Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Week of Extremes from Cabo, La Paz, San Juanico, Loreto, Mexico

Last week I hosted the First Ladies of Founders pot luck party. It has been over four years since the first 52 buyers put their dot on the board and committed to paying an average of $350,000 USD for lines in the sand. These were mostly Canadians who were looking at 60 cent dollars at the time, and knowing that we were buying into the dream and vision, with a lot of risk involved. We hung in there, through much adversity, anxiety, frustration, and now are slowing moving in, one by one, to complete the original Cluster 1 in Founders Neighborhood. I think it would be great to have a five year reunion of the first pioneers in November 2008, so if you were part of the early groups, please join us November 15, 2008 and I guarantee … it will be a party!!

Many of the initial group are now living in Loreto several months a year, even though the neighborhood is still more of a construction zone than some of the later clusters in the development. We persevere and are building a community, where we say say Hello every morning, and take the time for a little chat. We offer to help each other without a second thought and feel safe in our camaraderie. It was a great evening for the ladies to get reacquainted and share stories of that fateful day when we started the momentum of what is to come.

My trip to Cabo San Lucas was fantastic and as promised, I was treated to the most delicious sushi in all of Baja at Nik San Restaurant. It is very expensive, and every morsel is worth it as you sit and watch the dozen sushi chefs create edible works of art, served with the best selection of Sakes available. There is so much money in Cabo that it is very surreal. Seeing this yacht with the helicopter perched precariously on top was just another part of the view on any given day.

It was great to see my long time friend Tony from Toronto, Wayne from Vancouver, and Mark from London England. They were my devils for the weekend, and every girls’ dream … Single, Good Looking, Super Successful and Extraordinarily Nice. Extreme Gentlemen and I felt like the luckiest girl in Cabo Wabo!! We certainly got a lot of looks and attention!! Pure Power, Pure Presence, Pure Pleasure … that’s how I would describe these guys. It is a shame that Loreto is still too sleepy and quiet for the likes of them.

Driving back through La Paz, I was impressed by the real Drive Thru Car Wash with several booths, and many workers cleaning cars in an assembly line style. You can get a terrific car wash in Loreto for 70 pesos, but it will take you a minimum of 3 hours and sometimes 6 hours to get your car back. With this type of enterprise, plus Walmart and Costco coming soon to La Paz, it is only a matter of time before they will make their way north to Loreto. This is part of progress and change, and even the ones that protest it the most … are often the most frequent customers.

The highlight of my week was visiting San Juanico or Scorpian Bay on the west coast side. From Loreto you drive an hour to Insurgentes and then another 2 or 3 hours to San Juanico. The Government is paving the road all the way up and half way finished, so part of the drive is wonderfully straight and smooth, and half the drive is still on a very rough dirt road. The scenery is flat for the most part until you get an hour away from San Juanico and then it is a desert of mountains and dried riverbeds.

When you finally reach the Pacific Ocean it is like a mirage to come over the hill and see an incredible expanse of sandy beach and whitecaps. San Juanico is at least 10 degrees F cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It is an old surfers paradise, still deserted, remote, and without much infrastructure. There is one satellite phone in town for communication and internet is still unused by most. The high season is June through November, and during our visit there was only one taco stand and one restaurant open.

There is one gas station in town, which is Los Chinos. You pull up next to the many tanks and tell Chino how much you want, and then he will siphon the correct amount into your car. The rates are double what you would pay at Pemex, but it is well worth it since Chino must drive over an hour on a rough road to get the gas, bring it back and have it available for the town and its visitors.

There are not many places to stay in town and my favorite little spot is staying with Jack and Angela at their guest casita. It is overlooking the beach, and Angela operates a coffee shop during the high season, and makes the BEST bagels that I have had in Baja California.

It is a simple life and the kind of place where one is torn between keeping it a secret so that we can selfishly enjoy it all for ourselves; and telling all our friends so that they can share in this wonderful place. I visited this place last summer and kept it to myself, but after this trip … it is just too good not to share. Dorado Properties Loreto has researched properties and found that many are titled and even the Ejido land has very little risk as they are a cohesive Membership, unlike some of the others.

Buying land in Mexico has many complexities and it is important that you deal with people that fully understand Foreign Investment in order that you make an informed decision BEFORE putting down any money. There are still large beachfront lots available from $110,000 USD and small lots in town available from $10,000 USD. I am trying to put together money to buy a lot as a weekend get away from Loreto. If you are interested in more information on these lots, please email Nellie@doradoloreto.com or Brenda@doradoloreto.com or wait for our new website to be launched in a few weeks at www.DoradoLoreto.com

There are many people selling land in San Juanico for asking prices higher than waterfront in Loreto or La Paz. Please remember that there is no legislation or regulations governing real estate sales in Mexico. There is a new AMPI organization of reputable realtors that Dorado Properties belongs to that is trying to introduce legislation, standards of ethics, multiple listing, co-broker agreements and regulations for this area. It is important that you deal with people that understand real estate prices and the legal conveyance of title; otherwise you could pay too much either for the land or in acquiring clear title.

It is a dog’s life in Baja and this was particularly evident as we had coffee on the deck and watched this dog with his head perched on the ledge enjoying the scenery and totally oblivious to us around him. There was a look of total contentment on his face and I was a little envious.

In San Juanico it is common to see fields of daisies and flowers that we do not have in Loreto. It is a great life in Baja for those that can appreciate every moment and take nothing for granted. Live Fully, Tread Lightly … now where have I heard that before? Have a great week!

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