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What You Should Know About Los Cabos Real Estate

aerial view of cabo san lucas mexico

Los Cabos isn’t just the name of a popular resort destination in Mexico, it’s also an apt description of the place.

Cabo is the Spanish word for “cape” — an elevated landmass that narrowly extends into the sea. In Los Cabos, towering capes dominate the horizon, and tucked away at their base are some of the most pristine and picturesque beaches in the world.

The municipality of Los Cabos encompasses two resort towns: San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. The latter is home to the famed El Arco, a rock arch formed by the wind and tides over millennia.

Los Cabos is located at the southern tip of Baja California Sur, where the desert meets the sea, and where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez.

That’s why Los Cabos is a study in startling contrasts. The unspoiled beauty of nature meets the grandeur of high-end structures. The simplicity and serenity of coastal living meets the delight of five-star pampering.

Given the area’s breathtaking coastal location and leisurely lifestyle, it’s no surprise why Los Cabos real estate has quickly become a hot commodity.

Los Cabos

LOS CABOS REAL ESTATE

The available homes in Los Cabos are befitting of the area’s world-class sights and sounds. With oceanfront views, premium features, and stunning architecture, the homes here are truly the cream of the crop.

Types of properties in Los Cabos

Single-family homes

When it comes to homes for sale in Los Cabos, Mexico, single-family dwellings are still the most in-demand. These sprawling houses often sit by the ocean or are perched atop a cliff, giving residents a front-row view of the gorgeous sea. Buyers may choose to use the property as their primary residence or as a vacation home.

Featured Property
9 BLUE SEA VILLA NUEVE
SAN JOSE CORRIDOR, BS

9 Blue Sea Villa Nueve is located in a nine-home gated enclave on the Los Cabos Golden Zone corridor. Its pool garden is the perfect outdoor lounge where you can enjoy Los Cabos’ picturesque sunrise and sunsets. It’s a short walk to the beach, and there are many five-star hotels and gourmet restaurants along the coast.

Gated-community homes

Los Cabos is home to exclusive master-planned communities that offer resort-inspired living to their residents. You enjoy premier amenities such as clubhouses, beach clubs, and Golf courses right in your backyard. These communities are also strategically located to give people easy access to many of Los Cabos’ most famous destinations.

Featured Property
4 CABO DEL SOL EL PEÑÓN VILLA
CABO CORRIDOR, BS

This Mediterranean-style, single-level home offers a breathtaking view of the Sea of Cortez. The view is further accented by a grand entryway that has a domed ceiling and inlaid stone details on the marble floor. Amenities include your own pool and spa, a private courtyard, a patio with a fire pit, and an elevated jacuzzi. The home is located in the master-planned Cabo del Sol community, which boasts the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Ocean Course and the 18-hole Tom Weiskopf Desert Course.

Condominiums

Condo units offer the most affordable way to own a property in beautiful Los Cabos. Of course, these are still luxury homes that offer beachfront views, expansive living spaces, first-class amenities, and easy access to daily conveniences. Condos are also ideal investment properties that can be rented out to generate additional income.

Featured Property
TORTUGA BAY CONDO #2502
SAN JOSE DEL CABO, BS

The spacious balcony of this two-bedroom condo offers unobstructed views of San Jose Bay and Palmilla Point. The unit has a high-end kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. It’s a short walk from the white sandy beach, as well as to the historic town of San Jose. Residents get access to resort amenities such as a large and heated swimming pool, a jacuzzi, barbecue areas, and a firepit. The unit also comes with its own garage.

BENEFITS OF BUYING LOS CABO REAL ESTATE

Luxurious living is a given when you buy a house in Cabo. But it’s far from the only perk you’ll enjoy when owning a property here:

Lower costs

Los Cabos luxury real estate often command prices upward of eight figures, but you will find that many are more affordable than comparable properties in the U.S. Moreover, the predialor property tax in Mexico is only 0.1% of the assessed value, compared to the 1.15% effective tax rate in the States. Hence, you can save a sizable amount on the ongoing cost of owning a property in Los Cabos.

Lower cost of living

Many new residents of Los Cabos are surprised by how affordable it is to live here. According to Expatistan.com, the average cost of dining out is only about $10, as compared to $17 in the U.S. Many of your daily necessities such as groceries, transportation, utilities, and entertainment will also be cheaper. The lower cost of living attracts many expatriates to Los Cabos, making it a truly international community.

Generate rental income

You don’t have to live in Los Cabos full-time to reap the benefits of owning a property here. Many people purchase a home in the area as a second home, which they occupy for a few weeks out of the year and rent out for the rest. This allows them to generate rental income that they can use to fast-track the payment of their mortgage. You can use platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO or work with a property management company to easily list your property on the rental market.

Own your accommodation

Hotels and villas are often fully booked between December and April, the peak of tourist season. If you own a home in Los Cabos, however, finding accommodations will never be a problem for you. Simply arrive and “check-in” whenever you please. Having your own property also makes for a more intimate vacation; unlike with a hotel, you won’t have to comingle with hundreds of other guests.

Property valuation

Leading names in leisure such as The Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Aman, St. Regis, and Nobu have already established hotels in Los Cabos, with more following suit. As Los Cabos’ renown as a vacation hotspot grows, you can expect your property’s valuation to increase over the years. And the earlier you invest in the Los Cabos real estate market, the more time your home’s value will grow.

QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING A LOS CABOS HOME

With an experienced real estate agent at your side, purchasing a home in Los Cabos is generally a smooth, hassle-free process. Of course, you may have questions if this is your first time buying property abroad. This quick FAQ should answer most of them:

Can non-Mexicans own a property in Los Cabos?

Yes. This is made possible by a land trust called the fideicomiso. The Department of Foreign Affairs in Mexico City authorizes your chosen Mexican bank to purchase a property on your behalf. The property does not become an asset of the bank—it only acts as a trustee, with you as the beneficiary.

What rights does the fideicomiso grant me?

You retain all the rights of ownership to the property, including the authority to use, renovate, lease, or sell the home. Note that the trust has a duration of 50 years, but you can renew it for additional 50-year periods in perpetuity. A reputable real estate agent will show you only Los Cabos real estate listings with clean titles and no liens.

How much does setting up a land trust cost?

You have to pay an initiation fee to set up the trust. It varies from bank to bank, but it typically costs about $2,000. Request quotes from different banks to get the best deal possible.

You’ll also have to pay an annual fee for the trust. This amount is often determined by the value of your property, but some banks are willing to negotiate a fixed price for the duration of your trust’s term.

How long does buying a property in Los Cabos take?

It largely depends on the property. But if the home you’re buying has all of its paperwork sorted out, you can close on the property in about 45 to 90 days. Choose an agent that represents Los Cabos real estate listings.

Who is responsible for paying the closing costs?

In Mexico, the buyers foot the closing costs of a property. The closing costs encompass the notary, transfer, and escrow fees, among other things. Your purchase contract should have a breakdown of all the items covered by the closing costs.

Street Lights

LIVING IN LOS CABOS

Back in the 1940s, Los Cabos was the private playground of Hollywood heavyweights such as Clark Gable and Henry Fonda. For decades, the only way to access it was by private jet or boat.

The opening of a trans-peninsular highway and an international airport, however, has made Los Cabos much more accessible.

Today, Los Cabos sits high on the list of the world’s most prestigious resort destinations. And by owning a property here, you can enjoy five-star living like no other.

Weather

Los Cabos is famed for its sunny climate and boasts a yearly average temperature of around 24°C (75°F). You’ll also enjoy the warm waves, which are about 30°C (86°F) during the summer months.

Winters are generally mild, with temperatures peaking at 24°C (75°F) during the day and reaching 12°C (53.6°F) at night.

Los Cabos is generally dry and warm for most of the year. For the best weather, visit during the height of summer in July, and during the fall from October to December.

Transportation

Modern infrastructure and transportation have made getting to and around Los Cabos easier than ever.

Airports

The Los Cabos International Airport receives domestic, international, and charter flights. You may arrange for airport pickup or simply hail a taxi. If you have a private plane, you may choose to land at the smaller Cabo San Lucas International Airport instead.

Taxis and buses

For inter-town travel, you can hop on a taxi for about $60-$70 per ride. Red-and-yellow taxis service San Jose del Cabo, while blue-and-green ones operate in Cabo San Lucas. Public buses also regularly run between the two towns and cost only a few dollars to board.

Car rental

To rent a car in Los Cabos, you’ll need to be at least 24 years old and have a major credit card. There’s no cap on the mileage, but be sure to refill the tank before returning the vehicle to avoid high refueling charges. Expect to pay about $25 a day for local car insurance.

Schools

Most expats choose to send their kids to international schools, which provide K-12 education. These often follow the globally recognized International Baccalaureate or Cambridge IGCSE programs. Lessons are usually taught in English and Spanish. International schools also administer college entrance exams, such as the American SAT and British GCSE A-levels. Among the top schools are Colegio el Camino, Greengates School, and ColegioAmaranto International School.

Cost of living

Another great perk of living in Los Cabos is the lower cost of living. Below are average costs for everyday necessities according to Numbeo:

Groceries

Milk (1L)
Bread loaf 
Chicken fillet (1kg) 
Wine bottle  
$0.91
$1.18
$3.24
$6.27

Dining out

Mid-range restaurant (for 2)
Cappuccino
$35.10
$ 3.30

Utilities

Electricity, water, heating, etc.
Internet (60Mbps plan)
$28.61
$21.00

Childcare

Preschool (Monthly)
Int’l primary school (Yearly)
$176.26
$6,052.26

   

Recreation

When you live in one of Travel + Leisure’s Best Places to Travel, you’ll never run out of enjoyable and relaxing things to do. From awe-inspiring beaches, to mouth-watering meals, to fun-filled outdoor activities, the world is truly your oyster in Los Cabos.

Restaurants

The farm-to-table movement is alive and well in Los Cabos. Diners can enjoy meticulously prepared traditional and fusion dishes that utilize locally grown or sourced ingredients. Some of the best dining spots include:

Huerta Los Tamarindos: This renowned restaurant is located in an actual farm that dates back to the 19th century. It offers a four-course, hands-on cooking class where you get to pick, cook, and savor the ingredients from the organic farm.

Edith’s Restaurante: Edith Jiménez-Moreno isn’t just the owner of this celebrated Cabo San Lucas restaurant; she is also the author of a book on Baja cuisine. As such, dining at Edith’s Restaurante means getting an authentic taste of the flavors of Los Cabos.

Cocina del Mar: Seafood is central to Baja cuisine, and Cocina del Mar is one of the best places to sample it. It has an exclusive ceviche menu that features the freshest scallops, shrimp, seabass, and mackerel. The restaurant is located in Esperanza Resort and is cut into a cliffside, creating a three-tiered terrace that offers a stunning view of the Sea of Cortez.

Male caucasian golfer swinging in mexico

Golf

The only thing more impressive than the immaculate golf courses in Los Cabos are the seaside views that front them. The area is home to 18 world-class fairways designed by the who’s who of golf, including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Greg Norman, and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Some of the most renowned courses include:

Cabo del Sol Cove Club: This members-only golf course is the centerpiece of Cabo del Sol, a 1,800-acre master-planned resort community. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course was voted as one of the “World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” by none other than Golf Digest. The desert-meets-the-sea landscape is a joy to behold and play on.

Querencia: Querencia means “sanctuary” in English, and it’s a fitting description for this private golf course. Designed by Tom Fazio, the fairways are filled with palm trees and framed by rocky hills. With greens that roll up and down several bluffs, this range will surely test your skills. But if you’re up for the challenge, it makes for an unforgettable golfing experience.

Rancho San Lucas Golf Club: Rancho San Lucas, a high-end gated community, recently unveiled a new Greg Norman Signature course that features a links-style layout. The course fronts the Pacific Ocean and encompasses three unique ecosystems. It has an elevation of 300 feet, and features revetted pot bunkers and an island green.

Beaches

With over 20 miles of coastline to enjoy, residents of Los Cabos are spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful beaches. Below are some of the area’s best:

Playa Monumentos: This beach is a favorite among avid surfers, thanks to its left-hand point break. Depending on the waves, you can also snorkel to get a close encounter with local aquatic life.

Playa Chileno: The fine sand, gorgeous views, and gentle waters make Playa Chileno one of the most popular beaches in Los Cabos. It’s also a Blue Flag-certified beach, meaning it complies with the highest standards of safety and environmental protection.

Playa Medano: Playa Medano is the longest swimmable beach in Los Cabos. The crystal-clear blue waters alone is reason enough to visit, but the wealth of water activities to enjoy here makes it worth coming back to. There’s also plenty of restaurants and bars along the shore, making it an excellent nightlife spot.

Sportfishing

There’s a reason why Los Cabos is dubbed the marlin capital of the world. You can catch striped marlin year-round, while black and blue marlin visit the coast during the warmer months. Other fish you can catch include grouper, snapper, mahi-mahi, and wahoo.

Anglers can book fishing charters from many of the local marinas. Certain hotels, like the Bahia Hotel and Beach Club, also cater specifically to sport fishermen.

Let Andrew Lemke, one of the top real estate agents in Los Cabos, help you find your dream home in Baja California.  Call him today at 1.310.922.1818 or send an email to andrew(dotted)lemke(at)engelvoelkers(dotted)com.