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WHEN A BEACHFRONT VACATION TURNS INTO AN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY

Vacations are usually thought of as a retreat from the day to day world of business and responsibilities. But that is not always the case when traveling south of our border.

While numerous resort destinations across the globe struggle with attracting international investors, Bay of Banderas, one of Mexico’s coastal gems along the Pacific, continues to entice investment groups on all levels, from the individual American or Canadian wanting to escape the cold winters to frolic in a tropical beachfront condo to global hotel chains investing millions of dollars in strategic seaside locations. As Mexico continues to experience economic growth, with over 29 Million international arrivals, raking in its healthy share of the estimated $7.6 Trillion dollars from travel and tourism (World Travel & Tourism Council – 2015 Economic Impact Report), foreign investors big and small have taken note and continue to open up their deep pockets south of the border.

In 2013, Hotel Management announced Cascade Investments’ acquisition of the Four Seasons in Punta de Mita. The private investment arm for Bill Gates, ranked the richest man in the world by Forbes, purchased the ultra luxury resort located 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta, for an astounding $200 Million dollars, making it one of the largest investments in the region. Located in the State of Nayarit, approximately 17 kilometers (approx. 10 miles) north of Puerto Vallarta, the 1,500+ acre beachfront village is home to numerous high-end villas and a favorite low-profile destination for high-profile corporate tycoons and Hollywood celebrities, including the likes of Jodie Foster, Lady Gaga, Matt Damon, Beyoncé and Jennifer Aniston, to name a few.

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In December 2014, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta opened its doors to their beautiful beachfront all-inclusive hotel at playa La Estacas, a 300-foot long beach known for its soft white sand and turquoise waters. As part of a $20 Million dollar investment, this marked the third such venture in Mexico for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. The completion of Hyatt Ziva is one of over half a dozen new hotels in the bay, including the construction of Posada Group’s new convention center and oceanfront Fiesta Americana hotel. The addition of both hotels and convention center is expected to attract thousands of new tourists each year, adding to the economic growth along the less developed shores of Banderas Bay.

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But large investment firms and high rollers aren’t the only ones discovering investment opportunities along the bay’s 100 kilometers long coastline. With value properties ranging from the $200’s USD for a two-bedroom ocean view condo, to $800,000+ USD for a 3,000+ sq ft beachfront luxury residence with a slew of amenities, buyers from all walks of life are realizing owning a vacation investment property is realistic and within their means. While beachfront home ownership is often perceived to be attainable only by the rich, Puerto Vallarta’s varying real estate has changed all that. Not only are prices in this resort town within reach for many, but a significantly lower property tax rate (around 1.2%) and a stronger USD/CAN exchange rate versus the Mexican pesos, (currently over 16) adds additional incentive and value for would be buyers, lowering the carrying cost associated with home ownership.

In addition, Mexico’s robust tourism has allowed some homeowners a passive source of income from sun seeking travelers. By renting out to vacationers, owners of investment properties abroad are able to subsidize some of their expenses while enjoying the benefits of owning a piece of paradise.

So when does a vacation turn into a long term business investment? When one is caught up in the splendor and enchantment of a vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

The author, Taniel Chemsian is a regular contributor to HGTV’s “House Hunters International.” His next episode from Puerto Vallarta will be airing in the U.S. on Thursday, October 8th at 10:30pm ET/PT. Taniel can be reached via email at Taniel@timothyrealestategroup.com or www.TanielChemsian.com.

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This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post on October 2, 2015.