Avid Baja surfers – fishermen land great real estate bargains in remote baja fishing camps

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Baja Surf Beach
Baja Surf Beach

Remote Baja fishing villages in baja, are offering outrageously great real estate bargains for those who have proven themselves to be “good people”.

Anywhere from 90 to 250 kilometers of tire busting bad roads separate these villages from the narrow paved highway that runs from Tijuana to Los Cabos. There is an old Baja saying: “Bad roads, good people, good roads, bad people”. Many pioneering surfers and fisherman (“del norte”) have frequented these remote fishing camps (some as early as the fifties, but most since the seventies) and proven themselves to be “good people” among the natives”.

They have made lifelong friends of fishermen whose parents or grandparents homesteaded these lands, and established baja fishing cooperatives in the first half of the 20 th century. These friendships are now paying dividends in buying newly regulated government land at ridiculously low prices.

The scenario goes like this: Fishermen established camps that grew into 200 to 500 person fishing cooperatives. The Mexican government granted them regional fishing and diving concessions for exploiting specific types of fisheries.

These cooperative camps were on land owned by the government, since no other ownership existed. The cooperatives paid no property taxes and received no government support for infrastructure. They generate their own electricity and many have desalinization plants. Fresh water in Baja is always scarce.

Now the municipalities want to provide services to these villages and of course collect property taxes. The government is providing deeds to the homesteaded properties at no cost, other than small processing fees. The government is also offering the lands surrounding these inhabited parcels at very low prices. In Punta Abre Ojos beach lots were sold for as little as six thousand dollars.

The campos are always on high ground, away from storms that blast beach properties. Only “gringo locos” want to live on the beach. But the Mexicano homestead beneficiary is solely eligible to buy these beach lots in baja directly from the government (foreign buyers excluded). As a result, many local fishermen have gone to their gringo surfer or fishing friends with an offer to be their “presta nombre” (borrow a name). An expression to denote a foreigner using a Mexican national to buy property reserved for citizens.

Once the Mexicano receives title he can legally sell the newly “regularized” land to a foreigner, utilizing a mexican bank trust. Mexican property trusts for foreigners provide all the benefits of ownership.

In Punta Abre Ojos, a great surfing, windsurfing and fishing location, many locals sold to their gringo friends without making a dime on the deal. These are noble and simple folk who place friendship ahead of economic gain.

In San Juanico ( Scorpion Bay ), rated as being among the top ten surf spots in the world, hundreds of surfers are buying acre to two acre lots on the ocean for $50,000.00. The sellers are the newly privatized ejidos (farming cooperative). Punta Chivato, on the Sea of Cortez , north of Mulege (fishing-windsurfing), ditto the above accept that prices are much higher in Chivato.

The problem with purchasing large parcels on coastal Mexicano land is that it is illegal for foreigners to do so. The regulations of exterior relations, who issues bank trust permits to foreigners, is not allowing property bank trusts for more than 2000 square meters, a little less than one half acre. These living trusts provide foreigners with all the security and rights of ownership in perpetuity. You can sell the land, rent it or pass it on to your heirs. Many foreigners are ““buying” properties without benefit of legal registries. A very bad and risky decision. Another example of leaving brains at the border.

Large parcels of land can be owned by foreigners in a Mexican corporation that is wholly foreign owned with the intention of doing business. The costs to do so are about the same as a bank trust but a professional consultant or attorney should be consulted in order to transfer property legally and safely into a foreign owned Mexican corporation We always advise our clients to seek title insurance in order to safeguard their investment. First America, Fidelity and Stewart Title companies are very active and anxious to sell you title insurance in Mexico . It is a “sleep soundly at night” at affordable rates: Eight dollars per one thousand invested. Therefore, a $200,000. property would cost a one time title insurance fee of $1600.

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