LA PAZ GROWS IN POPULARITY AS A RETIREMENT AND SECOND HOME DESTINATION
The authentic Mexican town lures Americans with culture, affordable housing and natural wonders
LA PAZ, Baja California Sur, Mexico (October 31, 2013) – With the US economic recovery still sluggish, more and more Americans are making the decision to retire abroad. La Paz‘s small-town Mexican charm, great weather, laid-back lifestyle, affordability and wealth of cultural and natural attractions are prompting a growing number of seniors to reside here part or all of the year.
La Paz, a sleepy town of about 220,000 residents borders the Sea of Cortez, about 137 miles north of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula; is only 1,000 miles from San Diego (about the same distance as Portland, OR); and can now be reached by direct flight from Los Angeles on Aeromexico, member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.
Also referred to as the city of peace and abundance on the Sea of Cortez, La Paz is home to a small but growing community of Americans, Canadians and other expats willing to help recently-arrived retirees discover their newly adopted home. Affinity groups for bridge, tennis, yoga, writers and even line dancers promise an easy adjustment to expat life. Some of the more famous visitors to the town have included Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Steinbeck, whose novel The Pearl is set in La Paz.
With an average of 330 days of sunshine, La Paz beats out Florida in the sunny days per year category. Summers in La Paz are hot but winters are very mild, making the town a draw for snowbirds.
Despite its small-town setting, La Paz boasts excellent infrastructure. A new four-lane highway connects the town to Cabo San Lucas, reducing the trip to 90 minutes. The public Salvatierra Hospital, opened in 2010, is one of the most cutting-edge hospitals in Mexico, while the affordable private hospital Fidepaz also has an excellent reputation among expats.
Perhaps La Paz’s biggest draws are the striking natural wonders surrounding the town. A gateway to one of the world’s most unique and bountiful ecosystems, declared a World Heritage Site and dubbed by French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau the aquarium of the world, La Paz is also one of the best places in the world to sport fish, whale-watch and even swim with whale sharks. With miles of white sand beaches to stroll down and turquoise waters to frolic or kayak in, kids and grandkids will be begging their parents to take them to La Paz.
Retirees are more than ever looking for intellectual stimulation, according to Jean Setzfand, vice president of financial security at the AARP, and to satisfy them La Paz has Spanish language schools and programs such as Se Habla La Paz and CICC La Paz offering total immersion courses at affordable rates. And downtown La Paz offers inexpensive movies, restaurants and museums as well as free concerts along the town’s boardwalk that give budget-conscious retirees plenty of culture and entertainment options.
According to the Irvine-based research group Competitive Analytics, La Paz is one of the safest cities in North America, with crime rates below such US urban centers as San Francisco.
La Paz’s rents are noticeably lower than in the States, averaging $350 USD per month including utilities. New real estate developments and gated communities such as Playas de La Paz and CostaBaja’s Condos feature amenities similar to properties in the United States at a fraction of the price, and even luxury waterfront condos can be snatched up for as little as $300,000 USD.
Several new hotel openings slated for the next few twelve months, among them La Paz’s first American chain hotel, Hyatt Place La Paz, mean visiting friends and relatives have a wider array of lodging options than ever before. The increased tourism that has sparked this hotel development promises to push up real estate values in the medium term, making it likely that homes purchased now will yield attractive returns.
For more information about purchasing a home in La Paz, several U.S. companies includingStewart Title Guaranty offer information and guidance. The U.S. Embassy or consulates can provide lists of qualified Mexican real estate attorneys.
# # #