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Re: Santana real estate nightmare – part III

Posted by Mario on July 11, 2008, 3:56 pm, in reply to "Re: Santana real estate nightmare – part III"

After reading Sieg’s Part I & II, it is clear that he has genuine, and numerous, problems with his land purchases. It seems that he is on the way to resolving them. I Wish him all the best! We have done a quite a bit of business with Santana Realty. We purchased two beach lots in Tenacatita and some lots in Arroyo Seco. This process was not easy, for several reasons: First, we are accustomed to purchasing property the old American way, which is that on the day you give your money you also receive a piece of paper saying that the property is yours. So the process down here was unnerving; giving money up-front and not seeing any official paperwork for months, or a year or more. It made us uncomfortable and caused us much worry. Second, the process of getting official papers on purchased land is a very nebulous process; I’m not sure anyone is completely clear how it works; even then the process seems to change and cost more money. Third, everyone I’ve spoken to that has purchased land here has had the same thing happen to them: “Land Shrinkage!” This is an unfortunate side affect, but a fact, of buying land down here. Our beach lots were 20 meters wide when we purchased them, but shrank to 17 meters when we got the final papers. Lastly, since some of us buy land as an investment, we are looking for a fast turn-around – sell within a year and make a bunch of money – well, that is not the market I have experienced, rather land investments here appear to be a medium- to long-term process. The hope of a quick turn-over with big gains is an illusion. Even in the States it is never a sure thing.
Initially our two beach lots were under the name of a resident of Rebalsito, Lito, but after hearing things we didn’t like we asked Joe to have Lito sign off on the paperwork so we could use our friend Arturo as our presta nombre. Eventually, based on Mexican time, Joe got the paper work signed by Lito, Arturo is our presta nombre, and now all is fine with our two beach lots. Our investments in Arroyo Seco, which we thought were short-term, are now longer-term investments, which we are satisfied with, although it was not our initial intention. Finally, I want to say that all our dealings with Santana Realty, Joe and Joan, have been honest and fair. At times we wanted to blame someone for the craziness of the land purchasing process, and Joe and Joan were most convenient, but we are adults and knew of the risks involved with investing in a foreign country. It was always our decision and we are responsible for our decisions.


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