The neighbourhood of Carrasco is characterized for being one of the nicest neighbourhoods of Montevideo. Its European style, the first-class constructions, well cared for gardens, treed streets and its iconic Rambla, are all elements which locate Carrasco as one of the most sought-for neighbourhoods to live in and also lately to work at. According to the “Instituto de Estadísticas”, on 2011 Carrasco had the highest value per square metre of common property in Montevideo.
The constant economic thrust of the last few years mainly due to Argentinians and to a lower extent Uruguayans, has slowly but steadily reformulated the neighbourhood mainly in projects of apartment buildings, commercial venues and office blocks. A walk through Av. Arocena is enough to notice these changes which were topped by the reopening of the emblematic “Hotel Carrasco”, today known as Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa.
It is true that a lot of houses in Carrasco were recently remodelled and some are new constructions, however, the majority of the houses have had no changes at all.
The amount of 20 year old houses that have been remodelled is nowhere close to the number of new apartment buildings or recycled ones for commercial venues.
Therefore today Carrasco has a large stock of houses which are mostly out of date and in need of fine tuning.
What an opportunity! And even more when we take a look at what new properties cost…But, why aren’t there more houses being remodelled? Or why are they being remodelled at such a slow pace?
ALTERNATIVES, PROS AND CONS
A person looking to acquire a house in Carrasco has 3 options, either buy a house to remodel, buy a lot and build a new house or look for new houses somewhere in the surroundings of Carrasco.
1. Houses that are already built are usually in a poor or acceptable state of conservation.
These houses usually maintain a particular style and interesting details related to the time when they were built, well cared for gardens and interesting facades all of which are in most cases far away from what the person had in mind. This really surprises foreigners, especially Argentinians, Europeans and Americans since where they come from houses of first-class neighbourhoods like Carrasco, are usually in perfect state.
These houses which are generally listed for no less than USD 400,000 implicitly require some sort of improvement, and not a simple one, on the contrary usually one will have to go deeply into reforming the house in order to achieve the level of comfort sought. These are clearly houses to reform.
What happens with reforms? People are usually afraid of them. They are always hard to predict, at least on the short run which in turn generates a great anxiety. Buying something without really knowing the final costs in which one will inquire, the time it will take, and in many cases the uncertainty of what the final work will look like, demotivates people to following this path.
2. The interested person looks for lots which are free to start a new building.
These free lots exist in Carrasco but not in a large amount which therefore results in high prices making them interesting mostly to develop horizontal property projects, even though this is a valid option, the costs will in most cases be higher than expected.
3. New neighbourhoods around Carrasco are chosen.
Neighbourhoods like “San Nicolás”, “Parques”, “Parque Miramar” and “Lagos”.
The investment ends up being practically the same although in neighbourhoods that are not Carrasco and usually have a long way to go to achieve the same special quality. However this option has had an increment of followers who feel that this path is the most comfortable one.
The result is a market of houses in Carrasco which are a great opportunity for the one who dares, invests and reforms.
Why choose this option?
1. Being in Carrasco.
Living in a house within Carrasco’s picturesque streets with the charm of the neighbourhood and with every service at hand.
2. Living in a house with character and great architectural value plus a first-class comfort.
Reforms performed by an architect result in houses with unique details; a work almost impossible to remake in a contemporary construction, merging the solidity of older buildings which were built with materials that are really hard, if not impossible to acquire nowadays such as marble floors, natural woods, strong walls and deep foundations.
3. Cost to benefit.
The comparison between the costs of new buildings and the free lots or a house in Carrasco in good state make this option very attractive in what costs to benefits respects.