Housing issues

All subjects that don't fit in the previous categories, including recipes, moving to PV, off the beaten path trips, cultural and non-profit and more.

Moderators:admin, Moderators

roger1
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts:11
Joined:Sat Mar 31, 2007 3:48 am
Location:Mountain View, California
Housing issues

Post by roger1 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:21 am

:? To Anybody Who Has an Opinion:
After several yrs of surfing PV websites, Mexico websites, and visits to Mexico, it looks like Mexican builders are in love with concrete block houses with inadequate kitchen storage. All you find are dark, cramped bungalows with all the appeal of a gas station in the Mojave Desert.
QUESTION 1: Is it possible to buy a plumbed lot, hire a local builder, and have a spacious, sunny, bright house built from plan?
QUESTION 2: Are Mexican builders knowledgeable about issues like sliding glass doors, patios, floor-to-celing windows, built-ins...in short, the usual residential characteristics of modern houses in North America?
QUESTION 2: Can this be done for less than $300,000 for a 2-brdm, 1.5 bath place along Banderas Bay?

Oh, I've seen the places in the US$500,000 and up range, but they're out of my reach!

---Roger1

User avatar
katnsocal
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts:1538
Joined:Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:17 am
Location:So. Calif.

Post by katnsocal » Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:44 am

Roger,
I don't know what websites you have been looking at. There are homes in PV with sliding doors, floor to ceiling windows, fully equipped kitchens with granite counter tops, all built in appliances. It depends on where you are looking, but they do know how to build them. As far as buying a lot and having a house built, I bought two lots and neither of them had anything done to them as far as preconstruction goes. The needed to be cleared, and leveled.

I would not even consider buying my own lot and having a contractor build it unless I was going to be in town to watch what was going on. It is alot easier to correct an error in construction when it is happening than it is after the fact. I have talked to many people in PV about building a house and all of them (mostly locals) have told me the same thing, "Don't even think of doing it if you are not going to be around to watch what is going on." Not being there gives them alot of leeway to charge for hours worked that were not actually worked. You need to be able to watch the construction process.

All of that being said, lots and construction like you are asking for are not cheap in PV. I would suggest you go down to PV and check out the type of homes you want to build, most of the current construction projects that are catering to the ex-pats have what you are looking for. You can then talk to the sales people and ask if that builder does individual homes or just large projects. I find that word of mouth works really well, someone always knows someone with the information you are looking for.

Good Luck!

edited to say: I think those gas stations in the Mojave desert are kinda cute! :P

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Casas Los Andes

Post by webmaster » Mon Apr 02, 2007 3:30 pm

You can also check the website of a friend of mine, they do great work and would be quite appealing to people that don't like concrete slabs: http://www.casaslosandes.com - they have many years of experience and do the job 2 to 3 times faster than traditional Mexican construction methods.

Greetings

Mogens

User avatar
chico98
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts:1398
Joined:Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:51 pm

Post by chico98 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:33 pm

vallarta is full of termites

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Post by webmaster » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:38 pm

They can't eat impregnated wood. Read the site a bit.

Greetings

Mogens

User avatar
chico98
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts:1398
Joined:Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:51 pm

Post by chico98 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:51 pm

They can't eat impregnated wood
great for how long

love to build out of wood

have builted many before settling a vallarta

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Post by webmaster » Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:59 pm

The wood itself, after the treatment can last indefinitely.

For details contact them directly using the form on the site or: [email protected]

Greetings

Mogens

User avatar
lyrihn
PV Fanatic
PV Fanatic
Posts:140
Joined:Sat Apr 19, 2003 10:19 pm
Location:Higuera Blanca / El Tizate / La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Post by lyrihn » Tue Apr 03, 2007 1:41 pm

Roger:

There are three approaches to building in vallarta. The first is to hire a contractor who manages everything, the second is to manage your own crew where you subcontract everything, the third is to hire a bilingual to manage your crew if you dont speak spanish or cant be here all the time.

Hiring a contractor is by far the most expensive but the easiest. You still need to be here alot so that quality doesnt suffer as they cut corners to make more money. Expect to pay from $80 to $150 per square foot depending on your requirments.

Managing your own crew is the chapest, but you must be here everyday. you pull permits, you do payroll, you pay social security, you buy materials, you oversee everything with a good maestro (head builder), a crew of abaniles (experienced builders) and ayudantes (helpers), an electrician, and architect, and a plumber. Expect to pay from $25 to $50 a square foot depending on your requirements.

Hiring a bilingual to manage the second route will add about 10% to the bill. If you can find someone good to do this for you it is an excellent compromise.

In all cases you need to be here alot.

You also need to buy the property with services. In vallarta, the building lot itself can cost you $200,000 USD.

There are many less expensive properties on the outskirts of vallarta, along the rio cual or the rio ameca, some deals in Nuevo, and many deals north in Bucerias, La Cruz, Near resort Litibu, Sayulita, San Pancho, etc. (prices going up everywhere quick). Realtors dont have a good grip on cheap lots north of Bucerias. In those areas hook up with a local and do some "door knocking" Stay away from ejido unless you know what your up against and have a cast iron stomach (its a long twisted but usually profitable option -- can also loose your shirt on ejido).

Depending on your time table, another option is to find a large lot that is a good deal. Hold the lot for 3 years then divide and sell half. The profit will help pay for (or completely pay for the construction) if you buy right.

I personally did that. I bought 7.5 acres of ocean view near litibu for $150k about 2 yrs ago specifically as a location to build my house. The same would be cheap at $300k today. So now i plan to divide for next season and sell off 5 acres to help finance the construction.

Your lifestyle dictates your apparoach.

Finally another option is to find a very reputable developer and buy a pre-construction condo. They appreciate very quickly. Developers tend to want each project to be self-financing in part, so early pre-sales are always much cheaper than prices after they are built. But select a developer with a solid rep and several developments under their belt.

good luck

Jeff

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Post by webmaster » Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:05 pm

Casas Los Andes builds the house for you and have prices around 500 dollars per square meter, that would be around 50 dollars per square foot and they deliver a house you can move in to (llave en mano), just drag your furniture in and voila.

Seems people around Vallarta are expensive, but that doesn't mean you can't have a team from Guadalajara do the job better and cheaper.

Greetings

Mogens

User avatar
lyrihn
PV Fanatic
PV Fanatic
Posts:140
Joined:Sat Apr 19, 2003 10:19 pm
Location:Higuera Blanca / El Tizate / La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Post by lyrihn » Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:23 pm

From what I can find online Casas Los Andes specializes is prefab and made to order houses made of treated wood? Is that what you were referring to??? for $50 square foot?

That would sure be a departure for the type of housing here. Im not sure i would trust wood (treated or not) to last any length of time with our humidity and termintes.

I could see them working in Mascota perhaps. maybe its cause i am from Chicago and we all think of the big fire. Im just much more comfortable with cement and stone homes.

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Post by webmaster » Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:14 pm

Treated wood is not eatable by any bug :-) it'd be like eating concrete for them, so that's not an issue. They build with fiber cement too and can include or mix in traditional construction methods too, I guess this can alter the price and timetable too.

Greetings

Mogens

poppy
PV Fanatic
PV Fanatic
Posts:127
Joined:Wed May 31, 2006 12:45 pm
Location:Mokena, Illinois

House building

Post by poppy » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:37 am

You can find the excellent architect and the excellent builder...the problem is finding the lot to build on. I live in Paradise Village (part-time). My suggestion is to find a local real estate agent for the property and go from there. Or, find the builder to ask about available parcels. If you need a referral, please let me know. Note: you need to be there for the entire project.

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Post by webmaster » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:54 pm

For most construction projects with Mexican companies Poppy's advise is sound, but in the case of Casas Los Andes (which is a Chilean company and maintains Chilean standards) I can personally vouch that you won't need to be there more than a few times along the way.

Greetings

Mogens

Jim Morrison
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts:4
Joined:Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:10 am
Location:Puerto Vallarta

Post by Jim Morrison » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:26 pm

Roger,

Actually, termites will eat wood treated even with CCA. I've seen it myself any number of times. They generally leave it alone, but nothing is foolproof when it comes to termites. The best you can do is keep wood as far from the ground as possible. Use pressure treated lumber where you can, and treat the property as soon as you find damage.

Termites outweigh humans and are estimated to outnumber us by roughly 200 million to 1. They've been figuring out ways to survive on this planet longer than we have.

If you have a specific construction question, I'd be happy to answer it. I've been doing home inspections in Boston for 20 years, and just opened an office in Puerto Vallarta.

Jim Morrison

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Curious

Post by webmaster » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:07 pm

I'm curious regarding the termites eating treated wood, do you have any online references on the subject or is it just personal experience?

If it's personal experience is there no possibility that the wood was not well treated or looked treated and wasn't?

Greetings

Mogens

Jim Morrison
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts:4
Joined:Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:10 am
Location:Puerto Vallarta

Post by Jim Morrison » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:15 pm

Mogens,

I'm sure you could Google up some documentation on the topic, but ask anyone who has been looking at houses for any period of time, and they will tell you that termites will even eat the sapwood of pressure treated southern yellow pine.

Lumber get placed in large vats of chemicals during the treatment process, but those chemicals aren't always absorbed as completely as you might think. Look at the cross section of a 6x6, the center clearly doesn't absorb as much chemical as the outer sections, if any.

Plus, the concentration of the chemicals from cheap, big box lumber stores is only .40, if you believe the tags, and less if you believe that large companies are inclined to cut back on costly checmicals to improve profit margins.

Plus, like I said, termites are eating machines, and the ones we see in Vallarta are more ambitious than the ones I grew up around in Boston.

Anyway, that's all anecdotal, but I'm sure you can find what you're looking for on Google.

Cheers,

Jim Morrison

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

Termites "eating" treated wood

Post by webmaster » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:42 pm

So you are saying the issue is with wood that is not correctly treated. Good tip for buyers, check that the wood being used is well treated, but that is very different from saying that treated wood is eaten by termites.

No matter how much of an eating machine a termite is (I'm a biologist), it needs biochemical pathways to process and eliminate toxins, I doubt they've evolved so fast as to have the appropriate enzymes to withstand the chemicals used in wood treatment.

If they have, that'd be a great business opportunity, to replicate it commercially for waste management :-)

Greetings

Mogens

User avatar
chico98
PV Oracle
PV Oracle
Posts:1398
Joined:Fri Nov 11, 2005 7:51 pm

Post by chico98 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:39 pm

a local online news article about termites
-http://www.banderasnews.com/0704/re-wallscouldtalk.htm

Jim Morrison
PV Beachbum
PV Beachbum
Posts:4
Joined:Wed Apr 11, 2007 2:10 am
Location:Puerto Vallarta

Post by Jim Morrison » Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:39 pm

Inspired by this very discussion.

JM

User avatar
webmaster
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts:2794
Joined:Thu Nov 09, 2000 7:40 pm

We're an inspiration ;-)

Post by webmaster » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:03 pm

Interesting, I had thought it was the other way round. Good writing. Anyway, I can see that you did not go into the treated wood issue :-) Greetings

Mogens

Locked