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- Sep 2000 - Jun 2002
Thomas Hellyer is considered to be a bi-cultural expert with a strong analytical aptitude combined with a calm and deliberate demeanor. His command of the Spanish language and the ins and outs of real estate in Mexico make him an ideal person to guide and take you through the process of making your dreams of living and /or investing in Mexico a reality.
Thomas Hellyer was born in Portland Oregon. From the time he was 2 years old he was raised in Lake Chelan, a beautiful resort town in the central part of Washington state. There, Hellyer was first introduced to Latino culture while interacting with the many Hispanic immigrants that worked the bountiful apple orchards. As a young adult, he learned about the importance of exceptional customer service and hard work while working in the hospitality industry, mostly with the delightful family run Kellys Resort.
While at the University of Washington, Hellyer was a coxswain for the acclaimed UW Rowing team and a struggling Spanish major. In the early 1990s, a huge turning point occurred when Hellyer determined that he must study abroad in order to ever have a chance at mastering the Spanish language and he, almost at random, chose to attend the Universidad de Guadalajara foreign language program (CEPE) for a quarter.
The intoxicating and rich Mexican culture, especially prevalent in Guadalajara and the surrounding pueblos and cities, had a profound effect and Hellyer was never the same. Educational opportunities seemed much more abundant and vibrant in Mexico than back at the stodgy and rect academic world of collegiate language instruction. Hellyer proceeded to drop out of college and began a period that was defined by spending 6-8 months in Mexico during the fall and winter months and then returning to the US during the summer, splitting time between Chelan and Alaska,to replenish the necessary funds for such a lifestyle.
In Mexico, he totally immersed himself in the native customs and slowly but slowly became fluent in Mexican Spanish, even sporting a Tapatio accent. Hellyer relishes learning the intricacies of the language and is particularly proud when he can create a devilish pun or a subtle double entendre in his adopted language. He traveled as much as possible throughout the republic, taught English, and made many wonderful lifetime friends.
It was during this time that Hellyer met his wife to be, Iliana, at a memorable Christmas party, known as a Posada. Their courtship lasted three years, culminating in a fairy-tale wedding at Guadalajara's San Agustin Templo with a reception at the Santa Lucia hacienda, both built in the 1500s!
Back to the US
The couple, along with their golden retriever pup, returned to the United States and Hellyer acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington Tacoma. His degree includes concentrations in International Business and Management. During this stint at the University, Hellyer was the President of the school's Global Business Society and he interned at the Career Center, the World Trade Center Tacoma, and the Department of Commerce. His first child, a son, was born during his junior year and he purchased his first property.
Upon graduation, Hellyer began a career at the boutique investment firm, Globe Capital LLC in Tacoma, Washington. He oversaw and managed stock and mutual fund portfolios, real estate investments and a portfolio of investments in early stage and startup companies. Hellyer also played a role in the founding and management of the TacomaAngel Network, a non-profit alliance of accredited investors that provide capital and expertise to early stage companies.
Real Estate and an Eye on the South
Hellyer took on a keen interest in the real estate portion of his work at Globe Capital and also enjoyed managing his own real estate investments. He obtained his real estate license and worked assisting clients in buying and selling residential real estate. During Hellyer's time in Tacoma (which was undergoing an exciting and much needed renaissance), he and his wife always knew that one day they would return to Mexico. Family and friends asked for advice about how they as foreigners could buy property in Mexico so that they too could enjoy the great culture, climate, lower cost of living, and beauty. Hellyer was captivated by helping people share in his passions of real estate in Mexico.
It was decided that the timing was right to return to Mexico. Hellyer, now the proprietor of iRetire In Mexico resides with his family (a beautiful daughter has now joined the family) in Ajijic, a vibrant village nestled on the north shore of Lake Chapala, less than an hour south of Guadalajara. Besides his real estate business, Hellyer enjoys playing with his children, traveling, imbibing Mexican cuisine and spirits, hosting friends and family from back home, and especially the delight that in Mexico, every day is a day of warmth, learning, and exploration.
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Thomas is a member of--
Lake Chapala Society
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