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Retiring to Ajijic - could use some (lots of) advice....

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Post by CanuckBob on Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:49 pm

Yeah, anything over 300K is moving slower. I imagine as the lower priced stuff sells out then the next rung on the ladder will pick up. I was talking with Laura Duran this morning. She is a new Mexican RE agent, and she said she has sold 10 places in the past 11 months. All were to Tapatio's and all were under 300K.

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Post by toedippers on Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:23 pm


Again, my wife and I our very appreciative of the advice give from all POV's... please be assured we're carefully considering all that we read.

It's late, it been another bad day in the stock market (renting may become the only option at this rate ;-) so an easy question for tonight

How's the lake? has the water level got to where it should for this time of year? have things been getting better as far as lake management, pollution, are the plants that have in the past covered large swaths of the lake in check? ...and the wife wants to know if the lake ever smells and impacts those living close to the water?

thanks

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Post by PoCo2012 on Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:51 am

Hello toedippers;
Perhaps a bit of a different perspective; we came down here in 2008 for one week on our Honeymoon, stayed at Los Dos in Jocotepec. After looking at many properties Lakeside, we bought a beautiful place, right on the lake, on the southside and love it. We do need a car and have different expectations for fancy services, restaurants, etc. and our cost of living is lower than Lakeside. It takes less time for us to go into Guadalajara on Lopez Mateos (Costco, Mega, etc.) than to go into Ajijic.
The lake is lovely at this time of year. We have not seen any of the lirio over here than on the north shore. The level is better now than the past few years. The lake never smells bad, even when it went out quite a ways two years ago (I was out there picking up garbage on the dry bottom. Our lake bottom is a much shallower/gradual slope than the north side.)
Best advice, come down, rent around and see where you are most content. We feel spectacularly lucky to be where we are with the best of both worlds; close when we want to be and far enough away to enjoy peace and quiet.
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Post by Explorador on Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:38 am

After ten years living at Lakeside, we moved to the US Southwest. When telling our story to new acquaintances, we say Mexico was "great, until it wasn't". The 18 decapitated locals of 2012 really shook me. I never really recovered. This was on top of our house being burglarized, knowing three people who were murdered, honest businessmen being kidnapped and threatened, carjackings, etc. etc.

The point is simply that you may possibly tire of it too. If you do, owning a house is a real drag. It's hard to hold out for a good price when you can't wait to get out the hell of there.

Rent! So you can cut your loses quickly when the shit hits the fan.

[Yes. I'm venting a bit. Yesterday, I found myself telling this story once again. I hate it. I loved our little world there. But for me, it's gone.]

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Post by gringal on Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:00 am

The events of 2012 shook me, too, but as a survivor of the Los Angeles riot era and a few other very negative experiences NOB including being burglarized in a quiet upscale country part of CA, having a few murders in the area and so on, I'm in Mexico for the long haul.  Never been robbed or even asked to pay a bribe and thoroughly enjoy everything except the damned potholes and clobberstones to walk on.  However, I don't look for trouble by flashing fancy jewelry or an expensive car or go walking alone after dark, etc., but I didn't do that NOB either. This is my eleventh happy year in Mexico. I lived in San Miguel de Allende for three years and moved here in 2008. More trees, milder winters and all around more comfortable.
The lake is looking full and healthy after all the recent rains. There's a park next to the lake with a fine walkway for enjoying the scene.

Commenting on Explorador's experience:  what happens to us and around us affects different people in different ways.  It will be the same for you and all other potential expats.  Hope all goes well, and welcome.

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Post by Lady Otter Latté on Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:39 am

I too was shook to the core by what happened in 2012. I lived in San Antonio Tlaycapan then. It was painful to walk through the village. Sorrow was palpable and it was everywhere. I realized we were in a communal depression.
Then, slowly, bit by bit, life began to return. My first evening walk to the malecon ended abruptly when I saw there was not another person there. I was not afraid. I was just too sad. There were always children, couples, families, friends, walking, talking, playing. The silence magnified my own sadness. I went back on other days and one day there was a teenage boy sitting on a bench reading. He looked up and our eyes met. We nodded to each other and smiled.
Each time I went there was someone else, sometimes several people and it began to feel better. I began to feel better. Then one evening there they were: a group of teenagers playing soccer in the tall grass. They were shouting and laughing, teasing, having fun. I stood watching and then snapped a photo. Someone noticed and told the others. They grouped together, waving and encouraging me to take more pictures. They were happy and shared their joy.
As I continued my walk I noticed how many more people there were this evening. Something had shifted. Life had asserted itself. I also knew that this was my community. Something horrible had happened. We had walked through it together and come out on the other side, together.
I understand why some people left at that time. It really was awful. But, I am glad I did not. It is when I knew that this truly was my home.
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Post by CanuckBob on Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:15 pm

I didn't leave Vancouver when Clifford Olsen (serial killer) killed countless young people back in the 80's or when Willy Pickton (serial killer) killed countless woman in the 90's, nor would I leave here. Shit can happen anywhere. Hopefully that level of atrocity doesn't happen here again anytime soon.
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Post by viajero on Tue Sep 29, 2015 12:32 pm

It was very very sad,but growing up in LA when they were averaging about 30 homicides EVERY weekend gives me a different perspective.
I'm not leaving.

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Post by Lady Otter Latté on Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:06 pm

Although I lived in areas in the US with regular murders, gang violence, the occasional home invasion, and murder/suicides involving entire families, nothing prepared me for the May massacre. Still, when I thought about what it meant to me, I knew it did not mean I no longer wanted to be here. Had that level of horror and violence continued I may have changed my mind, but it didn't so I can not say.
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Post by Cincy on Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:28 pm

As part of our retirement strategy, my wife and I made our first reconnaissance visit to Ajijic over a year ago. Since then we've had two additional visits, each visit being a week long. We've been looking at buying a house somewhere lakeside and have viewed a couple of dozen houses.

My wife watches the the chapala MLS on a daily basis for any houses for sale being added or reduced in price. It turns out that some of the houses we saw for sale over a year ago are still for sale! Some have been reduced in price and are still for sale..!!!

I'm beginning to think the Lakeside housing market is currently overpriced in the mid to upper price brackets. People may have bought at the height of the housing boom years ago and are looking to get their money back but things have not caught up to those high prices - yet!

Renting at Lakeside for now seems the logical course for us, even though we have always owned.

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Post by gringal on Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:16 pm

Cincy wrote:As part of our retirement strategy, my wife and I made our first reconnaissance visit to Ajijic over a year ago.  Since then we've had two additional visits, each visit being a week long.  We've been looking at buying a house somewhere lakeside and have viewed a couple of dozen houses.

My wife watches the the chapala MLS on a daily basis for any houses for sale being added or reduced in price.  It turns out that some of the houses we saw for sale over a year ago are still for sale!  Some have been reduced in price and are still for sale..!!!

I'm beginning to think the Lakeside housing market is currently overpriced in the mid to upper price brackets.  People may have bought at the height of the housing boom years ago and are looking to get their money back but things have not caught up to those high prices - yet!

Renting at Lakeside for now seems the logical course for us, even though we have always owned.

Renting is your best option in the beginning, although for those, like me, who are "nesters", it will feel a bit strange.
I suggest that you repeat to one another when the nesting urge hits too soon: "What if we had to go north next week for a long term family emergency?"  Or substitute another reason.....they're all good.

You're learning a lot just by keeping up with the MLS and noticing how long some places stay on the market.  However, those pictures can be misleading.  It could be the nicest house in a dubious neighborhood, or have a kennel next door.  Or even a night club playing techno rock.  Then, there's the guy raising fighting cocks, or the metal worker.........no real zoning exists here.  "Suggested" is about as far as it goes.
All this has happened to folks.  When you do find something you think is "it", talk to the neighbors.  Everyone here loves to gossip. Drive by in the middle of a working day, and in the evening hours when you want peace.
lol!

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Post by juanrey on Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:27 pm

Cincy wrote:As part of our retirement strategy, my wife and I made our first reconnaissance visit to Ajijic over a year ago.  Since then we've had two additional visits, each visit being a week long.  We've been looking at buying a house somewhere lakeside and have viewed a couple of dozen houses.

My wife watches the the chapala MLS on a daily basis for any houses for sale being added or reduced in price.  It turns out that some of the houses we saw for sale over a year ago are still for sale!  Some have been reduced in price and are still for sale..!!!

I'm beginning to think the Lakeside housing market is currently overpriced in the mid to upper price brackets.  People may have bought at the height of the housing boom years ago and are looking to get their money back but things have not caught up to those high prices - yet!

Renting at Lakeside for now seems the logical course for us, even though we have always owned.

A blanket statement that mid-to-upper price brackets are overpriced is a little too overstated. There are still good values on the market, and based on sales lately product less than 300K usd is moving. But, there is a lot of product on the market that has been on for a long time and is way over priced.

Like anything, you just got to be looking all the time, and it's a good idea to be here full time when looking.

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Post by Gamina on Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:52 pm

Cincy wrote:

Renting at Lakeside for now seems the logical course for us, even though we have always owned.

I always owned too, so it has been difficult to keep renting for the 10 years I have lived at Lakeside. But if I keep my "house" money in investments I can earn enough each month to pay my rent. And I still have a nice nest egg in case of any emergency. With a house, you have no liquidity, especially here where real estate can stay on the market for 5 years. People who bought during the boom years would like to break even and so don't want to sell their houses for less than boom prices. Some Mexicans will hold out for their ridiculous price for years because they really don't care if they sell or not.

Just remember that just because you've always owned doesn't mean you have to own here. Even if you buy a great house, with no building codes, a restaurant down the street could turn into a loud music venue overnight. How would you sell your house then?
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Post by Ricardo on Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:13 pm

viajero wrote:It was very very sad,but growing up in LA when they were averaging about 30 homicides EVERY weekend gives me a different perspective.
I'm not leaving.

What era was that? An average of 30 homicides EVERY weekend would mean 1,650 murders per year if there were none at all on weekdays. According to Wikipedia and the FBI LA's annual murder total was highest in 1980 when there were 1,011 murders, and that was the only year since that the total was over 1,000.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_Los_Angeles#The_crack_epidemic_.281984.E2.80.931990.29

http://www.disastercenter.com/californ/crime/976.htm

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Post by viajero on Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:28 pm

There were 2589 homicides in LA County in 1992 according to the LA Times and the county coroner.
Google,(homicide rates set record Los Angeles County in 1992).


Last edited by viajero on Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:41 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Post by Jim W on Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:32 pm

Zedinmexico wrote:
Jim W wrote:I would never buy a home at lakeside.   The gringo clicks seem to drive the market at lakeside!   Make your own decision!   My advise is don't buy.  We lived @ Lakeside for 8 years!  We will be renters for 6 months per year!   When You decide to leave pack it up and go!   Buying in Mexico is extremely risky!   Ask Zed why he hasn't bought a home @ Lakeside........either he can't afford it or he is smarter than the rest!


Renting just makes more sense to us and many as we want the flexibility to go somewhere else if this place becomes less desirable.  Besides I know folks love to own houses but we don't.  Rentals are great here and good prices.   Where else can you live in a civilized place for the money we pay for rentals? Buying a house may make sense as insurance against rental creep cost wise and I get that but we prefer the good value of rentals here.  This is our fourth rental in Ajijic in six years.  We learned so much from each house about mexico, Mexican neighborhoods and just life in general here.  We look back and we wouldn't do anything different even the mistakes were good learning lessons and didn't hurt much. JimW had a hell of a time selling his house lakeside. We do not wish to repeat his experience and it is not a unique experience. Sorry Jim but hey at least its gone now!


Thank you Zed. We had been trying to sell our home for 5 years. We had never planned on leaving Lakeside, only wanted to downgrade to 2500 sq. ft. single level home! I learned a valuable lesson. My lesson was.....don't buy a home in a foreign country, unless you are so financially secure, the money doesn't matter. You never know when Mexico law will screw you.


For folks, we don't regret our decision to purchase.......only that we never anticipated the economic change in Mexico! Lesson learned! If you are financially secure, rent don't buy. You will have the flexibility to move at the drop of a hat! Had I done this, we wouldn't have the headaches paying our housekeeper and Gardner, for 3 years. Blackeye

Z
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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:22 am

So Toedipper majority opinion is to rent at first with buying later if needed after you understand your environment fully which takes time.  Feel free to ignore us most folks do laugh out loud. You got a nice wide collections of opinions.

So what do you want us to tell you next???

Z

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Post by CanuckBob on Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:00 am

Absolutely you should rent before you buy. Buying in the wrong location can cost you a bundle.
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Post by toedippers on Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:40 pm

So I'd been staying away from the topic of security because I'm sure many of you have spent too much time trying to explain, educate, maybe rationalize... to friends, family and newbies like us that things are not as bad as the tv news would have you believe.  

For us - with my wife originally from Culiacan in Sinaloa and me having spent time there  - we are well aware of the kind of carnage the cartels have meted out - so we're not exactly naive when it comes to safety in Mexico  

Stlll - since some have brought it up - with in some cases some touching personal stories - I would like to ask this...

How much of your day/night is spent thinking/worrying about security?  

Some of you have commented about staying in at night - do you mean that once it gets dark - you feel the town becomes unsafe?
What about going into Guadalajara for the theatre or a dinner - is that something just not done?
And for those getting older...  not me - I'm not planning on aging... but for those who are - do you find out worries about safety and security grow with age?

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Post by Zedinmexico on Wed Sep 30, 2015 6:57 pm

I feel safe here.  I don't worry about security much but we are careful.  A few times a year I go to Guad at night to a ballgame or such but I get sleepy so I don't go out as much as I use to. Others probably will give other opinions and they go to Guad at night more often than us.  I don't go walking around late at night by myself in the village but many do.  More worried about certain law enforcement types at night rather than robbers to be honest in the Village.  We travel all over Mexico by car and airlines and I admit we check things out security wise before we visit places so we know where is safe and where is not but we don't have problems that preoccupy us.

Good example of Mexico experience
As I am writing this rockets are going boom overhead.  Been ten of them so far.  You jump at first and than you get use to it and ignore them unless they are too close.  Get ready toedippers!  Think of an M80 on a Rocket stick. Shhhhhcchhhhh BOOM!

Z

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Post by SunshineyDay on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:02 pm

Immigration changes are a big issue to consider.

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Post by SunshineyDay on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:04 pm

New changes seem to happen daily

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Post by viajero on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:31 pm

toedippers wrote:So I'd been staying away from the topic of security because I'm sure many of you have spent too much time trying to explain, educate, maybe rationalize... to friends, family and newbies like us that things are not as bad as the tv news would have you believe.  

For us - with my wife originally from Culiacan in Sinaloa and me having spent time there  - we are well aware of the kind of carnage the cartels have meted out - so we're not exactly naive when it comes to safety in Mexico  

Stlll - since some have brought it up - with in some cases some touching personal stories - I would like to ask this...

How much of your day/night is spent thinking/worrying about security?  

Some of you have commented about staying in at night - do you mean that once it gets dark - you feel the town becomes unsafe?
What about going into Guadalajara for the theatre or a dinner - is that something just not done?
And for those getting older...  not me - I'm not planning on aging... but for those who are - do you find out worries about safety and security grow with age?

toedippers
If you were comfortable in Culiacan you shouldn't have any worries about security at Lakeside...
We live in Guadalajara and aside from locking the doors when we go out we don't worry much about security.

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Post by Jim W on Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:02 pm

We never locked our doors in the Haciendas.......we were secured by walls, beyond that...NADA....no dogs either!
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Post by Gamina on Wed Sep 30, 2015 11:32 pm

The problems in Culiacan don't exist here.  Going out at night isn't a big thing.  If I go to Guadalajara for something, I don't drive back home after dark because of the dogs, cows or horses on the road.(driving at night on a highway in Mexico can be dangerous)  I stay in a hotel for the night, shop the next day and come home in the afternoon.

I know that my house would be difficult to break into so I don't worry unduly about that.  I have NO worries when I'm out and about locally.  As a female I drive to Michoacan by myself without particular worries.  But common sense must be used anywhere in the world.
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Post by espíritu del lago on Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:22 am

One very important one!
Don't believe everything you read and hear..
Pay close attention to Bob.. He's spot on. So is Sainte and RV Gringo.

Another thing be careful posting about your political leanings..  
These forums on Mexico have some real jerks on them.. choose your friends and confidants wisely. .

I  sure hope you've got patience cause your going to need it..
Also Spencer  is the legal expert!! Use him!!
Even if your crap is welded down, be prepared..
If someone wants it bad enough they'll take it..

Learn some Spanish. .life is a lot easier if ya do..

Other than that you'll probably love it.. or... maybe not..
Mexico is a state of mind...

Regards
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