Puerto Vallarta real estate guide with homes, condominiums and villas for sale in Puerto Vallarta, Punta de Mita, Nuevo Vallarta and surrounding areas.
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The Mexican government is making the coastlines north and south of the Bay of Banderas a priority. Mexican President Vicente Fox recently inaugurated the Nayarit Tourist Corridor, a coastal infrastructure mega-project north of Puerto Vallarta. This plan is financed by state, federal and private interests. It is part of a plan proposed in the early '90s for appropriate sustainable development of the region.
The development of Puerto Vallarta, Punta de Mita and the Nayarit coast is a special phenomenon for Mexico", says Alexis Burwell, partner of La Punta Realty in Punta de Mita. "The other tourist areas of Mexico are the result of direct federal mandate, risk and investiture. The growth of our area has happened privately without much government nurturing. The low density developments preserve the environment and create balance that is essential for the high end coastal lifestyle that people dream about. It is truly amazing what is happening here. There are many active developments to choose from along the North coast and the properties are selling well."
The most exclusive luxury investments are taking place in the areas around Punta de Mita. The real estate has a restricted occupancy rate. It can be as little as nine bedrooms per 2.5 acres. This will keep the number of landowners down and encourage development of high-end living. La Punta Realty, for example, offers private home site lots and luxury villas on land valued as much as $2 million USD per acre. Construction is in full swing, as Punta de Mita ended 2005 with record closed sale figures of just under $160 million USD, 60% more 2004 sales (by comparison, total Puerto Vallarta Multiple Listing Service sales
for the same 2005 period came to $70 million.)
Premiere hotel branded developments include the world renowned Four Seasons Resort, the St. Regis Resort, the Rosewood Resort and a Deepak Chopra spiritual retreat. All have their own residential villas and condo projects.
The Bay of Banderas is earning its reputation as a premier golfers' destination. The area has seven spectacular golf courses, designed by some of the world's top architects, including Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Weiskopf. Planned are 5 more golf courses around Punta de Mita alone.
The Bay of Banderas serves as the foreground for lush, tropical jungle, while the rugged Sierra Madre mountain range provides the backdrop. This is the vista that planners want to preserve. Luxury home buyers are gravitating toward ecologically sound and conservation-friendly communities, only a short distance away from the sophisticated dining, galleries, shopping, and night life of Puerto Vallarta.
Buyer Beware: Be advised that there are no laws which regulate the sale or management of real estate in Mexico and abuses do exist. It is always prudent to ask for local references and obtain competitive bids for all services when possible.
The Mexican Constitution prohibits direct ownership by foreigners of real estate within 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) of any border, and within 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) of any coastline. In order to permit foreign investment in these areas, the Mexican government has created a trust mechanism (contrato de fideicomiso) in which a bank has title to the property, but a trust beneficiary enjoys the benefits of ownership. The Bank Trust Agreement (contrato de fideicomiso) allows for renewable long term leases that may be sold or enjoyed by your heirs.
A foreigner may be the sole and exclusive stockholder of a Mexican corporation which may hold fee simple title to non-residential property in the prohibited zone. There is a broad definition for "non-residential" property.
Buyer Beware: Mexico real estate prices that seem too good to be true are usually too good to be true! Many of these "bargains" are located on what is commonly referred to as "Ejido" or communal tracts of land. It is highly recommended that you consult with a Mexico attorney regarding Ejido land rights. Any agreement between the "Ejido" and a foreigner may be revoked or cancelled without cause, notice or recourse!!
Caution: Mexican law recognizes squatters' rights, and homeowners can spend thousands of dollars in legal fees and years of frustration in trying to remove squatters who occupy or rent their property. Always inspect the property and be certain that your property is not occupied by a Mexican citizen in any manner whatsoever. Anyone who occupies the property on behalf of the owner should be totally removed/gone from the property prior to closing. Warning: A Mexico citizen may simply refuse to pay rent and continue to occupy your rental property for a long, long time - maybe years.
American property owners in Mexico should exercise caution when hiring employees to serve in their homes or on vessels moored in Mexico. Several American property owners have faced lengthy lawsuits for failure to comply with Mexican labor laws regarding severance pay and social security benefits.
Caution: Exercise extreme caution when considering time-share investments and be aware of very aggressive tactics used by some time-share sales representatives. Buyers should be fully informed and take sufficient time to consider their decisions before signing time-share contracts, ideally after consulting an independent attorney. Mexican law allows time-share purchasers five days to cancel the contract for unconditional and full reimbursement. U.S. citizens should never sign a contract that includes clauses penalizing the buyer who cancels within five days.
A formal complaint against any merchant should be filed with PROFECO, Mexico's federal consumer protection agency. PROFECO has the power to mediate disputes, investigate consumer complaints, order hearings, levy fines and sanctions for not appearing at hearings, and do price-check inspections of merchants. All complaints by Americans are handled by PROFECO's English-speaking office in Mexico City at 011-52-55-5211-1723. You might also complain about the lack of an English translation for the PROFECO web site.