Category Archives: Puerto Vallarta

Canadians Visiting and Living in Mexico Feel Secure; Invite Foreigners to “See For Yourself” Compiled By: Miguel Sedano

Mexico, like all countries, has isolated and unfortunate instances of tourists facing incidents while vacationing and we take every incident seriously. But these isolated incidents have not stopped the more than 22.67 million tourists to come to Mexico last year – out of which 1.6 million happen to be Canadian. And neither have stopped the thousands of Canadians who live and/or work in Mexico and are still enjoying the vibrant economy, modern infrastructure and cultural attractions that the country has to offer.

Mexico Canada flags
Canadians’ Experiences via a Calgary Herald Article
In a recent Calgary Herald article, several Canadians contributed to it by sharing their personal experiences, including 66-year-old Calgarian Maureen McLeod, who has lived several years in Mexico with her family since 1979. McLeod said, “We feel safe here, but we don’t take foolish chances. We are aware that there have been times when a Canadian has been in the wrong place at the wrong time, but that kind of thing also happens in Canada.”
Dustin Wilcox from Ontario also wrote, “I’m a Canadian living in Guadalajara. My experience has been nothing but enjoyable and secure. I can’t recall when I didn’t feel 100% safe in this city.” Canadian Toni St. Clair also wrote, “I lived in Mexico City for a year in 2007 and was never faced with violence.”
Calgarian Brent McAthey also contributed with his experience in the article and wrote, “When I was 15 years old I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with a buddy and his parent. I loved it and have returned every year for the last 29 years, with longer and longer stays each time. I now spend 10 months a year in Mazatlan, own a house, and I am also an entertainer, and have managed to figure out how to make a living here.” McAthey added, “We cannot understand why the media up north has projected such a bad image of such an incredible place. It’s unfair. I have always felt safe here. I have traveled the world with my music, and can honestly say this is one of the safest places I have ever been.”
Canadian Frank Lai also contributed with his experience and said, “Unfortunately, the few violent crimes involving foreigners have been overblown by the media. In our view, they were isolated incidents, and not truly reflective of the fabulous life enjoyed by residents, snowbirds and tourists alike.” Lai added, “We invite you to visit Mazatlan and see for yourself. You will be impressed by a myriad of smiling faces and stunning sceneries that is the ‘Pearl of the Pacific,’ he concluded.
Canadian Reporter from Ottawa: “Crack a cerveza and calm down – Mexico’s safer than you think”
Canadian national columnist for Postmedia News Stephen Maher also shared his safety insights and how much he enjoyed his time in Playa del Carmen located south of Cancun on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. In a recent article he wrote for, Maher shared how different and enjoyable Mexico is once you get to visit and put safety in Mexico into perspective.
“Mexico is not a place. It is a bunch of places, and some of them are safer than places in Canada.”
“I had a great time in Yucatan province last week, inland from Playa del Carmen. We rented a car and drove to Chichen Itza, which is stunning, and spent a happy night at a fiesta among the welcoming people of the colonial city of Valladolid [sp], watching proud young people dancing in beautiful, hand-embroidered clothes,” Maher wrote. And when comparing Mexico and Canada’s safety, he stated, “The murder rate in Yucatan is 2 per 100,000. Thunder Bay’s murder rate is 4.2 per 100,000. The expatriates I spoke to in the lovely beachside bars of Tulum, down the coast from Cancun, are more worried about potholes than being murdered. In Canada, we have nine road fatalities per year per 100,000 inhabitants. Compare that number to the number of Canadians murdered in Mexico, and you have to come to the conclusion that crime in Mexico is not worth thinking about very much.”
Maher wraps up his article by saying, “Mexico is amazing. The chances of anything bad happening to you there are small,” he concluded.
Mexico is a modern, G-20 nation, with ancient Mayan ruins, beautiful beaches, stunning natural beauty, and the second largest economy in Latin America. This year, because it is 2012 and the year of the Mayan prophecies, Mexico is receiving tourists from all over the world who want to visit the Mayan sites at Palenque, Tulum, Chichen Itza, and elsewhere. Mexico is also a rich nation blessed with abundant natural resources and has become one of Canada’s leading trade partners. There is so much to explore in Mexico, and we thank the more than 10 million visitors Mexico welcomed at the end of 2011 alone for visiting our country.
If you are thinking in moving to Mexico, don’t think more act today.  We Can Help.  Call today 858-433-0561 or email Miguel Sedano / the perfect home is waiting for you.

A Comment on Property Values

Mexico Real Estate

Mexico Real Estate

By Mexico Insight

Mexico’s realty market has not escaped the world-wide downturn in property prices, which has been led in good part by the contraction of available mortgage credit and falling stock market values.  However, Mexico’s downturn has not been as deep or as severe as the one in the USA, and much less so than in places like Spain—and there are specific reasons for that.

Mexico’s property ‘boom’ was never as large as that of its US neighbor, or its former colonial master. Credit has become widely available to the middle and upper classes in Mexico—but mostly in the form of consumer credit: plastic cards and loans for new cars. Mortgages were virtually unavailable in Mexico before the 1990’s, and once they appeared mortgage interest rates have never been low. Even today, the best deals on the market demand interest rates of around 11% per annum and, when you add account aperture fees, commissions, and required minimum deposits of 15-25%, the market of potential mortgage holders diminishes further. Extremely low interest rate mortgage loans, “teaser” rates, no-fee arrangements, etc. never came to pass in Mexico.

Residential building projects aimed at foreign investors did flourish in Mexico starting in the 90’s—but never on the scale that they did in Spain. The Spanish realty market, fueled by cheap money from the Euro zone and Britain (Germans and Brits were principal buyers there), boomed and developers obliged by throwing up apartment blocks as fast as they could mix the cement, and as if tomorrow would never come. Today it’s reported that there are some 800,000 (eight hundred thousand) residential dwelling units in Spain lying empty, unsold, or weighing down on bank’s repo inventories.

Mexico has experienced property booms and busts of its own. However, it was not a contraction of credit that caused its housing busts, but macroeconomic issues related to the structure of its economy and the value of its currency. Since Mexico floated its currency in the mid 90’s, the peso has enjoyed remarkable stability. The most recent property ‘bubbles’ in Mexico have been brought about by cheap dollars funding property in Mexico (usually through remortgages on foreign property) and more often, foreigners trading down in their home country and using the surplus cash to buy land or a small home in Mexico. Moreover, these ‘bubbles’ have been localized in their nature. For example, small rural towns whose local economies would never have supported steep rises in land and property values, were ‘discovered’ by foreigners and experienced unprecedented levels of foreign property investment; and even well-known coastal areas—Puerto Vallarta is a prime example—experienced truly massive capital inflows which drove realty prices upwards.

Many of these purchases were left largely unaffected by the credit crisis, because the sales were completed using monies which had been generated from the sale of assets abroad, i.e., many of the properties owned by foreigners here are not mortgaged. The peak in prices came at the point just before the market turned sour in the USA; which also marks the point when capital inflows destined for Mexican residential properties, principally derived from foreign asset sales, began to decline.

The corollary is a re-balancing process that is happening now, but what is not being seen here is the wholesale collapse of the Mexican property market—and that’s in good part because owners are not being forced to bring about stressed sales and the rental markets here remain buoyant.
The latest situation does, however, require existing owners—and prospective new owners—to take a long-term approach in regard to their residential property investments here. If you enter the market now hoping to sell for a profit in a year or two, you’re probably going to be left disappointed.

Mexican real estate continues to offer excellent value for money—especially along the coasts. In the USA, coastal property markets are effectively closed to all but the wealthy, whereas in Mexico you can still buy coastline property for under US$300,000. And further inland, in Mexico’s colonial towns and cities, prices remain very affordable and you can pick up a small home in need of some care for less than US$50,000. Prices are in flux and, as we have commented before, the price of Mexican property is a very localized matter and dependent more upon what a seller demands and what a purchaser is willing to pay, and far less upon any official data and statistics.

There is another important reason why Mexican property remains an attractive investment: the total cost of ownership remains very low. Property taxes, even with recent rises, remain significantly and materially lower in Mexico than they are in places like the USA, Canada and Western Europe. Property construction costs are low, and ongoing maintenance costs are low, too. Ed Kunze’s eBook, Build or Buy Your Home in Mexico, demonstrates in great detail how this is so, and how you can get so much more for every dollar invested in Mexican property.


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