Real Estate Business
Reality TV Star Gretchen Bonaduce is a Business Owner and Real Estate Investor in Bisbee, Arizona
In honor of National Women’s Month, we sat down for an interview with Gretchen Bonaduce, a fast-rising woman investor in the Real Estate Market. Gretchen Bonaduce sold her Los Feliz Estate and invested the money in Real Estate in Bisbee, Arizona. The Bisbee, AZ housing market is competitive. The average Bisbee house price was $300K last month, up 33.3% since last year. Homes are selling in half the time on the market as of last year in less than 48 days. The housing prices in Bisbee are soaring. We spoke to Gretchen and got her personal story on her Real Estate investment.
Is Bisbee, Arizona an excellent place to live?
I love Bisbee because it is very affordable to live in. It’s hard to find homes that come up often, but when they do, you can find a nice home for 300 to 450 thousand. Property taxes are way less than in California. Even the higher-priced homes are of great value compared with other areas in the United States. You can’t beat the location, 88 miles from the Tucson airport and 11 miles from the Mexican border—an hour’s flight to La and Las Vegas. Bisbee is very much an artist community. Tons of great musicians and artists live here. We have had several new restaurants open up in the last year, which is great. My partner and I own Le Cornucopia Cafe, which has been here for 26 years. Forbes magazine voted us the best meatloaf sandwich, and Tripadvisor ranked us in the top 10 percent in the world for lunch.
What is the weather like in Bisbee, Arizona?
The weather is perfect. We are a mile high, so we do get snow. Annual high-temperature 73ºF Annual low-temperature 46ºF Average annual precip 19.05-inch Average annual snowfall 7 inches It seems we are usually 10 degrees cooler than Tucson and 20 degrees than Phoenix. From October to May, I find the temperatures perfect. Not too hot, not too cold.
Why do people go to Bisbee?
Today, Bisbee is a culturally rich community with an active and varied population. Yet, Bisbee retains its welcoming spirit, offering visitors a rich mix of art, music, history, architecture, outdoor activities, dining and nightlife.
Bisbee is one of the richest mineral sites in the world, producing close to three million ounces of gold and more than eight million pounds of copper in its heyday. As a result, the Smithsonian-affiliated Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum has welcomed, educated and entertained more than a half-million visitors over recent decades. Among its exhibits is “Bisbee: Urban Outpost on the Frontier,” an in-depth look at the lives of the miners and settlers of this unique southwest area. And the world-famous Queen Mine Tour offers a fascinating, up-close experience of the underground world of the miners who carved their community and a living out of bedrock.
Yearly events like the Bisbee 1000, Bisbee Pride Festival and the Historic Home Tour draw crowds from around the region and across the globe. Ongoing Bisbee highlights include the monthly Bisbee After Five artwalk and a weekly farmer’s market featuring regional artisanal goodies.
Why did you invest in Bisbee?
I fell in love with a house. Five years ago, I googled Mansions for sale. This gorgeous old home came up in Bisbee, AZ, that would have been millions in LA. It was a great price and a good investment. I was looking for something I could turn into an Airbnb. Each room had its kitchenette, so it lent itself easily to fit into the short-term rental space. I watched the house online for two years as the price kept falling. It fell so low that I knew if I didn’t buy it, some other lucky person was going to. In many ways, the house found me! I was destined to buy it as all the stars aligned so that I could pull it off when I needed to. Since then, I have purchased two more properties. All of them have significantly increased in value in the 2/3 years I have owned them.
Is buying in Bisbee a good investment?
I wouldn’t have bought it here had I not thought so! As I said above, all my properties have come up in value since I bought them. Unfortunately, houses only stay on the market for a short time. You could still find great deals two years ago, but those are few and far between.
What makes your property unique?
I have two very unique homes that I own. Greenway Manor is an old craftsman home built in 1906. It has a significant history with the town and the mine. I have transformed each room for rent with a music legend theme. So I have a Beatles room, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Divas, David Bowie and Rolling Stones rooms.
Hacienda del Avion, my other home, is pretty special as well. It has a hanger attached to the house to taxi your plane off the runway into the home. I wiped out Etsy and eBay of all their vintage airport memorabilia. I bought up as much of the old vintage silverware and glassware from 1st class from airlines that no longer exist, like TWA, America West, Braniff and Pan Am.
Is Housing in Bisbee expensive?
Housing was quite affordable when I moved here three years ago. Prices have risen, but you can still find great value compared to other areas.
Tell us about your experience as a new homeowner and resident in Bisbee.
The Hacienda del Avion is newer construction, but luckily the person who built it thought it out pretty well.
This year, I aim to get more weddings at both locations, as they are perfect for that. My experience has been fantastic. I adore this community and help when I can. I rent some of my homes to locals, as finding monthly rentals is challenging. So I do both Airbnb and long-term rentals for local folks. Greenway Manor has tremendous upkeep that you must constantly stay on top of. Because the craftsmanship at the turn of the century was so extraordinary, I probably have fewer problems with my old mansion than people have with new mansions constructed in the last 50 years. The old girl is holding up well. As my friend puts it: “Greenway Manor has Angelina Jolie bones.” Exquisite.
Tell us about your experience as a business owner in Bisbee.
My experience has been excellent. Considering I bought it six months before covid hit, I was lucky to weather that one, as I am sure many people who got into the business at that time feel the same. My Airbnbs are some of the highest rated in town, making me feel good. I am doing a good job. Our restaurant, as you can see for yourself, is killing it. I am so proud of our staff. They are the reason we are so successful.
Where are your properties listed?
Greenway Manor & Hacienda del avión & Home Hanger for Sale
Links to follow:
Le Cornucopia Cafe Restaurant