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Huatulco: The New California Dreamin’

by Brent May

“Safe and warm” was what The Mamas & The Papas longed for in their 1965 hit song, “California Dreamin”. They were ready to trade in “grey days” for the sun-soaked beauty of the Golden State. Their catchy phrase “California dreamin” became popular for free speech during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement. It represented the stepping away from hardships and political demands of the day in exchange for the promise for something more. Thousands were intrigued by the lyrics and decided to experience firsthand the easy California lifestyle.

California’s Cost of Living Rises, No Signs of Slowing

Source: Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, 2020 California represented the 3rd highest state in Cost of Living only behind Hawaii and D.C.

Fast forward to current times and California is a very different place. The sun still shines but like the increasing temperatures of climate change, the costs of living in California soar. So why have a million and a half more people left California than those who have moved in from other states between 2007 and 2020? It has everything to do with money.

Californians are seeing their income, gas and sales taxes rise to an intolerable level thanks to high tax rates (the highest in the nation) and the new federal tax laws that limit state and local tax deductions to $10,000 dollars. For example, gasoline taxes increased by 40 percent in the last two years. This causes ripple effects, affecting increased prices for goods and services.

California Housing Costs Soar

Source: Zillow California home market overview 2011 through 2021 (forecasted Nov. 2021).

High housing costs are also driving Californians to other locales. State leaders have been slow to respond to the affordable-housing crisis that’s been decades in the making. Rigid regulations make it difficult to build affordable housing for low and middle class populations. For example, a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles costs $2,249 a month, and nearly $3,400 a month in San Francisco. Price points like these have forced Californians to find their own solutions. In 2018, 130,000 more residents left the state than arrived from other locations in the country. In 2019, 653,000 residents left the state. California’s growth rate is at a record low as of December 2020. Residents look for states that can provide sunny skies AND the comforts of home without high ticket prices. States like Arizona, Nevada and Texas are top options and for those who want the freedom to reinvent themselves in a place rich in opportunity, Huatulco, Oaxaca is the ideal solution!

Californians Are Moving to Huatulco

Huatulco, which is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains and next to the Pacific Ocean, has seen an influx of Californians in search of their next dream. They are looking for natural beauty, opportunities, affordability and work-life balance. They want to maintain the laidback lifestyle they’ve enjoyed in California, but want to live comfortably and stretch their dollars more than ever before.

That was why we uprooted our lives in Canada in favor of Huatulco. We were looking for a new life, affordability and the opportunity to build a business without high tax restrictions. We found that, and more, here in Huatulco. Joining us were hundreds of Californians who wanted the same thing.

If the pandemic has done one thing, it has had a profound impact on how a lot of people evaluate their quality of life. The graphic below shows that for the first time, home buyer’s are choosing quality of life as their deciding factor over home cost.


Source: 2020 Housing Market Survey, California Association of Realtors

Affordable Housing and Master-Planned Community

They say timing is everything and that is certainly the case for property purchases in Huatulco. The area is increasingly popular, but there are still amazing and affordable housing options for all budgets. Oceanfront real estate is at a low cost, especially when compared to the millions of dollars spent for living on the shores of California. Plus, developers in Huatulco are restricted to building no more than three-stories high. This means that property owners can rest assured that they will still have an ocean view when new construction takes place.

It’s also important to note that while this construction is happening, the Huatulco government is upholding steps to keep the area at a 70% green space zone. The people of Huatulco value the natural beauty and wildlife that exists here, and protect it with intentional low-density master plans.

The Huatulco Feeling

Then there are the intangibles, those things that enhance one’s quality of life. We’re talking about the welcoming vibe that is extended to newcomers and the ease of getting what you need as a resident of Huatulco. Everything is within reach, including banks, health care centers, an international airport, public transportation, grocery stores, world-class shopping and restaurants. There’s so much diversity within the culture, flavors, industries and activities.

Speaking of “safe and warm” from The Mamas & The Papas’ song, we feel safe here in the Huatulco community. We walk the streets at night without concern about our safety or belongings.  As crime is practically non-existent in Huatulco, we trust our neighbors. We also happen to love that our American friends call Huatulco the “Mexican Mayberry,” after the fictitious and sleepy town of Mayberry from The Andy Griffith Show. You can’t put a price on safety!

We believe that Huatulco is the new dream, and we invite you to consider this community as your next home. We’d be happy to show you more and answer any questions you may have about the freedom of life in Huatulco, Oaxaca. Contact us today!

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