There was an earthquake this morning in Puerto Vallarta… sometime in the early morning, around 2 am. I have not seen any information on it yet, but I would guess it was around 5 or 6 on the Richter Scale. it shook sharply for about 2 seconds, then it was over. While the shakes were fairly violent (relatively speaking), it was over very quickly and I doubt there was any damage.
I will update this post with more detailed information as it comes available (and time permitting!) but you can be sure that if you have a home or a loved one here in Vallarta, they are safe and sound.
As we get into the summer season, a lot of real estate sellers are lowering prices to try to move their properties before next season. Prices have been coming down across the board this year as sellers (with a lot of coaxing and cajoling from real estate agents in Vallarta) are finally coming to terms with the fact that the market has changed and their properties are simply not worth what they were a few years ago.
There is a strong buyers market right now in Puerto Vallarta Real Estate, and smart shoppers are taking home some incredible deals right now. The federal government of Mexico is looking to stimulate tourism in the coming years, and they have their eye on Puerto Vallarta as one of their main anchor destinations. A lot of funding is being set aside for infrastructure improvements and advertising. That combined with the fact that the North American economy is slowly coming around has many people thinking that recovery is on the horizon for the Puerto Vallarta real estate market. While we can’t know when the turn around will happen, what we can say for sure is that now is an excellent time to buy in Puerto Vallarta.
Here are a few examples of some recent price reductions on properties where the sellers are very open to negotiation and ready to make a deal:
Playa Royale 2301:
This 3 bedroom 3 bath ocean front luxury condo is on the ocean facing corner of Tower 2 in Playa Royale, a much sought after luxury condo development by Paradise Village in Nuevo Vallarta. Originally listed at $800,000 USD, now $725K fully turn key furnished. Click here for more details.
Playa Royale 2107:
Also at Playa Royale, 2107 is a ground floor garden view (with peek-a-boo ocean view) 2 bedroom 2 bath condo. It was originally listed at $450,000 USD and is now just $389K, fully furnished. And he’s open to offers! This is the best price per square foot in Playa Royale right now. Click here for complete details.
Motivated sellers need to move for medical reasons. Casa Ixtle is located in Lomas de Mezcales, a quiet neighborhood just outside of Nuevo Vallarta and close to everything! Originally listed at $325,000 USD, Casa Ixtle has been slashed to just $169,000 USD… nearly half off! Click here for the scoop!
Casa Los Mangos:
New construction in Flamingos Club Resedencial, near Bucerias, Nayarit. You won’t find a more motivated seller! The house is about 85% complete and the seller will finish to your specifications. This is a great opportunity to own a made to order home in an upscale neighborhood at an incredible price! click for details!
Not seeing what you want? As buyer’s representatives and members of both AMPI and APIVAC, the national and local professional realtors associations, we have the connections and the know how to help you find your best option. If you don’t see it here, let us know and we’ll find it for you!
Here’s an interesting tidbit…
Today marks Puerto Vallarta’s 85th year as a municipality, and 45th year as a city. Puerto Vallarta was granted Municipality status on May 31st 1928, then officially became a city in 1968… My how it’s grown!
This afternoon there will be activities on the Malecon, including live music, and speeches by city officials commemorating the event. If you are in town be sure to get a slice of Puerto Vallarta’s huge birthday cake and stick around for the evening’s finale… a fireworks show over the Banderas Bay!
I hope you’ll join me in wishing Puerto Vallarta a very happy birthday!
I have not heard anything official yet, but we felt a small earthquake here in Vallarta this evening… it was barely noticeable, so probably about a 4 on the Richter Scale.
The only reason I make mention of it is because I see I have been getting a few hits on a post I put up about a bigger quake that hit south of Colima last year.
If you are wondering if there were any damages, or if you have family here now, and you are concerned for their well being, there is nothing to worry about. The earthquake was very light (many people didn’t even notice it).
I tried to get a little more information about the earthquake that hit near Puerto Vallarta yesterday, 4 May 2013. It was rated at 4.4 by the USGS, 4.9 in a google alert, 4.6 by the local papers, and 5.0 on some other websites… take your pick! The epicenter was somewhat inland, about 36 kilometers south of Talpa de Allende, and about 10 kilometers deep. Still no reports of damage… but I would not expect any from such a mild quake.
Yesterday I posted about a proposed change in the Mexican Constitution that would allow foreign nationals to own property in Mexico’s restricted zone. It occurred to me afterwards (hence the motivation for this post) that the proposed amendment would also eliminate the need for American citizens to file form 3520/3520a with their federal tax return.
The 3520/3520a is a form required by the IRS for Americans who are the beneficiaries of a foreign trust. A few years ago there was a push to get American owners of property in Puerto Vallarta (and I’m sure everywhere else in Mexico that requires a Fideicomiso, commonly referred to as a Mexican Land Trust – or MLT). There was an amnesty program to get people to file their forms or potentially face stiff penalties… really stiff – $10,000 USD or 35% of the property’s value, whichever is greater – per year!
With breathtaking fines such as these, you can imagine that a lot of people have filed their 3520′s. Ironically, though, a few months ago the IRS issued a PLR (private letter ruling) in response to an individual taxpayer’s petition to have their MLT classified as not a trust for federal income tax purposes. In that letter, the IRS agreed that the taxpayers MLT did not constitute a trust for tax purposes… you can see the full text of PLR201245003 here.
What this means, in essence, is that if the MLT is not a trust, then the property owner did not need to file a form declaring themselves to be the beneficiary of a foreign trust. for a more technical review, have a look at Andrew Mitchel’s blog post from November 2012. And Tomas Brown wrote this excellent essay from the property owner’s point of view. of course the PLR is only good for the person for whom it was issued, and they cannot be quoted as precedent for your own arguments. But it gives you a pretty good idea of how the IRS feels on the subject.
The requirement to file the 3520/3520a is largely a matter of opinion at this point… If you are wondering if you should file a 3520/3520a right now, I suggest you talk to a tax preparer you trust and bring this case to his/her attention.
With any luck though, the Mexican government will ratify the new amendment and render the MLT – and all the above information – irrelevant.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!