Hot market for Canadians in Cabo, Mexico

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Connie Adair

he real estate market in Cabo is hot, and you can get involved by referring clients, or enjoy the locale yourself and sell real estate in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Century 21 Paradise Properties managing partner Terry Curtis says, “The door is open. Any Canadian citizen who has an active real estate licence qualifies to work for me. Getting a work visa takes about three weeks.”

Those who prefer to refer clients can expect a 30-per-cent referral fee.

Century 21 Paradise Properties sells in Los Cabos, including Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, Tados Santos and the East Cape, Curtis says. “Fifty per cent of our clients are Canadians. The majority of Canadian buyers buy with the idea to use the property as a holiday home and rent it out the rest of the year for now, with the intention of using it as a permanent home down the road.”

There are many reasons Canadian buyers are attracted to Cabo instead of the U.S. or other parts of Mexico, he says. “We have lots of Canadians, and Canadians like Canadians. We also have a fantastic climate. Expect one month with lows of 55 F and lows of 75 F for the other 11 months. It’s also not super expensive, and it’s clean and safe.”

The housing selection is good, he says. “We have 50 months of inventory and prices are stabilizing. A year ago, a $100,000 property would go for $85,000 to $89,000. Now owners are holding out for more money and $100,000 properties are going for $95,000 or $98,000. Prices are good but it’s still a buyers’ market,” Curtis says.

Century 21 Paradise Properties sold 10 properties in the first month of this year, and average 35 to 40 in a year. The average house sells for $350,000. Condos sell for $90,000 and homes can go for in excess of $5 million.

Los Cabos, comprised of the towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas and connected by a 20-mile corridor of resort properties and beaches, offers a range of activities, including golfing, fishing, sailing, scuba diving, horse back riding and swimming with the dolphins. Off-road vehicles, cruises and zip lines are other activities.

Curtis is originally from Corpus Christie, Texas. When he first arrived in 1989, the population was 10,000. It’s been booming since and the population is now between 250,000 and 300,000 people between here and San Jose, he says.

When he first arrived, he had a water sports company that employed 45, but says the market became flooded with similar companies. He decided to sell real estate, buying the franchise in 2009 with co-owner Ari Kreiss.

When the partners purchased it, the office was doing less than $5 million in sales annually. “Now we’re up to $16 million a year,” Curtis says. The company currently has 90 listings valued at $60 million.

The brokerage guides buyers through the paperwork. “We’ve lived here so long and understand the system. We help buyers. It’s part of the service.” Curtis has lived in Cabo San Lucas since 1989 and bought and sold property in Los Cabos since 1995. He has also operated several businesses and says he knows about working in Mexico as an American. He has been a Mexican citizen since 2005 and lives with his wife and four children in the community.

Century 21 Paradise Properties has 12 sales reps in two offices, in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

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