Retirement in San Felipe


Finally bustin loose


“I missed buying property in Cabo San Lucas 20 years ago and have always regretted it. San Felipe is the next Cabo, I’m not going to miss the boat this time.”

A recent buyer of property in San Felipe

I have been representing foreign investors in San Felipe since the early eighties, when a few adventurous Yanks and Canadians established businesses in the then sleeping village. The pioneering foreigners did not make much money. Business was slow, including sales for the first gringa realtor in San Felipe, Margaret Sullivan. In the mid nineties, I wrote an article expressing my difficulty in understanding why folks would pay the outrageous Los Cabos prices for property when they could buy in San Felipe at a fraction of the cost. San Felipe offers snowbirds and retirees the same warm climate, beautiful Sea of Cortez beaches, but with the added advantage of border proximity.

The inevitable has happened. Property values have tripled in San Felipe, within the last two and one half years. Century 21, Remax and now Margaret Sullivan’s offices in San Felipe are full of prospective buyers.

Why has San Felipe finally awakened to robust investment? In speaking with local businessmen, developers and foreign residents the following reasons are given:

  1. Pat Butler is the number one reason, super marketer and developer of El Dorado Ranch. It is estimated that six out of every ten new visitors to San Felipe are a result of Pat’s ten year effort at marketing the community. He flies prospects in on his refurbished DC 3 from San Francisco and Orange County . He buses them in from his San Diego sales office. . He has a 75 salesperson marketing team providing seminars on San Felipe throughout the Western states. He caravans R.V. folks from R.V. shows around the U.S. and Canada . Caravans have been as large as 250 R.V.’s at one time. Pat is the single largest employer in San Felipe (300). He has sold over 5000 ranch properties and has expanded his development activities to include a san felipe hotel, a golf course, three restaurants and a condominium development South of San Felipe.
  2. Baby boomers San Felipe are now at retirement age. Southern California/Nevada boomers, are like the 600,000 U.S. , citizens already living in Mexico – desiring a less expensive and more tranquil retirement. Despite the boom, you can still find beach properties for 150 thousand dollars and ocean view properties under $65,000.
  3. Thanks to the philanthropy of Dr. Duke Sommers and nurse practitioner/wife Caroline, San Felipe now has a “state of the art” hospital.

Before the, bilingual/bi-national hospital, acute care patients were taken by ambulance to Mexicali , a three hour drive. The hospital advantage helps realtors sell retirees on San Felipe’s ability to meet t heir health care needs in a facility that surpasses even some of the best U.S. hospitals.

Speculation! Remax and Century 21 are in San Felipe because they see the future and it is bright. The highway to Puertecitos, 100 kilometers South of San Felipe, much of it unpaved and requiring 2 extra tires for assured arrival, is scheduled to be paved.

Puerto Penasco, in the neighboring state of Sonora , is the closest beach community to Phoenix and Tucson . Arizona buyers are willing to travel the extra 2 hours to San Felipe to take advantage of real estate prices that are one half of those charged in Puerto Penasco. Last year Penasco prices were triple those of San Felipe.

The nautical ladder (sp. Escalera Nautica), is a joint project between the three states, adjoining the Sea of Cortez , and the Federal Tourism development office, FONATUR. This project includes a string of marinas around Baja that will allow mariners to arrive in one day from one marina to the next. This will make sailing around the Penninsula more accessible and safer for yachtys. A coast to coast Baja road has been built in the middle of the Penninsula. It allows for easy transport of vessels from the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez and back – eliminating the long trip around the tip of Baja.

Many U.S. citizens are expressing a desire to leave the stresses of the United States . They are looking for a more tranquil lifestyle: free of traffic, rush rush agendas and high crime rates. And a haven from terrorist threats. San Felipe is very much a quiet and well protected fishing village. A population of less than 24,000, including snowbirds, it is definitely pueblo living. One U.S. citizen, living on an isolated stretch of beach, runs nude every morning. He sees no other humans on his early morning runs.

Because of the internet and digital, satellite technology, folks can work from home anywhere, including remote beaches North and South of San Felipe. The fiber optic phone system in San Felipe allows high speed data transmission

As an Ensenada resident, San Felipe Mexico is a comfortable two and one half hour drive across one of the most beautiful desert regions in the Southwest. A great getaway, in which the air and water temperatures are 10 to 15 degrees warmer than our brisk Pacific coastline. Maybe I’ll see you in San Felipe. I’m an extremely attractive and modest, bald headed guy. You can usually find me wolfing down large quantities of shrimp tacos and Negro Modelo cervezas on the malecon (board walk).

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