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Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor


Chefs, wine give Baja a new flavor
Region’s gastro scene is boosting tourism and its image
By Michele Parente6:13 P.M.OCT. 18, 2014Updated12:14 P.M.OCT. 21, 2014

Last Sunday, chef Javier Plascencia was in Buenos Aires promoting Baja cuisine, having just taped an episode of ABC’s “The Taste” in L.A.


Tijuana‘s new taste: The rustic chic interior of El Taller Baja Med Cocina. — Photo by Michele Parente

On Wednesday, chef Flor Franco was in New York cooking for about 160 editors at Condé Nast, publishers of such titles as The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Condé Nast Traveler.

And during the first week in November, chef Miguel Ángel Guerrero will be in Paris, serving up rustic Baja Med cuisine to the French.


Javier Plascencia’s popular Finca Altozano in the Valle de Guadalupe.— Photo by Michele Parente

The trio, with about 12 restaurants between them in San Diego, Tijuana, Ensenada and the Valle de Guadalupe, are Baja’s Emissaries of Eating. While out promoting their own businesses and brands, these globe-trotting gastro ambassadors are at the same time shifting the narrative of a region once known more for kidnappings and cartels than quail and kumamotos.

More than just reputation burnishing, Baja’s food and wine are driving new development around the region as well as an influx of first-time visitors from within Mexico, Europe, Asia and Latin America. It’s also reviving tourism from north of the border, which plummeted in 2008 as the global economy sunk and Tijuana’s death rate skyrocketed.

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2012 Brings New Sales From Orange County To Baja

The new year has not only brought a renewed sense of optimism to those of us in Baja but Real Estate agents on both sides of the border are beginning to feel the real Estate market come alive once again. Several U.S. agents have been reporting an increase in sales since the first of the year. In fact, Teri Garcia with Real Living Lifestyles in Rancho Bernardo says her phone is practically ringing off the hook.

2012 Brings New Sales From Orange County To Baja

2012 Brings New Sales From Orange County To Baja

New Year Brings New Sales From Orange County To Baja “It’s a great time in real estate,” said Teri Garcia, a top-producing Realtor in San Diego County. “You know the market is picking up when most of the homes your buyers are interested in have multiple offers. We are also seeing more Equity sellers as the baby boomers are starting to downsize.”

Another Realtor from the Irvine area in California’s Orange County, Debbie Sagorin, reported receiving three offers on a house before she even held a Broker preview, the customary first step in marketing a home for sale.

Baby boomers that once had large families are now becoming empty-nesters and this is driving home sales once again. These homeowners are starting to downsize and are looking to Mexico as the perfect place to enjoy all that life has to Offer.

According to Tourism Secretary Gloria Guevara, more than 2 million retired Americans have chosen Mexico as their new home, a figure that continues to increase thanks to the pleasant climate and favorable economic conditions.

Because of the increase in interest in retiring in Mexico, January has brought sales for the Baja Real Estate Group and February is looking even better, according to broker/owner Max Katz. “New buyers are finding our website from throughout the U.S., picking up the phone and coming down,” he said. “We have met many new people in the past few weeks.  And clients that have been looking at property in Baja over the past year are now buying.”

A good supply of inventory that is priced right is what is fueling this interest, Katz says. “I am feeling a sense of urgency that I have not felt in the recent past. With the cost of a typical beach home at a third or less of the prices found at most US beach cities, we are very confident that 2012 will be another great year in Mexico which offers great value, convenient location and a culture that is a world away.”

Katz offers a few tips to a successful purchase.  “Ask all the right questions, get comps of previous homes sold in the area, insist on the services of an Escrow agent,” he said. “And, if you are doing an owner-financed transaction, make sure to put the Title in your name and have the owner put a Lien against the property for the amount owed.”

“We are proud to be a strong part of the renewed Baja sprit,” continued Katz. “In 2012, we will continue as always to operate with the highest ethical standards and provide excellent sales training and support for our agents — keeping them updated and informed of the current market and offering them educational seminars to better assist buyers and sellers in our market.”

For more information, contact a Baja Real Estate Group Agent.


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