By Harriet Murray • Cochran Real Estate• March, 2012
Housing for locals
Each year, billions of dollars are sent by migrant workers to their home countries, with some estimates putting the total value of remittances at more than $200 billion. For some countries, remittances make up a sizable portion of GDP.
Remittances are the private savings of workers and families which are spent in the home country for food, clothing and other expenditures. For many developing nations, remittances from citizens working abroad provide an import source of much-needed funds.
What about here in Puerto Vallarta? There are a number of colonies or neighborhoods where remittances from the US and Canada pay for the living expenses, including rent for the local families. In some cases, Mexicans living abroad have been able to send enough money back home to enable families to buy homes using the government- insured programs which offer mortgages to qualified persons. The stability of housing available to the labor market affects the services industries, which are huge in Vallarta. The tour operators, hotels, restaurants depend upon local labor. The wages are not high enough in most cases, however; to support a family so remittances can bridge the gap in income versus expenses.
Family members, even when grown and married, often live under one roof, in order to be able to afford housing. The cultural patterns which keep the families close and co-dependent upon each other financially can be affected by whether or not their absent family members sent remittances or funds home. Jalisco is one of the main states in Mexico to receive total remittances from abroad.
Several state governments, with the support of the federal government, have implemented programs to use part of the remittances to finance public works. This program, called Dos por Uno (Two for every one) is designed in a way that for each peso contributed by migrants from their remittances, the state and the federal governments will invest two pesos in building infrastructure at their home communities. If any reader knows about programs here of this type, please write me so I can share this information with the readers.
Facts for this article are from Wikipedia.
This article is based upon legal opinions, current practices and my personal experiences in the Puerto Vallarta-Bahia de Banderas areas. I recommend that each potential buyer or seller of Mexican real estate conduct his own due diligence and review.