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building in Ajijic area

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Intercasa
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Post by John Stokdijk Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:07 pm

My wife and I are planning on retiring in the Ajijic area, which we have visted twice. We are planning our next trip to Ajijic in 2011 and plan to buy a lot on which to custom build a house. We are looking for some specific information in this regard (1)We are interested in finding a lawyer who is known to be trustworthy, knowledgeable in real estate matters and speaks reasonable English. (2) The range of costs to build a house. We realize costs will vary based on design and quality and are just looking for enough information for retirement palnning purposes.

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Post by oncesubtle Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:58 pm

We've used Luis Camerana of Camerana Martinez Associates for the past few years and recommend him as he speaks perfect English and has extensive experience in the building industry. He was most helpful with the IMSS insurance for our workers, building permits etc. and even volunteered to sit in on the closing of our second property. His e-mail address, if you wish, is: martinez_and_associates(at)yahoo.com. His office is in Ajijic and his phone number is (376) 766-5123.
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Post by Solovino Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:43 pm

You can use a rough estimate of 80usd a square foot.

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Post by CanuckBob Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:48 pm

Is that for a single level or multi-level Solo?

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Post by cane Sun Apr 25, 2010 3:35 pm

CanuckBob wrote:Is that for a single level or multi-level Solo?

Bob

That is the area of the roof, single level, unless other wise stated.

LINK below

PROTECT YOURSELVES WHEN BUILDING, REMODELING, OR BUYING A HOME

"The one thing I have not seen by any builder here is a list of construction specifications and it is vital to have this for your protection as well as that of the contractor as it avoids misunderstandings and problems down the road. Every construction item should be specified from where there will be footers, the size of the footers, the rebar that is to be used, the psi of the concrete, through the roof, and everywhere inbetween. Without this, there is nothing to stop a builder from not putting in footers or rebar, putting one in that will not support the construction properly, and so on."

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Post by prestonway Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:24 pm

cane wrote:
CanuckBob wrote:Is that for a single level or multi-level Solo?

Bob

That is the area of the roof, single level, unless other wise stated.

LINK below

PROTECT YOURSELVES WHEN BUILDING, REMODELING, OR BUYING A HOME

"The one thing I have not seen by any builder here is a list of construction specifications and it is vital to have this for your protection as well as that of the contractor as it avoids misunderstandings and problems down the road. Every construction item should be specified from where there will be footers, the size of the footers, the rebar that is to be used, the psi of the concrete, through the roof, and everywhere inbetween. Without this, there is nothing to stop a builder from not putting in footers or rebar, putting one in that will not support the construction properly, and so on."
Now where did I last see this snippet of a very long post...TOB about 5 minutes ago?
And did appreciate the response regarding "the psi of the concrete" when the texture of the concrete is inconsistent from batch to batch...but then again, everyone's an expert, or so it seems... lol!
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Post by David Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:20 pm

John Stokdijk wrote:My wife and I are planning on retiring in the Ajijic area, which we have visted twice. We are planning our next trip to Ajijic in 2011 and plan to buy a lot on which to custom build a house. We are looking for some specific information in this regard (1)We are interested in finding a lawyer who is known to be trustworthy, knowledgeable in real estate matters and speaks reasonable English. (2) The range of costs to build a house. We realize costs will vary based on design and quality and are just looking for enough information for retirement palnning purposes.

Camarena is the right attorney. Building costs are from $50-100 per sq. ft. However, you'd best get quotes from local builders for the simple reason that construction and finish here are not like NOB, so you're not comparing apples to apples. On something as important as building your home don't trust responses on a web board.
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Post by sparks Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:32 pm

cane wrote:
CanuckBob wrote:Is that for a single level or multi-level Solo?

Bob

That is the area of the roof, single level, unless other wise stated.

"The one thing I have not seen by any builder here is a list of construction specifications and it is vital to have this for your protection as well as that of the contractor as it avoids misunderstandings and problems down the road. Every construction item should be specified from where there will be footers, the size of the footers, the rebar that is to be used, the psi of the concrete, through the roof, and everywhere inbetween. Without this, there is nothing to stop a builder from not putting in footers or rebar, putting one in that will not support the construction properly, and so on."

All of that should be part of the plans required for the building permit .... except the way the concrete is mixed
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Post by mrum Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:31 am

If you are building or purchasing a home that has sufficient land, any idea of the cost of adding a small inground pool(say 12X24)?
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Post by sparks Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:52 am

Had a friend do it in Melaque for around $11k a few years ago. I'm watching other freinds build a smaller but much stronger one for close to $20k. Both are in sand close to the beach/lagoon so both soil and water table could effect cost
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Post by johninajijic Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:03 am

These were my building costs broken down from my total cost of the house in the year 2001. I bought a house in the Los Arroyos Sur development from builder Job Hernandez. The land is approx 800 m2, cost $ 81,000. USD, but you pay for unobstructed view lots. The total house was $ 278,000. USD less $ 81,000 USD for the land = $ 197,000. USD for a 2800 sq ft house including a 450 sq ft casita unfinshed. That is I just had to add a small kitchen and appliances and add a bathroom vanity and closet for $ 2,500. USD. Figuring the house complete is $ 70.35 per sq ft.

Your sq ft price depends on finishes. The kitchen is 13 x 15 loaded with Rosa Morada cabinets and granite countertops. The appliances are top of the line GE Profile stainless steel. including dishwasher and Mabe stainless stove. The house is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, marble in master bath and Mexican hand painted tile in other baths. Jacuzzi, shower and double sinks in master bath. A separate bathroom and shower outside with a 14 x 28 pool. 2 car garage. Living room, dining room and den. All ceilings are boveda brick. Wood exterior doors which cost much more than metal doors.

I know costs have gone up, for instance a bag of cement in 2001 was $ 80 per bag, now it's $ 90 - $ 95 per bag. Metal and rebar have gone up too. Floor tile is about the same.
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Post by Intercasa Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:19 am

Before making an offer on a property (or during process if you add a contingency to the contract) and if not purchasing in a development, you can pay (about 1,600 pesos) the municipality and request a written report (there is a detailed procedure and paperwork required for this) on how you are able to build on your lot, i.e. setbacks, height restrictions, etc. You don't want to trust the seller or anybody else unless they have the guidelines in writing from the municipality. I've helped people get these reports and this is the first step to building as it is the prerequisite to a building permit and also will let you know if there are problems, i.e. the buildable area is not what you thought it was or won't work for you.

Many real estate contracts here become heated disputes. Contingencies are not usually part of the contract so common sense doesn't come into play, only what is written into the contract. You'll need to think of what you want to know before closing and what might kill the deal and make it a contingency.
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Post by kiva Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:30 am

Very good information on the cost of building.
What is the sense of the real estate market this year?
I know this is a question many don't feel comfortable discussing on many of the forums, but my sense is that it is a little slow.
Could anyone give me the real poop?

Newbie thinking about Chapala area.
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Post by gringal Tue Oct 26, 2010 11:57 am

The "real poop"? There's plenty of that around here. lol. You are asking on the right forum, in this case. No gag rule.

Here's the skinny: There are so many houses for sale (I think over 500 about now) that your choices are virtually unlimited. I'd suggest renting for a while to get the feel of a neighborhood you think you'd like, because if you don't.........the market is glacially slow for selling. People usually pay cash for their houses, so "desperate sellers" are rare indeed.

If you want to have a miserable experience, by all means build, or remodel. Good way to shorten your retirement. I can assure you of one thing only:
If you've heard building horror stories from up north, multiply by a factor of at least 5 for building here. You might get lucky, however.

It's caveat emptor with both real estate agents and builders. Not at all like the U.S., where "disclosure statements" are required and someone is responsible if they're lying in their teeth. Not here. Guarantees by builders; ones that "stick"? Good luck on that one.

Now for positive advice:
I got screwed by the selller and the first "remodeler". The story is both hilarious and maddening. I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say this happened in spite of my having had at least 25 buying/selling experiences in the states and a suspicious nature.

In spite of that, I love my house because of the location. I'm on a street with no bus traffic, nice quiet neighbors and walking distance to town and the lake.
That was important to me.........others have different "want" lists. Be sure to make yours, with "non-negotiable" items at the top.

I think it's best to choose a home in an already developed neighborhood, whether in the city or country, because you can see and hear what's next door and across the street.
If you find a place in a community with a HOA, research the organization re it's track record. Around here, the wars get pretty wild.

Oh, and welcome to Mexico!

cheers

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Post by oncesubtle Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:05 pm

Having a property for sale it's my sense the market is quite slow, and I am very comfortable discussing it on this forum. (Now if you want some real poop there is another board I could recommend.) If you are looking for direction on whether to buy or rent the overwhelming advise would be to rent first and take your time finding the area lakeside that best meets your needs, wants and desires. I'd be interested in knowing why you have selected this area?
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Post by kiva Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:26 pm

Thanks for the information all.
Kind of what I expected.
I visit a lot of forums and have been doing research for a while.
Seems like it has a lot to offer, climate, Cost of living, ability to ease into a new culture.
Probably make a trip to visit within the next 6 months or so. In the mean time want to get as much info as possible.
Thanks to all
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Post by CanuckBob Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:21 pm

Welcome aboard Kiva. There are a lot of very knowledgeable members on this board who have lived in the area for many years. Feel free to ask anything you want. Hope you enjoy.

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Post by wheels Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:25 pm

From experience, I find that it is best to first rent, then you have a chance to really see and hear how each contractor is. You can also have a chance to meet notarios and lawyers and what is going on in fraccs or condos.
Some contractor can build very beautiful homes, but the construction can be shabby, the aljibes much too small and other things that you cannot see such as electrical and plumbung can become a real problem down the road.
I know how great it is to own your own home but hold back. I know too many people that are sorry that they bought immediately.

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Post by Rolly Sat Nov 06, 2010 4:42 pm

Oh God yes, rent first!!!

Here is a primer on renting, buying and building that might open your eyes a bit.
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Post by kiva Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:05 am

Thanks for the link Rolly, I will check it out.
Renting seemed like the obvious choice for the first year or so, but it seems like the real advantage is to own at some point. From a cash flow standpoint. Finding the right neighborhood and the right house will be the challenge, but the offering seems substantial.

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