Two-time Canadian Olympian and World Cup downhill champion Cary Mullen was recovering in Maui, Hawaii, from a ski accident. He began to ponder a prime location in the world to build an affordable beachfront community of homes and condominiums for people like him; those who are still relatively young, yet are already starting to think about a warm climate for part – time residence, a future for themselves and their families. He compiled a list of 44 factors to consider, investigated 30 countries, and personally visited over a dozen before settling on Puerto Escondido, in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.
Mullen wasn’t interested in building simply a sun, sand and surf retirement community. In a conversation at his Vivo Resorts building site, he explained that the idea was never to attract just retirees:
“I was looking at two demographics; Baby Zoomers, and generation Mex. ‘Pretired’ Canadians [and Americans] who realize that they don’t have to live in a cold weather climate all year round. People like me who want to practice for retirement, which might come three, four or 10 years down the road.”
In 2007, Mullen purchased 30 hectares of land, about a 12 minute drive up the Pacific coast from Puerto Escondido. The development has 735 meters of oceanfront, is 400 meters deep, and includes a tranquil piece of property (slated to remain as such) for the exclusive use of residents, backing onto a lagoon filled with mangroves, fish, birds and other assorted flora and fauna.
Mullen has already sold a number of oceanfront and ocean view lots, as well as several condominium units in Phase One of his development. As of late November, 2010, construction of the condos and pool was well underway.
Why Buy in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, Versus Anywhere Else Around The Globe?
Four of Mullen’s 44 factors stand out. A comparative analysis made the choice of Puerto Escondido, as opposed to any other beach location, relatively easy.
Weather as a Key Determinant in Selecting Puerto Escondido
Amongst other considerations, Mullen studied frequency and strength of hurricanes, temperature variation and rainfall. He found that, for example, over a 150 year period Cancun has had 38 significant hurricanes, compared to only three in Puerto Escondido. In Puerto Escondido there is only a 5°F average temperature variation year round, ranging from 78.3 to 83.3, and total rainfall between the end of October and the end of May is about 1/3 of an inch.
The water temperature is warmer in the Pacific at Puerto Escondido than in the Caribbean or Hawaii. “When vacationers can only take off work for a week or two, they want good weather; they actually want to be guaranteed that they’ll have great weather the entire time,” Mullen stresses. He continues: “I came to realize that real estate agents only want to show warm climate ocean properties in the mornings, because in the afternoons the wind tends to pick up. But in Puerto Escondido we’re blessed with just gentle breezes.”
Investment Timing for Purchasing Land or a Condominium in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido is one of the few beach locations still showing relatively low cost of land and construction per square foot. Mullen cites resort properties in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, as an area where exorbitant land costs have made purchasing there inaccessible for most. He illustrates that in Cabo San Lucas it’s almost five times as expensive as buying along Oaxaca’s Pacific coast.
“And here in Puerto Escondido we’re seeing really strong investment returns for condo rentals.” He continues, with a sound prediction: “Just wait until the highway widening project between the city of Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido is completed. A lot more people, both residents of and vacationers to south and central Mexico, will be interested in renting homes and condominiums along the coast. Mexico has one of the strongest world economies; compare it to that of the US in recent years, for example. The Mexican stock market has been performing phenomenally.” cabo boat