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Pacifica at Real del Mar / Only buy if using independent attorney!

1 Mexico Review updated:

It is important to make sure you read all complaints related to Real Del Mar, and the warnings posted on the U.S. State Dept. web site before deciding how to do any business in the area. Pacifica is now going to build the condos that Real del Mar was trying unsuccessfully to market for the last three years. It is important to make sure the developer has the construction funding in place. Most of the developers do not, they are using buyers deposits. This is why many buyers get the houses late or not at all. Also, have a definite date for the delivery of the house. IF the word tentative is there you have to file a suit demanding delivery within 30 days. They are not in any obligation to deliver your house until the lawsuit is filed and the 30 days pass. Having a specific delivery date with a penalty is very important in all real estate sales contracts. The complaints you see about late or non delivery had the word tentative, or something like it in the sales contract. These people are experienced in drawing up contracts to their benefits, and you need to protect yourself. Because of thousands of problems the U.S. State Department posted the warning you see on some of the complaints. Also, the pdf done by the state of Arizona real estate dept. is extremely informative. They have had hundreds of their citizens scammed by tricky real estate con artists in Mexico. They can NOT help their citizens, but they are trying to warn them. Real Del Mar is trying to fool people by getting other developers to finish the projects they can't because of the terrible reputation they have for non delivery, or late delivery of homes. The same legal office is writing the contracts for Pacifica at Real del Mar as did for the rest of the development. Avoid the heartache and trouble others have had from doing business in Real Del Mar.

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Comments

  • Mi
      16th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    We have been checking out several developments in northern Baja as well as Los Cabos. After doing our homework we really like the new community they are building at Pacifica at Real del Mar. They bought the land from Real del Mar and are building a really nice project inside the resort that is not just your standard condos you see up and down the coast. It has a very nice golf course, seems to be very secure and is close to the border. That is important to us as my husband is still working and he wants to be able to commute across the border should we decide to stay for extended periods of time. My husband is an attorney licensed to practice law in both the USA and Mexico. He checked them out found out that the builders are an American company with a good track record of projects completed in the USA. He also found out that any money deposited on the project is through Stewart Title in the USA, and not directly to the developer. Another thing we really like is that the developer is carrying a performance bond to protect any money we deposit on the project. I know some people have had problems with a few new developments and I suppose that can happen anywhere. My suggestion is that you do your homework first as we did, before proceeding. Good luck!

  • Ke
      18th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I laughed when I read the above comment. It was obviously written by someone working at Pacifica. It is important even if you see some testimonial like this to hire your independent attorney, heed the United States State Dept. warning, and take your time. The comment reminded me of a time where I attended a Herbalife sales presentation. They had people stand up and give testimonials about how much money they were making, each and every month in the program. I worked at a bank, and a customer who was just filing for chapter 11, was there telling everyone how for the last year he had averaged $4,700. each month. If it would not have been a violation of professional confidentiality I would have stood up and told everyone he had not made a total of that much in one month.

    Google Baja real estate complaints, Real Del Mar Complaints, Mexican real estate complaints, Royal Holiday Club. You will find doing business in Mexico and signing a contract is a scary thing. Remember there are no building codes, no government inspections of plans or oversite in the construction process. Disclosier is not required, so if the foundation has cracked, as homes in Real Del Mar have had happen, the seller does not have to tell you.

    Be skeptical of the above comment, and beware. If you rent in Mexico you can leave without having to find a buyer, you don't have to pay 35% capital gains, or the extraordinary closing costs in the beginning. You have a lot to learn before you put in an offer.

    Follow the above person's advice, DO YOUR homework, don't copy theirs, they may have cheated, or be part of a scam to cheat you.

  • Ke
      18th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    My husband is also an attorney. We bought a house at Real Del Mar in 2004. The contract said we get the house july 2005. They keep telling that the house would be built, but always changing the date. We have a son and he was beginning school, so we rented a house so we would not have to change the school. Two years go by, then because one house the have by the lot where our house is to be, had cracks. It had hundreds of cracks. Water was up from the tile, under the ground. The ground was moving under the house. So then they tell us in January 2007 there wood be no house. All lotes in section are unstable. The ground was never tested for stableness. After having to argue with them we are having a lote, but we not able to build for some time. We won't have a house for a long time. We are Mexicans and this happened to us. So, even if you think you knew that you are doing, mistakes can happen.

  • Ke
      18th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    That is the truth, rent! There are better places to put money than risky real estate. The rents there are much less than the buying. It takes a lot of growth to recover Mexican closing cost and capital gains taxes, then there are other fees. Right now sellers can not find buyers, so if you own you won't be getting your money out for a long time. It is a beautiful place to rent.

  • Ke
      19th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I saw this posted on other sites about complaints on Baja Real Estate and am putting it here since the discussion is about what to do if you think you want to risk this. This is the foundation of doing your homework:

    Go to these sites for yourself! The State of Arizona's Guide is excellent in telling you the differences in the procedures and laws, or lack of laws. Remember, the only reason these agencies have published this information is that they can not help you across the border, and thousands of Americans have lost their life savings investing in property in Mexico. They are trying to help keep you from making a BIG mistake.

    I want to alert others that it is very important to listen to the advise of agencies in the United States about how to buy real estate in Mexico. I did not, and now I have a lawsuit.

    Here is a link to a pdf file published by the State of Arizona real estate department. It explains the differences in buying real estate in Mexico and the U.S. especially Arizona:

    http://www.re.state.az.us/PUBLIC_INFO/Documents/Consumer_Guide_MEX.pdf

    You will understand why it is important to use an attorney, not just a real estate agent.

    I say this, because I went to Coldwell Banker in Baja, and decided not to use the attorney. I wanted to save money. I thought I could research on my own on the Internet. Short version of the story, I now have an attorney, and a lawsuit to recover my deposit and damages. Though I was told my $5,000.00 deposit would be returned when I put down my down payment, Coldwell Banker cashed the check. They said that the developer told them to use it for commissions. I had a receipt for the deposit, but nothing in the contract about it. They also did not have my down payment put in an escrow account. I thought Coldwell Banker could be trusted because it was an American company. Again, learn from my mistakes, and follow the guidelines.

    This is from the United States State Dept. website, http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html#real_estate

    REAL ESTATE AND TIME-SHARES: U.S. citizens should be aware of the risks inherent in purchasing real estate in Mexico, and should exercise extreme caution before entering into any form of commitment to invest in property there. Investors should hire competent Mexican legal counsel when contemplating any real estate investment. Mexican laws and practices regarding real estate differ substantially from those in the United States. Foreigners who purchase property in Mexico may find that property disputes with Mexican citizens may not be treated evenhandedly by Mexican criminal justice authorities and in the courts. Time-share companies cannot be sued in U.S. courts unless they have an office or other business presence in the U.S. Consumers should contact a Mexican attorney, the Mexican consumer protection agency PROFECO, or other consumer information agency for information on companies that operate outside of the U.S.

  • Ke
      19th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I was telling a friend that I saw a program about the great opportunities in Mexico. He sent me a link to a complaint on a site called thesqueakywheel.com. A woman wrote about her experiences with Real Del Mar. She put links to other pages on the bottom of her page and I have had an education. I now see it is important to realize that a lot of the articles and tv programs are really Public Relations stories that the developers and real estate industry have gotten the press to do to promote their ability to sell their products. I read some stories that were in the Gringo Gazette, and they seem to be more honest. People don't go to the trouble to complain about things unless they have a reason. I would not be surprised if this project with the condos is not a glorified name change to try to put some distance between the project and the other problems at Real Del Mar. I wrote the lady with The Squeaky Wheel complaint, and she said that she is giving up on buying, but she still has not gotten her money back. I asked her if she had done much research, and she said three years ago there were not pages like these. She did not hire an attorney because the sales office at Real Del Mar said they could do the closing at less cost than a private attorney would do. Her lesson was in trying to save some money she is now spending more money. She was told by her realtor that Real Del Mar had a great reputation. She has met others living in the development that have similar stories as hers, their houses were delivered over a year late, or like her and six others not at all. Some houses have major structural defects, one is totally unusable. No wonder they need a new name to sell the condos.

    I can't agree more that doing your own homework and following advice from the our government agencies is crucial. There is an underlying resentment with Mexicans against Americans who are moving there and they don't feel badly at all if you lose your house and it goes to one of their own. They see these new comers as the cause of inflation, which is making it harder for them to survive. They see us in our fancy condos with all the amenities, while they are making $5.00 a day. Is there any reason for them to be happy we are their flaunting our wealth. Sure a wife of an attorney who sits around watching soap operas all day can enjoy it all while the Mexican servant brings her cake. No, they really don't like you.

  • Ke
      19th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Right now things are hard for everyone in Mexico. The economy has slowed down. Because of the immigration fight in the United States less money is being sent to Mexico from people that would go to the U.S. to work. Either less Mexicans can get to the U.S. or the ones there are not working as much and don't have the money to send home. When we see and hear that many Americans don't like our people, and are against our people trying to make a better life, it is hurting our feelings. Then Americans come to Mexico, and build on our beaches and tell us we can not go to the beach. In Mexico the beaches are free to all and it is against the law to keep others from using a beach. Our laws are different than your laws. You need to understand, this is our country. You want to take the best of it and treat us like we do not belong. Why do you think we should be happy that you are here?

    Sure, there are problems with the way real estate is sold here. Get over it. If you don't like the way we do it leave. Nothing would make us happier than if you would all pack up and leave.

  • Ke
      20th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I am very glad to see the information about what a person needs to do before ever considering putting their money into this. Of course, if you have a few hundred thousand dollars to gamble with, then go with your emotions and trust the people who are trying to have you support their lifestyle.

    On the other hand, I am saddened to see the negative things that Mexicans are feeling being displayed in such a public forum. It is easy to understand why the people feel resentful towards outsiders. The enjoyment of a lifestyle is coming off the sweat of cheap labor of the citizens of Mexico, then to add insult to injury, they deny us beach access, intimidate us with the gates and guards, and treat good people like criminals.

    It would be better if, like they say in Oregon, "Welcome to Oregon, thanks for visiting, Now Go Home!" I have seen those bumper stickers.

    One good thing about the slow down, prices should come down over the next few years, and maybe some Mexican professionals will be able to afford to buy one of these places. So, that will be a good change.

    One other good thing is that if a foreigner joins a protest, like a political rally, they can be exported immediately.

    You should see all the laws, you have less freedom here than we have when we go to The United States.

    It is something, you don't want big government, but when you don't get inspections and help with complaints, you want big government.

    These are just my thoughts about this.

  • Ke
      20th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    The advice seems to be common sense. We have all heard that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. It is like life is a game and other people are trying to separate us from our hard earned money, and we are trying to hang onto it. Life is not fair, some people have more than others.

    A con artist is a person who gets you to be confident in them. You trust them, they get what they want. What we try to get is a win-win situation. I get what I want at good value. Anyone who tries to pressure you into buying today, this is the only day for this deal, or using scare tactics that if you wait you won't get this chance again is using hard pressure sales and should not be trusted. RUN.

    Never pay the asking price. Especially in Mexico, that is the country for bargaining. Don't trust the sales people, they are NOT your friends. They do NOT work for you, they work for commissions.

  • Ke
      20th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I was in Real Del Mar, and there were no condominiums. The housing around there was partly completed. The weird thing is they were trying to build a retaining wall by filling black plastic containers, that are like the ones plants come in (five gallon size?) with dirt and stack them up to keep a row of houses from sliding.

    They have problems in the U.S. with landslides in beach areas, and we have qualified building engineers. I would not trust how they do that, and if you think problems here are bad, when those buckets of dirt give everything will go. I don't know who came up with that, but it sure was weird. It would never pass any plan permit process in the U.S. or building inspection.

    The area where they say they are going to build the condos is really an unstable one.

    I say, keep driving north and go back home.

  • Ke
      21st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I own a condo, and I am finding the homeowners' association is a real mess. There are people on the board who have done things the way they have in the past, and not managed the money correctly, so now whenever there is a problem we have to increase our fees for years to pay for repairs. For example, there is a problem with the building's plumbing so we all have to have our plumbing turned off and worked on. There is no money saved, so we all have to pay an increase of $110.00 a month. Some board members would like to have a fund to save for major maintenance, others want to pay as we go. That means new people have to pay for what should have been taken care of while the older people who sold got out of taking care of it. It seems unless something completely fails no one wants to deal with it.

    Also, there are arguments about what can or can not be on balconies. I understand limiting it to a reasonable amount of things, but a few who like sterile environments want to dictate their ideas to us all.

    If I had known the politics of condo ownership could be such a nightmare, whit people campaigning for their point of view, and for who they want to make decisions, I would never have gotten involved.

    Think about what it is really like to own a condo. It is not the same as renting an apartment, or owning a house. It is a different situation altogether.

    When I moved in the board was doing things one way, and in less than two years it has turned into a nightmare. When I get home from work I have people wanting to talk to me about this or that.

    I want out.

  • Ke
      21st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Frankly, if someone is dumb enough to buy something without taking the time and spending the money to make sure the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed, then they deserve to be scammed. Life is not fair, and I am sick and tired of whiners. Everyone wants someone else to do the work for them. So, I can see someone saying the woman said her attorney husband researched it so it is his fault the deal went wrong.

    We are all adults here, and so if you are to cheap to do what the warnings say, and hire an expert who knows Mexican real estate law, then you dig your own hole.

  • Lo
      21st of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Mexico is bordering on being a third world country. They don't have services or laws that resemble advanced countries. Think about what happens if you get pulled over by one of the police in that country. NO civil rights. As a foreigner, if you do anything they don't want you can be deported. One thing, you are not given the freedoms of speech to the degree Mexicans get in the U.S. If you participate in a political protest and are not a citizen, you can be deported.

    I lived there for two years, and in the end lost over $20,000.00 in my "investment". There are extraordinary costs when you purchase, and 35% capital gains when you loose. The interest rates are higher too. When I deduct all of these on what I got when I sold the house I could not deny the fact, it had been one big mistake.

    I am happy to see that the truth is finally being put online so people can have real information instead of public relation articles promoted by people in the real estate industry.

    Consider the sources.

  • Ke
      22nd of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I don't want to be sorry, so I am being safe. I will never buy anything that is not completed again!! A sign of intelligence is learning from mistakes. A smart person learns from their mistakes. I am going to act smart.

    An intelligent person learns from the mistakes of others. You can be truly intelligent, and learn from my mistake. I signed a contract for a condominium that was going to be built in downtown Sacramento, California. It was a large project and was highlighted on the news as the biggest and best thing ever done in the region. I put my money down. They dug the whole, pounded the pylons, day and night, ran out of money. They could not get financing. Now there is no project.

    The second choice I was going to buy, which had been built, is all sold out. I doubt I will ever get the chance to buy the unit I wanted in the second choice project. Buying an idea instead of a condo cost me either condo. It happens all the time. It is not just a Mexican problem, it happens everywhere.

  • Sa
      23rd of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I am so glad I saw this. My wife was trying to talk me into going there next month and looking at the condos. Thank you everyone!!

  • Jo
      23rd of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    A friend sent me the link to this site, because I talked about looking at Baja. This is the most important site I have seen about this. I am sending this to everyone I have in my listserve mailing list. I beiieve everyone who has anything to do with Baja or an interest in buying there should see this.

    Pass this on to everyone

  • Ke
      25th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I am a contractor in Oregon. I visited Baja and looked at the situation thinking of purchasing two years ago. My brother sent me links to complaints about the area because many of them are saying the same things that I have told him and others I speak to.

    It is a joke.

    The construction process is whatever you get. The reason taxes are so low there is because there are no services, or the reason there are no services there are low taxes.

    This is why there is no oversite on the plans and the construction process.

    Sure you have people in our country that get by the system, but if there is a problem you can sue the county for allowing the project to go forward if code was not followed. It has happened. In mexico, there is no code to follow, no government inspections. One person who wrote (on a different complaint site) they have inspecitons, referring to the "walk though" was a real estate agent who works there and says that to cover up there are no REAL inspections.

    One must ask, why are inspections important? Well, think about it.

    I agree, it is a good place to visit, but don't invest there.

  • Ke
      26th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I am going to retire next year, and the last place I would ever consider is Mexico. I am an African American, Cardiologist , and avid golfer. I have never felt so out of place as I did when I went to Real Del Mar and stayed at the hotel and played golf with friends a few months ago. It is not a place for blacks.

  • Ke
      28th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I saw a segment on the news last night how Florida Condos have decreased in value. One lady paid $400,000.00 in 2006 for a condo. It is now worth $300,000.00. People are trying to get out of their contracts. They have a choice. Walk away and lose the deposit, or finish buying something that is worth 25% less than what you are paying. If that is happening in Florida, I believe those who say it is happening in Baja.

  • Ke
      28th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Know first hand what a problem buying in a place like that is. I bought a place in Real Del Mar in 2004 for $170,000.00. It cost $12,000.00 in closing costs, and another $2,000.00 in other fees to establish the trust. I am now trying to sell the place, and have only been offered $220,000.00. I have been to told it is worth $260,000.00 by people in the development and realtors, but I have only had one offer is eight months. I have been paying almost $1,200. a month for three years. That is over $40,000. in interest. When I sell I have to pay 35% capital gains on what the Mexicans consider capital gains, the difference between the $220,000. and $170,000. It is easy to see with the money I also put into furnishing it, this has been a very expensive and not profitable experience. If I had put that money in the same mutual fund I have my 401 K in I would have received dividends, capital gains distributions, and growth on the price of the shares. I thought I was investing, but instead I was getting an education, and I learned a lot from this mistake. I paid a lot for this education.

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