February 23, 2016
For those who are or were once signed up to my real estate blog, after a five-year hiatus I am blogging again and you’ll find me at: http://www.mlsvallarta.com/en/blog/real-estate-blog. You can sign up to receive regular posted blogs as well. This wordpress blog will no longer be used.
November 16, 2011
Those who visit this blog regularly will have noticed that I have not posted anything since mid’ September. My schedule has made posting and gathering information regarding the local real estate market difficult and it will remain this way over the next year of so.
From the conversations I have had with realtors and developers, the market has seemed to have bottomed out with a number of realtors experiencing good activity. The activity however, is with real estate that has been substantially reduced in price from its highs. But at least there is activity, good activity, something they haven’t seen over the last few years, which should help create a firm bottom for this cycle.
Unfortunately it is not the same for developers, many of whom face a situation where re-sale properties are selling for less than what they can build for. The developers who are selling are those that have entered into the market with new product involving smaller sized units with less amenities, so they can be competitive. We are even seeing the return of the one-bedroom condo, something the market hadn’t provided for some time.
Prices are down as much as 40%, back to what they were in 2003, before the market really took an upswing and real estate activity tripled in one year, as reported by the local MLS.
So it is definitely a buyer’s market. If you have been considering buying property in the region, its a good time to be looking.
That’s it for now, hope to be back soon.
May 17, 2011
For anyone who has had to deal with waiting in line at government offices in Mexico, you’ll relate to this wonderful short video (5 minutes) about a young girl trying to get a work permit in Madrid. It was created at the Madrid Film Institute. Funny…
November 22, 2010
The following article was recently featured in the Mexican magazine El Proceso in Spanish, online here, with the English translation posted at http://www.sott.net. This is an interesting development, as it parallels what Columbia did in the 90s to fight their drug cartels. It was only when the USA became involved, with permission given by then Columbian president Gaviria to eradicate the country of drug lords who were seemingly overtaking the country. The CIA set up offices in the American Consulate and provided logistical information to the army, and even to a group called Los Pepes, vigilantes made up of people who had been persecuted by Escobar or were his competition. It was equipment supplied by the CIA to the army that finally located Pablo Escobar and killed him. It seems that something similar may be taking place now in Mexico (although not necessarily with the vigilantes!). This could be a turning point for Mexico’s war with the drug cartels.
Mexican Magazine Proceso reveals the location of a US Military-Intelligence “Megaplex” in Mexico City.
- The Megaplex includes offices for the CIA, FBI, DEA, Defense Intelligence, BATF, Department of Treasury and others.
- U.S. Intelligence Operatives will no longer have to disguise themselves as diplomats.
- Mexico will now have a Military ‘Liaison’ for NORTHCOM.
- U.S. is now in charge of all tactical efforts against the drug war, counter-insurgency, and counter-terrorism in Mexico.
- Obama and Hillary Clinton are credited for the creation of the Office of Bi-lateral Intelligence in Mexico (OBI).
With the approval of Felipe Calderón’s Administration, the U.S. Government finally got what it always wanted: To set up a super spy center in Mexico City. It was the escalation of the drug war in the country what opened the door to all U.S. intelligence agencies, including the military, to operate out of the Federal District without having to disguise their agents as diplomats.
The establishment of the Office of Bi-national Intelligence (OBI) was authorized by Calderon, after negotiations with Washington, which began under the government of his predecessor, Vicente Fox Quesada. The creation of the super spy center was authorized by the director of the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN), Guillermo Valdés Castellanos, without taking into account any objections from the Mexican military. Read the rest of this entry »
November 19, 2010
With the slowdown in the real estate market in Vallarta I’ve had some extra time on my hands to finally finish up a feature film screenplay I started a few years ago, but had to put aside when things got busy down here.
Being married to a Parisian has allowed me to understand the differences between American/Canadian and French cultures. The opportunity to travel to France over the years allowed us to accumulate wine for our cellar and develop a fondness for Pinot Noir. This led to a story idea for a feature film, which I manage to complete this summer.
Writing a screenplay is one thing, getting someone to look at it is another! So if any of you readers happen to be in the business, or can provide a tip or lead, I’d appreciate it if you could do a quick read of the synopsis of the story that follows. And if you find it interesting, well, I’m easy to contact!
Cafe Deux Mondes (Two Worlds) is a romantic/comedy drama. Here’s the synopsis: Read the rest of this entry »
November 3, 2010
This post appeared today in the US News and World Report, regarding retiring to Vallarta, called Five Reasons to Retire in Puerto Vallarta, written by Kathleen Peddicord, founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group.
I visited Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the first time more than 15 years ago. I’ve returned this week to find that, from a retire-overseas point of view, this town is all grown up.
This stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coastline has already been developed to a high level. Life here can be comfortable and easy. This isn’t developing-world living. This is a lifestyle that is truly comparable to the best you could enjoy in southern California, if you could afford it.
You can find dramatically beautiful Pacific coastline lots of places. Much harder to come by is an already-in-place infrastructure. In this seaside city you aren’t buying for someday. In Puerto Vallarta, you have the opportunity to buy a world-class lifestyle in a region with beautiful beaches and ocean views and plenty of golf courses, marinas, restaurants, and shopping. You can’t compare retirement in Puerto Vallarta with retirement in Salinas, Ecuador or Las Tablas, Panama, which are both emerging regions that don’t yet have international-standard amenities.
Mexico’s Puerto Vallarta region has five important retire-overseas advantages.
- Easy access from the United States.
- Unbeatable locations on the Pacific coast.
- The infrastructure, services, and amenities make it one of the most user friendly retire-overseas choices.
- There is an existing, growing, and welcoming community of expats from all over the world.
- An affordable cost.
Puerto Vallarta is not the cheapest retirement choice in the world or in Mexico. It’s more expensive than Panama and certainly more expensive than Ecuador. You aren’t going to find it a super bargain compared with the cost-of-living in the United States.
The important thing to recognize about Puerto Vallarta is that a lifestyle of the rich and famous is not some property developer’s vision or speculator’s dream. The Pacific coast in and around Puerto Vallarta has been invested in over decades not only by developers and speculators, but also by the Mexican government. As a result, in Puerto Vallarta can you plug into a fully developed retirement lifestyle that you can actually afford. You probably won’t be able to live well here on Social Security income alone. But if your retirement budget is a bit bigger, consider this comfortable oceanside city.
October 9, 2010
Also in the LA Times, this story of how the number of tourists visiting Mexico increased substantially over the summer.
In a surprising turnabout, international tourism to Mexico showed a sharp increase this summer — a sign that tourists may be putting aside worries about the economy and fears of drug-related violence, analysts say.
Foreign visitors arriving by air to Mexico jumped to 7.1 million in the first eight months of the year — up nearly 20% from the same period in 2009 — with most visitors coming from the U.S. and Canada, according to Mexican tourism officials.
The biggest rise came in July, when tourist numbers grew 27.5% over the same month last year. The increase came in spite of a rash of drug-related violence and kidnappings, primarily along the border, and the August bankruptcy of Mexicana Airlines, the nation’s largest air carrier.
The growth in tourism has been focused primarily in Mexican beach resort towns that have not experienced much of the violence. In the first eight months of 2010, 7.1 million foreign travelers flew to Mexico, up 19.2% from the same period last year. Of those visitors, 4.33 million were from the U.S., 1.3 million from Canada and 200,513 from Spain, according to Mexican tourism officials.
The latest numbers are a significant increase from 2009, when international tourism to Mexico dropped dramatically after the outbreak of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. But compared with 2008, international travel to Mexico is up only 6%. Still, analysts say, the latest jump in visitors suggests that U.S. travelers feel more confident about spending on travel again and see Mexico as a good bargain for vacations.
“Memories of last year have started to fade,” said Anthony Concil, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Assn., a trade group for the world’s airlines. Local travel agents say the growth in tourists’ interest in Mexico comes from a pent-up demand to travel. “I think there’s a perception is that it’s a good deal,” said Carol McConnell, founder of Around the Globe Travel in Huntington Beach. “But it’s mostly about being where the water and the weather is really nice.”