The biggest concern as I see it is getting a good builder. He not only has to know how to build securely- also must be efficient in securing all proper permits.
People with whom I have discussed this subject, have horror stories concerning investors spending $30,000-$70,000 extra when they are building a $500,000 cost home. These are all attributed to building errors. They recommend you rent a house for a year and live there to make sure construction is done properly and, according to code.
All in all, if you want everything done your way and you have faith in your builder, take a year, rent some form of accommodations and visit your site, regularly. It is a major commitment of time and money, but well worth it.
Our casa was built near the beach and sand building permits, took years for our builder to acquire.
Getting a good supply of potable water was another challenge. He set it up for regular deliveries of water by pipeline. It is released twice a week.
Some people install a water tank and haul their own water in as needed.
Waste treatment on sand is a major consideration as septic is illegal in sandy areas. The reason of course is obvious- sand does not perk. We are operating with a unique waste treatment system, installed by our builder.
Securing electricity is another decision. Many people choose generators. This is expensive and cumbersome. Our builder, owned a great many properties and found it feasible to spend $500,000 to bring electricity to our area. In many cases our neighbors have hooked up to that system.
An obvious situation arises here, it is best to choose at least a somewhat developed area. This will enable you to have a passable road, electricity and water. Some of those beautiful properties, with great views of the water, at outstanding prices- are not a bargain.
Quality appliances aren't readily available in Mexico. It seems to be improving- we have replaced most of our mistakes. Somebody say- stove, dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer- all in eight years?
There are great many decisions to make when building in Baja. Unlike in the US, many people choose to build. I think (like myself) this is an accomplishment of a dream. I never built a home in the United States- why would I think it would be easy in a foreign country. After building and incurring all the expensive mistakes (if we had it to do over again) we would prefer to purchase a previously constructed home. All the errors are corrected and a good inspector can make sure the home is sound.
Any alterations can be made to suit our taste after we move in. The home can be purchased unfurnished and we can use our taste on furnishings.
When one analyzes the potential losses due to poor construction-( three of our neighbors have incurred serious costs due to faulty construction). You can make a great many cosmetic changes for $70,000.
One other consideration is financing. We were fortunate that our builder had moved from the US to Baja and had a checking account in the US. We were able to give him money through that bank account. Currently, one is not allowed to deposit more than $3000 US in a Mexican bank account per month. Obviously, it would be impossible to build a house in Baja with $3000 US per month. I know our government is making every effort to keep our money in the US. I recently read an article by a gentleman who had a business in Brazil. He was having a nightmare attempting to send money to build that business. He found a way and is now a millionaire.
Buying a previously constructed home.
It is imperative that you find a good inspector to protect you from being the victim of undisclosed errors in construction. An honest, highly qualified realtor is a great step towards purchasing a quality home. In Mexico the rule is” buyer beware”. Sellers are not obligated to disclose shortcomings in their home. Check out your realtor's qualifications.
A good lawyer can audit all the paperwork to make sure it is in order and take the time to determine that the permits are also in order.
Obviously, you need to make water, power and road access decisions. That new home may be difficult to access, bring water to etc..
Most realtors can aid you in creating a listing of quality construction people. When we built our home, we had no idea of who could paint, repair and maintain our property. It was a very long process weeding out the faulty workers. We went through three gardeners. After eight years we feel comfortable with our list of at least 15 different maintenance people. We have a pool guy, a gardener and a trash man.
Hopefully, your realtor can direct you to some quality handymen, electrician, plumber etc.. The realtor also should let you know where to pay your utilities and your taxes.
Should you need further information on investing in Baja, check the resource section of Baja Promises.com-
http://www.bajapromises.com/resource-articles.html. Should you seek special discounts for construction, inside information on waste treatment, television service, vacation rentals, paying taxes etc. etc. be sure to become a member of Secrets of Baja---
Good luck on your venture.