Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Building a Home in Merida

Is it cost effective to build in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico? Absolutely. Both from a personal and business perspective it makes absolute sense and is easy to do. Let me give you the numbers:

Land: 300 sqaure meters - $25,000.00. USD
Construction cost: 200 square meters - $65,000.00. USD
Total Cost of land and Construction:  $90,000.00 USD
Closing Costs: $5,000.00 USD (estimated)
Total Cost: $95,000.00 USD
Sales Price $125,000.00 USD
Profit/Equity $30,000.00 USD

If you want a pool add another $5,000.00 USD. On a three hundred square meter lot, with two story construction, this would still leave you with a nice size backyard.

The homes pictured to the left are in Hacienda Zodzill Norte, just north of where I live. Land in that Colonia area sells for about $1,000.00 PESOS per squre meter. That is about $82 USD per square meter. Very affordable. The home on the far left was sold 6 months from the date construction began. Construction time usually runs 3 months. Average time on market in North Merida from the day you start construction is 6 months or sooner.

All in all the real estate market is very healthy in Merida. It is beyond anything you see in the United States at this time. Many people are moving to Merida from all over the nation of Mexico. We hear of people moving here from Villahermosa, Mexico City, Monterrey and even Cancun. The economy here has been growing, it is considered very safe to live here and we also have 11 colleges and universities inside the city. The people of Merida are becoming very educated.

From both a personal and business perspective it really makes sense to build here. It is very common for homebuilders to buy lots that will accomodate 3 to 10 homes and just build one or two at a time until they completely build out the project. You don't have as many large established home-builders here like you do in the states. You have some but not as many. I think it is a very good business opportunity for those looking to invest in emerging markets.

If you are interested in exploring this side of Meridian business send me an email. We can help you get started. We already have a construction and legal team ready to help you with all of your business needs (Realtors, Attorneys, Architects and Construction Managers).

Look forward to hearing from you. My email is


Monday, October 25, 2010

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts in Merida

Attached below are some pictures of our oldest son's Boy Scout Troop including the country club at which his meetings are held every Saturday afternoon. The seed for Boy Scouts in Mexico was planted as far back as 1912 in the port city of Veracruz. In 1981 the opportunity for girls to enter scout troops presented itself. Many of the youth in our city participate.

The website to Mexico scouts is

Our son is very much enjoying his participation in the program. A number of the youth are bilingual in Mexico today as many take varying levels of English study in schools. So if you move down with children you are not going to have a problem finding a troop for them. We know of another American family here that has their 10 year old daughter participating. Let us know if you have more questions.

Club Campestre

Our son's Scout Troop.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mexico Postal Service

Mexican Postal Service 

Postal Service and Couriers in MexicoRegarding the Mexican Postal Service (Servicio Postal Mexicano), there is an open debate about its effectiveness. No self-respecting business that places much importance on the timely distribution of its correspondence would rely on it for anything other than mass-mailings. Nor do most of its private citizens.

Couriers in Mexico

Companies tend to have propios, in-house messengers, for the delivery of important correspondence and paperwork of any kind within the city limits. Invitations for important functions are also hand delivered, although usually by a specialized delivery company, for about 8 pesos per delivery. Remember that most require up to a week to make the delivery from the time that they receive the material from the sender. For intra-Mexico correspondence a local carrier, such as Estafeta, usually does the trick.
Finally, for international deliveries, any of the well-known international companies work well, especially in the "overnight" categories (DHL, FedEx, UPS). What we are saying is that if you really want to get mail to someone in Mexico, scan and email the docs, fax them or send local deliveries by a local courier, out of town mailins by one of the big three previously mentioned.

Personally, I have never even seen a Mexico Postal Official deliver anything to my house nor have I seen them out driving around on the streets. Also, as it pertains to important bills like cable/internet and electricity and water, those companies have there own reps/couriers deliver their bills to your mailbox. What does that tell you? And even then you may not get the bill until the day it is due, or even the day after, if even at all. My advice...... keep a copy of your account #'s on each of your utilities and pay them monthly or bi-monthly (electric and water) at the pay stations at the mall (Grand Plaza) or at your local OXXO. Or you can try to pay them on-line.....if you can figure it out.

Don't get me is very easy to pay your bills. You just need to plan on doing so when you are at the mall or in town if you live on the beach. Word to the wise.

Jay Blackshear

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updated Fees for FM3 or FM2 Visas

The fees for FM2 or FM3 visas have been updated at the Mexican Immigration Office as of 2010. To apply for an FM2 there is a one time application fee of $669.00 MX Pesos and a yearly fee of $2,800.00 MX Pesos. Both fees are charged by the immigration office for each person applying for a visa.

The fees for the FM3 are as follows: Yearly fee of $1,294.00 MX Pesos and a one time application fee of $491.00 MX Pesos.

Each visa is good for a period of 5 years but must be renewed annually. When renewed you must pay the yearly applicable fee again but the application fee that is paid the first year is not charged again. That means that if you have an FM2 or FM3 right now and you need to renew it, you will pay either $2,800.00 or $1,294.00 when you renew each visa. You will not pay the initial application fee again. Hope that makes sense. Email me with questions at


Monday, October 4, 2010

What is Henequen?

If you ever choose to visit or live in Merida or the surrounding area, you will eventually hear someone bring up the subject of Henequen. Late in the 19th century and the early 20th Century, the area surrounding Mérida prospered from the production of Henequen. It is an agave whose leaves yield a fiber also called henequen which used to make rope and twine in the early to mid 20th century. It is the major plantation fiber agave of eastern Mexico, being grown extensively in Yucatan and Veracruz. It is also used to make Licor del henequén, a traditional Mexican alcoholic drink.

According to Wikipedia, The plant appears as a rosette of sword-shaped leaves 1.2 to 1.8 meters long, growing out of a thick stem that may reach 1.7 meters (5 ft). The leaves have regularly-spaced teeth 3-6 mm long, and a terminal spine 2-3 cm long.

For a brief period, around the turn of the 20th century, Mérida was said to house more millionaires than any other city in the world. The result of this concentration of wealth can still be seen today. Many large and elaborate homes still line the main avenue of Paseo de Montejo, though few are occupied today by individual families. Many of these homes have been restored and now serve as office buildings for banks and insurance companies.

Just out of curiosity, I recently asked a friend of mine here in Merida what happened to all of the Henequen production and why it disappeared. Among a few other reasons, this person informed me that government interests came in and bought up the plantations from private owners and well......everything just sort of disappeared after that. Enough said I guess......Also, just as an interesting fact, Les Stroud used the henequen plant on his T.V. show Survivorman to make a needle and thread for making both medical stitching and a sewing needle for clothing on one of his episodes. This "plant" does in fact have many purposes.