Property owners along the Costa Maya - Meet your Neighbors!

We feel it is a pleasure to introduce you to people who live and plan to live along the Costa Maya. Please do not use these e-mail addresses to send SPAM, but instead contact them and start up a conversation, learn from their mistakes and successes. If you want to be spotlighted, please contact us. Also check out a new Forum to talk to your neighbors. Costa MayaLIVE! Forum. Hopefully this will become a good place for conversation among neighbors.

Pam and Don Laurion

Location of Property: , Pulticub (for those of you who don't know, Pulticub is located just south of the Sian Ka'an at the end of the paved road.)
Costa Maya Timeline: We purchased our lot from Trans Caribbean in 2005. We are planning to build a home within 5 years and semi-retire to Costa Maya.
Current Occupation:Don is a cardiologist in private practice in southern Delaware. Pam is a teacher and former educator for special needs children.
Originally from: Delaware, although both of us grew up in the Mid West US.
When not on the Costa Maya, Interests and hobbies: Don enjoys fishing, snorkeling, reading and traveling. Pam enjoys snorkeling & traveling. We have 3 children. A daughter who is 27, and two sons who are 23 and 24. Our youngest son is currently serving in Iraq as a US Marine.
Plans once we have a home on the Costa Maya: Once in the Costa Maya I would like to study Mayan Culture and history. Don wants to spend his retirement just relaxing.
Big lesson we've learned about the Costa Maya that might help someone else: What we have learned about Costa Maya/Mexico since we have purchased our land is to check for permits first BEFORE you do anything on your land.

NOTE: even though Pam is still in the US, she is active on the Costa Maya Live message board and is organizing an Ubero-Pulticub property owners association.

Contact e-mail:
Added June 12, 2007

David and Jacque Jaquith

Originally from: Lincoln Nebraska
Property location: San Jose - Casa de Suenos lot 12 El Placer
Costa Maya time line: House nearing completion

"Jacque and I have been coming to the Yucatan for the past 23 years. Like all the other people that come for a week or so we dreamed of having a place on the beach someday. Most of our travels in the past years had not extended much further south than Tulum, so when we stumbled into a real-estate office on fifth Ave. in Playa six years ago and found ourselves in Majahual it was a new experience to say the least. We purchased a lot that day and we're excited to have a "piece of paradise" as they say. The next question that soon came to mind is what to do with it. For several years we would drive down and stay for the day and then drive back north to our hotel. It was much too far to really be of much practical use to us as the distance from the airport made it more than a one day trip. At some point I lost my mind and decided that if we built a house we would stay longer. So last December we started the house and as you can see are just about done. The whole process has been painless due to our contractor Guillermo Romero.

Jacque has a school for behavior disorder kids that I built and I had built houses in the past, so we had some idea of what to expect. It's still a long way to get to; but as we were spending New Year's Eve in an exciting and entertaining Mexican resort hotel party, I looked up at one point and saw the moon breaking through the clouds and thought how nice it would be to be sitting in the palapa just enjoying the night there. There is something to be said for that. Happy New Years from Jacque and myself at Casa de Suenos lot 12 El Placer"

Photo coming soon

Natalie Dale, John Vizard and
Aleeta Vizard—15 years old

Originally from: Minneapolis, MN
What inspired you to purchase on the Costa Maya? We are big divers and sailors and have been on lookout for perfect spot to spend 6 months a year when daughter is out of high school. After much research, we settled on Costa Maya in February—took 2 trips down over next month and purchased in May 2006
Property location: Rio Indio—4 KM north of Rio Indio access road
Costa Maya time line: We would like to start design process this fall. We hope to have house done within 3 years
Hobbies, interests: We like diving, golf, travel, eating, playing music—John has been in rock/blues band for many years
What is your current occupation? Natalie is President of Software company and John owns landscape company
Once you get to the Costa Maya, what do you anticipate spending your time on? Diving and cleaning sea grass off our beach…
Have you learned anything about the Costa Maya that might help someone else? Prices of everything are variable…depending on who you ask and when you ask them…shop around and then shop again!
Contact info:

Sept. 15, 2006

Joe Labor

Plans for property: "I plan on renting the both units at first and then renting one side once I move down permanently." (See picture at the right)
Originally from: St. Paul Minnesota - the "frozen tundra"
Why Costa Maya -" I'm basically a warm weather water person - want to retire where it is warm Love to Scuba dive. Did research on places such as Roatan, Panama, and several areas in Mexico. Took a trip down to Majahual in 2003 and felt it was perfect for my needs. Great beaches - a bit laid back compared to Playa del Carmen - met lots of nice people - and of course, the lots are priced affordably."
Lot Location - Rio Indio - just a few hundred yards south on the beach road.
Costa Maya Time line - Just completed SEMARNAT application - if all goes well, it will be approved in 60-120 days - hope to start building fall 2006 - have already selected a construction firm.
Interests - love the water - enjoy scuba diving - snorkeling - visiting Mayan ruins - big time gardener (will try to bring some bonsai in) - also like to fish.
Occupation - Account Manager in a medium size electronics company
What I have learned that might help others - "Do your homework up front!" - Mexico is not the US - things are different - learn everything you can about buying property, timelines,
rules, take a few trips down and make sure it is for you, be prepared for a different pace of life. It will be as fun as you make it.
Anticipated time allocation once I arrive - 1st year or two will be a lot of getting settled in for the long haul - want to do some extensive landscaping - learn Spanish - decorate the place - do a lot of diving (eat Lobster often) - explore the immediate area - get to know my new neighbors.
Special Interests - will probably be setting up satellite Internet access early on which if done right I will be able to provide to near by residents at low cost. I'm sort of the technical type and like having high speed Internet access. Suspect I will also be fairly well versed by the time I get there on Solar power systems.

Ocean front view of Joe's two units

Bill Ellis and Tricia Nelson

Location of Property: , Sapphire, Lot 8B approximately km 22 north of Mahahual
Costa Maya Timeline: We are currently gathering all necessary paperwork to pull permits to begin building ASAP.
What inspired us to purchase on the Costa Maya: The beauty of Mexico and it's people! We wanted to be near the ocean, as we are here at home on Cape Cod. We're thankful to have our own piece of the Costa Maya and we're looking forward to getting there as quick as possible!
Current Occupation: Need a foundation under your house? Call Bill...he's a house lifter Tricia has an in-home picture framing business.
Originally from: Both are from Massachusetts, USA and both have lived on Cape Cod for 30 years, but just met 6 years ago!
When not on the Costa Maya, Interests and hobbies: Boating on Cape Cod in the summer....skiing in New Hampshire in the winter. Bill enjoys golf and riding his Harley, while Tricia enjoys heading outdoors on her bicycle or walks with the dogs.
Plans once we have a home on the Costa Maya: Detailing the house, beach combing and snorkeling. While we're hoping to spend more time in Mexico and less time in the USA, we need to be thinking about more than beach combing and snorkeling, I suppose!
Big lesson we've learned about the Costa Maya that might help someone else: Be patient!

Contact e-mail:
Added June 3, 2006

Bill and Tricia Nelson

Kent Lancaster Family: Kent, Elizabeth, Cameron, Margaux, and Olivia

Location of Property: Placer, approximately km 19.5 north of Mahahual
Costa Maya Timeline: Purchased in 2002 but currently have no timeline in which to build but are looking at other properties and opportunities to invest in the Costa Maya. In the meantime they like to hang out with their Costa Maya neighbors and have met many of them here in Placer.
What brought you to the Costa Maya: We came on a cruse ship. Next thing we knew we had bought property.
Current Occupation: Kent is a physician and Elizabeth a housewife. Kids-students for a LONG TIME!
Originally from: Michigan USA

Contact e-mail: Please contact us at Mayan Beach Garden if you are Costa Maya neighbors of the Lancasters and would like to contact them
Added May 10, 2006

Kent, Elizabeth and Olivia, Cameron Margaux

Bruce and Gayle Houston

Property location: San Jose, Lots 10 and 11, or about 4 km south of the Placer access Road and 1.1 km South of Mayan Beach Garden
What brought you to the Costa Maya: We came on a cruise ship in March 2002. We had no idea about this area as a cruise ship market. While Gayle was looking at Jewelry, Bruce was looking for property. We were impressed with the growth potential. When we viewed the properties they were all beautiful and cleared, we came back in April and looked again. We chose the same one. Now the jungle has taken over but we still don't like the rat race and like the idea of the quiet and beauty.
Costa Maya Timeline: 5 years. Bruce says "when it gets built she (meaning Gayle) will come."
Originally from: Edmonton Canada, where this is lots of sun but also lots of cold.
Occupation: Bruce is a financial Advisor, Gayle is a Paralegal and legal secretary and donates time to home support.
Interests: Travel, skiing, diving, no children but they love birds, animals and nature.
Contact info:
Date added 14-Mar-06

Gayle and Bruce Houston 11/2005

Don and Jan Slahetka

Property location: Our lot is located in Sapphire Beach , Lot 7a.
What brought you to the Costa Maya: "We experienced our first trip to Costa Maya via Carnival cruise ship , the Miracle, that's when, we first set our eyes on upon the beautiful, crystal clear sapphire blue waters of Costa Maya. On entering the port, we were shopping , when we came across Transcaribbean Real estate, awestruck, with the photos of Sapphire Beach in El Placer, then Beau, one of the agents persuaded us to see the beaches in person, that was it, my husband, Don loved it. It felt like " Being in heaven , But being alive." It was absolutely beautiful. When we returned to the states, we decided to take another look, so we flew back down to Costa Maya, and that's when we decided to purchase the property, to own a piece of paradise. That's when we put down a deposit., and made the purchase agreement.
Costa Maya Timeline: We are planning to build in the near future.
Occupation: In real life, back in the states, we own and operate Raider Marine Svc., we do all phases of marine repair on boats. Our son, Dan is the head master mechanic, we are family owned and operated.
Interests: We love the outdoors - boating, fishing, going on the jet ski, and Barbecues. We are proud grandparents of our first grandchild, Bailey Ann Slahetka.

Contact info:

Don and Jan Slahetka 12/2005

Wayne Kelly and Karla Nelson

Property location: Placer, approximately 21.5 km. north of Mahahual
Costa Maya Timeline: Purchased in 2000 and started building in 2001. They got the shell finished and have "camped out" every time they visit for the last couple of years. They are now planning on retiring early and making the BIG MOVE in December of 2005 at which time they will begin to finish the tile, painting and decorating -- the fun stuff.
Originally from: Corpus Christi, Texas
Occupation: Wayne works for Dodge and Karla works for Tropical fish Haven. Prior to that she worked in commercial building sales for 20 years. Karla also used to be a dive master in Cozumel and El Placer Del Caribe hotel.
Interests: Diving!
Contact e-mail:

UPDATE: Karla and Wayne beat their timeline and moved to the Costa Maya in November 2005. Now, their remodel is almost finished!

Wayne and Karla 10/2005

Kerry Vaughn

Property location: Approximately 19 km north of Mahahual, lot #20
Costa Maya Timeline: Purchased in June 2005 and would like to build in a year. She visits often and has decided not to wait for electricity providing she can figure out how to make it happen.
Originally from: Newburyport, Mass. USA
What brought you to the Costa Maya: "It was all the years of vacationing in Tulum, seeing other places develop that I once wanted to buy and never did. This year was the year. I did some research, found Mahahual and bought and keep returning and returning...."
Occupation: Kerry owns 3 furniture stores, Redbird Trading Company, NOLA and Wishbasket. No online business - brick and mortar only. Her stores are lifestyle stores, home furnishings, imported specialty foods, jewelry and clothing - Hmmm . . do we see a store here in Mahahual with tasteful items for beach houses?.
Contact e-mail: She prefers not to list her e-mail on the web, but if you are a neighbor, please e-mail us and we will privately pass along her e-mail address to you.


Picture coming

Bales - Kim and Marcia (owners of Mayan Beach Garden)

Property location: 21.5 km north of Mahahual
Costa Maya Timeline: Purchased in 1999 and started building 4 years ago. They had a rocky start since Kim only worked during breaks between large projects. He finally quit and began building in earnest. Marcia stayed in Seattle until Kim built a house for her with a flushable toilet on the same floor (a girl does have her priorities!).
Originally from: Seattle, Washington
Occupation: Before coming to the Costa Maya, Kim was a builder and site manager of large apartment complexes and multi-million dollar homes. Marcia went from drawing animated cartoons for 8 years with Marvel comics to working for Sierra on-line designing computer games for another 8 years to designing and product managing large websites and web based software applications. They have two children and two grandchildren still back in the US.
Why the Costa Maya: "We always vacationed in Mexico and the minute we went home we began planning our next vacation. Kim loves Mayan ruins and Marcia loves the beach, snorkeling and gardening - hence "Mayan Beach Garden." We had some criteria where we needed to be within 2 hours of ruins, on the beach and the Costa Maya fit the bill perfectly. Now if we could only get some good dirt to grow veggies in!"
Contact e-mail:

Kim and Marcia Bales, Aug., 2006

Hadfields - Pat and Leanne

Property location: 15 km south of Mahahual
Costa Maya Timeline: 2005 (see picture to the right)

Pat and Leanne Hadfield have provided a great diary of their property purchase and building process. As of July 2005 they are deep in the process of building their home. Hopefully I will soon add a picture of them, but they have supplied a picture of their home in the process of being built.

1988: Seventeen years ago we started our excellent adventure into Mexico. With supermarket coupons, we redeemed tickets to Mexico for $129.00 per person, and traveled to Puerto Escondido, south of Acapulco, to the placid resort of Hotel Santa Fe. Leanne still refers to this as "the time of her life". A quiet bay to the north, maverick waves to the south, with matching maverick surfers; thatched roof serenity in the open air hotel restaurant.. tropical breeze, sunbathing geckos and iguanas on the beach rocks, and always, the hushed sounds of the Pacific Ocean,

Fast forward to 2000. We've bought a time share in Cozumel, exchanged to most of the hot tourist spots on both shores of Mexico, and decided the Y in Yucatan stands for Yes! We contact Vicki at Playa Real Realty in Playa del Carmen to preview property in the new Cost Maya. We looked at Play property 5 years earlier, and have since had shoe-to-butt regrets. Vicki's partner sputters when we call to preview. Our host, Maryanne at Que Ondas Hotel in Akumal comes to the rescue. She contacts her Real Estate agent, Chucho, and it's off to the Costa Maya the next day.

Great beaches later, we make an offer on a site north of Xcalak, but the owner has withdrawn the property from the market. Electricity is coming, He wants more juice.

Later, we reconnect with Vicki from Playa Real. She shows us a patch of sand and sea her mother owns, 15 km south of Mahahual. We react like flipper in reverse mode and offer to buy.

2001: We make an emergency flight (read red-eye) to Cancun to confirm our fidecomiso purchase. An employee of the Notaria (Mexican attorney) has absconded with the funds for closing on the property. We get to the Notaria's office 30 minutes prior to closing on a Friday afternoon. We show our original documents to the Notaria. Al fin, we have Fidecomiso!

2002: We visit our property with our daughter and her boyfriend. Fellow gringos arrive to inform us this is not our property. Do we know our lot number? No.

2003: We arrange a Caribbean cruise, including day layover at the the new Costa Maya dock. We take a taxi ride to our property, with lot number in hand. Can't find the little markers, but land looks familiar. "Con cuidado" says our driver. What does he know? Later, we meet with Guillermo (Jose Guillermo Romero Pasos) at the new Pemex station to preview his tour of homes along the Costa Maya strip. We help unload a washing machine/dishwasher (quien sabe?) at his soon-to-be-completed project,he drops us off at the cruise ship dock, then returns to one of the job sites with a water problem. This is our kind of builder.

2004: We have cost estimates from Guillermo and decide to move forward. Guillermo applies for permits in October, which includes the Environmental Impact Study. We schedule a meet with G in December to choose tile. Our meeting does not go well. Our 10:00 A.M. appointment at job site conflicts with G's 1:00 P.M.

Our two ships pass in the day without a connect. At least we see surveyor's tape and markings to see where our property REALLY is.

That night, Pat calls Guillermo's home, speaks with family about our missed sita. For me, a phone conversation in Spanish is the same as interpreting airline arrivals and departures in Spanish. Lotsa luck. Que suerte! we meet with G the next day, sign contract, and pick tile.

Prior to our meeting, while in the states, I apply paint samples to a plywood round for our interior color choice. A new paint manufacturer, Devine Paint, lets me purchase a generous pouch of real paint, superior to the typical paint chips normally available. On our next trip in August, we'll bring colors-in-the-round to pick vegetation compatible exterior colors.

April 2005: G has permits in hand, including Environmental Impact Study. Manual back hoe dig-out begins (read shovels). G shows picture of wash-out of beach with potential of further erosion. We set house back an additional 5 meters. Surf eventually recedes.. We think Tsunami; who knows? G takes excess sand from the dig and deposits on the beach.

June 2005: SEMARNAT puts the kabosh on construction. G thinks somebody up there doesn't like him. Construction resumes in mid June. Mud is flowing over the cinder blocks in earnest. G says palapa roof should start next week. Caretaker house is substantially complete.

August 2005: We will meet with G, his attorney, and Jorge del Dios (solar panel guy). We'll choose fixtures, appliances, perhaps furniture. We're hip deep in the Big Muddy of construction. Life doesn't get any frothier than this.

We've decided to call our house "Viva Zapatos"
Contact e-mail:

Hadfield's "Viva Zapata" 6/2005

Hadfield's home 10/2005

Dana, Suzanne, Ben (26), Josh (19) and Sierra (16) Tirado

Property location: lot numbers 17 & 18 of a group of lots that number from 1-40 located between Rio Indio and El Placer.
 Costa Maya Timeline: Their plans are to visit in June 2005 and take a look at the infrastructure in the area. They want to wait until the Mexican Government has a better handle on what they are doing in regard to permits etc. "We continually play with our building plans for our Casa or Villa.  Our Villa will be "Casa Maria" or "Villa Casa Maria" or something along those lines. Taken from the names of family members."
Originally from: Colorado but they all want to move and live in Majahual    TODAY!
Occupations: Dana is a Fire Department Lieutenant for over 16 yrs and Suzanne is a 23 yr Manager for HP/Agilent Tech.
Why the Costa Maya: "We have always loved Mexico. From the Pacific to the Caribbean. We have moved from our Cancun vacations, to Playa del Carmen, to Playacar, to Akumal & Tankah, to now what we think was the best investment, the Costa Maya and Majahual. 
We will be taking pictures in June for our new web site, that we hope will be up and running in July. The site is called........ It will have a message board..... So after you have read all about the Mayan Beach Garden come visit our site as well!"
When purchased: In 2001

The Tirados
Dana, Suzanne, Ben, Sierra and Josh June 2005

Kristine Garbo and Dick Bonner

Property location: Alma 6 lot 4A where the blue bucket is located -- about 4 km north of Uvero beach club.
Costa Maya Timeline: They plan to start building in about a year but live in a motor home in about 7-8 months.
Originally from: Texas
Occupation: Own 2 restaurants in Galveston, Texas USA. What's Cookin in Kemah and Seaside Bistro in Galveston.
Interests: Kristine loves to cook, enjoy neighbors. Kristine is from Budapest, Hungary and Dick is from the US. Dick is allergic to the sun and Kristine is allergic to Tabanos but loves the Costa Maya anyway! They also own a new condo in Playa del Carmen.
Contact e-mail:

Dick Bonner and Kristine Garbo -
April, 2005

Updated: 22-Aug-2010

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