Rich foreigners

ain’t that the truth :sweat_smile:


I don’t understand why you couldn’t launch a successful and profitable app or other technology start up here. Taipei has the infrastructure necessary, the talent (at much lower cost even if you pay the top end of employment rates) and not too extreme taxation laws. The biggest barrier would be the lower English ability level here.

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Even established businesses like Carrefour need to partner up with a local corporation to grease the wheels. You’d be brave to go it on your own…

Sure there have been successful apps . Not very easy to do though. For foreigners the language and culture are strong barriers locally.


I’m absolutely kicking myself that I didn’t buy property or land in Taiwan way back in the late 90s; I’d probably be retired by now. At the time, prices were comparable to the UK, or perhaps a bit better. They’ve gone up by roughly a factor of 10 since then.

So yeah, I’m not one of those people who got rich.


Last time I looked at the Taiwan startup incubators there were dozens if not hundreds of companies working on various, sometimes dubious, apps. Locals are not just sitting around on their backsides, you would want to have a good idea.

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im over that already… back in the day i thought that 8 million for a 30 year old apartment is too much. now its 28 million and the building is 45 years old…


I guess it depends on what you mean by rich. I know several who managed to reach a couple million USD or so and retire at a younger age than if they had worked in the west. Some might call that rich, but that’s really just enough for a middle class retirement in the US (where most of us don’t get pensions). Or a decent apartment in Taipei. :joy: The only truly rich (by western standards) people I’ve met in Taiwan have been Taiwanese, and it’s usually family money.

Don’t blame yourself for judging something on value. The price people are willing to pay for property has absolutely no relation to its value…And they are still building hundreds to thousands more apartment blocks right now while barely renovating the old stock.

One of the main reasons you DONT meet many rich foreigners is because that game (almost the only game in town ) is heavily loaded towards towards Taiwanese families who were well off already, civil servants with their super low interest rates etc inline foreigners who would struggle to get credit no matter a cheap loan . So few foreigners got incidentally rich unlike your local middle aged layabout who got a bunch of apartments or a plot of land from granddad.


The price people are willing to pay for something is the very definition of its value.


Yeah sure but I was thinking that if you got it to take off in your home country, you could probably open a taiwanese branch and outsource some of the more technical jobs (the most expensive labor like developers for example) to workers here.

It really isn’t unless you want to sell it again soon but maybe you just want to live in it .

What is the value to YOU is the question . What can you do with it ? What use is it ? What enjoyment did you get out of it ?

If the price goes up or down in between did the value to YOU change everyday ?

In this context of course I mean monetary value. Market value. That is defined and determined directly by how much people are willing to pay. If it’s not worth that much to someone, they don’t pay it.

Indeed I can choose this path as well. There isn’t much of cultural gap with eastern Europeans. It is the same time zone and market under umbrella of EU. I can set up small divisions across East Europe, and leverage my income by purchasing local apartments. Future growth should be higher and definitely get more value comparing to Taiwan. Apartments are not that cheap in capitals, but ofc vs Taipei everything is cheaper in East Europe.

My spouse would prefer Taiwan as being Taiwanese and kids can strengthen Mandarin.I believe she can take care of kids better in Taiwan. As my experiences are Taiwanese don’t adjust to German way of life that good as Chinese do. I always need to jump in and talk to teachers, arrange this and that. In Taiwan she would be housewife and I would have whole day long to do my business. But as mentioned those real estate prices and especially value I get for it, giving me a lot of doubts. And personally I am comfortable in Europe.

This tread helps me seeing a big picture. What I mean is foreigners who made it, cause being rich is subjective. But yea what is the point of moving to Taiwan, if we can’t affoard one apartment in Taipei and one in Hualien. I hardly see apartments continue appreciate in Taiwan, but who knows. Maybe chips are new oil. Locals are crazy and they will continue purchasing at ridiculous prices.

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I believe they are.


Yeah but rent is always the rebuttal to that. In Taipei proper, what I can rent for 30k/month I could not get for a 30 year mortgage (20% down) with monthly payments of anything less than 90k/month. Your monthly payments on ownership in Taipei are at least 2-3x more than rent. What one can fetch for rent shows a much more realistic picture of what a house’s real value is. That would indicate that home values really are half or even a third of what they’re being sold for


That just says many people value owning much more than renting. They’re willing to pay a substantial premium to own instead of rent. I can’t personally relate to wanting to do that, but enough other people clearly value it based on what they’re paying. I’m not saying it will stay that way forever, but that’s still the current market value.

I only know one really wealthy foreigner still living here, but I don’t envy him. He married rich. He is a DNA donor and errand boy rolled into one, held on a very tight leash.


At the risk of being called a hair-splitter when commenting on a split, it seems there are two types of value: relative and absolute. Thus, both @Tianmu and @Brianjones are both correct.

But I’m not an economist, just here for a drive-by before heading off to work!

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Relative value between owning and renting is the only thing that matters when making the decision to own or rent. And we all have to do one or the other, right?