myths about mexico

5 Myths about Mexico

5 Myths about Mexico

Mexico is an extremely popular tourist destination that caters to millions of visitors each year. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that over 1,000,000 foreigners now live here and the trend is increasing. So obviously, just like in any other country, some negative things happen to people and its gets reported in the media who are always looking for a dramatic headline. However, while the media sometimes portrays Mexico as a dangerous place, it is statistically very safe. So, as positive goodwill ambassadors for Mexico, and for Sayulita especially, we set out to debunk some typical Mexican myths that simply aren’t true.

myths about mexico

1. Myth No.2:  Mexico is a poor country

A long-standing myth that Mexico is a country struggling with it’s economy is definitely out-of-date. It is now the 15th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest trading partner with the United States. Also, it is predicted to be within the top 8 economies in the world by 2050, which is very powerful. While agriculturally still very strong it has now developed a massive technology economy and is the 3rd largest manufacturer of cars in the western world.

myths about mexico

2. Myth No.1: Drugs are everywhere in Mexico.

Many places yes, but everywhere no. Most of the border towns with the US have created this bad reputation because of the drug traffic and their history of violence. But Mexico is an extremely large country and a federal state. It is much better to look at individual regions, cities or towns within Mexico and if they have been a long history of crime before labelling an entire country with the same brush.

While drug cartels and their ruthless reputation sometimes dominate the headlines, the Mexican government are spending millions to dismantle the cartels and increasing international pressure and the hugely beneficial tourism economy are leading the change.

myths about mexico

3. Myth No.3: The public healthcare is bad

Mexico has some of the best medical healthcare institutions in the world. Many foreigners from the US and Canada visit Mexico for medical treatments for a fraction of the cost. Since the introduction of the “seguro popular” over 10 years ago, which gives all residents medical coverage, the standards and professionalism have increased dramatically in larger urban areas. Foreigners who own property in Mexico can register in the healthcare system for a little as $300 a year. Now, most urbanised areas can provide highly trained physicians woking in state-of-the-art facilities.

myths about mexico

4. Myth No.4: Property in Mexico is expensive

Although Mexico property is steadily rising with 8% growth annually, it is currently undervalued in the global market. This has led to a large influx of investment into Mexican property and an expansion in the construction sector. Couple with that the lower cost of living it explains why many North Americans and Europeans are taking advantage of real estate opportunities for business or private purposes.

myths about mexico

5. Myth No.5: Crime is common in Mexico

This is definitely an outdated myth. Mexico ranks 21st globally for homicides, a long way behind other popular tourist destinations like Brazil, Jamaica or Guatemala. While kidnapping is an issue in Mexico, many are connected to drug wars, poor regions and power struggles. It is a lot less common for foreigners to be kidnapped and is increasingly seen as a foolish means to get money. As with most cities and travel destinations, there is some petty crime in many areas. Taking a few common-sense precautions will help you enjoy Mexico with no problems.

property investment in Sayulita

Prices for houses in Playa del Carmen have been rising, but property investment in Sayulita is ahead of the curve for all the right reasons

Prices for houses in Playa del Carmen have been rising, but property investment in Sayulita is ahead of the curve for all the right reasons

For many years now Mexico has become far more than a great tourist destination. Savvy investors and business people have identified investment opportunity in many locations in Mexico. Certain towns and cities in Mexico share the unique Golden Mix of location, potential and lifestyle. Also, significant improvements in national infrastructure have helped certain property sectors to see a steady rise in real estate prices over a few years, making it a perfect time for property investment in Sayulita. 

property investment in Sayulita

Playa del Carmen is an excellent real estate example as a case study that shows how investors are increasingly re-selling at a higher price, renting out their properties as a business, or using them as a retirement home. To help our clients understand and equate all the important factors we use a growth curve to visualise the best time to get involved in a property deal. 

property investment in Sayulita


There are many factors to consider when investing in property. As the above curve shows it is advantageous to invest when the market prices are lower. As with Sayulita, house prices are steadily rising but still significantly lower than a more developed area like Playa del Carmen.

Private Investment

Private investment in the luxury home market closely follows the first 2 factors on the list below. Analysis of all significant factors helps us to confidently assess growth potential for your investment.

There are also many other important considerations to ensure that market prices will continue to increase, so we have listed them below to help you understand what to look for. Here are the top 8 factors that contribute to appreciation in property prices.

1.Tourism developments in Sayulita

pueblos mágicos

Perhaps the first indication of growth potential is government support and investment. Recently, Sayulita was included in the Pueblos Magicos program which included a sizeable investment in local infrastructure. The program is designed to develop “Magical Towns” that offer something unique and cultural.

Major hotels have started to open in the region, including 3 new golf courses, and other service companies are beginning to establish a presence here.

2. Historical growth in the region and projected population growth

Since the 1960’s Sayulita has been developing under the shadow of the beautiful city Puerto Vallarta. The region started developing rapidly and Sayulita quickly gained the reputation as “A Hidden Sanctuary” in paradise. Realtors and estate agents started to recognise the growth potential in Sayulita about 5 years ago and since then Sayulita and the Riveria Nayarit has expanded consistently as an excellent location for luxury property development.

property investment in Sayulita

Added pressure on the property market from new industries entering the region, a consistent increase in tourism, with new jobs being created, has increased the projected population growth in Sayulita. All of this are fantastic indicators when analysing the economic growth of a region.

3. Interest Rates

The lower the interest rate the lower the mortgage repayments and depending on how you would like to structure the investment this can be fixed or variable. Recently, mortgage interest rates are low again since the recession. All this means a well-structured mortgage on low-interest rates can reap high-end rewards in the future.

4. Global Economic Markets

The International Monetary Fund published a projection for growth in 2016 as a modest 3.2 percent but that recovery is projected to strengthen in 2017 and beyond. This is driven primarily by emerging markets and developing economies, many of which are in the southern Americas like Mexico. Read more here

property investment in Sayulita

We all know that political and environmental issues can change economics quickly but as it stands there is a much higher chance of global economic recovery and growth than another recession.

5. More Renters in the Market

There is a growing number of younger renters in the market. One of the fastest growing metrics right now is how people are spending money on experiences rather than material things. The younger generation is choosing holidays and adventures over expensive clothes and cars. This has contributed to an increase in property investment as a rental business along the Riveria Nayarit coastline as business people identify new opportunities. For example, Sayulita`s rental market has grown consistently over the past 10 years as holiday makers, adventures, and especially surfers come to discover  this unique destination.

6. Houses are more Popular than Apartments

This is sometimes a reluctance to finding an apartment to rent. Home-owners confess that renting an apartment can feel like a step backwards to move to an apartment. As a real estate investor, this is a great opportunity. From our experience, we know that homeowners often make better tenants because they treat their rental home as their own for the time they are staying there.

7. Real Estate is a great long-term investment

Real estate is still an excellent long-term investment. If you consider the growth over the last 15 years, regardless of the recent crisis, real estate within the restricted zone of Mexico is still valued much higher than it was. Also, if you decide to rent your property you won’t have a problem finding renters to pay your mortgage.

8. The Lifestyle that the region provides

While it is possible to buy luxury property in many locations across the world, one should consider the lifestyle surrounding the location. Shrewd investors select locations that offer as many lifestyle choices as possible. Culture, cuisine, leisure, health, outdoor activities, and safety are all essential elements that contribute to the growth of a region.

Yoga and Fitness

Yoga and Fitness


Timing is Everything

In the 1990’s Playa del Carmen was definitely not a hot property market. This changed when it was recognised as a beach holiday destination and attracted many European visitors. Hotels and investors entered the market and the room inventories doubled in a matter of just 10 years. With the dramatic increase in growth, the year-round population boomed and the real estate market began to expand.

During the first few years of the 2000´s, many investors would purchase pre-construction condo units to sell them 12 months later with 30% or more appreciation. One realtor we interviewed about the boom remembered his clients commenting that “I should have invested in that property when I first saw it a few years ago”.

While Playa del Carmen is experiencing a downturn in appreciation values, Sayulita is perfectly situated to repeat the dramatic increases that Playa del Carmen had. For those of you who remember the appreciation wave of the early 2000´s then now is your opportunity to buy into the market before the next wave.

property investment in Sayulita

Want to know more?

Here’s our guide to Buying Property in the Restricted Zone in Mexico.


8 Reasons to Retire in Mexico

A growing number of retirees are considering retirement abroad.  Many others have already taken the plunge. Spending your retirement years abroad has evolved from a fantasy available only to the privileged few to an increasingly attractive option for many retirees.

Most ex-pat havens in former “Third World” countries now have good, basic infrastructure and fast, reliable telecommunications links, making the world more interconnected than ever before.

Mexico has been a top retirement destination for over 60 years. Today, more U.S. and Canadian ex-pats live in Mexico than in any other country in the world. In case you’re wondering why, we’ve compiled a list of 8 reasons why you should choose a Mexico retirement.

photo by luigi alesi

photo by luigi alesi

1. To escape the harsh rigors of winter

Living in a climate without extremely cold temperatures for at least part of the year promotes better health. Mexico offers a choice of climates ranging from the “Eternal Spring” of towns like San Miguel de Allende and Ajijic – to dry desert heat and hot and sunny tropical beach destinations.

photo by belgianchocolate

photo by belgianchocolate

2. The chance to relax and settle into a slower pace of life

The laid-back pace of life in Mexico is just the ticket after a number of stressful years in the rat race.  Here, you can take the time to relax and enjoy your retirement and still be active. In Mexico, no one will begrudge you that refreshing afternoon siesta!

photo by Marian Zambrano

photo by Marian Zambrano

3. Delicious food and cuisine

Basic foods and drink cost much less in Mexico than in Europe and North America. And the food in Mexico is wonderful! Fresh fruit, especially the sweet and juicy tropical varieties, is readily available at local markets or right off the farmer’s truck! Vegetables, meats and fish can easily be found at very reasonable prices.

Eating out at your friendly neighborhood taco stand is a great value as well. Who can resist the wonderful aroma of fresh hot tortillas, grilled chicken, hearty soups and stews and the ubiquitous tacos as you wander the streets after sunset?

Photo-by-J Stephen Conn

Photo-by-J Stephen Conn

4. First-class health care facilities

Retirees will be happy to learn that top-quality health care is widely available in Mexico.  Every mid-size to large city has at least one world-class medical facility. Private clinics staffed by well-trained doctors, medical specialists and dentists can be found throughout the country. And the best part? Health care costs, on average, are about half of what you’d expect to pay in the U.S.



5. A vibrant culture

From beautiful colonial cities, such as Guanajuato and Morelia, to the ruins of ancient civilizations – Mexico’s rich cultural heritage has so much to offer.

The people of Mexico are warm and friendly. Instead of rehashing the past and worrying about the future, they live in the present moment.

Prepare to be awed by local handicrafts and the amazing artwork of the indigenous people. No matter where they decide to settle, retirees will enjoy close contact with a rich cultural heritage.

6. Thriving ex-pat communities

There are active ex-pat communities all over Mexico which offer many activities for both ex-pats and locals alike. Joining these groups makes it easy to get involved in local projects and make new friends. English is widely spoken in these communities, but a good working knowledge of Spanish doesn’t hurt.

7. Easy access to family and friends “Back Home”

Mexico is the United States’ closest neighbor to the south, so regular flights to and from major North American cities are readily available. More adventurous types can simply pack up the car and drive back in a matter of days.

8. Affordable real estate

You knew we couldn’t get by without mentioning this! Yes, Mexican real estate is affordable, even on a retirement income. Property taxes are low and barriers to foreign property ownership have been simplified or removed entirely.  We’ll have more on this in an upcoming article.

In conclusion…

Wherever you go in this vast and colorful country, the people will welcome you and make you feel at home.  The spectacular scenery and picturesque villages will marvel and enchant you. And the easy lifestyle will keep you coming back again and again. Consider a retirement in Mexico, you’ll be glad you did.