When my family used to go on vacations,rarely did we ever stay in a hotel. Whether we were visiting London,England or Hilton Head Island,South Carolina,we always rented an apartment or house to economize our trips. That way,we could go to the local grocery store to stock up on food,instead of being forced to eat out every meal,especially in touristy areas where food prices tend to be inflated.
Even though I currently reside in the Riviera Maya,where monstrous all-inclusive hotels can actually be more economical than vacation rentals,I still support renting so that you do not miss out on the freedom to explore and experience all of the rich culture that the area has to offer. I realize that I am not going to be able to speak for everyone out there on what type of accommodations they prefer while taking a break from whatever their normal lives involve,but for folks looking for a savvy real estate investment that will provide cash flow and natural appreciation,pay attention.
Some important things to know about Tulum:
Currently,the population is over 30,000 people (more than doubled since 2005)
Over 3,000,000 people visited the area last year
It was just named the fastest growing city in Mexico (projected population of 300,000 by 2025)
My family is not special in its vacationing behavior. Any family with multiple children,on a budget,will seek out a vacation rental when they take a trip to a place like Tulum,where because of building restrictions (no mangrove cutting),big all-inclusive hotels do not exist. When you vacation in the eclectic,eco-chic town of Tulum,there have always been two main accommodation locations: in-town or along the beach road. In-town,you have your choice of rustic hotels,and a few nice condominium buildings. The problem: the condominiums are located on the southern edge of town,the beach access road is on the northern edge of town,and it is at least a ten minute car ride to the nearest beach access.
Along the beach road,you have your choice of over one hundred eco-hotels that line the beautiful white sand beaches of Tulum,stretching from the Mayan ruins in the north,down south to the Sian Kaan Biosphere. The problem: most cabanas consist of one room with one bed and bathroom. There are no condominium rentals. What this means is that a family of four is going to have to rent out two cabanas (ranging in price from $50-$800 per night),and will be eating out every meal.
What some folks from Merida (same people who built the Yucatan Country Club) did to solve this problem was purchase a large parcel of land south of the beach access road between the town and beach road to build the first luxury master planned development in Tulum,called Aldea Zama. Once completed,Aldea Zama will contain over two thousand residential units,consisting of home lots,villas,and condominiums,as well as a hotel zone (called Maya Zama),commercial center,and a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course. To date,only one condominium project has been completed by the Grupo Kaua development company: Zama Village. Kaua has done several projects throughout the Riviera Maya,and their concept for Zama Village was “eco-chic under $200,000.” Of the thirty-four units available,thirty-two were sold before the development was even finished. Let me tell you,I had a client purchase one of these condos,and they did an amazing job on the construction and finishings. Our delivery walk-through resulted in very minor corrections,like a couple of paint splashes,which is great considering we have other clients who have paid double and triple this price in other new condo developments,and it has taken months of work to correct major problems.
Let’s put this into perspective,my client is now the proud owner of one of a possible thirty four vacation rentals units (less because not all of them will be used for rental purposes) that are located closer than any other vacation rental options to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world,in the fastest growing city in Mexico,that receives over three million visitors per year. If that isn’t a recipe for success,then I don’t know what is. Even better,in the past week I have learned that many hotel owners and operators in Tulum real estate are also looking for rentals in Aldea Zama. A premium will definitely be paid for these long-term rentals,which will provide a secure,steady return for owners.
Given the great success of Zama Village,Grupo Kaua is in the midst of building a second phase of condominiums in Aldea Zama,named Real Zama,containing twenty-four units. Due to be completed by February of 2013,one-third of the condos have already been sold.
Considering that Aldea Zama will eventually contain many condominium projects (much like Puerto Aventuras),you should really invest in one of these early projects. It will allow you to get a head start on building a strong rental clientele with repeat business,and considering the demand,receive great returns on your investment. The town of Tulum,just like Cancun and Playa del Carmen before it,will grow and attract more visitors every year. Having just been named the number three retirement destination on Earth by the Wall Street Journal,get in now before prices go up.