Vail gains favor with Mexican buyers
Seeking havens for money and family, wealthy Mexicans are buying multimillion-dollar homes and businesses in Colorado ski country.
Foreign investors have long been an important part of the U.S. real-estate market, especially in cities such as Miami, Dallas and Los Angeles.
But as they look for safe investments, international investors are also looking elsewhere for deals. Wealthy Mexicans, for example, are picking up ski properties in Vail, Colo., and environs, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Two of the past three sales at a new Vail Village development called the Solaris were to Mexican families, who paid about $6 million for their new homes. Latin Americans, the majority of them Mexican, have bought 60% of the units there in the $12 million-plus price range.
The Mexican investors are attracted to the safety that the area represents to themselves and their families. While some are buying vacation and investment homes, others are moving to Colorado full-time.
"Safety is a huge issue for many of these families," Julie Bergsten, vice president of Slifer Smith & Frampton, told The WSJ. Seeking more Mexican buyers, the Colorado brokerage has created a Latin American division, traveling to Mexico and publishing a buying guide in Spanish for the first time.
Most of the cities that draw the largest percentage of international buyers are in Florida, but New York, Honolulu, Phoenix and Las Vegas are all in the top 10, according to a report by Inman News. A study released last year by the National Association of Realtors founds that 58% of international sales were in just four states: Florida, California, Texas and Arizona.
According to that study, Mexico was one of the top countries of origin of international buyers. Canadians buy the most U.S. real estate (23% of international transactions), followed by China (9%), then Mexico, the United Kingdom and India (7% each). Those five countries are responsible for 53% of U.S. sales to international buyers.
As has been traditional, both with immigration patterns and real-estate investment, Mexicans have followed relatives, friends and acquaintances to Vail.
Mexican entrepreneur Alejandro Marti moved his family to Vail and bought a bankrupt hotel that he turned into an upscale hotel-condo development that is a hub for Mexican culture and art. Since the Sebastian opened in 2011, about 40% of the condo units have been purchased by buyers from Mexico.
Mexico City lawyer Alex Martinez bought a $390,000 fractional ownership at the development after he heard that Marti was the developer. "He's a very well-known businessman, and whatever he does he puts his heart into it," Martinez told The WSJ.
I am a Mexican who owns a house at the mountains in Colorado since 2005. I got my education from The Wharton School in Pennsylvania in the early 90s and have worked in Mexico building a Finacial Instution working 80 hour weeks since I got out of school. Today I employ more than 200 native americans in California and Ariizona and Texas as I expand banking operations into the USA. When I read your uninformed and uneducated comments here, all I think is about closing operations in the United States and leaving this 200 families out of a job and hiring hard working Latin Americans. I have paid taxes for my properties and bussiness in the USA always.
By the way, Drug Cartels would not exist if consumption in the USA would not be so large. We dont have a consumption problem in Mexico or any place in LatinAmerica as you people have here so WAKE UP and see reality.
Why do Mexicans put those really small diameter chain steering wheels on their cars?
So they can drive with handcuffs on...
Why do Mexicans buy expensive real estate in Vail Colorado?
Because otherwise all their drug money just sits around in boxes getting chewed on by ratas....
I have never heard from so many idiots in my life.. And this is the very same thing we heard about
the Japanese buying properties in California in the 1960's... Just where do you think they are going
to take the properties they are buying in Colorado??? Do you think they are going to load it up and
take it back to Mexico?? Do you think they are not going to pay taxes on it?? Why don't some of
you use your brains just once.......
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.