If you’ve recently experienced the low stress and beautiful scenery of Mexico during your annual vacation, you will naturally begin to fantasize about buying a second home or retirement home south of the border. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to “get away from it all” in a place where prices are lower, people are friendlier, and everything seems to slow down to a more human pace?
However, before you call a real estate agent in Cancun or Baja, there are 4 questions you should ask yourself. The answers will help you know if a casa in that quaint little village you remember will really be the answer to your dreams.
1. What type of activities do you really enjoy? On a one-time vacation, everything about a new and foreign destination is exciting. You enjoy the weather, the sights, the unfamiliar food and the friendly people. However, imagine if you lived in that same location for a month every year, or even if you lived there year round. Will there be enough activities to keep you busy? Would you still enjoy the weather if you experienced it day after day, year after year?
For instance, if you vacationed in Cabo san Lucas, you may have chosen that location for the fishing and the dreamy, quiet nights on the beach. Would those activities keep you entertained and happy if you actually lived there? Or would you prefer the lower temperatures and cosmopolitan night life of Guadalajara?
2. Does everyone in the family enjoy the same activities? The people in most families have very different personalities and needs. If one of you could spend hours every day on a sailboat in the Sea of Cortez, someone else in your family might prefer taking art classes in San Miguel de Allende, many miles from the sea. Take a careful inventory of everyone’s wishes, and then do some research to find a spot that gives all of you an opportunity to do something you enjoy. Once you pick a spot, spend time there before committing to a real estate purchase.
3. If you buy a home in Mexico, how much time will you really get to spend there? If you can only spend a few weeks a year on your vacations, you may still want to consider buying real estate to use occasionally now, and to live in when you retire. However, if you won’t be there to look after your property, you’ll need to find someone to house sit to keep it from becoming a likely target for thieves or vandals.
Another alternative is to rent out the home to help pay for it, but being a landlord is a difficult proposition even if the rental property is right next door – for a property in another country, you’re likely to need the services of a reputable real estate management company in the local community. While this could be a practical solution for your eventual retirement, there are many legal and emotional pitfalls, so take your time to think it through before making a decision.
4. How long will you be keeping your Mexican home? Do you think you’ll be keeping it for many years and handing it down through the generations, or are you considering the home as an investment?
If you would like to keep the home for a long time, and share it among many family members, you might want to do some research and find out if the Mexican government has designated the area you love for major tourism activities in the future. You might not want to share your little piece of paradise with the hordes who find the area next year.
On the other hand, if you are considering an investment, you will want to buy in an area where it will be possible to sell at a later date. There are no guarantees with real estate, no matter what country the home is located in. However, it’s always easier to sell in an area that has been “discovered” than in a quiet backwater place that remains a beautiful well-kept secret.
Remember that real estate markets change in ways that you can’t always anticipate. Destinations that are “in” this week may be abandoned by the trend-setters next week, and this will have a big effect on your ability to sell.
Discovering the perfect place for your Mexican home may take several years, or even longer. However, the research you do now will help to assure you that you choose just the right location, with great weather and plenty of activities to keep you and your family happy for many years to come.
Visit http://www.find-real-estate-in-mexico.com where you'll find a listing of local agents who can help you find real estate in Costa Maya , Baha, San Miguel, and other wonderful Mexican retirement spots.