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Tuesday October 17 2017
Property Appraisals and Valuations - Interview with Bruce Greenberg
Author:
Ventana Magazine - 2008


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This month, Ventana Magazine had the privilege of interviewing Bruce Greenberg, an active real estate consultant in Mexico. His company, Valuaciones Montaña Verde has provided clients with its expertise and experience throughout Mexico since 1996. Montaña Verde has performed over 1,000 valuations and or consulting services for over 3,000 properties.

All valuations conform to the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), Appraisal Institute (MAI/SRA), American Society of Appraisers (ASA), International Valuation Standards (IVS) and Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal (SHF) Standards.

We present Mr. Greenberg’s thoughts on different subjects regarding the real estate market in Mexico.


VM: How long have you been doing appraisals in Mexico?

I’ve been doing appraisals for more than 39 years in the United States and around 15 years in Mexico


VM: How and why did you start conducting business in Mexico?

It was really by accident. I bought a time share from Sectur in Puerto Peñasco for $15,000 dollars with my credit card, and when I got home, I realized they were broke. This forced me to learn more about Mexican law and real estate. As I became more educated, I met many wonderful people in Mexico, and was amazed at the way the way they conducted business. I realized that just because Sectur went bankrupt did not mean every company in Mexico behaved the same way. However, thanks to what happened to me, I realized the importance and the need to have trusted valuations and appraisals in Mexico.


VM: What were your main barriers to entry in Mexico? How did you overcome these obstacles?

My main barrier, which still exists today, is the fact that I don’t speak Spanish. To offset this barrier, I have learned more about Mexico and its culture than I could have ever imagined. I realized that before doing business in Mexico, one must build friendships. More than in any other country, relationships are essential if you want to succeed in Mexico.


VM: What type of appraisals do you perform? Where in Mexico do you offer your services?

We offer services and perform appraisals for all types of real estate in Mexico (See box). In Mexico, my main working areas are along what I call “the tourist corridors.” The Baja Corridor from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas, the Western corridor from Peñasco to Huatulco, and then the Riviera Maya corridor from Cancun to Tulum. We are now attempting to penetrate the interior of Mexico.


VM: What is the cost for performing an appraisal in Mexico?

It really depends on the value of the property. For example, if it’s a home appraisal, it can cost from $ 500 to $ 2,500. Land appraisals range from $1,000 to $15,000 depending on the value, size, and location of the property.


VM: What are the differences between appraisals done for properties in the U.S. and for properties in Mexico?

Data gathering and collection. Whereas gathering data in the US is a simple process, in Mexico it is more complicated and time-consuming. In Mexico, since we do not have any information or data, we have to go face to face with the customer or development to abstract the market data. I do not see this as an asset or a liability because even though it takes more time to gather the data, it is more accurate and trustworthy.


VM: How has the economic slowdown in the U.S. affected property values in Mexico?

In Cabo San Lucas, the recession has not affected prices and they continue to increase at a more moderate pace than the last five years. In Puerto Vallarta and Cancun, prices are stable. Puerto Peñasco and Rosarito have been affected the most, as they have gone down significantly in the past two years due to their targeted buyers, who are mostly from California and Arizona. As you can see, the effects of the US slowdown in Mexico are regional and really depend on the targeted buyers of each region.


VM: How has the real estate market in Mexico evolved since you entered the market?

It has shown tremendous maturity and growth in technology and services. When I first came into Mexico 15 years ago, it was similar to the real estate industry in the US in the 1960’s. After 15 years, one can see tremendous changes in the manner real estate business are conducted in Mexico. The industry has evolved and grown quickly, especially in the technology and services areas.


VM: Where do you see the Mexican real estate market in 10 years?

I believe the three main corridors will extend and grow into new undeveloped areas. The “new” corridors will likely be 1) Los Cabos to La Paz, 2) Mazatlan to Ixtapa, and 3) Cancun to Belize. These are what I refer to as the flying markets in Mexico. I believe that Mexico, and especially these corridors, will continue to grow as it becomes a major health care and medical provider for retired Americans and Canadians.


Mr. Greenberg’s Highlights:

• Was asked to join the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce in 2007 as a member of the Bi-National Board of Directors.
• Member and participant in the Urban Land Institute-Mexico.
• Member of the Asociacion Mexicana de Profesionales Inmobiliarios, A.C. (AMPI) sections of Los Cabos, Nayarit / Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen and Puerto Peñasco.
• Attempting to reform appraisal valuation practices in Mexico with Carlos Gutierrez Ruiz of CONAVI and Dr. Guillermo Babatz Torres, formerly of Sociedad Hipotecaria Federal.
• As Mexico continues to sell mortgage backed securities to global financial institutions, Greenberg has emphasized that professionally conducted appraisals must be prepared to meet the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) of the United States and the valuation standards set forth by the International Valuation Standards Committee.
• Has been consulting and appraising in Mexico since 1996.
• Stresses the use of verifiable and confirmed comparable sales data and other traditional appraisal methodology to provide Wall Street and global lenders valuation documents which are self-contained with market abstracted data.
• Currently under contract with First American Real Estate Tax Services for evaluating and making recommendations in the improvement of the collection of real estate taxes throughout Mexico.
• Has established relationships with the leading real estate lenders, agencies, developers and governmental officials throughout Mexico and the United States, and has gained their trust in order to abstract the necessary data to competently meet the needs of the various real estate industries.


Services offered by Montaña Verde:

• Feasibility Studies
• Market Studies
• Competition Studies
• Absorption Studies
• Counseling Services
• Market Research
• Appraisal for All Types of Real Estate
• Expert Testimony and Litigation Reports
• Distressed Property Analysis
• Appraisal Management

 

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