Anyone with info on Rancho Costa Verde in San Felipe, Baja?

This forum is priceless, asked a question before about Bellazo/Kahlia which only had positive reviews and boy, was I glad I found out what it was like (hope Expat Girl did o.k.).

Again can only see positive reviews about them, seems to be a new development, but those may have some connection with the project, will attend their dinner informational seminar and trip (unlike the former there is no charge) but know there was a previous development called El Dorado Ranch that was a rip off and never fully developed. Have been googling, can't find any connection (could be well hidden) but marketing is the same, and will during Q and A session ask about that, the sellers may not know if it IS connected so asking here if anyone has bought into the development and what was their experience.

I found this, but last point was four years ago, has the situation improved?  Which I had seen this before last night, went to their informational dinner and of course, none of this was mentioned but wonder how they are still allowed to make their presentations if this is going on, but then again the lawsuits are in Mexico, not the U.S. so I guess there is no requirement for them to disclose it when making presentations in the U.S.


Moderated by Christine 4 years ago
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We live approximately 40 miles North of Ranch Costa Verde (RCV), in the WONDERFUL development of El Dorado Ranch, commonly known as EDR. We are retired expats living here full time for the past ten years. We own multiple properties and homes on "The Ranch" so are intimately familiar with the good, the bad and the ugly of living in this area. RCV was started about ten years ago so is not a "New" development in that sense. It is now owned and operated by R-MAC, the marketing and sales force team responsable for the sales of EDR lots from the late 1990's through about 2012. Like EDR, RCV has suffered its ups and downs and is subject to much criticism and law suits. HOWEVER, also like EDR, it is loved by many and a very beautiful area to "visit". I say visit, because, IN MY OPINION, I could not actually "live" there. It is solar only, no electric power whatsoever, and therefor subject to all the positives, and negatives, that embodies (it is NOT like solar in the states where there IS electric power and solar simply means you are feeding back on the grid). In addition, being 30 miles south of town  (a 45 + minute drive) where the CLOSEST major bars, restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment facilities etc are, it is quite literally, VERY remote. The development itself has less than a dozen full time occupants, so not a lot of neighbors to interact with. Just way to remote, rustic and quiet for most people I think. But    RCV could be, for many people, a BEAUTIFUL place to "get away" and visit for a short time. I mush prefer and therefor recomend somewhere closer to town, with more amenities, like EDR, where there is LOTS to do. El Dorado Ranch has THOUSANDS of already built homes, and happy owners, electric OR solar homes, and most of the infrastructure already in. You should come and visit for at least two weeks to see ALL the opportunities here. Even then, I highly recomend renting, as we did, for at least three to six months before you plunking any money down. Do NOT BELIEVE in what people tell you. Believe in only what you SEE.

Just wondering about beachfront lots. Any available there at El Dorado and what about the area. Don't mind secluded but is it safe?

Thanks for asking and not, as so many who are all-too-quick-to-judge do, condemn RCV before they really know the story. We've, my wife and I, known the partners at R-Mac for some 20-odd years now and are well-familiar with the trials and tribulation associated with their El Dorado project; I say "their" project when in fact it was actually Pat Butler's project however they were the marketing arm for it and so, rightly or wrongly, get painted with the broad strokes of criticism. I can not, or will not speak to El Dorado because, as my father used to say, I didn't pull up a chair and watch. I will however comment on Rancho Costa Verde because we're going to be buying there come the release of the next beachfront lots. Phase 1 sold out of their ocean lots first, naturally now we and three of our friends are awaiting the release of Phases 3 & 4. Of first note, RCV is nothing at all like El Dorado Ranch. Yes, it is entirely solar and as one who has lived through more than my share of power outages due to our all-too-frequent wildfires here in Los Angeles, I'm welcoming a solar-only home with ample power reserves due to a proper investment in a battery bank. Again, as one whose experienced life now for more than 63-years, I've lived through the fads. "We don't need cable; TVs been good enough for years. It's just a fad; a flash-in-the-pan." "No you don't need a push-button phone.The good-old dial phones reliable. It's just a fad; a flash-in-the-pan." "Satellite TV. I'm not putting that monstrosity on our good old home. It's just a fad; a flash-in-the-pan." "Microwave ovens! What; do WANT cancer! The oven's been good to us for years. Old reliable I call it. Microwaves. It's just a fad; a flash-in-the-pan." And then of course it all started with the horseless carriage and we all know where that went. "It's just a fad; a flash-in-the-pan." Can you see the similarities. We're at the point where, at the risk of sounding like a ecology-zealot hippie, we have to change the course of our ways. Our consumption of fossil fuels is physically killing us and financially crippling us. Yes, RCV is solar-only and one of the major issues attendant to EDR was the under-grounding of electrical service. Simply stated, solar is safe, it's abundant and its technology has progressed to the point where it's even powering the space station and the vehicles that get us there and back; and now reliably to our offices and shopping and on vacation. Solar power should have lost it's ugly moniker a long time ago but people are slow to change; everyone except those of us who have lived through the endless California wildfires that is.

As for secluded, yes, it is and for me, that's a major selling point. Are there people who want to be closer to the San Felipe "night life", closer to the United States after an already 4-hour drive down from the border? Of course. In fact I'd wager reliably that RCV isn't for anyone under the age of 50. But for me, I'm tired of the constant night life and as a child of the California '70s and 80s, I've had more than my fair share of night life. I'm tired of not being able to see the stars for all the ambient lights of LA. I'm tired of the traffic, the rudeness and the vulgarity of crowded cities. I moved out to the then-unheard of town of Palmdale, 45-minutes outside of Los Angeles simply because I couldn't afford a house in the Valley in the mid '80s. That home cost me $96,000 in 1986 money and over the years it's raised my family, kept us warm in the very cold high-desert winters and cool in the high-desert very hot summers.That house is now worth more than $450,000 all because "You're moving WHERE? Palmdale? Isn't that like in Arizona or somewhere?" I've been driving 45-minutes to and 45-minutes from work for the past 35-years; 45-miinutes and 45-miles where if I lived in the Valley, I'd be driving 45-minutes to go just 5-miles.

RCV isn't for everyone but it has to be good for someone because more than 350 lots have been sold and Phases 3 and 4 are still going briskly despite Covid and despite not even having been approved for deeded sale yet.And for those of you who don't know. Yes, Phase 1 sold out WITH DEEDED properties. Phases 2 and 3 haven't finished the environmental studies yet but they're selling just the same because people are confident that they will be deeded and they trust the RCV partners to do that. Why? Because their word is good; just as it was good on the properties that sold in Phase 1. Every single lot was deeded via fideicomiso trust or other mechanism exactly as the partners said they would be. Trust. As I said, I don't know the whole story of El Dorado Ranch but I do know Rob Rios and Mike Cresci and their word has been good for us for more than 20-years and I don't see it changing now, especially when you consider the fact that a dozen furnished guest casitas have now been completed to join the existing pool and rec center. Oh, and a restaurant is going in full time as well.  If the development is all that some people say it is, then please, someone tell me why they'd be spending an inordinate amount of money in to what would otherwise be needless amenities. It can't be for the money. If that was the case, they wouldn't have taken such care to design the lots so that everyone has a view of the ocean. I've been in the legal end of real estate and land use law for more than 36-years and I can tell you with a 100% degree of certainty that the average under-roof coverage being submitted and approved for developments in in Los Angeles County is 38.9%. That means on average, more than 60% of a developer's available land ends up being deeded directly to the cities and County in which they're built as "public benefit"; streets, sidewalks, curb, gutter, parks and other "open space" and in larger developments, even schools. The under-roof coverage at RCV is just 11%; one quarter what it could have been in Los Angeles and even more in "remote south San Felipe" as I've heard it called.

So if you're going to pass judgement on a development, pass an informed judgement lest you end up like every other troll on the internet; disparaging someone or someplace because it's what you've heard. I said I wouldn't speak to anything that I didn't pull up a chair and see for myself" and I won't. What I will say is that for me, personally, EDR simply isn't the development for me. I've lived in city-like neighborhoods with neighbors on every side of me and across the street. I'm leaving Los Angeles for the quiet and openness that is Mexico. as EDR has grown up, it's taken on a "suburban" look and feel that is inevitable in every development. 350-lots is 350-lots no matter how you arrange it. I'd simply rather have neighbors 200 feet away from me rather than 20-feet as I live today.

I truly hope that this has brought some insight to the issue as it's taken me considerable time just to sit and write it; but I'm at the point where someone needs to stand up and say that the RCV partners are not wholly-responsible for their boss' actions. Stop with the disparaging statements already when you don't know because you weren't "in the room when the gun went off", yes, again as my father would say. Yes, they were a party to the EDR fiasco but again, as my father would say, "you didn't pull up a chair and watch." This is a new development with different ideas and different ideals. It might just be me but I'd judge it accordingly; at least that's how I'd like to be judged. How about you.

My wife and I went down in 2019 and took the tour and were seriously underwhelmed. We've
been to many places in Mx the past 30+ years and had hopes about RCV. It's just too far out for the vast majority of people and while the all solar sounds good, it's far from it. Weather in the summer is blazing hot (it's pure desert), ocean front lots are a LONG ways to the actual water, and it appeared to us that only a handful of people actually live there. Keep in mind that they have been trying to sell these lots for over 15 years so something is missing and for us it's remote location, medical facilities that are hours away, no supermarkets, shops, etc. If I want remote, I can get pretty much the same priced lot in remote Nevada and have much easier access to services like doctors, dentists, shipping for whatever, etc. The other poster talks about commuting and that's exactly what you get with this project as everything is a long drive. If you break down, you are in for a rough time due to it's isolation. Forget going out to a restaurant here as none exist. In the end, living off solar is like camping (actually our rv has a electric generator and solar vs solar only at RCV, long remote drive to even buy a 6 pack or get a taco, scenery is drab , temps in the 100's June-Sept,, annual rainfall of just a few inches. I wish the owners and residents well, but it's not somewhere we would enjoy.