Plastic or Cash

Plastic or Cash?

Plastic or cash is the common question that is being asked by people who are thinking about moving to Mexico to live or take a vacation. Cash in notes and coins is always a favorite choice in Mexico although many of the western countries in the North American and in Europe are using less cash. Cash is still the most preferred and popular way to pay for food, goods, and services in Mexico no matter that the major move is going towards credit and debit cards along with internet banking.

Plastic or Cash in Mexico?

Credit and debit cards are currently being used all over in Mexico by most middle-class people in Mexico with many working class people starting to use plastic cards more. Nearly half the people and households in Mexico today don’t have a current bank account, and they depend on Mexico’s cash-based environment for all their purchases. Recently, internet banking is starting to be used. Not too long ago, the Bank of Mexico did an underlying study that revealed that a large majority of the people in Mexico that have a debit card are only using the debit card to draw out their paycheck at a local ATM to then use cash, which clearly states that the form of payment in Mexico that is often preferred and widely used is cash.

Credit and Debit Card Payments in Mexico

All of the main supermarket and grocery stores, department stores, the stores at the malls, popular restaurants in the larger towns and cities, well-known car dealerships, furniture stores, technology and electrical stores, popular food and beverage chains (such as Starbucks and McDonald’s), the bus companies, travel agencies, professional providers (such as dentists, doctors, and attorneys), and all major businesses that do business with the middle and upper classes accept credit and debit card payments. These businesses also accept smartphone payments too. The mobile phone companies allow their customers with pre-pay phone services to pay with a credit or debit card at their stores, online, or paying on their smartphone.

Cash Only Payments in Mexico

There are many places that only accept cash for their payments in Mexico such as many independent convenience stores, open markets, street cabs that are independent, shoe shine stalls on the streets, ambulant vendors, street food trucks, corner newspaper vendors, smaller shops, smaller boutiques, and paying for your personal help such as your housekeepers, gardeners, and pool maintenance workers. Electricians, carpenters, and plumbers are a few trades that will accept cashless payments, but these payments are generally a money transfer to a local bank, but if any of these trades are doing a routine job for you such as fixing a leak, then they will only accept a cash payment.

Souvenirs on Vacation

When you are touring a city while on vacation in Mexico, then you will need to have cash for any local transportation that you use or to purchase any souvenirs from street vendors or stores that are locally owned.

Tipping in Mexico

Cash is essential and needed when you are going to be tipping in Mexico. When you are leaving a tip, then the cash should be preferably in the form of pesos. If you are vacationing on a tour package and the majority of your vacation will be spent at the resort, then you may not need to have a lot of cash as there are only a few times that you will need to have cash.

Plastic or cash in Mexico? As you can see, there are places that you will need to pay for goods and services with cash while other places will only accept debit or credit cards.

Best Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta

Strategies for Finding the Best Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

Discover the fail-proof strategies for finding the best real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Here are the top strategies that can assist you in your search for a vacation home or a full-time home that will meet all your needs.

Purchasing Real Estate at The Right Time

Purchasing real estate at the right time is beneficial when looking for the best real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. One of the best times to purchase real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit is immediately after the peak season, because this is the time that all the snowbirds and expats return back to their home for the summer months. During this time is when real estate agents can spend more time with you and they can totally focus on finding the home that meet your needs. Also, during this time is when many properties are vacant, so your real estate agent can find several properties for you to look at in one afternoon. You will be able to see all of the properties during our rainy season, so seeing if there are leaks or mold is possible along with making sure the airflow is correct.

Hire a great real estate agent

You should hire a great and qualified real estate agent, because the real estate agent that is qualified will make sure to find properties that you are looking for that will also go along with investments. You will want your real estate agent to be upfront and honest with you about all the costs involved in buying real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. The real estate agent should be honest about being able to provide you with a property that not only meets your needs, but that is within the price you want to spend.

Purchase a real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit within your means

Before you even start looking at real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, you should make sure that you have the capital and funds to invest in real estate in Mexico. The majority of the properties in Mexico are generally paid in full, as mortgages carry high interest rates, although within the last several years, the number of mortgage lenders has increased offering more competition. You should also remember that if you do get a mortgage in Mexico the interest rates will be much higher than you are accustomed to in the USA, Canada or Europe.

Always remember that when you are going to purchase real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit you should always stay within your means and budget.

What are Your Expectations?

What are your expectations when you are searching for real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit? Have you been given advice by family and friends that say, “Steer clear of buying a property on or near the beach, because it is very expensive” or “Look for properties that are on the outskirts of town, because it will save you a lot of money”. What are your actual expectations as to why you want to live to Banderas Bay? You may be surprised to know that property in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit can be very affordable. If one of your main goals is to live cheap, then you may want to look for properties that are in a less desirable neighborhood but if you really want to experience Mexico with amazing views, then you should choose properties that meet your goals and expectations. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit by the sea is in within your budget.

Be Practical

You should think about how often you will be using the property before you purchase it. Will you use the property once or twice a year, or full-time? If you are planning to relocate and live in the property full-time, then the real estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit you choose will reflect those circumstances; however, if you will only be using the property once or twice a year you might want to consider a fractional purchase or renting out your place when you are not there.

Relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

What’s the Deal with Relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

A dream come true for some is the opportunity to live in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. Relocating to one of Mexico’s most remarkable locations is a lifestyle change that few are able to experience and can be a significant change to your life. If you are coming from a foreign country like the United States or Canada a move like this can be a very challenging experience for all.

Set out below are some useful tips to help you settle in when you arrive in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

Where are you going to live?

During your first week or so after relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, if you don’t have any friends or family to move in with, it may be advisable to stay in a cheap hotel or a short term rental. This will help you to get used to your new surroundings and give you time to figure out exactly where you will be working and, more importantly help you decide where you would like to live. You really need to be in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit while trying to find a place to live. Viewing properties and gathering information from other expats can help you find your perfect home upon relocation.

Making your property a home

When you have found your ideal property upon relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, getting, furnishing it can be very exciting. There are numerous interior design stores opening all the time, but to find great deals, original furniture, artwork and great choice you may need to go to Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco. Bringing your furniture with you from your home country is another alternative.

Education system when relocating with Children

If you have come to live in Puerto Vallarta with your children, relocating can be particularly challenging, but still lots of fun. It is very important that you get them back into their normal routine as soon as you can after relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit. For anyone coming over from countries outside of Mexico, there are many bilingual schools, mostly private, to choose from. There are also some fantastic public schools that are available for the Mexican nationals. One thing to concentrate on is to clarify where your child’s school is located as this will have a bearing on where you should live.


As a foreigner, getting a job in Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit can be difficult. Getting a job with a decent salary is more of a problem. You should therefore make sure that you have some savings to live on whilst relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit and looking for employment. With the cost of living much lower in Mexico, it is possible to live on a basis pension from the USA, Canada or Europe.

Got anymore tips to share about relocating to Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit? Add them to the comments.

vallarta real estate

Announcing Vallarta Real Estate Fair 2016

The fourth annual Vallarta Real Estate Fair of 2016 has been announced. This year, the fair will take a place at the Riviera Molino Plaza located in the Zona Romantica. The time and date for the annual Vallarta Real Estate Fair 2016 is February 20th, 2016 at 9:00 in the morning and runs through 2:00 in the afternoon.

The Vallarta Real Estate Fair 2016 is recommended for home seekers, investors, and property sellers in Mexico. If you attend, then you will learn about the market statistics, the industry, and you will get to ask questions to the top professionals in the industry in Mexico.

There are several highlights that will be occurring at the Vallarta Real Estate Fair of 2016, which include experts from the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and they will discuss the different buying and closing processes for real estate in Mexico and cross border taxation. Along with the panel of experts who will take a question and answer session, the fair will also have quite a few exhibitors that provide information on home insurance, notary services, legal services, Mexico banking, escrows, renting, building and construction and designs. There will also be lifestyle exhibitors providing information about gardening, health and wellness.

The Vallarta Real Estate Fair 2016 will be joined by a panel of real estate professionals who will provide important information for investors and current property owners in Banderas Bay.

This year, the Vallarta Real Estate Fair will be joined by Cindy DuChateau (USA accountant), Cameron MacIntosh (Canada accountant) and a tax expert from Mexico, who will discuss the capital gains for your country and buying or investing in property in Mexico. Carl Timothy will kick off the fair by providing the market results from last year (2015), then discuss what he thinks the market results for 2016. Jessica Riedesser, who is a respected real estate lawyer who will talk about the closing costs basics for sellers and buyers in Mexico.

With more than twenty exhibitors and a Q & A panel discussion by professional the Vallarta Real Estate Fair 2016 is sure to be of benefit to those inspired by real estate in Puerto Vallarta. February 20th, 2016 starting at nine am through two pm.

Located at Rivera Molino Plaza in the Romantic Zone

Buying Mexico Property

Advice for Buying Mexico Property

Are you seeking advice for buying Mexico property? If you are, then you have come to the right website. Sometimes it can be scary when you are buying Mexico property. If you have a qualified attorney, which is a great idea, but not always needed, or you are using a professional and qualified real estate agency, then you will have no problem purchasing property in Mexico.

The purchasing process is very similar to your own country, and can go as follows:

  • Agree on the price of the property verbally first
  • Seek the service of a reputable notary public
  • Draw up the “Convenio de Compra/Venta”, a sales agreement that will show all inclusions and exclusions of the property. At this time a deposit of 5-10% is made to the owner of the property, so if you decide to back out of the sale the deposit will be forfeited
  • Keep in mind that you may have to use a property trust called fideicomiso for Mexico property purchases within 50km of the coastal and border zone areas. If your property is not within these zones, then you will not have to have a trust but may wish to do so regardless.
  • Permission from the Foreign Secretary is needed if you are purchasing land. The “Calvo Clause” will need to be signed which relinquished your rights to any foreign jurisdiction over your property.
  • Your notary public should look over all permits to make sure they are all in order, get a copy of the property deed, make sure the land is eligible for sale (not protected ejido land for example) and arrange to have an appraisal carried out. The Notary Public will ask the seller to show proof of tax receipts, utility bill payments, land fees, and any other receipts paid for the property.
  • The Notary Public will also want to see legal proof such as a passport and photo identifications, visas, marriage certificate if you are married, birth certificates, six month permit as a tourist, and any other legal permits in Mexico. Be prepared for having some of these documents translated by an official translator.
  • The seller is required to pay the Capital Gains Tax unless the buyer has agreed to pay this. You may agree to divide the capital gains tax.
  • Final payment is due when carrying out the signing at the Notary Public’s office

Buying property in Mexico doesn’t have to be scary if you know what to expect and what to do.

Please leave a comment if you have found these tips and advice for buying Mexico property helpful.

Riviera Nayarit for Snowbirds

Riviera Nayarit for Snowbirds

Riviera Nayarit is known to host escaping snowbirds from many developed countries like the US and Canada during the winter time. Who wouldn’t get attracted by the warm rays of the sun, the hot sand and of course the allure of Mexico’s great blue seas. There are a variety of accommodation options to choose as a snowbird, from vacation clubs, beach rentals, elegant hotels to a fractional or full time ownership of resort villas. Head to Riviera Nayarit, it has all the amenities needed for snowbirds to keep warm during the chilly season.

Here are several reasons why you should think about purchasing fractional or full ownership property in Banderas Bay to become a true blue Riviera Nayarit snowbird:

A Great Escape From the Cold North American Winters

Instead of just spending a few days or weeks in a posh accommodation, why not think of several months in order for the warmth of a tropical atmosphere to truly enter your bones. Making a regular tropical escape is worthwhile when you know in your mind that you have a stable home to return to in Riviera Nayarit.

Luxury That’s Affordable for Snowbirds

Let’s face it, owning a second home is quite expensive, but buying real estate in Riviera Nayarit is much cheaper than in most tropical places. It can even be more affordable than your first home in your own native country. The cost of utilities is much lower, and you will notice this more than ever during the wintertime when you won’t need to use either the air conditioning or the heaters. The cost for eating out, transportation and other luxuries like beauty treatments suits any budget too.

A Boost on Your Social Life

Riviera Nayarit is a friendly place to be in, with locals and professional snowbirds ready to flash their sweet smiles to anyone new in the place. There’s a thriving number of expats who are satisfied with their lives and are ready to mingle and rock with the new faces in town. New snowbirds will make friends in no time, and you can pass your time away joining a line of events that surely spells fun. There are group for writers and poets, dance lessons, theater associations, a Wednesday ArtWalk event and volunteering activities to help local charities. You can even party the night away watching a live band performance at Nacho Daddy’s.

The Low Cost of Medical Practices and Procedures

Private healthcare is usually lower in Riviera Nayarit compared to other cosmopolitan cities, and visiting snowbirds can take advantage of it. One can go for a facial surgery, hip replacement, denture attachment and even liposuction. If you find these procedures very expensive back home, then consider having it done for less in Riviera Nayarit.

Transportation Poses No Problem

Regular flights to Riviera Nayarit are offered by the most airline companies like Delta, WestJet and Air Canada. Budget airlines give low fares, especially to frequent travelers, and you’ll be surprised by the number promos and discounted flights offered any time of the year. This is a great opportunity to take your dear ones and friends to your second home; a paradise in a tropical place like Riviera Nayarit.

riviera nayarit real estate opportunity

Buying Property in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Investing in a property in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico is always a good decision considering it’s one hot place for many people worldwide. However, you should never jump into making hasty decisions without knowing important factors that go with it. The Mexico real estate guides are good sources of information; to help you out, here are 5 things which are basic, but very important when buying property in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.

The Concept of Full Property Ownership

When buying property in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, you have a variety of choices, from timeshares, vacation clubs, fractional ownership and full ownership. Fractional and full ownership of property in Riviera Nayarit provides assured deeded ownership which you can sell, bequeath, rent and lend as you wish, just like buying a property back home.


The fideicomiso requirement sometimes puts people off buying property in Riviera Nayarit at first, until they understand its purpose and how safe it is. In Mexico, the Constitution prohibits foreign owners of land near its borders, which includes land borders as well as the ocean. This means that foreigners are technically not allowed to own property within 50 kilometers of the beach, while in practice, the fideicomiso circumvents this outdated part of the constitution. The fideicomiso is therefore a special bank trust that gives you the full legal rights in becoming an owner in the eyes of the law without going against the Mexican constitution. It also protects your rights and interest so that you don’t have to pay a third party to hold the property in their name. This bank trust can eat up some of your time in the buying process when purchasing a property in Riviera Nayarit, but the real benefits are worth it.

Restriction on Buying Land

Riviera Nayarit with its reputation of being a top tourist destination makes owning land, a dream come true for any investor. But not all plots of lands can be purchased by non Mexicans, there are some which are communally owned and cannot be offered for sale. A knowledgeable agent knows this and he can show you better options where it’s perfectly legal to buy a land in spite of you being a foreigner.

Select the Best Agent

When buying property in Riviera Nayarit, you should also seek the support of a reputable agent. Agent selection should be a slow and careful process that involves thorough checking of a probable agent’s background and qualifications. He should be certified, has earned degrees and licensed by the Mexico Professional Real Estate Association (AMPI) to practice his craft. It really is worth finding someone you trust. You will gain a lot if you have a good sales agent working with you. The Mexican authorities don’t have any restrictions for people claiming to be a real estate agent, so it is up to you to find someone qualified.

Mortgage Loans are Possible

Contrary to what you might think, it is possible to purchase a property in Riviera Nayarit by taking out a Mexican bank mortgage. This can mean an ease in the payment process with its flexible terms, giving you some leeway in your finances. Be aware that interest rates are a lot higher than back home, which may be offset by the weak pesos if you take out your loan in pesos. You may also be required to pay a large down payment too.

Understanding the Purchasing Process

The Purchasing Process will take longer since you’re a foreigner investing in Mexican soil. There can be a little complexity involved, but eventually it will all be smoothened out and it’s important for you to be aware of this. Your patience will be tested, but be reassured that that is normal.

Buying property in Riviera Nayarit is one of the wisest decisions that you can make in your life. With the all the positive things that surround it, it is truly something you will treasure for years to come and will never regret.

Puerto Vallarta Boardwalk

The Picturesque Malecon in Puerto Vallarta

The famous Malecon is Puerto Vallarta’s center of attraction. This one mile long boardwalk is a highly visited area, where one can have a stunning perspective of the sapphire waters of the Pacific Ocean. A place to have a good souvenir shopping excursion or delicious dining experience as shops, bars and restaurants flourish on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A favorite place for visitors and tourists who can’t stop appreciating the panoramic setting along the Banderas Bay.

Sunsets on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta

The charming Pacific sunsets never fail to ignite the fire of romantic souls. It goes well with a shot of champagne while you witness the sun disappearing slowly in the wide arms of the ocean. A must visit for anyone who loves sumptuous dishes and has a knack for nightlife fun. The restaurants, bars and nightclubs will satisfy you to your heart’s contentment.

With Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon having undergone some renovations, your walk in its stretch will be a captivating one. Different ornamental and tropical plants spruced up your walkway. Even the ground has stone works embedded in it and represent the Huichol symbols. This is to give honor to the native peoples who once dominated the land with their rich traditions and impressive art works. Figures that represent nature and images of animals can be seen under your feet. You’ll be amazed of such artistic craftsmanship and makes the Malecon such a picturesque sight.

The culture of the places of Jalisco and Nayarit has influenced the impressive sculptures that lined up the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. They are products of the creative minds of homebred Mexican artists that drew inspirations from this places’ historic heritage. If you extend your walk towards Old Town, an ultra modern pier can be located. It offers boat rides to some of the less explored beaches of Puerto Vallarta.

If you’re looking for some place of entertainment, then an outdoor amphitheater can be found near the main plaza. Daily shows are held to the delight of the many visitors of the Malecon. Socializing with people from different sectors of the society is ideal. It has become a meeting place of artists, show performers, merchants and fans like you.

Fun Beaches in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta

Fun Beaches in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta

If your idea of a perfect fun vacation is on the beach, then Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta are the places for you in Mexico. Gifted with nature’s exotic beauty, the sights will captivate any beach lover’s heart. Deep blue waters, soft sands and a life under the waves are just some of the fantastic things these beaches in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta have. The various activities that you can enjoy are endless and the experiences are timeless. Whether you are alone or with your family, it all boils down to one thing… FUN. Here are some of the best fun beaches in Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta that will surely bring you lots of pleasure.


Nuevo Vallarta Beach

Regarded as one of the most beautiful beaches in the area. Its shallow waves make it ideal for beach surfing, kayaking and paddle boarding. It is a long and wide beach; it can accommodate hundreds at any given time, although you will generally find that it seems to be a quiet beach because of its size. It also has some of the finest hotels and luxury real estate properties, which will give your family a nice place to stay at affordable prices.

Playa Bucerias

A great laid back beach, Bucerias Beach is quiet and has a tranquil atmosphere. A place where you can meet local people, interact, and have a great time mingling and talking with them. There are restaurants and some bars too where you could enjoy local cuisine. The waves here are generally pretty calm and children would love swimming and playing sand games by the seashores. Its shallow and quiet waters would make snorkeling fun too.

Destiladeras Beach

Not so far for those staying in Nuevo Vallarta, Destiladeras beach is worth visiting. It is great for swimming, boogie boarding and surfing. It has some casual restaurants where family eating can be done. It has a big car park and a very spacious beach front where you can set up a camping tent and enjoy the cool breeze of air.


Camarones Beach

This Puerto Vallarta beach is a long stretch of yellow sand where you can rent or buy beach umbrellas and lay down on its sand as you marvel at its panoramic views. Quite a busy area near the start of the famed boardwalk as it is frequently visited by locals and condo residents. A wide variety of items can be bought here as sellers ply their goods to visitors. Beach garments, slippers, towels are available here at reasonable prices. Tropical fruits, native delicacies, and other delicious snacks will satisfy your taste buds. You will never go hungry and will have a really fun time with just a few bucks to spend.

Los Muertos Beach

Sitting in Old Town on the southern side of Puerto Vallarta is Los Muertos Beach. An active way of life is what this beach gives. It is always full of people, with loud music and vendors selling all kinds of stuff, from marine products to attractive souvenir items. A lot of restaurants and beach clubs where you can enjoy a shot of your favorite tequila or mezcal. Shops and stores that sell colorful beachwear are located in the area. It can also serve as a transit point as it has a new pier where you can take boat rides to some secluded beaches.


Punta Negra and Gemelas Beach

At these beaches you can find some nice and secluded places to give you and your family some needed privacy when the busy season comes. Theses beaches are quiet coves surrounded by condos and private villas that make for a great beach day out.

Boca de Tomatlan

Boca de Tomatlan is a picturesque fishing village located further south from where you can take water taxis to the more secluded beaches. The fun thing to do here is fishing, taking a boat in search of in tuna, marlin and other Pacific coast fishes. Your children will feel very excited throwing that bait and waiting for a catch and so are you. In every catch, you could make a hearty dinner out of it. Rent a boat, look for a nice spot and enjoy fishing under the hot sun. It sure is a perfect family bonding.