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News / Articles Mexico
News / Articles
1. Americans Stake Claims in a Baja Land Rush
2. Mexican officials say Baja's future lies in American land investment
3. No Bad Days (Who Needs Electricity?)
4. Escalera Nautica, or nautical route
5. How to Get HUGE Retiree Benefits in Mexico
6. Retirement is easy in Mexico
7. More Retirees Migrating South
8. Big Investor’s Call: Buy Mexico
9. Understanding Real Estate in Mexico
10. Baja's Building Boom
11. A Casa of Your Own
12. There are 7 good reasons to invest in Mexico right now
13. Big-time Profits For 2006 - Why Global Real Estate Makes So Much Sense Right Now
14. Four Things You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan
15. 1031 Exchange with International Real Estate
16. U.S. about to have 300 million Americans
17. How to win at retirement
18. Mexico bashing and Gringo fear
19. Mexico simplifies requirement for US aircraft flying in Mexico
20. U.S. lenders offer financing for property south of the border
21. Serene San Felipe
22. Snowbirds head to San Felipe to rest, relax and retire
23. Felipe Calderon New President of Mexico
24. Doing Business In Mexico
25. South-of-the-Border Sales Pitch

1. Americans Stake Claims in a Baja Land Rush

New York Times

By TIM WEINER
Published: October 26, 2003
Slowly but surely, acre by acre, Mexico's Baja Peninsula is becoming an American colony.
''For Sale'' signs are sprouting all over the 800-mile-long peninsula, offering thousands of beachfront properties. Americans are snapping them up. They have already created communities where the dollar is the local currency, English the main language and Americans the new immigrants transforming an old culture.
''Everything's for sale, every lot you can imagine,'' said Alfonso Gavito, in La Paz ''It's like 20 years of changes have happened in three months.''
This new land rush, involving billions of dollars, tens of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of miles of coastline, is gaining speed despite the fact that Mexico's Constitution bars foreigners from directly owning land by the sea.
Mexico's government wants foreign capital as much as Americans want a house on the beach -- maybe more. So it worked around the Constitution. In 1997, it changed the law to allow foreign ownership through locally administered land trusts. A Mexican bank acts as trustee, the foreigner its beneficiary.
It took about four years before that new system worked smoothly.  One result has been a boom in migration, speculation and permanent vacation. ''It's human greed -- it's human nature,'' said David Halliburton, who owns a hotel outside Cabo San Lucas, on Baja's southern tip, where uncontrolled growth already strains the social fabric. ''The amount of money coming in here through overzealous developers and buyers is staggering.''
Baja is closer by land and air to the United States than it is to the rest of Mexico; state officials recorded more than 30 million trips by Americans who spent well over $1 billion last year. They say they have no idea how many Americans are living in Baja today, because a certain number are illegal immigrants who never register their presence. Anecdotal and statistical evidence suggests that the number is more than 100,000, probably far more, and growing fast since the Sept. 11 attacks and the souring of the economy in the United States two years ago.
''Since 2001, we have seen a boom in real estate sales, and the full-time population of Americans is growing rapidly,'' said Tony Colleraine, an American in San Felipe, about 160 miles southeast of San Diego. He said about one-quarter of the town's roughly 30,000 residents were Americans, many of whom want to ''get away from the regulations and rhetoric, and get out of the bull's-eye'' in the United States.
At least 600,000 Americans -- again, an acknowledged undercount based on government records -- are permanent residents of Mexico. That is by far the largest number of United States citizens living in any foreign country.
Americans living throughout Baja say their new neighbors include professionals in their 30's and 40's putting down roots, not just retirees in recreational vehicles. In Rosarito, the new home buyers include lawyers and members of the military who commute across the border to San Diego, where housing costs are about five times higher. A pleasant house by the Pacific in Rosarito can cost less than $150,000; property taxes are about $75 a year.
Americans ''want to claim Baja as part of the United States, and they always have,'' Ms. Gullicson said. Mr. Jones finished her thought, saying, ''And now they are doing it with money.''
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2. Mexican officials, say Baja's future lies in American land investment
By TIM WEINER
Published: October 26, 2003
Baja's future, Mexican officials say, lies in American land investment. The government strongly promotes foreign direct investment, which is the only reliable source of economic growth in Mexico.
The site of a failed government-backed tourist development, Nopaló, which means ''place of vipers,'' lies just outside the town of Loreto, founded in 1697, population 11,000. American and Canadian developers plan to build 5,000 new homes for 12,000 fellow citizens.
Their master plan depicts a particularly affluent suburb, with houses selling for up to $2 million each. The developers plan to break ground in January. They envision a $2 billion investment over 15 years.
''People will come by the hundreds of thousands'' to Baja, said one of the developers, David Butterfield. ''Mexico gives you an opportunity to build something you cannot build in the U.S. or Canada today. You cannot build great things in America today. Regulations and litigation prevent change.''
There is no drinking water in Loreto -- it is piped in from 16 miles away -- and no place for thousands of construction and service workers to live. Many Mexicans wonder if the new community will truly be the ''sustainable development'' its backers promise. ''I'm not sure there's anyplace in the modern world that's sustainable,'' Mr. Butterfield said. ''I hope we're going to create one.''
Homero Davis, Loreto's mayor, supports the project, somewhat warily. ''The quality of life is a moral issue here,'' he said. ''The culture is at stake. We don't want to be like Cabo San Lucas,'' where hotels and condominiums have swamped what was once a little village.
But that scale of development is precisely what Fonatur, the federal agency that promotes tourism in Mexico, has in mind for Loreto and the rest of Baja.
Fonatur, which conceived and built mega-resorts like Cancún, envisions marinas for American yachts, four-star hotels and fancy golf courses ringing the peninsula in a plan called the Escalera Náutica, or Nautical Ladder, which involves $210 million in public money and hopes for $1.7 billion in investment from developers.
''The whole premise of the Escalera Náutica is to create a land rush, and I'm not sure that's good for anybody,'' said Tim Means, who has lived in La Paz for 35 years and runs a respected ecotourism outfit called Baja Expeditions.
Baja was isolated from the outside world until the government paved a road through the peninsula in the 1970's and 80's. The road connected Baja more closely to the United States than to the Mexican mainland. That connection is deepening as more and more Americans move here. So is a sense of remoteness, of difference, from the rest of Mexico.
''People on the mainland don't know we exist,'' said Doris Johnson, the daughter of a Mexican mother and an American father, who runs a hotel in Mulegé. ''They ask, 'Do they speak Spanish in Baja? Do you need a passport to go there?' ''
Ms. Johnson wonders what will become of Baja as it becomes more and more of an American place. ''We have our own culture here,'' she said. ''But we don't have much influence over what's changing our culture.''
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3. No Bad Days (Who Needs Electricity?)

 News Magazine Current Events Forget Miami. Gringos are retiring in Mexico because it's sunny, sandy and cheap
By Margot Roosevelt/San Felipe
Posted Monday, Jun 11, 2001

At the monthly pancake breakfast of the San Felipe Association of Retired Persons, the talk is about how Beverly Stillwell, 71, is paying only $1,700 for bridgework "that would easily cost $4,000 in the States." How Nellie Kidwell, 84, forks over only $49 a year in property taxes for her two-bedroom, two-bath home near the beach. And how Rose Lahey's timid boyfriend won't drive down from California because "he's paranoid about Mexican bandidos." Says Lahey, 55, a retired letter carrier: "You're safer here than in L.A. any day--and it's better than going postal."
San Felipe is one of a handful of Mexican towns that have become magnets for gringo retirees, and another reason why it's often hard to tell where one country stops and the other begins. About 125 miles south of the border, this once tiny fishing village now stretches along the blue-green waters of the Sea of Cortez into a 50-mile-long cordon of dusty RV parks and mid-market subdivisions, all catering to seniors. Some 24,000 Mexicans and 9,000 nortenos coexist here, more apart than together. There are separate services in English and Spanish at the Baptist church; Alcoholics Anonymous offers meetings for Anglos at 6, for Mexicans at 8. But everyone strolls along the seaside malecon to hear the mariachis and goes to the same black-market dealers for illegal hookups to U.S. DirecTV satellites. "It's great," says Lou Wells, 67, a former railroad clerk. "We get hbo, Showtime, and we can watch $150 pay-per-view fights for free!"
Cheap is one reason why many snowbirds spend 10 months a year in Mexico and then "vacation" back north during the hot summer. They can live comfortably on $500 a month, renting a plot for a trailer. Splurging, they can build an adobe mansion with a hot tub and a view of the sea for $80,000. A local doctor makes house calls for less than $20; prescription drugs often cost less than a third of their price in the U.S.--and for serious medical problems, a U.S. hospital is a three-hour drive away. At twilight, the dune buggies, piloted by ecstatic septuagenarians, dash through the desert sunsets.
San Felipe has its refugees--people fleeing the IRS and folks collecting disability checks at a phony U.S. address. And some people here do nothing but drink. Yet there is also Katherine Hammontre, a former legal secretary who moved here so she could keep six dogs "without the neighbors calling the cops." Her friends Bill and Kay Gabbard--a retired Marine Corps sergeant and his schoolteacher wife--distribute hundreds of Spanish-language textbooks to San Felipe schools. And Bruce Barber, a former food-company executive, combs the desert for the grave of a 16th century explorer. What brings them all to the far edge of the Sonoran desert? Lou Wells, a onetime railroad clerk, answers with a decal on the side of his VW dune buggy: NO BAD DAYS.

LETTER FROM MEXICO
San Felipe awoke on Wednesday (6 June) to find itself one of the main subjects in TIME Magazine’s special issue on the US-Mexico border region. We’ve had experience before with newspaper reporters and so it was a pleasant surprise to find out that the article “No Bad Days” by  Margot Roosevelt was generally positive.  Of course the truth gets stretched to make more appealing fodder for the magazine audience but, on balance, San Felipe fared a lot better than other places along the border. Yes, this is a  great place to retire and the weather is incredible!
In the future, San Felipe will become a little Acapulco.  Visitors will fly in from Las Vegas, New York and Mexico City.  Our sleepy  waterfront with its primitive charm, its fish taco restaurants, its honky-tonk beer joints; all these will be history.  For us in San Felipe, those will be the good old days.  While we welcome the world to look at us, we also want it to stay away for just a little longer. Our personal paradise is now threatened by an onslaught of people who did not even know that San Felipe existed one week ago.
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4.Escalera Nautica, or nautical route

The Escalera Nautica, or nautical route, is very much like the former mission route established by Spanish missionaries in the 16th Century. Instead of inland religious missions, the route will consist of marinas along the Pacific and Sea of Cortes coasts, followed by the same along the Sea of Cortes coasts of the States of Sonora and Sinaloa. While missionaries built the original missions one day’s travel by horse or cart from each other, the Escalera’s marinas will be at one day’s travel by boat, or about 120 nautical miles apart. The plan calls for 22 full-service marinas, 10 of them new. Of the 12 existing, seven will be improved and five have been judged adequate. The 10 new marinas will be located on sites with natural shelter, or bays, a feature the peninsula has in abundance. Five of these are to be in Baja California (northern Baja), three in Baja California Sur, and one each in Sonora and Sinaloa. Additionally, the plan calls for an 84-mile highway route for towing boats from one side of the peninsula to the other, which will allow boat travelers quick access to either body of water for those without time or interest in sailing around the tip of the peninsula. Further, the plan calls for improving the road between Mexicali and San Felipe to allow bigger-boat towing rigs from the U.S. cross border access to the Sea of Cortes.
McCarthy believes that once completed, no less than 52,000 American boat owners will set sail to those destinations and a good number will permanently moor in the various marinas. Moreover he estimates that 76,400 boats will be cruising Baja coastlines by 2010 and that by 2014 there will be 5.4 million nautical tourists.
Fonatur envisioned this project in the early 1970s, undertaking studies and mapping the peninsula. If a consortium of multinational U.S. companies help Fonatur develop the project, it will transform the Baja California into one huge tourist destination. Such a project will also include hotels and golf courses along with every conceivable tourist-related amenity imaginable.
The key for President Fox's government is to make money from tourism. During the last three years, Fonatur has fortified programs and started up new ones. With the encouragement of President Fox and a $6 billion budget, it can once again be the great promoter of tourism investment and the adviser on national tourism development.

 See map bellow for all the Marinas and click on enlarge

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5.How to Get HUGE Retiree Benefits in Mexico

International Living Magazine
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007
Susan Haskins

Foreigners who are age 60 or older and who hold a valid residence visa for Mexico can take part in Mexico's Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores (INAPAM) benefits program.
The program offers discounts on a wide range of services, including on health-related services (hospitals, doctors' visits, lab tests, medical devices, pharmacies, and dental work); cultural activities like theater tickets and entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites; transportation and accommodation, including airline tickets, buses, car rentals and purchase; and at hotels and many stores. Discounts can range from 5% to 50% off the full price of the good or service. Yes, indeed--foreigners with Mexico residence visas are eligible.
Once you have your INAPAM membership card in hand, show it at participating locations to get your discount. The card is valid throughout Mexico--as well as for some services in foreign countries (Best Western Hotels in Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Ecuador, for example, offer discounts to INAPAM cardholders). Some of the highlights:
* 50% discount on public buses
* 5% discount on purchases at Gigante stores nationwide
* 20% discount on medication purchases at Farmacias del Ahorro pharmacies
* Up to 30% discount at restaurants and pizzerias
* 10% to 50% discounts from participating attorneys and accountants
* Up to 30% off the cost of automobile service work and 30% off the cost of new tires
* 25% off hardware, 20% off construction materials, and 20% off the cost of construction work
* Up to 50% off at a hair stylist
* 25% off floral arrangements
* 25% off dry cleaning
* Up to 50% off veterinarian and pet grooming services
* 50% off language classes
Medical services, though, is where this program shines. There are discounts on every kind of service. Save 40% on ambulance services, and up to 50% on services from specialists like cardiologists, dermatologists, ENT and gastro specialists, gynecologists, neurologists, oncologists, sports medicine specialists, ophthalmologists, dentists, surgeons (even cosmetic surgeons). Really…there are just too many to list here…
Looking for alternative medicine specialists? You can save up to 50% or more there, too.
Save 20-30% on prescription costs, 30% on orthopedic apparatus, up to 40% on eyeglasses. Save up to 25% on hospital bills, 50% on lab work, and if all else fails, save 30% on funeral services.
According to INAPAM officials, they're adding more participating companies all the time--so once you have an INAPAM membership card, it's worth asking about the discount before you pay full price.
In recent years, Mexico has taken a back seat to some other Latin American nations when it has come to offering benefits to foreign retirees. And cost of living? I believe it can be even lower in Mexico than in those other booming Latin economies. Mark my words: when word gets out about these benefits…and people learn just how easy it is to live and do business in Mexico, you'll see more and more opting for La Vida Buena only found in Mexico.

P.P.S. Non-Mexicans who wish to take part in the program must go to a local office of the Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores (National Institute for Senior Citizens, or INAPAM) to request a membership card. The Mexicali office is listed above..
You'll have to show the following documentation:
* Original passport (plus a photocopy) showing that you're at least 60 years old
* Picture ID (original plus photocopy)
* Contact information for someone responsible for you in case of an accident or emergency
* Passport-size photo
* A valid FM-2 or FM-3 residence visa, plus proof of address in Mexico
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6. RETIREMENT IS EASY IN MEXICO
By Steve Butler,
Contra Costa Times, April 23, 2001.

Many current and future retirees are considering more economical lifestyles outside of the United States – especially after the market jolts of the past year.  The trend may have started with Buth Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when they retired to Bolivia.  In the same spirit, Mexico may offer one of today’s best opportunities for a convenient, pleasant and cost effective retirement locale.

INEXPENSIVE LIVING

The consensus is that an income of about, $2,000 per month can provide a very adequate lifestyle anywhere in Mexico, outside the hardcore resort communities.  Many retirees living on their sailboats manage comfortably on $500 per person per month.

On a previous motorcycle trip, one of my travel friends (a surgeon himself) had a little accident and broke seven ribs and a collar bone. A knee or hip replacement costs half to one-third as much as the same operation in the United States for obvious reasons, Blue Cross loves it when its U.S. members receive medical care in Mexico.

Apart form good medical care, the cost of around-the clock assistance for, say, a spouse who has had a stroke or who suffers from Alzheimers can be a fraction of the prohibitive cost in the United States. This is another compelling reason for retirees to consider this adventurous alternative.

Overall, things are just “funky” compared to life in typical United States or European suburb.  The resources are just not there to create the same degree of neatness that people enjoy in, say, Holland.  But everyone certainly tries. The warmth and friendliness of the people more than compensate.

Mexican culture is as different from ours as, say, an Asian culture. One example: time is infinite, rather than something considered from minute to minute.  Retirees suffering from heart conditions or high blood pressure may live a lot longer in this slower-paced Mexican culture.

Differences that exist today between California and Mexico are evaporating.  One-third or all Californians are now identified as Hispanic, and people of Mexican origin constitute the largest group within the Hispanic communities.  Meanwhile, the Free Trade Area of the Americas moves one step closer to reality this week.  It extends NAFTA by creating a free trade zone of all of the Americas-a market that includes 700 million people,. Further cross-pollination of cultures and economies is inevitable.

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7. More Retirees Migrating South
May 19, 2004
CBS Evening News
Who hasn't dreamed of retiring by the sea?
Retired Hollywood makeup artist Dan Greenway made his dream come true, not in California or Florida, but Mexico, along the Pacific Coast of Baja.
"California has traffic and smog, and it was so quiet down here," says Greenway. "I sleep like a baby."
While some Americans complain of a flood of Mexicans crossing the border, a growing stream of Americans is running south. It's mostly retirees, like Eileen Magliere and Jere Vanek, who found Las Vegas too crowed and expensive.
"A lot of Americans are moving down here," says Vanek. "It's an explosion of them."
What's the big deal? A beachfront lot 30 miles up the coast in southern California would cost you several million dollars. South of the border, a spot on the beach can cost you less that $100,000.
The reverse migration is igniting a real estate boom. "For sale" signs and construction are everywhere. U.S. retailers are mushrooming. The town of Rosarito, south of Tijuana, is one-fourth American. Seventy percent of the beachfront is owned by Americans.
"People who lives and buys lots of house in Rosarito, they pay their taxes, so that's good for our economy," says Juvenal Arias, president of the Rosarito Tourism Bureau.
When Mexico recently firmed up laws for foreigners to own land through bank trusts, the floodgates opened. Ex-pat real estate agent Diane Gibbs is riding the wave.
Gibbs says it's like a suburb of San Diego. "just not San Diego prices, but the same weather, the same ocean and the same sunsets.
"This isn't like Mexico, Mexico. It's been gringo-ized."
Just ask the gang at the New York Deli.
"Now it's a lot nicer, because we have more Americans, there are nicer places like this opening up," says one man.
"And they probably wouldn't have come if we weren't having this growth," says another woman.
The deli gang agrees that up the coast in southern California, they would not be able to afford their homes.
Vaneks say the real estate tax on his mansion-like property is less than $50 a year.
Asked if she misses anything, Magliere says, "I have to cross the border to go to Neiman Marcus."
For baby boomer Leslie Harris, Baja was "sort of a no brainer."
She's not yet retired, but she couldn't even dream of it San Diego.
"But I had enough money to buy down here," she says. "On a cliff overlooking the ocean. It's the American dream, it's just in Mexico."
And more American retirees are waking up to the possibility.
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8. Big Investor’s Call: Buy Mexico
U.S. Investors Go South; Seek Safe Place for Cash in Real Estate.
By Joel Millman-Mexico, City.

Mexico’s recent recognition as investment grade by all three major U.S. credit-rating agencies are behind the surge of U.S. institutional cash seeking a have in Mexican real estate.  Another attraction: U.S. title insurers can now operate in Mexico.
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9. Understanding Real Estate in Mexico
May 2001
Mitch Creekmore
Texas Realtor Online
There is an abounding opportunity for new capital, investment, and infrastructure development in Mexico. But you need more than the ability to translate Spanish.
We’re getting closer to Mexico.
No, the land isn’t shifting, but NAFTA, technology, and sweeping changes in Mexican politics have forged a closer relationship between the U.S. (especially those of us in Border States) and our neighbors to the south. Whether you have clients who might benefit from purchasing property in Mexico or you are entertaining thoughts of buying a vacation or investment property for yourself, the climate for real estate business is inviting.
Mexico is forecast to have a 7% growth rate for 2001–double that of the U.S. economy. In addition, the Mexican peso is expected to remain at its current level in relation to U.S. currency. Couple this with continued foreign-investment law reforms and Mexico’s heightened awareness of protecting foreign investment in the public and private sectors, and the result is an abounding opportunity for new capital, investment, and infrastructure development in the country. With the slowdown in the U.S. economy, Mexico’s real estate market would appear to be a viable alternative to other investment strategies.
It’s not the same old Mexico
Purchasing real estate in Mexico has changed dramatically over the past five years for non-Mexican nationals. Beginning in 1994, the federal government of Mexico liberalized ownership provisions of all property within the constitutionally protected area known as the prohibited zone. This restricted area includes 100 kilometers along all natural borders, 50 kilometers along all coastlines, and all of Baja California. Prospective buyers outside of Mexico’s borders seeking to buy tourist property–including housing developments, condominiums, and timeshare projects–can now enjoy greater legal freedom and ownership rights under Mexico’s new foreign investment law.
In Mexico, as in the United States, the transfer of real estate rights is administered by federal, state, and local laws. However, buying south of the border is not like buying property in the United States, and the worst a purchaser can do is to remain ignorant of the law and procedures involved in the conveyance of real estate in a foreign country.
Stay on your toes
Foreign purchasers should be aware of the same basic issues that any prudent buyer would consider when acquiring real estate in the United States. The first thing a buyer must consider is whether the seller of the property has legal title to the property, and if so, whether the property can be legally transferred.
The public notary in Mexico (notario publico) is responsible for the title search in Mexican transactions. However, the notary typically only examines the current deed and a current lien certificate, resulting in the possibility of a short or incomplete title history of the property. A foreign purchaser always has the option of hiring Mexican counsel or a U.S. title company to provide an opinion on the status of title.
Title to all real estate in the prohibited zone being acquired by foreign purchasers can only be legally vested and recorded in one of two ways: in a Mexican bank trust (fideicomiso) for all residentially declared property; or in a Mexican corporation for all nonresidential real estate. There is no gray area concerning foreign acquisition in the restricted zone of Mexico.
Foreign nationals can be the sole and exclusive stockholders of a Mexican corporation that holds fee-simple title to nonresidential property in the prohibited zone. In any type of real estate acquisition in Mexico, non-Mexican purchasers must always register their ownership interest with the secretary of foreign affairs and must waive their rights to foreign government intervention in the event of a property dispute. This is known as the Calvo Clause, which is constitutionally mandated, and is contained in all bank trust agreements. It should be noted that Mexican banks, acting as trustee for a foreign buyer in a fideicomiso, make no warranty or guarantee of the title to the property in the trust nor do they provide any restitution in the event of a title defect. Foreign buyers should consult U.S. or Mexican counsel regarding real estate transactions.
Civil code of Mexico defines contracts
Most real estate transactions in Mexico will have at least two contracts: first, an offer and acceptance (oferta) and/or a promissory agreement (contrato de promesa); and, second, a purchase sales agreement (contrato de compraventa). Specifically, the civil code of Mexico defines contracts as agreements that produce or transfer obligations and rights. In general, real estate contracts in Mexico must be recorded before a notary public and, to be binding on third parties, they must be filed with the public registry of property.
Ultimately, foreign buyers get to the point where they are ready to have the transaction consummated and take title to the property. In Mexico, all real estate transactions and the legal conveyance of any type of property involve the participation of the notario publico.
Although the title translates to "public notary," the notario publico’s responsibilities greatly exceed the formalization of signatures. Appointed by the governor of the state and the executive branch of the federal government for a particular state district, notarios are attorneys who must pass two extensive examinations in order to receive their lifetime appointments.
In a typical transaction, they will prepare the deed of conveyance subject to the "protocolized" purchase-sale agreement. The notario brings buyer and seller together for the formalization of the property transfer, and they authorize the appropriate signatures upon execution of the escritura. And lastly, after the property transfer has been formalized, the notario will record the escritura with the public registry of property where the property is located.
Prior to the closing, the notario’s additional duties include: examining the documents of the selling party to ensure their accuracy and legitimacy; verifying title; and searching the public records to determine the status of the seller’s title to the property and the existence of liens against the property. The notario is also responsible for the collection and payment of all applicable property taxes and government transfer taxes.
Issuing title insurance on Mexican real estate requires an in-depth examination concerning title documents, development permits, municipal approvals, paid taxes, plat and survey issues, recordation and registry compliance, along with the overall conveyance or "protocolization" procedure of the public notary. In order to issue an owner’s policy of title insurance and assume the inherent monetary liability that comes with the policy issuance, the insuring company must be as certain as possible regarding all of the various elements in the property transfer.
It is not often understood that in Mexico, not only does a title policy protect against recording errors, liens, encumbrances, encroachments, taxes, and boundary line disputes, but also against fraud, misrepresentation, impersonation, secret marriages, incapacity of parties, and undisclosed heirs. Even the best of notarios or attorneys may be unable to discover these title problems.
Often, a real estate agent or broker may not tell a buyer about the availability of title insurance for Mexican property. Perhaps this is because the agent or broker is fearful that the transaction may be delayed because of a title company’s requirements. Real estate professionals must remember that possession of the property does not necessarily mean good and recorded title to it.
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10. Baja's Building Boom

The San Diego Union-Tribune

Mexican coastal area experiencing a surge in housing construction, but observers advise American buyers to do their homework
By Sandra Dibble and Lori Weisberg
STAFF WRITERS October 2, 2005 ROSARITO BEACH – Step out onto the balconies of the newest condominiums rising along the Pacific Ocean and catch colorful sunsets, misty mornings, dolphins leaping from the waves – and giant cranes lifting steel beams for a new tower next door.
It's boom time on the Baja California coastline as U.S. buyers seduced by dramatic ocean views and bargain prices snap up properties from Tijuana to Rosarito Beach to Ensenada.
Bulldozers break the quiet of once-sleepy coastal stretches. Clients stream through construction sites and model homes, putting down tens of thousands of dollars before buildings are even off the ground. U.S. real estate agents, developers, lenders and title insurance companies are setting up shop, eager to capture a share of the business.
"The telephone has been ringing off the hook for every real estate agent in this town," said Diane Gibbs, a longtime agent in Rosarito Beach, a rapidly growing community of 135,000 people where much of the new development is taking place.
A unique set of cross-border circumstances has converged on this coastal strip to heat up the market: skyrocketing real estate prices in the United States, improved investment safety in Mexico because of the increasing availability of title insurance and escrow accounts, and reluctance among growing numbers of U.S. travelers and investors to venture far from home after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
While the vistas may rival those of La Jolla or Carmel, the reality is that buying in Mexico isn't real estate U.S.-style. Foreigners are barred from directly owning residential property along the coast, and boundary disputes abound on the Baja California peninsula. While good deals can be found, so can potential problems.
Still, with ocean-view homes in California priced at stratospheric levels, investing in Baja California has become an affordable way for many U.S. citizens to fulfill their dream of owning beachfront property.
More and more are drawing equity from their primary homes in the United States to finance second homes in Mexico. Once viewed as a quiet spot to retire, camp or leave a trailer, the coast is drawing an increasingly younger and wealthier U.S. clientele.
"It's the whole idea of being in a foreign country, and still close," said Todd Glimme, 42, of San Diego.
Tapping into equity from their home in Clairemont, Glimme and his wife, Leslie McLaughlin, put nearly $100,000 down on two $277,000 condominiums under construction in Rosarito Beach.
They plan to sell one at a profit. They will keep the other, eventually commuting between Mexico, where he is starting an information technology business, and San Diego, where she works for the Navy.
"To buy a place the equivalent of that up here, you'd be paying in the millions," Glimme said.
The region has been a haven for U.S. expatriates for decades. Shops, restaurants and services cater to English-speaking, dollar-carrying consumers. But for all the trappings of home, this is a foreign country.
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11. A Casa of Your Own
December 10, 2001
Kerry A. Dolan
Forbes Magazine
You can get a cut-rate villa in Mexico.
When Gilbert Johnson retired as the head of a microwave communications company near San Francisco, California, four years ago, he and his wife, Donna, planned to cruise the Panama Canal in their 17-meter motorboat and settle in Annapolis, Maryland. They motored to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, to wait for the weather to improve--and ended up buying a house there. For a 370-square-meter Mexican colonial with a stunning ocean view and plenty of outdoor patio space, they paid $600,000. By Silicon Valley standards, even in early 1998, it was a steal.
You hear the story again and again in Mexico. "It's an enormous market, and one we're definitely pursuing," says John McCarthy, who's the head of Fonatur, Mexico's tourism development agency. Many Americans are lured by the beauty, the serenity and, not least, the prices. Destinations include Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara; San Miguel de Allende, about 210 kilometers north of Mexico City; Puerto Vallarta; and Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Most of the time there are no problems. But late last year some 400 American families were evicted from homes in the state of Baja Norte because their land titles were in dispute. Buyers simply need to apply the same due diligence they would anywhere else.
Perhaps the best way to protect yourself is to get title insurance from a reputable American company (most Mexican companies don't sell it). Jorge Rodriguez, who does title searches, says that about 70% of the properties he investigates have some degree of error. "Mostly the problem can be solved with very little time and money," he says.
It also helps to find a reliable real estate agent who can navigate the process. Mexico does not have a real estate licensing process, and anyone can sell real estate.
Foreigners buying in an area not near the coast or the border can own property directly. If the property is within 100 kilometers of the border or 50 of the coast, non-Mexicans are required to purchase through a beneficial trust, called a fideicomiso, which is set up through a Mexican bank for a period of up to 50 years; it can be renewed for 50 years. To acquire the land, the purchaser must obtain a permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The buyer can lease, sell or transfer the property to another family member; when he dies, it can be left to an heir. At the end of the 100 years the property can be sold.
Watch out for the land collectives known as ejidos. "It's the same as buying on an Indian reservation," says Brock Squire, the owner of Coldwell Banker La Costa in Puerto Vallarta. "There's no deed." That's what happened to the Americans in Baja Norte. And avoid putting money into projects that haven't been built yet. Permits are required to sell, but developers don't always get them.
The buying process has its quirks. A notario publico often acts as the holding agent for the funds. The notario is a local lawyer who certifies real estate transactions and collects taxes. The buyer pays the real estate transfer tax, normally 2%, plus closing costs that average 5% to 7%.
Financing options in Mexico are slim. Some U.S. financial institutions offer mortgages to Americans buying in Mexico but charge 10%, four points more than you'd pay on a U.S. mortgage.
The cost of living in some remote areas, where almost all goods must travel a long way, can be as high as in the U.S. But quieter, less flashy places are easier on the wallet. Five years ago James Diehl, a retired industrial real estate salesman from Columbus, Ohio, spent $25,000 for an 7,500-square-meter lake-view lot. His four-bedroom home cost $200,000 to build. Property tax: $350 a year.
How about the return on your investment? The Johnsons spent $400,000 to give their $600,000 home a face-lift and to double the outdoor patio space. They've listed it at $1.59 million. "We fell in love with this place," says Donna. "But we bought it as an investment."
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12. There are 7 good reasons to invest in Mexico right now
Anyone can be a successful international real estate investor
Derek Hadge
I believe there is no better way to increase your wealth and make your life more enjoyable than by investing in international real estate.
#1: Diversification. You don't need me to tell you that it's not wise to put everything you've got into one sector…or one market…that you need to spread your investment risk. I have no idea what's going to happen in the stock market…or to the dollar. But it doesn't matter. As the global value of a U.S. investment portfolio goes down along with the sinking dollar…the savvy investor, diversified out of the dollar, and invested in different types of real estate, is better off.
#2: Profit. When you find undervalued properties in up-and-coming markets before the rest of the world catches on, the opportunity to make money can be spectacular (I'll detail my top three up-and-coming markets in a future issue).
#3: Value. Once you look beyond U.S. shores, you get more for your money. You can own a home of beauty and luxury…charm and history…for the price of a cookie-cutter house in a bog-standard U.S. suburban development.
#4: A second home. Your real estate investment can double as a personal retreat, a private escape in an attractive, but not yet over-run location…something that is increasingly difficult to accomplish in the United States. You can take enjoyment from it while it's appreciating in value...generating rental returns...or safeguarding your net worth.
#5: Tax. You can pay less real estate taxes overseas. Depending where you go, you'll discover property tax has been abolished (Buenos Aires)…foreign investors don't pay capital gains tax (United Kingdom)…and transfer tax doesn't exist (New Zealand). Plus, in some cases, it's possible to get tax breaks with an overseas real estate investment.
#6: Residency. With a second passport, you can travel more freely and easily...expand your retirement options...potentially reduce your taxes...bank and invest without restriction...enjoy greater security, privacy, and asset protection options. A foreign real estate investment can help with this. Plus, international real estate offers you a safe alternative if things go bad (or worse) in the United States.
#7: Legacy. This type of real estate investing is a way to build long-term family wealth that can be enjoyed by your children and grandchildren in years to come.
A smart global real estate investment can make you short-term returns in the form of rental income. Long-term, it can make you and your family rich.
There are some tricks to this trade...and some fundamental truisms...and cautions...that you need to know.
But bottom line: Anyone can be a successful international real estate investor.
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13. Big-time Profits for 2006 - Why Global Real Estate Makes So Much Sense Right Now
Derek Hadge
This is one of the best times in recent years--and maybe ever--to consider a real estate investment overseas. Here's why:
1) The potential for profits is greater overseas. When you find undervalued properties in up-and-coming markets before the rest of the world catches on, the opportunity to make money can be spectacular. Once you look beyond U.S. shores, you get more for your money. You can own a home of beauty and luxury…charm and history…for the price of a cookie-cutter house in a typical U.S. suburban development. Instead of trying to guess what's going to happen to the U.S. real estate market, I recommend looking at places where the profit potentials are much greater and the move of the markets more predictable. One thing's for sure--if you stick to U.S. investments, you will miss out on the fastest-growing economies in the world.
2) Global real estate is an excellent hedge against the dollar, the U.S. economy, and U.S. stock markets. You don't need me to tell you that it's not wise to put everything you've got into one sector…or one market…that you need to spread your investment risk. I have no idea what's going to happen in the stock market…or to the dollar. But it doesn't matter. As the global value of a U.S. investment portfolio goes down along with the sinking dollar…the savvy investor, diversified out of the dollar, and invested in different types of real estate, is better off.
3) You can take advantage of a growing trend taking shape in the United States and in other developed countries--that is, people's growing desire to invest, live, vacation, or even retire outside their home countries. People are starting to relocate on a global scale. One article in The International Herald Tribune stated that, in the past 30 years, the number of Americans living abroad has more than quadrupled. In fact, according to the U.S. State Department, the number has risen from 2.3 million to 3.3 million since 1990 alone. This movement is expected to increase further...and fast. To profit from it, you need to look for real estate markets that will capitalize on the direction the world is starting to move. Think about it this way--more than three million U.S. citizens have already moved abroad, looking for cheap real estate, low taxes, and better qualities of living. This trend will only increase in the years to come. Those of us invested in international real estate stand to profit handsomely for this reason alone.
Interested in joining us?
Don't worry if you've little or no experience--anyone can be a successful international real estate investor.
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14. Four Things You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan
Wait Till You See the Kind of Profits You Can Make Overseas
Derek Hadge
Plus, a few more well-kept secrets of the super-rich that will transform your retirement experience from early-bird discount dinners to a carefree life of luxury.
There are some very important things your broker isn't telling you about your retirement account... secrets that could make you millions...tax-deferred or even tax-free:
1. You can buy real estate in Mexico with your IRA, 401(K) or other qualified retirement plan. You're no longer stuck with volatile, overvalued stocks for your retirement funds. Instead, you can tap into the consistent money-making power of real estate. You can buy individual properties-here in the U.S. or in Mexico. And that includes everything from raw land to condos to single-family homes, apartment complexes and more!
2. Your IRA can take out a mortgage to make property investments-giving you the huge profit multiplier of leverage. Put $10,000 down on a $100,000 property and when it appreciates by just 10%... you've already doubled your money - tax-deferred!
3. You can collect tax-free or tax-deferred rents from the properties in your IRA. Yes, the biggest profits come from the appreciation of the property. But along the way you can rake in the cash too-even double-digit yields in some cases from healthy rental income! Stack this up against the measly dividends corporations are paying out these days...it's a no-brainer.
4. You can pay yourself a management fee on your properties from your IRA, now, before you retire-without penalty! You can't expect your stockbroker to tell you about this... Even if he knew, he simply can't compete with the money-making power of real estate, especially when combined with the benefits of tax-deferred investing.
Even a 5% rise in the value of your property turns into a 25% gain if you've put 20% down. It's a 50% gain if you've put 10% down. Sell a property after a few years, and you could sock away hundreds of thousands in profits-with no capital gains tax due. And, on top of that, you've got the rental income... coming in tax-free or tax-deferred... which can grow year after year while the mortgage stays fixed!
You Thought Real Estate in the U.S. Was Booming...
Wait Till You See the Kind of Profits You Can Make in Mexico...
One of the most exciting hidden powers of your IRA or other qualified retirement plan is that not only can you buy real estate... but you can buy it in the most beautiful areas of the world... and in areas that offer incredible values.
And once you do that, you can tap into opportunities in Mexico.
When you add in the potential savings from doing these kinds of deals with tax-deferred dollars through your IRA - it makes the U.S. stock market look like a sinkhole.
And offshore real estate opportunities...where low prices, high growth, and cheap currency converge...can make you wealthier in retirement than during your highest income-producing years if you play your cards right.
It starts to change the way you think about your retirement years, doesn't it?
It's a serious situation...the last thing you want to do is hit your golden years, and not feel like you have enough saved to really enjoy them. That's why it was so important for me to share this little-known retirement strategy with you right away...and give you a chance to take advantage of it before it's too late.
Diversification means something completely different. It means combining elements of both international and domestic investments in your portfolio to give you high-performance total returns no matter what is happening with the S&P 500 or what scandals are erupting in major American corporations.
Most Americans won't even access these opportunities - even with returns that will blow you away - while the average U.S mutual fund limps along, barely able to post even a double digit return for their investors.
Can you imagine the retirement you could have if you started putting these kinds of returns into your IRA today?
Leverage, leverage, leverage... The other great truth about real estate applies twenty-fold to this investment strategy when you use your retirement plan to take out a loan to purchase real estate. You put out less of your own funds, but still stand to make a significant gain. Let's say you put $20,000 into a property worth $100,000, and your IRA (which can function independent of you and obtain it's own funding) gets a loan for the rest. When that property appreciates just $6,000 or 6% -- you've already made 30% on your actual investment. Add in $1,000 in net rents (after all carrying costs), and you'll have made 35%. You can do even better in a strongly appreciating market...not to mention that your loan payment is being made by your IRA out of tax-deferred dollars - not out of your pocket!
If you're tired of getting useless advice from the mainstream financial media... about how you have to "hang in there" and you're your lumps through each US bear market...this is going to be a real eye opener for you.
When you see the advantages of strengthening your IRA with offshore profits and real estate, I believe you'll never want to stick your neck out again by risking all your money in the U.S. markets.
And that's where Mexico comes in.
You see, we're not just going to tell you about unlocking the hidden investment potential in your IRA, 401(K) or other qualified retirement plan... we'll help you start investing in the world's best financial and real estate opportunities - Mexico.
All it takes is some simple paperwork. Once you know what forms you need and how to fill them out quickly and easily - and in complete compliance with U.S. tax laws - you're ready to take full advantage of a much wider range of high-return investments, from hidden money-making gems in offshore real estate markets, to some of the world's best performing global funds. Start getting your money in Mexico to secure the retirement of your dreams...
Investing in Mexico is designed to give you the one thing that is sorely lacking for individual investors today...a choice.
If some of the best investment opportunities are offshore, whether in real estate or other investments, you need the flexibility to go get them. And you also gain greater diversification and asset protection when you move some of your assets offshore...helping you protect what's yours.
Move as much...or as little...as you like.
As an investor, I know you're familiar with taking calculated risks in order to grow your portfolio. The name of the game, though, is to minimize risk whenever possible. Don't let anything stand in your way!!!
You may be able to attain your dream retirement earlier than you imagined...
It all starts once you realize the full money-making and asset-protecting potential of your IRA, 401(K) or other qualified retirement plan.
So please don't delay.
Make sure to get your fair share of the remarkable retirement-plan investment opportunities that are waiting for you in Mexico.
Take advantage of opportunities like this in Mexico now...don't wait.
You can create a more secure and prosperous retirement than you may have thought possible.
I'd like you to know one last thing ...
"Get your investments in Mexico now!!!"
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15. 1031 Exchange with International Real Estate
A Secret to Profitable Property Investing Abroad
Derek Hadge
Taxes are no fun...except a little when you can beat them...or at least defer them.
If an American buys a piece of real estate in another country...then eventually sells it for a profit...he owes capital gains taxes both in the U.S. and (maybe) in the jurisdiction where the property resides. Here's a way to defer the U.S. part of that capital gains burden: like-kind exchange it.
You may have heard of this strategy with regards to U.S. assets, but most people don't realize you can put it to work for you offshore, too. Buy a home in Mexico, sell it for 100% gain, then put the sales proceeds into a condo or a beach-front lot in Mexico. Do that within 180 days of the sale, and you owe no capital gains tax to Uncle Sam. It's got to be offshore proceeds into offshore proceeds. You can't like-kind exchange the profits from the sale of an apartment in the US for the purchase of an apartment in Mexico...and once the money has been invested in an apartment in Mexico, to continue to take advantage of the like-kind exchange loophole, you've got to keep it outside the States (though not in Mexico and not necessarily in an apartment...but, importantly, in an investment, not a residence).
Restrictions, of course, apply. And I'm no expert.
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16. U.S. about to have 300 million Americans
Some countries have growth headaches, others beg for babies
Thursday, July 6, 2006; Posted: 6:57 a.m. EDT (10:57 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the U.S. population speeds toward 300 million, the growth is producing headaches for Americans fed up with traffic congestion, sprawl and dwindling natural resources.
The U.S. is the fastest growing industrialized nation in the world, adding about 2.8 million people a year. That's a little less than 1 percent, but enough to mitigate the kinds of problems facing Japan and many European countries.
By 2050, the United States is projected to have about 420 million people.
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17. HOW TO WIN AT RETIREMENT

Fortune Magazine: Real Estate-Beat the boomer rush
POWER OF A GENERATION
The boomers have warped every market they’ve come near, presenting endless opportunities for the foresighted.

And if you find this prospect disquieting, remember that there’s a bright side.  Just a little ahead of the boomers is an excellent place to be, and you can be there if you know where they’re going.

When boomer demand slams into markets, prices often soar (until the herd passes).  Nothing stops them.   And if you find this prospect disquieting, remember that there’s a bright side. Just a little ahead of the boomers is an excellent place to be, and you can be there if you know where they’re going.

When young adult boomers wanted cars, they made the Mustang and Camaro into phenomena; then the stampede passed, and sales withered.  Suburban homes were next: In many desirable areas, prices exploded in the ‘80s as boomers did the family thing. Then sagged in the ‘90s after most boomers had bought.  The herd never stops.

Now, as the boomers hurtle toward retirement, you’ve got to figure they’ll continue causing econo-havoc.

REAL ESTATE
Without a doubt, the greatest opportunities are in property as your grandfather sagely advised you, they aren’t making any more of it, so shifts in demand cause prices to swing more sharply than they do for other goods.

Suburban homes may start to go the way of the Camaro while retirement homes become the next pricey gem. Don’t think it’s too soon to start focusing on this. The older and better-off boomers are already giving serious thoughts to where they’ll live next. In the next three to five years I think you’ll see some interesting decisions being made.” Seniors: Seniors are one of the largest demographic segments in America, making up 21% of the total population. According to the 2003 Erdos & Morgan Readership Research Study, adults in the 50 plus age range represent 37% of the adult population and will grow to 45% in the next 11 years. This audience controls $1.6 trillion in spending power and 80% of the individual wealth in the United States. With a significant amount of circulation available in targeted magazines, sampling programs, package inserts programs and ride-alongs,

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18. MEXICO BASHING AND GRINGO FEAR
Baja Norte, January 2000.
The U.S. media have created hysteria about investing or traveling in Mexico.  The following is a list of myths that I will attempt to discredit so that you can enjoy this wonderful country as either a tourist, investor or retiree.

There are more U.S. retirees living here than any other country in the world.  They will tell you that in most U.S. cities they were afraid to walk the streets at night.  Safely is one of the primary reasons they list for living here.

In 15 years of living in Mexico and 45 years of traveling the breadth of this country, I have not witnessed one violent fight among Mexicanos. I have seen U.S. Tourists get drunk and engage in violence.

Mexicanos, with few exceptions, are culturally adverse to violence.  They don’t even raise their voices at one another.

A MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT= JAIL

Financial responsibility law in Mexico is very strict. If you are at fault in an accident and show proof of insurance you will be held at the local police station until you can demonstrate your ability to pay for damages. I’ve been through the experience and was treated with utmost respect and courtesy in a holding area (not prison) until I settled the matter: it took less than an hour to resolve.

FOREIGN OWNED MEXICAN PROPERTY

Yes you can buy property as a foreigner in Mexico. Yes it can be done safely. If it is property in the interior of Mexico you can own the property in your name and not worry about losing it.  Coastal property in Mexico cannot be directly titled to a foreigner.  However, bank trusts in Mexico allow you to hold the property in the same way you can hold property via a “living trust” in the United States.  A Mexican bank can guarantee your ownership rights in perpetuity, including passing the property to your heirs at the time of death.  Trusts are very inexpensive to maintain $350-$500 per year.

CONSUMER PROTECTION

The consumer rights agency called PROFECO (Procuraduria Federal del Consumidor) was established to insure consumer rights and avoid expensive litigation.  If you have a consumer beef-big or small, you can be assured a fair hearing at PROFECO.  They have the power to obligate a vendor or service provider to make good on their product or service.

LAWLESSNESS

Gringos often get into trouble in Mexico because they think this is a country where “anything goes,” not so. This is a country of laws and you are not likely to get much sympathy if you break the law.  There are not juries to emotionally sway with sad stories about your childhood or your mental state. The laws are written clearly and not subject  to a lot of interpretation.  Obey the laws: buy auto insurance, don’t drink and drive, don’t use drugs, leave your guns at home, buy property don’t lease long term (ten year leases are the limit, don’t trust anybody who tries to lease you land for more than ten years)  and always commit agreement to writing.  If you follow these simple rules Mexico is great place to live, explore and invest in.
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19. Mexico simplifies requirement for US aircraft flying in Mexico
The Californian Sun. April 2001.
Jack McCormick, President of the Baja Bush Pilots Association, has been appointed by Senator Alejandro Gutierrez of the Republic of Mexico to sit on and participate in a special committee named “Simplification for the Private Aviation in Mexico”

The following action was taken and/or confirmed.
That the TUA tax is now eliminated.
That all international Airports (except Mexico City are now Airports of Entry for all private aircraft.  This includes piston, turbine and jet.  In addition, we now have a complete list of International Airports which totals 57.
That you no longer are required to enter, fly in and depart Mexico with the same passengers.
The additional requests by the Bush Pilots are being worked on and will be addressed at future meetings now in planning.

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20.As some U.S. lenders offer financing for property south of the border, potential purchases become more affordable

By Lori Weisberg
STAFF WRITER October 2, 2005
Thanks to soaring appreciation in housing values, Californians have been able to tap into their rising equity to help finance purchases of ocean-view homes in Mexico, where conventional financing is either costly or unavailable.
The mushrooming growth along the Baja California coast, however, has persuaded some American lenders to head south, providing buyers with a way to finance their purchases without having to dig deep into the equity in their homes. While lending choices still remain limited, there is no question that the availability of U.S. financing will further open up the Mexican real estate market to foreign buyers, say real estate professionals in Baja California.
"We have a boom right now, but with the American lenders, it will explode tenfold," enthused Rosarito real estate agent Gustavo Torres. "The people who have the cash prefer to pay that way because they can get discounts, but not all buyers have that much cash."
Although there are Mexican lenders, their mortgage rates can be as high as 12 percent to 14 percent, roughly double the historically low rates now available in the U.S. Some housing developers in the Rosarito-Ensenada corridor have been offering financing for their American buyers, but only for 10-to 15-year terms and with requirements for hefty down payments.
One of the key factors influencing the decision by lenders to provide financing in Mexico is the wider availability of title insurance, which they say gives them a high level of assurance that ownership titles will be undisputed.
In fact, lenders say they will not lend on any developments or properties that do not have a title insurance commitment.
"We've been working on our Mexico product for over 18 months, and it's finally coming to fruition," said William Nassour, managing director of the Beverly Hills-based CS Financial Corp. "Now that the big American title companies are down there, it just makes it that much safer. Before, we didn't know if Jose down the street had a lien on the property."

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21. Serene San Felipe
By Paula McDonald. April 6, 1997.

BUT VERY SOON THE MODERN WORLD WILL COME KNOCKING

But change is also in the air.
The world is on its way to little San Felipe.  With an aggressive promotional push by the Baja California Department of Tourism, entrepreneurs and development corporations form Mexico, Europe and elsewhere are no casting knowing eyes at the Sea of Cortez’s pristine “Crystal Corridor” and nodding sagely.

Investor groups from both the U.S. and Mexico are interested in expanding the San Felipe airport itself and the office of Baja California’s secretary of tourism is actively involved in making it happen.

BIG PLANS

Other investors are looking to San Felipe to build.  Banamex, Mexico’s largest bank, has targeted San Felipe as its next major development site.

“But our area is closer to the major population areas of Southern California and Arizona and can be easily accessed by car.  We see San Felipe as the Cabo of the future. Only better.”
The area is ready, he said, explaining that infrastructure is already in place: The city’s potable-water aqueduct can handle three times the current development.

All this is being carefully planned with environmental concerns in mind. A “San Felipe 2000” master plan is being formulated to ensure that the ecology of the area is preserved as development occurs. For years, the great white arches marking the entrance to the city of San Felipe have read, “The door to the Sea of Cortez.” That door is about to open wide.

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22. Snowbirds head to San Felipe to rest, relax and retire
Story and photos by Maribeth Mellin
FOR THE UNION-TRIBUNE
January 4, 2004
San Felipe has changed little in the past decade, at first glance. Shrimpers still untangle their nets on the broad beach at dawn and visit the hilltop shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe before sailing to sea. Shops sell the same seashell crucifixes, lamps and wind chimes; the beer still flows at the Bar Miramar.
But sprinklers are nourishing the salt-tolerant turf at La Ventana del Mar golf course, centerpiece of the 35,000-acre El Dorado Ranch development north of town. Homeowners from Arizona, California and Texas are busy installing solar panels and satellite dishes on new houses as they prepare for snowbird season.
Gringos with temporary Mexican resident status make up one-quarter of San Felipe's population of some 23,000 residents. Pat Butler, CEO of the San Felipe Development Company and owner of the ranch and golf course, is determined to increase that number. His sales team has sold more than 6,000 lots in the development, which now has about 1,400 homes in several intertwined neighborhood

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23. Felipe Calderon New President of Mexico
By Bruce D. Greenberg
January, 2006
Felipe Calderon is Mexico’s new President, as of December 1, 2006.  He is pro business and pro foreign investment! This policy is positive for foreigners who own and /or want to own real estate in Mexico.  President Calderon proposes to maintain and enhance the monetary/ fiscal/ economic programs conducted under the “reformist” President Fox that has been in place for the past six years.  Senor Calderon wants to create more jobs for the young and insert first year tax exemptions for the newly employed. 
Like President Fox, President Calderon understands that real estate is an economic engine and wants to boost the Mexican economy by constructing an extensive highway/ roadway/ infrastructure system to promote “drive in” tourism.  Tourism would be a major priority for this new administration.
Felipe Calderon is very much a communicator and proposes a vary active foreign policy.  He wants to have a stronger relationship with the United States.  President Calderon is a firm believer in NAFTA.  He believes a Strong NAFTA policy will promote Mexico’s economic development and aid to reduce immigration into the United States.  He is a proponent of “Free Trades for the Americans”’ and a critic of Venezuelan’s President Hugo Chavez.  Bottom line, he wants to partner up with the United States.
President Calderon, Like President Fox, will promote increased housing for all sectors of the Mexican population.  He promotes housing developments for foreigners in the resort regions and will assist Mexico’s commitment for stronger ties to Wall Street and this other lobal economic marketplaces.  President Calderon wisely kept in place President Fox’s secretary of Housing (Conafovi) Carlos Gutierrez and Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal (SHF) director Guillermo Babatz.  These 2 individuals drove the housing engine in Mexico for the first 6 years and should continue this trend during this administration.
On December the 4th through the 6th, in La Jolla, California, more than 400 U.S. investors, lenders, developers, and allied real estate professionals gathered with their Mexican counterparts at the Mexico Resort Development Conference to investigate, Plan and promote real estate opportunities in Mexico for this forth-coming year.  We at the conference were bullish and look forward to a prosperous year in Mexico.  This was the most informative “Mexico Real Estate” conference I have attended.  We wish President Calderon well!

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24. Doing Business in Mexico

blank November 5th 2001
Linda Neil
National Association Of Realtors

November 1993 marked the beginning of the big change. NAFTA became a reality
Three countries meeting the world as one. We know NAFTA works
Owning a property in Mexico, when done property is absolutely no different from owning a property in Chicago… in Kansas… In North Carolina…
It can be just as safe and secure… if it is done the right way!!!
Luis Echevierra, president of the republic of Mexico in 1972, realized that the U.S. and Canadian tourist and retirement dollars were too important to the economy of his country.
In 1972 Mr. Echevierra established the Ley De Fideicomiso. The trust law, which provided for naked title to be held by a Mexican bank. As trustee for the foreign purchaser who was then named beneficiary under the trust.
Under the trust agreement which can be compared with some of the trusts we are familiar with in the U.S and Canada.  The beneficiary has full control of his property.  He may build on it, tear it down, modify it, rent it, lease it, subdivide it, or sell it at any time and has all the right to the profits.  
And it is not a long term Lease.  It is an out right purchase, and have the rights to transmit to other.
The California Civil Code, Section 654, describes ownership as “The right of one or more persons to possess and use a thing to the exclusion of others.”
Perhaps it is most accurately described as equitable ownership as in
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25. South-of-the-border sales pitch
sanfranciscochronicle.com San Francisco Chronicle
February 8, 2004
Corrie M. Anders
Real estate reforms make Mexico a good place for second home, investment
Do you dream of owning a beachside pied-a-terre, or a retirement home in a picturesque community, or a nice investment property without having to pay tycoon prices?
Then consider Mexico.
That's the message a panel of bankers, developers and other Mexican real estate professionals delivered in Las Vegas in mid-January at the International Builders' Show.
Their presentation on investment and business opportunities in Mexico was one of the most popular educational seminars at the trade show, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders.
The discussion stretched an hour past its scheduled 90 minutes and continued in the hallways for an additional 30 minutes.
The session was geared toward large and midsize home builders. But the panelists emphasized that individual consumers also could take advantage of real estate reforms in Mexico.
"You have properties that are very well located, and it's cheap" compared with U. S. prices, said Gene Towle, president of Softec, a Mexico City real estate consulting company.
To be sure, foreign buyers should always exercise caution, but barriers that once made real estate transactions difficult are being pushed aside. For one, mortgage money is much more readily available. So is title insurance, which is offered through major title companies in larger cities.
"The pieces of the puzzle are starting to move together," said Manuel Campos, co-founder of the Hipotecaria Su Casita, a Mexico City mortgage banking firm. "It's easier. And the investment is much safer. There's less red tape."
Mexico's task is to keep up with the strong housing demand stemming from population growth, a swelling middle class, and young marrieds eager to leave the nest to start their own households. About 800,000 new households are created each year.
To meet the need, Mexico President Vicente Fox has set a goal of building 750,000 houses each year. But new foundations represent only half the annual number Fox wants -- thus the push to attract outside home builders and investors.
For Mexican residents and foreign buyers, the availability of mortgage money in recent years has played a significant role in their ability to purchase real estate. In the past, buyers needed cash to build or purchase property because there were few real estate lenders.
"There are lots of financing options" today, Campos said.
Buyers can obtain mortgage loans from government institutions, traditional banks or relatively new mortgage banking firms known as sofoles. The mortgage banks, established only a decade ago, along with traditional banks returning to mortgage lending, have captured about 15 percent of the residential market by making loans primarily to middle- and upper-class buyers.
Panelists said mortgage bankers can offer 25-year loans at a 15 percent interest rate with as little as 5 percent down.
"It's the first time since 1976 that we've had fixed-rate and fixed-term loans," Towle said.
And it's not just U.S. residents seeking more bang for their housing buck. A growing number of Mexican nationals in the United States are returning to their native land to retire or enjoy second homes.
"It makes much more sense to buy a house in Cancun for $60,000 than an apartment in Miami for $300,000," Campos said.
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