Saturday, December 05, 2015

Interview with Pat Wagner, Facts about Owning Property, Doing Business in Mexico

Visiting, studying, living, and establishing partnerships and great working relationships in Mexico is both a dream and a reality for many people. But, how do you get started? What are some of the recent changes that have taken place?

Welcome to an interview with Pat Wagner, who moved to Sayulita, Mexico (a brand new "Pueblo Mágico) more than 20 years ago, and who has been working as a realtor there since 1991. She describes Sayulita, her experiences in Mexico, and some of the recent changes which make it easier for foreign nationals to buy real estate property and to do business in Mexico.

1.  When did you move to Sayulita, Mexico and how did you choose Sayulita over other places?
We first visited Puerto Vallarta in 1982.  We eventually decided to to purchase a house in Bucerías through the original owner of this office. We had traveled via motor home through Mexico and decided on this area due to the international airport.  We were between Puerto Escondido and Puerto Vallarta area. Sayulita really wasn't a destination at that time. Bucerías was considered out in the boonies. Sayulita started to become slowly popular in the early 90s.  I was offered a full time position in 1991.
Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico -- new Pueblo Mágico
Sayulita, Nayarit, Mexico: New Pueblo Mágico

2. Where exactly is Sayulita?  What is it known for?
Sayulita is on Latitude 22 * (coincidentally, there is a local restaurant which was named for location). It is located approximately 40-45 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta airport.  It is 2 hrs by plane from Los Angeles, 2 hours from Dallas. With a layover, it takes about 5 hours to arrive here from the east coast of the U.S.  Sayulita was known for being a fishing and surfing town. Now it is a hippish town. I  sometimes say people are looking for Timothy Leary, but we don't tell them that he has died.

3. What makes Sayulita so desirable for foreigners as well as citizens of Mexico?
 When Cabo had the hurricane and earthquake recently guests, both Mexican nationals and foreigners had the option of going to Cancun or coming here. Once here, we spoke with several people who said they never realized Sayulita existed. The Mexican nationals said they would definitely return. Here are a few things they like:  The laidback attitude. The fact that friends and family are very important. Business can always be dealt with. Long drives are unnecessary here.

View of the Pacific Ocean - Sayulita, Nayarit

4.  What are some of the things that have changed to make it easier for foreigners to own property in Mexico?

susan smith nash, ph.d., dante ferrari, pat wagner - LifeEdge #24
Interview with Pat Wagner on YouTube (LifeEdge #24)
The Mexican government decided in 2000 to start to eliminate the ejidos and make all properties have a title. Once the title is issued the foreigner then may apply for a Bank Trust. Prior to that, the properties were held in name lenders (prestonombres or Mexican nationals for ejido which was illegal according the Mexican constitution. Yet many notaries would transfer possession saying it was an interpretation of the law.) So, things are much improved now.

5.  Please describe the way that people stay in Sayulita -- boutique hotels? their own home? renting a home or apartment? youth hostels? air BNB?

Accommodations have evolved from very rustic camping, parking on the beach, renting rooms in villagers' homes to what we currently have, which include hostels, BNB's, boutique hotels, renting either a private home or apartment, or staying in the luxurious rooms at the Four Seasons in nearby Punta Mita.
6.  What are a few tips that make living and doing business in Mexico successful?

Living in Mexico is a reality call. We were stepping into another time zone when we came in the early 90's. It honestly felt like the late 1800's. Children used their toys in the dirt and made bridges, race tracks whatever their mind designed. When we came there was just one phone in the entire town. You called the phone and young child would run to your house and tell you to come to the phone store for a call. Today everyone has cell phones. So we are stepping into the current world.

Most people maybe self business owners have to follow the following. The Mexican government has a rule that there must be only 1 foreigner to 10 Mexican employees.  That is for a foreign owner. To work you need to have working papers where the business sponsors you to work. 

The best advice is expect nothing and change nothing. Go with the flow and just relax and enjoy the beauty around you.

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