This month I want to dedicate some space to the recent Real Estate Conference, one of the fastest-growing events related to the industry in the Bay Area. Numerous speakers and experts in their fields touched on not only interesting points but revealed facts important to any broker or realtor. Books were unveiled, statistics studied and business cards exchanged. If you weren’t there, it was truly your loss despite the busy schedule that keeps you running. Sometimes it’s important just to slow down and read the road signs before the turn.
The tide is coming in, coming fast and you’d better be ready. In three distinct waves, look at the force created by baby boomers, women who continue to make major investment decisions and the growing surge of workers who can work anywhere in the world due to technology and Internet access. After the sting of the nineties when the entire .com industry deflated more than just egos, investors are looking for more than a sure thing. What can be more secure than land, property, another home? Add to that the fact that the previous generation, parents of the baby boomers, are dying and leaving the retirement egg to those ready to put it somewhere.
Why Mexico? And why Puerto Vallarta? First of all, baby boomers are definitely more adventuresome than their parents. More willing to take risks in investments, they are the first generation to look so decidedly outside of their country of birth. Reasons for that include the rising cost of real estate along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts as well as the increased possibility of either continuing in their career in an advisory capacity or looking at launching a new career. With statistics cited from Fortune magazine (Oct 17, 2005), this will be the greatest transfer of wealth with $41-136 trillion changing hands in the next four decades.
Coming back to investments in Puerto Vallarta. Reflecting the increasing attention paid to availability of good health care, it’s recognized that Puerto Vallarta comes in at a resounding first place. In fact, the first health care facility in the country, AmeriMed, was established locally in Marina Vallarta. Since then, the very reputable San Xavier Hospital built its hospital here with a firm base in Guadalajara for other surgery and long-term health care. More recently, the Texas-based Cornerstone Hospital opens the market even further by not only establishing a high-tech healthcare facility but encouraging the development of an entire neighborhood with medicine on the mind. Look for blood-work facilities, dialysis, trauma center, recuperation facilities and any number of additional issues related to health answered right on the same street.
How about safety of your investment? The new administration, headed by President Felipe Calderón, announced a major increase of funds earmarked for tourism. It’s clear that the growing trend of tourism within the country is related to the growing flow of investments in those same tourist areas. Supporting the development of infrastructure allows for further economic growth in those key regions. Already the federal government has focused on Banderas Bay in a Master Urban Development Plan with involvement at municipal, state and federal levels.
What does Banderas Bay have that no one else has? First of all, look around you. The semi-tropical climate allows for lush jungle growth from the surrounding mountains down to the tranquil waters of the bay. Living comfortably in this temperate climate allows much more casual indoor/outdoor style at any economic range. One does not have to be rich to enjoy the lifestyle behind the already-open door of the residences in the area.
Cultural life is rich and varied with possibilities from one of the greatest accessible art meccas in the country to the best restaurants outside of metropolitan Mexico City. Music adds to the texture of the agreeable nights on the Malecón with disco beat to mariachi to Latin rhythms to jazz and rock. Services are increasingly available from high-speed Internet connection to Wi-Fi zones to technical support to parts for your valuable equipment. The environment becomes a focus with programs related to protection of local species such as the humpback whale, marine turtles and wild parrots as well as jungle growth with its intertwined natural support system. Activities attract golfers, sailors, fishermen, equestrians, surfers, birders, investors, artists and just plain loafers. The list goes on and on. It’s just what most people are looking for without expecting it to be paradise. Even though it’s not far from being that!
With access ranking high in importance, Puerto Vallarta moves into the radar with over 15,000 flights per year from and to the US. Add to the combination regular flights from many Canadian destinations as well as connections from most cities, we can provide the best airlift of any coastal destination. Need I mention access by water, whether by cruise ship, sailboat or yacht? With the completion of the La Cruz Marina, Banderas Bay will also provide more protected mooring for any sailor in the country. Recent helicopter service in Punta de Mita and the growing Aerotron terminal for Leer jets and other small private aircraft create unmatched air accessibility as well as security and safety.
And all this without even mentioning the number one reason for coming to Banderas Bay: the people. Just a reminder that real estate acquisition is emotional. The buying public can be anywhere it wants to be. Whether it’s for vacation or second homes or just as an investment, the public is looking for alternatives. With Mexico as the number four destination for retirees in the entire world, consider all the factors. Be the one who tips the hat in our favor.
As the level of integrity in the local market continues to grow exponentially, the increasingly sophisticated buying market is looking for answers and they know the questions. While we’re all in this together, each of us must do our part to make the human element as secure as the investment itself. The consensus was clearly that we must all be as educated as possible to raise our level of professionalism.
By the way, who is a baby boomer? In case you’ve missed the term, or find it troublesome: numbering upwards of 79,000,000, boomers were born between 1943 and 1960, age from 43-60 today and are planning to retire from 2008 to 2026. Their self-image is as purifiers as they examine the world around them if not with a magnifying glass or microscope, certainly with bifocals. Interested in health care after experiencing the sudden aging and death of the previous generation, they consider accessibility to good health care a major asset.