SAN FELIPE IS THE PLACE
As you may know, the investment potential in Baja is enormous especially in San Felipe whi
the tranquil, quiet and warm Sea of Cortez just under two hours drive from the US border, Sa
proximity to the Unites States provides the ideal destination for many Americans and espec
baby boomers that will be retiring with a desire to live a comfortable and affordable life.
Lately there have been very favorable articles in numerous publication including the Wall St
New York Times (Sunday Paper Frontpage) which speaks of the great investment potential i
In addition publications like the AARP magazine (the largest circulation magazine in the USA
as a very attractive place to live and retire as the cost of living well in Mexico with above ave
about $500 a month.
If you missed the real estate buying opportunity in Cabo San Lucas about 12 years ago and
San Felipe is the next Cabo do not miss the boat this time.
Why pay the outrageous Los Cabos prices for properties when you can buy in San Felipe at
cost. San Felipe offers investors, snowbirds and retirees the same warm climate, beautiful S
beaches, but with the added advantage of border proximity.
The inevitable has happened. As of a couple of years ago the demand has rapidly increased
values have been going up in San Felipe, Century 21, and Re/max have opened offices in Sa
full of prospective buyers. In addition big developers and investors have been buying large
Why has San Felipe finally awakened to robust investment? In speaking with local business
and foreign residents the following reasons are given:
1) 77 million Baby boomers are now at retirement age. Southern California/Nevada/Ar
like the 700,000 U.S., citizens already living in Mexico, desiring a less expensive and more tr
2) San Felipe now has a state of the art hospital. The hospital advantage helps realtor
San Felipe's ability to meet their health care needs in a facility that surpasses even some of
3) An 18 hole championship golf course was opened in October 2004.
4) Remax and Century 21 are in San Felipe because they see the future and it is bright
5) Puerto Penasco, in the neighboring state of Sonora , is the closest beach communit
Tucson . Arizona buyers are willing to travel the extra one and half hour to San Felipe to tak
estate prices that are one half of those charged in Puerto Penasco. Last year Penasco prices
of San Felipe.
San Felipe currently has less than 500 hotel rooms. Playa del Paraiso will offer tourists th
luxury Hotel Resort.
Geologically, San Felipe is spectacular. Beautiful beaches, desert floor and a 10,000 foot hig
surround the town. San Felipe is located in one of the two sunniest places on the planet (the
is the other).
It is often possible to sit on your deck and enjoy a view of snow-capped mountains while yo
80 degree temperatures.
The nautical ladder (sp. EscaleraNautica), is a joint project between the three states, adjoini
Cortez , and the Federal Tourism development office, FONATUR. This project includes a stri
around Baja that will allow mariners to arrive in one day from one marina to the next. This w
around the Peninsula more accessible and safer for yachts. A coast to coast Baja road has
middle of the Peninsula. It allows for easy transport of vessels from the Pacific to the Sea of
eliminating the long trip around the tip of Baja
This will bring about 70,000 yachts a year to Baja.
1. Many U.S. citizens are expressing a desire to leave the stresses of the United States.
for a more tranquil lifestyle: free of traffic and high crime rates. San Felipe is very muc
protected fishing village with population of 28,000 of which 10,000 are Americans and
definitely pueblo living.
2. Because of the internet and digital, satellite technology, folks can work from home an
remote beaches North and South of San Felipe. The fiber optic phone system in San F
speed data transmission
San Felipe is a great getaway, in which the air and water temperatures are about 15-20 degre
brisk Pacific coastline.
THE SOPHISTICATION OF M
MEXICAN BORDER TOWNS ARE SIMILAR TO U.S. BORDER In the last few years American
TOWNS like Citbank and Bank of Ame
international banks like HSBC
Close to the border, Baja California has adopted much of been buying the large Mexican
Southern California's culture. A frontier culture that mixes: Comanies like GE Capital, Zel
language, styles of dress, music and a perspective that is Black Creek Capital which dev
influenced by both Mexican and U.S. values. Although Walmart, Costco and Home D
influenced by cross border experiences, "Fronteriza" is a heavily in the Mexican Real Es
distinct culture, neither Mexican nor American. This investors like Warren Buffet ar
synergy of influences is producing new and unique music, in Mexican Real Estate.
theatre, literature and art.
Telmex has pored a substantial
Baja California is culturally easy for U.S. folks, especially capital reserves into improving
Southern Californians whose parents brought them here as
children to fish, surf or just enjoy the "kick back" Baja, infrastructure.
beach oriented lifestyle. Baja California is one of the last
places on earth where Abalone still survive off her Pacific Telmex equipment capabilities
Coast. The Sea of Cortez is the only inland sea that is improving, most impressively o
surrounded by the territory of a single nation Jacques Within the last 2 to 3 years we
Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the world's aquarium. It is truly modern telephone service
home to a multitude of endangered sea life including the reasonably quick installation o
protected 300 pound Totuaba, considered by game of years), and a multitude of se
fisherman to be the most precious and exciting of catches. holding, voice mail and the fast
Baja's beauty is made up of mostly pristine: desert,
mountains and beaches. Less than a year before long di
entered the market, Telmex dr
Nothing is less notable than the
LET’S EAT!! EL CHEAPO MEXICO success and sophistication of th
entertainment industry which
media and talent colossus. The
You can buy a kilo (2+lbs.) of fresh shrimp for $16.00 produced media products has b
dlls. You can eat lunch in a family restaurant, serving by a thousand fold growth of S
comida corrida (meal of the day), for thirty five pesos or Television in the United States
$3.50 dlls. Tortillerias sell freshly made tortillas for 80 This 30 million plus, Spanish sp
cents a kilo. Fresh rolls (birotes), that rival those made to hear news and entertainmen
in Paris or San Francisco, cost 25 cents each and can be
found in bakeries all over Mexico. Mexican dessert Televisa, the one time TV mono
pastries, that will satisfy any gourmet family's sweet competition for viewers. Mexic
example always popular in oth
tooth about $2.00 a bag. Along with savings on your food enjoying their highest demand
bill you would have the added advantage of buying
affordable abalone, lobster, mussels and clams fresh The sophistication of the music
from local fishermen. In addition, door to door vendors particularly reflected in the rec
offer wonderful selections of home made cheeses, deserts Espanol. Rhythm and Blues, C
and olives. Mexican folk music, hip hop, a
found in the Rock en Espanol.
is no longer the corny plastic im
and blue eyed soul it was a dec
musicianship and creativity of
attracted international record
size and interest for this produ
LIFE IN MEXICO
Domestic help who: cooks, cleans, washes and irons clothes is paid sixty five dollars a wee
and greatly enhances the enjoyment of additional free time.
You live in Mexico because the quality of life is better. However, a major contribution to tha
that you can afford a little decadence and are able to avoid household chores Viva Mexico a
Housing and medical costs in Mexico, are a third of those in the United States. Recently, this
advantage translates into quality of life benefits.
If you were living in the U. S., on Social Security benefits alone, you would be eating dog foo
American. Here in Mexico, you have a darn decent life style on $700.00 a month.
A 2,000 square foot house with a great view of the city and bay, would cost approximately $
property taxes. The same home in the States would cost thousands of dollars a year. Prope
seniors in the U. S. to be uprooted from a home they have enjoyed for decades before retire
A burgeoning market of U. S. citizens, traveling to Mexico for quality medical care at a savin
of what they would pay in the U. S.
Medical and dental specialists in Baja Norte, on average, estimate that U. S. patients represe
A substantial medical insurance savings. Medical Insurance premiums in Mexico for a full c
deductible and a choice of providers is about 1/3 the cost of an HMO, without the choice ad
Your quality of life owes a lot to economics in addition you would enjoy the Mexican culture
A large tourism sector for Baja California are the thousands of U.S. citizens who travel here
advantage of elective surgeries and or medical treatments at savings of up to 75%. U.S. and
who live in Baja California, quickly learn that they can receive better medical and dental care
practitioners here compared to what they received when living in the States. House calls, tw
emergency care and a doctor who spends time explaining treatment options often shocks fo
accustomed to indifferent and "too busy to talk" practitioners at home.
Another benefit of being treated in Mexico is that some very effective medical modalities exi
approved for use in the United States.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.
Big Investors Call: Buy Mexico
U.S. Investors Go South, Seek Safe Place for Cash in Real Estate
By Joel Millman
War Anxieties abroad, sluggish returns at home and Mexico’s recent recognition as inves
three major U.S. credit-rating agencies are behind the surge of U.S. institutional cash seek
Mexican real estate. According to industry analysts in both countries, more than $1 billion
Mexico from U.S. institutional investors over the past eight months, and a lot more is on th
The Torre Mayor, a $250 million office tower built by Canada’s Reichman clan, is about to
the Polanco-Palmas district. Latin America’s tallest office building at 55 stories, about a fo
square feet has already been leased to Deloitte & Touche LLC. Other top players include t
Capital and top real-estate investment trust like San Francisco’s AMB Property Corp. and
have quietly built portfolios totaling billions in loads and equity holdings. GE Mexico, with
market, is now the biggest player in local real estate. "We’re still in the early innings in M
Garrabrant of Chicago-based Equity International Properties, part of the Sam Zell family
operators. The privately held Equity International Properties unit various Mexican ventu
investing $75 million with Spain’s NH Hoteles in a chain of business-oriented hotels, acqui
stake in DesarrolladoraHomex, a builder of low-cost housing, and putting another $100 mi
venture called Corporate Properties of the Americas with Denver-based Black Creek Cap
This week, Corporate Properties of the Americans closed a sale of a $300 million equity po
Washington State Investment Board, the first U.S..public employees fund to invest directly
With concern that a U.S. real-estate bubble may be moving toward its bursting point, inve
border may seem unnecessarily risky to some. Yet developers like Black Creek Capital’s J
Mexico as a hedge against U.S. volatility. The commercial and industrial real-estate marke
underdeveloped in Mexico, Mr. Mulvihill says, "you can still buy quality. In the U.S., all th
The kinds of deals his company is structuring are tailor made for U.S. institutional investo
explains, because they’re dollar-denominated and, in the case of industrial parks, guarant
tenant. Even during the recent slowdown, with many electronics manufacturers-decampin
in Asia, rents are paid in full. "Companies take a write-down," Mr. Mulvhill says, but his r
Something for Title Insurers
Another attraction: U.S. title insurers can now operate in Mexico, and tenants feel confide
construction contracts signed south of the border are enforceable under Mexican civil law.
China, where private land ownership is still a controversial concept in some circles, investi
Mexican manufacturing sector offers a return adequately balanced with risk. U.S. instituti
premiums of as much as 5% over similar real-estate investments at home, developers say.
In addition to its industrial real-estate partnership with the Zell group, Black Creek Capit
Mexico operation, Mexico Retail Partners that develops sites for American "big box" retai
Stores Inc., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Home Depot Inc. Black Creek expects to open as
Depot stores a year in Mexico, as the Atlanta based retailer increases its presence south of
each new project representing a $50 million transaction, Black Creek will complete upwar
contracts in each of the next three years, the company’s chairman says, and will seek addit
U.S. institutions this year.
Hines, and international real-estate firm, is also raising capital to increase its activity in M
funds launched by the Houston firm in the mid-1990s dedicated to emerging markets now
their assets in Mexico, or about $200 million, raised mainly from insurance companies and
pools. A third fund, with assets of around $400 million, is being contemplated for later this
Last week Hines chased out on investments the company mad in 1997, selling the Torrede
on Mexico City’s Paseo de la Reforma and two industrial parks in Queretaro and Guadala
total of $110 million, represented the largest commercial real-estate transaction ever comp
proceeds will likely be rolled into Hines’s new fund. Luis Gutierrez, G. Accionâ’s chief exe
the decision last year by Standard & Poor’s to grant an investment grade rating on Mexico
two years after both Fitch and Moody’s Investors Service issued similar upgrades, freed a
increase their exposure to Mexico. "of course, the situation in the U.S., with its soft market
liquidity, helps us, too," says Mr. Gutierrez.
The best indicator of real estate’s may be the behavior of high-worth Mexicans, who usual
offshore. Local capital is moving back into the market, says Sandor Valner of merchant ba
Consultores. His group launched two funds, totaling $100 million, last year to invest in new
and hotel sale-leasebacks, tapping Mexico City’s country-club set for investors.
More Retirees Migrating South
ROSARITO, Mexico, May 19, 2004
(CBS) Who hasn't dreamed of retiring by the sea?
Retired Hollywood makeup artist Dan Greenway made his dream come true, not in California or Flori
Pacific Coast of Baja.
"California has traffic and smog, and it was so quiet down here," says Greenway. "I sleep like a baby."
While some Americans complain of a flood of Mexicans crossing the border, a growing stream of Amer
mostly retirees, like Eileen Magliere and Jere Vanek, who found Las Vegas too crowed and expensive.
"A lot of Americans are moving down here," says Vanek. "It's an explosion of them."
What's the big deal? A beachfront lot 30 miles up the coast in southern California would cost you sever
the border, a spot on the beach can cost you less that $100,000.
The reverse migration is igniting a real estate boom. "For sale" signs and construction are everywhere
mushrooming. The town of Rosarito, south of Tijuana, is one-fourth American. Seventy percent of the
"People who lives and buys lots of house in Rosarito, they pay their taxes, so that's good for our econom
president of the Rosarito Tourism Bureau.
When Mexico recently firmed up laws for foreigners to own land through bank trusts, the floodgates o
agent Diane Gibbs is riding the wave.
Gibbs says it's like a suburb of San Diego. "just not San Diego prices, but the same weather, the same o
"This isn't like Mexico, Mexico. It's been gringo-ized."
Just ask the gang at the New York Deli.
"Now it's a lot nicer, because we have more Americans, there are nicer places like this opening up," sa
"And they probably wouldn't have come if we weren't having this growth," says another woman.
The deli gang agrees that up the coast in southern California, they would not be able to afford their ho
Vaneks say the real estate tax on his mansion-like property is less than $50 a year.
Asked if she misses anything, Magliere says, "I have to cross the border to go to Neiman Marcus."
For baby boomer Leslie Harris, Baja was "sort of a no brainer."
She's not yet retired, but she couldn't even dream of it San Diego.
"But I had enough money to buy down here," she says. "On a cliff overlooking the ocean. It's the Ame
And more American retirees are waking up to the possibility.
© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved
American Stake Claims In Baja Land Rush
New York Times Sunday Addition
By Tim Weiner
Mexico — Slowly but surely, acre by acre, Mexico's Baja Peninsula is becoming an American colony.
"For Sale" signs are sprouting all over the 800-mile-long peninsula, offering thousands of beachfront p
snapping them up. They have already created communities where the dollar is the local currency, Engl
Americans the new immigrants transforming an old culture.
"Everything's for sale, every lot you can imagine," said Alfonso Gavito, director of a cultural institute
Baja California Sur, a state with 400,000 citizens and some of the last undeveloped beaches in North A
of changes have happened in three months."
This new land rush, involving billions of dollars, tens of thousands of Americans, and hundreds of mile
speed despite the fact that Mexico's Constitution bars foreigners from directly owning land by the sea.
Mexico's government wants foreign capital as much as Americans want a house on the beach — maybe
around the Constitution. In 1997, it changed the law to allow foreign ownership through locally admin
Mexican bank acts as trustee, the foreigner its beneficiary.
It took about four years before that new system worked smoothly. But now, most often, it does. One re
migration, speculation and permanent vacation. "It's human greed — it's human nature," said David H
hotel outside Cabo San Lucas, on Baja's southern tip, where uncontrolled growth already strains the so
of money coming in here through overzealous developers and buyers is staggering."
Baja is closer by land and air to the United States than it is to the rest of Mexico; state officials recorde
trips by Americans who spent well over $1 billion last year. They say they have no idea how many Ame
today, because a certain number are illegal immigrants who never register their presence. Anecdotal a
suggests that the number is more than 100,000, probably far more, and growing fast since the Sept. 11
the economy in the United States two years ago.
"Since 2001, we have seen a boom in real estate sales, and the full-time population of Americans is grow
Colleraine, an American in San Felipe, about 160 miles southeast of San Diego. He said about one-quar
30,000 residents were Americans, many of whom want to "get away from the regulations and rhetoric,
eye" in the United States.
In Rosarito, an hour's drive south of the United States border, about one-quarter of the 55,000 residen
increasing number of Americans are moving here to escape their government's policies and the costs o
a Rosarito resident with roots in the United States, Canada and Germany. "They find a higher standar
degree of freedom."
At least 600,000 Americans — again, an acknowledged undercount based on government records — ar
Mexico. That is by far the largest number of United States citizens living in any foreign country.
Americans living throughout Baja say their new neighbors include professionals in their 30's and 40's p
retirees in recreational vehicles. In Rosarito, the new home buyers include lawyers and members of the
across the border to San Diego, where housing costs are about five times higher. A pleasant house by th
cost less than $150,000; property taxes are about $75 a year.
The Americans living in Rosarito set up a municipal office in April. Two members are Ed Jones, an en
Gullicson, a teacher.
Americans "want to claim Baja as part of the United States, and they always have," Ms. Gullicson said
thought, saying, "And now they are doing it with money."
Baja's future, Mexican officials say, lies in American land investment. The government strongly promo
investment, which is the only reliable source of economic growth in Mexico.
The site of a failed government-backed tourist development, Nopalo, which means "place of vipers," l
Loreto, founded in 1697, population 11,000. American and Canadian developers plan to build 5,000 ne
Their master plan depicts a particularly affluent suburb, with houses selling for up to $2 million each.
break ground in January. They envision a $2 billion investment over 15 years.
"People will come by the hundreds of thousands" to Baja, said one of the developers, David Butterfield
opportunity to build something you cannot build in the U.S. or Canada today. You cannot build great t
Regulations and litigation prevent change."
There are limits to change in Baja, too. They are set by nature. It rains five inches a year or less in ma
barrel of water here is effectively worth more than a barrel of oil, and it takes many millions of gallon
much less a suburb.
There is no drinking water in Loreto, it is piped in from 16 miles away, and no place for thousands of c
workers to live. Many Mexicans wonder if the new community will truly be the "sustainable developm
"I'm not sure there's anyplace in the modern world that's sustainable," Mr. Butterfield said. "I hope w
Homero Davis, Loreto's mayor, supports the project, somewhat warily. "The quality of life is a moral
culture is at stake. We don't want to be like Cabo San Lucas," where hotels and condominiums have s
But that scale of development is precisely what Fonatur, the federal agency that promotes tourism in M
Loreto and the rest of Baja.
Fonatur, which conceived and built mega-resorts like Cancun, envisions marinas for American yachts,
golf courses ringing the peninsula in a plan called the Escalera Nautica, or Nautical Ladder, which inv
money and hopes for $1.7 billion in investment from developers.
"The whole premise of the Escalera Nautica is to create a land rush, and I'm not sure that's good for a
who has lived in La Paz for 35 years and runs a respected ecotourism outfit called Baja Expeditions.
Baja was isolated from the outside world until the government paved a road through the peninsula in t
road connected Baja more closely to the United States than to the Mexican mainland. That connection
more Americans move here. So is a sense of remoteness, of difference, from the rest of Mexico.
"People on the mainland don't know we exist," said Doris Johnson, the daughter of a Mexican mother
who runs a hotel in Mulege. "They ask, `Do they speak Spanish in Baja? Do you need a passport to go
Ms. Johnson wonders what will become of Baja as it becomes more and more of an American place. "
here," she said. "But we don't have much influence over what's changing our culture."
St. James Infirmary: A Medical Treasure by The Sea of
St James has developed a much needed pain clinic The hospital has a doctor on duty 24 h
The intention is to provide the highest level of care at the lowest cost.
In addition to satisfying the communities health needs, the hospital has been a boom to re
San Felipe who boast about the facility to prospective retirees. Good health care is vital to
Some comparisons: Premium dark roasted coffee (Starbuck quality) from the lo
pound, cigars are 65 cents a piece which cost three to five dollars in the states.
$6.00 a fifth in the duty free store and Bohemia or Negra Modelo beer (selling fo
the U.S.) is priced at $4.50.
Health Insurance and Health Care
In the US, most people pay as much as $6,500 per year for their health insurance group plan, and th
dental care or eyeglasses. That's right, ... $6,500 per year.
Living in Mexico, you can join the health plan offered by the Mexican government. It's called IMSS
Segura Social), and it costs everyone a total of $399, no matter who you are or what your income is.
It covers medical, dental, prescription medicines, and if you’re of age, eyeglasses, too. When you ap
out a form listing any pre-existing conditions. There is a waiting period of two years on all pre-exist
that time, they are also covered.
Most of the doctors in Mexico are US trained, and you would be impressed with the cleanliness of th
IMSS, you are given a card with a membership number, and you can then enter any hospital in Mex
treatment, in-patient and out-patient care, emergency visits or doctor appointments.
Here are some examples of health care in Mexico your readers might like to know about:
An elderly gentleman who had no insurance at all had to have a heart transplant. He was taken to t
where he required a surgeon, surgical assistants, an anesthesiologist, and nurses ... every one of them
highest standards. Of course, there were all of the normal hospital expenses too, which included a m
doctor to his home after the operation. The cost of his treatment was a Grand Total of $8,000 US do
Another man had a mysterious ailment that caused him to pass out on the street. He was taken by am
(Red Cross). He required 4 IV’s, 4 injections and a 6 hour stay. When he was released, he asked wh
told … NOTHING!!. They did tell him that there was a small donation box by the exit, and that he
wanted. He returned the next day and left some money.
You can have full root canals done in Mexico for $600 which would cost much more in the states. If
teeth removed and replaced with a set of upper and lower plates, it can be done for US$700. A new
plates can be purchased for US$200.
For a regular visit to your personal GP, the charge can be as low as US$8, and you get seen by my do
Doctors in Mexico seem to really care about you as a person.