Looking to Mexico for Retirement, Resort, and Second-Home Choices - (First appeared as Blog Post on Windermere.com - July 25, 2013)
When discussing the idea of 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every single day, I am often asked the question, “How many of these 76 million Americans will actually invest in a second-home or retirement home in Mexico?”
Fact: Mexico is currently the number one foreign retirement destination for North Americans.
During the next two decades, as many as four million people from outside of Mexico are expected to purchase and own real estate in Mexico. And the number of foreigners who currently own property in Mexico is expected to triple.
How is this possible? A better question is, “How is this not possible?”
The second-home and retirement destinations in Mexico are located on some the most livable real estate on earth. Retiring Boomers, as well as savvy investors looking for appreciation and perhaps income from a second-home, know that Mexico is a smart choice. With a thriving middle-class, Mexico’s economy has been enjoying the strongest GDP growth in all of the Americas, surpassing the U.S. and Brazil in recent years.
Fact: Mexico’s strong economy and stable government has changed the immigration equation such that more workers and their families are currently entering Mexico than are leaving.
Informed Boomers planning for an active and comfortable lifestyle know that Mexico offers security and safety, accessibility, a warm and nurturing climate, quality health-care services, and a family-oriented culture deeply rooted in a rich history. The menu of retirement and second-home choices include waterfront and marina properties with modern amenities, signature golf course developments with inspiring views, beach clubs and spas, green sustainability, restaurants, numerous outdoor activities, and historical sights. Mexico offers condominium developments from simple to spectacular (including a variety of fractional ownership options), and single-family homes in every price range, size, and location.
Tom Kelly, the long-time syndicated Seattle business writer, talk show host, and author of numerous books and articles on Mexico real estate, states the following in his recent book Bargains Beyond the Border, “In Mexico, you will discover not only high-quality health care but also an impressive standard of living. And, property taxes, which seem to rise annually in the States, are often less than 10 percent of a U.S. home.”
He goes on to write, “According to (a) recent study by the National Association of REALTORS®, consumers are making ‘a lifestyle choice’ and turning to second homes sooner in their lives. That finding affirms what we know about Baby Boomers: they are prime candidates for retirement and second-home purchases who define themselves by personal experiences and adventure. Interestingly, they are now joined by their children – the proud members of the Gen-X and Gen-Y generations – who view practical experiences as paramount in their lives.”
Kelly’s book then recommends its “Top 10 Places to Live and Invest in Mexico”, starting with La Paz, the 500 year old capital city of Baja California Sur, located on a picturesque bay on the Sea of Cortez, and named after its discoverer. He stresses the safety and investment opportunity in this thriving city of 225,000 residents, “which is the capital of Baja California Sur and the center of government, commerce, education, health care, and environmental research for the entire region.” Kelly adds that, “The streets of La Paz are clean, and unlike many popular Mexican resorts, there are no condo hustlers at the La Paz Airport, or high-rise developments along the malecon.”
Known as the “City of Peace”, La Paz has a rich history, a high standard of living, and an easygoing lifestyle. And as Kelly points out, La Paz is “one of the few places in the world where the desert literally collides with the sea.” He cites the 5-Star Costa Baja Resort (www.costabajaresort.com) as the perfect example of what La Paz has to offer retirees and second-home owners.
Located five minutes north of the town’s malecon, or seaside strand, the 500-acre Costa Baja Resort combines beachfront homes, condominiums, villas, and single family homes with a world-class marina, Beach Club and Spa, spectacular Gary Player Signature golf course, shops, and health clinic – and at relatively affordable prices. Kelly says that retirees and investors are attracted to the Costa Baja setting for golf and lifestyle amenities, as well as its protected marina and access to some of the best beaches, fishing, diving, and eco-tourism on the planet.
Fact: foreign owners in Baja California currently benefit from the Fideicomiso, a 50-year renewable and transferable Bank Trust which allows irrevocable and absolute ownership rights to property in Mexico.
The Fideicomiso also simplifies and protects the ownership rights of all of the beneficiaries and their heirs and designees. To understand and appreciate the safety and benefits of owning property in Mexico it’s important to work with a REALTOR® Member of AMPI (Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals).
For more information about buying or selling real estate in Mexico, please contact Jay at 877-909-2226 or at JayWest@Windermere.com.
Jay West, CIPS e-PRO RSPS TRC, is the Owner/Broker of Windermere Los Cabos. With more than 40 years in business, Jay has extensive experience serving international clientele seeking residential and resort real estate opportunities in both the U.S. and Mexico. Jay has lived in Mexico since 1994 and is a Bi-National REALTOR®.