Home Looking in Mexico: A Fashionable Hillside Masterpiece in Acapulco

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House Hunting in Mexico: A Modern Hillside Masterpiece in Acapulco

This modern five bedroom home overlooks Acapulco Bay from the hillside Las Brisas residential development in Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast. The home was designed by renowned Mexican architect Miguel Ángel Aragonés and completed last year, said Laura de la Torre de Skipsey, a realtor with Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty who has the listing.

"The design is very vertical," she said with more than 14,000 square feet of living space on five floors. The sleek white interior, floor-to-ceiling glass walls and neutral marble floor can be illuminated in soothing neon colors at night. Electronic roller blinds throughout the house provide sun protection and privacy.

The main entrance from the driveway leads into a hallway with stairs to the living area on the fourth floor, an open space with glass walls with a wide view of the bay and five meter high ceilings. An adjacent terrace has an infinity pool. A wall separates the simple Italian kitchen with a large central island and high-end appliances from the living area.

A garden with a stone terrace and marble bar is located on the roof above the living area. Downstairs, on the third floor, there are two bedrooms large enough for king-size beds, as well as a family room with a kitchenette, a fully equipped cinema room and a small fitness room with a massage table.

Two more bedrooms are on the second floor. One is designed for two double beds and the other has space for four single beds – two on the floor and two on a loft above.

The master bedroom suite on the ground floor has sliding glass doors that open to a courtyard with a shaded sitting area and a second pool.

Among the neighboring properties, Ms. de la Torre de Skipsey said, is the notable Casa Arango, a round concrete house with a deep, open terrace designed in the 1970s by American architect John Lautner, an early apprentice to Frank Lloyd Wright.

The iconic Las Brisas Resort, which dates back to the 1950s and is known for its white and pink color palette, has a private beach club. “Sixty years ago,” said Ms. de la Torre de Skipsey, “Las Brisas was the most important place. All famous actors and billionaires had houses there. It's a hill, so all the houses have this breathtaking view of the bay. "

Acapulco International Airport is approximately 20 minutes away. Mexico City International Airport, which has more international flights, is a three-hour drive away.

Acapulco, the largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero, has a population of around 780,000, according to the National Institute for Statistics, Geography and Computer Science. In the 1950s and 1960s, the area was a popular getaway for the Hollywood elite and British royalty.

The average sales price of a home in Mexico rose 7.1 percent to 1.324 million pesos ($ 64,300) in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to the country's Federal Mortgage Society, which tracks the price of homes on mortgages Credit. (Mexico does not have a multiple listing service.) Guerrero, one of Mexico's 32 federal agencies, posted a price increase of 7.3 percent; in Acapulco they rose 7.6 percent.

The price range for homes in Acapulco is very wide, said Lola Aguirre Gutierrez, broker at Century 21 Lol and Associates. "There are ocean-view properties available from $ 25,000 to $ 3.5 million," she said. "It's a diverse market – Acapulco suits every budget."

Most properties are up for resale, she said. New condominiums are in short supply, except in the so-called “Diamond Zone”, a newer, upscale holiday area in the south of the city. (Las Brisas is in this zone.)

The average price per square meter in Las Brisas is around $ 2,500 ($ 232 per square foot), Ms. de la Torre la Skipsey said. (Many properties in Mexico, including this one, are marketed in US dollars.)

Ivan Castillo, a real estate attorney and general manager of Secure Title Riviera Maya, said that the housing market in Acapulco is largely local. "One reason is that Acapulco Airport has hardly any international flights," he said. “That's why it's more common for people from Mexico City to enjoy this area. There are foreigners there, but you hardly ever see them. "

The pandemic resulted in a sharp drop in international travel to Mexico. In the first quarter of 2021, the 11.4 million visitors registered by the Economic Department of the Mexican Embassy in the United States were about half what it was in the first quarter of 2020.

The US State Department is currently advising against traveling to the state of Guerrero because Crime and kidnapping.

About 85 percent of Acapulco buyers are from Mexico, particularly Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos, Pachuca, and Querétaro, Ms. Gutierrez said. "We still keep some North Americans interested, but very few Europeans," she said.

Ms de la Torre de Skipsey said several high-end Acapulco hotels are seeing record bookings from foreigners, which could indicate a surge in interest in vacation rental investments.

Foreign buyers must obtain approval from the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In addition, Mr. Castillo said, overseas buyers shopping within 30 miles of the coast or 60 miles of the border must buy through a Mexican bank trust or company.

Transactions are processed through a notary public, and buyers must also meet regulatory requirements to prevent money laundering. "The notary needs to verify that the money being paid for the property comes from the buyer's own account," Castillo said.

Acapulco brokerage fees are typically between 4 and 6 percent of the sale price and are paid by the owner or developer, Ms. Gutierrez said.

Spanish; Mexican peso (1 peso = $ 0.05)

Acapulco transfer tax is 2 percent of the purchase price, Mr. Castillo said. Closing costs, including the cost of setting up the trust, are typically between 4 and 7 percent.

Annual property taxes on this home are around $ 1,390 and annual maintenance fees are $ 7,650, Ms. de la Torre de Skipsey said.

Laura de la Torre de Skipsey, Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty, 011-52-55-3466-6198; sothebysrealty.com

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