How to Spend Your Vacation in San Pancho and Progress in Building our Vacation Rental Rooms and Home.

Xmas and New Year Vacation in Puerto Vallarta and San Pancho (San Francisco, Nayarit), Mexico

We have had a great time for our New Year vacation in San Pancho and Puerto Vallarta. We spent several days in San Pancho. The village was busy, but not too busy and this is the charm of San Pancho which has just the right amount of activity to make it pleasant, as opposed to the saturated and overcrowded Punta Mita and Sayulita.
The restaurants were in full swing, there was live music and people danced in the streets. The beach was busy only at the main point at the end of the Tercer Mundo street leaving both sides/edges of the San Pancho beach with sparse specs of vacationing tourists.
In the opposite spectrum you have Punta Mita and Sayulita which get so crowded that you can hardly walk the streets. You can easily get into a stalling traffic waiting for about 30 minutes to get a parking spot. I was told that one Easter (Semana Santa) Sayulita was so crowded that the police closed its entrance and would no longer allow people to enter the village!!!!
We walked along the San Pancho beach with the kids all the way to our lot. The kids were really excited as it was their first time to visit the lot and our youngest 7 year old was surprised that there was not already a house built! 😊 LOL
We took a great drone video of the lot from several points of view and it will give you a perspective of what the lot looks like the surrounding lush jungle and the amazing views to be enjoyed once Selva Suites is built and ready to accept vacationers. I am in the process of editing the drone footage and adding some music. The drone video includes footage of the nearest beach area only 3 minute walk from Selva Suites.  I will be posting the video soon on YouTube.

Building Project of Selva Suites in San Pancho.

We have concluded these steps: Closed the property purchase with the Title (Escrituras). Completed Topography, Land and Soil Survey, removed some trees, Architectural Design, Environmental Impact analysis happy to already have it.
The next step will be the Structural analysis. We are receiving three quotes for this. Based on the prior steps, the Structural
Analysis will be done to provide the recommended quantity of materials (cement, rebars etc) needed to built our dream place. This will be created and signed by a Civil Engineer who will ultimately be legally responsible for the safe and sound structure of the project, so this is an extremely important step. Also based on this analysis, we will be able to get a better cost estimate of building the home and the vacation rental rooms.
Also we have started deciding in the interior and exterior wall finishes.
Fine_Finish_Interior_Wall
Fine_Finish_Interior_Wall
They will be flat, clean, contemporary, minimalistic. They will be primed, painted and sealed with special liquid used on beachfront homes to withstand the salty ocean winds.

Wall Materials

We are also now starting to consider potential building materials for the walls for our Selva Suites in San Pancho. We want it to be cost efficient, easy to manage and build, long lasting
and environmentally friendly. While in San Pancho the construction of the walls that I have noticed, has been done with traditional cement
Convitec_Wall
Convitec_Wall
blocks and steel rebars for seismic reinforcement, our architect has recommended a material he has used and after researching

Convitec Application

in various forums and websites, it appears to be a great option. It is called Convitec. It is Styrofoam reinforced with a structurally advantaged steel mesh. The theoretical advantages of this material are:

 

 

 

Structural Strength and Integrity

The diagonal zig-zag steel mesh is supposed to be stronger and more flexible than a traditional square/cube design in case of an earthquake.

More economical

These “walls” come in prefabricated sizes and are installed on-site. They are easier and faster to install. They are lighter to transport than cement blocks. It provides integrated enhanced insulation to what I have read is about R25, therefore saving on energy bills.

Risks of Convitec

Some of the potential risks that I read were that the workers must have experience working with this material. They must know the installation process and be monitored carefully that they do a good job. Part of the process is that the walls are covered with cement. That cement coverage need to be sprayed adequately so that it dries properly. If it is not done correctly in read that within a couple of years the wall may develop cracks on the surface.
Another cautionary information is that the steel wire mesh must be reinforced with additional rebars spaced appropriately. The wall corners where two walls meet must also be reinforced with additional wire mesh and steel rebars shaped in L form.
Finally, I read that it must be covered in cement completely and be done well, so that critters, mice or rats do not manage to get within the wall and eat away the insulating Styrofoam.
The encouraging news is that I have been reading that this material is used extensively in Latin American countries such Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador and Mexico, places which have similar warm and humid climate as we have in the Banderas beachfront area which include Punta Mita, Sayulita, our vacation rental accommodation suites in San Pancho and Lo de Marcos.
Do you have any experience with this building material? Please comment below.
We are also starting to be looking into other finishes like tile flooring, plumbing details, vanities and more. This year of 2019 will be extremely busy and exciting!

Typical Flower of San Pancho!

This is an example of a flower you would be encountering on your walk from Selva Suites rental property to the beach or the village of San Pancho. 

While most people look for vacation rentals in Sayulita or Punta Mita, they forget to look into the quaint and posh village of San Pancho.

As soon as our Selva Suites is ready, it will have amazing views and incredible nature sounds with all the modern comforts.

Typical Flower of San Pancho
Typical Flower of San Pancho

Whale Watching Season in Puerto Vallarta, and San Pancho Mexico!


December 12, 2018
Whale watching in San Pancho
Each year from December to March, Banderas Bay and the waters off the coast of Vallarta-Nayarit offer some of the world’s most spectacular whale watching. (Photo: Larry Bennett, Aspen Photo Art Gallery)
Our wonderful room accommodation of Selva Suites in San  Francisco (San Pancho) will be right in the heart of this migration!!
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Discover the extraordinary world of whale watching on your Puerto Vallarta vacation! Each year from December to March, Banderas Bay and the waters off the coast of Vallarta-Nayarit offer some of the most spectacular whale watching opportunities in the world.
Each year in late November, hundreds of Humpback whales start arriving off the coast of Puerto Vallarta and the Riviera Nayarit. Their annual migration from the cold waters of Alaska brings them as far down as the Bay of Banderas where they will procreate and raise their young in our warm waters, which offer some of the most spectacular whale watching opportunities in the world.
This year’s whale watching season officially opened on December 8, 2018 and will run through March 23, 2019. Every year the Environment and Wildlife Secretariat (SEMARNAT) grants permits to vessels that are authorized to offer whale watching tours. On these boats, crew members have been trained to offer participants the best possible experience without affecting the natural habitat of the whales.
A typical whale watching expedition will take between 2-4 hours. Tours leave daily from Puerto Vallarta’s Maritime Terminal, beginning at 8 am. One can choose from special boats designed specifically for whale observation, a variety of smaller boats, or the larger tour boats that also provide food and beverages.
Each authorized vessel is required to have a copy of their permit onboard and to fly the whale watching flag, so when you are offered a Puerto Vallarta whale watching trip, make sure the boat has the proper accreditations. This will ensure that you, your family and friends enjoy a safe whale watching experience, while helping to protect these gentle giants that call the Bay of Banderas “home” for a few months every year.
There’s absolutely nothing that compares to the thrill of seeing these fascinating animals in the wild, and Puerto Vallarta tour operators offer a variety of exciting whale watching expeditions that are safe, educational, and most importantly, lots of fun!
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San Pancho Rental Selva Suites 3D Render – in San Pancho.

What Will Selva Suites Rental Rooms in San Pancho look like?

We have done several versions of the Selva Suites structure including the rental suites. It will be contemporary, functional and practical. The rental house and suite rooms will have really nice views, combining the green lush jungle of San Pancho and Sayulita with the ocean sea waters of the Pacific.
This is our digital render below of how we think our Selva Suites in San Pancho might end up looking. Three-dimensional view of several angles of the property and an inside tour of the rooms. This is just a prototype as it was created with basic free software on the iPad. We are still waiting for the final professional render from our architect. Enjoy! 🙂
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Moving to the Land and Soil Survey.

3D Land Elevation and Selva Suites Building Layout on the Lot in San Pancho! Only three minutes from the beach, close to Sayulita!

Today was a pivotal point of our project. We are getting closer to finalizing the architectural design and positioned the proposed builing onto
Selva Suites Floor Plan on the Land of Selva Azul in San Pancho
Selva Suites Floor Plan on the Land of Selva Azul in San Pancho
the available lot considering the zoning laws and regulations. The green lines on this image show the lines within which we are allowed to build. Zoning rules demand certain distance from the neighboring lots, which is great as it ensures both our and the neighbors’ privacy and tranquility.
The blue shape is the layout of the building and its location on the lot. The majority of the building will be located on the existing flat platform. Off to the left side and at the lower levels of the lot, there will be a great sistern which will be collecting rain water. The sistern will also function and be part of the necessary retaining walls.
This information was shared with the community management and provided this information for the land and soil surveyor. The land and soil surveyor will go to the lot, dig several holes at different points and depths of the proposed building site and collect land samples. They will do a chemical analysis which will tell us what it the quality of the land and whether we would need to reinforce it with other materials to make is strong to sustain the weight of the building.
It is exciting that we completed one stage and are moving to the next phase of this building project.
In this animation video you can see a three-dimensional view of the lot elevations. There will be additional retaining wall and land on top of the flat platform, which will raise the starting level of the building structure of the garage and the suites by approximatelly 3 feet giving better view to the ocean and the jungle cliffs. The second level will be 8 feet higher on top of the 3 feet. The second level will have our main living area, and the swimming pool accessible via stairs and ramp for the guest renting the suites or rooms.  Check out the animation:
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Don’t Miss This One Thing in the Building Process in San Pancho, Sayulita, Punta de Mita, Puerto Vallarta.

Topography, Land and Soil Surveys

Satelite-Topography-San Pancho-Selva Suites
Satelite Topography map San Pancho Selva Suites Lot

Important parts of our building project are the Topography, Land, and Soil studies. This was an exciting weekend; we met with the topographer, architect, civil engineer and the soil surveyor at our lot.

The topographer spent about a week getting all the exact points of reference and defined the border lines of the lot. Downloaded these data via GPS satellite. It recorded the land’s steepness and identified all major trees. Based on these data and the zoning laws and rules, a defined perimeter was proposed to build.

This photo is a satelite image of our lot with the blue lines pointing the perimeter.  The following image shows the elevation of each lot area and the main trees marked by type of tree and height. Remember this is extremely important as mentioned in this other posting.

We shared this topography information with the Land & Soil surveyor so that he has an idea of which parts of the soil will need to be studied. The surveyor will be digging at 4 to 5 holes at different points on the lot at apprximatelly 4 meters depth each hole. Soil sample will be taken to a lab to analyze its composition to determine how stable is the land to build on. So many people try to cut corners to save money in the short-run only to regret it later. These topography and soil surveys are well worth the investment to save you from potential disastrous building decisions.

Topography-San Pancho-Selva Suites
Topography Tree & Elevation map San Pancho Selva Suites Lot

Next step will be for us to complete the initial architectural layout with measures and render it within the proposed building location. This information will be passed to the Land & Soil surveyor so that he can perform the survey. We are looking this to be complete between the end of 2018.

We will be spending our end of 2018 vacation in Puerto Vallarta and San Pancho. It will be the first time our kids will get to see our lot and they are very excited.

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Architecture Designs

We have been creating many different designs and layouts for the home. We study over all of them and keep changing things. The framework consists of the allowed size set by the city, the shape of the lot and our imagination.

Selva Suites Upper Floor Layout
Selva Suites Upper Floor Layout

We are making the home layout to be practical.

 

Entrances to the home and mobility will be made easy. Moving between the two levels of the property will be done both with stairs and a ramp to make it easy for any age and ability to move around.

The rooms are being laid out so that they can have the maximum available views to the jungle and ocean. The situational construction will be done to accommodate the lot’s layout as well as to take advantage of the sun’s trajectory and winds’ and breeze natural flow. The sun’s trajectory will be important to maximize the solar panels’ capacity. The wind will need to easily breeze through the home for natural air ventilation to keep the home as cool as possible and to help move any mosquitoes or other small flying insects through and out of the home.

The upper level will be our main living space consisted of three berooms, each with its own private bathroom, a living room and a kitchen. All living spaces will be built in a manner that will allow uninterupted views of the jungle cliffs and the Nayarit Pacific Ocean.

Selva Suites Lower Floor Layout
Selva Suites Lower Floor Layout

Plenty of space for several cars to park.

The lower level will have the rental lodging guest suite rooms.  Each bedroom will have its own bathroom for comfort and privacy. Each rental guest room will have the main bedroom sleeping 2 people and a separate living room with the ability to convert into a bedroom to sleep an additional 2 people. Each suite will have its own bathroom.

There will be a patio/veranda with a seating area. It will be possible to enjoy the views either from the outside seating area or from inside the bedroom.

The rooms from the lower level will be connected to the swimming pool patio area in the upper floor with a ramp and stairs. This way even guest needing a wheelchair or families with strollers can easily move around.

The home will be ecologically friendly with solar panels and potentially windmill to generate electricity. Batteries to store it. Water sistern will be large enough to collect plenty of rainwater so that we do not depend on the city’s water supply system. Bathrooms will be connected to an environmentally friendly, staged septic system to make good use of the gray water. I will post more details in future posts as these things start to materialize.

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Digital render of home rental in San Pancho, Mexico, near Sayulita.
Digital Render Back

Five (5) Secrets to Purchasing Vacation Rental Property in San Pancho – and how we managed ours at SelvaSuites.com

1. Be Persistent, Be Patient in your Vacation Rental Search.

As I mentioned, looking for a property will be a time consuming effort. You must really want it and must be persistent. We had a few deals fall through, mostly due to the price. You will need to be prepared for several trips to find the right property.

We made an offer at a property at Lo de Marcos. This deal fell through because the agent did not seem forthcoming and was playing games around the price and the size of the lot.

Another offer in Litibu – a small, very dry and empty, village between Punta de Mita and Sayulita fell through again due to price. While the lot had great view of the Nayarit Ocean, there was no privacy, other lots where attached right next to that lot. It was extremelly dry village, without the lash jungle views available in San Francisco. As a result, there was not any shade available. This dryness was also concerning about water availability for us and our lodging guests.  So our offer was reflective of these concerns and disadvantages of Litibu, which ultimately was not accepted by the seller.  Ours here at www.SelvaSuites.com was our baby! 🙂

2. Find the Right Realtor with Knowledge of the Local Market in San Pancho!

It is important to have a good and honest realtor. Someone with experience, who will work with you, be interested in what you are looking for, but also be a consultant who will educate you about the local market, the purchasing process and protect your interests.

So many realtors simply want to “push” to sell a property. We did encounter a couple such realtors. The one that helped us purchase our property was excellent, very helpful, honest and hard working. She asked questions we would not have thought. She made sure we understood the process and the market. She was prepared for our meetings and had ready for us to see several properties whenever we scheduled our trips to San Pancho to look at properties.

Such a good and organized realtor will save you time and money by utilizing your precious time by showing you a lot of properties within a given time, so that you have lots of options.

Selecting a good realtor is crucial in the process of purchasing your dream real estate in Mexico.

3. Protected Trees and Environmental Impact Study – Manifestación de Impacto Ambiental (MIA).

Although this is great for the protection of the environment, it can be a bitch for your building plans! 🙂 This could be considered the equivalent of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) in the US. If you buy a jungle lot, as we did, it will have certain vegetation. You will want to preserve as much as possible for shading and to protect your lot from erosion.  At the same time, there are certain trees which are highly protected and you may or may not be able to remove, if they happen to be located in the area you want to build. Which trees are protected? nobody could tell us or nobody wanted to tell us, so as not to get scared.

One of the deals’ reason of falling through was because there were trees which we thought were protected, the realtor thought it might be protected, but nobody could confirm. So we were very hesitant to make an offer without this information.

After a lot of research, we stumbled upon the community we eventually purchased. The developer of the community had already done the Study called MIA for all the lots they were selling, …. and it was available online!!!! We read it very carefully and we discovered this:

Protected Trees (no one will tell which ones, but here they are!!):

Palmas de coquito de aceite or Palm trees which produce a fruit nut (coco). This coco fruit can be processed and eaten. However, it is also the main food source of local birds and small animals in the area of San Pancho, Sayulita, Lo de Marcos and Punta de Mita. If these Palm trees are over 12 or 15 meters high, you are not allowed to cut them.

Tempizque Amenazado or the Endangered Tempizque. I do not know what that tree looks like. We did not have such a tree on our lot.

Here is the gray area; they may allow you to cut the trees if you agree to either re-plant some new trees of the same kind, on your lot and/or donate to the government for re-planting new trees maybe to a rate of 20 new trees for each tree you may want to cut.

We heard that the MIA report can be expensive and time consuming, because you are dealing with the government. We were very lucky in this area, because the developer already had the MIA done and we did not need to do it. It general, anytime you ask about the MIA, whether it has been done or what is the process, you will be given the run-around and vague responses.

4. Titled Property.

Extremelly important question: Is the property Titled (con escrituras in Spanish) or is it Ejido and if so at what stage of the Ejido?

Titled property legally belongs to a single person or corporation. It can legally be sold at seller’s/owner’s will. Ejido properties do not have clear legal ownership, instead they belong “to the people” the ejidatarios. If you want to buy an ejido property, you must do acrobatics, deal with Mexican beurocracy, pay a lot of money and go through a process which may take anywhere from 2 to 10 years. Ejido properties are extremely cheap compared to Titled properties, but they are so cheap for that reason. If you have time to invest and the patience to deal with this process, it might be worth it for you, because once you have managed to convert an Ejido property which you purchased very cheaply to Titled property, the price of the property will easily triple. For most people however, this is a very difficult process.

5. Water, Power, Drainage

Investigate and find what is the water situation. A scarce and extremely important resourse. Friends rented a vacation home in Cabo San Luca and half way through their vacation, the property run out of water. Imaging having this issue trying to rent your property. In San Pancho there is relatively more water and more rain that in Punta de Mita and Litibu. This is evident when you look at the surrounding environment and vegetation. However, even though there is more rain in San Pancho, this does not mean that the government will be able to provide you with water year round. Be prepared to build an undeground sistern and find ways of collecting the rain water to fill it up. Calculate your water consumption in order to figure out the appropriate sistern size.

Does you lot come with Electric Power services? Some developers have done the leg work to bring power to your doorstep. Some have not. We experienced two developers who were selling their lots at almost the same price per square foot, yet one had paved roads, water pipping to the property and electric boxes ready to be connected to the Electric company, while the other had done none of that.  It’s easy to miss these.

If your lot is outside the main village, be prepared to have to build a septic tank.  This is common thing in such areas and should not be area of concern.

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Our Little Piece of Peaceful Paradise

Today was the closing day. We are happy owners of our own jungle lot on a hill side, in San Pancho.

Our lot has amazing combo views of jungle, the village of San Pancho and the Pacific ocean.

Selva Suites Entrance
Entrance to exotic Selva Suites.

Searching for the right lot was a long and relatively complicated process. We started looking at a radius of 1-hour driving distance around the Puerto Vallarta airport.

We liked Puerto Vallarta for many reasons:
– Close to the equator has a more or less stable climate.
– There are no major natural disasters, no earthquakes or major hurricanes.
– It has a good International airport with direct flights to many cities in the US.

We have been coming to Puerto Vallarta for many years and thought about buying either a property or land to build a property for our vacation, retirement and as an investment.

The city of Puerto Vallarta is very developed with all the good and the bad things that come with it. It has easy convenient mega-stores, good internet access, and other modern comforts. It also has quite a lot of traffic, too many people and a very high rate per square footage. In Puerto Vallarta, you might be able to get a condo or an apartment with little to no privacy. For your one lot and an independent house, you can easily get in the million dollar level.

As a result, we looked farther out of Puerto Vallarta. We like the tranquility of smaller places with fewer people. We also wanted something that would be a good investment down the road. So we looked south of Puerto Vallarta in Mismaloya, and to the north at Punta Mita, Litibu, Sayulita, San Pancho, and Lo de Marcos.

We managed to find and purchase a great lot in San Pancho.

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