San Diego, CA (PRWEB) July 23, 2009
For the hundreds of thousands of North Americans living there, Mexico is a paradise. The lower cost of living, slower, simpler yet adventurous lifestyle has, over the years, convinced former tourists from the U.S. and Canada to buy a home of their own and stay.
Fortunately for the Mexican real estate brokers catering to American retirees, dramatic declines in international tourism last year didn't hit quite as hard with Americans still spending over $11 billion to go to Mexico. Travel Daily News reports that, in 2008, travel to Mexico grew by four percent while, at the same time, travel to Canada declined by a whopping seven percent. Tourism has always been the key to sparking interest by foreigners to buy Mexican resort real estate, says Max Katz, owner of a real estate brokerage in the Rosarito area of Baja California.
In fact, this year International Living magazine rated Mexico the No. 1 spot for retirees in 2009. Its 15th-annual retirement index rates countries for modern features, old-world charm, health, climate, infrastructure and cost of living. Given that 1/3rd of all retirees to Mexico are Canadian, the country's generally gentle climate remains a powerful attraction.
For others, a low living cost is key. Just five years ago, prices for oceanfront condos in northern Baja's year-round mild Mediterranean climate were as much as double what they are today. Now, lower home prices combined with a 30 percent lower cost of living and flexible developer financing is stimulating an upswing in interested home buyers along the Baja California coast. According to Katz, who represents Calafia Condos, Resort and Villas south of Rosarito, "not only is there great pricing on oceanfront condos, the buyers' ability to rent the home and have that rent credited back if they decide to use developer financing, along with some other incentives such as zero points and a $5,000 credit toward closing, is hard to pass up for experienced buyers."
Kay Palotay and her husband are exactly the kind of buyers that are taking advantage of builder incentives. Owners of the largest Red Hat Ladies store in Southern California, the couple bought a home at Calafia Condos, Resorts and Villas in 2006. Now, after three years of enjoying Calafia's vacation lifestyle, the Palotays remain enthusiastic about their decision.
"It's beautiful in Baja and everyone is friendly. I love the food and the atmosphere," Palotay said.
So enthusiastic, in fact, that the Palotays are now taking advantage of developer financing to buy another condo in Calafia's new oceanfront tower. "I highly recommend it to anyone searching for a reasonably priced condo by the beach," she said.
The Palotays aren't alone in their enthusiasm about living in Mexico. Yesterday, the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, and the governor of Quintana Roo, Felix Gonzalez, formally dedicated the Banyan Tree Mayakoba Resort, a $170 million project in the Riviera Maya. Mexico's strong appeal to tourists and corresponding interest by foreigners to invest in Mexican resort real estate are bright spots Mexican political leaders support.
The spate of bad news in the U.S. news about Mexico did had negative impacts, according to Mitch Keenan, principal of Mexico International Real Estate, which specializes in Yucatán property.
"Press coverage about swine flu, drug cartels and economic problems has scared people," admits Keenan. "But thanks to appealing real estate and a good return on investment, the thriving American community here of part-time residents and retirees live a lifestyle far above what they can afford in the U.S."
It's American expatriates, like the Palotays, who are spreading the word and encouraging their friends to consider a more relaxed style of life.
"My girlfriends from the Red Hat Society are all coming down for a trip to Calafia this summer," Palotay said.
Katz says he has seen an upswing in the number of visitors through his real estate office in the past couple of weeks.
"The travel season is upon us -- we took in three offers for new condos in one week alone."
Calafia Condos(http://www.calafiacondos.com), Resort and Villas is a beach community on the Pacific coast of Baja California guarded by 24-hour security. Immediately south of the historic city of Rosarito Beach, it is surrounded by charming shops, restaurants, clubs, art galleries, golf courses and more. And Baja's famed wine country is only a 15-minute drive away.
Spacious condominiums are available at prices from $298,000 for a two-bedroom oceanfront residence to $649,000 for a 17th-floor penthouse. Two- or three-bedroom floor plans are available with reserved parking and a variety of choices for personal finishes. Expert guidance in purchasing real estate in Mexico including title insurance, performance bond services and real estate law is available.
Call toll free 1-866-CALAFIA or visit http://www.calafiacondos.com/ for details.