February 2013 ● Buying land and building along the Costalegre of Mexico

By John Van Dyke ● February, 2013

Beach at Chachalaka

Beach at Chachalaka

Almost seven years ago I made the then difficult drive to the Mayto area south of Puerto Vallarta. It was love at first sight and the beginning of an amazing project. I found a very special parcel of land fronting the Pacific Ocean, with multiple building sites and breathtaking views of the ocean and beach. I call the place Chachalaka after a native bird. Today, I am nearing completion of a modern, eco-smart house on this land. Many people have asked me how I did this and after seeing it, they certainly know why.

Casa at Chachalaka

Casa at Chachalaka

The first and most important piece is securing the true title to the land, once you have negotiated a deal with the owner. Acquiring land in Mexico, in many areas, usually means you are dealing with Ejido land. This was the case for me, and it is a process that requires patience and a great deal of effort on the part of the seller, as well as the buyer. Basically you are taking land out of Mexico’s “homestead” system and “privatizing” it. It is a process most sellers and buyers know very little about, so there is potential for misinformation along the way. The “Ejido”, which is a legal governing body of a community, plays a large part in the transaction. The leadership of the Ejido authorizes the sale, signs documents releasing the land, and gets a commission. Needless to say, a good attorney who knows about this type of land is important to have on your team.

I chose to be sure that I had legal ownership before starting anything. This took almost three years. Some jump right in without papers, something I would recommend against.

Casa in construction

Casa in construction

The second, and fun part begins when you put in infrastructure to support development and start the design process. I might add, that most everything you do requires permits, and in some cases you deal with both local and Federal regulations. My vision is for multiple homes, however I am focused on one home at the moment. This is a modern, sustainable, eco-smart house that I designed for today’s lifestyle of modern coastal living. I also believe it supports a concept of minimum environmental impact on the land. I have a great team running the construction. I think it is important to really know your contractor. We spent six years getting acquainted. This has paid off. I am in an area that some would consider logistically difficult. And, that is why it so special, a place of pristine endless beaches. It is a perfect hideaway with smart design, architecture and beach, less than two hours from Puerto Vallarta.

Keep exploring! And enjoy the month.

John Van Dyke
E-mail: mailbox@tehuamexico.com
Please visit: http://tehuabay.blogspot.com/http://maytobeach.blogspot.com/ &   http://chachalakapartners.blogspot.com

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