La Vida Golden Visa vs Mercan Group

Hi @sarahpoynter12,

I am also interested in joining the group that has been set up. Thank you!

Hi. I too would be keen to join.
Best

Hi everyone,
I have started working with La Vida Golden Visa. I have put down a small, initial reservation deposit.
They have been incredibly responsive and have shared a lot of information along the way.
The missing link for me is that I can not find a lot of people who have actually used their services so at this point I am hoping to find someone who has gone through the whole process with them.
I spent time talking to Mercan, Global Citizens Solutions, and La Vida Golden Visa.
The reason that I do not want to use Mercan is that their properties are hotels in porto and I would rather have a property that I could/we want to eventually live in one day.
Global Citizens Solution was not “full package,” which I need at this point, but interesting for people who want to actually choose a property outside of a large development who have time to coordinate with contractors etc.
I would love any advise/connections to real estate lawyers in portugal and the UK (where La Vida is based) to have them look over the contract.
Thank you!

Aylin

Hi Sarah,

Thank-you for your helpful posts over the past 6+ months!

Prior to signing with Mercan, did you do any diligence on the company and/or the Portuguese lawyers they assign do you? The impression in this forum is that they seem reputable, and they’ve been operating in Canada for years, but if you have any additional information, it would be helpful. I ask because I had two attorney friends look at the financial documents and the power-of-attorney document provided by Mercan. Both were concerned about the power-of-attorney document for two reasons. First, because the attorneys are not part of a large law firm, there is not a well funded institution to pursue in case they act inappropriately and use they >350,000 euros for their own benefit. Second, with the information provided to the attorneys, the attorneys would be well positioned to commit identify theft.
Best,

Rick

Hello Alyin, may I ask what you mean by Global Citizens Solution was not “full package,”?

Hi, I’m curious about that as well, as I’ve been looking at them.

Hi Sarah, I would love to join the group on Mercan as well.

Thanks!
JS

Hi Sarah

I am very much interested processing my GV through Mercan , but have my own doubts.
Would appreciate if you can share your experience.

Deepesh

Hi, you say if you make a loss or a gain, but isn’t the idea with Mercan that they buy it back for exactly what you paid? Is that guaranteed or not?

Hi Sarah, I’m very interested in going with Mercan, most likely for the Porto project. I have applied to join your group

Can anyone explain a bit about the guaranteed buy back? How is this guarantee backed, and do they guarantee to buy it back from you at the exact price you paid?

How low is the risk investing in the Lapa project with Mercan? If they go bankrupt what would happen to our investments

thanks

You’re given a deed to the property. Therefore you own something tangible. If Mercan blows up then you lose the buyback and you own a piece of something that may or may not be completed and may or may not be operational, but you own something.

Mercan buys it back at the price you paid.

You can think of the entire deal as a corp bond secured by the real estate. I left a much larger writeup somewhere in some thread. Mercan is a pretty large company that’s been doing this in multiple countries for 20 years so the likelihood of failure is IMO low.

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Thanks thats cleared things up, I appreciate it!

Ok, so if Mercan Blows up there could be a half finished hotel in Porto, that quite likely would be taken over by some other company? I wonder how often projects like this dont get completed. It seems like in the centre of a popular city with a big company like Marriot, then surely they don’t leave much to chance. But I have no experience in this area at all

Of course if the hotel did get abandoned then owning a deed to the property isn’t going to be worth much

I would like to see your much longer write up, if you could find it easily in your account. But dont worry If not

I gave this scenario a lot of thought and asked a lot of questions to Mercan about this. The odds of any construction project failing increase when the developers use leverage and construction loans etc. In Mercan’s case, the funding is provided by GV investors on a 0% interest rate until the hotel is operational, only then does the 3% return start. This significantly reduces the odds of failure for the project.

-RJ

Thanks, so the whole project is funded entirely by GV investors? What happens if they dont get enough people investing?

And when you say failing, what would happen in the unlikely event of the project failing. What would happen to those of us who had invested?

I think they proceed anyway. The project is not entirely funded by GV; they have a capital interest in the project as well. They just hope to sell off the shares. Fundamentally though they are in the construction business and there’s profit to be had in building and selling off properties. Just that it’s even more profitable if they can get free float from a bunch of GV investors.

If the project fails, you own a part of a hotel in Porto. You and all the other owners will have to get together and figure out what to do.

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I was on a call with Mercan and if I recall correctly, he said the Porto project is funded and will go ahead with construction regardless if they have all GV investors.
But it was only after the call I realized I should’ve asked “then why do you need GV investors?”. Perhaps for new projects?!

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thanks ok thats good to know!

That would be a nightmare scenario having to get together with everyone who owned a bit of a hotel and work out what to do. I’m guessing it could be half finished also?

Or would they be legally required to buy back our shares if the project was only half finished?

If the hotel is only half finished it would probably be due to a serious problem that would also prevent them from being able to buy back your investment!

GV investors are simply part of the model.

You can’t sit there and wait for enough GV investors to start the project, if you want to get anything done. (There are projects you see where that is what’s happening. GV investors get frustrated because they commit to this project, then wait years while waiting for the other shares to sell…) However, GV capital is cheap if you can get it.

So you borrow the money you need to get the project going. Call it a bridge loan or construction loan. Then you sell the shares. As GV investors come in, you pay back the loan. If you don’t get quite enough GV investors, then you have to keep borrowing the money to finish the project, yeah, but by now I’m sure they have good models for how many people are likely to buy into any given project and when.

I’m quite sure that Mercan could just go build the projects without the investors. What the investors do is make the affair profitable - the dif between having to pay 5-10% for 6 years to borrow the money or paying the 0-3% for the GV money. But whether you have 20 GV investors or 18 isn’t going to make or break the affair.

And yes if Mercan folds then you have a nightmare scenario and it might be finished or unfinished or a smoking hole in the ground. Just part of the risks. But frankly I just don’t see how there’s any real risk in the Mercan projects at this point. They’ve done it for far too long far too successfully. But do your own research.

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