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OFF-TOPIC Anyone Ever Build in Mexico?

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
2,909
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550
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Looking at buying some land and building 3 to 4 units.

Anyone have any experience?
 

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OP
OP
AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
2,909
1,865
550
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We are looking at some beachfront and wanting to build maybe a 4 plex type deal...

One unit for my MIL, one for us and two as rentals.

What did you find the average cost per SF to build to be?
 

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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Whew - that's a tough one. Anywhere from $10/SF (no kidding) to $150/SF - depends on where and what quality.

We've built 600 SF little houses in Tijuana that are bare bones for $1500 (through a church group).
 
OP
OP
AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
2,909
1,865
550
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LOL

I figured there would be a pretty big range. It seems there are two different worlds where we are looking. The "American World" in which properties are 500K and up and the "Mexican World" in which they are 50K and less!

My MIL has a place in a neighborhood where she doesn't feel comfortable going there on her own. We want to get her into a safer neighborhood.

We are looking at going down in January and staying for ... well ... until when ever....
My hubby is spanish speaking - but we are not really "plugged in" to this particular area. Looking at the challange of getting it built for a reasonable amount without being the gringo paying top dollar... and of course paying a fair wage for labor.
 

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
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Where in Mexico is your MIL?

You're right - the Americanized areas can be very spendy. Do a search on San Miguel de Allende. Beautiful homes - but oh my goodness on the prices. And there are some very beautiful buildings with cutting edge modern architecture going up in Mexico City.

Most of our experience has been in Juarez. In the areas close to the border, prices for land are very spendy. It's not uncommon to spend $100K for a regular city lot.

We're right now looking at 2 hectares (about 3 acres) in San Augustin which is a village on the fringe of CJ. They are asking $60K and we're just doing the "kick your foot in the dirt" kind of negotiation. I expect to get it for about $35K. Our biggest cost out there is bringing in power. You basically have to buy your own transformers and bring in a US crew to run the power. The waiting list for a phone is 2 years. Other than that, if we stick to concrete block and stucco, cost is incredibly cheap. Materials are about 2/3 of US prices and labor is less than a tenth.

I have a feeling this is not an issue for you - but for anyone else considering buying/building in Mexico, make sure you check out the zoning. There is some land that the MX government has earmarked for agricultural that was sold to developers...and now the government says "tough, it's supposed to be agricultural, tear the stuff down." We always work with a notario, so it's above board. The tax situation is interesting as well - you have a "book" value for the property that the government tracks. That's your basis when you sell. There are lots of deals that are done "off the books" so that the basis recognized by the government never increases. At some point, someone gets caught and pays all the taxes!

Let me know what other questions you have - we've been down this track a few times! (We made some very good money in Puerto Vallarta, the CJ stuff is all charity)
 
OP
OP
AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
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She is in the Rosarito/Ensanada area - and would like to stay around there.

Thank you for all the info - and I'm sure I'll be back with lots more questions as we proceed down this road!
 

Diane Kennedy

Bronze Contributor
Aug 31, 2007
795
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I LOVE Rosarito! Interesting area - there are Americans moving there in droves as an alternative to living in San Diego.
 

Russ H

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Napa Valley, CA
I did a project (screening room) in Monterrey Mexico about 15 years ago.

Great clients (I'll share some stories sometime).

We designed a room to look like a British Library. Lots of dark oak, dark green cloth, and beautiful detailing to all of the woodwork (I kinda borrowed some ideas from George Lucas's personal screening room at Skywalker Ranch).

Finished project was gorgeous.

Cost to build was incredibly cheap.

I remember the client telling me he had all of the custom oak woodwork (the coffered ceiling, the paneled walls, *everything) for US$20,000.

Here, it would have easily cost over $200,000 (back then-- nowadays, over $300,000).

I remember the client having to really stay on these guys to get the work done. So extra mgt costs there.

But wow-- what craftsmanship. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

-Russ H.
 
OP
OP
AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
2,909
1,865
550
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It is amazing how many Americans are around there!

My MIL loves it there because it is close enough to her family (many of them are in Mexicali). But, Mexicali can get so hot in the summer - so it is nice to head to the beach and cool off a bit!
 
OP
OP
AroundTheWorld

AroundTheWorld

Be in the Moment
Speedway Pass
Jul 24, 2007
2,909
1,865
550
.
But wow-- what craftsmanship. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.
wow, that is beautiful!
 

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randallg99

Bronze Contributor
Aug 9, 2007
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NJ
I am participating in a project in Panama and building there can cost from $10 to $300 per foot.... for a long time, land was cheap... several of the many advantages of building in Panama is that they use Americanized engineering methods, the road systems are most superior in all of central america which provides ease for transportation of materials... and the canal trade free zone brings in all of the best building materials...

I was contemplating about starting a thread for international real estate.

Our current project is showing promise and I am considering a new pursuit for several thousand acres on the Atlantic side which is currently more remote at this juncture, but the next few years of canal expansion will bring commerce and activity to the region.
 

RE Taipan

Contributor
Aug 28, 2007
77
31
58
Balboa Island, CA
Looked real hard at a possible project in San Jose del Cabo just north of the then Stouffer's El Presidente Hotel about 2yrs prior to the huge increase in building there so I'll add...as I believe this is still the case...that title in MX can sometimes be an issue...and land can only be leased by a non-MX individual.

Not that this should stop you...just a consideration to keep in mind and to make sure you do all your homework...several times.

Best of luck...
 

hakrjak

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Sep 15, 2007
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Colorado Springs
I was under the impression that this rule recently changed and Americans could buy in MX, no?
Correct. Non-MX nationals can now own waterfront property through a mexican land trust, that has to be handled by a local bank. Costs you an annual maint fee, and a few grand up front -- but it will supposedly keep you from having your property taken away by the Mexican government someday. If developers like Trump are down in Baja right now selling condos to baby boomer retireees, I guess it's on the up and up.

The question I have, is where all these people down there are going to get their health care as they age and need assisted living, and or full service old folks homes. I don't think many of the retirees down there have thought that far into their future, so it should be interesting to see how it works out for them :)

- Hakrjak
 

andviv

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
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where all these people down there are going to get their health care as they age and need assisted living, and or full service old folks homes. I don't think many of the retirees down there have thought that far into their future, so it should be interesting to see how it works out for them :)
Where there is a need there is or will be a supplier. Somebody will provide this service. Too much temptation having all those green bills going around and the retirees will pay for this service, so there will be clinics and other health centers going up in these same locations pretty soon. It is actually already happening. Have you heard of health-tourists? People go to Mexico and other countries to have expensive medical treatments done for way less, so probably this will be a factor in what you are asking for.
 

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