Living South of the Border
by Mitch Creekmore, CIPS

Throughout history, great personal wealth has been attained through real estate ownership, but for most of us, it has been limited to investment in a primary residence. While Mexico 2nd home real estate can be a viable investment venue, Americans have had a great deal more trepidation considering properties “south of the border” for many reasons in recent years. The residential market in Mexico has been slow to recover since the “go-go” days of 2000 through 2007. With the collapse of the U.S. banking, mortgage and financial markets in 2008, Americans were simply not in a position to make Mexico 2nd home purchases. Couple that with the fact ownership rights for foreign buyers vary with the location of the realty and the conveyance process not in any way like that of U.S. transactions, Americans figured they had better purchasing opportunities in American real estate…, and in a recovering U.S. residential market. However, Mexico provides an alternative, attractive arena for potential investment and home acquisitions. Real estate in Mexico can have a similar appreciation “upside” as real estate in the United States – coupled with the advantage of use and enjoyment of the property as a vacation residence. The caveat though is that interested buyers must be savvy and educated because acquiring real estate in Mexico, a civil code jurisdiction country that utilizes Mexican public notaries in the establishment of real property rights, is not like buying property in the United States.

Mexico has incredibly beautiful and diverse developments in many different locales. One needs to ask, “what do I prefer, beach destinations or the interior of Mexico with its historically colonial ambiance”. From Cancun and the Riviera Maya to Puerto Vallarta, the Riviera Nayarit and the Los Cabos markets to name a few, the diversity of property types, resort amenities, hotels and golf courses with residential properties for acquisition is simply staggering. Real estate prices for lots, condominiums, townhomes and single family detached residences vary from $250,000 to $10,000,000. It just depends on the development, its location, property type and amenities. In the interior of Mexico, there are many desirable options for home purchases. From Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara to Cuernavaca, Ajijic, Lake Chapala, Delores Hidalgo and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s colonial landscape, history, mountains, mind weather and development types serve to attract many American and Canadian buyers. In particular, San Miguel has been a major destination for many expat retirees and 2cd home buyers. It is estimated that more than 10,000 American and Canadians are residing in this historic and richly Catholic municipality with a population of approximately 120,000. San Miguel is landlocked almost in the dead center of the nation at an altitude of about 6,000 feet. This provides a nice respite to the searing Houston summers. It is centuries old with European style cobblestone streets and nestled in a valley with hills on all sides with an average year round temperature of 75 degrees. All one has to see and visit is the El Jardin and the Parroquia, a spired, fancifully-gothic confection of a church located in the center of town and it is easy to understand why San Miguel de Allende is so popular with Mexican nationals and foreign visitors.

A new, stunningly beautiful project is under construction just outside of San Miguel. Located 5 miles from city center on the highway to Celaya and Queretaro, Vinedo San Miguel is an innovative and exceedingly unique fractional residential development surrounded by 150 acres of vineyards. Vinedo San Miguel is first and foremost an enterprising vineyard boasting 12 species of grapes for harvest and wine production under 3 labels for consumption and sale. Within the expansive stoned walls lining the “carretera” (highway) and the privately gated arches entrance to VSM are 22 residences and 7 villas being constructed that will offer deeded and recorded fractional interests for sale to foreign purchasers and Mexican nationals. Buyers will be able to acquire a 1/10th fractional interest, or a ¼ or ½ interest based on a 12 month period on any one of the 7,000 square foot elegantly appointed units including 4 bedrooms, a pool, decks overlooking the vineyards, large kitchen and living room complete with a wine room. The furniture and decorations included in each residence add to the allure of the residences. Each fraction conveyed will be consummated by a Mexican notario publico (public notary) that provides for a 50 year renewable beneficiary interest via a Mexican bank trust known as a fideicomiso. Each bank trust will be recorded in the public registry of property in San Miguel and will include a title insurance policy issued by Stewart Title Guaranty de Mexico, an owned subsidiary of Stewart Title Guaranty Co. in Houston. Financing will also be available as provided by the development group.

Vinedo San Miguel has exceptional amenities and is astonishingly beautiful in all phases of the development. In addition to the vineyards and grape production facilities, VSM will have a boutique hotel for guests and family, a wellness center, a large lake and gardens with a clubhouse and pool, horse stables, a riding arena with tennis and paddle courts as well. There is no development anywhere in the Republic of Mexico that exists or is like Vinedo San Miguel. And most importantly, it is affordable, well located and completely secure in the ownership interests that will be conveyed and title insured for all purchasers.

Mitch Creekmore
713.724.3381 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.