David Valenzuela, Attorney at Law (bajaattorneys.com)
Ensenada real estate and Rosarito real estate, in the 1960´s and 70´s, was the fastest growing real estate market for Southern California, buyers wanting a baja vacation home or retirement property in Northern Baja.
Beginning in the 1980's, Rosarito real estate brokers began listening to foreign buyer needs and developing projects that upscale U.S. buyers wanted. North Americans and Canadians requested gated communities with infrastructure guaranteed or already completed. In addition, Baja homeowner associations were also requested to insure: garbage collection, common area maintenance, architectural review and security from burglaries.
In the last five to ten years, San Felipe Real estate and Rosarito real estate have successfully exploited the overpriced real estate market in Southern California . Equity in So. Cal. Homes, purchased in the last five or more years, has resulted in many baja homeowners having enough equity to refinance the price of a Baja “second home”. At San Felipe's El Dorado Ranch, the developer estimates that 46% of their sales are the result of refinancing primary residences in the states.
Also, in the last five years, baby boomers enjoyed an additional five billion dollars of discretionary income. These economic growths, coupled with U.S. real estate appreciation, has resulted in a whopping 21% of foreign owners purchasing their ¨retire in Mexico¨ or retire Baja homes via refinancing of stateside properties.
Ensenada real estate and its realtors has been lagged way behind Rosarito realtors and San Felipe realtors in the development of gated communities. At last count we have only three such communities. However, a new day has dawned real estate in Ensenada: A new mayor (Cesar Mancillas), whose 3 year term started this year, a new planning department in Ensenada and developers on all Baja now anxious to satisfy the foreign home buyer. Mayor, Cesar Mancillas announced a goal of completing 10,000 Ensenada retirement housing units this year with features to satisfy the U.S. consumer.
A factor propelling the Ensenada real estate boom is that beach or ocean view properties offered by Rosarito realtors (on average) now exceed $350,000.00. Comparable home prices offered by Ensenada realtors are thirty to fifty percent less. Consequently, the major real estate franchises in Rosarito, Coldwell Banker, Realty Executives, Remax and Prudential real estate are now opening or planning to open offices this year in Ensenada.
On a recent bus tour, sponsored by Coldwell-Banker, two busloads of So. Cal buyers (112 prospects), interested in Rosarito real estate, were transported across the border to review some of the finest Baja real estate developments. The agents were surprised to discover that one half of the “buyers” stated they were interested in seeing Ensenada real estate properties. According to Kerry Sims, manager of Coldwell-Banker Rosarito: “This is a recent phenomenon, buyers in the past said they wanted to go no further than Bajamar (a gated community 20 minutes North of Ensenada)”.
Financing real estate for foreigners in Mexico and Mexicanos alike has improved greatly. In the past, Mexican real estate buyers were forced to pay cash or expensive seller financing. Since most of the major Mexican banks have been bought by foreigners, credit has loosened considerably. Citicorp, for example, bought the largest Mexican financial institution-BANAMEX. Bancomer bought a finance company in the U.S. (Bancomer is Mexico 's second largest bank and popular among U.S. retirees in Mexico .
A Mexican real estate mortgage rate, from Mexican banks in pesos, has dropped to 12% per annum. Given the historical erosion of the peso, in relation to the dollar, many developers claim that (over time) that will be the equivalent of a 5% loan if it were set in dollars.
Title Insurance in Mexico- U.S. title insurance companies-First American, Stewart and Fidelity are now providing affordable Mexican title insurance on Mexican properties. Their new confidence in Mexican real estate and especially Baja real estate was spawned by changes in Mexico 's foreign investment law; allowing coastal property bank trusts in perpetuity for foreigners.
Title insurance in Mexico has provided the security to motivate foreign financing in the Baja real estate market using Mexican property as collateral. Retire in Mexico and or retirement in Baja is reaching a new level of acceptance. Financing for two Ensenada retirement home subdivisions were recently approved by Home Capital Funding of San Diego. Also accepting loan applications, for Ensenada retirement communities, are Wall Street Associates and Lender's Depot.
The Ensenada retirement and vacation home property boom will surely accelerate given the economic forces spurring Mexican Real Estate sales and the internet allowing virtual offices to exist from anywhere. What are you waiting for? Baja beach homes are affordable now and be yours before you retire in Mexico . Our advice - don't wait much longer. If Rosarito real estate is any precedent, Ensenada real estate prices will probably double in the next three to five years.
If you're interested in Baja real estate or retirement in Mexico calls us for a referral to a trusted realtor. Also, read our website to learn how to make your Baja retirement and Mexican Real estate investment as safe, secure and tranquil as possible.
Baja real estate markets where we can refer you to competent real estate professionals are: Rosarito, Ensenada,Mulege, La Paz , San Juanico-Scorpion Bay, Todos Santos, San Quintin, San Felipe and Punta Chivato.
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