Joe

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  1. This is pretty amazing looking. When I think of dome homes, the geodesic design pops into my head. I've seen some that made nice cabins, but nothing truly elegant. But this place looks fantastic. It's the first time I've seen something like this and thought, "Yeah, I could live in something like that". We love spending time out on our patio. It would be interesting coming up with a design that would offer a large patio area and maintain the same lines and elegance, or at least not detract from the feel of the place. Of course, first line of construction here is whether it will handle the earthquakes. I'd be interested in learning more about how they compare to reinforced stick frame and typical reinforced concrete like what is prevalent in construction here already. Very nice. Thanks for the share and provoking thought.
  2. For temporary housing, why not have a few cabañas available for short-term rentals and property owners who haven't been able to build yet? Seems it would be a win/win. Maybe this is discussed elsewhere or perhaps I missed it here? For the OP, cost of living is highly dependent on what one deems necessary for living. We live very well on a fraction of what it would cost in the US in the same circumstances. But we still pay "a lot" by most people's standards. I would estimate that our house (just north of Concon) would cost well over US$7.000/mo in the US. Rest assured that we are not paying anywhere close to that. But since it's coastal and basically the equivalent of Santa Barbara, you can see how the comparison is difficult and highly skewed. We do have a nice place to stay in a secure neighborhood. We love the feria (farmers market). You can save a bundle by getting your produce there (at least until the community is able to provide your produce). I would say that you pay from about half to 3/4 for produce, sometimes much less. If you go to the regular stores you pay a bit more, usually. Generally produce is less than the US, with some exceptions. Gas is high. Utilities vary, depending on where you are. Our water and electricity seem high to us, especially water. It's rare that we have a utility bill under 100 bucks. Usually it's well over 200. But I understand that we're the exception because of where we live and that most pay far less. It's a frustration of ours, but we can't very well turn anything off! Of course, a resilient community will be completely different. But you have to be somewhere while your house is being built. Eating out here is expensive. You can get something that's not so good for you for cheap, like any US McFastFoods. But even McDonalds here is more (I'd never eat there, just sayin'). We enjoy eating out, but prefer decent restaurants (not fast-food). If we have more than the main course (appetizers, a drink, dessert), we can count on at least 45-50.000 (about $75). We get way with as low as 30.000 sometimes, but maybe close to 90.000 or so others, depending on the restaurant (and who's driving - I like piscos and wine, wifey doesn't). IMO, if you live frugally, you can live a healthy lifestyle on far less than the US. If you enjoy luxury, then it becomes much more circumstantial. If you compare it to San Francisco or NYC, then it's generally less here (unless you're in Santiago, then we need to start a whole new discussion). If you compare it to suburbs of Tucson or smalltown USA, then it might be more competitive. We all have different priorities and ideas of what's important, so it's really subjective. But we enjoy a much nicer lifestyle for the same amount here than we did in the US.
  3. Thanks Rufina, This is cool. I really appreciate what you're doing. Since I'm responding to so many old threads, my avatar keeps popping up in the recent posts. I figured I should introduce Jethro el Gordito, my year old Great Dane and one of my best buds. He's pretty amazing, but a handful too. Yeah, it's a sad looking face, but he's a happy hunky scrapper. Here he is with wifey and her fella, Capitán Jack Sparrow.
  4. Will any backup sources of power/water be the responsibility of the homeowner, or will there be other options in place (such as community backup, generator, cistern, etc).
  5. Good discussion. How do you keep the interest and value up without being an ogre? For the buyer, if you put in a 250.000.000 clp house with amazing structures and beautiful landscaping and I come along and put in a 50.000.000 place and let the land stay wild, it's going to affect your property value. That can be a tough pill to swallow, both in terms of what you have to look at and if you want to sell. So how to manage that reasonably? Are there restrictions on the plans for a house? Do they have to be approved? A minimum amount invested in a house? As for things such as animals and pets, I don't see how that can be restricted. Maybe if the mud never goes away due to 50 cattle constantly walking in their own waste then there would be a real concern. But as long as proper higene is maintained and pets are kept within the property, who am I to say if someone has 1 cat or 50 dogs? [NOTE: It's kinda weird replying two years later, but I'm late to the game. ]
  6. We've found the medical care here to be very good, but not what we're used to. And the quality between different clinics (hospitals in the US) can be vastly different. Expertise in Santiago is top notch. And you may find that it's far superior to what you're used to in the US. In large cities there will likely be at least one clinic that compares, but nothing that's as good as the best in Santiago (Las Condes, Alemana, Santa Maria, Davila and maybe a couple more). Insurance in Chile is like it used to be in the US, with a PPO slant. Generally, you can pick your hospitals that give you the best coverage and go from there. You can also get a secondary insurance to cover the balance for emergencies. It will often cover non-emergencies as well. Some hospitals will automatically charge insurance while others will require you to file for a reimbursement from insurance. Doctors are largely the same. You get contract rates if they're affiliated with your insurance. Some will be plugged into the system so you can pay while there. But you need to know in advance, because if they aren't then you pay the full price up front and don't get reimbursed as much as you'd saved if they were plugged in directly. To avoid this, you pay the boleta in advance through your insurance company and take the receipt with you to show that you've already paid the doctor. This will generally save you at least 5 mil, maybe more. I know a guy who can set you up with Banmedica, if you're interested. His English is good. With most companies here, the person who signs you up only gets paid for the original contract. They do not get paid for your continued payments. It's kinda weird. So once they sign you up, they aren't interested in answering any more questions because there's no money in it for them. They focus on potential customers. But this guy will continue to try to help you regardless. He understands the challenges of living in a new country, having lived in NYC for years. So he really wants to help folks and has gone way beyond insurance in helping me. I don't know what's allowed in the forums, so won't mention a name without approval.
  7. Joe

    Banking

    I've seen a couple of references to the idea that you can only get a bank account in Chile if you are a permanent resident. This isn't accurate. As soon as you have temporary residency, you automatically qualify for a Banco Estado Cuento RUT. It's not a great account, but it's better than nothing. You can only have so much in your main account (2.000.000 I think), but you can have as much as you want in savings (double check this, but I've had millions (in pesos! 😎 ) in mine without issue). I was also able to get a BBVA (now Scotiabank) account with my temporary residency. It was incredibly simple. Did someone screw up? I don't know, but I have the account. Also be aware that some of the banks here have agreements with world banks such as Citi (Banco de Chile). I think HSBC has a relationship with a local bank too. And Santander is in many countries (in case you're not coming from the US) and may offer some potential. Finally, don't take anyone's word for it when it comes to things like this in Chile. The simple fact is that even if the standard or guidelines say that you shouldn't get an account (or whatever), someone might do it for you anyways. Don't give up at the first Scotiabank, Santander or UTUA bank you go to. Just keep going and see what happens. The worst they can do is tell you "no". I was actually able to get a Banco Edwards (Banco de Chile's premium bank) account with my temporary residency. That's weird, but who am I to complain?
  8. Check out Ceres. They've built a pretty cool mostly-passive system for regulating temperature with underground tubes. How it's done depends on how close groundwater is to the surface and it can be helpful to sink the green house a bit in order to use the earth to regulate. But with their system it isn't necessary, just optional. https://ceresgs.com/
  9. It's great to see this project. Having been interested in Chile for almost a decade and permaculture and regenerative agriculture for almost as long, I am surprised I didn't find you guys earlier. We arrived in Chile almost two years ago. Our first 7 months we were in Olmué, then moved just north of Concón. Recently I started looking at other rental possibilities and somewhere saw a link to this site. It's very intriguing. I work online, so we can live anywhere that I can get internet. The flexibility is nice. A few years ago I took the permaculture course with Warren Brush, as well as some watershed management courses with Craig Sponholtz and Brad Lancaster. I was able to take the Regrarians REX10 training with Darren Doherty a few years ago too. Unfortunately, I have yet to put a lot of this into practice, so it's largely head knowledge without experience. But it has given me a vision that I hope to be able to pursue vigorously within the next couple of years. I drew up a proposal for something similar to this project a few years ago as well. It was less focused on personal housing and more focused on providing an education for poor kids in a regenerative setting. The idea is to have a school that is funded by the property so that donations, and especially tuition, aren't needed. It included a few lots plus some rental cabins. Lots would be had by membership rather than deed, in order to avoid property sales taxes and all the challenges involved there in this country. The folks down in Valdivia are doing something like that, if I understand correctly. It looks like the forums have been pretty quiet for the last year, but that you are moving along with your plans. Hopefully it'll all come together for you. I saw on the Fb page that some things are happening. What's the best way to catch up on where things stand?