Los Cabos, 3 Ways
There’s something for everyone here. Real estate expert Carol S. Billups highlights options
By Carol S. Billups
Sooner or later, we all come to the realization that one size does not, in fact, fit all. It doesn’t work for pantyhose, and it certainly doesn’t work for real estate. Clients all have unique desires, and a single cookie-cutter solution won’t serve them all. Fortunately, Los Cabos has a diverse inventory with options for almost everyone’s individual needs. The attributes that make one home perfect as a vacation rental may not work for someone who is retiring to México or just wants a family retreat. Let’s look at all three scenarios and see the differences from the prospective of successful buyers.
Option 1: The Vacation Home
Ricca and Dan love Los Cabos, and their schedules allow them to come often enough that stepping up to full ownership just made sense. “Our vacation home in Cabo was the best decision for our family because we plan to retire in Cabo in the future, but, in the meantime, it is a short three-hour flight,” says Ricca. The couple appreciate having their own place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, including views of the ocean and Land’s End. They found a three-bedroom, single-family home in one of the “boutique” gated communities on the Cabo San Lucas side of the tourist corridor, which has turned out to be a great option for them. The community has only 27 homes; the owners are a mixture of full-time, snowbird, and vacation owners. The amenities include a large pool that they enjoy using with their young daughter, but they are not subsidizing amenities they won’t use, such as a golf course or spa. Having the security of a gated community makes sense if the house will be unoccupied periodically. “I love that we can lock up, leave, and know everything will be OK when we get back,” explains Ricca. “And the best part is that we’re out of a crowded resort setting.” The location on the corridor is convenient to the Cabo San Lucas marina; David is an avid fisherman. One key to a happy vacation home is low maintenance requirements. Many buyers think that means giving up a single-family home for a condo, but in some gated communities the homeowners’ association does all the gardening for you, making a home with a yard no more difficult to maintain than a condo.
Option 2: Retirement Living
When Jaclyn thought about retiring, she dreamed of being on vacation…permanently. And since her favorite place to vacation was Cabo San Lucas, she thought, “Why not?” Warmer weather, a lower cost of living, and excellent healthcare all factored into the decision to make Los Cabos her retirement haven. Retiree living is a little different from vacationing, and Jaclyn wisely chose a condo a few blocks away from the tourist zone. While she can walk to most places, including favorite restaurants from her days of being a visitor, she also has the option to put the party behind her and chill out by the pool. Among the important differences between a vacation home and a retirement/snowbird home is that you are more likely to bring your pets with you. Your MLS-BCS agent can help you identify which properties are pet friendly. Although very desirable for retirees, single-story homes are rare in Cabo. It’s important to consider whether you’ll need stairs or elevators or trams during the purchase process. Communities with amenities like a clubhouse are great for retirees to meet neighbors and enjoy activities. Copala, Coronado, and Mavila in the master-planned Quivira (www.quiviraloscabos.com) development offer the Good Life club with classes, activities, golf, and other sports that will help kick start an active retirement. While amenities do add to the monthly homeowners dues, as a retiree you are more likely to have time to enjoy them so the cost becomes a worthwhile lifestyle investment.
Option 3: Rental Income Investment
For Damaris and Lewis, purchasing a rental income property in Cabo San Lucas was an obvious choice. As owners of Big Bear Property Services in California, they have a tried-and-true rental protocol honed over several years; they were sure their successful marketing system could transfer easily to Los Cabos. They set about finding a property they could market in a similar fashion here. Without giving away too many trade secrets, Lewis emphasizes that not every rental property needs to be a stunning seven-bedroom mansion. That said, even the more modest offerings must feature one outstanding amenity. “A hot tub on the terrace, a firepit, anything that will catch the client’s eye presented in such a way that they can instantly picture themselves in the property,” he explains. Their new house is currently being readied for the market, adding just such a feature. Even already successful properties can benefit from this approach: Some years back, I sold a three-bedroom condo in Pedregal to a young couple who planned to use it for rental purposes. They did rent it successfully, but the unit really took off after the birth of their first child. Realizing how much stuff it took to vacation with a young child, they child-proofed and equipped the condo with all sorts of baby paraphernalia such as crib, high chair, etc. They then included the baby inventory on their online property description. Bookings for the new family-friendly vacation rental jumped overnight! And the owners benefit by knowing they were now renting to responsible families.
As diverse as these clients’ needs are, Los Cabos was able to satisfy them all. At press time, there were nearly 3,000 properties actively for sale on the MLS-BCS multiple-listing online system. Whether you are seeking room for horses or an in-town pied-à-terre, there is sure to be the perfect property to suit your needs. Every one of them will suit someone’s needs precisely, because one size truly does not fit all. Y
Carol Billups is broker-owner of Cabo Realty Pros, a full-service real estate firm in Los Cabos. Carol has been helping clients find their perfect solution for more than 19 years and still thinks hers is the perfect job. Her website is www.caborealtypros.com; she can be reached at carolbi firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 044-624-147-7541.