Sotavento Residences

by Ann and Chris, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 09:15 (3883 days ago)

I am just back from Ixtapa and after renting for several years, we looked at several condos and are actually considering purchasing. Anyway, I can't get that Sotavento out of my head! I know it is sad to see an old place like the hotel be a thing of the past, but the condos though small are really beautiful and of everything we saw it was our favorite. Just wondering if any board readers have purchased there. Thanks and more later. Ann

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Sotavento Residences

by Dione @, Chicago, IL, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 11:47 (3883 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

We purchased one, what is your email address?

Sotavento Residences

by Ann and Chris, Saturday, April 16, 2011, 16:55 (3880 days ago) @ Dione

Thank you, Dione. You have been most helpful!

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Sotavento Residences

by Dione @, Chicago, IL, Monday, April 18, 2011, 10:02 (3878 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

You are welcome, feel free to contact me with any other questions.

Sotavento Residences

by JBinCT, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 13:22 (3883 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

I have not purchased a unit but upon my recommendation a family member has. I think the location is outstanding, the price/value outstanding and the sponsor/developer outstanding. In a previous venture a few years ago I researched quite a few projects and developers along the pacific coast of Mexico, including Cabo, so I think I have a pretty good idea of what to look for, good and bad. The Sotavento Residences passed all my 'tests' with flying colors.

Having said all that I will tell you what I told my relative and this applies to any vacation/overseas RE purchase, not just the Sotavento. You are probably aware of all these but some others may not be:
1) before you buy make sure you really, really like the area. Owning a great home in a place you don't particularly like is not a good idea.
2) do not buy with any expectation of capital gains or flipping.
3) do not buy with any expectation of rental income to offset expenses. May happen but easiest times to rent are probably the same times you want to use. Nothing worse than having others use your place when you want to use it, to pay for your ability to use when you really don't want to.
4) double the projected HO dues and make sure you can live with that figure. Have yet to see a projected HO fee come in less than expected. Have seen many come in higher, sometimes much higher.

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Sotavento Residences

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 14:48 (3883 days ago) @ JBinCT

Wow. When we looked at the model, the developer listed HO fees for Sotavento at just under $10K/year US. Do you really think they could get higher than that?

Sotavento Residences

by JBinCT, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 15:43 (3883 days ago) @ Fran
edited by JBinCT, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 15:49

Wow. At $3.60/sq ft (projected annual fee) your $10k figure is for a 2800 sq ft unit. Nothing but the best for Fran. Seriously, I am not aware there is a unit that large at the Sotavento so you might want to double check your figures. As to your question; for an average size 2 bedroom unit of 1400 sq ft do I think the HO dues could be more than $400/mo? Yes, given the amenity package I think HO dues could be more than projection. Even if not, inflation and/or dollar depreciation will certainly raise them in the future. The point I was making is build some cushion into your financial assumptions when buying. If you are maxed out day 1, you will probably not have a good ownership experience.

No, but .........

by Gayle in Calif. @, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 17:39 (3882 days ago) @ JBinCT

We did start a betting pool about when the condos would be finished!

Sotavento Residences

by El Tacaño, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 21:56 (3882 days ago) @ JBinCT

You are so correct. The only way to keep these fees downs is if the owners do a lot of the work themselves such making/hiring gardening, cleaning, maintenance contracts etc. This of course is virtually impossible in a vacation set up.
Also a decent reserve fund is essential or you will get hit with those dreaded "special assessment".
I lived in a condo for 12 years but after we fired the Property Manager firm & did the above ourselves we actually lowered dues by 40% keeping them there & when I sold there was over $250,000 in our reserves.

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Sotavento Residences

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 13:42 (3882 days ago) @ JBinCT

People further down the strand are mentioning an $8000/year number. My recollection was it was over $9000. Unfortunately, my information on Sotavento is not where I am right now but I will check my information packet when I get back home. For purposes of ball park, I went by the cost of a unit that was comparable to the model unit, a small two bedroom.

And as for "nothing but the best for Fran", just ask anyone who knows me for confirmation of the known fact that I am a princess of the first order. I am sure anyone who knows us will verify our large and profligate lifestyle.

Sotavento Residences

by LadyM in Zihua, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 16:48 (3882 days ago) @ Fran

Just ask me.

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Sotavento Residences

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 20:48 (3881 days ago) @ LadyM in Zihua

Hey. We bring a bottle of tequila every year whether we can afford it or not.

You do make a good margarita.

Sotavento Residences

by LadyM in Zihua, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 21:15 (3881 days ago) @ Fran

And the blender is sitting on ready. Pop in.

Sotavento Residences

by katherine @, Friday, April 15, 2011, 16:44 (3881 days ago) @ LadyM in Zihua

And some of bought retirement homes in Zihua because we knew we could never afford to vacation there once we did retire!

Sotavento Residences

by El Tacaño, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 17:21 (3881 days ago) @ Fran

Understand as Evanston was/is way out of my price range. I had to get by on the Near North a couple of blocks off Rush! Smile
PS Of course I was MUCH younger then.

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Sotavento Residences

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 20:51 (3881 days ago) @ El Tacaño

Poor you. Rush street. Alas.

If you ever get lonesome for Chicago, we have a guest room. Price is right. El is just down the block.

Sotavento Residences

by El Tacaño, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 23:12 (3881 days ago) @ Fran

I miss it a lot this time of year, but not much there for me anymore. All buddies & family either dead or moved away.
Plus it broke my heart when they put them Damn Lights up at Wrigley!

Sotavento Residences

by Ann and Chris, Saturday, April 16, 2011, 16:57 (3880 days ago) @ JBinCT

Thank you, JB, for your opinion and the wise advice. We are guilty of thinking the rental will cover some expenses, but certainly not all.

Sotavento Residences

by JBinCT, Saturday, April 16, 2011, 18:23 (3879 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

My comment on rental income was meant as a general rule of thumb, not specific to the Sotavento, and especially to projects where the individual owner is responsible for renting his/her unit. One of the reasons I liked the Sotavento is that their rental program is run by the manager/developer. This ensures that the branding and pricing is consistent- you aren't competing on VRBO with other owners- and means you will share in some rental income even if your specific unit is not occupied. Of course the manager takes a healthy cut of revenues but the owners are almost assured of some rental income, should they opt into the program, with a minimum of hassle.

Different strokes for diffiferent folks-

by Gringo Viejo @, Kansas/Zihuatanejo, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 17:52 (3882 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

I also looked at the project among many other options. True, 20/20 has one heck of a track record.

For us owning is not an option because:
1. We don't want to be pinned down to vacationing in just one spot.
2..It's a lot of money for a vacation home that gets used only a few weeks a year. Besides the HO fees there will other unexpected expenses. There is the opportunity cost of tying up a bunch of dollars in a non-income producing asset as well as questionable appreciation in the near future.

Sort of like a motor home in one respect: You can stay in some really, really nice condos/hotels/resorts for what the condo will cost you.

BUT different strokes for different folks.

Different strokes for diffiferent folks-

by Marcos, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 09:41 (3882 days ago) @ Gringo Viejo

I agree, for $8000 a year, you can stay for example at the Tides for over two weeks. Or stay 80 days at a $100 a night type of place. However if your able too stay 3 plus moths, 1. God bless, 2. I guess you can justify $8000 a year.
P.s.
Do you get fresh towels every day?

url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/59568920@N02/5619379996/][image][/url]
Towel Dog by El`flamo~blanco, on Flickr

Yes but,

by tj, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 11:29 (3882 days ago) @ Marcos

For $8,000 you get better sun and a better beach, no wait, forget what I just said.

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Sotavento Residences

by Mirco Piazzi ⌂ @, Seattle, WA, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 18:22 (3882 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

Hello,
If you send me an email I can give you more info.....mircopiazzi@gmail.com

Sotavento Residences

by davej, Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 23:07 (3882 days ago) @ Ann and Chris

I bought one and think it will be wonderful as time goes on. The estimated utility costs are about $3,000 to $3,500 a year and the dues about the same. Throw in taxes ($500) and the annual trust fee cost ($600)plus whatever and I figure the total annual expense will be about $8,000.

Location, location, location. Nothing like being on the ocean, sipping a beer watching the sun set.

Issues:
About a year ago I was told 69 units had been sold, recently I got an email implying less than 69 units were sold.

Also trying to figure out US taxes on the foreign trust may be complicated.

Rules say only the management firm can rent out the units and they get 40% of the revenue. I'm OK with this rule and do expect to get some rental revenue when I'm working and not in Mexico.

The accounting method to calculate my 60% of the rental income revenue may be vague.

Is buying a Mexican beach front condo risker than playing in the stock market, hell no!

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Sotavento Residences

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 13:35 (3882 days ago) @ davej

> Issues:
[quote]About a year ago I was told 69 units had been sold, recently I got an email implying less than 69 units were sold.
[/quote]


We looked at the model and got the sales talk. I think there is a lot that's quite attractive about the development but as far as the "sold" number goes, we didn't put much confidence in it.

I think that there is an issue in how one defines "sold". They consider a unit sold when the buyer gives them the $5000 refundable deposit. Refundable being the operative word. It didn't seem to me that a $5000 refundable deposit was really an accurate descriptor of sales.

Personally, the number I want to hear about is the number of closings. Anyone who has ever bought a house knows there is a long way between a refundable deposit and closing.

Sotavento Residences deposit

by Gayle in Calif. @, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 14:55 (3882 days ago) @ Fran

Was it $5000 deposit to hold a place?? I thought I heard $2000?
Ah well, another "Soap-a de La Ropa" as
a dear friend used to say!

Sotavento Residences deposit

by tj, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 16:35 (3882 days ago) @ Gayle in Calif.

I'm sure it's like all the other sales presentations around town, it can be a moving target. Get what you can when you can, just close the deal.

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Sotavento Residences deposit

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 20:53 (3881 days ago) @ Gayle in Calif.

I think even the deposit varied depending on when you went in. When we were there in 2009 (and this year as well), it was $5000. Earlier, it certainly could have been $2000.

Sotavento Residences Pool

by Gayle in Calif. @, Thursday, April 14, 2011, 23:43 (3881 days ago) @ Fran

Heehee I think the pool will still be open for new bets next winter!

Sotavento Residences deposit

by Ann and Chris, Saturday, April 16, 2011, 17:00 (3880 days ago) @ Fran

Last week and right now the deposit is 2000.

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by Ann and Chris, Saturday, April 16, 2011, 16:59 (3880 days ago) @ davej

Congrats to you for going for it. I agree, the location is wonderful!