Marc Serrao shares investment opportunities in Puerto Vallarta
BY BRIAN PADGETT
Even though the difficult economic climate appears to have a monopoly on our current circumstances, there exists a not-so-far-away land where you can take advantage of the strength of the American dollar. Yes, you read that correctly. Strength! If this suggestion sounds frivolous, recall the real estate mantra: It’s all about location, location, location!
Marc Serrao could very well be your investment guru in disguise. As a real estate agent with Tropicasa Realty, an international real estate firm that specializes in property purchases in the beautiful Puerto Vallarta area, Serrao reassures that the local property market has held strong. “Mexico, like many countries, never relied heavily on mortgages for home buyers,” Serrao notes in regards to the subprime crisis we are witnessing on our side of the border. “We are not seeing a lot of the problems associated with that. … You can get a lot of bang for your buck here.”
Because, unlike the U.S. housing market, that of Mexico, (and Puerto Vallarta in particular) is a cash market, so home owners are not in a position where they have to sell, which works advantageously long-term, as the values of properties are rapidly increasing.
“The growth rate in Puerto Vallarta has been stable, with a seven to 10 percent appreciation,” Serrao informs.
“Your security through our experience,” reads Tropicasa’s corporate slogan. With a combined total of over 180 years of experience in both North America and abroad amongst the agency’s brokers, clients are imbued with the extensive knowledge necessary for successful international property transactions.
Serrao’s own shrewd discernment played a part in his decision to join the Tropicasa family. “I wanted to work somewhere that focused on North American professionalism, with high standards, but in a tropical market,” Serrao admits, divulging his personal commitment to excellence as well as his unbridled passion for the area. “Tropicasa works off the MLS (or Multiple Service Listing) system and all of their agents are AMPI members.” (AMPI is the Mexican equivalent of the National Association of Realtors in the U.S.) Agents will show home buyers every property available to purchase in the Puerto Vallarta area regardless of whether or not that property is listed with Tropicasa.
“If the client wants something, and we do not have it in the inventory, then … we will go out and find it,” Serrao asserts.
Despite currently residing in Puerto Vallarta, Serrao grew up in the American heartland—Davenport, Iowa to be exact. He later relocated to Dallas, Tex. but always maintained an affinity for cultural diversity, travel and adventure. During his extensive travels in Mexico and Europe, Serrao cemented his appreciation for foreign lifestyles.
“In Mexico, as in Europe, people live for the moment and their friendships with others,” Serrao muses. “There is not as much of the ‘hurry up’ to get nowhere, as we are so used to in the U.S.”
The desire to spread a stronger appreciation of this way of life has greatly influenced Serrao in his professional endeavors, courtesies he extends to his clients, individuals he refers to as “friends.”
“Because I live here full time I am able to give them guidance based on my experiences. I am here to help them through every step of the buying process. … I do not want to just sell someone a house and disappear from their lives.”
Serrao also assures that he is available for his clients “anytime, whatever, whenever. I can pick them up at the airport; help with dinner reservations, etc. Buying a house is an ordeal sometimes in the U.S., but [here] they are miles from home, so I am there to help and guide them when needed.”
To prospective LGBT home buyers that embrace the safety of our “gayborhoods” and are hesitant to venture off our rainbow-clad streets, Serrao has more than a few calming words regarding the levels of acceptance in a location that could easily be referred to as “paradise.”
“The attitude towards the LGBT community is very similar to that of San Francisco [and] Key West: Live and let live!”
The surge in gay clubs, restaurants, beaches and hotels in Puerto Vallarta is a testament to its growth, prevalence and strength. Serrao also points to the large numbers of luxury amenities available throughout the city, ranging from ecologically conscious day spas and massage parlors to various resorts and beach clubs, as well as its close proximity to rustic hamlets and jet skiing meccas. Medical facilities in Puerto Vallarta are top-notch, and the hospitals all employ English-speaking doctors.
“The economy in the U.S. will rebound, and the prices here are continuing to appreciate,” Serrao predicts. Citing the stable market growth, appreciating values and the easy flights to and from the U.S., Serrao emphasizes, “I wish, 10 years ago, I had started buying property here. … A lot of property.”
Direct all inquires regarding property purchases in Puerto Vallarta to Marc Serrao.
Puerto Vallarta: (011-52-1) 044-322-148-9635
U.S. Vonage direct: 214/295-6883
Mexico (toll free) (01)800/877-7000