Interviewed in newly published article about investing in real estate in Costa Maya
"The region may be particularly interesting to pioneering investors, who would “have the opportunity to shape a future for the area with respect to [its] environment and culture,” Kevin Graham, owner of Costa Maya Living Real Estate, said in an e-mail interview."
Kevin entered the real estate business in 1981 and owned a successful home building company in his home town of Dallas, Texas. He earned his MBA in 1984 and moved into a corporate career and has had a diverse background in in business consulting, strategy planning, and project management. He has worked with a number of small and Fortune 500 firms to create business plans.
In 2002, he created Cozumel Passport, a marketing vehicle designed to promote tourism in Cozumel. The project earned the support of Fideicomiso de Promocion Turistica de Cozumel and the local government of Cozumel. The company produced a short film about the island that was distributed around the world through various channels.
Kevin fell in love with the Costa Maya in 2003. Scuba diving is a passion and he purchased beachfront property in Benque Soya, Xcayal, and in Mahahual. He lives in Mahahaul year-round and has for over five years now.
Asked to serve as the local representative for the US Consulate for all of Costa Maya, Kevin serves as Warden for the region. He is very active in the community in many ways including serving on the board of a foundation that helps the Maya people after natural disasters such as hurricanes.
Why We are the Best...
"It is easy to be optimistic about purchasing property in Costa Maya now, however at the same time most Buyers from the US and Canada are cautious about purchasing anything in a foreign country. They have reason to be. Here is one example. There are many new “realtors” in Costa Maya…especially after the hurricane. Many are offering discounted commissions to Sellers for their services (as they should). There is no special permit or license needed in order to sell property here in Mexico.
A client came down to look at property about a year ago and I worked with them to find the best deal on a lot. Clients who I have worked with will tell you that they are encouraged to look around at all the properties in the area, not just ours. This client found a property and paid a very good price for it through another real estate company. Things changed in their lives and they needed to sell the property so they asked us to list it. We always check titles and documents before we list anything and there is an expense to this. (Here is a hint…if you see signs on properties everywhere in any location of Costa Maya, it is very likely that no legal check of titles has been made on each and every one of these properties).
Anyway, as soon as we started checking, we found not one, but two other people who also have documents saying they own the same property. What a nightmare for anyone. It should never happen. I cannot list this property now and although I am helping them sort it out, it will be a difficult situation for months to come. Out of ten people who ask us to list properties, we turn down six. So…how can you tell the good real estate companies (and there are) from the bad? Nothing in this world is risk free, but we do everything possible to minimize the risk of buying here.
We check not only tax receipts but also titles and other documents before listing any property. Costa Maya Living has never sold any property that has a problem with its title.
We only use attorneys and Notarios from either Merida or Cancun who have a track record as honest and reliable. Them not being from this area is to ensure that there is no vested interest here so that the transfer of title is critically reviewed and legitimate. All the attorneys we use speak English as well as Spanish and have excellent administrative processes.
Every property we list is able to have title insurance from a US title insurance company.
We have an escrow account in the US. The Buyer’s deposits remain there safely until after the transfer of property has been made.
This is not a part-time job for me. There are hardly enough hours in each day to do all the things well that must be done.
I have lived here since 2004 and plan to be here for the rest of my life. I own properties here and am extremely active in the community and serve as the local representative for Costa Maya of the US Consulate. I was asked to take this position and am learning as I go, but it was a big honor.
We have a long list (actually every client I have) of satisfied customers. We don’t put them on the website because to me, it is like putting references on a resume. If you list someone you are pretty sure they would give you a good recommendation. Same thing for testimonials on a website. A much better thing to do is to ask around anywhere in Costa Maya about me."
"Leaving a Positive Legacy in Costa Maya "
"My husband and I had the good fortune of finding Kevin several years ago when we were sourcing Costa Maya properties for a customer. Without a doubt, Kevin is the most honest, hardworking and knowledgeable real estate professional in the Costa Maya region. Since our initial meeting, we have developed on an on-going referral program with Kevin, sending him all of our customers who are looking for an excellent investment in Mahahual or Xcalak. His market knowledge, tenacity and negotiating prowess always get the deal done.
In addition to being a fine agent, Kevin demonstrates a real commitment to his community and has been a solid advocate for not only the expat community but the local residents of the Costa Maya region as well. After Mahahual was devastated by hurricane Dean, Kevin rallied help and financial support from friends near and far to help rebuild the tiny town and the lives of the residents. This is the kind of person we want to send our clients to and support in any way possible." Michele Kinnon - Buy Playa Real Estate Advisors