I. Process Overview and Land Choice
The Process will include the following areas:
- Engineering and Construction
- Hardscape and Landscape
- Green Building and/or Remodeling
Let’s begin this journey and see what the process is like in southern Baja. You’ve come to Baja and fallen in love with an area. You want to create a new life, a dream. You go out with a Realtor. You find the most wonderful piece of land and make an offer.
STOP: Does the party selling the land have the right to sell it?
Does it have water? How far is the city water from the property line? What will it cost to have it connected? In Todos Santos a Water Contract with the water department will cost somewhat over 2,000 pesos. This is for the right to have water. This does not necessarily include connecting the city water line to the line you have installed for your home. If city water is not available, how much will it cost to have it trucked in? Is it something that can be done easily?
Is electricity available? How close to the property line? What will it cost to have it connected? Again, this will depend. For example, if you already have neighbors on each side of where you would be building, the connection fee today is over 400 Pesos in Todos Santos payable with the first month’s bill. Any other situation will require a sketch plus a visit from La Paz CFE to decide what the cost of the connection will be. If electricity is not available, will you install a generator, a partial solar system, a complete solar system, a solar and wind system? What will the costs be? Who will design the system and install it. Who will maintain the system? Is telephone service available or will you have to have satellite or cell phone? What about internet? Costs? Insist on a surveyor that uses the latest equipment.
In each of the above cases, you should ask your Realtor and get a specific response. All add to the basic cost of the land or construction. If you have decided on an Architect, discuss these things with him or her.
OK. So you now have answered all of the above questions and have satisfactory answers or if not satisfactory, you are willing to knowingly live with reality.
You buy the land. It goes through the notary etc. A notary here is an attorney and they each have a territory assigned by the government. Only one notary works in each geographical area. We are not going to discuss that process here but it is something you should learn about also before hand.
You are now the proud owner of this wonderful piece of land. Maybe you know exactly what you want to build. Maybe you have some ideas. Maybe you do not have a clue. This is where you decide to hire or not to hire an architect.