Over 10 years ago, me and the lady beach gringo started our search for the retirement area that hit all the points we wanted, multiple visits to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Dominica Republic, Mexico, research into Belize, Uruguay, Argentina, Nicaragua and other places, one thing we found that repeated itself over and over in every single location was the expat rush, now what is that you ask, well, if we take a historical look at all these places back from the early 80’s we see two key indicators of how well property will not only increase in value but so will daily cost of living. In the 80’s you could buy a house and a few acres of land in Stan Creek, Belize for under 35K,  it is relatively close to the North American expat markets and also had a niche market with the UK, as expats realized cheap land value the “rush” to purchase property increased and not only drove up property prices and cost of living but started the next rush to DR, again, close to expat markets and cheap property and another “expat rush”, we seen this pattern repeat in Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Caribbean coast of Mexico (Cancun, Playa de Carmen, Tulum, etc.) and we are starting to see the first signs here in Chelem and Chuburna.

secluded-beachSo what makes this area the next “expat rush”, property prices are still very reasonable, beachfront homes can still be found in the 300-400k range (only a year ago, same houses would have been 250-300K), 3rd and 4th row from the beach still under 200k, land prices range from 20K for a 4th row lot to 75 K for a 2nd row lot and build prices are about $ 70.00 square foot with top end finishing’s), for clarity the Beach Gringo is at the 4th row from the beach and it takes me just under 2 minutes to walk to the beach) access to quality medical services, cheap insurance, cheap labour, great climate and our nearest big city Merida (35 minutes away) has some of the best parks, art galleries, museums, stores, restaurants, shopping and tourist attractions in all of Mexico, and it has been rated the 2nd safest city in North America.  Investment properties are still available at attractive pricing, with monthly rents in the $ 900-2500 range (depending on location) and long-term rental opportunities for those investment opportunities are in demand.  There is a vibrant American, Canadian and European expat community and a nice Irish pub in Merida.

To make the rush come to pass the second thing a location needs is access to a target market, with direct flights from Miami, Houston, Chicago, Toronto (seasonal) and connecting flights from Vancouver, Calgary, NY, Orlando and many other cities you can be at the Merida international airport in anywhere between 90 minutes to 3.5 hours, a quick drive of 35 minutes and you are on one of the nicest sandy gulf beaches in the region, Compared with a 5 hour flight to Costa Rica, then a 4 hour drive to the Caribbean Coast, the trip to Chuburna/Chelem is a breeze.

Having been down this road in other locations, the Beach Gringo is certain this will be the next area to experience the “rush”, I would guess, given the current situation that property prices and values will probably increase by about 5-10% over the next 18 months, but once we get back to “normal” then all bets are off, get in now, even if you are looking at a 5 or 10 year plan, because in 5 or 10 years you will be paying much, much, much, much more.

For example, here is our listing of the week, compare with other locations and see why this area will be the next “rush”


See you on the beach….

Steve “The Beach Gringo in Chief” Patterson