Living in Los Cabos: My Webinar Idea
I’m going to pitch the folks at Regional/International to do a webinar for Realty Executives on why they should be referring to Mexico. Then I thought, maybe I should just blog it, ‘cause it’s good info. But non-real estate people might be confused so first I’m going to explain how this works.
Let’s say you’re a Boomer living in Seattle, and you want to retire somewhere sunny. So you mention this to your real estate agent, and they offer to hook you up with an agent in Mexico. This works out for everyone, since you now have an agent you can trust, and when you buy your agent in Seattle gets a portion of the commission. With so many Baby Boomers hoping to retire, and with many of them facing having to do with on fewer funds than anticipated, Mexico just makes sense. We’re sunny, close, and affordable. So here’s what I would tell them….
Mexico is safe! Yes, some places near the border are not, but painting us all with the same brush is like me cancelling my trip to San Diego because there are tornadoes that destroyed the parts of the midwest. Most places in Mexico are much safer than most places in the US or Canada; you won’t have to worry referring your client here.
Along the same lines, you’ve got to think about the safety of your client’s investment. Article 27 of the Mexican constitution lays out the conditions under which foreigners may own property in Mexico, especially the coastal areas where special rules apply. As long as the client satisfies those conditions they will be considered as Mexican under the law and enjoy all the same protections as a native-born Mexican citizen. The problem is that your client doesn’t know those rules, and could easily be duped by an unscrupulous person. Referring the client within the Realty Executives family ensures that they’ll be working with an experienced, honest, ethical agent and company.
Now that everyone’s safety concerns are taken care of, we’d probably talk a little bit about the benefits of moving to Mexico, retired or not. Depending on where you’re coming from and going to the cost of property may be significantly less or just about the same. But the real savings come elsewhere: taxes, health care, insurance, even gasoline. Take property taxes: they are due in January and if paid that month a discount applies (15% in Los Cabos). My husband and I live in Pedregal, an upscale gated community in Cabo San Lucas. The property taxes on our three bedroom home were about $130 US this year. Yes, one hundred thirty US dollars for our annual property tax. I don’t think you’re going to get anything even close to that north of border.
Health care here is extremely good and very affordable. You can buy into Mexico’s national health care system for about $600 US per year, I’m told. That includes everything: doctors, hospital, lab and medications. Depending on where you’re relocating, this could be a cost of living bonanza. Unfortunately here in Los Cabos our system is so over-burdened that most Americans and Canadians (and many Mexicans) bypass it for private care. And why not? A visit to your physician is probably going to cost you about $500 pesos, or about $43 US. Private major medical insurance runs about $1,200 US per year.
Everyday costs will vary; if you decide to live like a tourist you’ll pay like one. But for the most part groceries and eating out are very affordable. Here’s an example, a young man just came by passing out flyers for Tacos Lalos, a new restaurant across the street from my office. They’re offering a breakfast special of three eggs, a meat option, chilaquiles and beverage for 45 pesos or about four bucks with a special price of 30 pesos on Wednesday and Saturday. No, it’s not in a five star resort and it’s not on the beach, those are special occasion places for us. This is a real life place. Gasoline is a frequent question: the price is set by Mexico City, and for us it’s about $2.25 US per gallon. You’re probably getting the point by now: you can live very well in Mexico even if you did lose a substantial part of your 401K.
From there it’s just a matter of talking a bit about some of the places we have Realty Executives offices in Mexico. We’ve got pretty much all the major retirement/relocation cities covered, and of course each Broker/Owner thinks he or she is living in the best one. Chances are, if your client is thinking about moving here they’ve already got a very short list of locations they think are special. And you know what? They’re right. And they’ll be thankful to you forever for making their dream come true. So pick up the phone or shoot off an email… just make the referral TODAY.
Carol Billups is Broker/Owner of REALTY EXECUTIVES Los Cabos. A Certified Home Marketing Specialist, she has enjoyed working with both buyers and sellers for over ten years and still thinks hers is the best job on earth. She is also the real estate columnist for Los Cabos Magazine and Chairman of the AMPI Los Cabos Board of Realtors. You can read more of her articles on www.reloscabos.com. You can reach her from the U.S. or Canada at 1-760-481-7694, or in Cabo at 044-624-147-7541.
© 2011 Carol S. Billups