Archive for category Foreigners in Mexico

A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine Country – Valle De Guadalupe

A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine Country
As seen on Forbes Magazine, Amanda Arnold , Contributor

Just a two-hour drive south of San Diego across the Mexican border lies a peaceful Baja California valley brimming with ripened grapes, delicious wines and gourmet cuisine concocted from the freshest of fresh local ingredients. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors take a peek at Mexico’s lovely—and somewhat little known—Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), a wine country destination screaming for a late summer getaway of the great outdoors, delicious food and plenty of vino.

Interested in trying a sweet alternative to beer? Venture over to our blog to explore Washington’s cider scene.

A Taste Of Mexico's Wine Country

A Taste Of Mexico's Wine CountryThe Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe.

Where To Play
The Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe. Many of the valley’s wineries participate in the festivities by hosting special events: This year, there’s a wine pairing dinner at oft raved about restaurant Laja with special guest and prominent Mexican chef Daniel Ovadia on Aug. 7; a street party at the Plaza de las Artes in Ensenada on Aug. 8; and a wine pairing dinner at Viñas de Garza on Aug. 15—to name just a few of the happenings.

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Mexico Real Estate Testimonial – Why I choose to live in Northen Baja California

Why I choose to live in Northen Baja California
Written By: Tomas Dolcini

Since I was a child growing up in a predominately Spanish-speaking neighborhood, my dream had always been to buy a home and live in Mexico, preferably by the ocean. On May 6, 2011, that dream came true for me and I signed off the escrow paperwork for my beautiful Mexican-style villa in a Golf Resort called Bajamar located in Ensenada.

Mexico Real Estate Testimonial - Buying A Home And Living in Mexico

Mexico Real Estate Testimonial - Buying A Home And Living in Mexico

The entire experience was an adventure for me. Having purchased a home here in the United States, I was somewhat familiar with how a real estate purchase worked, but was unfamiliar with the Mexican laws. I had heard that Americans could not purchase property along the Baja Peninsula and could only lease for 99 years, so that concerned me. I wanted to reside in Mexico, but be close to the United States, so my family and friends could easily visit. I never thought in a million years I would be able to afford a home with an ocean view in Mexico, because homes with ocean views in the United States cost over one million dollars.

I decided to do some research and stumbled across a website titled www.owninginmexico.com. I was blessed to have found that website. This website had links with thorough explanations to all the various developments in Baja California, and lots of pictures to see what I was up against. I was flabbergasted at the inexpensive prices that were totally within my budget. I made a phone call to ask some questions and spoke with Kathy Katz. She was very enthusiastic and answered all of my questions in a friendly and professional manner. I enjoyed the conversation so much and hung up feeling so positive, that I booked a flight and headed out for Baja that same week to look for houses.

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Mexico’s big hope: get 5 million U.S. retirees

BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
aoppenheimer@MiamiHerald.com

Mexico's big hope: get 5 million U.S. retirees

Mexico's big hope: get 5 million U.S. retirees

MEXICO CITY — Mexico is silently working on proposals aimed at drawing millions of U.S. retirees to this country, which could eventually lead to the most ambitious U.S.-Mexican project since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Felipe Calderón is likely to propose the first steps toward expanding U.S. retirement benefits and medical tourism to Mexico when he goes to Washington on an official visit May 19, according to well-placed officials here. If not then, he will raise the issue later this year, they say.

“It’s one of the pillars of our plans to trigger economic and social well-being in both countries,” Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan told me. “We will be seeking to increasingly discuss this issue in coming months and years.”

Calderón brought it up during a U.S.-Canada-Mexico summit in Guadalajara in August last year, but President Barack Obama asked him to shelve the idea until he was able to pass healthcare reform, another official told me.

Now that Congress has passed healthcare reform, Calderón is preparing to charge ahead.

A GROWING MARKET
There are already an estimated 1 million Americans living in Mexico. And according to Mexican government estimates based on U.S. Census figures, that number is likely to soar to 5 million by 2025 as the U.S. population grows older and more Americans look for sunny, cheaper places to retire.

The U.S. Census projects that the number of U.S. retirees will soar from 40 million now to nearly 90 million by 2050. Already, 5 million American retirees live abroad, of whom 2.2 million are in the Western Hemisphere — mostly in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Another 1.5 million live in Europe and 850,000 in Asia.

The key to luring more U.S. medical tourists and retirees to Mexico and other Latin American countries will be getting hospitals in the region to be certified by the U.S. Joint International Commission, which establishes that they meet U.S. hospitals’ standards. There are already eight Mexican hospitals certified by the JIC and several others awaiting certification.

According to Mexican government estimates, healthcare costs in Mexico are about 70 percent lower than in the United States. And from my own experience, those estimates are right: As I reported at the time, when I was hospitalized in Mexico two years ago for an emergency operation, my hospital bill was indeed about 70 percent lower than what it would have been in Miami.

So what will Calderón specifically propose to Obama? Most likely, the Mexican president will suggest starting with a low-profile agreement that would allow the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration to pay for Medicare benefits to U.S. retirees in Mexico. Under current rules, Medicare only covers healthcare services in the United States.

IT JUST MAKES SENSE
My opinion: Mexico and much of Latin America are bound to become growing U.S. retirement and medical tourism destinations, much like Spain has become a permanent living place for Germans, Britons and Northern Europeans.

You won’t read much about it now because neither Calderón nor Obama will emphasize it publicly while the drug-related violence in northern Mexico is making big headlines, and while the political wounds from the recent U.S. healthcare debate are still open in Washington, D.C.

But I’m increasingly convinced that, as the violence in Mexico subsides and the healthcare debate becomes a distant memory in Washington, medical benefits’ deals will become a top U.S.-Latin American priority. Just as free-trade agreements were the big thing of the 1990s, healthcare agreements will be the big deal of the coming decade.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Calderón and Obama take the first baby steps toward a U.S.-Mexico healthcare agreement by finding a way to pay for Medicare benefits for U.S. expatriates in Mexico, or getting U.S. states to allow similar payments. Then, most likely after the 2012 presidential election in both countries, the two would start negotiating a more ambitious deal.

Demography, geography and economics are pointing in that direction. With the U.S. population getting older, a record U.S. budget deficit, rising U.S. healthcare costs, and Mexico and other Latin American countries badly needing more tourism and investments, this should be a win-win for everybody.

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Retire to Mexico — the price is right

By Les Christie, staff writerApril 28, 2010: 10:48 AM ET

Retire to Mexico -- the price is right

Retire to Mexico -- the price is right

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The years-long trend of Americans buying homes and expatriating to Mexico has collapsed, done in by a trifecta of the recession, swine flu and an epic crime wave.

Sales volume plunged nearly 70% last year for Coldwell Banker, according Phillip Hendrix, director of the firm’s Mexican operations. And at Costa Baja, a residential resort development a few miles north of La Paz, sales have slowed by about 40% in the past 12 months.

“Sales are off like crazy. The recession is really hurting and the headlines have been driving people away. The narco-wars especially have bit into the housing market in Mexico,” said Tom Kelly, a follower of Mexican real estate trends and author of Cashing In on a Second Home in Mexico.

But that’s good news for Americans who have always dreamed of retiring to Mexico but could never afford it: The bust has made homebuying a bargain. Prices can be less than half of what an equivalent home would run in the U.S.

Although the crime wave is confined to a fairly limited area, the perception of it has hurt markets all over the nation, said Alejandro Yberri, CEO of Costa Baja.

Information on prices of homes being sold to expatriate Americans is sketchy, but Kelly estimates overall declines of between 20% and 30% since the peak. In the high-crime communities close to the U.S. border, the drop has been even steeper, perhaps 40% or more. Read the rest of this entry »

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Culinary Tour of Baja, Mexico

Lured by spicy quail, tuna ceviche, and Mexico’s best fish tacos, T+L lights out for Ensenada—and from there, things just go south.
From May 2010 By Peter Jon Lindberg

Culinary Tour of Baja, Mexico

Culinary Tour of Baja, Mexico

Ensenada and the nearby Valle de Guadalupe, in northern Baja, are known outside Mexico for three things: the burgeoning local wine scene, which has been hyped ad infinitum; the food, which hasn’t been hyped enough; and the spectacularly bad roads, which everyone warns you about, though you never fully believe them. Really, you think, how bad could they be? And then one night in the gathering dark you take an innocent shortcut across the valley and drive your rented Hyundai into a riverbed. A dry riverbed, but a riverbed all the same. You and your equally baffled companion spend 40 minutes spinning the car’s wheels in what might as well be quicksand, then digging frantically, then panicking, then digging and spinning some more, until finally you resolve to abandon the car and hike the two miles back to the highway—suitcases sinking in gravel, sand filling your socks. And as the coyotes wail in the ink-black hills you decide that you probably should have paid more attention to that part about the roads.

“Ah, the Baja shortcut!” said our innkeeper, Phil Gregory, when, at the conclusion of said ordeal, he collected us and our dusty belongings from the side of Highway 3. “Never a good idea!” Severe rains the previous week, our host explained, had caused the river to flood, washing away a whole chunk of the road we were on. Those tire tracks I’d followed across the sandy riverbed—believing we were still on course—had been left by a backhoe, dispatched to repair the road. No one had bothered to post a sign, let alone erect a fence. “Honestly, this happens all the time,” Gregory said as we rattled down the inn’s rutted dirt driveway. He meant this to be reassuring. “But let’s get you settled, pour you some wine, and we’ll retrieve your car in the morning!”

Gregory’s tone was oddly chipper—maybe this did happen all the time? After showering off the dust, we sampled the inn’s own Tempranillo beside a crackling mesquite fire in the lounge. Not the smoothest specimen, but it worked: two glasses later I gave up worrying about the Hyundai. Read the rest of this entry »

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Health-care challenged Californians flocking to Mexico

The pharmacy business in Tijuana is still booming, despite crackdowns by the state to weed out illegitimate operators. - John Gibbins / Union-Tribune

The pharmacy business in Tijuana is still booming, despite crackdowns by the state to weed out illegitimate operators. - John Gibbins / Union-Tribune

By Keith Darcé, Union-Tribune Staff Writer

TIJUANA — About 1 million adult Californians seek health care in Mexico each year – and that figure is likely growing as the recession expands the ranks of the uninsured who are drawn to cheaper care south of the border, said the lead researcher of the first major report on the topic released Tuesday.

These people live from the Bay Area to San Diego County. Most come to Mexico for prescription drugs and dental care, and a smaller number go for surgeries. Beyond finances, other factors prompting individuals to head south include language and cultural barriers.

Living within 15 miles of the border also greatly increases the likelihood of someone obtaining health services in Mexico.

Angela Tapia, 45, of San Ysidro crosses the border several times each year to see her gynecologist. She also had back surgery in Tijuana a decade ago.

“It’s cheaper to go there,” said Tapia, who doesn’t have health insurance. “When you go to those doctors, they give you time, they ask a lot of questions and they care about you.”

Roughly half of the cross-border patients are Mexican immigrants, a statistic that might challenge the popular notion of Mexicans burdening California’s hospitals and clinics by receiving all of their health care on this side of the border, said UCLA public health professor Steven Wallace, lead author of the new report.

“What this helps document is that (some) immigrants are facing barriers to receiving care in the United States, and they are turning to Mexico for that care,” said Wallace, who also serves as associate director of UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research. “And it’s not just immigrants facing barriers here.”

Approximately half a million U.S. citizens living in California also seek health services in Mexico, Wallace and his UCLA colleagues found.

Altogether, about 4 percent of adult Californians traveled to Mexico for some type of medical care.

Wallace’s study was published Tuesday in Medical Care, a journal for the American Public Health Association.

He and his fellow researchers based their analysis on data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey, which questioned more than 55,000 random households across the state.

The wide-ranging survey, conducted once every two years, is funded by a coalition of agencies and groups including the state Department of Public Health, the National Cancer Institute and the California Endowment. Those done since 2001 have not asked about accessing health care south of the border.

Wallace’s group was the first to delve deeply into the statistics on medical treatment in Mexico. Previous research relied on anecdotal accounts or small localized populations.

The cross-border trend likely will intensify as the number of Mexican immigrants living in California increases and the recession costs more people their jobs and health insurance coverage, Wallace said.

Between 2001 and 2007, the population of Mexican immigrants in California grew by 756,000 to 4.6 million, according to the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C.

“The numbers that are bad in this study have only gotten worse,” said Margaret Laws, director of the California HealthCare Foundation’s Innovations for the Underserved program. “Under the current climate, they will continue to get worse.”

The UCLA researchers found that more than 13 percent of Mexican immigrants traveled to Mexico for care, with the largest number visiting dentists.

Such patients make up the diverse range of U.S. residents who visit the Bartell Dental Clinic on Avenida Revolucion in the heart of Tijuana’s tourist district, said Dr. William Bartell Jr.

“Probably 95 percent of my clientele are self-employed or their jobs don’t provide any dental insurance,” he said.

The clinic, which has a Web site that targets Americans, sees about 10 patients a day – nearly all from north of the border. That’s enough to keep three full-time and several part-time dentists busy, Bartell said.

Mexican immigrants who lived in California for less than 15 years were less likely to cross the border for care than those who had been in the country longer, the UCLA report said. Many shorter-term immigrants are undocumented, so they face risks every time they leave the United States and try to return.

Among all other Californians, the top health-related reason for going to Mexico was to purchase prescription drugs.

Much attention has been given to doctors performing cosmetic and weight-loss surgeries on Americans in Mexican cities such as Tijuana. But Wallace found that only 7 percent of the 464,000 non-Latino Californians who sought treatment across the border went there for medical procedures, including surgeries and treatments for serious illnesses like cancer.

Health insurers offering relatively low-cost coverage plans that allow Southern Californians to receive care on both sides of the border should be encouraged by the study’s findings, Wallace said.

In fact, several of the largest players in the cross-border insurance market have recorded steady growth in recent years.

Membership in Health Net’s U.S-Mexico plan has reached 40,000, up from 23,700 in late 2007, said Brad Kiefer, a spokesman for the health maintenance organization.

Sistemas Medicos Nacionales S.A., the only Mexican HMO licensed to operate in California, now has about 21,000 members in San Diego and Imperial counties, said Christina Suggett, the company’s chief operating officer.

Staff writer Sandra Dibble contributed to this report.

Keith Darcé: (619) 293-1020;

Browse for Rosarito Real Estate, Ensenada Real Estate, Baja Real Estate and Mexico Real Estate.

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Baby Boomers Buying In These Locations Now For Their Future

Boomers Buying Baja Lots

Boomers Buying Baja Lots

Since the early days in Baja, US Citizens have been buying residential Beach Front and Ocean View lots , building their dream Beach House, and for an increasing number, their retirement homes. Many of the older and more stable communities in Playas de Rosarito such as Las Gaviotas , Real Del Mar , San Antonio Del Mar and Mission Viejo and Punta Piedra all started out selling lots, most of which had very good building restrictions in place.

These Baja communities have established a reputation as a great place to live or buy a home. Over the last few years, with the increase in demand along the coast, many Americans had given up the idea of building and went with new condo construction. However, once again retirees are looking at their future and they are opting to cash in now for the perfect location and buying a lot while taking advantage of the current pricing advantage here in Baja.

In the 3 to 5 years as the real estate markets return to normal these lucky buyers will already have their future in place at today’s favorable prices. Currently to build a home in Baja would cost on average 45.00 to 70.00 per square foot for quality construction. Timing is typically between six and nine months from start to finish. Octavio Serrano of OCA a well known architect says that while the idea of building can be scary for many Americans, that the over all cost savings far out ways any head aches the client my have. And in the end they all say they would do it all over again. Permitting is much like the US where you first need to obtain an official topographic drawing, a building permit and then finally a completed work report. All of these can be handled by your architect.

Working with a good architect who is not only reputable, but also has Vision beyond what a clients needs are for today is KEY says Kathy Katz, owner of Baja Real Estate Group . Katz says that in many of these communities such as Las Gaviotas which started out offering lots Americans built there dream homes over the years, and when they came up for re-sale she always knew which ones would re sale the fastest strictly due to the architecture styling, she adds that you can change the color of the walls and tile, but the architecture stays with the home for ever. Just recently she has seen an increase in quality Baja lots coming on to the market, where in the past they were either not available, or cost prohibitive.

For example a 2200 sq ft lot in Real Del Mar a Golf Course Community that once sold for 75-80 thousand, is listed today for $43,000. An ocean front 7500 sq ft lot in Punta Piedra a gated community is now available for $450,000, where once prices for the same size lot were approaching 1 million.

Can you imagine having your own lap pool with the waves crashing at you front door says Katz. In this market buyers are not only looking at cost of living and a life style, but they are looking at the values in the market, making this a time to act.

See more Rosarito Real Estate, Ensenada Real Estate, Baja Real Estate and Mexico Real Estate.

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One Journalist’s View By Linda Ellerbee

Linda Ellerbee

Linda Ellerbee

Sometimes I’ve been called a maverick because I don’t always agree with my colleagues, but then, only dead fish swim with the stream all the time. The stream here is Mexico.

You would have to be living on another planet to avoid hearing how dangerous Mexico has become, and, yes, it’s true drug wars have escalated violence in Mexico , causing collateral damage, a phrase I hate. Collateral damage is a cheap way of saying that innocent people, some of them tourists, have been robbed, hurt or killed.

But that’s not the whole story. Neither is this. This is my story.

I’m a journalist who lives in New York City , but has spent considerable time in Mexico , specifically Puerto Vallarta , for the last four years. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York , possibly safer. I walk the streets of my Vallarta neighborhood alone day or night. And I don’t live in a gated community, or any other All-Gringo neighborhood. I live in Mexico . Among Mexicans. I go where I want (which does not happen to include bars where prostitution and drugs are the basic products), and take no more precautions than I would at home in New York; which is to say I don’t wave money around, I don’t act the Ugly American, I do keep my eyes open, I’m aware of my surroundings, and I try not to behave like a fool.

I’ve not always been successful at that last one. One evening a friend left the house I was renting in Vallarta at that time, and, unbeknownst to me, did not slam the automatically-locking door on her way out. Sure enough, less than an hour later a stranger did come into my house. A burglar? Robber? Kidnapper? Killer? Drug lord?

No, it was a local police officer, the “beat cop” for our neighborhood, who, on seeing my unlatched door, entered to make sure everything (including me) was okay. He insisted on walking with me around the house, opening closets, looking behind doors and, yes, even under beds, to be certain no one else had wandered in, and that nothing was missing. He was polite, smart and kind, but before he left, he lectured me on having not checked to see that my friend had locked the door behind her. In other words, he told me to use my common sense.

Do bad things happen here? Of course they do. Bad things happen everywhere, but the murder rate here is much lower than, say, New Orleans, and if there are bars on many of the ground floor windows of houses here, well, the same is true where I live, in Greenwich Village, which is considered a swell neighborhood — house prices start at about $4 million (including the bars on the ground floor windows).

There are good reasons thousands of people from the United States are moving to Mexico every month, and it’s not just the lower cost of living, a hefty tax break and less snow to shovel. Mexico is a beautiful country, a special place. The climate varies, but is plentifully mild, the culture is ancient and revered, the young are loved unconditionally, the old are respected, and I have yet to hear anyone mention Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, or Madonna’s attempt to adopt a second African child, even though, with such a late start, she cannot possibly begin to keep up with Anglelina Jolie.

And then there are the people. Generalization is risky, but— in general — Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. If you smile at them, they smile back. If you greet a passing stranger on the street, they greet you back. If you try to speak even a little Spanish, they tend to treat you as though you were fluent. Or at least not an idiot. I have had taxi drivers track me down after leaving my wallet or cell phone in their cab. I have had someone run out of a store to catch me because I have overpaid by twenty cents. I have been introduced to and come to love a people who celebrate a day dedicated to the dead as a recognition of the cycles of birth and death and birth — and the 15th birthday of a girl, an important rite in becoming a woman — with the same joy.

Too much of the noise you’re hearing about how dangerous it is to come to Mexico is just that — noise. But the media love noise, and too many journalists currently making it don’t live here. Some have never even been here. They just like to be photographed at night, standing near a spotlighted border crossing, pointing across the line to some imaginary country from hell. It looks good on TV.

Another thing. The U.S. media tend to lump all of Mexico into one big bad bowl. Talking about drug violence in Mexico without naming a state or city where this is taking place is rather like looking at the horror of Katrina and saying, “Damn. Did you know the U.S. is under water?” or reporting on the shootings at Columbine or the bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City by saying that kids all over the U.S. are shooting their classmates and all the grownups are blowing up buildings. The recent rise in violence in Mexico has mostly occurred in a few states, and especially along the border. It is real, but it does not describe an entire country.

It would be nice if we could put what’s going on in Mexico in perspective, geographically and emotionally. It would be nice if we could remember that, as has been noted more than once, these drug wars wouldn’t be going on if people in the United States didn’t want the drugs, or if other people in the United States weren’t selling Mexican drug lords the guns. Most of all, it would be nice if more people in the United States actually came to this part of America ( Mexico is also America , you will recall) to see for themselves what a fine place Mexico really is, and how good a vacation (or a life) here can be.

So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I think you’ll like it here. Especially the people. ***

http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Ellerbee


Considering the scenic landscape that Northern Baja California offers, you might want to have a look at real estate for sale in Rosarito especially in Palacio Del Mar, Calafia Condos, Las Gaviotas or Club Marena. Browse for Mexico Real Estate, Baja Real Estate, Ensenada Real Estate.

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Is it possible for Americans to work in Baja

Boomers Buying Baja Lots

Boomers Buying Baja Lots

Since the early days in Baja, US Citizens have been buying residential Beach Front and Ocean View lots , building their dream Beach House, and for an increasing number, their retirement homes. Many of the older and more stable communities in Playas de Rosarito such as Las Gaviotas , Real Del Mar , San Antonio Del Mar and Mission Viejo and Punta Piedra all started out selling lots, most of which had very good building restrictions in place.

These Baja communities have established a reputation as a great place to live or buy a home. Over the last few years, with the increase in demand along the coast, many Americans had given up the idea of building and went with new condo construction. However, once again retirees are looking at their future and they are opting to cash in now for the perfect location and buying a lot while taking advantage of the current pricing advantage here in Baja.

In the 3 to 5 years as the real estate markets return to normal these lucky buyers will already have their future in place at today’s favorable prices. Currently to build a home in Baja would cost on average 45.00 to 70.00 per square foot for quality construction. Timing is typically between six and nine months from start to finish. Octavio Serrano of OCA a well known architect says that while the idea of building can be scary for many Americans, that the over all cost savings far out ways any head aches the client my have. And in the end they all say they would do it all over again. Permitting is much like the US where you first need to obtain an official topographic drawing, a building permit and then finally a completed work report. All of these can be handled by your architect.

Working with a good architect who is not only reputable, but also has Vision beyond what a clients needs are for today is KEY says Kathy Katz, owner of Baja Real Estate Group . Katz says that in many of these communities such as Las Gaviotas which started out offering lots Americans built there dream homes over the years, and when they came up for re-sale she always knew which ones would re sale the fastest strictly due to the architecture styling, she adds that you can change the color of the walls and tile, but the architecture stays with the home for ever. Just recently she has seen an increase in quality lots coming on to the market, where in the past they were either not available, or cost prohibitive.

For example a 2200 sq ft lot in Real Del Mar a Golf Course Community that once sold for 75-80 thousand, is listed today for $43,000. An ocean front 7500 sq ft lot in Punta Piedra a gated community is now available for $450,000, where once prices for the same size lot were approaching 1 million.

Can you imagine having your own lap pool with the waves crashing at you front door says Katz. In this market buyers are not only looking at cost of living and a life style, but they are looking at the values in the market, making this a time to act.

Browse for Rosarito Real Estate, Baja Real Estate and Mexico Real Estate.

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