While San Francisco (SF) is one of our favorite cities in the United States with its cultural diversity, charming neighborhoods, natural beauty, eco-awareness, “hip, urban vibe,” open mindedness, rich history and flavors, it can be EXPENSIVE! So much so that people are moving out, across the country and especially to the south!
Huatulco is a prime destination for former SF residents who want the kind of West Coast living that comes with an affordable and less stressful price tag. So many SF expats relocate here, that we thought we’d share a little housing and business insight behind their “why Huatulco” solution!
Home Matters: SF vs. Huatulco
San Francisco is a small city situated on 46.87 square miles. That’s not a lot of space when you consider the city’s population of 884,363, as noted by WorldPopulationReview.com. City planners and politicos attempt to create more affordable housing plans, but residents aren’t too keen on building. This lack of interest keeps the housing stock low and drives the median home value up, up, up. (In fact, most houses in the area sell for well-over the asking price.)
According to Zillow.com, the median home price and value in San Francisco is $1.35 million. The site notes:
“San Francisco home values have gone up 2.9% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 1.4% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in San Francisco is $1,068, which is higher than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro average of $501. The median price of homes currently listed in San Francisco is $1,299,000. The median rent price in San Francisco is $4,500, which is higher than the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward Metro median of $3,300.”
According to a survey performed by Edelman, a Chicago-based PR firm, 76% of Bay Area residents (500 out of the 1,500 Californians surveyed) say they consider cost and availability of housing to be a serious issue.
Compare that to Huatulco, where affordable oceanfront property is still possible for most budgets. Villas, houses and condos are fresh, modern, conveniently located to all the places you want to be and priced to rent or sell. While Mexican law restricts foreigners from owning property within 30 miles of the coast, you can establish a fideicomiso (real estate trust). This means that the bank technically owns the title, but you have the legal rights to improve, sell or will the property to a loved one. Financing is also more readily available, thanks to American- and Canadian-backed “cross-border mortgages.” If this option interests you, let us know and we’ll help you navigate the process.
To learn more, check out The “Why” of Buying Huatulco Real Estate and Cash In on Low Oceanfront Prices in Huatulco Mexico.
Business Matters: SF vs. Huatulco
Not only are people looking for home options beyond SF, they are in search of “homes” for their businesses. Companies such as Chevron, Jamba Juice and North Face are bypassing the high taxes, heavy regulations and increasing labor costs of SF, in favor of other states or countries.
In Huatulco, we don’t have giant companies moving their headquarters here (and we’re okay with that), but we do have a lot of expats who are working remotely. Freelancers, contract programmers and other professionals “set up shop” in their homes, at local establishments or even in a beach chair next to the ocean. Other expats fulfill their dreams of opening up a B&B or starting a small, but much-needed business.
If you need help navigating these options, just let us know. We’re here to help you find a home and create a life that you’ll love within the Huatulco community.
Below are some additional considerations that helped our SF friends and neighbors decide to make Huatulco their new home-away-from-home.
Weather: Cold and Gloomy
The weather in SF is great, if you like “ocean chills,” fog, overcast skies and always-changing weather patterns. “Just layer up,” the locals say, and wait for the fog to burn off around the noon hour. Plus, there are so many outdoor adventures waiting for you year-round, especially surfing (our favorite)!
If you’re looking for four seasons, you won’t find them in SF or Huatulco, at least not in the traditional sense. In SF, the summers can be the foggiest of the year, which means light jackets in the peak summer months. In Huatulco, we get winter with prime weather conditions (think “summer clothes with a light jacket”) and summer with cool breezes that cut the intensity of the heat (think “tank tops and bathing suits”).
Getting around is always a concern, no matter where you live. SF’s perpetually congested streets are jammed with vehicles. Public transportation is a definite option, but it will take three times as long to get where you want to go. Huatulco, on the other hand, is still an easy community to get around. We have taxis, buses and ride-sharing options that will help you get to where you want to go if you don’t have a car or bicycle — and in decent time!
Stretching the Dollar
For many, Mexico remains a terrific place to stretch a pension or modest income. It offers affordable housing, modern comforts and easy access to the U.S. and Canada (thanks to our international airport). You can get what you need at reasonable prices, including appliances, furnishings, clothing, electronics and transportation. Also, healthcare is first-rate and affordable with public and private options to suit your medical and dental needs. Services include same-day appointments with lab work (often less than $75 USD) and prescriptions for well-below American prices.
For more information on why SF residents are now calling Huatulco home, contact us today. We’re happy to share our experiences, help you connect with valuable resources and point you and your loved ones in the right direction for a smooth transition to life in Mexico.