Well, as a guest blogger here on this site and real estate agent in Playa del Carmen for two years now, I am seeing the annual mass arrival of Canadians to Mexico. Since the website is Canada2Playa.com, that seems like an apt name for with which to make a few observations regarding the Canadian invasion we see every year when the snow starts to fall. And believe you me, when that white stuff starts to fall from the sky, my Canadian friends hit the travel sites looking for warmer climates and tropical get-a-ways… with Playa del Carmen, Mexico being one of the all time favorites.
In full disclosure, I’m a red blooded, chest beating, flag waving American type… but I’ve had the opportunity to help quite a few of my neighbors to the north acquire their dream property here in Playa. Canadians come down here for many different reasons, with the extreme cold weather being the primary motivator, it seems. Whether you are retirement age and looking to live out your golden years in a tropical paradise without shoveling snow or simply want to live a much freer life, Playa del Carmen has something for everyone.
Canadians, unlike Americans, get full tax exemption if they live and make money outside their home country. That is a very attractive proposition for many, especially those who simply want to own and operate a small business without a huge tax burden or overwhelming bureaucracy. Not to say that Mexico is just a free for all but the taxes are much lower and you won’t have the burdens of over regulation that you will find up in the frozen northland.
There are some types of financing available here but compared to what you Canucks are used to paying in terms of interest rates, you want no part of the 12%-15%+ home financing that is the norm here. You are much better off taking out a personal line of credit or a second home mortgage to purchase a home here in Playa if you don’t have the liquid cash available. I’m no accountant, but I have heard also of people using high finance and mortgage intelligence to use any payments they may have from obtaining financing as deduction towards business taxes as well… something to look into or ask your tax professional.
Like I said, around the end of October, around 50% of the gringo looking types that I talk to on 5th Avenue hail from somewhere in Canada. In the past week, I have spoken to couples from Saskatoon, Alberta, Edmonton, Fort MacMurray, Vancouver, Quebec, Toronto, and many other different places and small towns that I don’t quite remember.
One of the trends that we have seen is that the guys who work in the oil fields love to get out of the cold when they get some extended time off and since Playa del Carmen averages about 80 degrees F (right around 24 degrees Celsius) during the day all winter long, quite a few of the oil guys seem to make their way down here when they aren’t scraping icicles out of the beards, that is.
Another huge trend that I’ve seen is that once people come to visit once or twice, they get the bug to move down here. This includes myself – I came down here first in 2004 and couldn’t get the idea of relocating to Playa del Carmen out of my head. It took almost 10 years for me to work things out and make the move but I made it and it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Coming from Vegas, the atmosphere is 180 degrees opposite of the life I was used to. The energy is much more mellow here – as the locals say, “tranquilo.”
You’ll notice when you get down here that the pace of life is slower… much more relaxed. Yes, even more relaxed than you Canadian types! Everybody is friendly and accommodating and eager to help, whether it’s with your beginning Spanish or finding your way around, you’ll find someone who will help you with a smile.
I really think it’s the Caribbean that has a lot to do with the energy and mellow attitude that really reaches throughout Playa del Carmen. The calm, soothing waters of the Caribbean Sea are said to help individuals find peace and uplift their spirits. I can say only for myself, but I felt the energy the first time I waded out into the clear blue water and stood there… I knew I would live here someday.
Like I said, there are many reasons why Canadians love visiting, living in and retiring in Mexico. The people, the weather and the cost of living are all factors. But most of all, it’s the intangibles…. Come on down and see for yourself. Find YOUR reason….