For my wife and I, we had several criteria requirements of leaving southern CA to possibly travel and live outside of the United States. We needed a location with near perfect climate (my wife doesn’t care much for the cold), we had to be close to the ocean as we love outdoor water sports, needed to be easy and inexpensive way to visit (short 2 hour flight from Orange County, San Diego and even Los Angeles), must have great restaurants, locals must be warm and inviting and had to be safe place to live – and most importantly technology as we both work from home, more about that later. In addition it was important to us that we could drive some of our personal belongings to our new home.
Before moving to Cabo, we had 5 garage sales and essentially sold 90% of our things, everything else we locked away in a 20′ X 10′ storage unit. Driving down the Baja we had all of our essentials – two dogs, clothes, computers, golf clubs, toiletries, BBQ and our patio set, everything else was left behind. It was crazy to drive behind the mover we hired as our personal items were stacked on top of each other and it rained along the way. Personally I thought we would lose everything driving down the Baja, but everything arrived safe…
Last year I wrote a post on “living in Cabo San Lucas” and I explained how we sold almost everything including two homes, boat, multiple vehicles and furniture – we basically started all over again and chances are you will have a similar story. With almost three years of living full time in Cabo, we can both look back and honestly say that relocating to Cabo San Lucas was worth every sacrifice!
In the above link / article I also answer many questions pertaining to how to use technology while travelling abroad like visiting Cabo San Lucas. How to get FREE text messages, how to stay connected with FREE services such as SKYPE and many apps that you can install on your mobile device that will help with preventing huge cellular bills.
Renting VS Purchasing:
When my wife and I “relocated to Cabo San Lucas” three years ago, we decided to rent. We weren’t too familiar with the town, we didn’t know the good neighborhoods from the not so good locations (there is no bad neighborhoods in Los Cabos, but there are poorer areas without the amenities WE southern CA are accustom too). Plus the biggest reason is that “rent is cheaper” and we discovered during our search that most homes are fully furnished so it was very easy to find a place and relocate to Cabo! When we moved from Newport Beach CA area, you couldn’t find a rental property under $4,500 USD a month with a decent ocean view or living walking distance to the ocean. In Cabo San Lucas our first rental was a 4,000 square feet home with a great view of the Sea of Cortez, was walking distance to our own private beach and our monthly rent was only $2,000 USD which included a gardener to come to the house twice a week and a pool guy to maintain the pool. It cost us approximately an additional $500 USD each month for maid service, Internet and electricity… Total of $2,500 USD – much cheaper than a comparable southern CA rental.
Relocating to Cabo San Lucas living Part Time VS Full Time. Should you Purchase a Vacation Home?
This seems obvious but some people come to Cabo San Lucas on vacation and during their visit they decide to look at realestate. Nothing wrong with looking at properties, but being on vacation is one thing, actually purchasing and relocating to Cabo is something else. A tourist visiting or family vacation is much different than actually living full time in Cabo.
I know home owners that purchased in Cabo as they anticipated living in Cabo several months of the year – initally for them this was an awesome decision. What they didn’t expect was the expense of maintaining a vacation home or even the risks having a home vacant several months out of the year. An empty home during Hurricane Odile of September 2014 would be a scary situation for any home owner. My wife and I were in Cabo during Odile and believe us, we experienced a different part of Cabo – both good and bad.
The point to this section is, consider all the options as living full time in Cabo to maintain a property is one thing, owning a home that is left unattended is something else. In addition, Cabo San Lucas is a secondary home market with currently no financing available. Also keep in mind if you ever decide to sell your home, that the average property in Los Cabos remains on the MLS list between 12 and 24 months – this is a long time if you need cash. Message me direct and I will be happy to have a telephone or SKYPE connection to further discuss any questions or some options.
Life in Cabo after Odile
One year later and Cabo is better than ever before! $3 billion USD from the Mexican Government and Insurance disbursements has been allocated to rebuild Los Cabos. At time of me writing this post, $2 billion USD has already been put back into Cabo with $1 billion outstanding. Everywhere you look, drive or visit Los Cabos, you will discover so many positive improvements with resorts being upgraded, roads being added, new restaurants opening, home development thriving and employment opportunities for locals being created. Before Hurricane Odile, Cabo san Lucas was a great place to vacation. After Odile, Cabo San Lucas is an even better place to visit and of course relocate or live. My wife and I love Cabo and although we visit southern CA and other parts of the world, we are proud to claim Cabo San Lucas as our home.
Working and surviving financially in Cabo:
Let me be very direct and honest here. I don’t know anyone living in Cabo that makes a great living unless they treat their career like a business – period! Yes my wife and I do very well financially, but we treat our businesses like a business and not a hobby. The first six months was the most difficult adjustment as we were both on vacation / tourist / adjustment mode. Once we created and dedicated the necessary time with our business, our income increased. Most of our friends in Cabo do very well living here, it is because they have a business catering to the US and Canadian demands. Your next career position could be property management, hair stylist, time share sales or opening a restaurant or service business geared to the residents. Sure you can sit at bars and drink all day, but unless you saved for retirement or earn monthly recurring residual income, chances of relocating and surviving financially to Cabo San Lucas will be challenging and difficult.
Until we meet along the beaches of Cabo San Lucas!
P.S: I previously wrote a BLOG post about moving to Cabo San Lucas that also provides additional information about relocating to Cabo!