How to get to the greatest place for you!

by | Aug 13, 2002 | Archives

Sunrays sparkled on emerald prisms of cool, spring fed pools. Reflections of dancing rainbows glimmered on towering mahogany, banana and stately palm. Green vistas shimmered, easy paced in the afternoon sun and sweet, tropical perfumes floated in the breeze.

Merri and I were sitting on a huge veranda, overlooking a vast expanse of lush, green, countryside watching our kids ride their horses joyfully up the mountains. We were in the Dominican Republic and a tropical breeze flowed over the porch cooling the sunny afternoon. I had dozed off, lulled by katydid songs, the soft breeze and my lost thoughts. Sounds like a great vacation, right? Honestly I was working. My portable laptop computer sat before me.

That day formed a huge impression about great places to be – see – and where they would be in the decades ahead. This was such a perfect, memorable day, but I was able to get all my work done just as easily (even more easily) then if I had been sitting in a stuffy office.

That moment gave me a vision of how in the future, work could be and the vision was correct. Today, the portable computer, Internet and cell phone have changed all the rules of real estate. The old maxim is still true that the three most important aspects that affect a properties value are location, location, location, but technology alters which locations will have greater value!

Take for example, my own career in writing about international investing. When I began, I had to live in London. This was where all the knowledge and information was held. To give timely advice I had to be there. Then as phone rates dropped and the fax came along, I was able to leave the congested city and move to Naples, Florida, then a sleepy fishing village and still have access to the data I would need.

Finally as Naples became crowded, because of the Internet, we were able to move to isolated farms both here and in Ecuador and still have access to any international investment information. I can call up market details, specific shares, global news, regardless of how remote I am.

Here is the key point. The primary factor of real estate's value used to be physical accessibility to many people. This factor is shifting to accessibility of information. Remote places are gaining a new value if they have access to information.

Take for example our farm at Little Horse Creek. We are about as isolated as we can get, but I have a DSL internet line with a million bytes of download capacity that costs just $44 a month. This makes me more effective than some businesses in the center of major cities, not to mention the removal of delays from traffic jams, crowds, smog, missed parking places and crowds.

There are two things you can do to take advantage of great places to be. First, create a business that relies on information and can be run over the Internet and second look for places short on people but long on data resources. This is where the bargains of the future will be-as these isolated spots become great places to be.

Until next message I hope everywhere you are is a great place to be.