Although the temperature is dropping, that doesn’t mean the real estate market has cooled down! Many people wait for spring and summer to sell their property; however, fall and winter could be the best time to do so. There are usually fewer properties available, which gives you the chance to stand out. Buyers are also more likely to spend their day looking at houses in cooler months. Here are some tips to successfully sell your home in these colder months!
Maintain Curb Appeal
It’s obvious that fall and winter are gorgeous seasons but your yard can quickly become messy with all the beautiful leaves and snowfalls. Keep your landscape clean and tidy throughout the year by trimming fallen branches, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and sweeping your front steps. It will make your home look better and keep your real estate deals from falling through!
Stage Your Home in a Cozy Way
Buyers love to imagine themselves in a home. You can create that cozy, warm feeling that fall and winter bring by lighting the fireplace, using seasonal scents, and covering your rooms with pillows and blankets before you show your home to potential buyers.
Make Your Seasonal Decorations As Simple As Possible
We’re all starting to decorate our homes for the holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah. If you are planning to list your home this holiday season, it may be a good idea to simplify things. Instead of adding large, custom Christmas ornaments, add a few strings of string lights and greenery to the space.
Ensure the Interior Lighting is Adequate
Lighting can be difficult in fall and winter. The days are shorter and the clouds are often gray and low. This means that it is important to make your home bright and welcoming for potential buyers. This can be done by installing lamps, changing out the light bulbs, opening up your shades, investing into flameless candles, and even painting your walls a lighter, neutral color. This will make sure that winter and fall buyers can see all the beauty in your space.
Put Unnecessary Winter Items Into Storage
The cold winter months inevitably call for heavier clothing such as coats, boots, scarves, and more. It seems easier to just toss all of these extra items by the door when you get home, but it is better to store these items in a safe place during the home selling process.
Inspect Your Heating Systems & Check For Air Leaks
If buyers can feel drafts in the home when it is cold outside, it could indicate that your heating system is not working properly. Before you show your home to potential buyers, take a walk around your house and check your heating unit, your fireplace, and check for air leakage through windows or doors. To keep the chill out, apply weather-stripping and caulk where needed.
Show Buyers the Beauty of Your Home With Professional Photography
In the wintertime, first-time home buyers may assume that the barren trees and empty flower beds are how your home looks during all times of the year. To counter these thoughts, you can post professional photos of your yard, deck, and home to show potential buyers. This will help them visualize spring and summer living in your space.
Call a reputable real estate agent who understands the top real estate trends near you to get started on the home selling process. They will be able to assist you in making your home absolutely perfect before you show it to potential buyers.
Cabo San Lucas, located at the Baja California Peninsula’s tip, is nestled between the Pacific Ocean & the Sea of Cortez. Although it was once a small fishing village, Cabo has become one of the leading vacation and retirement cities in Mexico. It boasts a growing population of 350,000 and is still rural enough to see cows walking along the roads in some areas.
It had been inhabited by only a few Mexican families until the 1970s. Today, half of the Cabo San Lucas Mexican population has immigrated from other areas of Mexico because of the many work opportunities. They brought with them their music and food, creating a large variety of Mexican culture. The city is now a mixture of Mexican, Canadian, and American cultures due to citizens from those areas visiting and buying property in the area to stay in during the winter months. Cabo is magical in so many ways that it is impossible to describe.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Cabo San Lucas before you visit or take residence here temporarily or permanently, including retirement, things to do, cost of living, and even Cabo San Lucas real estate.
Cabo San Lucas Basics
At Cabo San Lucas, you can find sun, sand and mountains along with the ocean. Winter temperatures are perfect at an average in the 70s, while summers heat up to the mid-80s, making for a perfect beach day.
The centerpiece of the city is the marina. This man-made harbor was completed in 1978 and there are three marina developments. Playa Grande, the locals’ favorite beach, is located on one side of the harbor. It leads to the Lands’ End rock formation as well as the Pacific Ocean. Medano Beach is on the opposite side and offers many attractions. There are hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and a movie theater along the boardwalk that runs around the marina’s interior.
The number of retail outlets grew with the city. There are now plenty of options to choose from in order to find American products, such as a Super Walmart, Home Depot, and more. There are also Mexican grocery stores that offer authentic Mexican baked goods and less expensive domestic products. You can also find seasonal fruits and vegetables being sold out on the streets.
Cabo San Lucas Lifestyle
Cabo San Lucas is a desired destination for spring break, winter snowbirds, and bachelor/bachelorette outings due to its gorgeous beaches and dynamic nightlife. A line of dance clubs border El Centro’s main street. They are open until 4 a.m. to dance the night away. On the beaches, there are many activities offered such as snorkeling, parasailing, and much more! Adventure can also be found away from the water with activities such as ziplines, wine tasting, and horseback riding.
Cabo San Lucas is a popular destination for the wealthy and famous. There are many Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from, including El Farallon or Alexander’s. You can also spend quiet time with locals at Tiki bar, which is a popular expat favorite for its friendly service, great food, and beautiful views.
Top Activities For Everyone in Cabo
Deep Sea Fishing
Since Cabo San Lucas was a small fishing village, you will find tuna, marlin, and mahi mahi amongst many others in the beautiful blue waters. Expert fishermen from all over the globe travel to this area to fish because there are many options for fishing adventures. Booking an offshore fishing charter is the cheapest option. It is best to book with a fishing charter company as private yacht charters can be a bit more expensive.
Whale Watching Tours
Pods of whales travel from Alaska to the Sea of Cortez annually so they can mate and give birth. From mid-December to mid-April, it is possible to see grey whales and humpback whales; however, the best time to view calves is after February. Book your whale watching tour in the morning if you are prone to seasickness and prefer calm waters, but keep in mind that whales are prone to be out later in the daytime.
You can also enjoy dinner and sunset cruises for more unique fun out at sea. You can take boats of any style out to view the sunset over the Pacific, then enjoy a leisurely tour around the Sea of Cortez. Some excursions offer full-course dinners and other excursions offer a party atmosphere with a large bar.
Some boat companies also offer guests the opportunity to go snorkeling near the local beaches. Diving companies can teach you the basics of snorkeling and take you on an adventure of a lifetime to see some of the beautiful ocean wildlife off of the coast of Cabo San Lucas.
Nearby Day Trips
San Jose Del Cabo
To the northeast of Cabo is San Jose del Cabo. San Jose del Cabo is the home of Mexico’s international airport. San Jose, although only 30 minutes away from Cabo, is more laid-back and more expensive than Cabo. Although a marina was added to the city in recent years, it isn’t surrounded by shops or restaurants like Cabo. A new strip is located near the town, which houses many luxury restaurants and retail shops.
One of the best locations on the west coast is Todos Santos. There are many developments in and around Todos Santos but it has still maintained the old-fashioned artsy hippy vibe of the downtown. You can see the famous Hotel California and see if it’s all the song cracked it up to be. Todos Santos is also famous for its arts scene and local farm-to table restaurants. It is such a beautiful city to explore and walk around when you want to get some time away from Cabo.
The two main highways of Cabo San Lucas meet up in La Paz. This location is worth a weekend trip if you really want to take all of the beautiful views in properly. You can spend the day exploring the old towns, or you can drive to the east to visit the nine beaches in the area. There are even extra opportunities to get up close and personal with Mexico’s ocean animals, including being able to swim with whale sharks!
Retiring in Cabo San Lucas
Many retirees may find it difficult to live in a multi-level Cabo home. Many of the newer developments have one-level homes with elevators on each floor. Cabo Bello, a community on the Sea of Cortez, offers ocean-front single-family houses. El Tezal, a rapidly expanding area, boasts homes that were built 50 years ago, as well as dozens of new condominium developments.
The area’s healthcare has improved significantly with the inclusion of the H+ Hospital, a world-class facility located just 30 minutes from Cabo San Lucas. The reliable AMC American Medical Center and the Blue Net hospitals are close by the city. They offer affordable and reliable emergency treatment. For the same amount that Americans pay monthly, local health insurance can be purchased at annual rates in Cabo San Lucas.
Cost of Living in Cabo
Despite being one of the more expensive areas, Cabo still offers a significantly reduced cost of living when compared to the U.S. Since Cabo is situated at the tip of a peninsula, it is almost like living on an isolated island. Because of this, delivering furniture to your new home is on the more expensive side which contributes to the slightly higher cost of living. Another reason for the higher living costs is the increased demand from foreigners for high-end dining and other luxuries.
Consider These Things Before Moving to Cabo San Lucas
What Type of Home Are You Looking For?
Do you want a single-family home or a condo? Make sure you note whether you are looking for a single story or multiple floors when creating your wish list as many Cabo homes are more than one story. It is also important to note other differences between stand-alone homes and condominiums, such as proximity to neighbors, HOA fees, and amenities. These questions are especially important to consider if you are a first-time homebuyer.
What is Your Ideal Community?
Cabo San Lucas is very diverse so it is crucial to choose a variety of neighbors. Do you want to be surrounded by retired expats? Are you looking to be fully immersed in Mexican culture? It can be helpful to have English-speaking friends who could help answer all of your questions when you first move to Cabo. Otherwise, there are many resources where you can learn how to speak the language of the area and about the culture and customs.
Do You Want to Be Close to Stores, Attractions, & Restaurants?
There are plenty of pros and cons to living nearby all of the great things that Cabo San Lucas has to offer. For example, you might be excited to be close to the action but also have to deal with traffic and noise from the clubs that are near you. You also want to consider the terrain around the area in which you would like to live: Would you like a view of the mountains, the beach, or the city? Do you want to live in an area that is well-populated or a bit more vacant? Make sure you do extensive research before you make any huge decisions.
Can You Handle the Ever Changing Weather?
Cabo enjoys sunny, dry weather most of the year with temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the summer months can be difficult due to heat and lack of rain. On the other hand, the hurricane season runs from mid-May to November, meaning that large storms with wind and heavy rain could begin at any time for about half of the year. It is crucial to ensure that the home you are going to live in has proper weather damage protection.
Does Your Home Have the Appropriate Security Features?
Like anywhere in the world, crime is always a possibility. It is worth considering moving into a gated community with security cameras or a condominium with a doorman just to be safe. Otherwise, you could do your own research and find security systems or security cameras that you can install in your home all on your own.
Do You Have Time For the Entire Process?
It can take up to six months to complete the paperwork before you can move into your Cabo home. Your real estate agent, attorney, and notary will be your closing team and will help you with the entire process, including choosing a mortgage. In most cases, the property is not yours to purchase. A bank will hold the title to the land and you have access to it through a trust called fideicomiso. The closing date is determined by the bank that holds your fideicomiso trust. Try to be patient and ready to wait until you find your dream home; it will all be worth it in the end!
As an investor in real estate, it is imperative to understand that there are different types of exchanges that can take place throughout the course of your lifetime, with one type serving as the most common. The process is known as the 1031 exchange, and it takes place in the United Kingdom. What happens here is that a land exchange takes place, whereby a property is transferred from one party to another. In this way, you will be able to buy property (with exchange fees) from a person in the United Kingdom that is listed as an individual and then transfer it (through a deed) to an individual or company in the United Kingdom that you would potentially be buying the property from.
There Are Many Benefits With The 1031 Exchange
One of the main benefits that come along with this type of exchange is that it allows for real estate investors to buy property, like buying a home in Mexico, without having to pay the full value upfront. In other words, they can get a “hands-on” investment that is equal to or more valuable than what they had paid for it. This is something that can really allow investors to enter into transactions without worrying about paying the full value right away. The downside to this, however, is that the tax deduction that they receive may not quite cover the expenses associated with the exchange. Exchanging property can also be beneficial to individuals who are looking to sell their homes to others, as it often allows them to move into a new residence and still receive a tax break.
Another benefit of 1031 exchanges is that the exchange proceeds are tax-exempt. This means that you will not have to pay any tax on the exchange funds that you receive, so long as you keep those funds invested in property. The only times when these funds have to be taken out of your pocket are when you exchange properties (which will cost you money) or when you actually end up renting the property (which may cost you money if you are leasing the property through a commercial entity).
There are several other ways that an exchange can help an investor. One of these is by providing an equity advantage to the investor. Equity is something that all investors want because it represents something that is rare and valuable. By exchanging your home or land for other properties, you are providing an equity advantage to yourself. Any money that you are able to add to your equity can be used for retirement, making investments or paying off debts.
The final benefit of a 1031 exchange is that it gives you a chance to buy back a property. You can do this as many times as you want and will increase the value of the house. However, this advantage does not apply if you choose to get into a ‘replacement property’. A replacement property is basically another piece of property that you own. A 1031 exchange allows you to exchange your original home for a replacement property, but you cannot exchange it for a home that is significantly worse off than it was.
These are the main benefits of a 1031 exchange. They are known as ‘negative amortization’ deals because they take a loss on the value of the house if it is not purchased within a certain period of time. It also allows you to get to a higher tax level if the amount of money that your exchange is higher than the value of the house. Negative amortizations are used more in cases when there are delays in the foreclosure process or in selling the property after it has been acquired than any other reason.
Whether it be for investment, for rental or personal, there is an obvious increase in house and property buyers in the most recent years. Before running out to make an offer and a purchase that lovely house you saw in that amazing Louisiana neighborhood, there are many considerations to make and things to observe.
For example, one of the most common mistakes made by first-time home buyers is the failure to take rates into consideration. Choosing the best Realtor with low commission, who is knowledgeable with the processes, the market and understands best practices to ensure the highest level of content for clients.
For first-time buyers in Louisiana, the Louisiana Real Estate Commission (LREC) offers many assistance programs for a seamless process.
One of the most crucial aspects of your process when ready to buy a home is choosing the right Realtor, a Realtor that can present the best options to fit in your life. It is important to choose an agent that is looking to match you with a home or property that best fits you and not one just looking to make a sale.
To do this effectively, searching should include figuring out the necessary credentials for a Realtor, conduct interviews for potentials, browse current listings and review agent or agency’s online presence before making a decision or entering a contract.
If purchasing in the state of Louisiana, salespersons must obtain a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years old, complete 90 hours of education, comply with LREC application procedures & background check, pass a licensing exam and be sponsored by a broker. Even with homeowners looking to sell a home, these requirements are necessary for all Realtors, above being a good fit for your needs.
Whether looking to buy a home or even sell a home, the real estate agent must have knowledge or expertise on the market, processes, and mistakes. Most Realtors will agree that a common first-time buyer mistake is the miscalculation of interest rates and not having enough as down payment.
It is typically recommended to invest at least 20% of the value of the home you’re looking to purchase as down payment. There are loan programs that offer the opportunity to purchase with between 0 – 3.5% as down payment, but many who took this option have since expressed regret.
Most first-time buyers or buyers under the age of 35 agreed that waiting to accumulate a bigger down payment would have been ideal. Discussing the best approach and practices in regards to down payments and overall rates with your Realtor and loan company is paramount.
Another common mistake first-time buyers make while purchasing a home is not considering USDA and FHA loan programs. Buying a home can seem like a scary and lengthy process, but purchasing in a city like New Orleans could potential mean landing in a neighborhood close to rivers and lakes with never ending possibilities of activities and history.
In a state like Louisiana, a program like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program gives those with low credit scores the opportunity to purchase with only 3.5% down and a credit score of 580 or higher. The USDA loan program is a buyers assist program that offers mortgage guarantees to lenders looking to fully finance in rural areas.
If looking to purchase in New Orleans, there are Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC) first-time home buyers programs such as LHC Choice Conventional program, Market Rate GNMA program, Mortgage Revenue Bond Assisted program, Mortgage Credit Certificate program, Delta 100 program, LHC Home/MRB program and more. There are many options that offer assistance to first-time buyers to ensure an efficient process.
There are countless situations that shock first-time home buyers, but there are also certain steps that can be taken to reduce the effects of the shock. As the thought of owning a home or investing in real estate for the future is very exciting, it is important to take a step back and consider the necessary procedures that will ensure a seamless outcome.
Efforts such as taking time to save at least 20% of the home’s worth, considering and applying for loan programs, finding the perfect Realtor that is knowledgeable and will help with each process; buying, selling, support, or information.
As a first-time buyer, it’s time to make sure a Realtor is fully certified, and realizing that the process is not a race and landing on the perfect fit might take time and hard work. The market is constantly evolving, which makes now the best time to start saving or even browsing potential homes for the future.
Some analysts have predicted a positive growth in real estate over the next few years. Others disagree due to the nature of the market in 2017. According to a group of professionals in real estate who met in Los Angeles earlier this year, there was a slow growth in the industry in 2017. The meeting compiles 800 interviews with the market players and more than 1500 surveys from the sector. Today, we’ll discuss some of the trends that are in the market. The interviewees pointed out that the demand for affordable housing has increased tremendously. Many experts agree that there are still many challenges in the sector.
The increase in the number of single-family homes.
According to statistics, the number has been increasing over the years, unlike what many people think. The homes are offered at affordable prices, and this has benefited many low-income earners. Some experts have urged investors to venture into low-cost housing as it has shown immense potential. The main targets for these projects are the young adults. By identifying strategic locations, good pricing and installing appropriate amenities, the investors are likely to reap high returns.
Slow growth due to economic changes.
The changes in the economy occur from time to time. Recently, the economy has not been performing well, and many investors have fears that their investments may not yield good returns. Some economic analysts have predicted tough times in the future while others are optimistic that there would be an improvement. The analysts who believe that there would be good times ahead point out factors such as low unemployment and high prices for the assets. Many developers are adopting more conservative strategies to remain competitive. Due to these developments, the industry has experienced a steady but slow growth over time.
The human resource reforms.
Every firm aims at increasing the productivity of its workforce. To achieve that, the property developers are adopting practices such as regular training, providing adequate working space and improving the working conditions. For example, most firms have incorporated technology in service delivery to make work easier and to provide quality services to the clients. The practices help to boost the morale of the employees and eventually the growth and expansion of the firm.
The demographic changes in the economy.
The demand for products in any sector is highly affected by the changes in the size and composition of the population. According to statistics, the number of post-college clients in their early 20’s has increased over the years. The clients prefer an urban lifestyle despite the debts that have accrued from their student loans. Therefore, the property developers are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to cater to their needs. Some scholars argue that the age group likes to try out new things in the markets. According to some experts, the young adults are easy to convince to buy a home than the more elderly population. Most people in their early 20’s tend to be poor financial planners. A survey conducted in 2016 showed that 37% of them find it hard to save anything more than a few thousand dollars, if that. One of the strategies that the developers are using is to collaborating with buyers to make purchasing a home easier and more affordable. Statistics have indicated that more than 70% of the American population will have reached their retirement age by 2030.
The growth of the secondary markets.
According to statistics, the secondary markets have had a faster growth as compared to the primary cities. The main reasons for the development include the fact that many investors are now more informed on the modern practices and are taking advantage of it. Most cities have exhibited positive growth, and this is expected to be the case in the long run. Traditionally, the secondary markets have not performed well. There is an appreciation of the assets in the secondary markets, this has presented a good opportunity for investments. Many investors are now venturing into the sector hoping to get good returns in future.
The adoption of high-level technology.
Just like any other sector in the economy, the use of new technology for quality service delivery and boosting productivity is gaining prominence in the housing sector. It is common in both construction and in architecture where the experts are now using 3D printing for their projects. The use of new technology is expected to help in bridging the gap in the demand for affordable housing. It has also helped to speed up the completion of projects. Previously, the number of professionals in the construction industry has been very low and this has led to delays in delivery of completed homes.
The legal changes.
The government has proposed several tax reforms that are expected to affect the whole economy, including the housing sector. The changes will be implemented after a lengthy legislative process. Many players in the market have proposed the reduction of taxes. Some developers have argued that if implemented, the reforms are likely to make housing unaffordable to many residents. Many individuals expect that the tax reforms will make it easy for the developers to sell a home. For more information on tax reforms, contact your local certified accountant, and for information about home market trends and local real estate activity, contact your local trusted real estate professional.