alamos mountains

Discover Authentic Spanish Colonials in Historic Mexico

An Undiscovered Trove Of Authentic Spanish Colonials
Plus: The truth About Rental Income Taxes In Spain

April 14, 2015
Álamos, Sonora, Mexico

Properties in Álamos trade in U.S. dollars

Dear Overseas Property Alert Reader,

I’ve just found a small treasure trove of authentic, historic properties from the Spanish colonial era. I’ve been traveling the Americas and looking at colonial homes since 1998, and I’ve never seen anything remotely like Álamos, Mexico.

I’ll put this into perspective. My first choice among the properties I saw here is a mansion that was built by a wealthy silver baron during the presidency of George Washington. It’s from a time when the first book was copyrighted in the United States, and just after New York gave up its claim to the Republic of Vermont for US$30,000.

This home is just one of many similar properties in town… and prices have dropped to the lowest levels in years.

Dramatic Silver Wealth Resulted In Magnificent Colonial Architecture

Álamos was founded in the late 1600s, after silver was discovered in the area. The huge wealth generated by the mines allowed the residents of Álamos to build dozens of colonial mansions and hundreds of colonial homes throughout the downtown.

The silver eventually ran out, and the silver barons and their crews moved on. Álamos began to decline after Mexican independence from Spain, and was invaded numerous times during the Mexican Revolution in the 1920s. When the city finally fell during the revolution, its population was Continue reading

Real Estate In This Amazing Colonial Venue

Plus: Where’s The “Real” Spring-Like Weather?

Properties in this report are priced in U.S. dollars

San Miguel de Allende is both the geographic and cultural heart of Mexico. About equidistant from Puerto Vallarta on the Pacific Ocean and Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, San Miguel is also just a day’s drive on good roads from the Texas border.

At a 6,200-foot (1,900-meter) altitude, it’s warm and dry during the day and cool at night.

Founded by the Spanish nearly 500 years ago, San Miguel was an important town on the route to take Mexican silver from the mines of Guanajuato to the Spanish ships waiting in Veracruz harbor. Wealthy businessmen and ranchers built beautiful Spanish colonial homes on the cobblestone streets of the picturesque hillside town.

When the cry for independence from Spain was raised, it was from this part of Mexico that the patriots answered. Father Miguel Hidalgo and Ignacio Allende led the first battles for Mexican independence and are revered as national heroes.

Expats have discovered an irresistible combination in San Miguel. They’ve found small-town living in the timeless elegance of a well-preserved Spanish colonial city, nearly perfect weather, and a convenient location just a few hours by car to Mexico City, which is less than a day’s drive to either coast or the U.S. border.

More than 15% of San Miguel’s inhabitants are now expats, bringing with them a demand for international cuisines, fine wines, and the arts. Continue reading

León's emerging real estate scene compliments its long-time colonial charm

Discover A Newly Emerging Market In Colonial Nicaragua

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Properties in Nicaragua trade in U.S. dollars

On my first trip to León, Nicaragua, I felt like I’d gone 50 years back in time since leaving Granada, just three hours down the highway. By 2004, Granada was already well discovered by expats, had a lively and mature real estate market, and was as pleasing a Spanish Colonial environment as you could find…much like it is today.

León, on the other hand, was a bit rough around the edges.

It had all the basics of a great colonial destination—things like beautiful churches, attractive plazas, and a bustling town square overlooked by a massive cathedral. What’s more, there were literally hundreds of large, Spanish-Colonial homes, few of which were restored.

But what it didn’t have was a real estate market. Nothing was for sale, as far as I could tell, and there was no real estate agency to be found. After a day of walking the streets on that first visit, I finally found an attorney who would serve as my real estate contact. As I left his office, he was calling his friends and relatives to see if anyone wanted to sell a colonial.

But that’s no longer true today. Continue reading