Imagine living in a sophisticated, seaside resort city with First-World amenities all right at hand. Your condo is comfortable and airy, and an easy walk away is a curve of beautiful beach. Near it are casual restaurants and bars, with outdoor tables from which you can watch the sun set on the Pacific.
For special occasions, you have your choice of fine-dining establishments serving food from around the world. No worries for day-to-day shopping, either—supermarkets and shopping malls are a walk or a short bus ride away. And hospitals? Nearly half-a-dozen first-rate facilities.
Best of all, this comfortable, upscale lifestyle is surprisingly affordable. Beachfront property here is a fraction of the price you’d pay back home in the States.
A short flight away from the U.S., Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific coast has been attracting expats for nearly 60 years. Today it’s a metropolis that runs for miles along the graceful curve of Banderas Bay.
About 260,000 people call this area home. And as many as 15,000 of them are expats who live here either full or part time.
And they’re not all rich jet-setters. Far from it. For—despite Puerto Vallarta’s world-class amenities, high-end boutiques, haute-cuisine restaurants, and million-dollar homes and condos—living here doesn’t have to cost the earth.
In fact, even the million-dollar properties don’t cost a million (more on that later).
Thanks to the range and variety of real estate here, Puerto Vallarta offers property—and a lifestyle to go with it—at almost every price point. Even better, these properties cost much less than what a similar property would cost back home. And that means good value. That million-dollar condo or house in Puerto Vallarta? You might pay $2 million to $4 million for something similar on the California coast, back in the States… And the same holds true all down the line.
As a result, a couple can live well in Puerto Vallarta for as little as $2,500 a month, including rent. Own your own home? You can drop that budget below $2,000 a month, if you watch your costs.
Of course, if you want to spend more you can. And you have plenty of great things to spend that money on. But the vibrant ambience; the glorious sea views; the beaches; the warm, sunny weather…all that comes free of charge.
So what do you get for your money if you’re looking for real estate? With so much to choose from, it’s more a question of deciding what you want. For instance, the Romantic Zone is old-time Vallarta: centrally located, close to beaches, with plenty of trendy restaurants and cozy, low-rise neighborhoods, and home to a beautiful beach, Los Muertos. For all these reasons, it’s very popular. Yet you can buy a one-bedroom apartment here in the low $100,000s. For example, a 732-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo, just a couple of blocks from Los Muertos, was recently for sale for $119,000.
Want more space or a lower price? You can get either by simply changing neighborhoods. The downtown neighborhood of 5 de Diciembre is popular for its low prices. Here you can get a one-bedroom unit—still just a short walk to the bay—for under $100,000. Like a one-bedroom selling here for $95,000. It’s just over 600 square feet, but it has a terrace with sea views.
For more space, one option is to go north. The northern suburb of Nuevo Vallarta offers golf courses, beaches, and its own shopping and restaurants, but it’s still a hop and a skip to downtown. Here you can get a furnished, modern two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo, with 1,200 square feet, for $199,000. And from its two terraces you can view the golf course right outside.
And that millionaire’s mansion that doesn’t cost a million I mentioned? For $799,000 you can live a millionaire’s lifestyle in an exclusive area of the southern Conchas Chinas neighborhood. A spectacular five-bedroom, four-bathroom condo was recently for sale here. Fully (and beautifully) furnished, with panoramic views of the bay and the jungle, it has over 4,000 square feet of space. Plenty of space for you, the family…and a guest room for friends.
And trust me: If you live in Puerto Vallarta, those friends will visit.
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