Kathy's Real Estate Roundup is a real estate blog written by Kathy Katz, Broker and Owner of the Baja Real Estate Group. The blog focuses on foreigners buying real estate in Baja California and its lifestyle. Right now It's currently being featured as a column in the Rosarito English Newspaper Baja Times.
Being open minded, but aware of your needs and wants, is key to finding the right property at the right price in Baja
Many of us have a Champagne taste on a beer budget, which makes Rosarito Beach the place to buy when looking for Real estate in Mexico. But buying real estate in a foreign country can be tricky.
It may be straightforward at first: Figuring out your budget, searching online. As you go through several websites, you may find a property that catches your eye. So you take the trip down to Rosarito… And it turns out that “gorgeous house by the ocean” is on a remote dirt road, the rooms much smaller than what they seemed in pictures, the ocean only visible if you squint really hard.
You come to find out the property has been sitting there for two years without maintenance, and the price is not the same as advertised.
Needless to say, it is fundamental to get your information from a reputable agent and website.
The process in Mexico is different – in a great way
Your offer was accepted! Owning a home in Baja was not only a dream of yours, but a well-researched retirement strategy too. But even with all the information you have gathered about ownership in Mexico, you might have been unprepared for how different –and convenient, the process is here. From property taxes to the way the Bank Trust is set, everything works favorably for the homeowner and makes for an easy inheritance process too.
Heirs and beneficiaries
While filling out paperwork for a Bank Trust, one question probably struck you as odd: Beneficiary? Why do I need a beneficiary? It comes as a pleasant surprise to many Americans to know that in Mexico there is no Inheritance Tax (or “Death Tax”, as it´s known in the U.S.). Here, your beneficiaries are written into the Trust. In the event of your passing away, the Trust is transferred straight to these beneficiaries. Your U.S. Last Will and Testament does not have jurisdiction on properties located in Mexico.
In the case of a married couple with both on title, there is a right of
survivorship, where the property will go to the surviving spouse. If
both of you passed away, the property goes to your second beneficiary.
The process is very simple for the heirs. A Mexican Notary can help
through the paperwork (remember, these Mexican “Notarios” are government
appointed attorneys, and all legal transactions must be signed in front
of them.) Be aware that the Notary is also responsible for transferring
title from one person to another.
Heading down the Rosarito-Ensenada toll-free road, the Calafia towers are hard to miss. They have become a landmark of the coastal scenery, a sign of delightful surprises awaiting us: Pacific Ocean Views, mouthwatering lobster tacos, surf breaking at your toes, sea breeze.
While newer communities have come and gone amidst turmoil and scandal, Calafia Condos Resort & Villas stand tall, having become one of the most respected and stable private residential neighborhoods in Rosarito.
If you´ve never been to Calafia, there are many things you may not know about them..
The idea of a custom-built house in Rosarito can be very attractive. It means that you can dictate the layout and create a space that meets your specific needs.
Some of our clients have the erroneous idea that building a house in Baja may be more inexpensive than buying it. However, that is not necessarily true. One thing is certain: building in Mexico is far more affordable than building in the U.S. It may also be easier on your wallet since you can add rooms and upgrades as you go.
However, there is a lot to know before taking on a construction
project in Mexico, so here are some tips which have helped our clients:
Moving to Mexico and looking for your dream house can be one of the most exciting times in your life. However, the task lies in finding the perfect home, and sometimes, the best way to do it is by building it to your own specifications.
If you have recently been driving around in the Rosarito-Ensenada area, you may have noticed a great deal of construction activity, especially for private residences. This shows that many people are choosing to build homes.
The good news is that oceanfront and ocean views lots are still available in the Rosarito Coast. Some are located within well-established communities, which is ideal in terms of safety, service availability and infrastructure.
Building costs start at $55 a square foot, which will get you a great home with granite counters, dual pane windows, and of course, a floor plan customized to your wants and needs. Some cool features I´ve seen in custom-built homes in Rosarito include wine cellars, oversized walk-in closets and extra light switches around the house. Now would be the time to add an elevator for your later years. Even if you leave the open shaft, you can add the elevator when you need it.
Unlike the US, in Mexico it is common for the “Arquitecto” to take the role of contractor as well. This makes it much easier to make small changes and adjustments along the way.