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Thursday, August 26, 2010

ROSARITO BEACH - 100,000 Americans Call It Quits and Retire to Mexico Every Year.

One million Americans have already purchased real estate in Mexico and now we know why!

We have updates for those of you who have followed our recent move from Los Angeles to Rosarito Beach, Baja, California, Mexico, in a previous edition of EscapeFromAmericaMagazine.

Other than hanging some large pieces of art and a few drapes in our 4,500 sq ft beachside castle (no mote, but as secure), we’re almost settled now and ready to meet new people and learn more about Baja California.

This morning, we dropped by the offices of Baja123 to say hello to our friends, the owners of Baja123, David and Kanoa Biondolillo, and they suggested we would enjoy meeting a friend of theirs, Douglas Welch, Corporate Director, Santa Barbara Luxury Living at Bajamar, located just 24 miles South of Rosarito near Ensenada, a city of 450,000 people, and only 50 miles from San Diego. Arrangements were quickly made by phone for a tour of the property and lunch at the Bajamar Hotel. We jumped at the opportunity to see the property and meet Douglas.

Thirty minutes later, we pulled into the palatial security gates of Bajamar and drove through their graciously appointed grounds, jogging and walking trails, three beautifully manicured nine-hole golf courses with an ocean view on every hole (we later learned the courses were often compared to Pebble Beach), and small boutique-type vacation homes and mansions along decorative stamped concrete streets. We both commented that we felt like we’d landed in a private paradise.

We found Douglas Welch in his office, replicated to match the interior of one of their oceanfront condominiums in their ‘community for the privileged’ in Santa Barbara at Bajamar. The office was fully appointed with travertine tile flooring and recessed architectural lighting system to rival the finest upscale homes anywhere in the world. Gracious and welcoming, Douglas was the perfect host by inviting us into his office and making us comfortable. We enjoyed an instantaneous friendship as Douglas introduced himself and his real passion, the beautiful property, Santa Barbara at Bajamar.

After our in-office meeting, Douglas provided us a grand tour of the property of Bajamar and we viewed the luxury homes and new developments currently underway in the area of over 1,800 acres. When we approached the Santa Barbara condominium complex which sits on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it took our breath away. We immediately admired the Spanish, early-California mission style architecture of the building with its white curved archways and wide open porches.

William and I were both anxious to tour one of the units and Douglas graciously offered to show us several of them. The units ranged in size from 2 bedroom/2 bath, 1,970 sq feet to the penthouse which offers 4,150 sq ft with 3 bedrooms/3 baths. Each unit offered terraces overlooking the ocean ranging from 290 sq ft to 910 sq ft. The prices ranged from around $400,000 to over $800,000 to purchase the units. They also offer fractional ownerships for eight weeks per year for around $90,000 for some of their units.

As we toured the fully-furnished units, we instantly knew that these luxury condominiums were built with attention to the finest detail. Each had state-of-the-art kitchens and baths with full granite countertops, travertine or ceramic tile flooring, wine storage refrigerators, divine bathtubs (I do love a great tub) with jet streams capable of full body massages, special soundproofing features in each room, and views of both the ocean and golf courses. And, it was so quiet. So incredibly quiet which was yet another luxury we found to be enchanting. Luxury living, ocean views, golf course views, and set in an area that felt much like countryside living.

Here are some of the questions Douglas answered for us about owning property in Mexico:

Question: “Can foreigners own property in Mexico?”

Answer: “Yes, through FIDEICOMISO, any foreigner or Mexican national may purchase property anywhere in Mexico. It’s a 50-year renewable Mexican Bank Trust and indefinitely renewable in 50-year increments. There are an estimated one million Americans who currently own property in Mexico.”

Question: “Can a buyer get title insurance and escrow on the property?”

Answer: “Yes. Title insurance policies are available from several US companies. And Santa Barbara at Bajamar also has agreements with Land America and Commonwealth Land Title Company to insure purchase and escrow needs.”

Question: “Can the Mexican government reclaim legal title to my property?”

Answer: “No. The purchaser holds legal title to lawfully own an interest in Mexican coastal land. Owners are entitled to the same rights as a Mexican national and all the benefits of a direct owner, including the ability to lease or transfer property rights to a third party or beneficiary, much as an owner can in the US.”

Question: “How much are property taxes?”

Answer: “The current property tax is 0.65% (just more than a half percent) of the assessed value as long as the property is used for residential use.”

Question: “Are there ample medical resources in Baja California?”

Answer: “Yes. There are 377 hospitals, 2,230 primary physicians, 349 specialists who are MDs, 638 dentists, 407 laboratories and 2,700 pharmacies in Baja. Health insurance is very modestly priced and MEDAVAC services are available throughout the state.”

Question: “Is Mexico a good place to retire?”

Answer: “Yes. Mexico’s Baja California was named “The World’s Top Retirement Haven” by International Living, 2007 Retirement Index, published September 2007.”

If you’re looking for a primary residence or a second home, contact our friend, David Biondolillo at Baja 123 for more information about purchasing a unit or buying a fractional ownership of a condominium in Santa Barbara Luxury Living at Bajamar. Better yet, plan a trip to Baja California and meet our friends, tour the condominium development and enjoy the local wine country nearby. There are 50 wineries to explore ranging from small family-owned wineries to large commercial winemakers who produce 95% of the wines for Mexico.

If you’re retired or preparing to retire, or you’re looking for a good investment that is only 45-minutes to the US border, then we recommend coming to Baja and experiencing the magic for yourself.

If you are ready to secure your piece of Paradise visit the Baja123 website and make your dreams a reality: CLICK HERE

Published by Escape From America Magazine