Well, it’s September and San Diegans get San Diego back again. The visitors are gone but not too far off fall and winter will be upon us. The days will become cold and wet and yet, we yearn and dream of far off places bathed in warmth so we can become the tourists instead.
Lately I’ve been writing about my summer touring experience in Mexico. I am back in Encinitas again until the end of next month when I return to close escrow on an oceanfront home north of Puerto Vallarta at about 1/10 the price of something similar in Imperial Beach and more like 1/20 of something similar in Encinitas or Carlsbad. It’s a modest home but who cares? I get to walk out my back door, walk 50 feet and paddle out to my own waves.
I mulled over several places around the world that I liked when I was becoming determined to find an alternative to San Diego’s Coastal North (which was difficult, for I have to admit we are all pretty lucky to call this tiny part of the world our home). I was hearing stories from friends and acquaintances like the one I got from a friend over dinner the other night. My friend had just returned from a week’s vacation visiting a mutual friend in Montana. Our mutual friend lives in Carlsbad and Montana. Those are her two heavens.
Unfortunately the vast majority of baby boomers feel trapped because they believe Social Security is not enough income for them to maintain their lifestyle and invest somewhere else in the country or the world.
In many ways we baby boomers in America should try to emulate the Canadians a bit more. The Canadians snatch up all the warm-weathered foreign condos for rent from mid-December to mid-April. Most stay at least three months. I know, because that’s who I generally rent my Puerto Vallarta condo to in the months of January, February and March. Those three months of income pay my entire overhead for twelve months. Which means my condo is free to me the remaining nine months of the year. If I rent it a little bit more, the additional rent pays for my airfare as well.
It doesn’t matter where but many condo owners in foreign places like to mix it up and sell one place to buy another just for variety or, their heirs have inherited it. Many of these owners own their places free and clear. In my experience, if you make offers on ten properties requesting seller financing, four of them will respond positively. So buying somewhere else may not be as far out of your range as you think….no bank qualifying, just a reasonable down payment and that’s it.
Furthermore, by aggressively using Internet marketing sites like Vacation Homes for Rent, Vacation Rentals by Owner or Trip Advisor, your rental income should pay all overhead including debt service and still leave plenty of time for just you to enjoy an exotic home away from home.
It doesn’t matter whether the condo or home is in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Canada, Greece, Spain or wherever, by having a second place you can call home-away-from-home, you always know that you have a retreat somewhere. And with the craziness going on in the world, having a retreat may be just what the doctor orders.
I’ve researched many Internet sites on places where baby boomers are retiring and you can easily find internet sites that show amazing places in Belize, Panama, Mexico, Uruguay or even France where you can live on $1,300 a month or less and yes, that includes eating. As an example, although I get as much as $2,000 per month in the high season, I rent my condo right on the ocean in Puerto Vallarta for as little as $400 per month in the low season. Just imagine living on the ocean for $400 per month complete with pools, Jacuzzi’s and gyms and transportation on busses for 50 cents? It’s pretty easy to live on social security that way and when there are two SS checks coming in you’ll feel like royalty.
So as we approach fall and winter, now may be the time to start doing some research for next summer and fall’s bargains in exotic places. Since I decided to invest living part-time in Mexico I’ve come to learn that visitors to the prime Mexican resorts, who fall in love and then consider buying in places like Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, Cancun or San Miguel de Allende, take five to seven years to pull the trigger to buy or relocate.
All I can say is…time is a wasting and the clock is ticking faster than ever now that we’re approaching our sunset years. It’s time to take those vacations with future purpose in mind so that someday in the not so distant future you too will call some other exotic place home as well. Seriously, it’s easier to find peace and freedom than you think. It just takes a little will, some good planning and a little help from above. With a little research and luck you too can find your Peace!
Joe Moris may be contacted at (760) 500-6755 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org