Will you please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself?
We are Ernst and Rusty (owners of Villa Cherimoya in Sayulita) and we spend 7 months in Sayulita and 5 months in Seattle each year. Our summer home in the Seattle area is Lake Sammamish to be exact.
What is it about Sayulita that made you want to buy a vacation rental here?
We had been coming to Sayulita for years, mainly to visit our friend Cap Sparling. On one trip in 2004, Cap convinced us to make Sayulita our second home, as he had and his family before him had done. Cap also found the property we ended up buying…full concierge service. I guess he really wanted friends to live nearby.
How long after your first visit to Sayulita did you purchase your house/lot?
Our first visit was in 1985, where we had to knock on someone’s door and ask if they could cook dinner for 6 friends! Of course La Senora of the casa said yes and what a meal it was! It was 20 years after this that we bought here.
Did you build or remodel your home? If so, please tell us one of the classic "you won't believe this" stories?
We built. After interviewing several contractors/architects, we decided on Javier Oliva (now owner of Mundo Verde). Choosing Javier and his wife, Laura, was the second-best decision we made (after picking Sayulita). We built two houses, one for us and one as a rental (Villa Cherimoya). The houses were finished on time and on budget (unheard of at the time in Sayulita). We love the houses 10 years later…the design and quality have stood the test of time. Our family of 10 arrived for the holiday/new year 2005/2006 to brand new houses…very stressful for new owners, but fun and successful. They were dismayed as they drove into this small dirt road town. It took exactly 2 hours after getting settled for them to understand why we had done what we had. Now we can’t stop them from visiting every year!
How long have you owned your home in Sayulita?
Can you share with us some of the changes you have seen around town?
There was no water treatment plant, no garbage pickup, packs of dogs ran wild in the streets, no cell phone service, and the streets were dirt. Thanks to many, many volunteers and donations, these issues have been addressed. Of course, the popularity of Sayulita continues to stress the infrastructure, but we are optimistic for Sayulita and have confidence in the people of Sayulita to address these challenges! We support SayulitAnimals and Pro Sayulita.
What in particular made you decide on this house rather than other listings available at the time?
We liked the location of the property and its view. A combo we could not find in an existing home.
How would you describe the neighborhood your vacation rental is in?
Villa Cherimoya is on the north-end just past the primary school. It’s just far enough away to be a quiet neighborhood, but within walking distance to everyone and everything. Our guests never rent a car and we always walk to the beach or town. Our car stays parked, except for the weekly or monthly run to Vallarta when a Costco or Home Depot run is necessary.
Who is the most interesting guest you have hosted at your home?
Probably that 1st holiday/new year when the entire family arrived to stay in our just completed homes. We learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and the people of Sayulita. We love all our guests. Some when they arrive, others when they depart.
What are your favorite things to recommend your guests do while in Sayulita?
Take the beach chairs, pick up a pizza or coconut shrimp on the corner, grab a bottle of wine, and head to the beach for a sunset dinner. Awesome and something we do quite often.
What do you feel sets your house apart from other vacation rentals in Sayulita?
The casa has a very comfortable feel. We call the architecture “Mexican Contemporary” with a heated pool one step from the living/dining room. It is a standalone-gated casa off the street with garden space around.
What advice do you have for someone searching for a home/land in Sayulita?
Rent for a couple of months or an entire season to learn the town and get a sense of where you would like to live…walk, walk, and walk each neighborhood. Interview at least two real estate agents. Get involved in one of the many volunteer opportunities.