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Buying Mexico Real Estate Outside of Popular Tourist Areas

Village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Credit: Harriet Murray

A growing number of buyers in our Puerto Vallarta market are interested in buying Mexico real estate outside of the popular tourist areas. More often now those who become permanent residents or stay the majority of the year, decide they want to live in more residential surroundings with fewer tourists, cars, restaurants and noise.

There are also those expats who want to more deeply explore and experience the culture and lifestyle of Mexico. These expats do not want to replicate their experiences living in other places. In these cases, the selection of where to live is a different set of criteria. I have found the places they seek offer an intrinsic value of ‘’neighborhood” that provides a sense of community with neighbors who know each other and share and exchange.

In Puerto Vallarta, there are a number of neighborhoods with many of these characteristics. For example, north of Centro the Colonias Las Gaviotas and Versalles and neighborhoods east and west of Avenida Francisco Villa that continue into Pitillal are very popular. Colonias around the Rio Cuale such as Coloso and Buenas Aires are also magnets for expats. And south of Vallarta, past Mismaloya, there is Boca de Tomatlan and 45 minutes farther south, there is El Tuito.

In the middle of the north shore of the Bay of Banderas, Mezcales, Bucerias and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle are popular spots for expats seeking life away from the tourist zones.

Up the western coastline of Mexico north of the Bay of Banderas, the villages of Lo de Marcos, Guayabitos, Las Peñitas and Chacala satisfy the search for more typical and local living habits. San Pancho and Sayulita offer a strong contrast between rural living and more remote beaches. Litibu and Higera Blanca are growing and have become over time homes to both working nationals and expats.

A recent experience with a Brit and his American wife gave me the opportunity to look into these areas for that special property they were looking for. They like living out of town rather than in the more congested tourist areas, so we looked for what fit their requirement. The couple is typical of expats who are used to and desire a place a bit off the beaten track.

An agent who listed an out-of-the-way, well-built home with a good floor plan and high-end materials told me recently: “The only reason this property has not already sold, is its location.” This location and property is exactly what this couple and others who share their taste, seek. It is fun and different to tour these locations and properties on the hunt to find just the right home.

Expats looking for neighborhoods like these will find bigger yards, gated or private streets, mixed nationality neighborhoods and less noise. Pricing can reflect the distance from the ocean or beach and distance from restaurants, galleries and other popular attractions and amenities.

This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of real estate conduct his/her own due diligence and review.