Making Money with Mexico

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Mexico’s millionaires aren’t making headlines the way China’s have been, but don’t count them out in terms of significance international real estate. As NAR’s 2013 “Spotlight” country, Mexico has proven itself a worthy destination for expatriates who are looking for a great climate, affordability, and a safe investment. During the Making Money With Mexico session at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, we learned why.

As Linda Neil, NAR President’s Liaison to Mexico, pointed out: people outside of Mexico think of it as a third world country – and this could not be further from the truth. “Mexico’s economy, business and investment climate, quality of life, and rich opportunities are very much first world!” Neil said.

Mexico is second only to Brazil as Latin America’s largest economy, and it has been climbing for several years now. Predictions are that over the next decade, Mexico will surpass Brazil and become one of the emerging markets’ most dynamic economies. According to Carla Hills, U.S. Trade Representative, Mexico’s reserves are healthy, and it is ranked by the World Bank as the best place for doing business in Latin America.

“The growth of the Mexican economy over the past 10 years has been significant, and Mexico’s smart fiscal governance and position in the global marketplace has been quietly impressing financial analysts and market watchers for some time now,” Neil said. “These positive attributes are projected to continue amid a pattern of consistent growth and stability over the next decade, making Mexico a very viable market for international investment.”

With low wages, and close geographic access to both the North America and Asia-Pacific markets, Mexico is emerging as a major manufacturing and industrial power, leading some to call Mexico the new China.

Facts & Figures

  • Mexico is the 8th most visited country in the world, and the number one foreign vacation destination for Americans and Canadians.
  • 23.4 million international tourists visited Mexico in 2012, representing over $11 billion in revenues.
  • Mexico is the U.S. and Canada’s number one international destination for vacation home purchases.
  • Over 1 million foreigners own property in Mexico, helping to make its vacation home market a multi-billion dollar industry.

The next panelist, Mercy Duenas, is a relocation specialist from Trilenium Real Estate in Guadelajara. Known as Mexico’s Silicon Valley, Guadelajara has experienced (and continues to experience) significant growth. She shared tips on relocating to Mexico – I might have missed one or two, but the tips included:

  1. Don’t believe everything you hear about a market – it falls on you (and your client) to investigate. Find someone who can help you within Asociación Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios (AMPI – essentially the NAR equivalent in Mexico). They have a directory of members at ampi.org who are ready and willing to help.
  2. Check the expat forums – they are full of advice and experiences from expats and the agents who have helped them.
  3. You don’t have to live where everybody else lives! Don’t just think of the resort areas. There are many beautiful parts of Mexico, and each area has its own charm. Look beyond the pricey resorts!
  4. Keep your family in mind – will you be able to see them, is your location easily accessible?
  5. You’re not in Kansas anymore! Mexico is a different country with different laws and a different culture. It’s not the “same old thing” – but it’s an interesting and fun place to live!
  6. Get involved and volunteer – it’s the best way to learn the culture and be part of your community.
  7. Try to learn Spanish, especially if you are relocating and living there full time! Don’t expect that people will speak English – many do not, and you should make an effort to speak their native language.
  8. You are representing your country when you move to another country. Remember that, and represent them well!
  9. Guillermo Salgado, President of AMPI, discussed the market-to-market program between real estate associations in the United States and AMPI sections for referral opportunities. For example, Houston has a collaboration agreement with Monterrey AMPI, Playa del Carmen has an agreement with MetroTex ,etc. This program was put in place to facilitate networking and encourage cross-border business. The participating associations on both sides of the border can help buyers who are looking to relocate. For more information, visit ampi.org.

    What advice do you have for clients looking to purchase in Mexico? Share in the comments section below. Or, if you are looking for someone to help a client wishing to relocate, I recommend that you contact Linda Neil (linda@lindaneil.com). Not only will you have a fabulous conversation with one of the warmest, friendliest voices around – she has extensive knowledge on Mexico real estate and can help you find a knowledgeable professional in any market.

Cindy Fauth is Marketing Manager for the National Association of REALTORS® Global Business & Alliances division. She is the primary voice representing NAR Global in various social media channels, and helps REALTORS® uncover the international business opportunities that exist in their local markets.

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