Saturday, July 20, 2024

Investing in real estate: Why you should buy in Huatulco, Oaxaca

Together with Resort Real Estate: we spoke to its founder Valerie Verhalen and real estate developer Noemie Bourdin Habert, about the opportunity to invest in real estate and the quality of life that Huatulco has to offer.

If you are considering buying a home in Mexico, you definitely won’t want to overlook Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Majestic mountains and lush jungles meet the warm, deep blue waters of the nine secluded bays and thirty-six gorgeous beaches that comprise Huatulco’s Pacific Coastline.

This lesser-known green paradise on Mexico’s Pacific coast is revered by those in the know for its lifestyle and real estate value, and is poised for a big property investment boom. “I think Huatulco is the crown jewel of real estate investment and development right now for a number of compelling reasons,” Valerie tells Mexico News Daily. Huatulco offers a lifestyle suitable to those who love the outdoors, yet the Oaxacan coastal town is everything but a cabañas type of place. Also known as Bahías de Huatulco, the area was originally imagined as a large tourist destination, so an infrastructure for much more exists. As tourism has evolved, Huatulco has also been put on the map, but luckily the city won’t overdevelop.  

Huatulco’s developers planned for a large influx of tourism and investment, with wide boulevards, sidewalks, biking lanes, a cruise ship dock, marina, international airport and more. It is green and well-maintained, with a small community that benefits from the infrastructure and excellent connectivity of a big city.

“It’s extremely comfortable to live here all year long,” Valerie continues. “Beaches are walking distance, it is a few minutes to access the jungle, an hour from the mountains. It’s an incredible quality of life.”

In 2023, the government created another national park surrounding the city, which means city development can’t get out of hand. This is great news for people who have decided to live here and for real estate appreciation.

Resort Real Estate Services offers a bilingual and multi-national team which includes sales agents, office staff, professional photography and in-house legal counsel.

Many people from the U.S., Canada and Europe are choosing to move to Mexico, looking to buy real estate, a better quality of life, affordability, healthcare and safer schools. Huatulco has appeared “on the map” as an enchanting option for expats or city dwellers due to its affordability versus other destinations.  Properties are often valued at half the price of similar properties along the coast, like Punta Mita, Cabo or Puerto Vallarta. It’s possible to find an exquisite villa in a desirable location in Huatulco that would be double the value in some other overdeveloped resort towns. “When people discover Huatulco, they tend to fall in love with the natural beauty of the place, but they also catch on quickly to the investment opportunities they’re seeing here,” Valerie says.

One of those popular investment opportunities is ALMA, a stunning luxury development that is the brainchild of Noemie and her partner. It is also one of Resort Real Estate’s exclusive listings. ALMA is a development feat of low-density urban planning, set in the beautiful hillside along the coast yet close to downtown. Pre-construction prices for the 36 villas and 10 condos range from US $675,000 to $1,675,000. “ALMA could set a new standard for what’s happening in real estate development right now,” Noemie explains. Aside from the location, ALMA boasts outstanding modern Mexican architecture, views, community amenities, green roofing, renewable energy, and saltwater infinity pools.

Is Huatulco safe? 

Crime is extremely low in Huatulco, and it’s not uncommon for residents to leave their doors or cars unlocked or have lost items returned through community Facebook groups. The city’s well-lit and maintained streets make it a popular walking city where residents feel safe. “Living here, you live with real peace of mind; and that’s one of the reasons it’s become a very family-oriented destination,” Noemie says.

The city also boasts world-class infrastructure and exceptionally clean public streets, parks and beaches compared to other Mexican cities. Institutions like the Equipo Verde (Green Team) monitor the city’s carbon footprint and boost ecotourism, helping Huatulco win sustainability awards, including Earth Check’s gold and platinum certification.

Through every aspect of the process we respond to our client’s questions and needs so they can feel comfortable knowing they are represented by a professional real estate company, from beginning to end. (Alex Krotkov)

Is Huatulco easy to get to?

One of the game-changers for Huatulco has been the recent opening of the Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido highway that now runs directly from Oaxaca City. This highway cuts the travel time between Huatulco and Oaxaca City from six hours over the mountains to just under three and a half hours. 

Huatulco is also easily accessible due to its international airport, only 15 minutes from the downtown of La Crucecita, which now operates year-round daily direct flights to the U.S. and major cities in Mexico including Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, as well as offering seasonal flights to Canada. “Huatulco feels like an untouched paradise, with a vibrant culture of its own, but yet it doesn’t feel remote or disconnected. I can leave Huatulco at lunchtime and be sitting down to dinner with my father in Dallas by 7pm!” Valerie says.

Can I get quality healthcare in Huatulco compared to the U.S. and Canada?

“Huatulco’s healthcare improves each year,” Noemie and Valerie agree. “General practitioners, OB-GYN services, dental programs, several great orthodontists, dermatologists and cosmeticians are all available, and we’ve seen the medical facilities, clinics, and hospitals continue to expand.”

The city has recently seen the arrival of an excellent private clinic, Oromed, and there are three large hospitals: a public IMSS hospital, a naval hospital, and a maternity hospital.

Our company is held to the highest standards of operations, service and ethics, achieving best practices within the community and real estate industry.

Even though the cost of healthcare in Huatulco is about 50% of similar treatment in the U.S., Canada or Europe, quality of care remains high, with many providers speaking good English and even having completed training in the U.S. and Mexico. Medical tourists take advantage of substantially lower healthcare costs in Mexico and often attest to a better patient experience when they return home — and you can expect the same high-quality healthcare in Huatulco.

What makes Huatulco sustainable and a top choice for nature lovers?

With the region’s stunning biodiversity and beaches, there’s a vibrant surf culture, whale watching, snorkeling, scuba diving and river rafting. Nature’s beauty surrounds Huatulco; there are three national parks including a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve, biking trails and a popular birding culture. 

“There’s a long-term sustainable growth plan in Huatulco that I haven’t found anywhere else,” Noemie says, adding that the city was one of the first recognized sustainable communities in the Americas, back during the ‘90s.  Water treatment ranks amongst the best globally, and the city has won several Earth Check Certifications and Blue Flag awards, a distinction presented to coastal destinations with the highest quality of water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management. Half of the city is a natural reserve and 90% of the city’s electricity comes from renewable sources.

Who’s buying real estate in Huatulco?

While Huatulco has historically attracted pre-retired and retired people for its amazing weather, Resort Real Estate is seeing an increase in buyers that are younger, active, entrepreneurs, have families and are willing to live in Huatulco all year long. The recent massive property boom attests to Huatulco being one of the new smart places to invest. Valerie continues, “More people are gravitating towards a diverse cultural environment, and Huatulco definitely has a wide range of gorgeous real estate — what we like to call legacy or generational investments. We’ve seen people invest in second homes and then make the switch to living full time, invest in more properties, start a new business or raise a family. Expats are persuading their friends, family and colleagues (especially digital nomads) to follow suit — because why not?” As people the world over have become more mobile, seeking a more healthful life, as well as a more relaxed and connected expat community, it makes sense that Huatulco is having its moment. “Many people have explored their options, like I did — in Asia or Europe or other parts of the U.S. — but I think that Huatulco is really unbeatable,” Noemie says.

Resort Real Estate Services is a market leader in Huatulco real estate with a focus on luxury sales & rentals and an international client base. (Alex Krotkov)

Valerie Verhalen herself arrived in Huatulco in 2000 and founded what is now Resort Real Estate in 2005. With 24 years as a full-time resident and experience in the real estate market, she tells Mexico News Daily that it’s been a wild ride. “I saw an amazing opportunity here with the expat community and now focus on a multicultural clientele,” she says.

Valerie says Resort Real Estate also offers vacation rentals through their partner brand, My Huatulco Vacation. “We offer a 360-degree real estate experience under one roof and are market leaders in the region.”

Valerie’s business partners, from Italy and Canada, share her passion for Huatulco’s coastal magic. “Being a female-led company in Southern Mexico presents its challenges, but we have learned from those challenges! We have a multilingual team of around thirty staff, and know the market, the city and the culture intimately. It’s always rewarding to be able to recommend not only investment, legal, financial and immigration services but also, travel and life tips for unique experiences around Huatulco.”

What makes real estate in Huatulco a secure and appealing investment?

Huatulco is definitely a hot market right now, where homes sold ten years ago have commonly increased in value by 30% to 50%, with pre-construction sometimes appreciating by up to 60%.  “We’ve watched such positive developments since the pandemic — one recent property increased in value by 100% in two years,” Valerie tells us.

“The moment to invest in Huatulco was yesterday,” Valerie says. “But compared to the overdevelopment and soaring prices in other coastal cities, Huatulco presents some real estate treasures – in, truly, one of the most beautiful locations in Mexico.”

Disclosure: This content is sponsored by Resort Real Estate

Henrietta Weekes is a writer, editor, actor and narrator. She divides her time between San Miguel de Allende, New York and Oxford, UK.


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