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Information about SONORA MEXICO2006

Published on March 15, 2008

Author: Manlio


San Carlos, Mexico:  San Carlos, Mexico San Carlos’ Immediate Target Market Area – 600-mile Radius Map:  San Carlos’ Immediate Target Market Area – 600-mile Radius Map Introduction :  Introduction Opportunity Abounds! Over the past decade, the growth of American interest in Mexican real estate has been astounding. Reportedly, 1.5 million Americans now own property in Mexico. The primary reason for this tremendous growth is the simple fact that real estate prices in coastal areas of the US are becoming out of reach for most Americans. While at the same time, laws pertaining to non-resident ownership of coastal real estate in Mexico have relaxed considerably. The Mexican government has been working hard to promote foreign real estate acquisition, recognizing as Mexico’s President Vicente Fox articulates, “The tourist industry is the passport towards the future”. The following section will illustrate the reasons why Mexico is a great investment opportunity. Land and Construction Costs Currently, land costs in San Carlos are approximately 1/20th that of comparable land on the coast of Florida. For instance, a recent 60’ beach-front lot in San Carlos sold for $180,000, or approximately $3,000 per front foot. A comparable beach-front lot in south Florida would sell for $60,000 - $70,000 per front foot. Not only are land costs incredibly reasonable, but construction costs are approximately 1/4th of those in the US. A hand-crafted, solid adobe-brick house with marble finishes wholesales for approximately $50 per square foot (psf) and retails for approximately $80 psf in San Carlos, versus a lesser-quality construction comparably finished house in the US at over $300 psf. Low hard costs are important, but the key to incredible profit margins in San Carlos is the disparity between costs and pricing. While land and construction costs are but a fraction of those in the US, sales prices of completed units, although viewed by consumers as a large discount from the US, are not as proportionately low. This disparity between building costs and sales prices offer developers a rare opportunity for abnormally high returns. Mexico’s Positive Political Climate :  Mexico’s Positive Political Climate Foreign Ownership of Land Beginning with the passing of the Foreign Investment Law of 1993, the Mexican government liberalized ownership provisions of all property within the constitutionally protected area known as the Restricted Zone. This designated area includes all property within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of all borders, 50 kilometers (31 miles) of all coastlines, and all of Baja California. Prior to 1993, foreign nationals were completely prohibited from direct ownership of real estate located in the Restricted Zone. Today ownership may be accomplished through one of two ways, depending upon the intended use of the property. Direct ownership of non-residential real estate is possible through the creation of a Mexican corporation which may be 100% foreign owned. This includes real estate purchased for development which will be sold off to foreigners for residential use. The corporation is considered Mexican and therefore the foreign shareholders may own the land directly through this Mexican person. Foreigners purchasing property for residential use may do so through a Mexican bank trust, known as a fideicomiso. In a fideicomiso, a bank holds legal title to the real estate and acts as the trustee while the beneficial interest in the trust is owned by the foreign individual. The trust exists strictly for the benefit of the beneficiary who is for all practical purposes the owner of the underlying property. The primary difference between a fideicomiso and a US trust is in Mexico the beneficiary controls the trust, not the trustee as in the United States. The owner’s beneficial interest in the property may be sold, rented, used as collateral for a loan, or passed on by will or inheritance. Fideicomisos have a term of 50 years, with 50-year perpetual renewals. (Source: Michael Foor, MA, J.D., LLM of the National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade) One interesting note to keep in mind regarding fideicomisos and the requirement of a Mexican bank holding legal to the real estate, is that the second largest Mexican bank, Banamex, is actually owned by Citigroup which purchased it for $12.5 billion in 2001. So indirectly, the title to the real estate may be held by an American entity, offering buyers further piece of mind. Escalera Nautica:  Escalera Nautica Escalera Nautica, meaning “Nautical Ladder”, is a $2 billion initiative which involves building a “ladder” or nautical route of marinas and tourist sites along the east coast of the Sea of Cortez and the Baja peninsula. The plan calls for the construction of a string of marinas up and down the gulf coast of Sonora, the Pacific and gulf coasts of the Baja so that boaters will never have to travel more than 120 nautical miles to the next stop — thus, a "nautical stairway." In addition, the project will include the construction of an 70-mile land bridge (or dry canal, a superhighway for cars and trains) across the middle of the Baja peninsula, from Santa Rosalia (on the Pacific side) to Bahia de los Angeles (on the Sea of Cortez side). This land bridge will facilitate the transportation and delivery of yachts up to 55 feet in length into the calm waters of the Sea of Cortez. The state governors, along with President Fox, are convinced that the projects will economically invigorate the Pacific Northwest zone of Mexico and that the Sea of Cortez will emerge as a world-class tourist destination. Boat Marina:  Boat Marina The Mexican State of Sonora:  The Mexican State of Sonora Sonora is the country’s second largest and one of its most progressive. Sonora has long recognized the importance of American visitors, residents, and investors and has consistently taken concrete steps to make travel to and from Sonora simple and safe helping to assure investors of the security of their holdings. Sonora boasts some of the most spectacular coastline in North America. Despite the explosion of development Puerto Penasco is experiencing, well over 90% of the 300-plus miles of coastline between Rocky Point and San Carlos (often referred to as the “Gold Coast”) is just now becoming available to homeowners, investors, and developers. Sonora's Governor, Eduardo Bours, has undertaken an unprecedented agenda to encourage outside investment in Sonoran tourist destinations. He has established an ambitious construction schedule for Sonora's new 375-mile coastal highway, committing to a 2009 completion date in Guaymas. This highway will offer a high-speed route from points north of Puerto Penasco all the way to Guaymas, making Sonora that much more accessible to southern California and Nevada. Last December, Governor Bours moved the vehicle inspection point from Kilometer 21 (12 miles south of the Arizona border) to the town of Empalme, which lies south of Guaymas. This move is anticipated to further encourage tourists to venture south to San Carlos. In the past, only Puerto Penasco enjoyed this ease of entry. The Sonoran government also introduced a $1 million advertising campaign in 2005, in order to lure tourists to the state. The majority will be spent in Arizona ($800,000), with the remainder used to target the New Mexico market. For comparison purposes, the Arizona Office of Tourism planned a $120,000 campaign to convince Mexicans to shop in Tucson and Phoenix and explore places such as Sedona and the Grand Canyon. The New Coastal Highway :  The New Coastal Highway Dubbed, the “Gulf Coast Highway”, the Mexican government began construction last spring on a $200 million, 375-mile long four-lane highway designed to provide access to the yet to be developed coastal areas of Sonora. “Eventually, the highway will be lined with tourist stops, restaurants, stores and industry”, said Oscar Lopez, the director of the Sonoran coastal highway project. The project has the attention of investors who foresee an unprecedented opportunity to invest heavily in Sonora having a major draw - Sonoran beaches - to enjoy. Noted Tucson real estate consultant, Bruce Greenberg, commented that the coastal highway would surely “open up the California marketplace.” With a coastal highway entering the U.S. not far from Arizona's border with California, "this is going to attract people from San Diego and Orange County to the Sea of Cortez. It's another stimulus recognizing the economic growth of Sonora," he said. San Carlos Coastline Drive:  San Carlos Coastline Drive Tourist Development :  Tourist Development American Investor Confidence in Mexico is on the Rise :  American Investor Confidence in Mexico is on the Rise Mexico has evolved into a highly attractive environment for investment. To begin with, Mexico’s political evolution has impacted the economic climate and the lenses through which investors view the country. Mexico has long been a democracy ruled by one political party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (“PRI”). The 2000 Mexican presidential election was significant in that it signaled to the Mexican people that their voices could be heard through the PRI and also showed the international community that the country was on the road to self-legitimization of its democratic process. In 2002, the international investment community recognized Mexico’s years of fiscal control and political stability with the upgrading of Mexico to investment grade. This clearly is the single-most important step in bringing Mexico into the institutional investor world. Peabody, Hines, and Equity International Properties were the first large-scale institutional investors to get into the game in Mexico, primarily focusing on the industrial sector. Public companies such as Strategic Hotels, NH Hotels, AMB, and Kimco followed, broadening the scope of investment to include the hotel, retail, and office markets. The evolution has since accelerated to include all sectors, including residential. In 2005, Hines and CalPERS, the nation’s largest public pension fund, teamed up to create a $200 million fund to invest in the Mexican residential and retail markets. Today there are approximately 15 foreign institutional investors with significant holdings in Mexican real estate, including such notables as Metlife and Prudential. In 2005, GE Commercial Finance Real Estate acquired a portfolio of 112 industrial properties in Mexico for $450 million, one of the largest Latin American real-estate transactions to date. GE Commercial currently operates $2.5 billion in assets in Mexico, with about $1.9 billion in structured debt and about $550 million in hard assets. Plans are in the works to expand that presence to $5 billion within the next two to three years. The ever-increasing confidence in Mexico on behalf of institutional investors signifies to the mainstream investor and average US citizen that investment in Mexico is a sound, safe option. As in any emerging market, those that recognize the trends and invest early will reap enormous benefits. AM I READY TO RETIRE:  AM I READY TO RETIRE Retirement planning a. Financial b. Life Style 1. How will you engage the world when you no longer work? 2. You have 25 years to plan for. How will you spend your time? Retirement success – takes planning AM I READY TO RETIRE:  AM I READY TO RETIRE Week of July 17, 2006 - Dollar down, market down, interest up, and gas price $80/barrell a. Financial – Add diversity (Foreign investment & Real estate) b. REIT’s – Real Estate Investment Trusts TIPS – Treasury Inflation – Protected Securities Real Estate Tools a. 1031 Exchange b. Structured Sale Annuities Slide18:  Self Directed IRA: Use Your IRA/401k to Invest in Real Estate, Private Placements and Much More... Equity Trust puts you in control of your self directed IRA or self directed 401k. Investment options include real estate IRAs, private placement IRAs, tax lien IRAs and much more....they make it simple for you! Visit the Equity Trust Company website at Marketing Strategy :  Marketing Strategy Our marketing strategy for San Carlos will seek to capitalize on the enormous growth in population projected in the southwestern United States over the coming two decades. In addition, we will include specific target markets outside this region found in the Pacific Northwest, Midwest, Central United States, and hurricane-riddled areas of Florida. The front-line of our marketing campaign will consist of a multi-media presentation, compact enough to be e-mailed or burned onto CD ROM for targeted direct-mail distribution. We have already conducted several marketing workshops with CW Craig Productions, Inc. ( CW Craig is known throughout the country for phenomenal multi-media productions that produce substantial pre-sale results. We plan to work closely with CW Craig to develop a hard-hitting marketing campaign. Our Immediate Target Market Area, is that which is identified in the 600-mile Radius Map located on the opposing page. This radius is one in which, with the development of additional airline routes through seat-guarantee agreements with airlines, flight time to San Carlos would be approximately two hours. The area defined in a 600-mile radius from San Carlos includes the large metropolitan areas of Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, and El Paso. The aggregate population these metropolitan areas is 24 million people. Additionally, we don’t plan to forget the large potential Mexican market in neighboring cities. Hermosilla (the capital of Sonora located 1.5 hours north of San Carlos) alone has a population of 1 million people. With such a large population within striking distance, our penetration in to these markets need only be minimal to attract sufficient buyers to reach sellout. Due to the fortuitous timing of our project, we will enjoy at the very least, several years of minimal competition, thus concentrating the incoming masses on our project. As you will see from the section that follows, current competition is minimal. San Carlos Golf Land:  San Carlos Golf Land San Carlos :  San Carlos The resort community of San Carlos encompasses 12,500 acres of pristine, picturesque mountain and marine environment. The unbelievable opportunity still exists to develop the majority of the town, as 9,000 acres (72%) remain untouched. Yet remarkably, infrastructure is in place for 36,000 residents in this town with a current population of less than 7,000 people. The current residential population of San Carlos consists of 70% Americans and Canadians. The majority of which hale from Arizona and other Southwestern states including California, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Texas. A combination exists of second home owners and retirees, most who have quietly been coming to San Carlos for years to enjoy the beautiful beaches, world-class fishing and scuba diving, and spectacular boating. The Population Moves South and West :  The Population Moves South and West The US population is on the move. For the 19th straight year, Nevada was the fastest growing state. Its population rose 3.5 percent for the year ended at mid-year in 2005. The population in Arizona, the No. 2 fastest growing state, grew at just under 3.5 percent. The other fastest growing states were Idaho (up 2.4%), Florida (up 2.3%) and Utah (up 2%), in the top five. Much of the increase in the populations of the fastest growing states was due to migration of residents from elsewhere. Simply put, the US population is moving South and West. This isn’t just an isolated one year statistic. The Census Bureau indicates that the top five fastest-growing states between 2000 and 2030 will be Nevada (114 percent), Arizona (109 percent), Florida (80 percent), Texas (60 percent) and Utah (56 percent). In ever increasing numbers, the population is seeking to live in warmer environments. And anyone who has ever seen a satellite image of the US at night will tell you that people flock to the coastlines. Put these two pieces of information together, and you come up with an undeniable increase in demand for affordable coastal destinations easily accessible from the western United States. San Carlos Cove:  San Carlos Cove Baby Boomers :  Baby Boomers The Baby Boom generation is made up of the 78 million people born in the US between 1946 and 1964. When added to that, the 10 million Canadians born during this period, this amounts to a demographic phenomenon 88 million people strong. This generation has been defining and redefining major aspects of the economy for more than half a century. And now as the leading edge of this wave reaches their prime second-home buying years and nears retirement, the real estate industry is beginning to feel the effects of this massive force. Second Home Sales :  Second Home Sales Second home sales have been soaring for the past five years. Wealthy baby boomers, favorable tax law changes, low interest rates, rapid home price appreciation, the influx of stock market refugees looking for safe investment havens, and more domestic travel due to post-911 security concerns have all been a boon to the second home industry -- especially the investment segment. In 2004, second home sales rose 16.3 percent over 2003, to 2.8 million homes, accounting for more than one-third (36%) of all homes sales in the US. The majority of these second homes, 1.8 million of them, were purchased primarily for investment, with the balance being purchased for personal use. Continued demand from baby boomers as they enter the prime years for second-home purchases is likely to fuel this trend for the next decade and beyond. When this trend in second home sales is coupled with the trend in population moving westward, it creates an undeniable increase in demand for homes in resort destinations south of the border. San Carlos will likely benefit greatly from both of these trends. Fractional Shares :  Fractional Shares A second home has been called the ultimate discretionary purchase -- something that many people would like to have but no one needs. People who do own a place at the beach, the lake or in the mountains often are quick to express frustration at not being able to spend more time there. It hardly makes sense to have the expense of a mortgage, upkeep, insurance and taxes for a place you don't use more than a couple of weeks a year. To deal with that situation, family members and friends often have joined forces to buy a place. It cuts down on the cost and everyone gets to enjoy a place that's more than just a hotel room. As a result of this trend, in 1994, the concept of fractional ownership debuted in the real estate industry. Fractional ownership offers individuals the opportunity to buy partial ownership of a vacation home in a resort area. Unlike timeshare, fractional shares are deeded ownership, and since their value is tied to the underlying real estate, fractional shares appreciate along with the asset. The concept has obviously taken off, as the fractionals industry tripled in 2004 over the prior year, generating more than $1.5 billion in sales, according to research firm Ragatz Associates. We anticipate San Carlos to have a vast fractional share market and intend to offer fractionals as an alternative to buying an entire residential unit. This strategy will allow us to offer product to a wider demographic, one which may not have the wherewithal to purchase an entire residential unit, or possibly just lacks the free time to use a second home more than a few weeks per year. Veranda Sea View:  Veranda Sea View Breakfast on the Veranda Over Looking San Carlos (old Town) :  Breakfast on the Veranda Over Looking San Carlos (old Town) Beach House View:  Beach House View Beach House:  Beach House Slide32:  The real estate market in the Mexican State of Sonora is said to be “one of the hottest real estate markets in the hemisphere.” Puerto Penasco :  Puerto Penasco Puerto Penasco (“Rocky Point”) is located in Northern Sonora, at the Northeastern tip of the Sea of Cortez, an approximate four-hour drive from Phoenix or Tucson. This once quiet fishing village is now in the midst of an unprecedented real estate boom. Leading experts indicate that the growth in Puerto Penasco is outpacing Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. In fact last December, The New York Times touted Puerto Penasco as the “Next San Diego”. Although not particularly renowned for its natural beauty, this area has seen tremendous growth over the past five years, yielding 27% average annual real estate returns. Condominiums are seemingly popping up everywhere, many being sold-out in days by lottery. As a New York Times’ reporter put it, “a jagged wall of a dozen massive new condo-hotel resorts, in varying states of construction, [is] rising toward the sky like a new Cancún. In order to put things in perspective, 800 condos were built in Puerto Penasco between 1994 and 2004. Today, there are presently 1,000 condos under construction, with 1,000 more on the way. Puerto Penasco Continues:  Puerto Penasco Continues The most significant catalyst likely to promote further growth in Puerto Penasco is the new coastal highway now under construction. This new Mexican highway will allow Californians to drop down from Mexicali or San Luis and drive along the Sea of Cortez coast to Puerto Penasco. This will surely widen Puerto Penasco’s market which now consists of mainly Arizonans. Many Southern California buyers will most likely begin to pass on the Tijuana/Ensenada corridor and travel southeasterly to the Sonoran Gold Coast instead. A $2.5 million renovation of Puerto Penasco’s airport was completed last September. This renovation included a $1 million runway extension as well as a new terminal. An entirely new international airport is planned to open just outside Puerto Penasco in 2008. The third catalyst for continued growth of Puerto Penasco is medical facilities. A new general hospital is nearing completion which will help to supplement the existing medical needs of the community. In addition, a “private” well-established American organization is rumored to be considering placing a medical urgent care facility in Puerto Penasco in the near future. The construction of such a facility would certainly help to attract additional retirees. Golf is the fourth catalyst. Three new golf courses are now under development in Puerto Penasco. Two of these courses, the Laguna del Mar course and the Mayan Palace course, were designed by Jack Nicklaus, with the third (Las Palomas) being designed by Forest Richardson. It will be interesting to see if real estate prices in Puerto Penasco experience a significant jump with the introduction of these three new courses. Research in the Cabo San Lucas market indicated that the single greatest influence on real estate prices in that market came with the introduction of golf. Finally, thanks to the Escalera Nautica initiative, Puerto Penasco’s marina will undergo significant improvements. The Mexican government plans to invest $3 million to bring this substandard facility more in-line with facilities found in San Carlos or Puerto Vallarta. This should certainly help to lure additional visitors to Puerto Penasco in the future. Slide35:  Liberty Cove ( is a proposed master-planned resort community located on the Sea of Cortez approximately half-way between Puerto Penasco and San Carlos, just outside of the small fishing village of Puerto Libertad. The property encompasses approximately 72 square miles (46,500 acres), with 15 miles of shoreline. A Los Angles-based investment group, Rockingham Asset Management, LLC, purchased the property in 2004 for a reported $25 million ($540 per acre). The developer’s Master Plan includes multiple golf courses, a marina, vineyard and winery, an equestrian complex, a Formula One track, and an 18,000-acre environmental preserve. The initial phase of the Master Plan involves 5,750 acres which will contain 2,875 residential units. Sea of Cortez by the Pool Side:  Sea of Cortez by the Pool Side San Carlos Sunrise Bay:  San Carlos Sunrise Bay San Carlos - Adios:  San Carlos - Adios Canyon View:  Canyon View Arizona Sky Village:  Arizona Sky Village Arizona Sky Village:  Arizona Sky Village Arizona Sky Village:  Arizona Sky Village Norrick Peak Canyon View:  Norrick Peak Canyon View Morning Rainbow:  Morning Rainbow High Mountain View of Norrick Peak:  High Mountain View of Norrick Peak ↓ Norrick Peak:  Norrick Peak Norrick Peak:  Norrick Peak Mountain Home:  Mountain Home First Light from Norrick Peak:  First Light from Norrick Peak Korean National Observatory Group:  Korean National Observatory Group For more information contact: Gene Turner (520) 558-1128 Loy Ann Guzman (520) 558 – 0020 :  For more information contact: Gene Turner (520) 558-1128 Loy Ann Guzman (520) 558 – 0020

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