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Everything posted by earlyretirement

  1. Some people still have that option but they are phasing it out. Here is an article that describes how to at least change appearance which many prefer. http://osxdaily.com/2018/09/30/change-gmail-back-old-versions-appearance/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+osxdaily+(OS+X+Daily)
  2. Yes, the rental taxes are high but I just pass that on to renters. I don't have any non-payers. I've rented properties for almost 20 years and never had a problem with that. I typically buy for the long-term so not as worried about capital gains tax but they are high in several places. The good thing is if you are paying a big capital gains it means the property appreciated significantly. And my theory with taxes is I'd rather make a lot of money and pay a lot of taxes vs. paying no taxes and making no money. I don't know anything about New Mexico other than what my friend is doing and built up. He doesn't seem like he has had too many issues and seems to have found a winning formula. He said most of his rentals now he gets referrals from existing tenants and that really has worked. Rentals and real estate in general is not for everyone. I definitely agree with that. But over the long-term it's been my most successful and most stable investment.
  3. Wow. Thanks for posting the photos as it gives good perspective. Just how far will the water go up towards those restaurants? Where it's flooded looks like where I usually park when I go into town. Do those restaurants there ever get flooding into their businesses?
  4. No one is getting trumped here. Some of you seem very angry and hostile. Why I'm not sure. That's ok though. No one said I'm a big time investor. I was just stating facts that this isn't my first rodeo when I got all the warnings to never invest unless a project was finished. I was pointing that out to tell you that I've purchased many, many properties. When you posted how screwed up there, I posted a photo to show you other places are more screwed up. It seems like the more detailed and objectively I'm posting the angrier some of you get. Again, why I'm not sure. LOL. Thanks so much Honeybee for that genuinely kind post. Absolutely we all have made some bonehead investments that lost money. I bought Washington Mutual stock two weeks before they went out of business. I lost $250,000 in two weeks. I thought I was catching the bottom. Everyone likes to talk about their winners but few talk about their losers. It's why I like real estate so much. Real estate in nice areas don't go down to $0 and at least all the ones that I've purchased over the past 20 years have all generated positive cash flow on rentals. Congrats and kudos to you on buying the 7 new apartments. Even if they are in a poor neighborhood that doesn't mean it wasn't a great investment if they are producing good positive cash flow. I'll tell you a true story. One of my friends is a lawyer. Pretty darn good and and successful in New Mexico. Well he started buying up cheap apartments and fixing them up. His tenants were mostly poorer Mexican Americans but they were honest, they paid on time and took good care of the properties. Every year he'd buy a few and fix them up. Then he started getting into neighborhoods that were still rough but he would bill the US government and had dependable rents. Last time I talked to him he had something like 35 of these and his cash flow far exceeded what he was making being a successful lawyer. So stick with it and if you can, keep building up a portfolio of properties. Just don't leverage or over leverage yourself. Good luck! Yes. I already own a large apartment there and I'm also looking to buy more there as well. I'm not thinking of buying in Chapala because I think it's some paradise. Sure it's nice enough. I buy where there are opportunities for capital appreciation and also mostly cash flow from rentals. It just seems like a place with the right set up where you can make good cash flow.
  5. Great that you have someone great that seems ethical, capable and honest. I got my high speed Internet in Guadalajara installed with Tel Mex. I've been really happy with how quick it is (I got 100 MB) service which was the fastest you can get. But one day it stopped working and dealing with Tel Mex was a hassle calling in. Luckily when the Tel Mex guy came out to install it I happened to ask his number if I had any questions. When it stopped working they came out and said it was the Cable. I'm not sure why but there is a really thin and delicate fiber optic cable that he said breaks all the time. I guess I wasn't dealing with TelMex because he said dealing with them would take a few weeks. He charged 400 pesos to replace the cable and voila! Right away it was fixed.
  6. I'm open to other projects but as far as I can see this is the only really upscale project that is approved and has reputable companies involved. I have asked them many questions but always good to get input from locals. The website is a bit confusing as it says "View from 6th floor" but they said the penthouse apartments are on the 5th floor.
  7. Well, I thought I was fake? LOL. Seriously as I mentioned, cash transactions are the norm in other places. I NEVER carry around cash in Mexico because you don't need to. Everything works very well in Mexico and the banking system was really quite stable. Property transactions are all with wire and everything is well documented. These message boards are to share information. In places like Argentina almost ALL of the transactions are ALL cash.
  8. Yeah, I think on this particular purchase it was around $270,000. Some of the money isn't in the photo. The crazy thing is armored guards aren't to be trusted (they are the ones that usually call their friends to rob you). So I was walking around with the money in a backpack to the closing. Safest way. This is nothing. I once purchased an old dilapidated building for $3.5 million and the seller demanded cash! So we are at the closing in the basement of the bank and they literally have the money in vacuum packed sealed plastic from the US Federal Reserve Bank (as that is how it's delivered) and the seller still wanted to count each bill by hand! Closing took about 4 hours.
  9. This place sure does sound like the wild west. Ha. But as mentioned, I've seen this type of stuff lots of times before. Mexico still is easy compared to some countries like Argentina where you have to literally show up to closing with $100 US bills. Now THAT is like the wild west. Here is a photo I snapped last year when I was buying a property in Argentina. Insane huh having $250,000 US in cash at a property closing? So maybe now you'll understand that I've seen a lot of stuff before. And yeah, maybe my risk tolerance level is a little higher than some of you gringos.
  10. I used them a few months ago. Had a GREAT experience with them. I'm not sure I'd use it to buy electronics or an expensive iPhone but they must have some protection program. My new apartment in Zapopan came with this fancy dishwasher installed. It was the first time I had a dishwasher that required salt. I can understand if you optionally wanted to use salt for hard water stains but the dishwasher wouldn't work at all without it! I couldn't find it anywhere in the store in GDL. I tried many places. Then I went on Mercado Libre and instantly found it. Was a bit pricey as I guess it's from the USA but it was instantly shipped from Mexico City and I got it in 2 days. Worked flawlessly. Also I'm a really convert to dishwashers that use this special salt. Glasses come clean crystal clear. Best I've ever seen.
  11. Hi Cedros, It looks to be Jatropha integerrima, commonly known as Peregrina or Spicy Jatropha. There is a free App on both Android and iOS called PictureThis Plant. You just snap a photo (I uploaded your photo) and it can instantly come back with what plant. Surprisingly accurate in my experience. Score one for your jardinero! https://floridata.com/Plants/Euphorbiaceae/Jatropha integerrima/818
  12. Hey Jack, Sorry to hear this happened to you. But twice? I'd think if it happened once you'd be vigilant and watch them like a hawk. Twice? Again, sorry this happened to you.
  13. Just out of curiosity, what causes/reasons do they have for releasing water through the dam? Also, I took this photo from one of the parties that I went to of a friend of a friend in Chapala. He had built a gorgeous modern home right on the water. I was curious how high the water can get. I assume the water can't get as high as the house as his yard was VERY big. But is flooding ever an issue for those homes right there on the water?
  14. Ha, ha. I LOVED your post. Yes, I understand the mentality and I think you nailed it on the head. I've seen the same type of thing in many places I've invested. Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia and other places as well. I do agree with you that it's a catch 22 because as the more affluent people come in and more expensive projects, it will drive up prices on real estate. For example, even if I don't end up buying in this project. If it's a success (and by success I mean it selling out at the prices they are asking) then you will see more and more people buying land and putting up developments. So it will be interesting to see how this plays out. In many areas where I invested, locals wanted the infrastructure to drastically improve but they typically don't want to see their cost of living or prices to go up (especially housing/rental) which often times can be their biggest monthly expense. I saw the same thing many years ago when I started buying up land in various neighborhoods in Buenos Aires (especially Palermo Soho) and people thought I was nuts. Then projects started going up. Then that drove more investments. And just a few short years after that it became the hottest and one of the most desirable parts of the city. Obviously MUCH more expensive now. But you are exactly correct that things WILL change. And most likely real estate prices will continue to go up. I'm looking at buying another property in Guadalajara and wow have prices there gone up just since I bought my property less than 2 years ago. Look at high end newer high-rises in the Country Club area of GDL and it's quite pricey. As another poster mentioned, in Zapopan (which is really the only area to really expand as most of the land in GDL is all sold and built out) the prices have appreciated tremendously and I don't think the prices are done going up in many areas. You have that Oracle campus with over 4,000 employees that will go there. On the same block you have one of the largest private hospitals in Latin America going up. It's more predictable in that area. But Chapala is one of those areas it just depends how quickly it comes. Great post. Thanks again for posting it. And I don't feel the need to answer all the complaints. I've seen the same type of attitude in many other places. But in each instance, I've learned something. That's the great thing about the Internet and these blogs. The sharing of information and being able to discern what is helpful and what isn't.
  15. But there is a difference between something getting posted on Facebook and another when one of the most prestigious real estate firms in the world is telling you about it. But I do get the point you're trying to get across. This is excellent and thanks for taking the time to post it. Yes, I'm assuming that the clientele would be Tapatios. Retirees never are my target audience as they are on fixed incomes for the most part. Many of my properties I charge $300 US dollars per night including the one in Guadalajara. For that property so far I've mostly gotten Mexicans now living in the USA visiting their family in Mexico and also Americans and also several Mexican locals that rented it for friends/family coming in town to visit them. My property in Guadalajara sleeps 6 people with 3 bedrooms so the cost to book a few nice rooms at a high end hotel would easily surpass that in many cases. And even then you can't really all socialize together, cook in a big kitchen, etc. Yes, all of my friends in Chapala have great views from their houses but their houses are kind of dated and not that upscale. The main thing is the view. But the actual houses aren't anything to write home about and the furniture was also nothing special. They just use it for personal use on the weekends so I don't blame them. One house that was really amazing that I got invited to a party once was right on the Lake with a HUGE yard. The house was modern and very nice. That was the nicest property I've been in there. But the strange thing is there was an odor coming from the drainage in the bathrooms. Also, the mosquitos were pretty bad. Interesting hearing about all the issues with the land/rock slides. I'll take extra precaution with that. So it sounds like it's easier to get a list of negatives against buying in Chapala vs. buying from many of you. Can you tell me some other negatives of owning a condo in Chapala?
  16. Because sometimes objective strangers give as good (or sometimes better) advice vs. friends. In my experience, there is no correlation with how wealthy a person is and how smart they are or advice they give. I have asked my friends in GDL and the ones that own in Chapala about this and they said nothing like it exists right now. They say they aren't convinced on the location but don't go so far as to say it's a poor location for what I'm planning to do. They tell me definitely that there is enough demand to keep it full during the weekends (friday, saturday and maybe sunday) but they say during the week will most likely be dead. But then again they don't know because nothing like it really on the market. I understand that I'm a stranger and I don't personally know anyone on this board but I can assure you that I'm very genuine and I am asking from a due diligence standpoint. I'm unsure on this investment and that's why I'm reaching out for advice which I greatly appreciate. Many of my friends told me I was nuts to pay almost 100% cash up front on a development in Zapopan when it was just starting. But I went with instinct and it worked out. I don't have as strong of an instinct on this AltoLago property as I don't know the area well. But I'd like to think I know a thing or two about luxury rentals and what is appealing so from that perspective I feel confident I could make it. But I understand much of the concern and warnings is that the property will never finish.
  17. No promotion. I think there is a lot of great information provided as a result of the thread. I'm very genuine in wanting to find out information and I've also been able to verify some due diligence that I did myself. I'm going there next month so willing to look at any other areas/properties/projects that you locals recommend. If you don't want to post on the board you can PM me privately.
  18. I'm not done with all of the due diligence Still ongoing. Well, yes several of my wealthy friends own a home in Chapala or around the Lake. But many do not. But my friends that do own there throw some BIG parties and inevitably you have many people that go there for the weekend and not enough room to stay in their friends house. So they have to find local accommodations and as mentioned there isn't really anything that great. So it really becomes an issue not that they can't afford anything really high end to stay in but not so easy to find something and that's the gap I'm looking to fill. I have NO doubt at all I can keep it rented on the weekends for a high dollar per night rental. The developer already confirmed to me they will allow short-term rentals. But I am still trying to estimate if I can capture a few rental nights during the week. It's an experiment but often times that's the only way to find out. I'm still not convinced on the location as some of you aren't. But I want to go see it and see it for myself. The way and location they look to be constructing I don't believe there would be any issues with flooding or foundation issues. The reality is that someone renting for 2 nights doesn't care so much about exact location.
  19. Yes, to answer your question I have. In every single investment property I have purchased, I actually constantly go back and actually use it. It's not just a straight investment as I utilize it as well. In many of these areas as luxury projects like this came on board, it usually spurred other higher end projects which spurred growth to the economy as nicer restaurants opened up, improved roads and parks and general investment in the area. I don't buy to live in these properties. My typical rental property has 7 days or less stays. Honestly, this would be a wild card because I am confident I could rent it out every single weekend but I'm not sure how high end rental would be during the week. I just don't know if people from Guadalajara travel much mid-week. The locals are NOT my target market. My friends that live there said they haven't experienced this but as mentioned, I'll go there during this time and see. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Yes, of course I'm aware of the rapid appreciation in Zapopan. In fact, I purchased my property in Zapopan almost two years ago when they were just starting to build it. It too experienced great appreciation. The value on it went up over $100,000 US just during the 2 year construction phase. I got a further discount as I paid almost all of the money upfront to lock in a good discount. The developer was a friend of mine so I had comfort that it would finish on time. I'm renting it out now and it's been doing extremely well. I don't rent to students. One thing I noticed is there are a LOT of rental apartments on the market but most of them have no furniture or the furniture in the ones that are furnished are not that great. So I go the opposite end and furnish very high end and go towards renting to wealthy and corporations that send their employees there for business. Less wear and tear and they are mostly out all day. Thanks for confirming that nothing fits the criteria of Alto Lago. I looked and looked but couldn't find anything at all. This is also why I believe it would do very well as a luxury rental. No real competition at all for what I want to create with the rental. Here is a floor plan for the unit I'm considering. 4 bedrooms with in-suite bathrooms and a great view of the Lake with private plunge pool in the Penthouse balcony as well as a pool in the building overlooking the lake. The building has full service amenities like gym restaurant/bar. For the typical Tapatio with some $ that is going for the weekend I don't think I'd have a problem renting this out at all. You essential "sell" (rent) out the property with photos and amenities of the property and building. I REALLY appreciate all of your comments as it's educational for me. Although I've purchased hundreds and hundreds of properties around the world. One thing I realized early on is you never stop learning and getting good information and thus my purpose of posting here and asking for input. It's greatly appreciated and helpful.
  20. This is the kind of input I was looking for. I'll go there between this time and see how it is. Thanks for sharing this information. No, I haven't made up my mind. As mentioned, I'm going to go there and see this specific area. Yes, I'm reading input but also many of you saying things like "don't buy something that isn't built" I've heard that kind of advice for the past 20 years and if I didn't invest in properties in various areas early then I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities (and money). Just as I am open to advice I don't just want to read people that write, "don't do it" without taking the time to research the people/companies involved in the project. It seems to be from doing some due diligence that past projects didn't have high calibre of people or companies involved with the project or weren't well financed. It definitely makes a difference on a project. Yes, I certainly am real and NO I'm not involved with any of the people involved in the project. I'm very genuine and I'm seriously thinking of investing in the project. I have no objective here other than to get information. I met a few ex-pats there in Chapala on various visits including a nice gentleman named Alex that owns a pasta restaurant there in town (originally from Switzerland). If anyone knows him, I'm sure he can vouch for me. We have mutual friends and he has been in the building where I bought in Guadalajara. I've met several ex-pats and they all knew him. I met his very nice wife as well from Canada. Great people. Also, for all you local experts. If you don't think this is a good property what building would you recommend if someone wanted a high end, modern and newly constructed condo that overlooks the Lake with nice amenities (gym, pool, restaurant/bar)?? I'm not interested in a single family home or a property located in an actual hotel. Thanks in advance.
  21. Yeah, pretty much anywhere in Latin America there is risk on new constructions. I've purchased many high rises in South America where it was as late as 2 years to when they said it will be done. So there is always risk even if they finish. I've NEVER seen anything finish on time except the property that I just purchased in Guadalajara but my friend was the developer and my unit was finished on time. It was interesting that they even had a penalty clause in the contract that they would pay me if it wasn't finished on time. I still have to go here and see the actual site. But what I liked about this project was that there were so many reputable names behind the project. I've developed buildings before and what I appreciated about this particular project was that it seems to sit adjacent to the side of the cliff so it's not obstructing anyone else's view either. It looks to be neatly tucked into the hill side. I don't see any problems with flooding/foundation as it seems to be sitting on an elevated platform of rock. I will go here in a few weeks and visit it. And I wasn't trying to imply that La Reserva was some luxury property. I was just saying that someone else told me that it was nice and one of the best places in the area to rent plus it was near their house. It was ok but far from luxurious property, IMHO. But the location didn't get any better right in front of the lake. Sure, the risk is less the closer you get to being done but also the price is always much higher. I've never ever invested in a project early on where the value wasn't significantly more when it was finished. But I guess the argument some of you are trying to make is that the project will never finish. It's hard to imagine a scenario where you have this calibre of developer that doesn't finish as there would be too much risk to their reputation if they didn't finish. Same thing with Sotheby's which is a premium luxury realtor that has a great reputation. In my experience, when you have both of these scenarios the projects finish. The location while not in the heart of the best area, seems to me to be close enough to things yet while having privacy as well. In all the times I've been to Chapala I've had to have a car anyway. Nothing is within walking distance and I've always had to have a car.
  22. Hi Mainecoons. I was a bit unclear. Were you referring to Alto Lago when you said it's in violation of the "La Floresta covenants"? Or were you referring to another property? Also, I know I can google it but can you explain what the La Floresta covenants actually state? I remember reading end of 2016 about a high-rise that was stopped. I assume you're referring to that project. I don't want to buy in any clouded/controversial project and that's why I'm interested in this one. Again, it looks tastefully done. Only has 5 floors total so they are respectful of the locals and also would drastically improve the area. In my experience, once one project is successful then that spurs other higher end development.
  23. Yes, you can see the exact location on their website. They have a Google Map. I prefer up more towards La Reserva. A few friends have homes near there. This appears 5 minutes driving down the road. The project will definitely go through and I heard they have all their permits and the developer has done many big hotel projects and won awards. All the people involved with the project sound well respected. Definitely I get what you're saying but at the same time, I own real estate all over the world. And many times I buy early on when the area isn't built up or improved and over the course of 20 years I've done extremely well just getting in early before the higher end projects go up and the areas gentrify or become nicer. I've done it in many countries in South America. On the Alto Lago project I believe they already broke around but they are telling investors the actual construction won't start until January 2019 and it will take 18 months. I'm going to plan a trip there to see the exact location. Thanks for that helpful information NoVaDamer. Yes, the La Reserva was a great property and grounds. My friend has his boat docked/stored there and everyone is friendly. The pool area is great in front of the Lake. The rooms are all renovated but just not that high end and I don't think it was all that cheap. I think I paid $150 US equivalent per room and I had to rent a few rooms for my family. But I'm interested in Alto Lago for the reasons you mentioned. Location seems pretty good, totally unobstructed view will be great. Builder has a great reputation and done many big projects in Mexico. I just don't think long term this would be a bad investment. Plus I know I can rent it out for high $ per night if it's set up higher end. Plus, I like that the building is tastefully done. It's not a "monstrosity" as others mentioned they don't want to see. I wouldn't call Radisson Blu a luxury brand. They are mostly in Europe and when I've stayed in them they are typically a 3.5 to 4 stars at best hotel. Nice but nothing special or unique. I'm not sure what kind of prices they are going to charge per night. But I've been sent many of those types of things to invest in and I don't like hotel rooms as an investment vs. having a totally residential property. The wear and tear on a hotel room is much higher vs. a high end luxury rental based on my experience of 20 years renting out high end properties. The investment group for the Radisson sent me the prices and it looks like they only have sold 9 units. I'm not sure how long they have been building it. The cheapest room was about 59.37 sq. meters and they were asking 2.6 million pesos. The biggest room was 3 bedrooms 250.78 sq. meters and they were asking just over 11 million pesos. Yes, I'm aware of scams so you don't need to warn me about that. As mentioned, I've purchased many many properties all over South America so understand how that goes. Actually Mexico is head and shoulders more organized vs. many countries in South America where I've purchased where you literally have to shove a pile of $100 bills CASH on the table to the seller.... Thanks everyone for your great information.
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