OWN A PIECE OF PARADISE, RIVIERA NAYARIT
An article and interview from the Summer 2022 edition of the Iconic Concierge magazine:
Do you like the warmth of the sun? A sandy beach, turquoise waters, and the sound of the waves? Year-round? Wouldn’t it be great if you could even make some extra income on top of that? Have we caught your interest? We thought so; let’s keep on reading! In the pandemic, Mexico was one of the few countries who kept its border open, and as a result, jet setters from all over the world became aware of its beauty and all the opportunities in Mexico. Specifically, we are talking about buying real estate in Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit. This area on the Pacific coast of Jalisco has really taken off as the new luxury location. Located just north of Puerto Vallarta, a 300km stretch of shoreline offers breathtaking natural beauty with golden-sand beaches, world-class golf courses, charming beach towns and legendary waves attracting surfers from around the world. It is an area with a sophisticated infrastructure and high economic development. Every year, thousands of Canadians flock to this area to leave the cold and rainy months. They come to recharge their batteries with some much-needed Vitamin D.
Both international and domestic tourists are constantly booking top-of-the-line accommodation
there, so it sounds like a good idea to have your property for personal use and as a rental investment. You can have the best of both worlds – your own private retreat just hours away from home, and a solid investment. Tempting, right? But - it’s Mexico. Is it safe to buy property there? And aren’t there certain restrictions? How does the transaction work, and can I get financing? What is the tax situation, how can I rent out my property, and what other pros and cons should I take into consideration? These questions can be daunting, but not if you have the right certified real estate agent.
Enter Vancouverite Nik Valcic, who left a career of 25 years in neurosurgical sales at UCSF and Stanford to start a new life in Mexico. He is now an award-winning top agent, not only delivering luxury dream estates to Canadians and Americans, but also showing investors how to own and profit from real estate in Mexico. He also specializes in how to deal with rental income, taxes, laws, banking and more. We discussed some amazing opportunities with Nik on one of his recent visits to Vancouver.
Q: Nik, you left quite a career, a well-paid career, to start all over in Mexico. That must have been a tough decision?
A: Like many of my fellow Canadians, I’d spent a fair amount of time in Mexico for various vacations, and during each one I kept learning more about how easy it is to make the move. Yes, I will admit that pulling the trigger was a little nerve-racking, but once I was here, I felt at home, and I have never looked back.
Q: So why Puerto Vallarta? A lot of people prefer Cabos San Lucas, its proximity to the US border, and the big resorts. So, what makes PV, in your opinion, the better choice?
A: Cabo is a great location, but it does lack some of the things that PV has to offer. As everyone knows, Cabo is out on the very tip of the Baja peninsula, and as such, your choices for domestic travel are limited. Additionally, it’s basically a large desert. Puerto Vallarta has a thriving fine arts community with excellent quality Broadway musical productions, and live music from Jazz to Rock and even Country. High level performers from across Canada and the US flock to the stages of PV every season. From PV you can easily drive to Guadalajara, Mazatlán, or Manzanillo, and you can also visit several amazing smaller towns. Furthermore, there are lake resorts, and guest ranches up in the hills where the temperatures are much lower. The area offers many different natural habitats from the coastal jungle to temperate forests and the desert, all within driving distance. There is even a world-class award-winning botanical garden. We are seeing buyers and investors shift their focus away from Cancun and Riviera Maya area to Puerto Vallarta. Even current owners of property in that area are looking to relocate to the Riviera Nayarit. The issue of the sargassum seaweed in the Caribbean is a big concern, it has really made many beaches unsuitable and even lowered real estate prices. Crime is high in Cancun, whereas Puerto Vallarta is very safe. Additionally, there is also the issue of hurricanes in the Caribbean. We are also seeing the PVR airport undergoing a major expansion and it will be double in size when complete. Flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City are short in duration, one can fly out in the morning and be back in the evening. More importantly, there has been an increase in direct flights to Canadian cities, such as: Comox, Abbotsford, and, Hamilton, Quebec City; so, it’s increasingly easier for Canadians
to get here.
Q: It seems you still visit Vancouver on a regular basis? Is it just to see friends and family, or do you also meet up with prospective clients?
A: Both, I’ve started regular informational seminars about owning and investing in Mexico here in Vancouver. There is a lot of interest, but unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there as well. I find that one of the more important aspects of my career here is education. If I can help guide my clients through the process of residency, taxes, banking etc. then I feel I’ve done my job. It’s really one of the most rewarding aspects of this career.
Q: What are some of the most often asked questions and concerns?
A: Well, they fall into three major categories. Let me give you the short version of the answers as well...1)Can I own in Mexico, and how do I do it? Yes, it’s legal to own in Mexico as an individual or Canadian LLC, no you do not need to form a Mexican Corp., and no it’s not a lease. 2)How does Mexican residency status affect me as a Canadian? Mexican residency status simply offers you the ability to stay as long as you wish, but there are no required minimum stays. Your residency visa is very easy to obtain it’s based on economic solvency, and you do not need an immigration lawyer to get it done. 3)Can I rent out my property when I’m not there? Yes. The vast majority of condo complexes here do not have any restrictions on rentals. A few have minimum number of rental nights, but none have restrictions on what percentage of the building can be rentals. There is a plethora of rental management agencies in town, and you can tailor your use of these services to your liking. Some folks like to be hands on and manage all the guest interactions through Airbnb, hire their own cleaners etc., others would prefer to be completely hands-off. Either way, the costs for these services are reasonable.
Q: What type of clients are you seeing and how has Covid changed the landscape?
A: Great question, in the past the traditional buyer here has been a retiree, and certainly, Canada is now seeing record numbers of baby boomers retiring. These folks are looking to purchase a place in the sun. Cost of living is a big factor for retirees, and inflation has really taken a bite out of purchasing power. While Mexico is not immune to global inflation, we still enjoy about a 50-65% lower cost of living here. So, our traditional buyer is still a major player. However, COVID changed people’s perception about how they view work. Many realized that work can be a part of their adventure rather than an anchor and chain holding them to a particular spot. We started seeing a marked increase in younger people and digital nomads who have started buying here over the last two years. The Canadian housing market has, and continues to have a high, bar for entry and of my clients realized that it is possible to purchase in Mexico. Increasingly folks are realizing that an income generating property is their best hedge against high inflation rates. $230,000 USD will get you a lovely two-bedroom condo here. Someone starting out, working remotely, can easily live here for 6 months, return to Canada for the other 6 and have an income generated from the condo when not here. We’ve seen nice solid equity increases in the past 5 years, showing that your property here in Mexico will increase in value over time. The same is true if you are looking at the other end of the market, homes in the $2 million plus USD range are stunning properties with over 10,000 square feet and are priced in the $300 per square foot range. The rental demand for these fully staffed mansions is high with nightly rental rates usually well above $5000 USD. What is amazing is that both ends of the market offer great investment opportunities, a home in the tropics, income generation, equity gain and a great hedge against inflation.
Q: You have mentioned a new ultra-luxury development north of Punta Mita, Mandarina. Please tell us more about it.
A: Yes, Mandarina is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It is among the first One&Only Private Homes developments in the world. It’s an hour north of Puerto Vallarta on the Riviera Nayarit, nestled along a lush, tropical hillside above a one mile stretch of sandy beach. Mandarina shares a 636-acre property with the One&Only hotel and resort. It features a collection of 55 ultra-private villas, designed to blend in with the landscape, capturing breathtaking views of the surrounding Sierra de Vallejo Mountain peaks and the crystal-clear ocean below. Standard Villas are offered in 4 or 5 bedrooms and up to 7,400 sq. ft. interior living space and up to 3,200 sq. ft. of outdoor terrace. The Estate Villas will have 8 bedrooms, 11,480 sq. ft. and 6,640 sq. ft. of outdoor terrace. Every home is unique in that it is built to maximize the terrain and the views for its location. One of the many benefits of ownership is a membership at all the One&Only Resorts, which gives owners priority bookings and discounted rates on rooms, spas, and even food and beverages at all their worldwide locations. As an owner you also have full access to all the amenities at the resort. The Beach Club, 6 pools, 7 world-class dining options, the spa and if you have kids, they will love the KidsOnly Club.
There are large stables to board your horses as well as a Polo and Equestrian Club with regularly scheduled Polo events. The resort also boasts one of the nicest swimmable white-sand beaches along the entire riviera. And if you are wondering if you can rent out your Villa, yes, you can! One&Only has their own Private Homes Rental Program and Property Management, making it a perfect investment opportunity. Rental rates start at $14,000 USD per night. Several owners have two properties, one for themselves, the other as a rental. I’ve seen many amazing 5 diamond properties around the world, but this is unlike anything I’ve experienced. It offers luxury and provides: a sanctuary of unspoiled nature, open space, and cultural heritage.
Thank you, Nik, for all the information.
Thank you for inviting me to share my thoughts on owning and investing in Mexico. I’ve seen a big influx of Canadians discovering this amazing part of the world in the last year and a half. If you want to be among them, please feel free to schedule a video meeting with me, I’m happy to review and answer any questions you have on taxes, banking, residency, and any other questions you may have.
Interested in moving to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Let us show you how easy it is to own and invest in real estate in Mexico. Contact us. Selling your home? Click here to find out how much your home is worth.