especially using redundant or at best stagnating pension funds.”
In terms of the properties available for sale in this island paradise, they consist of one and two bedroom apartments which come with an insurance bond backed guaranteed rental income of 7% for 10 years.  Purchases at Caracola are also packaged to give owners relief from income and capital gains tax, and all in all Caracola provides a superb investment opportunity in an increasingly attractive emerging market.
Any buyer will ultimately own a potentially high returning, capital appreciating, tax enhanced commercial property asset in one of the best beachfront locations in the emerging Caribbean, where onsite amenities for guests are five star and high-grade ensuring this development stands out for the long-term. Onsite facilities include multiple swimming pools, a beach activity area, spa, nightclub, fitness suite, duty free shopping zone, sauna, kids club, conference rooms, beauty salon, restaurants, bars and cafes.  For more information about this incredible opportunity, the resort and the SIPP qualification criteria of Caracola Beach and Spa Resort, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit

Venezuelan Beauty Wins International Acclaim



With striking scenery and spectacular landscapes Venezuela is a country of undeniable beauty but it’s the equal beauty of its residents that is now hitting the headlines. Dayana Mendoza has been crowned Miss Universe 2008 at the 57th annual Miss Universe pageant held in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
Miss Venezuela, a trilingual 22nd year-old from Caracas, took the crown late Sunday night, beating runners up from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Russia and Mexico. In taking the top prize, which included the $30,000 tiara, a prestigious New York flat, and access to designer fashions and beauty treatments, Dayana Mendoza joins the long list of Venezuelan beauty pageant winners making it the nation that ranks highest in the number of international titles won, with five Miss Universe winners, five Miss World winners and five Miss International winners.
The internationally acclaimed beauty of the residents of Venezuela is echoed in the splendour of the country, with stunning beaches and year-round warm temperatures. Mendoza recently commented: ‘being in Venezuela… It doesn’t matter what happens, you always have a reason for smiling.’ A beautiful destination that is appreciated by residents and tourists alike, Venezuela also boasts the fact that it sits outside of the hurricane zone, making it the perfect place to purchase a second home.
Caracola Beach & Spa Resort on Isla Margarita, just off the mainland Venezuelan coast, makes the most of the country’s beauty, set on pure sandy beaches with mountainous terrain and lush vegetation nearby. Prices start at €79,000/ £63,000 for a one-bedroom apartment and onsite facilities include including restaurants, bars, swimming pools, spa and gymnasium as well as beautifully landscaped gardens. For more information, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit

Foreign Property Owners’ and Investors’ Rights Protected in Venezuela



Much has been written in the media about the undeniable investment attraction of Venezuela, and in particular Isla Margarita.  After all, Isla Margarita is a stunning and accessible Caribbean island with rapidly expanding tourism and real estate sectors where annual investment returns from property are currently reaching double digits.  However, failing to accompany this positive promotion of Venezuela is sufficient and accurate information about why an investment made is secure and safe against a backdrop of what many incorrectly assume is a less than stable political leadership.
Venezuela is a politically secure country; it is also a nation with a $182 billion economy* that has expanded at an average rate of over 12% in recent years, a growth rate that is the highest amongst the biggest economies in Latin America.  To secure this rate of growth the nation’s president Hugo Chávez has committed to creating a transparent environment where domestic and overseas investors can benefit from the growing strength, attraction and appeal of the nation and where their investments are protected.
President Chavez has stated: “you want to invest in Venezuela?  Here we are…this government isn´t an enemy of the business person, and we want to let them participate…” A recent article in the International Herald Tribune proved the sincerity of this sentiment and made it clear why international investment is welcome and secure.  According to the report it is thanks to foreign investment and a resultant strengthening of the economy that President Chávez has achieved many of his domestic goals for healthcare, employment and education – for example and he has taken the minimum wage in Venezuela to the highest level in Latin America.
Venezuela welcomes investors and investment – and Decree Number356 passed back in 1999 should make it clear to would-be investors that not only is their financial commitment welcome, but their rights are protected and their investments are safe. 
According to Mark Andrew, Director of Isla Margarita property specialists Emerging Earth: “Decree Number 356 is the legislation passed by the government to ensure that foreign investors are treated fairly and in the same way as domestic investors in Venezuela, and the most pertinent and significant Article of the Decree is Number 6 which states that: ‘international investments will have the rights to an equal and just treatment conforming to the norms and criteria of international laws and will not be subject to arbitrary measures or discrimination that could impede maintenance, management, usage, enjoyment extensions, sales or liquidation.’  Would-be investors can take great confidence from the existence of this Decree which basically makes property investment in Isla Margarita even safer than real estate investment in Dubai for example, because whatever you buy in Isla Margarita is secured freehold real estate – unlike in the popular Arab Emirate.”
Currently available for sale to overseas investors on Isla Margarita and proving significantly popular and successful is the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort.  It comprises of luxury properties with Caribbean Ocean and beach views which are situated in a resort style development with world class amenities and facilities such as restaurants, bars, swimming pools, chill-out areas, a spa, gymnasium, beauty salon, high end retail outlets and beautifully landscaped gardens.  The fully furnished properties come with a guaranteed rental return of 7% pa net for 10 years, and this investment purchase is SIPP qualifying and offers tax efficient freehold ownership.  Prices start from €79,000/ £63,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.
For more information, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit
*(GNP according to Bloomberg)

Oil rich Venezuela diversifies economy



Lying off the northern shore and forming part of the Republic of Venezuela, Isla Margarita is emerging as a tourism and property investment hotspot in 2008 as the profile of this stunning Caribbean island gains in international strength. 
The natural appeal of the island is undeniable; it typifies the perfect Caribbean island fantasy in most people’s minds with its blend of palm fringed beaches which give way to the warm waters of the Caribbean whilst being backed by dramatic, lush mountain peaks; and on top of this the island is a duty free port.  However, the true fundamentals that support an investment commitment in this specific location may not be quite so obviously apparent as the natural charms of the island at first glance.
The economy of Isla Margarita is intrinsically linked to the overall economy in Venezuela, and the good news is that the nation as a whole is seeing its economy go from strength to strength on the back of the oil reserves that the country has in abundance.  Few people are aware that as one of the top 10 oil producing nations in the world, Venezuela’s fiscal strengths are increasing continually as oil prices rise – and at the same time, the intelligent government is working hard to lessen the nation’s overall reliance and dependence on just oil for the longer term.
In much the same way as Dubai has already done for example, Venezuela is optimising its oil revenues by putting oil generated income back into the development of other economic sectors for the long-term stability of the economy in the country.  One of the main areas witnessing significant and increasing investment is tourism, and as one of the nation’s most treasured and desirable destinations, Isla Margarita is receiving a great deal of this investment.  According to the Vice Minister of Tourism: “Our goal is to position Venezuela as a sustainable tourism product…Nueva Esparta State [of which Isla Margarita is the most significant island] is very important for our strategic plan given that it has a geographic location popular around the world, i.e., the Caribbean.”
According to the latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council, the investment the Venezuelan government is ploughing into the development of a sustainable tourism sector is paying off to the tune of an average annual increase in already strong tourism numbers of 11.7% this year, rising to 13% in 2009.  For an investor looking at a market where there is already an incredibly strong, oil rich and proven economy and yet where there are emerging economic sectors of equal potential, Isla Margarita is quite possibly unrivalled.
According to Mark Andrew, the Sales Director of international real estate agency Emerging Earth and an expert on the Isla Margarita real estate market: “Savvy property investors are enjoying the exciting opportunity that is emerging on Isla Margarita.  This is an affordable, accessible Caribbean destination that lies outside the hurricane zone and which is protected and enhanced economically speaking by an incredibly wealthy financial backer, namely one of the world’s top ten oil producing nations, Venezuela.  It’s a location that has already been made highly accessible and highly attractive in terms of the sophistication of infrastructure in place on the island, and now as big business comes in and develops resorts and promotes the appeal of the destination globally, the upside pressure on demand for real estate for sale is beginning to be felt acutely.  Isla Margarita is a hot property prospect and increasing numbers of international investors recognise this.”
One development of specific appeal and typifying the type of high-end real estate coming to the market in this Caribbean paradise is the Caracola Beach & Spa Resort which affords residents stunning views of beautiful Caribbean beaches.  The development boasts excellent facilities that include restaurants, bars, swimming pools, high-end retail boutiques and beautifully landscaped gardens.  All apartments are fully furnished and come with a guaranteed rental return of 7% pa net for 10 years.  This investment purchase is SIPP qualifying and offers tax efficient freehold ownership.  Prices start from €79,000/ £63,000 for a one-bedroom apartment. 
For more information, please contact Emerging Earth on 0845 604 1208, email or visit