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Post by signalfire on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:34 pm

Hi everybody; I want to thank you for this amazing resource for those of us too far away (and poor!) to travel down there and do our beginning research.


I found this property quite a while ago and I'm amazed it's still available, I'm quite in love with it: http://www.ajijic.com/listings/leone/listing.htm

Hopefully the link will work; two questions: Can anyone give me a distinct location for this so I can 'drive' through the neighborhood using Google maps (I'm not ready yet to deal with a RE agent and it'd be wasting their time) and can you comment on the threads from a few years ago discussing armed robberies in this area? I can't seem to find any mention of it since 2011 or so.

Is 'Chapala Haciendas' a gated community like it implies, or simply an area of town?

Thanks so much, and I'll keep reading; so much to consider and research..

signaflire


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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:47 pm

In our drop down menu on the top right hand corner you will find a link for "Local maps". Click on it, click on the Chapala map and you will find Chapala Haciendas in the northern outskirts of Chapala at the top of that map. It was originally intended to be a gated community with actual gates and guards however the project kind of fell apart and it is now wide open with no gates or guards. There were some " crime issues" there a few years back but I haven't heard of anything in the past two years or so.

Perhaps some of our members who live there will comment further.
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Post by signalfire on Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:03 pm

Wow, thanks gentlemen!  (curtsie)

Any clue why this house hasn't sold in over 6 months or is that par for the market down there now?  I have no where near enough experience haunting the real estate ads yet to judge whether it's overpriced.

*Ah: I may have answered my own question thanks to your google map links; the drive-thru is from 2012 but there's a sign at the northern entrance warning people to 'get information about unpaid dues and construction rules' before buying... (!)

So basically it may be a more or less failed subdivision?


Last edited by signalfire on Mon Feb 03, 2014 1:23 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : addendum)

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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:21 pm

Yeah kind of. I know a couple of people who have been trying to sell their homes in CH for several years now, with no luck. They both have places that would sell fairly quickly in a better location considering they are priced very aggressively. However with real estate around here, now a days, it is most certainly location, location, location.
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Post by Twonk on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:12 pm

I must say that house looks lovely.  However, always consider the first rule of real estate, which as you probably know is; Location, Location, Location.  Chapala Haciendas is comprised of 700 lots, and they collect fees from less than 200 of them.  'Nuff said.

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Post by Jim W on Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:06 pm

I purchased my home in Chapala Haciendas in December 2005. We have a 5300 sq ft home on a 900 sq mtr lot. View of the Lake from every room. We love the quiet and the ease of driving into Gdl or a quick 1 mile drive to Soriana. The Haciendas is the oldest development at Lakeside. Some say location is everything, and I agree, that's why we paid $250K for a home that would sell for $400 to $500k near the village.
We have our privacy and it is not an investment. Many board members have been to our home, and hate the drive....5 miles from Walmart.....takes less time to drive than the Chapala -Ajijic trip.  cheers  Just Sayin!
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Post by CheenaGringo on Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:14 pm

Signalfire:

Consider the fact that the Chapala MLS site alone has 513 residences for sale and a sizable number of those have been on the market for years, not months. To call Chapala Haciendas a failed subdivision is a bit harsh IMO. I believe I am correct in saying that Chapala Haciendas was the original major development along the north shore and I would guess that numerous residents can identify some pluses to living there. Please keep in mind that those who yell location, location are really saying "we bought in a location that we liked" and who is to say that location fits your needs. Right off the top of my head, I can think of one major positive for Chapala Haciendas - being located up on the hill assures that you will actually receive an air flow in the form of breezes during the dry/hot season. You won't find that down in the villages.

From the wording of your OP, I am guessing that you haven't spent much or any time in the area? If that is the case, conventional wisdom is to rent in more than one area while you figure out which area fits your needs and if living in Mexico is really for you. YMMV

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Post by signalfire on Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:46 pm

Cheena,

No, I haven't been down there at all yet; just investigating my options. I haven't got the money to do a lot of traveling but do have time to virtually drive around and read a lot; it's not the same as being there, but still gives one a wealth of information.

I didn't mean to call CH a 'failed subdivision' as a slap against the people there, but after a 'drive' around the area, there's a lot of unsold lots, houses for sale as of Dec. 2012, and it's pretty messy in spots. I wonder what the 'unpaid fees' are, and whether those 'fees' are divvied up amongst way too small a resident base. As far as the drive into town, that's nothing. I'm 20 miles over mountains from any shopping here in Oregon...

Thanks for all the responses, everyone. The map link was especially helpful. Found the exact house after some looking! :)

I wonder if anyone would care to answer me this; I'm a bit dismayed by the amount of barbed wire and bars on windows and doors I see everywhere in Mexico. Any ummm, explanations? It's a bit unnerving.

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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:07 pm

Welcome to latin America and many parts of Europe and Asia. Gated walls and high security are part of any country where you have very poor, middle class and very rich intermingled. No explanation is really necessary.


Last edited by CanuckBob on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:08 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:07 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:Signalfire:

Consider the fact that the Chapala MLS site alone has 513 residences for sale and a sizable number of those have been on the market for years, not months.  To call Chapala Haciendas a failed subdivision is a bit harsh IMO.  I believe I am correct in saying that Chapala Haciendas was the original major development along the north shore and I would guess that numerous residents can identify some pluses to living there.  Please keep in mind that those who yell location, location are really saying "we bought in a location that we liked" and who is to say that location fits your needs.  Right off the top of my head, I can think of one major positive for Chapala Haciendas - being located up on the hill assures that you will actually receive an air flow in the form of breezes during the dry/hot season.  You won't find that down in the villages.

From the wording of your OP, I am guessing that you haven't spent much or any time in the area?  If that is the case, conventional wisdom is to rent in more than one area while you figure out which area fits your needs and if living in Mexico is really for you. YMMV

You ever been in politics CG???
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Post by brigitte on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:16 pm

Oregon is not Mexico and people here like to ne close to shopping. I lived way away from any shops r civiliation in California and I sure would not do that in Mexico.

I wanted to be in town and be able to walk on flat land but if I wanted to live in the country and still be close to shopping that would be a good choice. I like the rural feel there and the views.

Crime has happened to just about evey neighborhood so I would not think that that meighborhood is worst than others but it is more isolated so you have to be more aware and know your neighbors.

You really have to be here to shop for a house as areas are important and when you see the areas they become more important. Just do not shop for a house without knowing the neighborhoods or you may be falling in love with a house that is in the wrong location. I am not taling about this particular house but why set yourself up for a disappointment.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:42 pm

Just the corporate type of politics and I didn't do well playing that game. HA! HA!

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Post by brigitte on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:06 pm

If you move to Mexico you have to understand that bars and high walls are part of the culture, barbed and electric wires, alarm systems show you there are people who love to take things from other peopel. Better get used to it if you move down here as they are everywhere.

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Post by David on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:19 pm

The most paranoid I ever saw were in China with barred windows on 3rd and 4th floor apartment windows!
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Post by Jim W on Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:50 pm

brigitte wrote:If you move to Mexico you have to understand that bars and high walls are part of the culture, barbed and electric wires, alarm systems show you there are people who love to take things from other peopel. Better get used to it if you move down here as they are everywhere.


Brigitte, We have 8' walls, but the fiesta room is wide open down to the pool, the pool table is there for the taking, LCD on the wall 42 inch.  Never in 8 years have we been victim of crime.    Live in and love the Haciendas!   Rural setting, 2 minutes to Soriana!   I am shocked that people moving here actually seek approval for their home buying decisions on web boards!   My biggest issue was quality construction!   Followed by what I wanted, view, security, access to shopping & golf.  We got it all in the Haciendas. They have installed cameras on all streets and entrances, however a non issue for us!
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Post by brigitte on Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:13 pm

I was not referring to any neighborhood in particular, bars and high walls are part of this culture and there is nothing wrong with them. I actually like them and feel totally at home with them. The other measures of security are a matter of choice, After a while you live here you do not even notice them, or at least I do not.

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Post by barbicheesecake on Tue Feb 04, 2014 10:56 am

Hi there. We have lived in CH 2 for four years now and have never experienced crime to our home. However, to get into our home you must walk up the 18 plus steps to get to the front door. I do know that some homes on the street level have been broken into. Just be aware of your surroundings, keep windows and doors locked when leaving, etc. We have done pet sitting at the house you are considering and I always felt safe there. You may want to consider renting before you purchase a house.
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Post by signalfire on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:16 am

Oh, I would absolutely rent before buying! Since I long ago mastered the process of 'buy high, sell low' in real estate, I've learned to be more careful :)

And you never really know a neighborhood until you live there a year or two. I had been considering buying into a mobile home park that my aunt is in, down in San Marcos CA, (low HOA fees and not bad housing costs) but then I thought, since Mexico has the same weather and half the housing costs, perhaps I should explore down there. Found that yellow house in CH and thought, 'wait a minute, I could get far more for my money down there...'; so there I am. It's nice to make friends in advance, though :)

Thanks for all the responses, everyone!

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Post by signalfire on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:19 am

Jim, what's the story there with the fees, etc?  There's a sign out front (in the 2012 google view) warning people not to buy without finding out about fees and building restrictions.  Do you have a high HOA fee and is there CCRs, etc?   And I appreciate your POV that I shouldn't be asking on a message board about places to live; at this point it's simply research and not a small amount of wish-listing.  It'll be a year or so before I can even get down there to look around and perhaps rent.  My biggest want is near-perfect weather, daily sunshine, a low cost of living because that's what I'll have at least initially to work with, high speed internet (necessary for radio work I do) although satellite will work in a pinch, and a general feeling of safety.  At this point, I'm a single woman although I may work out a joint venture with a friend.  I'm honestly not sure how much I'd get involved in the local culture being an introvert. I imagine it would evolve over time.  Oh, and writer's and artist's groups would be wonderful because I dabble in both.  Oh, and a swimming pool available.  After 50+ years in upstate NY, swimming everyday would be heaven. :)

Thanks again, everyone!

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Post by gringal on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:57 am

There are several areas where you can find a house in that price range. The problem you might encounter at CV is that there could be accumulated fees against the house.
If the real estate agent is halfway honest, he/she will let you in on that information.

This area has both a writers' conference and an active Art Association, so getting acquainted should be painless. When you arrive, WELCOME.

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Post by papa chango on Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:28 pm

Here are some other things to consider when contemplating a move to lakeside. 

Do you want to live in a gated community with a lot of gringos or with Mexicans as neighbors?

Do you plan to bring your car down here or do you want to walk or use the bus? If you walk you get better exercise. I live not far from the plaza in Ajijic and I like it that way. I would think that you would need a car if you live in Chapala Haciendas. 

If you rent first and develop contacts you can then probably hear about good housing deals in an area where you would like to live.

San Juan Cosala has hot springs and heated swimming pools. Having your own swimming pool will cost you to heat it and to run the pumps.

Telecable has up to 15 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up but it is not available in all areas. Telmex DSL tops out at around 10 Mbps, I think.

Good luck.

 Surte
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Post by gringal on Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:18 pm

Good points, Papa Chango.
Since budget considerations sound important to her, here's a few things that should be taken into consideration besides the the cost of the property itself:

- If you live within walking distance of almost everything you need, you are spared the cost of maintaining a car.  That can be very substantial.  For the occasions when you need transportation, there are a number of people whose family business is providing it at a reasonable price.

- If you don't choose a place with homeowners' fees, you save that expense.

- Some stores here still deliver groceries to your door, so you don't have to do the heavy lifting yourself.  Again, it's more workable if you live close in.

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Post by Jim W on Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:06 pm

signalfire wrote:Jim, what's the story there with the fees, etc?  There's a sign out front (in the 2012 google view) warning people not to buy without finding out about fees and building restrictions.  Do you have a high HOA fee and is there CCRs, etc?   And I appreciate your POV that I shouldn't be asking on a message board about places to live; at this point it's simply research and not a small amount of wish-listing.  It'll be a year or so before I can even get down there to look around and perhaps rent.  My biggest want is near-perfect weather, daily sunshine, a low cost of living because that's what I'll have at least initially to work with, high speed internet (necessary for radio work I do) although satellite will work in a pinch, and a general feeling of safety.  At this point, I'm a single woman although I may work out a joint venture with a friend.  I'm honestly not sure how much I'd get involved in the local culture being an introvert. I imagine it would evolve over time.  Oh, and writer's and artist's groups would be wonderful because I dabble in both.  Oh, and a swimming pool available.  After 50+ years in upstate NY, swimming everyday would be heaven. :)
 
Thanks again, everyone!


The reason for the sign, I think is to make people aware, that when they buy, they will be responsible for outstanding Frac fees on the property.   I think the majority of the lots are owned by Mexican investors.   The frac has been unable to collect dues from them for decades.   Buying property can be a risky deal thru private parties.   The other warning regarding building warns/invites people to submit their plans for review prior to construction.   For example, construction height may not exceed 7 & 1/3 meters.    Building codes are a problem, not just in the Haciendas, but all over Lakeside.   A new neighbor of ours back in 2008 purchased a home, moved in, after a month raw sewage began to surface in their back yard.....you guessed it.......contractor didn't install a septic tank.    Smokealot Last time I checked HOA fees were approx., $55.00 USD per month depending on lot size. This fee includes water, garbage, street lights, road maintenance.
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Post by Luisa on Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:17 pm

I have been in Casa Leone many times and have known the owner since before she bought the lot. The owner is diligent about upkeep and care and she put in good quality finishings. The house has had gentle care with one owner/resident.

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