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Monday was the first day of school for many kids here in Playa del Carmen. It was also the first day in which a local organization called Keeping Kids in School begins to mobilize and carry out the most important phase of its’ year-long operation: the delivery of school material to local school kids who are most in need of it.

Top Mexico Real Estate  sent a team of volunteers down to KKIS headquarters in downtown Playa to aid in the task of loading up the many bags of school supplies and then travelling to different schools to hand them out.  The first stop was at a junior high school and then one of the elementary schools. This was followed by Cristo Rey elementary school in the jungle and then morning and afternoon deliveries at Adriana Cupul Itza elementary. With the frenzy of activity that always accompanies the return to classes, the almost 400 bags were dropped off to smiling and excited kids of various ages. All of these materials were purchased with the $30,000 that was raised this year.

Keeping Kids in School began in 2011 thanks to small group of people who questioned why there so many children not in school. They soon discovered that many families simply cannot afford school supplies, often resulting in their kids dropping out of school altogether. KKIS and its’ dedicated volunteers invest their time raising donations, and now provide almost 2,000 children with school supplies. 2016 will also see them award 40 high school scholarships, which are very important since many young people do not attend due to costs once again. The KKIS scholarships include school registration, uniform shirts, a monthly allowance for transportation and textbooks. This past June 12 KKIS scholarship students graduated from high school.

If you live in Playa del Carmen and would like to contribute there are many ways in which you can make a difference.  KKIS always need volunteers for their English language programs, but if you cannot assist in this manner you can always make a financial donation, which will go towards the scholarships and purchase of school supply distributions. To find out more information visit their website here: kkisproject.org.

Top Mexico Real Estate is happy to have been a part of this year’s school delivery, and we encourage all of you to check out this amazing group of people who are making a difference in the city we call home. We’d like to thank Janet Lowe and Gayle Collins directors of KKIS, for having us be a part of this week’s activities, and for all they do for our Community   Fred X Uriarte for all his work , and volunteers like , Vicki Llyall, Allan Lockheart and Kimberly Meyer  that among other expats help keep kids in school  year after year.

If you’d like more information about living in Playa del Carmen or are interested in purchasing property here, we invite you to visit our main website where you can search further. Please get in touch with one of our agents who will gladly assist you in any questions you might have.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate

we make it happen!

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Setting Up Utilities in Playa Del Carmen

If you are buying a home right now or have recently done so, the first thing you should do is change the utilities over to your name. I hope that this information will speed up the process in getting you set up! When you have purchased a new home in Playa del Carmen, and the title has been transferred and you become the official owner, one of many post-closing tasks you’ll have to carry out is switching the utilities into your name. It is good to do this over the first several months and to have the bills with your name on them for future proof of address.

For those of you who prefer not to go to the offices in person, perhaps because your Spanish is not good, you can give Power of Attorney to your Property Manager or someone you trust. But if you do go, take someone who is a Spanish speaker to help you out, especially if they’ve lived here a while and are familiar with the process.

When you begin changing the name on the accounts I recommend that you take care of the property tax first. The reason is that the water and electricity will require your property tax registration in order to set them up, while the other utilities will require the water or electricity bill. If you have yet to pay property tax you can use the promissory contract for the various utilities.

Property Tax

This is the first account where you should change your name. The other basic utilities will probably ask you for this as primary proof of address. To make this change you will need the following documents, both the original and a copy:

  1. Deed recorded in the Public Registry of Property
  2. Process Fees
  3. Official ID

After arriving at the office you will need to obtain the following:

  1. A Motion to File Application for Cadastral (for new properties)
  2. A Form of Clarifications (for resale properties)
  3. Declaration of the assessed value of property tax

Once you have all of these documents you will be able to change the name of the property tax and you will get a registry document, called boleta predial in spanish.

The office is located at the Palacio Municipal, Playa del Carmen’s city hall. It’s on 20th Ave., between 8th St. and 12 St., right behind Walmart and is open Monday to Friday from 8:30AM to 3:00PM.

The water service in Playa del Carmen is called Aguakan, and is located on 115th Ave. and calle 38 Nte., in the area known as Cruz de Servicios. In order to change the name on this account or set up this service you will need to bring a copy of your Identification, usually passport. You will also need a copy of your property tax registration and your last water bill (unless it’s a new home).

Electricity

The CFE (Federal Commission of Electricity) is the national organization which manages all electric services. Most cities have an office for CFE, including Playa del Carmen. To set up a contract with CFE, or to change the name on an existing account, you will need the following documents.

  1. For a new property, you will need a proof of address with your name on it (your property tax registration, promissory contract or water bill if you already have it).
  2. To change the name on existing service (i.e. resale property), you need the contract number (you should ask the last owner for their last bill or a copy of it).
  3. Identification (passport)
  4. Copy of the deed

If you have air conditioning, you must report the capacity of the equipment. Be sure to note this before heading to the office!

There is a security deposit of around $500.00 pesos, but this will show up on your first bill. There is no connection fee.

With your documentation, go to the following office:

40th Ave. between 20th St. and 22nd St.

Playa del Carmen

Phone: (984) (984) 807-7272

Fax: (984) 803-1869 http://www.cfe.gob.mx/lang/en/Pages/thecom

Please note that there are big changes currently planned for the CFE, and by 2018 this information will likely be out of date as the CFE gives way to several competing companies which will take over the current services operated by them.

Telephone

You have a choice of two main phone companies offering service in Playa del Carmen: Telmex and Izzi (formerly Cablemas). Telmex is the main phone company, and offers phone, cable television and internet service. You will need:

  1. Proof of address (water or electricity bill)
  2. Identification (passport)
  3. Payment

As of November 2015 the line installation fee was $2004 pesos.

The basic line monthly fee is $187.00 pesos, but there are also plans that offer package deals for long distance, phone and internet, ranging from $ 389.00 pesos to $699.00 pesos. Usually it is better to contract one of those packages, depending on your needs.

The Telmex office in Playa del Carmen is located at:

40th Ave. at the corner of 6th St. Downtown, Playa del Carmen

Phone: 01-800-123-0000/ 01-800-123-1114

www.telmex.com.mx

Izzi also provides phone service, but it’s not available in all neighborhoods. Their packages for phone, cable and internet often have attractive prices. Visit their office for requirements, which will probably be similar to those of Telmex.

Av.10 #325, Col. Xaman-Ha, Playa del Carmen, QR. CP 77710

Open Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm and Saturdays from 9am to 2 pm.

https://www.izzi.mx/

Gas

There are two choices for gas service. Some homes use small, portable tanks; a truck makes its rounds through town, and simply picks up the tanks to fill them, and return them the next day. You must pay cash when they pick up the tank, and there are no bills or registration. The other option is to have a permanent tank installed (usually on the rooftop.) In this case, it will be like a regular utility which you will have to contract and get set up (if it’s not already there). However, you will have to call whenever your tank is running low and a truck will come by to fill it. You will pay when it is filled.

The main company is Z-Gas. To set up the service you will need the following:

  1. Photocopy of official ID – Passport
  2. Photocopy of proof of address (property tax registration, electric or water bill)
  3. 2 references, with addresses and telephone numbers
  4. $550.00 pesos for the set-up fee

The office is located at:

Av. Benito Juárez, Ejidal,

Playa del Carmen, Q.R.

Phone: 01 800-011-ZETA (9382)

www.grupozeta.com/pagina_internet/index.htm

In order to make the process easier you can download a PDF of the Setting Up Utilities kit at the following link: http://bit.ly/kit_settinguputilities. Here you will find all of the information that has been covered in this blog”

If you’d like more information about living in Playa del Carmen or are interested in purchasing property here, we invite you to visit our main website where you can search further. Please get in touch with one of our agents who will gladly assist you in any questions you might have. And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate

we make it happen!

 

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The Importance of Licensing for Real Estate Agents

In late 2015 I became the recipient of a new licensing accreditation in Quintana Roo, as the result of a new law that came into being. The purpose of this law is to impose mandatory regulation in the state for real estate professionals. As tourism continues to boom and the demand for more vacation rentals drive sales of houses and condos, there is an equal demand for safety and security in the purchase process. In short, foreign buyers want to feel safe and secure when they choose an agent to represent their interests.

The fear of many is that Mexico is an unregulated real estate environment with “Wild West” attitudes employed by greedy salesmen looking to make a buck with no regard for their customers’ needs. The truth is that anyone who wishes can work as a real estate agent in Mexico. And while bad practices certainly go on and many are sales agents guilty of doing this, mandatory regulation will serve to regulate the market.

One organization that has been after licensing requirements is the AMPI (Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals), the largest real estate association in Mexico. AMPI works together with Federal, State and Municipal authorities and they propose new laws and amendments to existing laws and regulations directly related to the Real Estate activity. They have over 1,500 broker members, 60 regional boards, and represent approximately 10,000 practitioners in Mexico.

Earning university degrees in professional Mexico real estate is one way to create knowledgeable real estate professionals. As a licensed agent I want to instill confidence in buyers of real estate, who can be assured of professional standards that can be outlined and followed by agents. What will ultimately set agents apart from the rest will be their adherence to this new set of professional criteria to establish a standard that will work for you. Until this becomes the practice for the rest of the country, the state of Quintana Roo will be the one place where you can buy with the assurance that the licensed agent that is looking after your interests is backed by the law.

2016 could well be seen as landmark year for real estate in Mexico as it pertains to building confidence in buyers. As the market continues to expand and more people choose the Riviera Maya as their permanent home, regulation will be key to have safe and trustworthy real estate transactions.

If you’d like more information about real estate in the Riviera Maya or are interested in purchasing property here, we invite you to visit our main website where you can search further. Please get in touch with one of our agents who will gladly assist you in any questions you might have.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate

we make it happen!

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Residents and visitors to Xcalacoco Beach in Playa del Carmen were treated to a unique and beautiful event this week: eighty-four turtle hatchlings were released in to the sea. They are the first ones to hatch along the Riviera Maya this season, and they were released by environmental officials while a crowd of tourists watched and took photos.

According to riviera-maya-news.com, the nest of turtles was first reported by Jorge Guillermo Fuentes Manríquez, manager of Petit Lafitte Hotel. He said the region’s high temperatures were the reason for the involvement of the official, explaining that “if the temperature of the nest is greater than 30 degrees, a majority of the hatchlings will be female. If the temperature is below that, there will be mostly males.”

For those unfamiliar with Xcalacoco Beach, it’s located about a 15-minute drive from downtown Playa. It’s a beach full of soft white sand and calm turquoise waters, due to the presence of the reef and the rocks. Aside from the aforementioned turtles there are also tiny fish and crabs that live on the beach, where they are surrounded by palm trees and jungle.

The area also has upscale resorts and hotels, and professional golf courses like Mayakoba, which host the OHL classic in the Fall. There are also two great property developments at Xcalacoco that I’d like to mention in particular, the descriptions can be found below.

El Cielo

El Cielo is Spanish for Heaven, and it suits this particular development to a tee. It’s one of the fastest growing suburbs of Playa del Carmen, and is located in the heart of Zona Diamante, where Xcalacoco is found. It’s a beautiful residential area with many 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos and patio homes. For those who prefer to design and build their own homes there are large lots available to be purchased. Note that this particular neighborhood does not have many supermarkets and malls close by, but this lack of convenience is balanced by the private feel of the area which is far from the bustle found in other parts of Playa.

The Fives

The Fives is a condo-hotel designed to operate as a 5-star resort that guarantees a return on your investment. Residents who live here are freed of the necessity to use an outside property management company thanks to the internal maintenance and administration program. As an owner you’ll have access to four restaurants offering a distinct selection of food in each one, along room service and even grocery delivery. For those who like being active there is a tennis court, spa and fitness center, along with the beach club which faces out towards Xcalacoco.

If you’d like more information about Xcalacoco Beach and Zona Diamante or are interested in purchasing property here, we invite you to visit our main website where you can search further. Please get in touch with one of our agents who will gladly assist you in any questions you might have.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate…

we make it happen!

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August 31 is the Date of Our Next Webinar!

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I am happy to announce that on August 31st we will be returning with another installment of our webinar series which began earlier this year. The aim of our webinars is to inform those who are interested in purchasing property in Mexico with useful facts and knowledge that will aid them in the buying process. We want to make sure when purchasing here that you do so with the utmost confidence and that you feel safe and secure when doing so.

For our latest edition we will be conducting an interview with Sherri Dixon, an expat who has made Tulum her home for the past 5 years. She will sit down with me and talk about her time here in the Riviera Maya, the challenges of moving here from another country and becoming a resident, and the lifestyle change that have come with living and working here. We will be answering many of the questions that are commonly asked. Sherri’s life here as an expat in Tulum is a topic that we want to share with all of you.

Tulum was once mainly famous for its’ ruins before rapid development turned it into an chic bohemian beach town. It’s eco-minded attitude draws many to the area, from celebrities to hippie backpackers, and the beaches attract a variety of people looking for the and experience of peace and tranquility. Many of those who come here inevitably ask: Can I live here on a permanent basis? Is it possible to have get job even though I’m a foreigner? What about medical expenses and access to quality healthcare? Can I own property even though I’m from the US or Canada?

We’ll be asking Sherri about her experiences dealing with all of the above issue, but we also encourage you to prepare some questions of your own. Once the webinar is underway we’ll be reading them out live and the hope is that her stories and advice will inspire you to take the plunge and do what many of us have done already: relocate and live in the paradise of the Riviera Maya!

Our webinar with Sherri Dixon goes live on August 31 at 12.00PM. Stay tuned to this blog where we will be publishing info about how you can register and take part.

If you’d like more information about Tulum or are interested in purchasing property here, we invite you to visit our main website where you can search further. Please get in touch with one of our agents who will gladly assist you in any questions you might have.

And remember, at Top Mexico Real Estate

we make it happen!

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