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Kathy's Real Estate Round Up
Kathy's Real Estate Round Up 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.


Things you should consider before building a house in Baja
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.

Things you should consider before building a house in BajaSome 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:
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Building your Dream Home in Baja - Can´t find it? Build it!
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.

Building your Dream Home in Baja - Can´t find it? Build it!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.
Read more...
 
Baja HOA: What does it cover
Baja HOA: What does it cover? …and will you make use of it?

 HOA FeesWhen looking at ownership in Baja, buyers must take into consideration what their monthly expenses are going to be.

Property taxes and bank trust fees, and insurance at set fees.  But the fee that could make a difference is your monthly HOA. This could work to your advantage. Meaning, you can choose your community wisely, so you only pay for the amenities you want and will enjoy.

So the question is: are the added amenities worth the cost?
Older developments in Baja usually offer more green areas, ocean front boardwalks, and beach access.  For many of our clients, these are well worth any added cost.

Other places, such as the Condos at the Rosarito Beach Hotel, provide extra discounts on amenities. They also have a built-in property management, which is nice for investors looking for lifestyle and value.
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Am I paying too much for my Baja Real Estate
Am I paying too much for my Baja Real Estate? Is it the right choice?
The decision might be daunting, especially if you are paying cash. But it shouldn´t be.

Too Much For Real EstateWhen buying real-estate in Baja, most foreigners choose to pay cash. And while it is nice not to have a mortgage, writing a check can be a bit nerve wrecking. Am I overpaying? Am I buying in the right location? Should I buy a smaller property –just in case I change my mind?

Well, I´m here to tell you that after living and working in Baja for over 20 years, I have never heard anyone say: “The worst thing I did was move to Mexico”. What we hear more often is: “I should have moved sooner”.  
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Prices and regulations change for Baja Real Estate
As the Baja real estate market is on an upswing, so are prices, especially in the under $200,000 price range.

Calafia Condos in Rosarito BeachWhile medium priced homes in Rosarito are not seeing a big increase in price, they are selling. In the under $200k price range, inventory has slowly been increasing in price, many buyers looking for properties are having to increase their housing budget to $250,000 and up.

An example of what´s happening in this price range is Calafia Resort and Condo where prices have gone up a little. The condos are still fair priced, and are not feeling the crunch of the market crash in the last few years.

The marked improvement in the market has brought on a sense of urgency. People that at one time would have taken a more relaxed attitude towards buying a home in Rosarito are  now   getting serious -some even looking at multiple purchases.  In other words, the smart buyer is recognizing Mexican real-estate as an investment and is nesting in the area.  As a result, many homeowners are taking their homes off the market, looking for a long term investment as well.

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