Monday, January 2, 2012

Saving Whales in Puerto Vallarta

One of the most wonderful experiences in Puerto Vallarta is seeing a humpback whale breach the surface in Banderas Bay. They migrate down the Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico where they spend November until February in the Bay. The Banderas Bay has been host to several families of whales. They come down to enjoy the sun and mate.

Two males will fight it out for a female. If you are lucky enough to watch one of these you will see them showing off their prowess in the water. They slap their flippers and communicate with one another. They also sing a song. These songs are long complex songs. The songs are uniquely different from one group to the next and they can last up to 20 minutes.

There has been a movement in Mexico to protect these whales. They have noted that there are less and less whales being seen. The government has passed rules for boaters to stay within a certain distance of them.

The humpback is a slower whale and it likes to breed close to shore. This is one reason they are easy targets for whalers.

Below is a link of one such organization freeing a whale from a net. If you watch to the end you will see a speculator performance from the whale as kind of a thank you for the freedom.

click on the link or copy and paste it into your search area.

International Living has a Costa Rica Special Report

(just copyu the link and put it in your browser if it won't open from this page.)

This is a link to read about Costa Rica through International Living. It tlaks about retiring on $30 a day. In the next few years the baby boomers are all going to be retired. With this past economic recession, it is going to make it harder for them to retire in the United States. The biggest group hit in this recession according the ARRP is the baby boomers. Having the guts to look else where may be the difference to living well into your twilght years or jsut meagerly.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Costa Rica has a New Development in Jaco

The project will be right in between these tall buildings

We recently visited Jaco Costa Rica to find out about a new Resort that is scheduled to break ground this January. Jaco is a lazy surfer town just about an hour from San Jose. It is an easy 2 1/2 hour flight from Miami Florida.

Costa Rica is environmentally conscious. Thirty percent of the land in Costa Rica is protected. This is a very good thing because it is rich in wildlife and lush tropical greenery. There are four live volcano's on Costa Rica. They attribute the volcano's to giving this country such rich soil which enables its jungles to thrive.

One of the volcano's has hot springs. These hot springs were thought to be the fountain of youth.

Traveling to Jaco the first thing we noticed were people riding bicycles with a surf board under one arm. There was a guy that rode his horse through town and on the beach. It is kind of old meets new here. The one radio channel has 70's music and somehow Bob Marley is pictured everywhere even though he is from Jamaica.

There is a Marina called Los Suenos which I refer to as the compound. This is where all the Gringos buy expensive houses or vacation at the Marriott and never experience the culture of Costa Rica. Very nice but what is the point in traveling abroad if your going to stay on a compound?

A really cool surfer beach is a short distance or an up hill bicycle ride called Hermosa. They have hosted some of the biggest surfer contests in the world here. Lots boutique cheap hotels and restaurants to enjoy.

The area where the new Crocs Casino Resort and Condominiums will be built is at the end of the beach surrounded by other high rise condominiums. The Crocs developer has plans to beautify the area. He has a really neat way a shaming the neighbors into keeping up with his improvements. This developer doesn't play small and cut corners. He has done everything right. It is a fee simple ownership with title insurance.

This Resort and Condo development is going to set the bar for all the other developments in Jaco. The developers Dag and Rory Hascall are bringing Rory's talents as a major Casino operator to Jaco. Rory spent years working for MGM. He was the guy that was on called to bring a casino to the level of operation that MGM is known for.

Rory does everything in a spectacular way. This Resort is going to be fabulous. He plans to have the largest pool in all of Costa Rica and a live Crocodile sanctuary check out the website to see what is in store.

If you are interested in purchasing a condo or want more information please don't hesitate to give me a call. 440-554-2260

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coming soon

We are exploring Costa Rica to see what some of the best and safest developments are out there for you. Please stay posted as we will have a full report ready by November 2011.

Retirement can be grand South of the Border in the many fabulous Latin communities. We are looking for the best options available for you. I will make sure you will have true ownership. So many of the International developments are nothing more than a really expensive timeshare. Don't leave your head at the border. If you want to purchase abroad use a professional who is a memeber a Real Estate Association such as National Association of Real Estate.

Presently I am a Member of National Association of Real Estate (NAR) and AMPI
Association of Mexicana Professional Inmobiliarios.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Puerto Vallarta Update

As we projected values are starting to fall in Puerto Vallarta. Last year was their year of denial. This was just like our 2006 year when Real Estate sales were very few. We believe that the market is two to three years behind the United States regarding the downturn in values. We also believe that their recovery will come back faster than in the United States.

We have several Real Estate contacts in the Puerto Vallarta area and all were feeling optimistic for this coming year. The next few months is their hot time of the season and this should be an interesting one. We have heard several reports that there are offers being made. Unfortunately we can't see the evidence of sales or have we seen market changes. All the properties that we are watching are still available. Some of the larger developments have had a few sales. Most are offering the vacant and unsold furnished suites as vacation properties on the internet. Good way to survive!

We are seeing more and more people putting their properties up for sale in Puerto Vallarta. The inventory has doubled since last year. The more motivated people, are starting to drop their prices.

Mexico Real Estate Sales are different than in the United States. It isn't under the same set of rules. They have a MLS but it isn't syndicated like we have it here. All the Brokers have to update their own sites. One broker might have a property listed for $199,000.00 US dollars and another will have the same property listed for $229,000.00 US dollars.

In Mexico you can't go on line to see what properties have sold for. This is why you need a good contact in Mexico because unless they are in the trenches, there is no other way to know what the true value of a property is.

Mexico is really big on bartering. It is second nature to them. Americans are uncomfortable with bartering. When you see an asking price of say $229,000.00 that property could easily sell for $140,000.00. There is nothing they like more than an American who left their brain at the border and buys real estate while on vacation!

We predict that there will be more sales this year in PV. The lack of real information may help them recover faster and might stop their prices from falling as fast.

The tourist business is way down from last year. The continued fear of violence is hurting the resorts. Many high end restaurants have already succumbed to the economic pressures. Businesses are shutting down and the survivors are adapting to the new environment. The demand is for less expensive goods and services.

It was amusing and sad to watch one particular restaurant day after day try to get business. This was in a good location and very clean. The other restaurants on either side were tacky or not as clean but they always had business! This was a classic example of language barrier because they were not getting across what they were selling! Was it breakfast lunch and dinner or ice cream or maybe health food. This is a tough business environment to break into and survive. Another business that is a favorite is a day spa where you can get a 75 minute massage and a pedicure for $35.00. Last year they were getting sloppy with quality service. Some of the other shops were getting their clientele including us. This year they are back out in front of all the other day spas giving the best service at the best price.

We were able to purchase some excellent boots and handmade shoes with various exotic snake and aquatic skins. These items were priced 90% below the going rates in the United States. High quality, excellent craftsmanship with great value.

All in all businesses are struggling to stay afloat which will inevitably hurt the value of real estate. This summer should be the back breaker for many businesses and real estate. I hope my favorites can survive. After this summer the deals should really start to be apparent.

Pictures are of Riveria Cuale Condominium from a suite on the 8th floor and the pool area that sits along the mountain river. The city street is in Sayulita.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Favorite Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta

One of our favorite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta is the River Cafe. The setting is on the River on the island called Isla Rio Cuale. There is all sorts of wildlife living in this jungle like setting. As you sit there if you really look you will see iguanas in their natural habitat. Beautiful birds hide in the trees. It is funny to watch some people dine here that don't have the slightest clue of what is hiding in the trees and the river all around.

The food here is also great. Breakfast is fabulous! The coffee is rich and full bodied. You know Mexico has some of the best coffee grown right there in the mountains. They serve this little breakfast sweet breads one of which is like a croissant but with a creamy and delightful filling. They offer healthy choices like yogurt and fruit, Crepes and of course full blown eggs with pancakes. The Chef always puts a little spin of his own on his dishes and you will not be disappointed.

Lunch and dinner you will find fresh and lush salads, Steaks, lamb chops and just about anything you could possibly desire. When I am in Mexico I eat very little meat except when I dine here at this restaurant. At night the candle light with the river and jungle backdrop is so romantic. The Iguanas and other wild life are hidden and tucked in at night so if you are squeamish go at night.

The walk along Isla Rio Cuale is filled with little stores with people selling all sorts of things. There are artists that bring their work to sell on the street daily. Keep your sense of humor because these people are salesman and they will try to get you to purchase something, anything from them timeshares included!

Website is

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Searching for Organic back to basics lifestyle?

Have you ever thought you'd like to just get away from it all! Get away from all the Advertising, hustle and bustle of everyday life? A place where the noise is the sound of birds and feel the crisp breeze of fresh clean smelling air? Change to an organic lifestyle where big box stores are miles and miles away.

Well you can live this way in San Sebastian Jalisco Mexico. This is a mountain top village about 5085 feet above sea level. It has a wonderful robust mountain climate. Hot and sunny in the day and cool at night. The mornings often have a mist that burns off as the day settles in. This town was cut off from the world until 2004when the Mexican government put an road and incredible bridge span over the huge gorge that separates this from the main land. Before this road and bridge were installed the only way to get there was by horse or mule.

Can you imagine how the people here survived life on their own! Every thing they lived on, for the most part was made or grown right there. The village is surrounded by orchards of fruit trees and coffee plants. Yes they have tequila plants too and a tequila brewery. It is really pretty big, far bigger than what I had imagined. When you enter the village you drive up a very long, probably 5 mile cobble stone street that rolls up the mountain.Just thinking about all the man hours of making this road is something to ponder! The main street is lined with Adobe style homes with real red clay tile roofs. This road isn't straight and it is about a mile long. Eventually you will get to the town circle. There is an old church that is magnificent. One of the most beautiful little chapels I have ever seen.

You can stay over night here as there are a few Hotels and about 5 restaurants. The food is fantastic! Everything is fresh and made from scratch. You know they aren't shipping in mass produced chicken here. The people are a little shy as this is new for them to have people coming through their town on a regular basis now.

The town just recently got electricity. You can see where they have just installed the lines to there homes. I didn't see one Television set here, but they may have one somewhere. I don't know how they would get a signal because I didn't see any radio towers anywhere. No sounds of radio or airplanes.

As we walked through town a boy was coming home from a day of hunting. He had three dogs running alongside of him and a small mule. I felt like someone dropped me right in the middle of a history book. The entire town is like a museum. Sadly I'm sure this will change, now that access is available.

The drive to San Sebastian is incredible. If you are afraid of heights be ready to take something to calm your nerves. The drive is along a winding and twisting mountain side road with dramatic drops with breathtaking views! The road being so exhilarating makes it a less traveled one for trucks. This town doesn't have them rolling in and out daily. They do have tour buses in daily and they have learned to use this to their benefit and profit. But the people here don't seem to be changed by this at least yet.

You can buy property here,there are a few properties for sale. You will have to be ready to do some work unless you are ready to adapt to the old fashioned way of life. The Government permits outside residents to own Mexican property as long as you meet the distance criteria.

I loved this place, but only to visit because I am a city girl who loves all the convenience of easy care lifestyle like a dishwasher!