My name's Steve.
About me - I became a part-time property investor in China back in 2003 (I was also running another business, but that won't be of interest to readers of a property forum). It's been a roller-coaster ride, with ups and downs and courtcases and offplan buildings that went into liquidation and constantly changing government policies. However, two factors led to my ultimate success, namely that prices always trended upwards (and still are), and I never met anyone operating unlawfully (greedily, yes, but illegally, no), and so was never "taken for a ride". In conclusion, the long hard slog paid off, and my dream of becoming financially independent was reached at least a full decade prior to my expectation: I retired in 2008 at the age of 38.
I now live on the tropical island of Hainan, in the South China Sea. It's stunning here: miles of untouched beaches and crystal clear water. I'm not in either of the two big cities (Sanya or Haikou), but half-way up the coast between them, in the "middle of nowhere". I spend my days by raising my two young kids and enjoying lots of watersports (Riyuewan has great winter swell for surfing, and in summer we get several typhoons that also bring the waves).
Nothing should be able to tear me away from my tropical paradise, but once bitten by the property bug you'll always be an addict. And so it is that I find myself obsessed with the US market at present. It's too amazing an opportunity to ignore, even if you live oceans away. So in this forum I plan to chronicle my up-coming trip to the US (probably Miami) to dip my feet in those waters.
I have much more to write, but my two-year-old son is tugging at my shirt wanting to show my something. So I'll post this now, and in subsequent updates will explain why it is that I'm leaning towards Miami and not Detroit, Atlanta, Phoenix, Las Vegas. I'd also love to hear back from others who have useful ideas and advice to share.
Over and out