Build My Dream Home…In La Paz

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By Susan Fogel

“…Building your own house is a primal urge, one of those universal genetic drives, like the need to provide for your family…” So says BBC presenter and host of Grand Designs, Kevin McCloud.

Building your own house can be joyful, stressful, expensive, enervating, fraught with conflict, and in the end, satisfying and rewarding. Even with the best builder, you will experience all of these. But a good builder will keep your joy, your satisfaction, and your needs foremost in his mind. He will ease you past the conflict and when you receive the keys, you will feel joy.

One such builder is Mares Proyectos y Construccion, owned by Esteban Sanchez and Martin Velasquez, partners since 2006. Sanchez speaks English and spent five summers of his youth in Santa Cruz, California learning the building trade. He has a master’s degree in appraisal and cost analysis.

”I understand what foreigners want in a home. I understand the Mexican process, and I work directly with the homeowner all through the process.”

Sanchez spent years working with the state government building schools. “It was good work,” he says. But he was building the same thing over and over. And there was the government bureaucracy to deal with; it was boring. Then he and Velasquez saw the boom happening and in 2006 and teamed up to build houses and be the masters of their own fate.

“We did well all through 2006 and 2007, but 2008 was a different story. But we survived and we are busy and proud of our many happy clients.” From then until now, Mares has been building for a developer and also custom homes. Sanchez said that when working with a developer, the goal is to get the lot sold and a construction contract signed in a day or two or a week.

When he and his partner start with a client for a custom home, they spend up to a month just listening, drawing plans, touring homes, and helping the client focus on what they must have and what would be nice to have. When asked what is his proudest achievement, Sanchez says without hesitation, “Our happy clients. We can show their homes to prospective clients and know that the owner is happy and proud.”

His worst nightmare was last year’s Hurricane Odile. They had four homes under construction. One with the appliances already installed. The appliances were blown away and pools collapsed. It was truly a nightmare. But the partners of Mares paid for the new appliances and repairs out of their pocket. “So we learned a lot, and we will be better prepared.”

Things that set Sanchez and Velasquez apart from other builders are:

  1. They give detailed bids showing every item that will be purchased and installed in the home. The bid and contract can be 25 pages long.
  2. They give a warranty and live up to it.
  3. Once the contract is signed, the bid is firm. The only time an owner will pay more is if they make significant changes or additions.
  4. The owner has almost daily contact with one of the partners. You are not dependent on a laborer on site for your information.
  5. They are willing to make changes and do not nickel-and-dime you.


When you have started the process and have a schedule of deposits; that is all the money that you will be laying out. Mares has accounts with their suppliers, they buy materials, as needed, and are not running to you with their hand out to buy supplies.


Sanchez and Velasquez learn from every job, and strive to do better with every house. They are experienced with green building technologies. They love a challenge and custom homes are what they love to do. “The more detail and design, the more we like it.”


Contact info: Office 612 121 0576 or cell 612 140 0871.


Susan Fogel is an observer of life and writes to tell you what she sees. Visit her blog

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