Outside the Box
Real estate veteran Carol S. Billups explores some unexpected finds in Los Cabos.
Loyal Los Cabos readers know there’s great diversity among the region’s real estate listings. But this abundance of options goes beyond golf or beach views, one story or two. Here we highlight three exciting options: a high-tech smart house, a fixer-upper, and an unplugged oasis.
All are listed—as of press time—with MLS-BCS, the multiple-listing service that regulates Los Cabos real estate practice and operates the listing database.
The ultra-modern Mar Adentro complex is located on the water in San José del Cabo and features the very latest in technology. The property features a hotel and residences that were designed by architect Miguel ÁngelAragonés. They were envisioned as a series of floating boxes with walls of windows facing the ocean.
The residences are connected to the luxury hotel, and their owners have access to all of the amenities found there. Each individual residence features Samsung electronic systems indoors as well as outdoors, in addition to Miele appliances, a personal lighting program, Ferrari technology blinds, and Control4 capacity to run everything from a tablet. Each unit is furnished by Poliform, and even the Nespresso facility offers a “capsule menu.” The developer is promising that this project will deliver state-of-the-art technology with every detail. Since this is a new project, there are several opportunities for full ownership. At press time, a third-floor one-bedroom condominium was being offered for $630,500 U.S.
It is said that the very firstfideícomiso (the trust that allows foreigners to own property in the country’s coastal and border areas) in México was issued in Los Cabos for a property in the gated community of Cabo Bello. One of the original master-planned communities, Cabo Bello is a collection of 359 homes, lots, and condominiums located several miles outside of Cabo San Lucas, adjacent to a secluded swimming cove on the Sea of Cortés. It is a delightful neighborhood, well maintained and pristine. But, some of the homes there could use a little updating. In fact, the neighborhood is becoming gentrified, with many older homes undergoing astonishing face-lifts.
For this article, we selected a home that, while not that old, is described by the listing agent as being in need of some TLC. The two-bedroom, two-bath house with gorgeous stone work in the living room has an asking price of only $249,000 U.S., well under the median asking price of $457,000 U.S. in Cabo Bello.
Many Americans and Canadians shy away from fixer-upper properties because they over-estimate the cost and hassle involved with such a project. In this case, I asked Azul Property Management and Home Repair to take a look and give me a ballpark estimate for redoing the kitchen and master bath. “The kitchen isn’t bad, just boring,” was the conclusion. The recommendation was to change the cabinetry, countertops, and lighting for an approximate cost of $6,000 U.S. For about $5,000 U.S. more, the master bath would get new counters, fixtures, lighting, and nice tile.
As for furniture, there are two options for the budget-conscious remodeler: One is to contract with one of the local designers for the whole house. For such a large contract, most will offer merchandise at cost plus a very nominal profit. Another popular option is to fly to Guadalajara, México’s furniture capital on the mainland. Flights start at $1,000 one way (about $55 U.S.). For about the same cost, you can also get a guide to take you directly to factories, where you will get ridiculously affordable prices. Add a little landscaping and you’ll have a great a home in no time.
If you dream of getting away from it all with your own secluded hideaway, Los Cabos has options for that, too. And as long as we’re dreaming, let’s look at Casa Cruz del Sur, a beachfront home on the East Cape. This two-bedroom home has a private staircase from the patio directly to the sandy beach below. Entirely off the grid, the home is powered by a solar plant and water is trucked in when needed to fill the large cistern. Located on a dirt road eight miles east of San José del Cabo, Casa Cruz del Sur has a palaparoof and rustic features while also offering all the features you would expect in a luxury home.
That includes stainless steel appliances and granite counters in the gourmet kitchen. With 38 meters of ocean frontage—the lot itself is nearly one acre—the home is just over 3,000 square feet, including patios. With glorious views from every room, this just might be the serene destination you’ve been craving. It’s priced at $1.89 million U.S. But, that is oceanfront. Other similar off-grid homes are located both on the East Cape and the Pacific Ocean coast north of Cabo San Lucas. Those farther back from the beach may still have excellent water views but prices starting as low as $200,000 U.S. Although off-the-grid, many of these homes do offer connectivity via satellite if you’re not quite ready for a total escape.
These are just three examples of the many options available—whether you’re retiring here, thinking of a vacation home, or looking for an investment property. When we went to press, the MLS system had more than 2,700 condominiums, houses, and lots from which to choose. Your MLS-BCS real estate agent can set up a free personal account for you to explore and find the property that fits your dream exactly. Carol Billups is broker-owner of Cabo Realty Pros, a full-service boutique real estate agency in Cabo San Lucas. Reach her at (624) 147-7541, email@example.com, or through her website, www.caborealtypros.com.