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Determining the Market Value of Puerto Vallarta Homes

December 30, 2013

When looking to purchase your "place in the sun" in Puerto Vallarta, an experienced realtor can be helpful, offering his opinion based on hundreds of real estate deals in the Banderas Bay area.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - What's this PV home worth? This is a great question and one I'm often asked! Let's face it; no one wants to pay too much when buying a home. Knowing how to value a home here should help!

There are a few factors to answer this question that we will explore and then, like a fine ingredients in a recipe, blend together to arrive at a very simple way to know how much to offer and what to expect if you are interested in owning real estate in Puerto Vallarta.

Let's take a hypothetical situation where you have a trusted realtor, have looked at some good candidates for your "place in the sun" and have arrived at a point where you want to make an offer on the best one. How much should you offer and what is the REAL value of the home? Here are the factors to consider in arriving at this number:

The first factor is "What is the market value of homes like this one?"

Presuming your realtor is hard-working and has your best deal in mind he will offer to create a Comparative Market Analysis for you (often called a "CMA"). This data is found through our multi-list systems and often incorporates similar properties currently for sale or recently sold. One can then deduce the real value per square foot that this home is worth in today's market! Voila, a good start!

Is the CMA an "end all" number? Unfortunately no, and here's the reason why: almost no two properties are identical in Vallarta and one normally "fudges" the numbers up or down to make up for the differences. You might think of the formula as part art, part science. The CMA is the science; the "fudge factor" is the art. An experienced realtor can be helpful, offering his opinion based on hundreds of deals in the Banderas Bay area.

The second factor is "How much is this particular home worth to YOU?"

While the CMA offers generalizations about market values, you are not buying the market. You are investing in your favorite property which may have specific features making it more or less valuable to you. When one is purchasing a place for your own enjoyment, you may want to adjust with the "fine tuners" to get the exact view, location and ultimately the lifestyle you want! As we say here "buy a condo, get a lifestyle!" A home is like a pair of pants; you want the one that fits YOU!

The last factor is "What is the seller likely to accept?"

My experience in my 10 years of selling Real Estate here in Vallarta is that most sellers price their properties somewhere near 10% more than they expect to get. There are exceptions and every case is individual, but for easy math's sake, I would normally offer approximately 15% off the asking price, hoping to stay over 10%. Nothing carved in granite here, just easy math to give you some idea. See, it's easy!

Lastly I recommend you interview realtors until you find someone you are comfortable has YOUR best interests at heart. Years of experience here in PV can really help avoid common mistakes and the CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) (s)he creates may be the helpful tool that helps negotiate the best possible deal on your ideal property here in Puerto Vallarta!

John Swanson is a real estate expert at Boardwalk Realty PV and long-term resident. He is a single dad and has raised his son Donovan in Puerto Vallarta. His hobbies include guitar and mandolin playing and he performs locally in the Texas Embassy Blues Band. You can contact him at:, or visit his website on living in Puerto Vallarta at