'Real Estate News' Category


Realty Executives Mexico wins award

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Realty Executives Mexico tied for largest percentage of expansion with Canada. Steve Schwab the companies CEO says it was do to strong marketing and a renewed effort to professionalize Mexican Real Estate brokers who want to have the professionalism of an American franchise.

Mexico Real Estate: Rapid Growth of Mexican MLS Contributes to Open Market

Monday, April 28th, 2008

By Brian Flock

Buyers, Sellers, and Brokers Benefit from Internet Technology

The rapid growth in use of a new Internet technology over the past two years by Mexico real estate brokers has resulted in a de facto Mexican multiple listing service (MLS). The new system better serves buyers and sellers of real estate throughout coastal and other regions of interest to foreign buyers. This progress helps solve the key challenge of sharing and marketing listings between agents, a historical challenge in Mexico as it was in the early days of US real estate. Buyers and sellers would do well to make sure that their agent is part of this growing MLS in order to ensure that they are receiving the proper real estate service, particularly in regions of interest to foreign buyers.

A common misconception amongst real estate buyers and sellers is that there is such a thing as the “one and only” multiple listing service. This is erroneous because there are literally hundreds of multiple listing services in the US and Canada, and the term is morphing to become a descriptor of any quasi-public repository of real estate listings (except in Canada where the term is a registered trademark for real estate). Anyone may create a multiple listing service with the value of the system being a function of how widely and how responsibly the system is used. Each market determines the MLS system that best meets the need – with the occasional disruption such as the lawsuit by the US Department of Justice with the National Association of Realtors®.

Mexican real estate has a history of agents withholding listings from each other with the intent to get the commission from both the selling and buying sides of the transaction (i.e. “pocket listings”), similar to the situation in the US and Canada before the various regional MLSs were created. This made it difficult for a potential buyer to know if they were seeing the best properties or getting a fair deal, and for sellers to know if their agent would give proper exposure to their property. (The appearance of organized MLSs in the US in the early 1970s was a vast improvement over this inefficient system.)

The good news for consumers is that booming Mexico markets of interest to foreigners plus the ubiquity of the Internet have driven the demand for more open methods of sharing listings to the benefit of buyers and sellers. No longer does the market have to submit to anachronistic sales methods in the Internet age.

One particular multiple listing service has grown organically to gain a leading spot for Mexico’s real estate inventory: Point2 NLS by Point2 Technologies. Mexican agents from Tijuana to Rocky Point [Puerto Peñasco] to Puerto Vallarta to the Mayan Riviera have discovered that this commercial platform is an effective way of sharing and marketing nearly 7,000 Mexico property listings amongst over 1,000 fellow agents throughout Mexico. Quite simply, it is the largest database of Mexico real estate listings shared between agents in the world – and it is growing daily.

“Point2 is a vehicle to provide, in Mexico, the technology that a full-blown MLS provides,” commented Saul Klein, CEO of Point2 Technologies in an interview. “Organizations of real estate professionals can add value around the platform. The key function of sharing and marketing listings between agents is intrinsic to Point2. Individual agents control their business relationships in a way that best serves their clients.” Klein noted that Mexico real estate agents are Point2 Technologies’ third largest group of Point2 adopters in the 85 countries that the company services, preceded only by the USA and Canada.

Why should real estate buyers and sellers in Mexico care about an Internet technology?

The answer is that if their agent uses Point2, that client’s agent has access to the most prolific MLS throughout Mexican regions of interest to foreigners. Buyers and sellers would be wise to ensure that their agent is using Point2. Sellers will want to seek out listing agents that generously share the properties with other agents’ Web sites in order to maximize exposure of those listings. Buyers in turn will want to understand how their preferred agent filters listing results that appear on their agent’s website.

Until an improved sharing and marketing solution is offered nationally to Mexico, the Point2 system is leading the way towards addressing buyer and seller requirements for an MLS in the United Mexican States, one real estate listing and one real estate agent at a time.

Posted by http://www.mexidata.info

Lenders open up to second-home buyers

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Taking on a second mortgage is not a step most homeowners take lightly. But with more people seeking second properties where they can escape the city, the financing of recreational properties is a market that has expanded in recent years.

More options are opening to people ready to purchase.

Mortgage brokers say traditionally lenders have seen recreational properties as less desirable investments.

“In general, it’s a much more narrow niche,” explains Todd Fralic, Mortgage Intelligence’s assistant vice-president for the Prairies.

“At one point, it was nearly impossible to get a recreational property with CMHC.”

Consequently, the requirements for financing a second home were more stringent, requiring larger down payments — as much as 25 per cent — and ensuring the home met certain specifications.

But Canadian mortgage insurers have become less conservative in their practices as competition increased and baby boomers sought second homes. Now new products from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. and Genworth make it easier for buyers to invest in a recreational property — provided they meet a few conditions.

Under CMHC’s Mortgage Loan Insurance, approved lenders can offer recreational property buyers up to 100 per cent financing, if the second home is accessible year-round and has the proper facilities to house residents 24/7.

But if the buyer plans on helping to finance the purchase by renting out the property, he or she is excluded from using CMHC’s second-home product, says John McWilliam, of CMHC. Nor are time-shares eligible.

McWilliam cautions buyers that not all recreational properties are covered under CMHC’s mortgage loan insurance; only those that qualify as true second homes will be covered.

Genworth, meanwhile, offers a similar product for secondary homes, which it classifies as “Type A” to a maximum of $700,000. Type B properties, meanwhile, need not be winterized or accessible year-round but are financed up to 90 per cent and to a maximum of $350,000.

Calgary mortgage broker Michael Boyle of the Mortgage Group says most of his clients still aren’t making use of these new products.

“Typically, people buying recreational homes have the money to put 25 per cent down,” Boyle says.

That’s what Jon Dick did when he and his wife bought their Timber Ridge cabin in Invermere, seven years ago. They put $75,000 down on the $300,000 home. They loved the location, and could see back then the Columbia Valley would become the vacation destination it is today. They subsidized their mortgage by renting it out.

Today, the property is worth $600,000.

“I’m glad we bought when we bought,” says Dick, vice-president for Pine Ridge Mountain Resort. “It’s way easier to do today. Obviously, you have the have the income to support what you do.

“But there are different ways of buying recreational property today.”

At Pine Ridge, for example, buyers who intend to join the professionally managed rental pool can purchase a property with just five per cent down. Many other resorts offer similar incentives, often through a single lender.

By doing that, the owner offsets the debt-servicing costs and is still able to get into the recreational property market at today’s prices, Dick says.

But some lenders shy away from financing properties that will be part of a rental pool, says Fralic. And the products offered by CMHC and Genworth exclude such situations.

There are other options that might appeal to Canadians who have seen the value of their homes skyrocket over the past few years. Both Boyle and Fralic say most of their clients are taking equity out of their first homes, and putting it into their second to defray the costs of buying a recreational property.

Then, buyers aren’t subject to the same restrictions on usability, which means a cabin that can only be accessed by boat isn’t out of the question. It’s a common practice, even for buyers shopping for a second home abroad.

Calgary accountant Mesh Dayal says he found financing his condo in Puerto Penasco, Mexico, no harder than financing his primary residence.

“We had equity in other property, which gave us the ability to borrow at favourable rates and use the proceeds to purchase in Mexico,” says Dayal.

But he warns, “it takes a little bit longer to go through the legal process in Mexico than in Canada.”

McWilliam notes buying property in another province or country involves finding local realtors, mortgage brokers, lawyers and home inspectors.

Often, adds Boyle, buyers might find it easier to start the process by asking for recommendations from trusted sources.

Posted by http://www.muchmormagazine.com

Strategic Capital Solutions Affiliate Agrees to Acquire Equity Interest in Luxury Resort Development Project in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

SCS Expands Its Reach Throughout Latin America

NEW YORK — SCS-Strategic Capital Solutions, LLC (“SCS”) (www.strategiccapitalsolutions.com) today announced the signing of an agreement by its affiliated real estate investment group for the acquisition of a significant equity interest in the luxury resort development project known as “Villa Cortez” located in Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Sonora, Mexico

The agreement is subject to certain conditions, including the completion of a construction loan for the first phase to be provided by SCS and the procurement of an experienced hotel management group to operate the project. Several management groups have expressed interest. No Further details were disclosed.

“There is no comparable development currently within the Puerto Penasco market. Design development has been completed, engineering work is virtually complete, and preliminary site preparation has commenced. We believe Villa Cortez is a unique project due to its pristine location, relatively undeveloped surrounding areas, and prime oceanfront location,” said Edward O. Mehrfar, Senior Managing Director of SCS.

Villa Cortez will consist of five buildings spread over a 34-acre parcel, with 600+ lineal feet of beachfront. The first building, which is almost sold out, consists of luxury condominium residences that are expected to be managed and branded by an international hotel operator. The remaining buildings will feature ocean views, transitional resort architecture with a Mexican flair, cobblestone roads, extensive walking paths, a spectacular world-class pool area, and spa and banquet facilities – in a secure, guard-gated environment.

“This transaction highlights our commitment towards sponsoring and financing quality projects in Mexico, and throughout Latin America,” says Daniel Leski, senior member of the SCS business development team. “We believe that the Latin American markets still offer tremendous investment opportunities.”

Posted by http://www.centredaily.com  

Graduation of the 3rd Generation for the Certification Real Estate Management

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

By Rita Pizarro

On January 29th, 2008, the Technological Institute of Puerto Peñasco proudly hosted the graduation ceremony for the 3rd generation of real estate management professionals. This is the culmination of 102 hours of training that these real estate professionals took to comply with the new laws of the State of Sonora. All the graduates were present and the podium was composed of: Lic. Hidelgardo Hernandez Castro, Municipal Secretary, representing Lic. Heriberto Renteria Sanchez and the city, Lic. Rodolfo Elias Calles Dingfelder , General Director of Commerce and Services representing the Secretary of Economy of Sonora, Kent White president of AMPI, Mtra. Elizabeth Perez Jimenez representing Lic. Arnoldo Soto Soto, President of the Board for the Sonoran Institute of Public Admisnistration (ISAP) and Lic. Carmen Lorena Martinez Laborin representing Reid Cossey, President of PPREA.

The Ceremony started with the words of one of the graduates, Carmen Lorena Martinez . She gave a very touching speech about entering the classroom for the first time as one person and being a different person now, with new friends, new knowledge and new professionalism. Happy knowing all the graduates that now make up a network of friends and resources. Not happy about the few extra pounds gained with all the wonderful snacks shared during the classroom breaks!

Lic.Rodolfo Elias Calles Dingfelder spoke to the new graduates saying that, starting February of 2008, there will be inspections throughout the state to make sure that any person receiving monetary compensation for the sale of real estate must be certified in real estate management. He congratulated the 40 new graduates who are now in compliance with this state requirement and said that there are now about 500 professionals in the State of Sonora. He urged the real estate professionals to take care of clients in every transaction and to stay in the business for the long run, saying that this profession is not a 100-meter sprint, but a marathon. All professionals should be in this for the long run, not to just make a quick buck on a commission, and that with this long run we will have a win-win situation for all involved in real estate transactions.

The Representative from the City of Puerto Peñasco, Lic. Hidelgardo Hernandez Castro started his speech saying that, looking at the room, he could see two united nations coming together by their dedication to the real estate profession with everyone committed to participating in the municipality as real estate agents. He said, “You will be the face of the industry and we want that to be your best face. We are making it safe for investors to come and have legal transactions.” He went on to say, “The administration of Heriberto Renteria Sanchez declared 2008 the year of education and values and this is the part of the education and the way that you realize this activity will decide the values.”

Then we had the words from Mtra. Elizabeth Perez, “I welcome you to this closing ceremony of the 3rd Generation for the Certification in Real Estate Management. It is an honor for me to close with the delivery of these diplomas for all of your efforts that, besides adding professionalism to you, gives you access to the State Registry of Real Estate Agents that the estate of Sonora is currently promoting. This is a way to offer more judicial security to those that act as intermediaries in real estate transactions like purchase/sale, renting and other legal operations related to real estate. The design and implementation of this certification is based on an agreement between the Secretary of Economy of the State and the Sonoran Institute of Public Administration (ISAP) for the last 5 years. Based upon this agreement, the ISAP has finished 11 of these certification courses, having graduated more than 500 agents from different parts of the state who, almost immediately after finishing the course, become registered with the Secretary of Economy. Please receive, from all of the involved staff, our most sincere congratulations. We hope to have met your expectations. We leave our commitment open to keep updating and improving the mechanisms that are going to help us have a better government through education and continuous development.”

We Also enjoyed the words of Kent White, the President of AMPI who said, “We have come a long way in our quest for a cooperative, accountable system – one that honors hard work and integrity.”

Mr. White went on to say, “Last week, along with Sonora’s other AMPI presidents, I had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary of Economy. Their department has acquired a list of all companies and agents involved in the sale of real estate from this community and enforcement agents are currently processing this information and letters will be issued soon. Any person earning an income based on commissions from the sale of real estate property in the State of Sonora will be soon mandated to hold licenses earned by the same steps you are going through today. As trusted representatives involved in some of the most important investments in peoples lives, we need to be held accountable, and we need to hold those around us accountable. We have the knowledge to protect all buyers and sellers in any real estate process. Let us use this knowledge with honor. This slowing trend we are witnessing will create what some are already referring to as the great cleansing. The forthcoming licenses and legal structure will help insure that the weeding out process honors hard work and integrity. Without proper enforcement, a law is nothing but a wish. It is AMPI’s position that any and all persons who receive income based on commissions from the sales of real property should be held liable for their actions under the law as it is applied to licensing and the standards that AMPI represents. Our role in enforcing the decisions made by the Secretary of Economy is the mandate that all our associates are in compliance with the law. We must work only with professionals in compliance. In many ways, the future of this community is in our hands. With its positive or negative growth being so important to the lives of thousands, we need to make proper choices and together we can make a difference. Puerto Peñasco has been very, very good to me and I want to represent it to the best of my ability. I pray that we can all work together, towards a common goal based on the best interest of our community as a whole and not on the presumption of making a quick buck. In closing, I would like to thank those who helped make this moment possible: ISAP, the Secretary of Economy, Institute of Tecnology, Maru Zacatelco for translating and, of course, Claudia. To you, I say God Bless you all…and Thank You.”

Congratulations to all the graduates from this third generation class and special thanks to Maru Zacatelco who prepared the translation of every class for all the English speaking students. I wish you all good fortune and safe transactions in the real estate market!

Rita Pizarro is a local massage therapist and freelance writer. You can reach her locally at (044-638) 386-5203 or from the U.S. at (602) 748-4134 or email her at ritapizarro@gmail.com

Lic., Lic.Rodolfo Elias Calles Dingfelder , General Director of Commerce and Services from the Secretary of Economy.

Uncertain about investing in Mexico? We understand…and we’re here to help

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Wayne Corcoran, MBA, PMP

Chief Operating Officer

Realty Executives Mexico

Real Estate is generally one of the safer investments you will make because it is scarce by nature: There is only so much land on this earth – no more can be generated. There are a number of reasons for wanting to own real estate; maybe a second home, a vacation get-away, a legacy to leave to your children, or just as an investment banking on the area’s growth potential. Buyers have safely purchased property in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico for many years. They’re hooked once their toes hit the sandy beaches and they are gazing upon the blue Sea of Cortez. Whatever your reason, and wherever you buy, there are things you need to do to make sure your investment will be sound. The whole process becomes more complicated when you invest in a foreign country where you don’t know the laws or speak the language. Where do you go? Who do you trust? How do you know if you’re getting straight answers? These are a few of the things Realty Executives licensed agents would like to help you with. We want all buyers to be educated, ask the right questions, get the right answers and know that they are getting the right answers.

From year to year, or month to month, real estate goes through a natural cycle which can favor the buyer or the seller. Obviously buyer’s fair better when buying in a “Buyers Market”, and the sellers in a “Sellers Market”. Understanding the ups and downs of the real estate market, and the risk involved in your particular purchase, is only the beginning of understanding the risks involved in real estate transactions. First of all, you have to know that all real estate purchases are not of equal risk – just like investing in the stock market – and that each of us have different tolerances for risk and different expectations. Do you take a chance on a start-up venture that has just gone public or do you stick with blue chip stocks that have a strong performance record? Do you purchase a condo in a development that has only laid the foundation, or do you purchase in a project that has already been completed? Are you speculating that the area will see considerable growth? Do you want to be the first one to own something special? Or do you have other reasons for investing? How do you assess risk and decide if your investment will fall within your comfort level? These are just a few of the questions your licensed real estate agent should be asking you.

So, how do you ensure that your potential investment will be a sound one? How do you go about finding out if the answers you are given are indeed factual. Though some make purchases on their own, the majority put their trust in a real estate agent. Is your agent licensed? Are they providing you accurate answers? How do you know? How do you know what questions to ask? And how do you go about doing your own research? Again, these are a few of the questions we will be addressing in the next few months.

If you are considering purchasing land in Puerto Peñasco, here are a few questions you should be asking your real estate professional, whether the property is completed or in some stage of construction:

Is the property just an idea on a fancy brochure?

Does it have clear title?

Are there any liens or lawsuits against any part of the property?

Is there money owed on the property?

Are there rules that limit ownership?

Can the government take it away?

Is this property in the restricted zone and what does that mean?

Can I get a deed or title on this property?

When I get a Bank Trust, am I owning the property or leasing it?

Does ejido land bring any special risks?

Is there a condo regime?

Are there HOA rules that impact your needs?

Is the real estate property under some stage of development?

Is the development clearly described so you know what you are getting?

Does the developer have all the permits in place, including the permit to sell?

Is your deposit protected with an escrow account and is the escrow letter of instruction favorable to you?

Is the reservation, offer to purchase, and bank trust documents written to protect you? Are there warranties and consequences if the performance to deliver on time, and with the right quality, are not met?

Do you know how the project is financed? What percentage of the financing comes from the developer, a financial institute, investors or buyers? If your funds are needed for promotion or construction, are they protected if commitments are not met? If the project fails to be adequately funded, are the investors left with anything real?

Does the developer hold a performance bond and is it valid and payable? Are there performance clauses in the sales contract warranted against the bond or other real property?

Does the developer have a good history of building similar projects? What does the developer have to lose if the project fails?

These are just a few of the questions that will get you started on the right path for a safe and sound investment. If you get these questions answered, you lower your risk. If you are not getting good answers from your agent or the developer, then you may want to switch to someone that can help you get these answers. Real estate investments are some of the safest and most exciting investments you will make in your lifetime. You can buy in a perceived “risky” market, if you get full disclosure, and the results match your tolerance to risk. While most of us want to make sure our investment is rock solid, others do not mind taking a chance where the potential return will be much greater. This is just one of the things that you and your licensed real estate agent need to address.

Next month we will start with the above questions and tell you how to be sure you are getting the proper answers, have been given the correct documentation, and how best to protect yourself if you purchase real estate in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico.

Wayne Corcoran MBA PMP, is the General Manager/Broker of Realty Executives in Puerto Peñasco and the Chief Operating Officer for the master franchise Realty Executives Mexico. He brings over 30 years of risk based business management to the firm and can be reached at (011-52-638) 383-5856 or at their new office located in Plaza del Mision on Blvd. Fremont.

3rd ANNUAL MEXICO TRAVEL & REAL ESTATE EXPO

Friday, February 8th, 2008

MEXICO ALIVE & AEROMEXICO, TO TAKE PLACE AT SAN DIEGO EVENTS CENTER

SAN DIEGO — The 3rd Annual Mexico, Tourism, Travel & Real Estate Expo, presented by Mexico Alive & AeroMexico, will take place at the San Diego Events Center/Scottish Rite Center on Saturday, March 1st, 2008 from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Expo will feature 60+ exhibitors from15 destinations promoting the travel/tourism industry and real estate products from throughout Mexico .

“The purpose of the show is to promote tourism and real estate in Mexico by bringing together Mexico-based businesses and tourism officials with U.S. consumers, buyers, travel & real estate industry professionals and the media,” said Ted Donovan, event organizer and president of Mexico Real Estate Expo.  “The event was held last year in San Diego and the response by exhibitors and the general public was overwhelming.  We are excited to bring the show back for another year and once again provide a forum for educating consumers and tourists about Mexico tourism, travel and real estate products.”

The Title Sponsor of the 2008 Expo is Mexico Alive.  Gold-level sponsors include:  AeroMexico Airlines, the Mexico Tourism Board, El Milagro & Los Veneros Development, Baja California Secretary of Tourism, Bancomer, and The Real Estate Book Northern Baja.

Exhibitors to date include (additional exhibitors will be added):  Alamos-Sonora Tourism, Araiza Hotels, Baja Bound Insurance, Bajamar Golf & Resort, BajaVisitor Tours, Boca de Iguanas, Catalonia Hotels & Resorts, Club Marena, Consulate of Mexico in San Diego, Copper Canyon Tourist Advisor Tours, Cross Border Legal, Distinctive Homes Magazine, Eco Paraiso Xixim Hotel, El Dorado Ranch, El Latino Newspaper, Ensenada Tourism Board, Fairmont Mexico Resorts, Festival Plaza Hotel, Graham Mackintosh, Grand Mayan Wyndham Resorts, Hotel Coral & Marina, Ignacio Springs B&B Inn, Intercontinental Hotel Group, International Gateway Insurance Brokers, Lake Chapala Tourism Office, Lencho’s Mexico Tours, Los Cabos Golf Resort, Los Cabos Properties, Los Cabos Rentals, Luna Blanca Resorts, Marina Fiesta Resort, Mexican Oceanfront Villas, Melia Hotels & Resorts, Mi Casa in Mexico Tours, Nationwide Commercial Brokers, Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast Inn Association, Pacifica at Real del Mar, Playa Blanca Beachfront Condominiums, Pueblo Bonito Resorts, Real del Mar Golf Resort & Country Club, Real Estate Investors Association, Realty Executives Mexico, Re/Max Del Mar, Riviera Nayarit Tourism Board, Rocky Point Times Newspaper, Rosarito Beach Hotel & Spa, Sera Resorts, SkyMed, Tequila Los Abuelos, The Lodge at Creel, Villa Bahia Resort, Villa Group Resorts, Viento, Vista del Mar, Wildcoast Environmental Group, and You Decide Travel Guides.

The cost for admission is $3 (2 for 1 admission on website).  In addition to the Expo, a series of complimentary seminars on tourism and owning real estate in Mexico will be offered throughout the day.  Various raffle prizes will also be given away throughout the Expo including two round-trip tickets on AeroMexico Airlines.

For additional information including exhibit and sponsorship availability, contact Ted Donovan at 619.985.4950 or by email at  mexicoexpo@yahoo.com.  Information can be accessed at  www.mexicotravelandrealestate.com.

Peñasco Maintains Strong Flow Of Tourism

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Real Estate Crisis Believed to Have Already Hit Bottom

Despite the undeniable a negative effects of the economic downturn in the United States, Which has already hit bottom, throughout 2007 Puerto Penasco maintained a high rate of tourism and sustains a clear upward tendency, revealed Epifanio Salido Pavlovich, head of the Sonora Commission on the Promotion of Tourism.

Salido Pavlovich detailed that by the end of the year, foreign tourism had increased by nearly 11%, topping out at 1,700,000 visitors, 80% of these from Arizona. Likewise, national tourism increased by 14% totaling more than 400,000 visitors. Therefore, reports for 2007 registered a grand total of 2.1 million tourists to the area.

The tourism official remarked that although ther remain many challenges to address, the city’s potential continues to be positive and the area is still the star destination in Sonora. He added that the state and municipal governments are jointly working on efforts to focus on areas that are lacking.

Salido Pavlovich stated that in 2008 they will have to generate concrete solutions in the areas of housing, potable water and others of basic infrastructures brought on by the same “boom” in tourism.

He stated that the 2007 economic downturn and real estate crisis in the United States had a strong impact on Penasco. However, he stated, this is something that has already hit bottom and now phase of recuperation can be expected.

He believes that by mid-2008 the economic crisis will have passed, and added that till now this has not caused the withdrawal of investments from the port.

The coordinator for the Sonora Comission on the Promotion of Tourism remarked that, despite everything, the annual average for Puerto Penasco has been favorable. He added that though there was a slowdown in investment, the flow of tourism did not drop; to the contrary, this remained at high levels.

He reiterated that the crisis has already hit bottom and period of recuperation has begun. He expects that this will positively impact the city as the shining northwestern part of the country in the area of tourism.

Retyped by Claudia Cardenas

Owning Real Estate in Rocky Point

Friday, January 25th, 2008

“Real estate in Rocky Point has been a flourishing business for the past ten years…”

Imagine the joys of a winter home that makes you money whenever you are not staying in it. This kind of place would be beautiful to visit, comfortable and easy to live in, and ready for you whenever you want because it would be yours. A timeshare cannot offer you all of that no matter how desirable the location, since it can be difficult to get the time slots that you want and even harder during peak vacation time. A timeshare cannot give you everything you need to have the perfect getaway whenever you want, but a condo in a place like Rocky Point, Mexico can.

Rocky Point, also known as Puerto Penasco, is one of the most incredible real estate locations in Mexico. Invest in Mexico and you can retire to your beachfront condo whenever you wish to enjoy days filled with sun, sand, golfing, fishing, and anything else you could desire from an ocean side paradise. Your oceanfront/ Ocean view home or condo will be waiting for your return whenever you are away, and you will surely wish to retire to Rocky Point’s idyllic setting after spending vacation after vacation in sunny bliss. Owning Real Estate in this growing market can also be a greatly profitable adventure. The typical American has only two to four weeks of vacation time per year, and for the other forty eight weeks, your vacation property would normally sit empty, awaiting you. To keep your property on the Sea of Cortez working for you, hire a local property management company like Oceano Rentals or Sea Side Reservations, to keep your place looking fresh and lovely and rent your condo out as a vacation rental to others looking to enjoy the wonders of Rocky Point.

Real estate in Rocky Point has been a flourishing business for the pasta ten years because of the high profitability and constantly increasing prices of the local properties. Even just a couple of years of property ownership could translate into big money for interested investors, and getting a great vacation home that pays for itself is no small benefit either. You may become so enamored with your property in Rocky Point that you will not be willing to sell it!! Current market conditions are definitely in favor othose who want to purchase, so do your research, hire a certified agent to guide yo through the process and start looking at potential ocean side properties.

Owning real estate in this lovely tourist destination means living in the lap of luxury. The beautiful an luxurious condominium projects and other properties in this city are mad3e for the comfort and delight of their residents, even short term residents like yourself. Glance out the window of your condo and watch the dolphins and play in the tranquil waters of the Sea of Cortez. Enjoy sunshine on the beach or adventures beneath the waves, and fall in love with this incredible location. Your investment property may be just waiting for you in sunny Mexico and now is the time to make the smart move that you have been dreaming of. Take advantage of current market conditions, and invest now!!

Investing in a condominium in Rocky Point could be a smart investment choice for those who are looking to invest in Mexico. You will have a vacation home to enjoy only 60 miles south of the US border, and be able to enjoy the beautiful Sea of Cortez on your future vacations. Potentially you could be able to resell the condo for a great profit in a few years, if you don’t decide to retire to Mexico entirely. With all of these incredible benefits, what could be better?

(Real Estate Guide Rocky Point, January 2008)

Retyped by Claudia Cardenas

Rocky Point 2008 Market Analysis

Friday, January 25th, 2008

By Raul O’farill

Owner of OTP trust

The Rocky Point real estate market has traditionally depended to a great degree on the health of the Arizona real estate market, and despite Rocky Points steady continued expansion of its geographic “pull”, this continues to be the case.

Rocky Point is not, however, 100% dependent on the Arizona / Southwestern neither markets, nor should its trajectory in 2008 be expected to exactly mirror those markets. In fact, while there are certainly both positives and negatives in the current status of the Greater Rocky Point real estate market, some of the differences between Rocky Point and the Arizona /Southwest markets may point to a brighter futures sooner here than in the United States.

It is generally believed that improvement in the Arizona and Southwestern real estate markets depends on a number of factors, including an overall acceleration in the United States economy; on low interest rates; on more disposable income pre household; on the absorption of large inventories of existing homes; on a reduction of real estate prices; and a reduction in a new resale listings.

The strength of the coastal Mexican real estate market- and Rocky Point in particular – is indeed linked to the health of the housing sector in the United States but it is also tied to a number of different variables. Greater Rocky Point is actually not a Mexican market at all: it is a hybrid market because even when the property is in Mexico the market is largely made up of United States, Canadian, and European investors – not buyers, investors.

The distinction we are making is that a “buyer” is someone who is purchasing residence. In Rocky Point the term “buyer” would only apply to locals, Mexican professionals moving to Rocky Point (usually to participate in its development), and a number of retired people, usually from the United States or Canada.

But the core strength of the Rocky Point market has always been investors looking for a vacation house or second (or third) houses as longer-term investments, and /or as sources of income from rental usage. It is through the lens of an investor’s eye that we need to view both what happened in 2007 and analyze what can be expected in 2008 and beyond.

Resale Offerings:

As we enter 2008 the number of re-sale units in the market is not growing – resale inventory is still being absorbed slowly, but is being absorbed even by this slow market in which sales closed in 2007 fell 40% compared with 2006. The fact that new investors and buyers continue to see value in our existing homes is an excellent indicator of the underlying strength of our market and a sign of the beginning of recovery. In the past year new developments were not created at the same speed and number as in 2006, and new offerings have been dramatically reduced. Five existing large developments are either on hold or have been stopped, which reduces the total number of units being offered by roughly 4000, and which we believe is another good signs that supply and demand are finding their proper balance. We don’t expect more large-scale offerings in 2008 unless one or more of these five large developments comes back on the market first.

Prices:

In 2007 Rocky Point saw a price contraction in the condominium market, usually between 10% and 25% depending on the characteristics of the individual units. Beachfront or beach view lots and homes saw steady or even rising values, due to continued strong demand and limited offerings of houses and beachfront building opportunities. Lots destined for single-family homes in the Miramar, Playa Encanto and Playa Dorada areas did especially well, mainly- beyond the obvious spectacular beauty of those locations- because of the expansion of Mayan Palace, and the rapid progress of construction at the new airport and on important private infrastructure investments in the area. We consider ongoing price strength of oceanfront and ocean view properties to be a very good sign and expect it to continue through 2008 and long into the future.

Rental Market:

The rental market grew slightly in 2007. If their properties were marketed properly, investors with rental units did well in the past year. We believe that the rental market in Rocky Point will continue to grow because of growing advertising of our community by government, private organizations, and private investors in regions of the United States outside the southwest, in Canada, and even Europe, and because of the excellent online marketing efforts of our better rental / property management firms like Sea Side Reservations, Ocean Vacation center And Oceano Rentals who present our offerings – and our community- to every corner of the globe 24/7/365.

Financing For Developers:

This is probably the most the most visible sigh of the real estate slow down in Rocky Point. Even when Mexican banks are lending to a wide variety of other enterprises – of for real estate developments directed to Mexican or commercial markets – because of the deceleration of the United States economy, and because Rocky Point has traditionally had large ties with the Arizona /Southwestern real estate markets that have been so hard hit, in 20007 Mexican bankers showed reluctance to finance or re-finance new large scale condominium developments.

We don’t believe that financing for developers will significantly improve in 2008. Only sales of existing developments will reduce the perception of risk by Mexican bankers – which we believe is exaggerated, at least in the mid and long term – and allow the flow of money for new developments. From the potential investor / buyer’s perspective this is good news, in that a reduction of new large scale offerings should speed the absorption of current inventory, and help underpin pricing by 2009 as demand begins to once again exceed available supply.

Financing For Investors and Buyers:

More Mexican banks are lending to United States buyers or investors, but the overall number of loans is still relatively small. United States bankers are being stricter with their loans due to the present overall state of the mortgage markets in the United States, not in our view primarily because of specifics related to the Rocky Point Market. We expect this trends to remain constant in 2008, neither worsening, nor getting better.

But the overall environment for Investor / buyer financing in Rocky Point actually improved in 2007, and we expect it to continue to do so in 2008. How can this be? Simply, the Rocky Point real estate market has never depended upon traditional bank financing; it has usually operated on a model that matched investors with their own funds with developers or seller offering financing directly. Because of the softening of some sectors of our market, our developers and sellers have been forced to become much more aggressive in wooing potential customers, and have offered investors and buyers’ unprecedentedly attractive financing packages and terms, or attractive discounts.

Market Expansion And Diversification:

Developers, AMPI, PPAREA,

Aero Mexico, the State of Sonora, Strong realty companies with international presence live Century 21, Remax and Realty Executives, rental companies live Sea Side Reservations, Ocean Vacation Center and Oceano Rentals, and OTP Trust,. Banco Monex and EntrustCama.com among others are advertising Rocky Point widely, not just in the southwest. The Rocky Point message is now reaching consumers in California, Nevada, New Mexico – even the Midwest, the east coast and Canada. This publication for example is widely distributed in Arizona, California and Nevada, and radio, TV and nationally and internationally circulated magazines and newspapers have been used by these companies as advertising tools.

Because Rocky Point is now connected by air with the rest of Mexico via Hermosillo and the rest of the world via Los Angeles, these far-flung advertising impressions are beginning to draw visitors from further and further afield. Coupled with the completion of the coastal highway from Rocky Point to San Luis, Arizona (and onward to California…) our community has never been more connected, and we can only see this trend continuing as more airlines and flights are added, and as more North Americans discover the Coastal Highway.

This ability to reach out to new markets is one of the important differences between Greater Rocky Point and Arizona or other markets in the United States: Rocky Point has continually expanded its pool of investor / buyers by attracting new visitors that fall in love with our community and its dynamic investment environment.

Amenities And Tourist Activities:

Intimately connected with Rocky Point’s market expansion is the fact that our community and its amenities entertainment option continue to evolve and grow rapidly. Commercial development thrived in 21007. the plaza Gobernadores; the new look of the restaurants in the Historic Old Port; the developments in Sandy Beach and its new bars, restaurants and shopping plazas; the Mirador Area, the infrastructure and associated amenities exploding in Las Conchas; the ongoing infrastructure development in the Playa Dorada and Miramar corridors; the Mayan Palace investments in the East Zone – all of these are examples of the strength of our expansion and the confidence that experiences commercial investors have in the long term strength of our market.

This being said, we strongly urge than city and chambers of commerce to be much more proactive in improving the look of our downtown, Calle 13, an the primary locations that virtually all tourists visit, such as access points to Sandy Beach and harbor-line development leading into the Old Port, in order to impress first time visitors to our community.

Predictions? Now is the time to invest and buy. 2008 will be a great year for investors and buyers – low prices, terms in some cases bargains – but will be a challenging year for sellers. Great opportunities await those who buy now, the second half of 2009 will be good for sellers. Now is the worst time to list a property and the best time to by one Sellers need to select very carefully who will promote and market their properties if they wan to succeed, and need to shop for a strong realty company who has an international presence and an aggressive promotion campaign outside of Rocky Point. Your brokerage needs to be bringing buyers to the area and not depending solely on local traffic.

As always, if you are planning to acquire real estate in Rocky Point – or anywhere in Mexico—look for a strong brokerage and agent; ask about their closing practices and costs; ask about their bank trust precessing resources, timing, and costs; ask what they think about your title insurance needs (you need title insurance!); verify you closing costs in counsel; obtain professional tax counsel. If buying from a developer, don’t be shy: ask for total disclosure about their financing status, funding, construction program timing; then invest and buy.

Retyped by Claudia Cardenas