Buenos Aires Real Estate Consulting on Buying and Selling
Buying or selling property in a foreign country can be a difficult and cumbersome process. There are many pitfalls and extra expenses if you are not familiar with the process of buying or selling a property in Argentina. Our CEO and Founder of our company, Michael Koh, has been one of the largest buyers of residential real estate in Buenos Aires since 2002. Our firm has been researching the real estate market for over 17 years and constantly evaluating the best opportunities for ourselves and hundreds of individual investors, institutional investors, banks and investment firms.
Our company spent valuable time and considerable expense to seek out the best lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, money transfer firms to safely transfer funds (in and out of Argentina), and many other essential key personnel that are absolutely necessary to purchase or sell property here in Buenos Aires safely and legally. Our reputation is stellar throughout the real estate community in Argentina as well as the investment community around the world.
It is essential to receive valuable input from an American or foreigner that has successfully purchased and sold hundreds of properties in Buenos Aires. Find out what problems they might have had and what worked best for them. This type of information is extremely valuable and will save time and money.
MikesBAapartments offers consulting services to foreigners purchasing and selling property in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We have gone through the process from start to finish on hundreds of properties for ourselves and our consulting clients and investors. We work with the most respected people in the real estate industry. Our company is well respected by our clients, real estate companies and even competing agencies. We are the ONLY consulting company that actually owns all the properties on our website.
Our consulting services fee is nominal and will help you save valuable time and money. We will walk you through the process of buying or selling a property here; we will refer you to the best real estate agencies with English speaking agents, competent and highly respected attorneys and money transfer firms. Our consulting fee includes being listed on a power of attorney (POA) so we can purchase or sell your property for you on your behalf. Many of our clients have purchased and sold properties without having to fly to Buenos Aires to go through the property purchase or closing. The expense of airfare, hotels and time off from work would easily exceed the cost alone for our consulting fee. Plus, it would be difficult to find a local that you’d entrust with significant amounts of cash.
Our assistance doesn’t stop with the purchase of your new property. We will assist you after you take possession of your property with referrals to electricians, painters, architects and general contractors that are all ethical, professional and have consistently produced great results.
Our firm has been featured in many prominent and respected magazines and newspapers around the world. You can read Mr. Koh’s interview with the Wall Street Journal here:
Howard B. – New York, USA
I very rarely take the time to write a testimonial but I felt compelled to after my experiences with Michael Koh. I purchased a property in Buenos Aires in 1999. It was only one of several international properties that I purchased for my portfolio. I enjoyed using it for a few weeks out of every year with my family. The remaining time I had a close local friend taking care of the property.
When I purchased the property no one indicated to me that there was any annual property tax bill that I needed to pay and I was never sent any bill. Besides allowing my friend to use the property, I never rented out the property or made any income on the property.
You can imagine my surprise when I went to sell the property (December 2015) and I was told that I couldn’t sell the property without paying back taxes, penalties and interest for property taxes as well as assumed rental income taxes. My local friend referred me to their family accountant. I was given wrong information after wrong information. I felt hopeless because every time I consulted with a lawyer or accountant, I got a different answer. It seemed like no one really knew the answers.
I researched online and I found a Wall Street Journal article from May 2013 that referenced Michael Koh. I immediately contacted him and he emailed me back immediately informing me of his consultation rates and process. I was a bit reluctant to pay for an initial consultation but after researching his name I found many articles with Mr. Koh’s obvious expertise in the Buenos Aires real estate market.
I paid his consultation fee and he spent 1.5 hours answering all my questions, explaining the laws and the process. After speaking to him, it was obvious that there is one set of laws for locals and a totally other set for foreigners. He explained the entire process in detail, outlined all the steps I needed to sell my property. He explained the penalties, interest and fees I’d need to pay to get a permit to sell the property. He referred me to a competent accountant that specialized in foreign tax matters.
I immediately retained his services and he and his team successfully helped me sell my property. He referred me to a realtor that immediately sold my property. His accountant prepared and filed 15 years of back taxes. Michael and his staff paid the taxes for me. He took a power of attorney so I didn’t need to come to Buenos Aires. Everything was done remotely.
He structured the closing as such that I received a bank wire to my bank account in the USA for all the cash proceeds of the sale. I had to wire down cash for closing expenses (legal fees, realtor’s fees, stamp and transfer taxes). Michael and his team handled everything smoothly and efficiently. I can’t rave enough about his services. I wouldn’t have been able to sell my property without him.
Amanda M. – Texas, USA
You never know what you are going to get when you reach out to an unknown entity or person on the internet. The probability is that it is a scam. Michael Koh, who is referenced all over the internet for his expertise in Buenos Aires real estate is one of the rare exceptions to the minefield that is the modern web. Due to the voluminous references to him on the internet, he is undoubtedly swamped with inquiries for people looking for help. To control that deluge, he charges an upfront fee for an initial consultation, which if you retain him is credited toward his fee. Probably, like most, I was a bit suspicious, but due to our complete lack of knowledge about the Buenos Aires real estate market and the small up front amount asked for, we took the plunge.
During our lengthy initial call with him (October 2014), my husband and I peppered him with questions for over an hour. His knowledge of the real estate market in Buenos Aires is incredible. My husband and I have properties in multiple countries and consider ourselves to be reasonably sophisticated, but after speaking with Michael, it became clear to us that the Buenos Aires real estate market is opaque, with no public or reliable way of valuing property, other than through contact with someone with in depth knowledge of the market. Furthermore, the system of purchasing and conveyance of property is Twilight Zone like to someone from North America. In addition, unless you are in Buenos Aires, you need someone you truly trust to move dollars into the country and deliver them to the sellers.
Michael’s in depth knowledge of all these issues and his virtually endless contacts covering every aspect of the real estate and property transfer industry take what would be an almost hopeless situation for a foreigner, and make the process relatively painless and safe. I can’t emphasize enough how easy it would be for a foreigner to be taken advantage of in this process without an honest guide. Michael is that.
Once retained, we had so many questions that we felt uncomfortable bothering him on a few occasions, but he was always available and highly responsive to the extreme by email. We quickly found a place that was not publicly listed, and with the help of his contacts negotiated a significant price reduction that reflected the real current market value, were connected with a highly reputable attorney to handle the transaction, and Michael safely and seamlessly handled the transfer of all of our funds. We were so comfortable with the people he connected us with that we signed a contract for an apartment without ever visiting Buenos Aires.
In short, you would be nuts not to use his services for the deminimus price he charges unless you have contacts in Buenos Aires and are familiar with the real estate market there yourself.
Adrian C. – California, USA
My wife and I visited Buenos for two weeks in January 2007. After a few days sightseeing, we fell in love with the city and, as we often do when we come across a beautiful place, we started daydreaming about having a place there. In most cases, our fantasy dissolves in the thousand questions about how it’s done and who you can trust and whether you’ll make any money and on and on. By chance, during our stay a friend sent us a New York Times travel article where the writer had rented an apartment from ApartmentsBA. With the idea that here might be a service to get in bed with, we logged on to Michael’s site and started reading.
Impressed by his transparency and business philosophy, we set up a meeting with him for the day before our flight back to the US. We put down our consulting fee for the initial consultation and he asked what questions we had–we didn’t have many after reading his thorough website but he clarified a couple of things about the process and discussed neighborhoods with us. There was no selling at this meeting, just more of the straight talk that he put on his site.
When we got back to the States, we continued to correspond with Michael via email. He was very generous with his answers to our questions and our concerns about the process—and we hadn’t yet paid the balance of his consulting fee. Within a week, he sent us the first prospect that matched our criteria and at that point we quickly wired him the rest of the consulting fee plus an amount for the reserva (initial offer).
Here’s where Michael’s true colors showed the brightest—when that prospect went away, he wrote back offering to return what we’d just wired him.
Our first reaction to Michael’s consulting fee had been a worry that this guy we didn’t know might just be out to collect fees and wouldn’t come through, but if we had a shadow of a doubt left, his offer to return our money wiped that away. Michael wasn’t interested in our fee. He was in it for the long haul.
He continued to send us prospects for another month, at which time, one came through that seemed absolutely perfect. Being totally transparent about his process, he sent an email to five consulting clients, ourselves included, announcing the apartment’s availability. He explained that he’d see the place on Friday, take more pictures and determine whether it was a good property for his management company. Once his inspection was complete, he would give his opinion to the group and the first person to email back would be the person he would represent for the property purchase.
By chance, we were up late that evening and, after an hour-long, intense conversation, we emailed that we wanted the place. We were first and later we were told 3 other clients all emailed the following day all wanting to purchase the same property. We beat them by a few hours.
Over the next two weeks, we had some paperwork to deal with:
- Power of attorney for Mike to purchase the property on our behalf. We needed to have these notarized, have the notary certified and then have an international Hague Convention Apostile seal put on the signature pages. Then we had to FedEx the entire package to Argentina. All told, this cost just under $200.
- Mike needed scans of our passports and financial data (mainly, as I understand, to satisfy US Homeland Security laws as well as Argentina anti-money laundering laws established).
Michael stayed in the loop, making sure that we were getting our questions answered and that all things were moving forward. He also handled the final negotiations with the seller. He also handled getting our tax ID numbers (CDI #) for Argentina which is required to buy real estate.
It was very nerve-racking putting this much trust in someone in a foreign country. My wife and I had a long talk. I reread a lot of the information on his website. Finally, we came to the conclusion that either Michael was entirely trustworthy or he was running a scam on the level of Enron. We wired the money.
Michael arranged to go straight to the closing since the property was ready to purchase. We had expected to have a month to liquidate the rest of our funds. Thinking that two weeks might not be enough, we asked Michael to get us some extra time, which he did. We wired the money to our bank account that he helped us set up in Argentina and the entire purchase was finished two weeks later. Michael handled the entire purchase process with us in the USA.
We went back and forth about whether to pay Michael’s furniture and remodeling fee. We had a designer friend in Buenos Aires who had offered to help, but realizing that there would be challenges, we decided at first to pay the fee. Then days later, after we’d already wired the money, we changed our minds and decided to use our friend instead. Michael wired our money back immediately.
Our friend got started decorating and a month and a half later, we went down to Buenos Aires ourselves to do the final decorations ourselves. We had a great time and I wouldn’t have done it differently knowing what I know now, but let me say that we paid twice as much for our decorator as we would have for Michael’s furniture and remodeling fee.
Much of our labor budget went towards paying someone to wait at the apartment for the cable company to come, for instance. I cannot imagine that Michael makes a penny off his furniture coordination fee.
The happy ending is that, a couple of weeks after Michael listed it, our apartment started renting. If it keeps up like this, we’ll be getting full payback within 10 years.
I cannot recommend Michael and his company more enthusiastically.
Lawrence B. – Houston, Texas USA
I was one of Mike’s very first consulting clients. Buying property in a foreign country is a scary process and Mike helped make it an easy process. No matter where you are real-estate is a major purchase. It is not something I do every day. When I was buying my home in the USA I used realtors and lawyers that my friends used and recommended. It is a major event and something to be taken seriously.
I first met Mike in Buenos Aires in 2002. I was surprised to hear that he was testing the waters of real-estate in Buenos Aires. At first I thought it was foolish but after a couple of years I realized he was on to something. For Mike, this was not a whim. He took his time learning about the business, made a solid business plan and followed through with it for a few years.
Although he was a senior level executive in the USA, he took the time to put together a business plan, research and build relationships for a few years before deciding to move down there permanently. When he told me he was moving down there and what he was going to do I was very surprised. He quit his job, sold his house and cars, and threw himself into the business. I know Mike loves Argentina and is a place he has wanted to call home for a long time. If I were not convinced about his commitment to staying there and the soundness of his business plan I would probably not have purchased property there.
I felt comfortable dealing with Mike because we have known each other for several years. Also, I watched firsthand what he was doing. He has purchased several properties himself with his own funds and I saw what kind of results he was getting and was impressed.
When I first seriously started thinking about buying down there I wanted an apartment that I would like to live in. Mike’s advice was practical and focused. What do you want to do with the apartment? Do you want to live in it or do you want to make money renting it to other people? Simple practical advice that helps refocus on the purpose.
Like everything else in business, you need a plan and a target audience. If I were moving to Buenos Aires I would get something bigger and more expensive. However, if I am going there for a short time I want something bright, modern, comfortable, close to the heart of things, with the comforts of home, and hotel. And that will provide a good return on investment.
I purchased an apartment in the same building where he owns an apartment. Mike negotiated the purchase without a realtor saving me 4% of the purchase price. He introduced me to an honest, English speaking attorney that was very easy to work with. Mike handled the entire negotiation and purchase process including the down payment and money transfer process once the final title deed transfer took place.
Mortgages are rare in Argentina even for Argentineans so for foreigners it is a cash deal. I don’t know why but the banks are funny in Argentina, If I wire money to a bank from the US, they charge me a % to get US$ out. It is not a small amount. It can be over 5%.
I personally don’t feel comfortable losing that much in a transfer but I also don’t feel good about carrying 250K in my carryon luggage. Mike showed me the cheapest way to get money into Argentina. There are banks that specialize in getting cash from wire transfers, they charge about 1.5% to 2.5%. To do this you need an account with them. Mike has had at least u$s 250,000 of my money in cash as I purchased two apartments. Who else do you know in South America that you could trust with that amount of money? I knew I could trust him and I knew I could trust him to manage my property once it was ready.
Mike handled the entire furnishing of the apartment including meeting with architects to make special custom made furniture, getting it furnished with electronics and getting it painted. Immediately upon the completion of the apartment he had it marketed and rented starting the first day after it was ready to rent. My apartment has been booked solid since the first day he started managing it.
I was so thrilled with my investment; I decided to purchase another apartment. Mike selected another property that I decided to have completely remodeled. Mike oversaw the renovation process and I was happy that this apartment was also rented immediately after the completion of the renovations.
I am happy with my real estate purchases in Argentina. I couldn’t have done it without Mike’s help and guidance. The people he referred me to from the real estate lawyer, to the money transfer firm to all the contractors including the electricians, architects and painters have been great to work with and fair with their pricing.
The only real downside I have seen is that I have spent more money than I originally planned. The peso is stronger now than it was a year ago. Property values are going up though so my property is worth more. I also changed my mind on the level of quality I wanted to use. I use to stay in hotels when I visited down there. Today Buenos Aires is getting expensive with lodging in hotels.
I also wanted to see what the apartments were like. I have stayed in mid range and higher end apartments. I came to the conclusion that I like comfort and nice things and I am willing to spend a little more for them. I also think people who are like me are less likely to damage my apartment and furnishings. So I have spent more to make my apartments more luxurious to target people who are willing to spend more for quality.
Mike is always available to answer any questions I have whether I call him or email him. He always has responded the same day (usually within an hour). He is one of the most trustworthy people I know. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing real estate in Argentina without his guidance or someone else you know and trust doing the same thing down there.
Javier M. – Connecticut, USA
I’m Argentinean but I have been living away from my country for six years already. Around December of 2005 seeing how my native country economy was recovering I started to research the possibility of buying a property there. I’m still regretting not doing it sooner than that.
First I was looking for an apartment with the idea of renting it out to the local market; this original idea changed when I found about Michael Koh’s company and started reading about the Luxury Apartments rental services. I found the business model quite interesting considering that tourism in Buenos Aires was booming.
The first thing I did was to send an email to Michael Koh asking about his firm’s services and commissions. In less than 24 hours I got a reply from Mike with detailed information about their services, commissions, testimonials, etc. I was surprised with the quick response.
We exchange couple more emails where Mike answered all my questions and we agreed to meet the next time I will be in Buenos Aires. At that moment I was still suspicious (not for any particular reason, just because…) and I was not going to give a dime away until seeing their offices and talking to Michael Koh himself; in other words I wanted to triple check if these people were real.
I know I may sound a little bit paranoid, but keep in mind I lived almost all my life in Argentina and since I have memory (I was born in 1975) I’ve witnessed how in two opportunities (1989 and 2001) the Argentinean banks and the government confiscated people deposits forcing them to accept 20 year bonds. So you can imagine that if I can’t trust the local banks and the government how could I trust an internet web site?
Four months later, I finally got to visit Mike at his Recoleta office. He took the necessary time to explain me in detail how he operated, the expected investment returns, etc. and of course answer all my questions.
At the end of the meeting one of the members of his staff showed me two of their rental apartments nearby in the Recoleta area. So far I was satisfied with what I’ve seen; one thing I liked in particular about him is that he wasn’t simply an investment advisor an actual investor personally owning several properties in Buenos Aires.
Now I had the necessary confidence in Mike’s company to make business with them from my home in the USA.
Weeks later with the help of Mike I bought an off-plan apartment in Recoleta. New construction in this area of the city is rare, that’s exactly why it was an attractive investment. There were two apartments left on the top floor (the most desirable floor) and Mike also wanted to get one, he let me choose first and then he bought the remaining one on the same floor.
Because we bought two units Mike was able to negotiate a discount with the developer, but we had move fast to secure the properties so after he got my okay he even paid the reservation for my unit from his own pocket, which I reimbursed him a couple of days later. When the property was completed it had already increased over 20% in value.
Months later after my first good experience investing in Buenos Aires, I went back to Mike to look for a second apartment. This time he found an already renovated two bedroom apartment on the top floor of a classical 40 years old Recoleta building close to Santa Fe Avenue.
He immediately sent me an email with the apartment’s photos and information about the building. Then I asked Mike to arrange a visit so my mother could take a look to it. Later that night I spoke with her but she wasn’t complete convinced about it, she didn’t dislike it but she wasn’t totally sure either. I was not sure what to do, but finally because I liked what I saw on the photos and because I trusted Mike’s judgment I decided to go for it. Mike negotiated the price with the seller and I end up getting the apartment for a couple of thousand dollars less than the asking price.
Closing went smoothly, Mike’s staff organized everything keeping me informed by email and promptly answering all my questions. During the notary meeting my mother had just to sign the Notary documents on my behalf as she had a Power of Attorney from me.
On my next trip to Buenos Aires I visited the apartment while it was being furnished (I also retained Mike’s firm to furnish it). The apartment was great, plenty of light, excellent layout, luxury design furniture, and as Mike told me the renovations were tastefully done, it looked brand new. In six weeks the apartment was ready for business; it even got a booking before the photos were published on his website.
Only three months after the apartment started to be rented out the occupancy is half of the average, this is good for a new property considering that tourist usually make their reservations months in advance. I am confident occupancy will increase reaching the average by the end of the year.
In summary these people know the market, they know the rules of engagement down there, they have “the right contacts” and most important of all they know how to take care of their customers (renters and investors).
Jay S. – Texas, USA
I have the utmost confidence and respect in Michael Koh and his colleagues based on my extensive dealings with them over the last few years.
I became aware of Michael Koh and his firm several years ago when I was exploring the possibility of renting an apartment rather than staying in a hotel during a planned leisure trip to Buenos Aires in early 2006. I ended up renting two different apartments from him in 2006, both of which were located in the Recoleta neighborhood, and both of which were every bit as good as had been advertised on the Company’s website.
I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of “living” in an apartment during my visit to Buenos Aires, rather than merely being a guest at one of the city’s hotels.
Although I had been to Buenos Aires several times prior to 2006, during that visit, I fell in love with the city and decided I wanted to explore the possibility of owning an apartment in the same Recoleta neighborhood in which I had previously rented. Michael Koh referred me to an english-speaking realtor with one of Buenos Aires’ best realty agencies, and then visited with me, and helped me evaluate for investment/ownership potential, the two apartments in which I had the most interest.
Michael also referred me to an excellent Argentine real estate attorney who drew the paperwork necessary to submit a proper offer to buy.
Because of certain dishonest actions taken by the sellers’ representatives, I did not end up buying the apartment on which I made a bid in 2006. Sadly, this type of experience is apparently not a rare occurrence in real estate transactions in Argentina, and only serves to underscore the importance of an “outsider” finding someone who can represent his or her interests in any proposed real estate or business transaction in Argentina who is honest, competent and “knows the ropes” regarding how business is transacted in Argentina.
Michael Koh was that person for me, and he quickly obtained a return of my deposit monies on the 2006 transaction despite the sellers’ realtors’ initial resistance.
My experience with Michael Koh in 2006 caused me to have complete trust in his integrity, his ethics and his competence. In fact, my trust in Michael was so great that in 2007 I relied almost exclusively on Michael’s personal inspection in purchasing an expensive apartment in the Recoleta neighborhood that I was unable to inspect myself, and had only “seen” in pictures posted on the realtors’ internet website.
Michael lined up the engineers/inspectors, the lawyers and the other professionals and advisers who helped me evaluate this property, and help me consummate the purchase transaction. After the transaction closed, Michael referred me to several excellent architects who I interviewed for the job of overseeing renovations to the apartment, which is in a lovely “French” building in a very nice part of the Recoleta.
I could go on and on in praise of Michael Koh and his colleagues. Suffice it to say, however, that Michael is completely honest, highly competent and charges very reasonable fees for his services. Michael is always completely professional and is a pleasure to work with. He answers every email inquiry promptly, and is a storehouse of information and wise counsel on foreign investment in Argentina.
Michael’s advice and assistance, and that of his colleagues, in this area have made it possible for me to own an apartment thousands of miles from my principal residence without having to deal personally with the day-to-day worries of home ownership.
I would not have been willing to pursue the idea of owning a second residence in Buenos Aires if I had not had full confidence in Michael Koh and his colleagues’ ability to represent my interests in Argentina in an honest and competent manner. I have been completely satisfied with every aspect of my relationship with Michael Koh and his firm, and would strongly recommend that any acquaintance of mine who desires to pursue the idea of owning property in Buenos Aires retain the assistance of Michael Koh in doing so.
——— Mr. S. also retained our firm to sell his property which we were successful doing. The closing went smoothly and all funds were remitted to his USA bank account.
Mark G. – USA
“Mike has been of great help and a tremendous resource to me during my last apartment purchase in BA. His advice,all along the process, and his great knowledge of the real estate market have actually saved me a lot of money (u$s 2,400), which I would have
ended up paying as an unnecessary tax fee, if I had gone with my realtor’s recommendation only as he gave me wrong advice regarding a tax issue. Mike correctly told me that my realtor was wrong and saved me $2,400.
I also met Mike in person and found him to be very intelligent and ethical, and I am extremely impressed with his insight and competence in this business. I highly recommend him as a real estate consultant in Buenos
Aires to anybody without reservation.
I also hired Mike 4 years later to sell my property and he sold my property for almost double of what I paid for it. He handled all the paperwork and even signed the closing for me and remitted funds to my USA bank account. He is ethical and trustworthy”.
—- Mark is an American that put an offer on a 2 bedroom apartment in Recoleta. Mark used his own realtor and found a beautiful property. Once the offer was accepted, Mark’s realtor and attorney both told him that he must pay an additional tax when he signed the final contract for his new apartment. I met with his realtor and was surprised when he told me that he has been charging his clients the additional tax. Our company was adamant in telling his realtor that he was making a mistake and costing his clients thousands of dollars.
Our company researched the laws before buying our properties and this is just one example where even local realtors and lawyers are giving out incorrect information and costing their clients thousands of dollars. Mark’s realtor later admitted he was wrong and admitted costing his clients thousands of dollars. If I didn’t intercede, Mark would have been charged $2,400 extra based on wrong advice.
Robert & Monica Day – New York City, USA
When my brother and I decided to purchase an apartment in Buenos Aires we spent weeks searching for accurate information about the process. The internet seemed
littered with conflicting facts and incomplete information. More worrisome still were the numerous posts from people who had been scammed in one way or another. Obtaining a verifiable, understandable and correct description of the purchase process seemed impossible.
Finally we found Michael’s website. He responded to our questions with complete and clear answers, usually within minutes, always by end of day. Initially we hired him as a real estate consultant/adviser. In this role, he was absolutely essential to our success, introducing us to a trustworthy real estate agent, a lawyer, and a bank and bridging the gap for us between the reality of local business practices and our own expectations.
Throughout the two weeks it took us to find our apartment, he was always available for last minute questions, addressing our concerns and coordinating our “team”. He gave us a tour of apartments he was renting and precise information on what sorts of properties were most desirable, what rents they were getting and how long they were booked.
At the end of the two weeks we made an offer on a lovely apartment. As the negotiations and counter-offers grew complicated, and we became increasingly uncertain, he stepped right up, meeting with us to fully explain the details and discuss our options. When we met with the seller to sign the finalized agreement, he was there.
As individual buyers purchasing a single property in a foreign country, with no local contacts or connections, we were taking on an enormous risk. By working with Michael and his company we felt like we became part of a larger concern, a known local entity with an ever increasing share of the real estate rental market. Because Michael is continually referring his clients to a select list of business contacts, they have a vested interest in maintaining an honest relationship with him. We became part of this relationship and were taken seriously and treated fairly.
By the time we returned for the closing, we had decided to hire Michael as our property manager. In this role, he advised us everything from where to buy furniture to what sort of amenities rental clients expect. And, when the apartment was ready he was the one we handed over the keys to. He successfully managed our property for many years and when we went to sell it several years later he also sold it for us. We hired him for his services to sell the property and we didn’t even fly down for the closing. Michael signed the closing for us and sent the cash to our bank account in the USA. Very effortless.
Michael is one of the most capable, motivated and professional business people we have ever worked with. As well, he is a good and trustworthy person who cares deeply for the success of his clients. We highly recommend him to anyone intending to purchase real estate in Argentina.
Richard Davella – New York City, USA
In 1997, my dear friend Gloria after thirty years of working and living in Manhattan retired and moved to her country of origin Argentina. She came back to Manhattan once a year to visit and we would get together for dinner. She always talked about Buenos Aires and invited me to come to visit. I finally decided to take her up on her offer three years ago. From the very first time I visited her in Buenos Aires, I fell in love with the city.
The people are friendly, the food is wonderful and the architecture reminded me of Paris, and last but not least the prices were amazingly affordable. I felt as if I were wealthy. I did not have to check menu prices! Even the most expensive restaurants such as the Alvear Palace Hotel were in my budget.
For my second trip to Buenos Aires my partner and I decided to take a complete package tour which included a tourist grade hotel and air fare. The price was right but the hotel room was a major disappointment. During that trip, I met an American tourist who told me that they had a temporary apartment rental in the city. I took down the information and booked with them on my third trip. The apartment was a great alternative to a hotel. I got the idea to buy an apartment and rent it out when I wasn’t using it.
I looked around a good bit and found a beautiful apartment with a lot of potential so I hired my friend Gloria’s lawyer and started the real estate buying procedure. The biggest problem I had was that I don’t understand Spanish and the lawyer did not speak English. It was getting very complicated quickly and I did not have a clue to what was going on. I was becoming more anxious every day.
I heard about Mike and decided to give him a call. Michael took the time over the telephone to explain all of the different things that could go wrong if you did not have a good lawyer that you can fully communicate with (which I could not at all with the attorney that I started out with) so I decided to hire Mke as a real estate consultant for his obvious expertise with the real estate buying process in Buenos Aires. Although I was using my friend’s lawyer I thought it was a good idea to use Mike as a sort of insurance. Thank God for that day!! I did not know how close I was to a total disaster situation.
Mike reviewed all the paperwork from the previous lawyer and he found many flaws from the beginning. I switched to the lawyer that Michael recommended that spoke fluent English. The new lawyer got involved but had more work than he bargained for. As it turned out, the original lawyer made many mistakes while preparing the documents for the purchase/sale of the apartment I was buying. He had overlooked the fact that there was a lien on the apartment and the apartment and the apartment # on the deed did not even match the actual apartment I was buying.
For all I know, I could have been buying a storage room in the basement. It was a huge mess! I began to get discouraged and felt that this property was never going to be mine. Mike told me to be patient and that his lawyer was the best real estate attorney in Argentina so if anyone could fix the problems, his attorney could. In time, Mike proved to be exactly correct.
I honestly don’t know what I would have done or how badly things could have gone if I didn’t get involved with Mike. Mike is a very honest, professional and dedicated person. He always answered emails immediately, even after midnight and when we was on vacation. When it was time to close I wired the money for the closing to him and he held it for me for two weeks until I arrived in BA to close on the property. There are not too many people that I would have done something like that and trusted.
I was quite pleased with how things unfolded. I hired Mike and his team to oversee renovations on my apartment while I am in New York. The renovation turned out beautifully and Mike’s company has managed my apartment for several years. If you are contemplating buying real estate in Buenos Aires or even just interested in renting a luxury apartment for a vacation or business trip, I highly recommend Mike and his company. You will be happy that you used their company. I know I was. Thanks Mike!
Umberto Ciccolella – USA
Mike – We would like to thank you so much for all that you have done and continue to do to help us with our move from Mexico to Buenos Aires. Your consulting services have been so valuable to us. Your entire staff is very knowledgeable as well as always very helpful and pleasant to work with.
You were critical in negotiating the purchase of our apartment and obtaining the best price possible. In addition, all of the services, vendors and contractors you have recommended have been wonderful to work with as well as honest and reliable.
Again, thank you so much and we will highly recommend your company to anyone thinking of moving to Buenos Aires or investing here.
—– My firm was also retained by Umberto to sell the property. We successfully sold his property without any problems whatsoever.
Fields Marshall – USA
I found Michael through his webpage in June 2005. At the time, I was considering investing in property in Buenos Aires but I didn’t have any definite ideas on how to proceed. Having never even bought a property in the US, I had many apprehensions about purchasing a house abroad. Needless to say, I was very glad to find Michael through his webpage. Not only did he seem to be just the person I was looking for but he had a solid business plan and a way for me to rent my apartment.
I love Argentina and Argentine people but Argentines have a different way of doing business and negotiating deals. I wanted to deal with someone with whom I could relate to and understand from my own background in the USA, someone who could give me correct and honest information about buying property in Buenos Aires. Most importantly, someone whom I could trust and that was looking out for my best interest.
Michael has been great in all these regards. Michael found a great property for me and negotiated the purchase while I was overseas in Italy. I also hired Michael to renovate my property and furnish it and it turned out fantastic. He managed my apartment for several year and years later I hired him to sell the property. He helped me sell the property and it was a smooth process with Michael’s assistance.
I would gladly recommend his services to anyone buying property here in Argentina. I have seen firsthand other property purchases without his services and can say that it is very worth your money to hire him to make sure you avoid the many, many pitfalls of buying property in Argentina.
Feel free to contact me with questions.
John O. – New York City, New York USA
I wish to offer this recommendation for Michael Koh. I am an American citizen who was introduced to Michael the end of 2007 by some very satisfied clients of his. I subsequently hired Michael and his company to consult with me to purchase an apartment in Buenos Aires, oversee its major renovation and decoration/design, and subsequently to rent it on an ongoing basis on the short term rental program run by his former company, ApartmentsBA.
Through this entire process, Michael stayed involved and insured things went as planned with my apartment purchase and renovation. Yet, he gradually introduced me to others in his company who had specific responsibilities to follow through with the various tasks which had to be accomplished along the way.
He has instilled a “can-do” attitude throughout the company, and all who work there follow the same high standards of client service and follow-through which he insists upon at all levels in the company. Accordingly, I have found that his company is staffed by a very competent and conscientious staff, who I can deal with on an ongoing basis.
Because of the invaluable assistance of Michael Koh and his firm, I was able to purchase an apartment quickly—for a price and location that I had specified. We had two contractors submit bids for a complete renovation of the apartment. Both were introduced to me by Michael, and produced competitive bids, and I made the selection through an interview process conducted with Michael.
The renovation, which was extensive, was accomplished on schedule and within budget. The results were amazing, and the apartment is now one of the most attractive offered by ApartmentsBA, and feedback of clients has been very positive. The apartment is now well displayed on the website of ApartmentsBA, who are now acting as my rental agent, and is renting well.
The experience of owning an apartment in Buenos Aires was much enhanced because of Michael Koh and his firm. Most importantly, he did everything he said he would do, without having to be constantly reminded by me. I highly recommend him for anyone wishing to purchase an apartment in Buenos Aires.
Dave Wiggins – California, USA
I was a new property owner in Buenos Aires and have used the services of Michael to obtain and remodel my property. I have worked with Michael since November 2004. I was always in love with Buenos Aires and am nearing retirement; thus I saw a need to find a suitable place in BA that I could occupy part time and lease the other times. Buenos Aires is a living/breathing city where people for the most part work where they live. It is so very different from the North American existence of driving between the house and a variety of parking lots to carry on with one’s day-to-day necessities. Plus, the city is very historical and is replete with beautiful architecture. The residents of Buenos Aires, the Porteños, live their lives with dignity and love of life.
So, I found Michael through the internet and started a dialog with him about my hopes for owning an apartment in Buenos Aires. Michael was my full-service consultant through every stage of the project, including brainstorming the type of place that was suitable (matching it to my interests and life style), doing reality tests with me as the individual about what I wanted for myself versus what was available, placing offers on properties, obtaining legal representation, designing a renovation and securing a reputable architect, interfacing with the architect and crews during the construction phase, furnishing and outfitting the apartment with amenities, dealing with a recalcitrant neighbor, marketing the property on the internet and securing clients to rent the apartment, setting a fair price, and maintaining records. This was all done with me in the San Francisco Bay Area and Michael managing all processes for me and communicating daily on developments.
Without exception, Michael hires only the most reputable consultants (lawyers, architects, etc) that are available, and cultivates positive relationships with those consultants that he values. Everyone associated with the development of my project had the highest standards for integrity and customer focus thanks to the selection process that Michael consistently employed. Michael’s policy is to exclude from his projects, and insulate his clients from, any businesses and individuals who do not uphold his standards, and it has paid off in a real way in the case of my project. I think Michael is motivated by a desire to build relationships with only the more responsible clients/owners and service providers (real estate agents, lawyers, contractors, etc). He develops these long-term, relationships to keep his business running smoothly over the long haul, and does not sacrifice the interests of his clientele for short-term gain.
I recently sold my apartment in September 2010 and once again I hired Michael to handle the sale. Without me even having to come back to Michael, he took a Power of attorney and closed on my behalf. Please keep in mind it’s a CASH transaction and I trusted Michael to wire the proceeds to me which he did.
I can confidently recommend the services of Michael.
Brad Goldman – California, USA
This is the first testimonial that I have ever written for anyone. One of the things I like the most about Mike is that he is honest and he always returns my communications to him very promptly.
I never went to Argentina before, and one of the best things Mike did for me was inform me to where the best areas to purchase an apartment for rentals was. The real estate agent I was using tried to convince me to purchase in a different area that was simply not desirable for rentals. She had no clue on buying real estate as an investment and only wanted me to purchase a property that she would make a nice commission on. If I did that, my apartment would not have been as valuable since just as in the USA, location is EVERYTHING. Mike found me a beautiful apartment in Recoleta, which is one of the nicest neighborhoods in South America.
Mike was also able to negotiate a lower price on the apartment. It was clear to see the various realtor companies involved knew who he was and that he clearly understood what a fair price in that area was. The savings alone more than paid for the consulting fee I paid him to assist me. He had an excellent English speaking attorney that closed the transaction and Mike was there to sign the title for me. It was a very smooth process.
I also hired him to oversee the furnishing and renovation of my new apartment. He essentially oversaw the complete renovation of the bathroom that was redone with a Jacuzzi tub, put in air conditioning throughout the apartment. I’m very happy with the job that he did for me both as a real estate consultant and also as a project manager getting my apartment ready for rentals. He successfully rented out the property for several years and then I hired him to also sell the property which he handled. As promised, he sent the funds from the sale to my bank account in the USA. Thanks Mike!
Grant W. – Los Angeles, California, USA
I was warned by colleagues and friends that purchasing real estate in Latin America was not an easy process. I appreciated the advice and believed I was being careful. I have toured much of South America and have visited Buenos Aires many times. I have many local friends in Argentina. Coupled with the fact that I am an attorney in the USA, I believed I could purchase on my own without having problems. I asked my friends living in Buenos Aires for a referral to a good attorney that could assist me on my purchase. I found a beautiful property and I hired an attorney that was highly recommended by a dear friend.
For many reasons, I felt uneasy 48 hours before I was to make an initial down payment with cash on the property that I was going to purchase. I started searching the internet and I found Michael’s company. I called him on a weekend and was surprised to find him in his office. I asked him many questions and he asked me some basic questions which I did not have the answers to. He asked me if I had seen a copy of the former title deed. He asked me if I saw the report that showed the property was free of any liens or encumbrances.
He asked me if I spoke Spanish or if my attorney spoke English. Suddenly I realized that I was putting too much faith into my lawyer who I didn’t know anything about and with whom I couldn’t communicate with. Michael explained to me that my common sense shouldn’t change just because I was not in the USA. I hired him that very same day over the phone.
Michael and his team called the real estate company and the lawyer handling my purchase. He requested all the paperwork. I was SHOCKED to learn from Michael that the lawyer never even ordered a basic title check to make sure the property was clear of any encumbrances. There were many mistakes on the paperwork.
I fired my attorney and hired the one recommended by Michael. My new lawyer was very good and he spoke English so I could now communicate with him. He informed me that the property could not legally be sold by the person that was attempting to sell it. I was very disappointed but I was relieved that I discovered this before handing over a significant portion of my savings.
I realized that buying property in Argentina is something that should not be taken lightly. Michael is searching for a new property for me now. Since I hired him, I have taken his advice to be more careful. I contacted his references that he gave me and every person that I contacted told me how wonderful he has been with them. I am looking forward to purchasing property with him and very thankful that I came to my senses.
Mark Mills – Melbourne, Australia
In October 2005 I was determined to purchase property in Argentina and discovered Mike’s company while searching the internet for information about the buying process. Mike’s website was enlightening and I was convinced that his company was by far the best in real estate investments. After speaking to him on the phone I immediately decided to hire him as a real estate consultant.
I was planning to make the long trip out to Buenos Aires to look for an apartment but just two weeks after hiring Mike he informed me about a great opportunity on a two bedroom loft he had just found in Recoleta. He explained that he thought it was an incredible deal and a very unique property. I was hesitant about buying an apartment from just photos, but I trusted Mike’s judgment and put in an offer. The owner accepted, and the boleto needed to be signed a few days later. I lived in the heart of the paddy fields in Taiwan at the time, so it was impossible for me to make it out to Argentina with such short notice. Mike told me that he could sign the boleto and that everything would go smoothly. It was extremely nerve racking sending thousands of dollars across the South Pacific to a man I’d never actually met, but sure enough the money arrived and Mike signed the boleto without a hitch!
A couple of months later I flew out to Buenos Aires to close on the property and met Mike for the first time. After the closing, he took me to see the apartment and it was an amazing place, just like he had described 3 months earlier.
I then hired Mike to come up with the design for renovating and decorating the entire apartment. He spent many months working on the property and I was constantly updated with emails and photos of the progress that was being made. Before I bought the apartment, Mike assured me that he could turn it into something special and he certainly didn’t disappoint me! When it was finished it looked spectacular and within two days of posting the photos I got the first booking. Then another one followed the very next day!
I had a very limited budget and Mike always did his best to save me every dollar he possibly could. His fee is an absolute bargain for what he does. On most occasions he replies to my emails within minutes, even after midnight on weekends, Buenos Aires time! You can rest assure of a professional, honest and efficient service with him!
Brian B.- Buenos Aires
I am an American who has lived in Buenos Aires since 2001, so my situation is different than the majority of Mike’s clients, but the hard work and dedication that Michael, Luciano and staff put forth is exactly the same.
I speak the language and know the city and its people, but I still wanted the help of real estate professionals who would be able to provide me with the inside information I needed to complete my property purchase here.
Mike’s firm has quickly earned a stellar reputation amongst investors in Argentine real estate, and it’s easy to understand why.
During our entire negotiation and closing process, which dragged on for 6 long months because of an unscrupulous seller, Mike and his team kept on top of things one hundred percent. They knew exactly when to hold and when to fold during the bargaining game, and in the end their patience and persistence paid off, as we were able to complete the purchase of an amazing apartment in Belgrano.
Negotiating a property purchase is never an easy process, and doing so in Argentina is even more complicated, to say the least. Mike offers an invaluable service to foreigners, by helping them to navigate the stormy shores of the Argentine real estate business.
I was so happy with MIke’s efforts that I recommended them to a friend in New York, who just closed on an apartment in Palermo thanks to their help.
I pass on my strongest recommendation to Mike and his team.
Terry Bennett – London, UK
Purely by accident we found our own ¨small piece of paradise¨ here in Buenos Aires. Having found it, we had less than 48 hours to negotiate the notoriously difficult and potentially costly experience of purchasing the property.
I had discovered about Mike’s company on the web and read Michael Koh´s very comprehensive description of the Buenos Aires investment property scene which outlined both the opportunities and pitfalls as well as giving an invaluable guide to the steps involved in the process of purchasing here in Argentina.
Between his staff members, over a period of not much more than 24 hours activated surveyor, notary public and real estate agents to such an extent that permission to purchase, inspection report and power of attorney were all in place.
After having first viewed our apartment at 5.30 PM on a Wednesday evening, we had a meeting at 2.30 on Friday afternoon where the purchase was effectively completed. During this short period of time- Michael Koh who was on a business trip to New York had spoken to me by telephone whilst I happened to be in his BA office and confirmed the attention his staff where paying to the matter and his interest in it.
Within hours of the Friday meeting we disappeared to Europe and during the five months which passed before our return to Buenos Aires, the completion took place including safe and cheap transfer of funds from London.
On our return we decided that we had both the time and ability to both redecorate and furnish our new apartment. How wrong we were!!!!!
Time yes- ability no- definitely no!!
Although we are not exactly novices, having bought property around the world and furnished and remodelled it. We were not equipped to handle the charm and mendacity of certain Buenos Aires tradesmen and salesmen.
Our first inclination that things could go dramatically wrong was when we obtained quotes for completely repainting the apartment. We approached the previous owner of the apartment on the basis that he would have the local knowledge that we did not possess to ensure a reasonable quotation.
Sensible we thought BUT although this painter had been doing a presumably cost-effective work for the family of the previous owner for years- his quote of $ 36,000 (us$12,000) seemed a little steep to us.
Urgent telephone call to Mike’s firm resulted in a quotation from a painter who had done a lot of work for them, tendering a quote of 7300 pesos (us$2,430). The painting was perfectly completed on time and to a very high standard!!! Lesson learnt- we then used tradesmen known to Mike’s firm to complete the refurbishment.
We cannot thank them enough for the quality of their work. Their patience and flexibility was amazing. The next problem- that of furnishing we thought would pose few problems-shop around bargain and get delivery, we were pretty good at that sort of thing. Until we started to order beds and major furniture then we found that delivery times far exceeded the time we had left in Buenos Aires and that some of the prices we had negotiated were not as good as we wished.
When stated delivery times were way off our target she simply pointed us towards a superb craftsman carpenter- who copied and improved upon the beds and tables we wanted in less than half delivery time quoted by stores. Likewise we discovered several sofas that we wished to purchase but once again both delivery and price were problems.
The firm’s solution- simply to show the product to another store and get them to copy it- to at which we got the same standard at less than half the time and with substantial price saving. She also obtained substantial discounts on electrical appliances, bedding, and other necessary kitchen and dining items.
Did I mention that the carpenter also undertook to remove the original oak parquet floor of the apartment to a state that it had not achieved since it was first laid in 1903?
As by now you will have realised my wife and I have nothing but promise for Michael Koh and his charming and efficient staff. I unhesitatingly recommend them for their professionalism, probity and friendliness at all times.
Barry P. – West Palm Beach, Florida USA
After vacationing in Buenos Aires in September ‘05 I returned home with a strong interest in investing in this beautiful city. Prior to my trip I had heard of the tourism boom that was taking place and wanted to see for myself what all the buzz was about. Although I had a pretty strong conviction that there was a great opportunity here, I wasn’t certain how I was going to be able to take advantage of this from living in the U.S. It was in researching all of the legal issues involved as a non resident where my path crossed with Michael Koh and his firm. I was amazed to see that every detail that I was looking for in order for me to purchase property was clearly explained in length all with no strings attached on his web site. It was at this point that I emailed Mike and asked him numerous questions in which I was impressed with the prompt attention given to each and every question.
It is now September ‘06 and I have just completed the build out and furnishing of my second property (PS2). Between this purchase and my prior purchase (AP7), I personally can express that Mike’s professionalism, honesty, and attention to every detail are second to none.
From negotiating the best price, finding the best apartment and location, walking me through the transfer necessary for closing, I was informed and comfortable every step of the way. Before we had even closed on my first property, Michael had multiple architects giving estimates on the build out of the unit which saved us valuable time.
After construction and furnishing were flawlessly completed and now having my property being managed by his team, I can say that my rate of return is well in line with all projections that we had anticipated. It is with all of these qualities, along with an incredible team he has in place, that are solely the reasons for this testimonial. There is no doubt in my mind that without Michael’s assistance and knowledge in Buenos Aires and property management that I would never be able to participate in such an exciting market.
I have since gone on to purchase 2 more properties in Buenos Aires all with Mike’s consulting and assistance including a larger house. I couldn’t have done it without his help and highly recommend him.
Johnston – United Kingdom
I could not be happier with the service and the investment made with Mike’s company. Mike and the company´s entire team are outstanding. I have worked with Mike since July 2005 to purchase, then renovate and furnish a three bedroom apartment in central Recoleta on Ayacucho street between Las Heras and Pacheco de Melo.
I am now also using ApartmentsBA to administer the property and oversee short-term rentals. From start to finish, Mike and his team have been superb. Simply fantastic. Moreover, the investment – as Mike predicted –is the best I have ever made. It meets and surpasses the projected return on investment. And, to top it, the property itself has increased enormously in value since last November. Property prices have increased dramatically in the last year and that trend is set to continue. I am now seriously considering buying a second apartment in Buenos Aires – this time purely as an investment, because the apartment has put all my other investments to shame.
To recount: when I decided to buy an apartment in Buenos Aires, I quickly realized to do this at a distance, and as a foreigner would be difficult if not downright impossible. It was therefore fantastic to stumble across the Mike’s website in my internet research. Reading the enormous amount of information provided on it, I was struck by the quality of the advice provided and this prompted me to opt for the consultancy service.
Things could not have gone smoother with Mike’s consultancy service. In my experience, it is truly the only way to go when purchasing in Buenos Aires! In my case, to choose the apartment I would buy, I decided to come down personally to Bs. As and spent some weeks here looking for a suitable property. I didn’t have to but as I intended to use the place myself (on occasion), I wanted to see the apartment before placing the offer.
That said, had I not wanted to come down, Mike could have arranged the purchase for me. During these first three weeks when I was still buying the apartment, Mike set me up with a small studio apartment for me to stay during this period and cut me a special rate. It was a great place. Friendly reliable staff and well equipped. This also gave me an insight into how Mike ran his business and I was suitably impressed.
In all, the purchase of the apartment, including all the dealings with the lawyer, the real estate agent and so forth were totally overseen by Mike and in terms of buying property; it couldn’t have been easier or smoother. (I had been somewhat anxious before buying not to get ripped off but, certainly in my own experience, I saved far more than the consultancy fee). Mike viewed five properties – I had after seeing some 30 plus apartments, whittled the choice down to some five – and wanted to make the final choice based on his advice as to what might constitute the best investment in terms of rentals.
Having viewed them he advised me which to select and made some very sound recommendations on refurbishments. He also recommended that I make an offer significantly below the asking price (based on his previous experience with apartment blocks/consortiums and purchasing property in the area). I then sent the money (both for the “boleto” and to close the deal) through Michael Koh to whom I had granted power of attorney. I am glad to say it went smoothly and although I was not in Buenos Aires at the time the deal closed, I was in constant contact with Mike and the Irish-Argentinean lawyer he recommended. Like Michael Koh, the lawyer was courteous, efficient and a pleasure to work with.
In order to renovate and furnish the flat, I hired Mike once again. In the course of doing so, we must have exchanged hundreds of e-mails (entirely due to the fact that I insisted on being consulted on each and every decision that was made). I am grateful for their diligence. When necessary, Mike called to consult me. Both Michael Koh and his team made sure I was consulted on each and every decision. They always took on my requests, even when on occasion this would entail considerably more work on their side. The final result is absolutely fabulous! I am delighted. I am also heavily indebted to both Mike and his team for their hard work and diligence in following through all of my demands. Each and every of my (literally hundreds of) e-mails was responded to so quickly that I have now been totally spoiled in terms of customer service. Mike’s average response time sets a record. On the occasion that we had to speak on the phone to discuss elements of the renovation, it was always a pleasure. I have benefited enormously from his experience in the real estate market and his ideas on the renovations. He has a keen sense of interior decoration and time and time again made sensible suggestions on the décor. I came to rely on it!
Since finishing the apartment, it has been consistently (except for periods when I wanted to use it) rented out! It was rented out the first day it was on the market and the Return on Investment had been superb. This has got to be the best investment in the world at the current time!! So much so, that I am now seriously considering purchasing another flat.
At the current time I am in Buenos Aires, making use of the apartment and have consistently found his firm to be every bit as good as I would have expected. Whilst here I have made extensive use of the concierge service which is offered and found this very useful and at every occasion have found the staff to be courteous and helpful. In short, I could not recommend Mike and his team more highly for their consultancy, renovation and rental service. It is my pleasure to work with them!
Michael T. – London, UK
I have recently invested in Eastern Europe (Montenegro) and Central America (Belize). My previous investments were designed for capital appreciation. My interest in Buenos Aires was titled toward income yield with a view to longer term appreciation. I consulted on various neighborhoods/locations with business associates in Puerto Madero before settling on Recoleta. I then investigated property managers. This was the most crucial selection for my investment. Even the best property investments can lie idle and unkempt if they are not managed effectively. After considering a list of possible companies I found Mike’s firm to be the clear winner on many fronts.
I would not dispute that the website makes bold claims of unrivalled service and market knowledge. Having a more conservative nature, I was somewhat skeptical at first. Several months later I am pleased to report that I have found every assertion made by Michael Koh’s website to be accurate & honest.
Michael guided me through the apartment search with care and enthusiasm. He was extremely cautious in the properties we viewed; passing on a number of locations due to a number of mitigating factors – noise level, natural light, location, etc…I would adamantly dispute any claim that his clients are rushed into their purchases – in fact Michael actually cooled my enthusiasm on two properties, advising me to be patient for the right unit.
His retainer fee pays for itself as he skillfully saved 6% on the asking price. Additionally his staff was very diligent in checking the condition of the apartment, water pressure, parking access, condo rules allowing for short-term rental among other factors. His team performs a thorough investigation of the condition of the property which produces a detailed report for consideration. Further checks are performed on the current owner’s title and any liens or current obligations outstanding at the time of the offer.
I should make a special point of mentioning how Michael responded to my emails at all hours of the day (despite the Europe time difference). He offered call-backs & email replies while he was out of town or on vacation. The man’s commitment to his job is relentless.
I believe that Michael invests a great deal of pride in his work and is only truly rewarded by the appreciation of a satisfied client. Michael has gone beyond the call of duty for me on a number of occasions in the past four months of our association. I co-own and manage a firm with clients in over fifty countries. I recognize the importance of client relations along with constant pursuit of unrivaled customer service. Michael Koh is an impressive living embodiment of these virtues. He has earned my trust and confidence several fold.
Duke Siotkas – Florida, USA
My initial contact with Michael Koh was via email. Despite the fact that Mike gets hundreds of email a day and must devote most of his energy to existing clients, he took the time to answer my questions. He also allowed me to defer fully retaining him until after we met in person; all green flags. I opted for the initial consultation which was a great value and he clearly answered all of my questions.
I already had a good impression. When we met in person, my assessment was overwhelmingly confirmed. I have rarely met an individual who exudes so much honestly, enthusiasm and competence in his endeavors.
I was so confident that I purchased two apartments in Recoleta; one was an extensive renovation in an older building (with my best friend Jeff who had never even been to Argentina as a partner) and the other in a new construction building. I hired Mike to coordinate the renovation and furnishing process. The apartment on French is now completed and a smashing success as an ApartmentsBA rental. The apartment on Aguero turned out amazing!
I cannot imagine trying to have gone through this process alone. Finding honest real estate people, attorneys, architects (contractors), buying furniture and appliances are difficult in your own country and language. It would have been a disaster without Mike and his team.
Recently (3.5 years after I purchased the apartment on Aguero) I hired Mike to sell my property on Aguero and he sold it and I hired him to take care of the closing. He took care of the cash closing and remitted the cash to my account in the USA. Mike has my complete confidence and appreciation for the work accomplished on my behalf over the years. His former firm, ApartmentsBA still manages my apartment on French street.
Chiang – Canada
I have known Michael since 2006. During that time I have engaged his service to help me purchase and renovate two apartments. The second apartment was bought several months after I returned to Canada and the decision was based largely on Michael’s analysis of its investment potential, as the pictures he sent me didn’t look too impressive. Michael negotiated an excellent deal on both apartments; the substantial savings surprised even the real estate agent. Both transactions were closed flawlessly via email correspondences.
Michael and his team provided me with many renovation ideas and they were prompt in their email responses. When I was not satisfied with the quote from one architect, Michael immediately asked for a second and more reasonable quote from another architect. I was kept informed of the progress every step of the way.
Michael’s staff gave me advice and suggestions for furnishings, yet my decision was always respected. I am very pleased with owing two beautifully renovated apartments and I couldn’t have done better without Michael’s assistance. The two properties are now being managed by his former firm and the units have been rented out and the service has been outstanding.
Not only is Michael extremely knowledgeable in the real estate market and its regulations, he is also honest, trustworthy, reliable, committed and responsive to my needs. In fact, everyone that works with him has been most courteous, professional and attentive. Many companies in Buenos Aires offer similar services to Michael’s but I doubt there is one that could surpass the value proposition of his company.
I have enjoyed doing business with Michael and would unhesitatingly recommend his services to others.
Craig Schwimmer, MD, MPH – USA
In 2006, My wife and I purchased an apartment in Recoleta, which was managed via ApartmentsBA for several years. We hired Mike and substantially renovated the apartment, both to accommodate our use and to increase its value as a rental unit. The purchase, as well as the planning and execution of the renovation, was handled by Michael and his team while we were at home in the US as we gave them a power of attorney to complete the purchase for us.
The purchase and renovation of the apartment required the wire transfer of substantial sums of money to a relative stranger (Michael Koh). Needless to say, we had some concerns, reservations, and even fears. Wire transferring several hundred thousand dollars to someone we barely knew, in a country whose laws and customs we were not intimately familiar with, took tremendous faith. Michael and his company have, to a degree which is truly remarkable, earned our trust, respect, and friendship.
Our intended use for the apartment was perhaps a little different than most of Michael’s clients, in that we were interested in finding a “family retreat”, as well as an economically viable rental unit. From finding a reputable realtor, to appraising the advantages/disadvantages of numerous properties, to negotiating a fair purchase price and negotiating the contract, everyone at Mike’s firm was patient, helpful, and personally interested in our satisfaction. Since we were back in the USA, Michael handled the purchase on our behalf – quite a big deal, since these transactions are carried out in cash – my cash!
But Michael handled things as if it were his money – and everything went off without a hitch. When it came to the renovation, he and his staff spent countless hours helping us with architectural plans, as well as the selection of materials, colors, furnishings, etc – no easy task, considering that we were in the USA, but very concerned about how the apartment would “feel”, since we would use it quite often. With the considerable help of everyone at his firm, our home in Argentina met our needs perfectly. 3.5 years later we hired Michael to sell our property as we weren’t able to come to Buenos Aires as much as we had planned. Michael successfully sold the property and once again he handled dealing with the cash and successfully remitted it to our USA bank account.
Overall, I would rate our experience with Michael and his firm as truly exceptional. They have been trustworthy, responsible, helpful, friendly, considerate, and personally interested in our satisfaction to a degree which is rarely seen.
Richard V. – London, UK
We first contacted Mike and his team whilst concluding the purchase of an apartment in Palermo with regard to managing a refurbishment and property management.
From the outset it was obvious you could trust Mike and he provided excellent advice on the quality of the refurbishment to aim for, clearly based on a thorough knowledge of the local market. With the professionalism displayed by his entire team we had no hesitation in paying the fees for project managing the refurbishment and furnishing of our property.
Mike clearly has superb local contacts as the architect presented a thorough works and cost breakdown with various options on which Mike was again able to provide sound advice.
During the actual refurbishment we received regular progress updates including photos and when a problem was discovered with the existing internal walls this was quickly communicated and resolved. We were hugely impressed with both the quality of the refurbishment and furnishing and how easy the entire process had been for us.
The property management provided by Mike’s team matches the excellence we have come to expect from his former firm ApartmentsBA, who now manages our property.
I would not hesitate to recommend Mike and his team to anyone considering purchasing property in Buenos Aires.
David V. – Montreal, Canada
It is my pleasure to recommend Michael as a consultant to anyone seriously considering the purchase of an apartment in Buenos Aires, and particularly to foreigners who are unfamiliar with the local market, language and customs. There are many aspects to Michael’s consulting service and indeed he can assist you with the entire purchase process from finding an apartment to signing the title deed. I met Michael personally during a recent house-hunting trip and used him extensively as a sounding board for my investment strategy.
In our first meeting, he helped me identify winning (and losing) qualities with regard to neighborhood, square footage, style, and price range. He then showed me some of his own properties that he personally owned and I was reassured to see that his advice was grounded in experience and not speculation.
In the end I found a property through my realtor hours before my return flight and had to make a snap decision. My first reaction was to call Mike for an appraisal – because while realtors can be helpful, they have a vested interest in selling property based on (highest) price and not investment potential. In the end, Michael confirmed the apartment’s strengths and weaknesses; worked with my agent to structure a solid offer (and prevented me from overpaying and he negotiated a lower price); and provided advice that ultimately helped me outmaneuver an unscrupulous seller.
Since completing the purchase on my behalf, Michael has diligently administered the property. He has also continued to be a great asset as a consultant. In my recent trip he provided valuable input into my interior design plan (the apartment was purchased in a completely unfinished state), helped me scrutinize proposals from different architects, and suggested effective techniques for negotiating with locals.
Considering that I initially contracted Michael over the phone as ‘insurance’ against an unknown entity, I am happy to report he has exceeded expectation. Caveat Emptor.
John & Ginger Harkey – USA
We found Michael while trying to buy an apartment in Buenos Aires. We had hit a roadblock, a killer tax, and we went to him for advice. Since our first meeting, in which he dispelled the tax as illusory, he has been a steadfast ally in our re-energized pursuit of an apartment. It turns out the lawyer that we initially went to gave us false information about taxes and fees.
With an eye on eventually renting out our new apartment, we became a consulting client to Michael. Michael is an energetic and personable businessperson in whom we would place any confidence. He seems always to be available to talk and eager for us to succeed – with referrals to his legal and financial associates, dependable workmen and even sources of home-goods.
Michael has a vital stake in the Buenos Aires rental market and I’m sure that his enthusiasm and acumen will always be matched by success.
Fred Royce – Michigan, USA
I cannot recommend to you in enough ways the services of Michael and his firm.
Michael and his staff will work with you until you have found exactly what you want and then stay with you to the end of your vacation to be sure you are always satisfied.
Take it from a compulsive lawyer who has used them 4 times and was completely satisfied each time. In fact, based on their level of professionalism and customer service, with Michael’s recommendation, I purchased an apartment with a spectacular view to be rented by his company
In July 2003 I took my first adventure to BA looking for property. I was lost and confused by the labyrinth of laws, misinformation and self serving sharks until I discovered Michael. He cleared the way to evaluate property on my third trip. Michael is most accessible person I have ever met. He quickly responded to all my questions, toured me though both virtual tours of property and actual tours. He more than earned his consulting fee.
After being misled by the first seller on a deal, Michael led me through a smooth offer, acceptance and closing. He has continued to advise on the remodel, facilitating with an architect and furnishings. Michael cares about people and doing things right. I have profound respect for him and his company. I recommend him to any interested in Buenos Aires real estate.
I subsequently hired him to purchase a 2nd property several years ago and that transaction also went smoothly.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly.
Jane Kang – California, USA
My business partner first met Michael in 2004 after he had already gone through the PAINFUL process of buying and renovating an apartment in Buenos Aires on his own. He was so impressed with Michael that he convinced me that we should partner with Michael, despite the fact that my partner had already built up some relationships and knowledge about the local real estate market. We signed on as consulting clients in early 2005.
Since then, Michael has been instrumental in helping us buy, renovate, and furnish two apartments in the Recoleta area of Buenos Aires in the Spring of 2005. He has provided many value added services and we cannot imagine having gone through the process of buying and renovating without his assistance.
- We relied heavily on his insights and expertise in terms of helping us find attractive rental units, providing us with much peace of mind.
- We leveraged his existing relationships with an extremely honest realtor and lawyer (which is extremely hard to find in one’s home country let alone a foreign country!), making the whole buying process easy and seamless. In fact, my partner and I bought two units remotely and did not have to be in Buenos Aires at all…Michael took care of everything.
- He helped us save money. Michael also got us directly in touch with a woman who wanted to sell her unit. We were able to close the sale on that unit and avoid the 4% buyer’s realtor commission.
- The renovation and furnishing of the apartments have been completely pain-free and were completed within 1 to 1 ½ months. If anything, Michael and his team were the ones who had to deal with all of the headaches of working with the local contractors, furniture delivery folks, and more. In addition, we were impressed that Michael’s team of contractors was able to work so quickly. (To give you an idea, my partner’s apartment that he bought a year ago is still not completely finished to this day as he continues to haggle with the contractor that he hired.)Michael coordinated everything and we are extremely happy with how both apartments look.
In addition, we asked Michael to manage our apartments for several reasons.
- His business is VERY reputable and he gets a ton of word-of-mouth and referral business. My partner knows this first-hand when he rented an apartment from Michael last year. In addition, I highly believe that his recent inclusion into the Argentina/Buenos Aires Lonely Planets guidebook will further drive traffic to his website as people seek luxurious alternatives to cramped hotel rooms. In fact, Michael was able to get us a two week booking immediately that started the DAY OUR UNIT WAS READY …even if that meant he and his team had to work late the night prior to get the apartment ready for our first guest.
- And in the last ten months since we first worked with Michael, we have come to trust him completely. He is honest, fair, intelligent, attentive, and is completely passionate about the business he built from the ground up. You know that he will always do what’s best for his business and for his clients to keep them happy. We ping him with emails at all hours of the day and he replies back immediately to the point where he has spoiled us. Now, when I work with other vendors, I get annoyed that I do not get the same level of customer service as I get from Michael.
Having said all of this, I highly recommend Michael for anyone who is looking to buy real estate in Buenos Aires and/or have an apartment that they would like to rent out.
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