Vallarta Real Estate: Home Staging Dos and Don’ts

Some great advice from http://ow.ly/Tgu9M


Deciding to put your home on the market is a tough choice – it’s become yours throughout the years, and it’s hard to let that go. A crucial part of home staging is removing personal items and memorabilia from your home, so potential homebuyers can truly envision themselves in the space. The less things there are to distract potential buyers, the more likely they are to focus on what the home has to offer.

Before putting your home on the market and inviting buyers into your space, it’s essential that you remove personal collections, sports memorabilia, family photos, and other personal knick-knacks. It may be hard, but many home staging professionals recommend putting these items directly into storage – that way you don’t have to hide boxes of items throughout your home and, once your home sells, you’ll already have the first stage of packing completed.

Neutralize 

By removing personal items such as photos and academic degrees, it’s easier for homebuyers to evaluate how their own furniture and personal style will mesh with the home. Ensure all trashcans are empty and the toilet lids are down. Remove all clutter from countertops and consider using mild air fresheners throughout your home, especially near pet areas and bathrooms. By depersonalizing your home and appealing to a wide range of prospective buyers, you can increase your likelihood of receiving an offer and help decrease the amount of time your home is on the market.

Clean 

Bathrooms and kitchens influence potential buyers the most, so ensuring these spaces are clean is crucial. Use paper plates, cups and utensils to cut back on dirty dishes the day of an open house, and remove half the clothes from the closets in case potential buyers take a peek inside. If you have time to prepare for an open house, consider having your carpets professionally cleaned, replace burnt out light bulbs, lubricate squeaky doors, and trim outside bushes to enhance curb appeal.

Highlight Your Home’s Features 

An important part of selling a home is displaying what sets your home apart from the rest. If your home has a fireplace, arrange the furniture to make it a focal point. In small spaces, use a mirror to reflect light and make the space appear larger. If your home has a pool or spa, be sure the realtor shows these assets off to potential buyers.

Though depersonalizing may seem like a lot to take on, it doesn’t have to be if it’s done correctly. If you’re considering putting your home on the market, there’s no time like the present to begin your home staging adventure. Visit our Pinterest board for visual examples of home staging done well. Happy home staging!


 


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: How To Drive Effectively Here

Whether driving your own car or rental, there are pointers to be shared about the joys and hazards of getting around.

Drive Defensively: We highly recommend you be a defensive driver in Puerto Vallarta and make use of the mirrors in your vehicle. It’s good to know what’s behind you. Being polite is not always the best advice, which you soon discover when relying on turn indicators and speedy traffic lights. If you are making an attempt to change lanes or merge, it never hurts to make eye contact.

Buying Gas: You’ll soon grow familiar with the ubiquitous PEMEX stations, which are plentiful and convenient, even in remote areas. We do not, however, recommend setting out on a long trip without filling up first. Many PEMEX stations are closed, under construction or haven’t opened yet. PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos) stations are the color of the Mexican flag, predominately green and use a red eagle as a logo. The price of fuel is the same at every station so don’t drive around looking for a better price as you might in the Northern regions. Fuel costs in 2015 will be in flux, depending on what goes in the international market.  Gas can be found cheaper in Border States but will be the same in Puerto Vallarta as most places in Mexico. We always tip the gas station attendants, several of whom are female now, a rare sight until just a handful of years ago.

Topes: Defensive driving also applies to Mexican speed bumps. They are not always well marked and have potential of major harm if you hit them at any velocity. You will encounter either a series or perhaps one large tope and they are truly meant to slow you down, not kidding. If you are driving a rental automobile keep within speed limits because, upon your return, they will inspect the underside with a mirror. In rural areas, you will also encounter vados, which are the opposite of topes, dips in the road, which usually indicate some sort of water crossing. Trolls live there.

Animals: Yesterday we watched an exceptionally intelligent dog cross a very busy intersection. While we cringed and prayed for her safe passage, we were quite aware that she is the exception to the rule. Be extremely cautious of animals in all sizes and species (chickens, dogs and cats; cows and burros). This is the main rationale for not driving at night; they are a lot harder to see in the dark.

Police: If you are pulled over in Puerto Vallarta, make sure you have all documents (registration, driver’s license and insurance) at hand. Be polite, apologetic and SMILE. Do NOT offer a bribe. The mordida, as it is known, once the easiest way to avoid a ticket, could be the surest introduction to a Mexican jail. And don’t drink and drive. Checkpoints are often set up to nab offenders and you’ll be arrested if you can’t pass the test.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Our Monthly Reminder!

Safety in Mexico

The subject of safety in Mexico comes up often. A media machine in the US is not short on news these days but when shootings happen anywhere, it does garner attention.  Puerto Vallarta is a long way from Cancun, comparable to the distance between Los Angeles and New York, or Vancouver BC and Toronto.  Not to say that Cancun is a violent place; it’s just been in the news a lot the past few days. Reports have been very general and never get into the specifics. A woman was killed and the details are grisly, but this was no schoolmarm. It’s hard for some people to embrace the fact that a woman might be the target of violence when it comes to cartel activity. However, a female leader controls drugs sales in Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Doña Lety, as she is known, was a police officer and with her son, is wanted on multiple drug trafficking charges. These people tend to go after one another and civilians are rarely at any risk.

Our advice is to stay away from areas that are known to be shady and probably dangerous. Where are these places in Puerto Vallarta? There are none. Puerto Vallarta is safe downtown; in the marina; Mismaloya and in the jungle above; Yelapa, Las Animas, Quimixto, reachable only by boat; the back roads that lead to spas, all-you-can-eat shrimp restaurants and golf courses; the beach; dance clubs; cruise ship terminal…we can’t think of anywhere in Puerto Vallarta we would be afraid to venture.

We have always recommended using common sense when traveling in and around Puerto Vallarta and that goes for any city, anywhere across the globe. There are always pockets of unrest that can be sought out if dangerously is really how one wants to spend their vacation. When going to Chicago, we limit our activities to such things as the Art Institute, Millennium Park, the Russian Tea Room, a show at the Chicago Theater and other delightful pastimes. We manage to avoid visiting Riverdale, Fuller or Washington Park areas, where scientific data has determined tourists should steer clear of. Same for Mexico; there are places we would shun, such as Tepito in Mexico City, where thieves will gladly relieve you of your wallet in such a quick manner, you might not know it’s gone until you reach into your pocket to make a purchase.

It’s not rocket science. It’s easy to stay safe when traveling. Don’t try to buy drugs. Our best advice.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Street Beverages

Aside from the fact it is illegal to walk down the street with an open container, beer is sold and consumed on the streets of Puerto Vallarta with little notice. Avoid being visibly intoxicated and you can enjoy your chilled cerveza at leisure. It seems that during Spring Break and the coinciding Easter holidays, even less attention is paid to this issue.

There are other drinks, however, of which we encourage you to venture to sample. Tejuino, though much more popular in the southern state of Colima, has caught on in Puerto Vallarta in recent years. Served cold and sometimes with beer added, there is actual very little alcohol content in tejuino on its own and you would imbibe a huge amount to feel any effect. Made from fermented corn, just like the main ingredient of tortillas and tamales, it is mixed with unrefined brown sugar and intensely boiled. Once it has reached a certain thick consistency, it is allowed to sit for a couple days until ready. With water added, served with lime juice and shaved ice, sometimes sorbet, it is extremely refreshing and additive.

Jaimica is Spanish for hibiscus and this delectable drink is made from dried petals of the gorgeous flower. Rich in vitamin C, the drink of jaimica is deep red in color and made with a recipe so uncomplicated, you can concoct it at home. The petals, available at any grocer, are soaked in water overnight, more water is added and enough sugar or Jarabe (bottled simple syrup, which is used in many drinks including margaritas) to sweeten to taste. This is poured over ice. Mexicans believe it lowers blood pressure and can also help to prevent certain parasites! Plus, it has a heavenly flavor and kids love it.

Horchata, our personal favorite, is often mistaken for a milk drink. Though there is a small amount of evaporated milk added to the final recipe, it is truly a rice based drink. Flavored with vanilla and cinnamon and sweetened with a small amount of sugar, make sure your serving isn’t too full of ice, which diminishes the flavor.

Aguas frescas are nothing more than water with chunks of fruit or vegetable loitering in the bottom of a large jar. In an effort to drink more water, which we are told is very good for us; we savor these at taco stands, where flavors are commonly changed on a daily basis. Ask what is the water of the day and you will be served a delicious wide variety such as pineapple, watermelon, strawberry, guava, cucumber.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

In Mexico we celebrated Dia del Niño

Day of the Child

In Puerto Vallarta and all throughout Mexico we celebrated Dia del Niño on April 30th.  We’ve not visited any other place in the world where children are celebrated in the manner they are here. Any store carrying toys focuses on displays with overflowing aisles, bursting with color and amusing purchases for boys and girls.

No matter when their birthday is, for a child in Mexico, they are assured of some kind of special treatment on April 30th, whether it be a trip, or a gift, a dinner out with the whole family or an extra visit to the ice cream shop. Schools are loud and raucous in Puerto Vallarta on this day, with children being made completely aware of how special they are! The celebrations begin early in the morning and continue all through the day, culminating with performances in the parks and plazas, piñatas bursting open, games, prizes and lots of music, singing and dancing. Restaurants make a big deal of this day in Puerto Vallarta and kids are treated like royalty.

The United Nations General Assembly assigned November 20th as Universal Children’s day in 1954 but it’s not really caught on in many places, other than a few columns of cards in Hallmark stores. The original inspiration was meant to promote an exchange among the children themselves, as well as initiate action to benefit and promote their general welfare.  November 20th wouldn’t work for Mexico, since it’s Revolution Day, which makes for a whole different kind of celebration in Puerto Vallarta. However, Dia del Niño actually began in Mexico in 1925, long before the UN decided that children should have their own Declaration of Rights. Keeping in mind that this is not an official holiday and schools stay open, there is no schoolwork done and only a very unpopular teacher would assign homework.

We wouldn’t miss this day, being out and about, since there’s nothing quite as joyful as a gathering of children in Puerto Vallarta. Boys and girls dress in bright colors, many in national costumes. Everywhere we go, we are reminded of how precious these little ones are, without forgetting the idea of a day like this is to recognize their vulnerability and how they rely on us and trust us for their wellbeing. This is something we should remember on a daily basis, not just one day of the year, when little ones are being left parentless, homeless and go hungry in war torn countries. April 30th marks the day and we like to carry these sentimentalities in our hearts throughout the year.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: Good Movies For Mexicophiles

John Huston was in love with Mexico where he filmed many movies and lived part time for several years in Vallarta (real estate). Famous among these is The Night of the Iguana, based on the Tennessee Williams novel, about a defrocked priest with a pedophilic nature. Much lesser known of films Huston was associated with is Juarez, of which he shared screenwriting credits. It’s a spectacular movie, starring the best of Hollywood at the time (1939); Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Brian Aherne and Claude Raines. The story of Mexico’s beloved president, Benito Juárez and his battle for democracy with the puppet government of Maximilian von Hapsburg, who was installed by Napoleon in an effort to maintain his firm grip over another far away country. Juarez portrays the history of Mexico without slapstick and hyperbole, sticking to the record.

Across the Line stars Brad Johnson as a border-town lawman who falls in love with an undocumented Mexican woman. We were charmed and humbled by the sympathetic point of view that enlightens the struggle of those crossing illegally. The emphasis on heartbreak of thousands of immigrants, their motivation and problems opened our eyes to their plight.

Although it deals with multiple stories in numerous locations, Babel , leaning heavily on communication problems, further shows the complexity, fear and intimidation that exist for Mexicans who embark upon relatively simple journeys. In Babel, the trip to her son’s wedding across the Mexico/US border ends in absolute disaster for a woman who has worked in California for 16 years and been considered part of her employer’s family.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua 1 and 2: A silly Disney children’s comedy, starring loads of silly, famous stars, either in roles or as voice-overs, you won’t want to miss this movie for the simple reason it was filmed in Vallarta (real estate) and you will recognize not only locations but familiar faces, as well. (And the dogs are really cute.)

For romance, magic, passion and an appetite stimulant, we highly recommend Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate). This is a luscious film about a time when marriage was still an arrangement in Mexico. The message is how all of us have a book of matches deep inside and that true love provides the oxygen for fire. The lives of three sisters are forever altered when their mother insists on having her oldest daughter marry first. The middle sister infuses her emotions in the food she serves, which over the years, in different scenarios, has a deep and lasting effect on the consumers. Watch it in the original Spanish. The subtitles are easy since the film is generally about emotions.

I’ve mentioned seven, actually and there are many more quality movies that can lead you away from the likes of Nacho Libre. Oops, that’s eight.

Que es cómo es.



Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Vallarta Real Estate: 10 Reasons You Need a Property Manager

Some great advice from The Brenton Hayden http://ow.ly/TgtQQ


You may think because you’re in the industry you don’t need help taking care of your rental investments. Think again.

Many aspiring landlords believe that owning rental property will be a dream come true. You get to sit back and collect the rent — automatically of course — while your tenants take the utmost care of your property and look after it as though it were their own. You retire to a beach in the Caribbean, and the tenant continues to occupy the property forever.

Unfortunately though, two or three months into it all, reality comes crashing in. Instead of rent being deposited directly into your account every month, there’s the tenant who refuses to pay. And there are the three o’clock-in-the-morning phone calls alerting you to the running toilet. And of course, there’s the daunting task of trying to keep the occupancy rate higher than the vacancy rate.

Before long, the dream of being a landlord is replaced with the words “How can I escape this nightmare?”

As a real estate professional, you’re already busy. While owning rental property can be a great way to generate an additional stream of income, it’s also time-consuming, and very much a hands-on job. According to some estimates,landlords can expect to spend about four hours a week managing a rental.

Fortunately though, there’s a solution: A property manager is a great way to make life as a landlord much easier. For many time-crunched agents and brokers, this is what makes owning a rental a possibility in the first place.

If you’re a landlord, or are considering investing in a rental property, here are ten reasons that you need a property manager.

1. No More Wake-Up Calls

There’s a problem at the rental, and as the landlord, it’s your job to fix it. With a property manager, you’ll be able to say goodbye to late-night emergencies. When a problem arises, the property manager will get the call and respond accordingly.

2. Turbocharged Tenant Sourcing and Screening

Property managers have access to a wealth of resources that enable them to find new tenants faster, helping you to keep those vacancy rates down. Not only that, but they’re also able to thoroughly screen tenants. They know what to look for and what questions to ask.

3. Regular Maintenance and Repair Help

With a property manager, you don’t have to be the on-call maintenance person/gardener/pool boy anymore. Your property manager will perform routine maintenance for you, preventing small issues from getting out of control. When repairs are in order, the property manager will show up on-site at the first sign of trouble. Since they deal with this type of thing all the time, they’ll also have a database chock full of vendors and contractors who do reputable work at fair prices.

4. Avoid Messy Legal Problems

Keeping up with landlord-tenant law can be tedious and quite costly if you’re not up to speed. New regulations are constantly coming into effect, and staying out of trouble depends upon your compliance with these laws. A professional property manager should be experienced with landlord-tenant law and able to navigate the various complexities to make sure you stay on the right side of it.

5. Get the Income Balance Right on Your Properties

According to Rent.com’s 2014 Property Owner and Manager Report, 85 percent of property managers reported raising their rental rates in 2013. An experienced property manager who knows the market is familiar with that sweet spot: the amount of money that you can realistically charge without risking longer vacancy rates.

6. Keep an Eye on Your Property Without Having to Watch It

Whether you’re a long-distance landlord or just down the block, keeping a close watch on your property is important. Having a property manager means that your home will be checked on routinely. This is especially important during vacancies, as empty properties are prime targets for vandals. A property manager will be able to keep the property well-maintained, giving it a lived-in, occupied appearance.

7. Stop Being the Bad Guy

As landlord, it’s your job to enforce the terms of the lease. Unfortunately though, this is easier said than done. When a tenant brings in one too many dogs or there’s an issue with smoking indoors, things can get ugly. With a property manager, you don’t have to show up and try to reason with the tenant who’s arguing the merits of turning backyard trees into firewood. Instead, let your property manager handle it.

8. Never Hear “The Check’s in the Mail” Again

The check is always in the mail! As a property owner, you depend on the rent arriving each month on time. When this doesn’t happen, there’s often a tremendous amount of time and effort involved with tracking down the rent. Letting late rent slide can create a situation where the tenant is able to live in your property rent-free, for as long as it takes to evict them. A property manager will be your no-nonsense rent collector and will take immediate action if the rent is late. They’ll document all steps taken and remain in compliance with the law.

9. No More Dreaded Evictions

Evictions are the bane of every landlord, and understandably so. There’s a tremendous amount of red tape surrounding the lawful eviction process, and no, changing the locks while the tenant’s out just isn’t an option. A good property manager is on the ball and able to handle evictions for you — quickly, efficiently, and in compliance with state code and regulations.

10. Have the Freedom to Invest in Better Housing Markets

Finally, property managers make life easier — so much easier, in fact that you may be tempted to get yourself a few more rental properties. With a property manager, you’ll even be able to invest in properties that are out of town; since you won’t be managing them yourself, it won’t matter where you invest. This allows you to take advantage of more affordable or growing housing markets.

Owning rental property can be a great investment. But, as you can see, having a property manager can make your life so much easier. If you own rentals, but are feeling overwhelmed, do yourself a favor and look into getting a property manager to take some of the load off. You won’t regret it!


 


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

Obama praises Mexico’s deepening democracy

From USA Today:  Perhaps this will mean a resurgence of confidence for travelers and retirees….

The trip came as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto shifts his new administration’s focus to economic and social matters.

“Some Americans only see the Mexico depicted in sensational headlines. … Some Mexicans may think America disrespects Mexico,” Obama told the students and a sprinkling of executives at the National Anthropology Museum.

“I have come to Mexico because it is time to put old mind-sets aside. It’s time to recognize new realities, including the impressive progress in today’s Mexico.”

The president spent a little time cracking jokes about his daughter’s Spanish being better than his, promising actions on items such as immigration and even speaking a little Spanish — ending his speech to students with, “¡Que Díos los bendiga!” or, “May God bless you.”

But mostly Obama spoke of what he considered a changing country — one making more headlines lately for economic optimism and potential political reforms than the drug cartels and organized crime violence that have claimed about 65,000 lives over the past six years.

The trip came as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto shifts his new administration’s focus to economic and social matters, instead of fixating on security — which analysts say remains a serious issue in many regions of the country.

Some in attendance agreed with Peña Nieto’s new focus, but also expressed misgivings about his character and his Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which has ruled Mexico for most of the past century.

“He’s all about image,” David Hurtado, 17, said. “He’s like a puppet … with the old PRI people behind him.”

Others were impressed with Peña Nieto for overhauling archaic labor laws, proposing to open up the state-run and often-inefficient oil industry and achieving an education reform — where he went so far as to charge the country’s teachers union boss with corruption.

“I appreciate his willingness to take on hard issues,” said Yait Gittler, 16.

Attendees expressed fewer misgivings about Obama.

“He’s a great speaker,” said student María González, 18. “As a person, a lot of people look up to him as a symbol of progress.”

Some were surprised by those attending Friday’s speech, drawn mainly from private schools — one of which charges almost as much in tuition as the average yearly salary in Mexico and enrolls students brought to classes by bodyguards in bulletproof cars.

“Which youth were being inspired by the speech?” asked Julio Meyer, 18, an American who grew up in Mexico.

Meyer said he found no fault with the speech or its content, but noted the disinterest in the region often shown by American politicians and the public.

“In all three presidential debates, Mexico and Latin America weren’t mentioned,” he said.

For his part, Obama pledged to make Mexico more of a priority and expand on a relationship that in past decades was marked by distance and distrust between leaders and focused on security concerns.

The president promised to promote immigration reform — an important issue for Mexico, which has more than 10% of its population living in the United States. He also pledged action on guns, many of which flow south from the United States and are used to commit violence in Mexico.

Obama spoke of increasing student exchanges, which slowed with the onset of drug violence in some parts of Mexico. The generation of students the president addressed came of age during the worst of that violence and some said it left an impression.

“We were restricted from going to the same places as our parents,” González said. She saw hope, however, for a safer and more prosperous Mexico, adding, “It’s developing. But you can’t see it (happen) one day to another.”

—-

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Most @properties listings will feature interactive floor plans

Real estate brokerage @properties will use interactive floor plans and high-resolution photos to market listings online at no additional charge to sellers on all homes listed at $500,000 or more.

The Chicago-based brokerage said it plans to extend the service to sellers of homes priced at more than $300,000.

The service will be provided by Rosemont, Ill.-based VHT Studios, which photographs and takes room measurements on site, delivering photos and floor plans within two to three business days.

VHT’s interactive floor plans show all walls, partitions, doors, windows, staircases, columns, recesses, chimneys, major appliances, floor levels and room dimensions.

VHT also offers a floor plan reconstruction service when architectural blueprints are available.

“It’s almost irresponsible not to make floor plans available when it’s so easy to do with VHT’s new service,” said @properties co-owner Thaddeus Wong in a statement. “Properties can be equivalent in location, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. You need to have a full grasp of how all the rooms relate to one another to help you determine a property’s value and if it fits a buyer’s needs.”

Most @properties listings will feature interactive floor plans

VHT Studios will photograph, take room measurements on site

Screen shot of VHT Studios interactive floor plan.Screen shot of VHT Studios interactive floor plan.

Real estate brokerage @properties will use interactive floor plans and high-resolution photos to market listings online at no additional charge to sellers on all homes listed at $500,000 or more.

The Chicago-based brokerage said it plans to extend the service to sellers of homes priced at more than $300,000.

The service will be provided by Rosemont, Ill.-based VHT Studios, which photographs and takes room measurements on site, delivering photos and floor plans within two to three business days.

VHT’s interactive floor plans show all walls, partitions, doors, windows, staircases, columns, recesses, chimneys, major appliances, floor levels and room dimensions.

VHT also offers a floor plan reconstruction service when architectural blueprints are available.

“It’s almost irresponsible not to make floor plans available when it’s so easy to do with VHT’s new service,” said @properties co-owner Thaddeus Wong in a statement. “Properties can be equivalent in location, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. You need to have a full grasp of how all the rooms relate to one another to help you determine a property’s value and if it fits a buyer’s needs.”

Wong said the majority of @properties listings will soon have floor plans included.

Why Use AMPI?

AMPI is the national association of real estate professionals that have, since 1956, gathered under laws and codes of ethics and conduct to create a reliable, trustworthy an efficient real estate environment in Mexico.

AMPI consists of separate autonomous sections all throughout the nation, as well as more than 4,000 associates and affiliates. Each section is independent and has its own board of directors, only surpassed by a national board of directors comprised of twenty associates from all over the republic.

Developed over the years with the input and knowledge of its members, AMPI is much more than just a collection of offices. AMPI has been a solid and recognized institution in Mexico for the past 27 years. It was originally established in 1956 and was consolidated in 1980. AMPI is currently represented in all the principle cities and regions of Mexico stretching from Tijuana to Cancun.

The Riviera Nayarita, Vallarta and Compostela chapters of AMPI are dedicated to promote the best practices in real estate by providing its members with education to reinforce the standards of ethics that give our industry the credibility which our clients deserve.

AMPI is committed to giving our membership access to a multiple listing service that forms the platform from which our industry can expand locally and into other markets while giving our members precise and up to date information that is vital to continuous improvement and growth.

Vallarta Real Estate: Where To Shop

There are so many choices when it comes to shopping in Puerto Vallarta! Some prefer the convenience of a large box-type store, whereas others like to visit small markets and fill their bags with nature’s best.

Soriana and Walmart are the chief competitor in town, both Big Box stores, selling everything from buckets to bananas, bug repellent to bicycle pumps. When in the mood for the large shopping experience, we have a favorite: the smaller Soriana on the highway, a store snuggled in close to some of the older timeshares, a short jaunt from the beach, next to the Parisina on the main highway. Why do we like this store, opposed to the BIGGER Sorianas or Walmarts? We can find what we are looking for, without needing a Sherpa! If going in pairs to the larger stores, remember to bring cell phones to communicate with your shopping partner since it can be like getting lost at the county fair. There is also a better selection of foreign foods, like dill pickles and salted butter that can be difficult to find other places.

Costco and Sam’s are a lovely experience compared to their associates in the US and Canada, where one needs a map and a compass, just to find one’s way around the parking lot. It is wise, however, to wear decent walking shoes.

For a more local experience, we highly recommend the daily markets. In the central area, Emiliano Zapata Municipal is your market for fresh produce, spices, meat and fish. The small shops scattered around the perimeter have anything you would seek in the huge grocery stores to which one must travel out to the hotel zone. A small tienda there sells non-toxic ant repellant; it’s chalk that comes in a small box, imported from China and when you draw on the floor with it, the ants follow it into oblivion.

Carnicería Colin, the butcher shop on Venustiano Carranza, is a big favorite among the non-vegetarians, with custom cuts of meat and a wide selection.

The road that leads from the cruise ship terminal, out past Sam’s Club, is your north end experience at the Mercado Palmar de Aramara, on Priciliano Sanchez. You will find a robust selection of ideal produce, fish, meat, plus stores offering everything from plastics to ceramics. And you didn’t hear it here but we are told some great piracy goes on in the manner of DVD and CD selections at a very visible store that can’t be missed.

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Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here