Baja California is where it’s at. Celebrities are pulling up stakes from Caribbean islands and opting for Baja California real estate instead. With 350 days of sunshine, resorts overlooking emerald coastlines, and lavish amenities fit for royalty, it’s not hard to see the location’s allure.
Who’s who in Baja California real estate
Which celebrities are flocking to Baja? Frankly, there’s a long list. From red-carpet celebs to movie-producing billionaires, the peninsula is home to many of the rich and famous.
The celebrity floodgates probably broke when Cindy Crawford and her husband, Rande Gerber, bought Baja California real estate with long-time friend George Clooney years ago. The trio built twin vacation homes along Cabo’s coast that garnered a lot of attention; drawing acclaim from Architectural Digest back in 2013. The homes were recently sold, but since then a number of celebrities and billionaires have moved to the area or frequent the island-like paradise.
Billionaire David Geffen, a movie and music executive, anchored his yacht in the Sea of Cortez for New Year’s. Celine Dion, Sean Penn, and Robert Redford are known to frequent a luxurious spa inside Maroma Resort and the Olsen twins love Don Manuel’s, an upscale restaurant overlooking the Sea of Cortez.
Sienna Miller and Demi Moore enjoy the quaint shops in Baja, while other celebrities like Leann Rimes opt for a little fun-in-the-sun on the celebrity-studded beach, Playa del Amor.
Meanwhile, Sammy Hagar, Van Halen’s frontman, runs Cabo Wabo Cantina and invites must-see musical acts on a regular basis. John Mayer, Michael Jordan, Adam Sandler, and the Kardashian have all been spotted around Cabo as well.
Why is Baja California real estate so popular?
While the weather is certainly a draw for celebrities, there are many other reasons to fall in love with the 760-mile stretch of land bordering California. Here’s a look at why Baja California real estate is in high demand.
New developments offer high-end homes
The homes for sale in Baja, particularly newer homes being built in an area known as East Cape, are breathtaking. Before this area opened up, many of the high-end homes were packed inside the 20-mile stretch in between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, known as The Corridor.
Amazing amenities are part of the package
Baja California real estate isn’t just about owning a home in paradise, it’s about the amenities too. High-end residential developments come complete with beach clubs, marinas, five-star restaurants, celebrity-built golf courses, and excursion planning – all in one spot.
The Costa Palmas development, for example, has an exclusive beach club that gives residents access to a two-mile stretch of swimmable water – something that’s almost unheard of along the Sea of Cortez. The property has an on-site 250-slip marina that can accommodate super-yachts, renowned chefs running restaurants and bars on the premises, and an 18-hole golf course designed by links legend Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Needless to say, Baja California real estate has a lot of additional perks.
Getting to (and around) Baja is easier than ever
Baja is a two-hour flight from LA. A quick flight into the Cabo San Lucas International Airport is a breeze, especially since the site has undergone serious infrastructure upgrades over the last few years. The runway is longer, enhanced equipment helps pilots land, and the deplaning process takes less than five minutes for private jets.
In addition, Baja has invested a lot of money into its roadways. Years ago, Baja wasn’t a must-see destination mainly because it was hard to get around. Back then, a few celebrities flew into a small airstrip to fly-fish, but that’s it. Paving many of Baja’s dirt roads has given tourists and celebrities the means to get around with ease.
The area’s natural beauty is a huge factor
Baja California real estate is screensaver-worthy. The Sea of Cortez is a picture-perfect hue of green, the beaches have white fluffy sand, and the desert-like terrain offers jagged mountains as a backdrop.
To top it all off, the Sea of Cortez is home to a variety of exotic marine life. Jacques Cousteau called the sea, “The Aquarium of the World” after seeing how many creatures lived harmoniously in the water.
Espiritu Santo Island, for example, is touted as a “magical experience” that offers a secluded biosphere of marine life. Celebrities and tourists alike visit the UNESCO-protected location to snorkel with sea lions and wade along the desolate, untouched beaches.
Above water, natural wonders await as well. Natural hot springs tucked inside the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains also serve as a reminder of the area’s natural beauty.
Privacy is at a premium
Knowing there’s a strong contingent of famous buyers, many of the resorts and residences in Baja have prioritized guest privacy. Privacy features go beyond gated communities with many developments adding design elements that distance their guests from the outside world.
Well-designed landscaping like tall shrubbery and water features provide beauty, but also serve as a barrier to the paparazzi.
The resorts are also taking staff training very seriously. Every staff member, no matter the position, is trained to offer unparalleled service in an inviting atmosphere. In other words, the staff isn’t star-struck by every celebrity guest and certainly won’t ask for posed pictures to share on social media.
What to do when you’re ready to buy in Baja
If you think owning a piece of Baja California real estate is in your future, there are a few things you should know.
The buying process is a bit different
Buying a home in Baja means your subject to Mexican buying procedures, which differ from those in the U.S.
One of the main differences is that foreigners can only buy land from a bank trust called a fideicomiso. A fideicomiso is a real estate trust held by a local Mexican bank of your choice. The bank is the trustee, but the owner has complete control over the property.
Make sure you work with a knowledgeable agent who understands how the process works.
Try to get in on the ground floor
There are many luxurious homes to choose from in Baja, but one of the hottest areas to buy in is East Cape. This area is newly developed and homes for sale on the East Cape in Baja are selling fast. If you want to get in on ground-floor pricing, now’s the time.
Look at homes + amenities
High-end homes should offer more than just panoramic views of the sea. You want a home that has it all – stunning views, luxury comforts, beautiful design and access to on-site amenities. Amenities are a big part of the package, so tour different places, eat at their restaurants, and walk their beaches.
Not all homes are listed or pictured online
Home buying has become synonymous with online browsing, but not all Baja properties are online. Real estate agents might know about private sales or be able to tell you about new developments that offer customizable homes that are built especially for you and your family. Bottom line: don’t limit your options to a list of available homes online.
Buying Baja California real estate is a hot investment right now, especially among celebrities and affluent business owners. The area’s recent development boon coupled with its natural beauty and infrastructure improvements have made it the go-to destination for luxury living.