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Can you please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
My wife Wendy and I are Canadians in our early 40s who moved to Sayulita from Vancouver, BC, Canada about 5 years ago. We were originally planning on taking a one-year break from our busy city lives, but fell in love with life in Sayulita and started to work on ways we could stay. Wendy is a really smart and super hardworking project manager that works remotely from our home office. I recently quit a great job with a lot of travel perks working for a Canadian magazine about Mexico. The transition was a little less sexy as I spent the next year overseeing the building of our Mexican casa, Casa Vecino Guesthouse, but now I am on to my ultimate dream job operating our tropical guesthouse in the sun! Our good friend and business partner, Peter, is semi-retired and lives in Vancouver, but visits Sayulita as much as possible and has also fallen in love with the pueblo. Wendy and I have also found a passion for animal rescue and working with a local organization called SayulitAnimals, have helped rescue and foster 30+ dogs until they found permanent homes, often in Canada and the USA.
What is it about Sayulita that made you want to buy a vacation rental here?
In Sayulita we found a place that both fulfilled us personally and provided an opportunity for our business to succeed. We are grateful for the wonderful quality of life we have with awesome friends; a great community; a lot of time spent outdoors, and an overall healthier lifestyle. It made sense for us to invest in Sayulita because it is a world-class tropical destination that is accessible and inexpensive for Canadian and American travelers and because it attracts a certain type of traveler. We are really excited to share our home with the adventurous, “out of the box” travelers that Sayulita attracts.
How long after your first visit to Sayulita did you purchase your house?
We visited Sayulita for the first time in May 2008 to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and purchased our casa about 7 years (after living in Sayulita and renting the house we eventually bought).
Did you build or remodel your home? If so, please tell us one of the classic "you won't believe this" stories.
We bought a cute one-story house on a great lot in the fantastic south side of Sayulita and added a pool and 4 rental units. You won’t believe this, but our entire build went really smoothly and the only cost and time overruns were self-inflicted when we modified the plans. At times, it was a bit challenging for my wife to work from home near the end of the project when we thought things had “quieted down” enough for her to return to the home office, but overall we are thrilled with the positive experience we had and how the whole project turned out.
How long have you owned your home in Sayulita?
Just over a year, but most of that time was spent in construction. We finished our build about 3 months ago and now it feels like home again, only better.
Can you share with us some of the changes you have seen around town?
We have seen a lot of growth and a boom in construction (especially this past year). We have also noticed a shift from a pronounced high and low season to a scenario where more and more people are traveling to Sayulita during the spring, summer, and fall, not just the winter months. The quality of the food and the service levels are much higher than when we first visited and while surfing will always be a huge part of Sayulita’s DNA, yoga, SUP, and wellness retreats are now major draws as well. There is also a positive, active & ongoing mind shift taking place within the community in relation to the environment and animal welfare. From the local youth getting together to clean up the river and beaches, to the protection of sea turtles and transitioning the town to “no straws” or Styrofoam…we really see a greater sense of awareness and action to protect the environment that will continue to move in positive directions as the community fosters the efforts.
What in particular made you decide on this house rather than other listings available at the time?
We were really lucky to have been able to test drive the house and neighborhood as renters first. When it came time to buy, we knew we loved our south side location and saw great potential in the lot. We know location is key and wanted our guests to feel safe, welcome, and have an easy walk to and from town and the beach. We also knew that we loved our neighbors and count them as friends, which is important
How would you describe the neighborhood your vacation rental is in?
We think ours is the friendliest neighborhood in Sayulita with a great mix of local Mexican families, full time home owner/residents from other countries, and vacation rentals. Staying on the south side provides a bit more authenticity to your Mexican vacation and also makes walks into the jungle and to secluded beaches easy, which really adds to our guests’ overall experience.
What is the most interesting guest you have hosted at your home?
We are people people and find each person’s personal story and how they came to find Sayulita interesting. My favorite thing about being an onsite manager is the sound of guests laughing and enjoying time with their friends and familia. It brings a smile to my face every time.
What are your favorite things to recommend your guests do while in Sayulita?
We love sharing the map of jungle trails to find a few of the more secluded beaches surrounding Sayulita and often show guests the way while taking them on dog walks. Knowing about these playas can be a nice break from the busy main beach. We encourage guests to treat themselves to a massage, yoga class or SUP session and help them schedule it. We also highlight the amazing food in town, both for home cooking and dining out, and we recommend a day on the water. Our favorite day trip by boat is to Yelapa. We also like to encourage our guests to give back to the community through the many volunteering opportunities Sayulita has to offer.
What do you feel sets your house apart from other vacation rentals in Sayulita?
Our casa is brand new, so that means new mattresses, bedding, appliances, furniture, etc. which is always nice. We are also getting a lot of great compliments on the design of the casa and our salt-water pool. For guests who need to stay in touch with work we also have Sayulita WiFi, which provides high speed internet from a tower on our roof with relays in each unit. This provides a super strong dependable signal for work (and Netflix!). Also, since we live on site full time we can offer some daily touches for guests that you would not get in many vacation rental scenarios…whether it’s simple concierge assistance, occasional complimentary poolside cocktails, added security or 24-hour help in case of emergencies. We are currently shopping for a projector and screen and will be doing some outdoor movie nights this high season, which we are really excited about.
What advice do you have for someone searching for a home/land in Sayulita?
Don’t rush into a decision. If you plan to live here, try it first for a season as a renter. Understand that the landscape in Sayulita is ever changing so consider what could happen in the empty lots next to your potential property that might impact your view etc. If possible, introduce yourself to the neighbors and members of the community through volunteering and talk to people who own and operate vacation rental businesses already. The community is really helpful. Feel free to send me an email here if you have any questions.