View single post by TrueBlue
 Posted: Tue Nov 12th, 2019 03:11 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 7th, 2014
Posts: 234
The Mormon incident (for lack of a better description) is still getting HUGE daily coverage in the US.  As I type this, I'm watching a story on it on Good Morning America.  The family is (understandably) talking about how much the security situation has deteriorated.  It's on every network.  The timing of this incident after the Culiacan incident has made the coverage overwhelming.

Americans' fear of Mexico travel has been present for at least a decade.  That's when comments from friends about our safety in Mexico and their refusal/reluctance to join us as a result became pretty consistent and also when we noticed our short-term vacation rentals at our house start to drop.  The short-term rentals completely dried up 5 years ago.  I really don't think comments on forums have any impact whatsoever.  It's how the situation is portrayed in the news north of the border, and especially the non-stop "Mexico is evil and full of violent cartels/people" coverage on Fox News and from Trump which targets the same demographic who are the non-Mexican homebuyers in San Carlos (older white retirees or near-retirees).

The rapidly escalating violence in Guaymas, Empalme and (now) to a lesser extent Obregon is probably not on the radar of most potential buyers.  A simple search of "am I safe in San Carlos", which is the exact wording I think most San Carlos buyers would use, isn't overly concerning.  However, a search of "am I safe in Guaymas", which is the second search I think most San Carlos buyers would do, turns up more concerning things, but still doesn't accurately portray just how bad it is in Guaymas and Empalme.

San Carlos with its large ex-pat population is still an island of relative safety, likely as a result of cartels not wanting American media attention, which brings increased government enforcement.  But the incident in Culiacan followed quickly by the Mormon incident and a lack of effective government intervention is a game changer which will likely only serve to embolden the cartels.  The informal "don't harm Americans" policy seems to have changed, and that's going to affect things far more than anything else which has happened in the past.

So while I strongly feel that San Carlos is currently safe for Americans/Canadians as long as you are relatively sober, don't screw anybody over in a financial transaction and you're not involved in buying or selling drugs, nobody has a crystal ball as to what the future holds.  The security situation in the entire country is rapidly deteriorating, just not too much in San Carlos.  We recently had a conversation with a Mexican Mexico City resident who told us we should not visit Mexico City right now due to the crime levels, and that his father sent him to the US due to fears of kidnapping.  It's crime throughout Mexico that has Americans concerned and will kill the market for American homebuyers.  Home sales and prices in San Carlos (yeah, I still keep track) seem to be at about the same level as they have been for years as Mexican buyers make up for the loss of non-Mexican buyers.

The bottom line is that fears of the bottom dropping out of the San Carlos real estate market due to the loss of American buyers aren't very realistic as there are more Mexican buyers out there.  I would only start to worry if the Mexican/global economy went into the toilet.

Last edited on Tue Nov 12th, 2019 03:20 pm by TrueBlue