¡Bienvenidos a Bogotá! If you're contemplating real estate investment, the vibrant capital of Colombia is a city ripe with opportunities.
How is the real estate market there? Are prices going up or going down? Do people make profits on their real estate investments? What about the rental demand?
We'll answer all these questions for you! When building and updating our property pack for Colombia, our team has been researching and surveying this area. Actually, lots of customers are interested in investing there. So we thought it would be a good idea to add some information about it in our pack.
Investing in real estate in Bogotá
Is Bogotá an attractive destination for property investment?
Bogotá, as the capital city of Colombia, is an attractive destination for property investment for several reasons.
The city is a cultural, economic, and political hub, which means there is a constant demand for real estate, both from locals and international investors. The presence of multinational companies, a growing middle class, and significant infrastructure projects contribute to the city's appeal.
The real estate market in Bogotá is indeed very dynamic.
For instance, despite global economic challenges, Colombia's real estate sector has shown resilience, with Bogotá often leading the way in terms of investment and development. A data point that illustrates this dynamism is the increase in residential property sales, which, according to the Colombian Association of Real Estate, saw a significant uptick in recent years, with Bogotá frequently outperforming other regions.
Historically, the real estate market in Bogotá has experienced periods of both expansion and contraction. Like many global cities, it has not been immune to economic crises.
For example, the late 1990s saw a financial crisis in Colombia that affected the real estate market.
However, the sector has generally recovered well from such downturns, showing a capacity for growth and stability over the long term.
Investments in Bogotá's real estate have tended to perform well in certain segments. Middle-class residential properties, for example, are in high demand due to urbanization and an increasing population.
Additionally, commercial real estate in prime locations, such as the financial district, has historically offered solid returns due to the city's role as a business hub. Investors often look for properties in up-and-coming neighborhoods or those undergoing revitalization, as these areas can offer good value and potential for appreciation.
One very specific and positive aspect of properties in Bogotá is the city's emphasis on green living spaces. Many new developments include eco-friendly designs and amenities such as communal gardens, rooftop terraces, and energy-efficient features. This focus on sustainability is not only good for the environment but also appeals to a growing demographic of environmentally conscious buyers and renters, potentially increasing the property's value and attractiveness.
When it comes to the safety of investing in traditional places in Bogotá, you have to note that the city has made significant strides in improving safety and stability. While it's always wise to be cautious and conduct thorough due diligence when investing in any market, Bogotá provides a relatively stable environment for investment, especially in established and well-regarded neighborhoods.
Regarding the need to know the local language, while it's not an absolute necessity to speak Spanish to invest in Bogotá, having a grasp of the language can be incredibly beneficial. It can facilitate negotiations, help you understand the legal and regulatory framework better, and allow you to build stronger relationships with local partners, agents, and service providers. If you're not fluent in Spanish, it's advisable to work with a reputable local real estate agent or a legal advisor who can assist you throughout the investment process.
What are the trends forecasts for the real estate market in Bogotá?
Understanding the current trends in Bogotá's housing market requires a look at various factors, including economic conditions, political climate, and local policies.
These days, Bogotá's real estate market has been experiencing a period of growth, with an increase in both residential and commercial property demand. This growth can be attributed to several factors, including urbanization, a growing middle class, and foreign investment.
One of the key trends in Bogotá has been the demand for new housing, driven by a younger population seeking their first homes and by families looking for upgrades. This has led to a construction boom, particularly in the middle and upper segments of the market.
However, affordability remains a concern, as prices have been rising, making it challenging for lower-income families to purchase property.
When forecasting the real estate market's future, you have to consider the impact of interest rates. If the central bank decides to raise rates to combat inflation, this could lead to higher mortgage rates, potentially cooling down the housing market.
Conversely, if rates remain stable or decrease, this could encourage more buyers to enter the market.
Political and economic changes are also crucial to the real estate market.
For instance, policies that promote foreign investment and trade can lead to increased demand for commercial properties, as businesses look to expand in Bogotá.
On the other hand, political instability or unfavorable trade policies could deter investment and slow down the market.
Upcoming legislation and government policies can have a significant impact on the real estate market.
For example, if the government introduces tax incentives for property developers or buyers, this could stimulate the market.
Conversely, if new regulations impose additional costs on construction, this could lead to higher property prices and potentially slow down the market's growth.
Another factor to consider is infrastructure development. If the local government invests in improving transportation, such as expanding the metro system or enhancing road networks, this could increase the attractiveness of surrounding areas for both residential and commercial properties, leading to a rise in property values.
It's also worth noting that Bogotá's market could be influenced by global economic trends.
For instance, if there's a downturn in the global economy, this could reduce foreign investment and demand for high-end properties, which could lead to a market correction.
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What types of property can you buy in Bogotá? What are the prices and yields?
If you need a detailed and updated analysis of the prices, rents and yields, you can get our full guide about real estate investment in Colombia.
In Bogotá, you have a variety of property types available for investment, including residential apartments, houses, commercial spaces, and land.
Building a property is certainly an option, but it requires navigating local regulations, securing permits, and working with reliable contractors. It's doable, but it demands due diligence, a good understanding of the local market, and potentially a significant upfront investment.
The average cost of residential properties in Bogotá can vary widely depending on the neighborhood, the size of the property, and its amenities. As of now, you might find that middle-class neighborhoods offer apartments at an average price range that could be around $1,000 to $2,000 per square meter, while more affluent areas could see prices well above that range. Keep in mind that these are rough estimates and prices can fluctuate based on economic conditions and other factors.
When it comes to the ratio of renters to owners, like many cities, Bogotá has a mix of both. There are people who buy properties as an investment to rent them out. The rental yield, which is the rent income as a percentage of the property's value, can be attractive, but it varies by location and property type. In popular neighborhoods, you might expect a rental yield of anywhere from 4% to 8% annually, but again, this is a rough estimate and can change with market conditions.
Rental demand in Bogotá is generally strong, especially in areas close to business districts, universities, and amenities. This demand is driven by locals, expatriates, and students, ensuring a steady stream of potential tenants.
Tourism does have an impact on the property market, particularly in terms of short-term rental demand. Properties in areas popular with tourists can be rented out on a short-term basis, often at a premium compared to long-term rentals. This can be lucrative, especially during high season, but it also comes with additional management responsibilities and potential regulatory considerations.
Reselling property in Bogotá can be relatively straightforward if the property is desirable and priced correctly.
However, the real estate market can be cyclical, and the ease of resale will depend on the state of the market at the time of sale. Some investors hold onto their properties for a few years, while others may keep them for a decade or more, depending on their investment strategy and market conditions.
Capital gains prospects are similarly variable. In a growing economy with a rising real estate market, you could see significant appreciation in property values.
However, this can be influenced by a range of factors including economic policy, interest rates, and international investment flows. It's not uncommon for property values to appreciate anywhere from 3% to 10% per year in a healthy market, but this is by no means guaranteed.
Which areas in Bogotá offer the best investment opportunities?
When foreigners look to buy property in Bogotá, they often gravitate towards areas that offer a blend of safety, amenities, and accessibility.
Many are drawn to the city for its economic opportunities, cultural offerings, and as a base for exploring the rest of Colombia. The types of foreigners attracted to Bogotá are diverse, including expatriates working for multinational companies, retirees, and investors looking for real estate opportunities.
Popular neighborhoods for foreign buyers include Chicó, Rosales, and Parque 93, which are known for their upscale living, proximity to business districts, and vibrant social scenes. These areas are generally safe, well-maintained, and offer a variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
However, they are also among the more expensive parts of the city.
For those seeking more budget-friendly options that still offer good investment potential, neighborhoods like Cedritos, Belmira, and parts of Usaquén are attractive. These areas are residential, with a growing number of amenities and good connectivity to the rest of the city. They are becoming increasingly popular among young professionals and families, which can drive up both property values and rental demand over time.
Looking at trends, areas that are currently seeing a rise in popularity include the neighborhoods around the Javeriana and Andes universities. These areas are becoming more sought after due to their central location and the influx of students and academics, which creates a steady demand for rental properties.
In terms of investment predictions, neighborhoods that are currently undergoing infrastructure improvements or are slated for urban renewal projects could be good bets for future property value increases. Areas with planned or ongoing transportation improvements, like the expansion of the TransMilenio system or the construction of the Bogotá Metro, are likely to see an uptick in demand as accessibility improves.
However, there are regions that might be less attractive to foreign buyers due to various factors such as higher crime rates, lack of amenities, or distance from the city center. These can include some of the southern districts of Bogotá, which have historically been less developed and might not offer the same quality of life as the northern parts of the city.
When considering where to buy property, you have to think about the purpose of the investment. If you're looking for rental income, areas with a high demand for housing, such as near universities or business centers, might be ideal. For a more long-term investment, looking at the city's development plans could provide insight into which neighborhoods are likely to appreciate in value.
It's also crucial to consider the potential downsides of each area. Even in upscale neighborhoods, traffic congestion can be a significant issue, and in the more budget-friendly areas, you might have to compromise on certain amenities or the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood.
Here is a summary table to help you visualize better. If you need more detailed data and information, please check our property pack for Colombia.
|Chicó, Rosales, Parque 93
|Upscale living, proximity to business, vibrant social scene
|High, but costly
|Cedritos, Belmira, Usaquén
|Residential, growing amenities, good connectivity
|Increasing popularity, good for young professionals
|Areas around Javeriana and Andes universities
|Central location, influx of students and academics
|Rising popularity, steady rental demand
|Neighborhoods with infrastructure improvements
|Transportation improvements like TransMilenio and Metro
|Good future property value increase
|Less developed southern districts
|Higher crime rates, lack of amenities
|Lower quality of life, less attractive to foreign buyers
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Bogotá
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Colombia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.
Who can invest in real estate in Bogotá?
Investing in property as a foreigner in Bogotá
If you're considering investing in housing property in Bogotá as a foreigner, you have to understand the legal framework that governs property ownership in Colombia.
Generally speaking, foreigners have the same rights as locals when it comes to owning property, including land. There are no significant restrictions based on your nationality, and you don't need to live in the country to purchase and own property.
However, there are some key points you should be aware of.
Firstly, you don't need a residence permit to buy property; a tourist visa is typically sufficient for the transaction. There are no restrictions on how long a foreigner can own property in Colombia, and you can indeed pass on the property to your heirs or sell it to another foreigner without additional restrictions.
When it comes to the documentation required, you will need a Tax ID, known as a NIT (Número de Identificación Tributaria) in Colombia. This is necessary for tax purposes and is something you can obtain with the help of a local attorney or accountant. You don't need specific authorization from a governmental institution to buy property, but you will need to follow the standard legal process for property transactions, which includes due diligence, signing a public deed, and registering the property.
Having a local bank account is not strictly necessary, but it can make the process easier, especially when it comes to transferring funds and handling various payments related to the property purchase, such as taxes and utility bills. While you can hold property and make initial payments in foreign currencies, the actual transaction will typically need to be conducted in Colombian pesos, and you'll need to comply with Colombia's financial regulations regarding currency exchange and money transfer.
As for taxes, foreigners are subject to the same tax rates as locals on property-related matters. This includes property taxes and capital gains taxes if you decide to sell the property. It's important to note that if you spend more than 183 days in Colombia within a year, you could be considered a tax resident and may be subject to additional taxes on your worldwide income.
Residency in Bogotá
If you're considering becoming a resident of Bogotá, Colombia, by purchasing property, there is indeed a pathway to residency through investment.
Colombia offers a type of visa known as a 'Migrant (M) visa', which can be obtained by making a significant investment in real estate. To qualify for this visa, you would need to invest a certain amount of money, which is tied to a multiple of the Colombian minimum wage. The exact amount can change, but it's typically around 350 times the minimum monthly legal salary in Colombia.
Once you've identified a property to purchase, you would go through the standard process of buying real estate in Colombia, which involves due diligence, signing a sales contract, and registering the property. After the purchase, you would need to gather the necessary documents, such as the certificate of ownership and proof of the value of the investment, to apply for the visa.
The application for the Migrant visa can be done within Colombia if you are already there, or at a Colombian consulate abroad. You'll need to provide various documents, including your passport, the property title, and financial statements, among others. The process involves submitting your application and supporting documents, paying the visa fee, and attending an interview if required.
Once granted, the Migrant visa typically allows you to live in Colombia for up to three years. After this period, you can apply for an extension or seek a more permanent status. If you hold the Migrant visa for five continuous years, you may be eligible to apply for a Resident (R) visa, which is a more permanent solution. The Resident visa does not have to be renewed as frequently, and after holding it for five years, you could potentially apply for Colombian citizenship, provided you meet other requirements such as language proficiency and knowledge of Colombian history and constitution.
The number of people who have used this scheme varies from year to year, and it's influenced by factors such as changes in the economy, immigration laws, and the global real estate market.
It's important to note that immigration laws can change, and the process can be complex. It's advisable to consult with a local attorney or a professional immigration consultant who specializes in Colombian law to guide you through the process and ensure that you meet all the requirements for investment and residency.
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How to get started to invest in real estate in Bogotá?
What is the step-by-step process to buy property in Bogotá?
We'll give her a brief overview. However, there is a detailed and dedicated document to the buying process in our property pack for Colombia.
When you're looking to buy a property in Bogotá, the process typically starts with you finding a house that you like.
Once you've found a property that interests you, you would make an offer through your real estate agent, who will communicate with the seller's agent. If your offer is accepted, the next step is to sign a promesa de compraventa, which is a promise to buy/sell agreement. This document outlines the terms of the sale, including the price, deadlines, and any conditions that must be met before the sale can be finalized.
After signing the promesa de compraventa, you'll need to make a deposit, usually around 10% to 30% of the purchase price. This shows your commitment to the transaction and is held in escrow until the closing. During this period, you have to conduct a due diligence process, which includes checking the legal status of the property, ensuring there are no liens or encumbrances, and verifying that the property is up to code with urban regulations.
One of the most complicated and error-prone steps can be the due diligence process. It's essential to ensure that the property's paperwork is in order, as any irregularities can lead to legal issues down the line. This is where having a good lawyer or a trusted real estate agent becomes invaluable. They can help navigate the complexities of property law in Colombia and ensure that everything is in order for the sale to proceed.
An unusual step in the process, compared to some other countries, is the involvement of a notary in the transaction. In Colombia, the notary plays a significant role in the property transfer process. They are responsible for verifying the identities of the parties involved, ensuring that the property is free of liens, and recording the transaction in the public registry.
The entire process, from finding a house to having full ownership, can take several weeks to a few months, depending on various factors such as the efficiency of the due diligence process, the availability of the parties involved, and the speed at which the financial transactions can be completed. The due diligence and the financing approval are typically what take the most time.
While it's not absolutely necessary to know Spanish to navigate the entire process, it's highly beneficial. Most of the legal documents and negotiations will be conducted in Spanish, and having a command of the language can help you understand the nuances of the transaction. If you're not fluent in Spanish, it's advisable to work with a bilingual real estate agent or lawyer who can translate and explain the terms and conditions to you.
As for cultural norms or practices, you have to understand that negotiations in Colombia may be more flexible and open to discussion than in some other countries. It's common for there to be some back-and-forth on the price and terms of the sale. Being too aggressive or inflexible in negotiations could cause issues and potentially sour the deal.
Looking for property in Bogotá
Please note that there is a list of contacts (real estate agencies, lawyers, notaries, etc.) and websites in our property pack for Colombia.
When you're looking to find a house in Bogotá, you have several options at your disposal.
Many people start their search online, using housing portals such as Finca Raíz, Metrocuadrado, and OLX, which are popular in Colombia. These platforms allow you to filter properties by location, price, size, and other criteria, giving you a broad overview of what's available.
Real estate agents also play a significant role in the housing market in Bogotá. They often have listings that may not be immediately available online or may have additional insights into the properties that are listed. Working with a real estate agent can provide you with expert guidance, especially if you're unfamiliar with the local market or if you're moving from abroad. Agents can help you navigate the complexities of the market, including legal requirements and negotiation processes.
Social media and Facebook groups are also commonly used to find housing in Bogotá. There are many groups dedicated to real estate in specific areas of the city where landlords and sellers may post their listings directly, and potential buyers or renters can post inquiries.
While there are many reliable and professional real estate agents in Bogotá, as with any profession, there can be some who are less scrupulous. It's important to be cautious and do your due diligence when working with an agent. Red flags to watch out for include agents who are unwilling to provide references, those who pressure you to make quick decisions without proper consideration, or those who are not transparent about their fees or the details of a property.
In Colombia, buyers can access property listings directly, but agents can provide valuable assistance and access to a wider range of properties, some of which may not be publicly listed. The role of a buyer's agent is to represent your interests in the transaction, helping you find the right property and negotiate the best possible terms. A seller's agent, on the other hand, is focused on representing the seller's interests and achieving the best sale terms for them.
Real estate agent commissions in Bogotá are not standardized and can vary. It's common for the seller to pay the agent's commission, but this is something that can sometimes be negotiated. When dealing with real estate agents, you have to clarify all terms upfront, including their commission rate and other potential costs.
Negotiation strategies when dealing with real estate agents in Bogotá include being well-informed about the current market conditions, knowing the average prices in the area where you're looking to buy, and being clear about your budget and requirements. It's also helpful to show that you're serious about buying and ready to move forward if the right opportunity arises, as this can sometimes lead to a more favorable negotiation stance from the seller.
Remember, buying a house is a significant investment, and you have to take your time, do your research, and consider all your options before making a decision. Whether you choose to search for properties on your own or work with a real estate agent, being informed and cautious will help you navigate the Bogotá housing market more effectively.
Buying property in Bogotá
When buying a house in Bogotá, as in many places around the world, negotiation is quite common.
The amount you can negotiate off the selling price can vary widely depending on the property's location, condition, and how long it has been on the market. It's not unusual for buyers to start by offering 5% to 10% below the asking price, but this can fluctuate based on market conditions and the seller's motivation. It's important to research comparable sales in the area to inform your offer.
Conducting due diligence is a critical step in the home-buying process. This involves verifying the legal status of the property and ensuring there are no outstanding issues that could affect your ownership. To conduct a title search, you would typically start by requesting a Certificate of Tradition and Freedom (Certificado de Tradición y Libertad) from the Office of Instrument Registration (Oficina de Registro de Instrumentos Públicos). This document provides the history of the property, including past owners and any liens, mortgages, or encumbrances on the property.
While it's not mandatory to hire a lawyer or a notary when buying a house in Bogotá, it is highly recommended. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal aspects of the purchase, including the title search and due diligence, while a notary is necessary for the final transaction and registration process. The cost of hiring a lawyer can vary, but it's a worthwhile investment to ensure your interests are protected.
In terms of paperwork, you'll need to gather several documents for the purchase. These include the aforementioned Certificate of Tradition and Freedom, the seller's proof of ownership, tax receipts to ensure property taxes are up to date, and identification documents for both the buyer and seller. If you're obtaining a mortgage, you'll also need to provide proof of income and other financial documents required by the lender.
Once you've completed due diligence, negotiated the price, and have all the necessary paperwork, the next step is to sign the sales agreement (promesa de compraventa) with the seller. This document outlines the terms of the sale, including the price, payment schedule, and any other conditions. After signing the sales agreement, you'll proceed to the closing process, where the final deed (escritura pública) is signed in front of a notary. The notary will then register the deed with the Office of Instrument Registration, officially transferring ownership to you.
Remember, each step in this process is important to ensure that you're making a secure investment. It's always wise to seek professional advice to guide you through the complexities of buying a house, especially if you're unfamiliar with the local real estate laws and practices.
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Financing a property acquisition in Bogotá
If you're looking to finance your property investment in Bogotá as a foreign investor, there are a few things you should know about the process, costs, and taxes involved.
Firstly, regarding financing, it's generally more challenging for foreigners to secure a mortgage in Colombia than it is for residents. Some Colombian banks do offer loans to foreigners, but they typically require a larger down payment and may charge higher interest rates compared to loans offered to Colombian nationals. The average interest rates can vary widely depending on the bank and your financial profile, but they are often perceived as high compared to international standards.
When it comes to the process of buying property, you usually pay a deposit once you and the seller have agreed on the price and terms. This deposit is often referred to as "earnest money" and is a sign of good faith that you intend to purchase the property. The full price of the house is typically paid at the time of closing, after the signing of the purchase agreement, when the ownership is officially transferred to you.
The deposit amount can range significantly, but it's common to see deposits between 10% to 30% of the total sale value. This amount can be negotiated between you and the seller.
Closing costs and fees associated with buying property in Bogotá can include notary fees, registration fees, and legal fees. These costs can add up to approximately 1.5% to 2.5% of the property value. It's important to budget for these additional expenses when planning your investment.
When you buy a house in Bogotá, you'll also need to pay a transfer tax, which is typically around 1.5% of the cadastral value (the value assigned by the local authorities for tax purposes) or the commercial value of the property, whichever is higher.
Property tax rates in Bogotá vary depending on the location and value of the property. The annual property tax can range from 0.1% to 1% of the property's cadastral value. It's important to note that property taxes are paid yearly and are the responsibility of the property owner.
Capital gains tax is another consideration. If you sell the property at a profit, you may be subject to capital gains tax, which is currently set at 10% of the profit if the property was owned for more than two years. For properties owned for less time, the profit is added to your regular income and taxed according to income tax rates.
Additional fees can include appraisal fees, bank fees if you're securing a mortgage, and possibly management fees if you're buying within a residential complex or building.
Remember, while this gives you an overview of the process and costs, you have to consult with a local real estate attorney or a professional advisor who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and ensure that all legal requirements are met for a successful property investment in Bogotá.
What are the risks and pitfalls when buying property in Bogotá?
When you're considering property investment in Bogotá, you have to be aware of the risks involved, just as you would with any investment.
One of the common risks is market volatility. Property values can fluctuate due to economic conditions, changes in government policies, or shifts in demand. This means that the investment might not yield the expected returns or could even result in a loss if the property value decreases.
Another risk to consider is the legal framework surrounding property rights for foreigners. In Colombia, foreigners have the same property rights as Colombian citizens, which is reassuring.
However, the legal process for purchasing property can be complex, and you have to ensure that all documentation is in order and that you're dealing with reputable parties. Due diligence is key to avoiding fraudulent transactions or disputes over titles.
There are also pitfalls unique to Bogotá that foreign investors might not be aware of.
For example, the city has areas with informal settlements or "barrios," where property rights can be less clear, and the process of legalizing these properties can be lengthy and complicated. Another pitfall is the "estrato" system, which categorizes neighborhoods based on socio-economic levels and affects utilities pricing. Foreign investors might not realize that buying property in a higher "estrato" means higher utility bills, which can impact the profitability of a rental property.
Environmental risks are also a concern. Bogotá is not immune to natural disasters such as earthquakes, given Colombia's location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. While the city is not as prone to earthquakes as other parts of the country, it's still something to consider. Climate change implications, such as heavier rainfall leading to flooding, can also affect property values and should be factored into your investment decision.
Regarding case studies of foreign investment failures, specific examples are not readily available without research, but it's not uncommon to hear of foreign investors facing challenges due to a lack of understanding of the local market, legal issues, or being taken advantage of by unscrupulous parties.
Insurance is an important consideration for protecting your investment. In Colombia, you have options for property insurance that cover a range of risks, including fire, theft, and natural disasters. Liability insurance is also advisable, especially if you're renting out the property, to protect against claims from tenants or visitors who might get injured on the property.
To mitigate these risks, it's wise to work with a local real estate expert and a lawyer who specialize in property transactions. They can help navigate the complexities of the local market and ensure that all legal aspects of the purchase are handled correctly.
Additionally, building a network of local contacts and learning about the culture and business practices can be invaluable.
In case of conflicts, Colombia has legal protections in place for foreign property buyers, such as the right to due process. The legal system allows for disputes to be resolved through the courts, although the process can be lengthy. It's also possible to include arbitration clauses in property contracts as a means of resolving disputes more efficiently.
While the legal protections are in place, the reliability of these mechanisms can vary, and the judicial system can be slow. Therefore, the best approach is to prevent conflicts through thorough due diligence, understanding the local market, and having solid legal advice from the outset.
Make sure you understand the real estate market in Bogotá
Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Colombia. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial advice. Readers are advised to consult with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions. We do not assume any liability for actions taken based on the information provided.