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Deciding on moving to Lakeside

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:54 pm

Both Sayulita and Mazatlan are great places but unbearably hot and humid for 6 months of the year. Unless you can afford the $300 - $400 per month for air conditioning you should really try living there for a few months in the summer to see if you can handle it.


The bottom line though is that only you can decide what your comfort level is and what you can survive on down here. Your best bet is to take a few exploratory trips to see what it takes.

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Post by pamarie on Thu Jun 12, 2014 4:57 pm

CanuckBob, my level of comfortable is really living within my means of basic needs. I don't want to stay in the US because I would have to work until I die never being able to retire! I don't want for much really, I would need a car to get around and a maid once a week and gardner because I have bad arthritis in my knees. Actually I'm hoping to get knee replacements eventually maybe cheaper to do in Mexico than here. I don't like extreme heat/cold and snow like in NV, FL, AZ or TX and I would not want to live where there is state income taxes so Oregon is out of the question which is where I am living currently. I also want to be close to the US because I have grown children here and a grandchild I want to visit in CA. So that is my draw to MX as well. I've thought about getting a manufactiured home in WA and just be a snowbird going to MX for 6 mos out of the year but it wouldn't be affordable because one has to pay high property rental for the manufactured home to be on. Maybe AZ could work but its still very expensive to rent the spaces for manufactured homes there.

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Post by pamarie on Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:07 pm

As you can tell I'm trying to figure it all out ahead of time and yes, I fully intend to come to Lakeside to visit first, but I am excited to do as much research ahead of time to make something happen in early 2016, thats only 1.5 years away! Coming up fast now! I really feel that I could live on my income there based on things Pat has said in her blog and I met her when she came to Oregon last year. It's not affordable to live in Ajijic with the kind of housing I would like, but I feel sure there would be something along Lakeside where I would fit and be happy.

As for the getting the visa to stay put there, I thought it was easing up for those that buy homes there, but if that is not the case perhaps buying isn't so smart. Nonetheless, I would never buy before I'm sure I'd want to own and stay put there, because homes don't sell so fast it seems. I've been monitoring the mls listings and many houses aren't moving at all some have been listed for a year already. That tells me loud and clear that if you buy it's more for investment purposes because selling is so slow!

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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:35 pm

Buying is good if you plan on staying a long time. It can also act as a hedge against inflation. Prices are very low here now and won't likely increase anytime in the near future. Either way you should most definitely rent for at least a year before buying anything. Check out both Lake Chapala and the coast at different times of the year. Mexico works great for a lot of people but not everyone.

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Post by pamarie on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:49 pm

I think the beach area sounds lovely but if it's hot & humid like Florida I would be miserable! This is the biggest attraction to Lakeside for me, great weather only a couple of months of rain and slightly higher temps, close to major city, airport and the ocean. I see many listings for cheap rentals and feel I could live very nicely there either renting or buying if I can land a move in ready property for under 70K. Considering I want to come in 1.5 years when would you advise is the best time to land a good rental and best time to come there, peak time or when it's low season? My plan for retiring is between Feb/March of 2016. Sounds like it would it be best to stay in a place shorter term Feb-May and then look for something longer term from mid summer on. I have so many concerns with relocating there so definitely coming for a stay would be the best thing to do. I'm a bit nervous cause I don't speak a lick of Spanish and being alone on such a mission is really risky.

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Post by espíritu del lago on Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:53 pm

I wonder how well a Mexican family could live on 1200.. A month?
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Post by Chapalagringa on Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:19 pm

espíritu del lago wrote:I wonder how well a Mexican family could live on 1200.. A month?

or less
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Post by CanuckBob on Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:58 pm

pamarie wrote:I think the beach area sounds lovely but if it's hot & humid like Florida I would be miserable! This is the biggest attraction to Lakeside for me, great weather only a couple of months of rain and slightly higher temps, close to major city, airport and the ocean.  I see many listings for cheap rentals and feel I could live very nicely there either renting or buying if I can land a move in ready property for under 70K.  Considering I want to come in 1.5 years when would you advise is the best time to land a good rental and best time to come there, peak time or when it's low season?  My plan for retiring is between Feb/March of 2016.  Sounds like it would it be best to stay in a place shorter term Feb-May and then look for something longer term from mid summer on.   I have so many concerns with relocating there so definitely coming for a stay would be the best thing to do. I'm a bit nervous cause I don't speak a lick of Spanish and being alone on such a mission is really risky.  

Yes, best to get a short term rental when you first arrive and then find a long term rental during the slow season (April to September) after you have had a chance to scope things out. Many of the expats here don't speak a lick of Spanish and they get along just fine. A lot of the local Mexican populace speak English. You won't be alone for long. You will have many friends shortly after arriving.
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Post by solajijic on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:05 am

Yesterday I read, I think on Mexconnect, an ad for a house mate in central Ajijic, $500 a month included everything you could need.  That type of situation would be perfect for someone on such a limited budget.  I too read Pat's blog and frankly am awed by her ability to manage.

Being from the midwest we have never seen the budgetary savings here that others talk about endlessly.  This is a lateral move for us and our daily expenses are very similar to what they would be if we had stayed in the US.  Of course no mortgage and lack of high property taxes makes a difference but the mortgage would be gone by now anyway.  The inflation CanuckBob mentions is very real and I noticed it finally this past winter.

Please do not spend your hunk of money and leave yourself and your family bare of resources for your emergencies.  Over the years we have befriended many people on a limited budget who eventually needed help from their friends and the community.  Poor is poor no matter where you are and there is no government help here only the compassion of others.

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Post by sparks on Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:25 am

pamarie wrote:
I wouold live on $1200 if I bought a house for under 70-80K.  If I don't buy I'll have about 1600 month to live on to rent instead. I'll be 63 when I plan to retire there.    

Owning a house gives you security if you pick the right one in the right place ..... but upkeep can be significant. Rent for a year or more
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Post by JayBear on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:40 am

I absolutely agree you should rent not buy. You will need to save all your cash for medical expenses and health insurance. Looking into a casita (a bedroom, bath and tiny cooking area in a small house on the lot with a larger house) would be a possibility if you are a congenial renter, as some people have casitas here that are not occupied. Also sharing a house is a possibility, but that requires you to meet congenial people to do this with. You have not mentioned travel costs--going back to the US once a year can be costly, even if you are only going to Texas or California. It is much more fun here than you are likely to have in a subsidized housing place in the US, BUT there you have more safety nets.

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Post by Tony_In_Mexico on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:49 am

I only read the first few replies to this thread, so excuse me if someone else has responded in like manner. However, CanuckBob, despite being a great guy and well informed, is very off in this case. I've been living here for 2 years. On $900 a month. I rent a spacious 2 bedroom, 3 bath home with a large kitchen, living room, office, courtyard and patio, all for about $300 a month in Chapala in the El Centro area. The area is very safe. The people are friendly and look out for each other. It's, as you might imagine from the name, centrally located and within easy reach of all your shopping needs. Perfect place to get a feel for our community and look around for a permanent place, if that's your goal. I also know places around town here that are even cheaper than what I pay. Easy enough to find places around here that rent month to month if you want to try different areas. Worry about buying later. Get a feel for the place.

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Post by CanuckBob on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:03 pm

You should read a few more of the replies to see if you are comparing apples to apples. The original OP had a long list of requirements to cover with her $1200 per month. Rent was a small factor. Do you also have a maid, gardener, vehicle, pets and medical insurance payments that you are covering for that $900 per month? If so that is quite impressive.
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Post by Mainecoons on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Chapala would definitely be my choice if you want very reasonable rent and walk to all shopping.  Be aware that it isn't the quietest place around, particularly as you get closer to the waterfront, but it is a real town that one could live in without a car.  We went for a more spacious and green location but I think if I were on my own, I'd probably go for Chapala.

Even if you decided to buy, your money would go a lot further there. But if you do decide to buy I'd also check out Riberas. Well located and very reasonable in price.

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Post by Zedinmexico on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:26 pm

Beware of living somewhere for the cheap cost if you spend all your time travelling every day to go to Ajijic. Cars/taxi/bus costs money and may erase much of the savings.  Ajijic is expensive and Chapala is a nice bargain. I think San Antonio is a good compromise if you need to save more money than Ajijic allows. Also
after you are here for a couple of years you have more knowledge and friends and one does find better places for lower cost even in high cost Ajijic.  Good bargains in west Ajijic exist but you will have to learn to live in a Mexican neighborhood which is a good thing in my opinion but I can take the noise.

I also agree with everything Mainecoon says. Riberas is a bargain! (but not for me, but others love it) Chapala is walking paradise compared to Ajijic.

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Post by solajijic on Fri Jun 13, 2014 12:50 pm

Deciding on moving to Lakeside - Page 2 Zk5u35




http://mexicodailyliving.blogspot.mx/search?updated-min=2014-01-01T00:00:00-06:00&updated-max=2015-01-01T00:00:00-06:00&max-results=50

This is the blog the original poster mentioned as her guide to what she could and could not probably experience here.  It is extremely barebones living and requires a tough constitution and an perpetually cheerful nature and a LOT of faith.  There is much to admire in the blogger and the original poster who imagines she can live here similarly.  

Several women and some couples we know live this austerely.  They have learned to ask for assistance when they really need it and they first had to set aside their pride which was difficult but they did it.  When they are honest about their lifestyle they admit as whole it is good enough but filled with anxiety and some fear.  Would this be better here or up north, I do not know. It is admirable to live this way but then there isn't much choice and I am always thinking, 'there but for the grace of..'.

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Post by pamarie on Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:50 pm

To solajijic, I have a great sense of humility I've struggled financially for years here in Oregon living on less than 1200 a month at times, which was nearly impossible to do, but I did it. I have great Faith, patience and adaptability, I'm very much a people person very outgoing and friendly while being respectful and polite. I was raised that way to be thoughtful of others unlike society today in the states which in my opinion has become a me-me sociiety at best! I am excited to live in a community of retired expats and would love to emmerse myself in a community amongst the natives because I want to learn Spanish out of respect and what an opportunity it would be. I connected with Pat's ethics and struggles as well. She's a wonderful soul, and extremely helpful! Her blog is awesome and she's a great writer about the area and her experiences of it. I appreciate these blogs they are extremely helpful. I think all of us would hope for a carefree retirement opportunity and those that had the where with all to invest right and save the way you should are very blessed, but sometimes life just throws some curb balls that are stumbling blocks and ruin those plans. Then you have to plan a different goal which is my case. Pat has encouraged me countless times to come there and give it a whirl, she's very uplifting and positive about it. A very impressive person! Can't say enough good about her.

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Post by pamarie on Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:07 pm

By the way, $1200 a month was to live on if I bought a house, meaning there would be no mortgage only the upkeep of the house. I just want to share with you all this has been a great help to me and I know that the best thing to do is to move there on the basis of renting if that is the place I decide to stay put after at least a year. I look forward to experiencing Lakeside for a visit ahead of time so when the time comes I'll be on this blog to see if any of you are available to meetup for coffee or a drink during my stay. You all have been so kind in sharing your good advice, opinions and experiences with me. I see now you all are reinforcing Pat's recommendation to rent for awhile before deciding to buy anything. I will have more funds available to live on until I decide if it's a place to stay put or not. But based on all that I've read about cost of living there I really believe I can do it. The lifestyle there would be so much better than in the States, and I would opt not to have medicare. No point in it! Also I don't believe there are many safety nets in the US for the elderly, many doctors won't take medicare patients these days and with the baby boomers coming up it is only going to get worse! Also the idea of living in a trailer park just makes me sick to think about compared to the lovely casitas I see on line priced affordably. Some casitas include electricity, gas, water, internet and gardners. The thing is the lifestyle there is way better than here, and medical care is way cheaper than here and better all the way around from everything I've read! So in my opinion at this point in the game, it's a false sense of security here in the US now specially with Obama care in place. It's really tough to afford health care here now.

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Post by Fastfox on Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:12 pm

pamarie wrote:As you can tell I'm trying to figure it all out ahead of time and yes, I fully intend to come to Lakeside to visit first, but I am excited to do as much research ahead of time to make something happen in early 2016, thats only 1.5 years away!  Coming up fast now!  I really feel that I could live on my income there based on things Pat has said in her blog and I met her when she came to Oregon last year.  It's not affordable to live in Ajijic with the kind of housing I would like, but I feel sure there would be something along Lakeside where I would fit and be happy.  

As for the getting the visa to stay put there, I thought it was easing up for those that buy homes there, but if that is not the case perhaps buying isn't so smart.  Nonetheless, I would never buy before I'm sure I'd want to own and stay put there, because homes don't sell so fast it seems.  I've been monitoring the mls listings and many houses aren't moving at all some have been listed for a year already. That tells me loud and clear that if you buy it's more for investment purposes because selling is so slow!

As a former real estate agent, I just want to share a brief opinion I have about buying. I hope you won't mind as we also live frugally. For years, I believe home ownership was an "investment". It is not. It is only an investment if you rent it out and actually turn a profit on it. Living in a home as an owner is a luxury and an ongoing expense. If you buy it with the hope that it will appreciate, that is simply speculating/gambling. If you want to save money, it is always cheaper to rent.
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Post by oncesubtle on Fri Jun 13, 2014 2:46 pm

Hey pamarie, if you can't find anything better you might want to start your search from our apartments in Chapala centro. $550 a month includes maid, gardener, internet, bottled water, etc., basically everything you will need. Our apts. are 2 bd. 1 ba. and large, from 1,500 to 1,900 sq. ft.. Here's a link some pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7341028@N04/ If you have an interest or questions please send a private message.

Good luck on your search, we've all done it and are happy to help you.

Bob and Candace
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Post by pamarie on Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:05 pm

Thank you Fastfox for the valueable feedback specially since you were a former real estate agent. How long were you an agent in Lakeside and why did you stop being one, was it because it wasn't lucrative for you? I think buying a house would only give me a sense of security in that it's mine, a stable foundation to know I always have a place to live, but the cost of ownership comes with a price of upkeep and maintenance, taxes and not being able to be a permanent resident because of MX new rules and laws is a huge deterrent for me, as it makes no sense to buy property there under those circumstances. So renting is really the only thing that makes any sense at least for awhile. If the laws were to change to a lower income for a foreigner to have permanent residency than I would definitely reconsider this option if I would have the funds to buy at that point in time. With the baby boomers expected to move to the area I doubt the laws will change though.

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Post by hockables on Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:19 pm



Every year people get online and start bitching about crime, drug violence, market volatility here and NOB, etc... etc...

Mexico ( Lakeside ) is great.... not necessarily for everyone.

Definitely RENT first  Beer 

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Post by Luisa on Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:36 pm

Please do not drop your Medicare until you have a satisfactory alternative. I believe that you need to become a permanent resident to qualify for IMSS here. That will require (I believe) monthly deposits of $2,300 UDS or $120,000 USD in an account. The alternative would be Seguro Popular. With either IMSS or Seguro Popular you should plan to have a friend sleep under your bed to provide food, hygiene, sheets and pillows, and many nursing services. If you want to consider private health insurance I think you should expect to pay between $300 and $500 USD a month for a policy with a $5,000 USD deductible. Maybe there are better deals for private insurance, depending on your age and current health condition.

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Post by LaChula on Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:29 pm

Luisa wrote:Please do not drop your Medicare until you have a satisfactory alternative.  I believe that you need to become a permanent resident to qualify for IMSS here.  That will require (I believe) monthly deposits of $2,300 UDS or $120,000 USD in an account.  The alternative would be Seguro Popular.  With either IMSS or Seguro Popular you should plan to have a friend sleep under your bed to provide food, hygiene, sheets and pillows, and many nursing services.  If you want to consider private health insurance I think you should expect to pay between $300 and $500 USD a month for a policy with a $5,000 USD deductible. Maybe there are better deals for private insurance, depending on your age and current health condition.
I totally agree with Luisa.  The Mexican health plans that are very low cost are also very, very basic.  
 Many people here in good health have been in accidents which require hospitalization, and the care and follow-up can be very costly.
 I am in excellent health, have been here for almost 19 years and plan to be here "forever"  but I maintain my Medicare with all the parts, as well as having a private comprehensive Medical Insurance plan which I have had for several years.  The last thing I would want is for my friends here to have to hold fund raisers for me to help with expenses.
  

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Post by Zedinmexico on Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:53 am

oncesubtle wrote:Hey pamarie, if you can't find anything better you might want to start your search from our apartments in Chapala centro. $550 a month includes maid, gardener, internet, bottled water, etc., basically everything you will need. Our apts. are 2 bd. 1 ba. and large, from 1,500 to 1,900 sq. ft.. Here's a link some pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/7341028@N04/  If you have an interest or questions please send a private message.

Good luck on your search, we've all done it and are happy to help you.

Bob and Candace

These are good people with a good product.

Z

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Post by Tony_In_Mexico on Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:19 pm

CanuckBob wrote:You should read a few more of the replies to see if you are comparing apples to apples. The original OP had a long list of requirements to cover with her $1200 per month. Rent was a small factor. Do you also have a maid, gardener, vehicle, pets and medical insurance payments that you are covering for that $900 per month? If so that is quite impressive.

I didn't read more replies, but I did read the original post. I pay for a maid (twice a week), gas, internet, phone. I have Seguro Popular. That left gardener, pets, and car. I figured her extra $300 a month should easily cover that, especially as there are many places down here which include gas, internet, phone, and often more, as part of the rent, and that rent can be even less than what I pay, as I have a larger place. Don't get me wrong, I live simply. I don't eat out, I don't go to movies or other entertainment. On the rare occasions when I need to get somewhere like Ajijic, which I try to avoid, I'll get a ride with a friend or take the bus. A treat for me is an iced coffee downtown, which I can usually manage once or twice a week, and a burger at the Legion on Sunday. It's not ideal by any means, but it can be done. The last couple of years I was in the states, I was living in my car. When I finally managed to get my disability, it wasn't even enough to move out of my car. So I consider every day in Mexico, in my beautiful home, to be a blessing.

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